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Hardware problem, not sure how to isolate it

Last response: in Systems
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January 28, 2012 5:45:24 PM

Yesterday, I tried to boot into Windows 7 and it wouldn't boot, giving me an error about nvlddkm.sys, which appears to be related to NVIDIA drivers. Safe mode worked, so I uninstalled the NVIDIA drivers then booted back into normal Windows and reinstalled it. After restarting to complete the driver installation, the computer went back to bluescreening. I decided to install Ubuntu at that point, and the install worked just fine. After installing, however, my computer would not boot into Ubuntu, either. Occasionally it worked, but on the whole it wouldn't work, crashing right before the login screen. I decided to switch back to Windows at that point, doing a fresh install. I just finished installing Windows, and I began to install a couple of programs, including the NVIDIA drivers. The computer then bluescreened when I tried to boot next. This is quite clearly a hardware problem, but I want to isolate it rather than RMAing likely culprits. In the past, my computer would freeze up occasionally but a reinstall seemed to fix that. I have run memtest on multiple occasions, with no errors found. My specs, if it helps:
Intel i7 930
2TB Hitatchi Deskstar
Coolermaster Fan (not sure which model, I can check if it makes a difference)
Geforce GTX 470
Corsair 750W PSU
Asus P6X58D Premium Motherboard
6GB G-Skill RAM
Creative SB Audigy Sound Card

Anyone have any ideas how I can isolate the problem? Thanks for your help.
January 28, 2012 5:54:14 PM

Any resources you can link me would also help.
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January 28, 2012 6:01:51 PM

The two things that come to mind that can possibly be failing is either your Graphics Card or your Hard Drive. I would suspect the Graphics Card being that you are having the errors come up when you install the drivers, however I am pretty sure the drivers crashing, or for that matter the Graphics Card itself failing, causing your entire computer to shut down, however I could be wrong. Try booting into Windows, without installing the drivers, then install only the drivers and reboot and see if that is the problem. If it persists, try doing it again with older drivers, and if it continues try finding another card to output video for you and see if the issue is resolved. The other things is that your Hard Drive could be failing, I have had the issue where I could install and then boot into Windows but it would constantly fail on me, and eventually I couldn't boot without a reinstall. Those would be my first guess, at any rate. The idea is to replace certain parts of your computer and see if your computer can work without them, and if that is the case then you have found the issue. I hope this helps, and let me know if you got anywhere :D 
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