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PC not performing (excessive clocking)

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June 30, 2012 11:05:51 PM

I am running Windows XP SP3 and I have 4 gig RAM, my processor is an AMD Phenom II Black Edition 3.12 GHz dual-core processor (not overclocked), and I have a 1 TB hard drive (does not need to be defragmented). I recently got a new hard drive and reinstalled Windows. I have had nothing but trouble with this PC and most of the time it has been off and not working since I built it, as it would work for about a month or maybe as few as a few days. I RMAed my motherboard several times, also got a 2nd stick of memory (was running 2 gig) to see if my memory was bad, replaced the PSU, RMAed the processor, this PC is all new parts or has been RMAed to death (except the case, which is from around the year 2002). But it is clocking like crazy. I use MalwareBytes Pro anti-virus software, Spybot Search&Destroy to innoculate and scan, and MS Malicious Software Removal Tool. No malware of any kind. I am at the end of my rope, unable to figure out why this pc is not working properly! It takes 20 minutes to bring up some common programs that should come up in under a minute. Is there anything I can do? Anything I have possibly not checked yet, in the several years I have been trying to get this PC to work? There must be something. My mom's single-core 2.16 GHz laptop with a tiny hard drive and half the RAM my desktop has works several orders of magnitude better than mine does.
a b B Homebuilt system
June 30, 2012 11:18:05 PM

What the heck does clocking like crazy mean?
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a b B Homebuilt system
July 1, 2012 12:32:29 AM

it could be a few things...the mb you have is not 100 percent ok with your cpu. before you got your mb did you check the list of ram and cpu that were ok to run in the mb?? did you update the motherboard bios sometime there are bug fixes. the same goes for installing the newest mb chipset drivers...one for sound/network/video. if you dont install the mb chipset drivers the ide/sata controller may not run right. if there ide drives in the system check the ide cables...i seen bad cables cause issues as well as the jumpers on wrong. sometimes the hard drive and cd-rom dont like each other on the ide bus. sometime you have to move the cd-rom to the other ide port as master. you have a cmos setting set wrong so the ram or cpu or the hard drive is running wrong. try running cpu-z and see what your cpu and ram speed are. the other issue i see a lot on people is they have everything running in start up. use ms-config and under start up turn everything off except your anti virus. also check that your only running one anti virus or one malware program. if there old there mse from ms that free avast and avg are also free.
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Related resources
July 1, 2012 12:55:34 AM

Pinhedd: "clocking like crazy," means, "taking 10, 20, 30 minutes to load programs, taking several minutes to respond when clicking an item or highlighting an item, programs showing as running for dozens of minutes in Task Manager before their GUI will populate, et cetera....

smorizio: the CPU is listed as being either the best or one of the best available for my Asus motherboard. I purchased them the same day from MicroCenter and I later confirmed that they were compatible with an ASUS rep during one of my eight RMA's of this board. So that's not it. While my ram has not specifically been listed as compatible with my motherboard, both ASUS and the ram manufacturer say that a similar sub-model was tested and there is absolutely no reason my ram would not be compatible with my motherboard. Updating the motherboard bios lead to the computer failing for the 4th or 5th time; since the motherboard has been repeatedly RMAed, the Bios should be fine since they flashed the bios there on several of its trips (and swapped out my motherboard at least twice to make sure it wasn't defective; I got the same errors with each RMA). Processor, PSU, memory, etc have all been RMAed. I don't recall updating chipset drivers however. But last I checked, there were no updates available. I have tried running the PC both with a video card and with onboard video only and there was no difference either way. I have also replaced the Sata cables, and am not using any IDE devices anymore.

I had one 1TB drive as a slave and a 250 gig as a master, that failed so I got another matching 1 TB to set up RAID, but it didn't really work, so I just copied all the files onto each drive (though only one has the OS). I then removed the older of the drives, so I have a new install of Windows XP on a new hard drive. I don't recall which one's jumpers were set as master and which were set as slave, so it's technically possible I might be having an issue b/c my only hard drive is showing up as a slave...could this cause these issues? I don't know how to fix a CMOS setting, though I vaguely do at least know what the CMOS is, so that's a possibility. CPU-Z is an actionable item and a good idea (I have used it before, but not on this installation). I have nothing running in startup. I run Malware Bytes and Spybot Search & Destroy. I only started the latter program earlier this week, to try to find out if there was anything Malware Bytes wasn't catching, so this is not the cause. I also downloaded the Microsoft malicious software detector program earlier this week, but it is only run when I tell it to, no scanning or anything. They are up to date.

So, looks like my homework is to get CPU-Z, check my jumpers, and look into chipset drivers. I'll post another reply when I find out if either of the first 2 could be the culprit. Thanks!
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a b B Homebuilt system
July 1, 2012 2:23:23 AM


Did you F6 the AHCI drivers prior to the OS installation, and properly set up your hard drive?

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a b B Homebuilt system
July 1, 2012 2:25:04 AM

Sounds to me like your hard drive may be faulty
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a b B Homebuilt system
July 1, 2012 11:56:01 PM

if your using sata drivers there no master/slave jumpers on them. there should be no jumpers on a sata drive other then if your trying to foce it to run on older sata controllers. with cpu-z check that the cpu cache is turn on. if the cpu level two and three cashe is turned off it run real slow. one thing i would do to see if it hardware issue with your pc is ask a friend for a small sata drive that working and install clean os like 7 or windows 8 that you can download for free. then try seeing if your aps still run slow. (make sure there only one drive plugged in. ) if apps still run slow...then there a hardware issue that your not going to be able to shake out.. i had one where is was the bios in a old intel mb...(blue screen all the time) replaced everything in the case.
like you did..finaly just took what i could got a new mb and ram.and cpu and everything was fine.
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July 2, 2012 11:24:47 PM

I have started many replies...but I have had many brown-outs, and the PC was overheating for a couple days (that now appears

to be fixed). First off, no jumpers on the SATA drive, so that option's out (I am relatively new to SATA). I was wrong about

IDE cables; I had one connecting my floppy drive (duh! I keep it around because you never know when you might need one, but

haven't used it in years so sort of forgot about it). I cleaned the inside of the pc thoroughly and removed the ribbon cables. No

more overheating. It's still too slow, but not AS slow, so I think maybe I need a new ribbon cable for my floppy drive. CPU-Z

does not appear to be very compatible with AMD processors. And it wouldn't show anything about my memory _at all_, so I

decided to download an Asus compatible product (since I have an Asus motherboard) and an alarm immediately went off telling

me it was running too hot. So I have now solved that issue and I'm ready to proceed from there (though I've not yet put the

ribbon cable back to see if it was part of the problem). Actually, I just replaced the hard drive. I had a hard drive I'd had for a

year or 2, but the place you plug the red SATA cable in, part of it broke off and it kept coming unplugged. So I got a new one

and backed everything up onto it, and this is that new one. It should be good since it's new, though that's no guarentee, I realize.

I was getting Blue Screens of Death on the previous 3 hard drives. The motherboard, processor, power supply, and memory

have been RMAed. The hard drive and optical drive have been replaced. It happens whether or not my video card is installed.

It happens with or without my floppy drive. Any way in the world it could be the case? It's the only thing I haven't replaced

(except the ribbon cable on the floppy drive).

Is cpu cache turned on?

It says:
Cache L1 256KB
Cache L2 1024 KB
Cache L3 6MB
In the BIOS.

PC Probe II says the same, but says Pipeline Burst for the SRAM and Unknown for Cache Speed. I

What CMOS setting could be wrong? I only have a vague idea of what CMOS even is, mostly b/c my first PC had, "Cmos

Checksum Invalid," just before it died.

CPU speed: 2777 RPM

Chassis: 2235 RPM

RAM speed: not sure where to find this. Under Win32_Processor it says CurrentClockSpeed 3116 MHz, is that what you

meant?
(had to use PC Probe II b/c not all info populated in CPU-Z)

I did check under msconfig and a lot more things were in there than were in my empty startup file in the Start menu! I did remove

them all except for the anti-virus but the problem didn't improve.

I have no idea what F6-ing the AHCI drivers prior to the OS installation means...um, maybe? I don't know what AHCI drivers

are. I can build a computer and repair friends' pc's when I know what's wrong with them, but I'm no professional. My fiance has

A+, Network+, Security+, and MCDST, and he's never heard this, either.

Thanks so much for your help, I really hope this is the info we need to figure out what's wrong?

It also overheated a little for a few moments when I restarted it to check out the BIOS. It (the motherboard) spiked at 45 C for a few moments, so the processor is now running nice and cool at 40-49 degrees (was in the 60s before I cleaned it), but the motherboard is still spiking a fever. Again, I ask, could it be the case? It's a case from I think 2001. It's perfectly adequate for my needs, but maybe something about it is making things go weird?
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a b B Homebuilt system
July 3, 2012 1:49:11 AM


You must check your hard drive setup in the BIOS. You will find quite an option of selections including any mix of IDE, SATA, RAID and AHCI depending upon your south bridge and any other controllers. If the drivers are not properly installed, the configuration ewed-scrayed and your HDD/SSD not properly set, your disk performance will be just plain horrible.

And, no offense, but if you and your buddy have never heard of " F6 the AHCI drivers prior to the OS installation, and properly set up your hard drive" neither of you should be working with computer hardware configurations and setups.



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July 3, 2012 2:36:27 AM

LOL, well I am self-taught (I replaced a friend's motherboard simply by remembering where I took everything off and putting it back where I found it, and he's had absolutely no problems; I've done other more minor repairs for other people and I am good at making Windows behave when it misbehaves for the technologically impaired). I just don't know that acronym, and it was not covered in A+, Network+, MCDST, or Security+, so it can't be that common of knowledge. I assume you mean did I press F6 for the AHCI drivers prior to OS installations, but I have never heard of AHCI drivers. I may very well know it by another name, perhaps the if you could tell me whatever it is that AHCI stands for, I could answer the question. I did build this PC a number of years ago and it has worked for months and months at a time, I believe 4 months was the record. It just keeps breaking, despite multiple different installations of Windows, multiple hard drives, multiple RMA's and multiple replacements of parts (all but the case and the ribbon cable on the floppy drive). While it may be possible that this is what is wrong, I have installed Windows many times with no problems, many different versions of Windows. So I doubt that I left off some crucial step this time, though it's possible. I don't actually remember very much about the installation because I did it last year, and then got so absolutely fed up with this PC that I let it sit around and collect dust for over 6 months and have been just using my Droid for all my Internet needs (this is why it was overheating so badly; dust bunnies in the heat sync/heat sink/whatever it's called! But the motherboard's still overheating). But I want to use some of my Windows software now, so I need to get this machine working. In switched-on time, Windows has been installed for less than a month, but in real time, it's been about 7 or 8 months. I properly formatted the hard drive and I installed Windows XP per the prompts, but do I remember ever step? I have only installed XP about three times, ever, as I was a major Windows 98SE devotee and still think it was the best OS of all time (just not secure enough in today's world, since it hasn't been updated in so many years and is no longer supported). So this whole NT kernel (hopefully I am not using the wrong spelling here) is somewhat new to me (apart from a little Windows 2000 many years ago).

Based on a web search, I am seeing Advanced Host Controller Interface...I can only guess this is probably what you mean, but with all the acronyms out there, all the combinations of letters that stand for multiple different things, it's impossible to be sure unless you confirm that. I'll have to go read about it and see if it sounds familiar. Question...is this BIOS-related? I do remember doing something with the BIOS, so it might've been that. I would dread to reinstall Windows again, it took absolutely forever (weeks) to get everything set up right and get all my software installed. Is there some way I can check to make sure I didn't skip or mess up this crucial step? Some setting I can check? I know my hard drive is Sata. I am not using Raid at all. I am using a ribbon cable for the floppy drive but am not 100% certain that this is considered IDE, but I think anything using a ribbon cable is considered IDE. I can take it apart, put it together, and figure out what a user is doing wrong. Everyone has to start from somewhere and unfortunately my mom still has to be told which mouse button to press and my dad tried to fix a computer by cutting the ends off the cables and "soldering it direct," so it wasn't going to be family that I learned from!
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a b B Homebuilt system
July 3, 2012 8:00:47 AM

use cpu-z find the make and rev of your mb and google the info. when you find the info go to the vendor web page and see what the mb chipset drivers are. if there intel then go to intel web page and download the newest drivers. if it nvidia or amd go to there web pages and download the newest drivers..do that for the sound and network and video card too and see if that helps. also go into drvice manager look for any yellow !! for missing drivers.
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July 6, 2012 12:27:32 AM

Thanks for everyone's help, I am still working on it, but I have ruled a lot of things out and there have been some improvements (now the OS loads in a timely manner, but it takes way too long for programs to populate their GUIs even though they show for several minutes in Task Manager before populating). I have copied down everything I haven't done yet, and would appreciate someone telling me if I can now skip any of these, or if there are any other suggestions. I have checked Device Manager and there are no ?'s or !'s (anymore). No viruses or malware of any kind. No bad IDE cables. Nothing I have located as of yet.

It's really acting like it has some sort of virus or spyware, yet there's nothing.

So, first off, I was asked to use CPU-Z to provide the CPU and RAM speed. I posted it above, and I am checking again right now...can I rule out this as a possibility? What do these numbers tell me? (BTW, every time I open CPU-Z, I get the error code "0X2 (2)" and it asks if I want an error log file; some CPU-Z fields are blank). CPU core speed is 3116.9 MHz, but the rest of the fields below it (i.e., Multiplyer) are blank). Pc Probe II says that my CPU speed is 3292 RPM is and my RAM speed is 667 on both 2 gb sticks.

Other things I haven't tried but have been suggested:

update chipset drivers on:
motherboard
processor
video card
sound card
network card

check hard drive setup in bios. If the drivers are not properly installed; disk performance could suffer if my hard drive isn't properly set. (What should I check for? Everything seems fine.)

clean install on another hard drive, check for the same issues (pending getting ahold of a hard drive I can wipe).

Did I F6 the AHCI drivers prior to the OS installation, and properly set up your hard drive? (Still not sure what exactly this means; hard drive did not come with any instructions or discs, and I don't know what I could do about it if I didn't do this...perhaps get a solid state hard drive for my primary OS hard drive and use my existing drive as a slave, so I don't have to spend weeks getting my software in order again? Would this solve the issue if this is the problem?)


I have a cmos setting set wrong so the ram or cpu or the hard drive is running wrong. (I just posted the info from PC Probe II/CPU-Z so hopefully someone can tell me if this is the issue).

I'd appreciate any help in narrowing down my next steps! Thanks!
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a b B Homebuilt system
July 6, 2012 9:09:19 AM

anonoymah said:
Thanks for everyone's help, I am still working on it, but I have ruled a lot of things out and there have been some improvements (now the OS loads in a timely manner, but it takes way too long for programs to populate their GUIs even though they show for several minutes in Task Manager before populating). I have copied down everything I haven't done yet, and would appreciate someone telling me if I can now skip any of these, or if there are any other suggestions. I have checked Device Manager and there are no ?'s or !'s (anymore). No viruses or malware of any kind. No bad IDE cables. Nothing I have located as of yet.

It's really acting like it has some sort of virus or spyware, yet there's nothing.

So, first off, I was asked to use CPU-Z to provide the CPU and RAM speed. I posted it above, and I am checking again right now...can I rule out this as a possibility? What do these numbers tell me? (BTW, every time I open CPU-Z, I get the error code "0X2 (2)" and it asks if I want an error log file; some CPU-Z fields are blank). CPU core speed is 3116.9 MHz, but the rest of the fields below it (i.e., Multiplyer) are blank). Pc Probe II says that my CPU speed is 3292 RPM is and my RAM speed is 667 on both 2 gb sticks.

Other things I haven't tried but have been suggested:

update chipset drivers on:
motherboard
processor
video card
sound card
network card

check hard drive setup in bios. If the drivers are not properly installed; disk performance could suffer if my hard drive isn't properly set. (What should I check for? Everything seems fine.)

clean install on another hard drive, check for the same issues (pending getting ahold of a hard drive I can wipe).

Did I F6 the AHCI drivers prior to the OS installation, and properly set up your hard drive? (Still not sure what exactly this means; hard drive did not come with any instructions or discs, and I don't know what I could do about it if I didn't do this...perhaps get a solid state hard drive for my primary OS hard drive and use my existing drive as a slave, so I don't have to spend weeks getting my software in order again? Would this solve the issue if this is the problem?)


I have a cmos setting set wrong so the ram or cpu or the hard drive is running wrong. (I just posted the info from PC Probe II/CPU-Z so hopefully someone can tell me if this is the issue).

I'd appreciate any help in narrowing down my next steps! Thanks!


Run Crystal Disk Info and see what it says about your hard drive's health. When CPU/RAM/MOBOs fail they fail hard and everything stops working completely; you'll get BSODs, hard freezes, app crashes, etc... When a hard drive fails it takes progressively longer and longer to read/write the data but it will still do so if it can.
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July 6, 2012 8:36:24 PM

According to both Windows and Crystal Disk Info, the drive is healthy/good and running at 41 C. It's also under a year old, so I'd be surprised if it wasn't. So what next? I have dug up some old IDE hard drives from 2002 and 2004 and I am going to see if either will work, and try a fresh OS install if either is any good (they were given to me inside other peoples' dead PCs). If the issues repeat, then it isn't anything to do with Sata or this hard drive in particular. Then I'll have a better idea which direction to go in. IF either of these hard drives will work!

Edit: None of the 3 used IDE hard drives worked, so I'll have to dig up some more before I can try to test that, however, my Sata hard drive has instructions printed on the top indicating that I should install XP without doing anything in particular to the hard drive or BIOS or anything first, unless, of course, it is meant to be a secondary drive. Now, what I actually did was attempt to set up RAID, as I had 2 "identical" hard drives (identical specs). My motherboard supposedly natively supports RAID, but the drives were not mirroring, so I turned off RAID, then I copied everything from the C drive to the E drive (where XP is installed) b/c my C drive started making noises that worried me. The E drive is the only hard drive, and is 24% full (1 TB total disk space). I am leaning towards the problem being in the CMOS, but have no clue how to fix CMOS issues! Maybe I should start a new thread, now that I have a better idea of what could be wrong, but since all the background is here, for now I'm sticking with this one.

Edit #2: You may not believe this, but what finally fixed it was turning off my anti-virus program! I tried another one and the same symptoms came back. So I have no clue how to fix it, but at least I do know what the problem is! I'm now in touch with someone in the troubleshooting department of my antivirus program, and will post something in an appropriate forum if the issue can't be resolved through them. I do think some other things that I already fixed really did help, and I thank everyone who took the time to read this and make suggestions. If nothing else, I learned a few more things that will come in handy when I'm trying to figure out what's wrong with other computers in the future!
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a b B Homebuilt system
July 7, 2012 6:42:12 AM

anonoymah said:
According to both Windows and Crystal Disk Info, the drive is healthy/good and running at 41 C. It's also under a year old, so I'd be surprised if it wasn't. So what next? I have dug up some old IDE hard drives from 2002 and 2004 and I am going to see if either will work, and try a fresh OS install if either is any good (they were given to me inside other peoples' dead PCs). If the issues repeat, then it isn't anything to do with Sata or this hard drive in particular. Then I'll have a better idea which direction to go in. IF either of these hard drives will work!

Edit: None of the 3 used IDE hard drives worked, so I'll have to dig up some more before I can try to test that, however, my Sata hard drive has instructions printed on the top indicating that I should install XP without doing anything in particular to the hard drive or BIOS or anything first, unless, of course, it is meant to be a secondary drive. Now, what I actually did was attempt to set up RAID, as I had 2 "identical" hard drives (identical specs). My motherboard supposedly natively supports RAID, but the drives were not mirroring, so I turned off RAID, then I copied everything from the C drive to the E drive (where XP is installed) b/c my C drive started making noises that worried me. The E drive is the only hard drive, and is 24% full (1 TB total disk space). I am leaning towards the problem being in the CMOS, but have no clue how to fix CMOS issues! Maybe I should start a new thread, now that I have a better idea of what could be wrong, but since all the background is here, for now I'm sticking with this one.

Edit #2: You may not believe this, but what finally fixed it was turning off my anti-virus program! I tried another one and the same symptoms came back. So I have no clue how to fix it, but at least I do know what the problem is! I'm now in touch with someone in the troubleshooting department of my antivirus program, and will post something in an appropriate forum if the issue can't be resolved through them. I do think some other things that I already fixed really did help, and I thank everyone who took the time to read this and make suggestions. If nothing else, I learned a few more things that will come in handy when I'm trying to figure out what's wrong with other computers in the future!


Lol, never ever run antivirus programs. The best antivirus is a smart user
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December 8, 2012 1:11:40 PM

anonoymah said:
I RMAed my motherboard several times, also got a 2nd stick of memory (was running 2 gig) to see if my memory was bad, replaced the PSU, RMAed the processor, this PC is all new parts or has been RMAed to death (except the case, which is from around the year 2002). But it is clocking like crazy.



Just for insight - Asus RMA is the last place you want to send your pc/laptop. EVER. Don't bother with customer support either.

I am all Asus-ed out and have NO DOUBT whatsoever that Asus shares the same ethical code of conduct as ENRON or perhaps JPMorgan...

I am really sorry for your troubles with them, I share your frustrations!
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