I built a PC 13 months ago using Windows Vista Ultimate 64 bit. I never got it to work at its full potential and about 6 months ago it began to freeze every time I opened any program. It worked in Safe Mode and Safe Mode with Networking, so I assumed it was not a hardware issue. I recently decided to try it out with Linux (Ubuntu) and so far it seems to be working well, but I would still rather have the perks of using a mainstream operating system.
So, if I purchase Windows 7 can I expect it to work like Ubuntu has or is there any serious risk that it might flop like Vista for me?Should I go 64 bit or 32 bit? I just want the more compatible version, after all this I don't need hardcore power, I just want a working, normal computer.
I'll start with the easy question first: 64-bit. Don't even consider 32-bit right now.
As for your problems, it's hard to say. I'm not convinced the problem was the hardware, but without a full list of specs (motherboard, exact RAM, HDD, etc.), I can't be certain. Nothing you've listed would make the hardware incompatibile with Vista or 7. The problems with Vista could be a number of things that had nothing to do with the actual hardware, such as incorrect/out of date drivers, improper RAM settings, overheating, viruses, and many other issues.
Everything should be compatible, It is hard to remember off hand all my components, sorry. My concern for the Hardware is growing. While using Ubuntu it froze on me as it did on Vista. I am running Memtest86 as we speak and plan on testing the CPU somehow. Any advice for that?
Either something is wrong with your RAM or Memtest is not reporting this proberly (Which I have never seen happen). Take a look in your BIOS and check the Memory settings, speed, latency timing voltages. Compare them to the specs for the RAM you bought.
Memtest should say:
Settings: RAM : 667 (DDR3-1333) / CAS : 9-9-9-24 / Dual Channel (128bits)
Your motherboard may not support 1333 so instead it should display
Settings: RAM : 533 (DDR3-1066) / CAS : 9-9-9-24 / Dual Channel (128bits) The Case might be lower like 8-8-8-## or 7-7-7-##
But got into your BIOS and tell us what is says in there for Memory settings.
My experience has been that if it works in safe mode, but not in normal its a driver/software issue. Either something he is using has a non compatible driver, or he has some "software" issue. (probably virus.) Fastest way to check that would be to format and start over. The fact that he could run vista for some time before the problem happened supports this. He'll need to figure out how he's getting infected however so that the problem doesn't happen again.
No harm in checking the ram and the settings however. It won't hurt, nor will checking the PSU to make sure its not acting up either. But if you want to fix the problem I'd remove older devices and start cleaning up the machine.
It looks like you're currently about halfway through pass #1. For 4 GB RAM, 7 or 8 passes is probably something you start before you go to sleep, turn off the monitor, and check on it in the morning.
I would reboot & get into the BIOS and set the timings according the the manufacturer specs, then run Memtest again. Assuming no typos, I'm pretty sure the settings shouldn't look like that.
I called ECS to make sure I set the timing correctly. Set it at 9-9-9-24, which is what the websites says to do. I ran Memtest 3.4 and it reported odd numbers again. I than tried Memtest 3.5 nd it would instantly crash, and so would 3.5 experimental. I am worried it is too old to recognize my system properly. It says I have an Athlon 64--which I don't.
Remove 1 stick of memory and:
Concur with MacAdmiral - Run Prime95 and monitor temps and VOLTAGES
I Use CPUID HWMonitor which shows current/min/max
If no errors, swap sticks and retest.
If both sticks work then retry with both installed.
I use memtest86 from a boot disk, But inside windows I much prefer prime 95, It seems to find memory errors quicker.
Have you used CPUZ and see what it reports your memory as?
Added - Win 7 is better than vista, but this looks more like a hardware problem, or a hardware conflict
I agree with retired chief, right now run on only one stick, You can either install Vista to run those applications or try MPrime (Which is Prime95 except for Linux). I dont know what programs work like CPU-Z and CPUID HWMon in Linux. If you still have Vista as a boot partition use that temporarly. Stress the system with 1 Stick, then Stress it with 2, If it has problems with 1 or 2 sticks swap the positions (put 2 in 1 and 1 in 2) and run with one stick and two sticks again.
If one stick causes the testing to fail then its that stick but be safe and check the others. It does sound like a RAM issue, as the RAM would cause any OS to crash. (Vista just uses more RAM)
When you said Memtest 3.4 reported odd numbers were they the same numbers.
I would recommend Memtest86+ (Version 4.10, Released on 4/5/10) (http://www.memtest.org/) As Memtest86 was last released on Jan 3rd 2009.