Hardware Interrupts Horror

Hi, all.

Recently, I built myself a computer with the following hardware:

Intel i7 2600k quad-core processor
NVidia GeForce GTX 460 graphics card
Netgear WPN311 Rangemax wireless adapter card
ASUS P8P67 Pro motherboard
16 GB DDR3 1333mhz RAM produced by G.Skill
Six case fans of varying size; most are 200mm in diameter
Mastercool V6 processor cooling unit

I made the grave mistake of installing Windows 7 x64 (not that I had many other options), and it has been driving me up the wall constantly.

I have settled most issues I've encountered with the OS thus far, but this one has me stumped, as I don't know whether the OS or a piece of hardware is to blame.

Thread 0 is locked at near 100% usage lately, and through Process Explorer I have found this the culprit is the "Hardware Interrupts and DPCs" service. I have tried reinstalling the drivers for my video card and wireless adapter as well as reseating both devices, and I still have this problem. The video card does not appear to be damaged; it still functions normally. The wireless card is alleged to be one of the few Windows 7 x64 compatible Netgear cards, so I don't think that would be causing the problem either. Then again, I've been wrong about hardware in the past, so I don't doubt that there is something gravely wrong with one component or another.

Does anybody have any solutions? I've scoured forums for the past couple days seeking a solution, and nothing has worked for me.
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  1. Have you updated Win 7 with Service Pack 1 and all the follow on updates?
  2. Thanks for the reply.

    Of course. I've updated everything there is to be updated (as far as I know, anyways.)

    The problem seems to go away when I boot into safe mode, which indicates that it would be a SOFTWARE problem, but even when I disable all of my own startup services in regular boot mode, I get the Hardware Interrupts flaring issue.

    Update: I yanked the Radeon x550 out of my old Dimension 8400 and tried it out, and it's working fine. Of course, 128 mb of VRAM is simply not acceptable, and I don't really have the funds for another 1 GB card after assembling this rig... And no, warranty is not an option here, I got it off Newegg. So, is there anything I can do for this card? I don't know if the hardware interrupts was caused by the card dying or just some weird conflict. Are there any tricks to installing NVidia drivers on Windows 7 x64? Or if it IS a case of a dying card, then is there anything I can do to repair it?
  3. It is a hardware problem probably driver related. Safe Mode prevents drivers from loading. The problem is not Win 7.

    1) Make sure all your drivers are up to date and supplied by the manufacturer.
    2) Try disabling hardware such as onboard sound to see if you can narrow down the suspect list.
    3) Try removing any USB devices if possible. Swap the keyboard and mouse out if you can.
    4) If you are using an SSD then make sure the firmware for the drive is up to date.
    5) Some Antivirus software tries to load its own NIC driver to work in conjunction with your normal NIC driver as part of their so called security features. Make sure this is not happening and deactivate the software to see if that is causing an issue.
  4. Now that the culprit is identified as my video card, I should say that I just updated my video drivers a couple of hours ago (along with all other hardware drivers.) Still, the problem persists. Should I try rolling back my video drivers to an earlier version?

    I use avast antivirus, I'll also try stopping that and see if it has an effect.

    Thanks for the suggestions.
  5. Yes either roll the drivers back or uninstall them completely and try installing the latest drivers from scratch. If you have identified the GPU as the culprit then the AV will probably be fine. Might pay to check anyway just in case.
  6. You either have faulty hardware or faulty drivers. Are you using the drivers directly off the AMD website or are you downloading them from the Video Card vender? I'd highly suggest going to the AMD website and pulling their latest Radeon driver. Also goto the Intel website and pull the latest chipset driver packaged, do not use the one off Asus website, they tend to be old and out of date.
  7. I got my drivers for the video card direct from the nvidia website, so unless there's a bug in their driver, I don't think that would be the problem.

    I had been getting my chipset drivers from ASUS, so I'll go get them from Intel instead. Thanks for the heads-up on that one.

    All in all, though, if the Intel drivers don't help, I'm prepared to declare this card cooked. According to Speedfan, it is now maintaining a decent 43 C average, but after a strange incident with the Sims 3 in which the card spiked at 96 C, I think the damage has already been done (though I have heard that the card's heat stress limit is 104 C, which it didn't quite reach in that short period of time.) I should also have mentioned earlier that I have been using this card for about three weeks without incident up until the past couple of days, so all signs are pointing to something gone awry.
    Additionally, I should note that there appears to be nothing wrong with the actual video output; it's all as clear and crisp as ever, and I have not suffered any bluescreens or other video failures. I have occasionally experienced slowdowns or freeze-ups when I watch YouTube videos, however.

    Failing any driver fixes, are there any home repairs I can attempt on the card? As stated, the warranty is nonexistent, so it doesn't matter what happens to it now.

    Update: Problem solved. Swapped the card out with the HD4870 that I just remembered has been hiding in a for-parts desktop. Had to do some trickery to get it to give a signal with my DVI monitor, but now it works fine. Not quite as powerful as my poor 460, but I guess better things will come down the line. Until then, I'm happy. Regardless of the fact that I couldn't get my GeForce working properly again, thanks for all the help and suggestions, guys.
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