I have a custom built system from late 2008 (specs below). I recently set it up to dual boot with Win XP Pro and Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit on a Maxtor basics 500GB and Western Digital Cavier blue 640GB respectively.
I started out by unplugging the 640GB HDD and setting up Win XP on the 500GB. I then setup Win 7 on the 640GB HDD, which installed a convenient boot manager that allowed me to boot into either OS at start up.
About a week after I set this up, my computer froze randomly while I was watching a video online. I wasn't even able to ALT+CTRL+DEL. After I manually shut down and restarted, it kept freezing at the Windows logo screen, in both OS's.
I suspected that my new HDD drive was to blame. I tried to repair the start up using the recovery manager, but it would display an error message saying that it was unable to repair the problem automatically. I was also unable to do a system restore because I always turn the feature off when I reformat, nor did I have a system image that I could use.
I decided to unplug the 500GB and reformat and reinstall Win XP on my 640GB HDD, which was the set up that I had before the dual boot configuration.
After installation, I was able to install my chipset, network, and sound drivers, but when I tried to install my Nvidia drivers (258.96), the computer kept freezing at the Windows logo screen.
I then tried to switch my GPU to PCI-E slot 2, which resulted in the same freezing at start up.
I rebooted and selected "use last known good configuration". It then loaded to the desktop with the Nvidia drivers improperly configured.
When I tried to open the Nvidia control panel it said, "The Nvidia display extension cannot be created. Possible reasons include: Version mismatch. Reinstalling the drivers may solve this problem". Another window then popped up saying, "Nvidia display settings are not available. An Nvidia graphics card was not detected in your system". Also, GPU-Z didn't show any of my GPU specs, everything just came up blank.
I tried to uninstall the 258.96 drivers and install the 197.45 (April) drivers, which also did nothing.
I fear that my GPU is done for, and because I didn't register it in the first 30 days of purchase, it is not protected under warranty. Could this be a motherboard problem? How would I be able to tell if it was?
I'm out of ideas guys and don't know where to go from here. Any help or ideas would be greatly appreciated.