Extremely unstable, getting on my nerves

Hi everyone, I've had my rig for about 2 years now. Let's start w/ specs

Win 7 Home Premium 64bit
Gigabyte GA-770TA-UD3 MOBO
AMD Phenom II X4 955
4gb ram DDR3
MSi Hawk R5770
Western Digital Caviar Black 500GB (wd5001aals-00j7b1)
I believe that's it, though I may be missing something..

anyway, my computer, from about a month or two after it was built to the present, has a history of being extremely unstable. when i would game (from extremely demanding games like Skyrim to games that required less power) there would be random stutters and freezes while gaming, making it difficult to game.

lately, my computer has been going even crazier. when playing .avi files, the videos would stutter. programs (ie. chrome) would randomly stop responding out of the blue even when they seemed to be working perfectly just a few seconds ago. my computer even goes as far as to blue-screen when gaming now (usually the message I get from the BSOD is "IRQL NOT LESS OR EQUAL", i'm not sure if that means anything but i HAVE searched it up).

my computer is also nearly impossible to boot up after it has blue-screened or been turned off. either 3 things happen when i boot it up :

i)boots up fine (but takes an insane amount of time to load)

ii)hangs at 'starting windows' w/ the windows logo

iii)completely ignores the presence of an operating system and goes '... booting to CD..' where a windows recovery disk is placed for safekeeping

iv)hangs at mobo logo (the first screen i get when i turn on my computer)

I have a big suspicion that it has something to do with my harddrive, as i remember before the insane amount of freezing my computer would boot straight to chkdsk nearly every single time i started it up (even though i never asked for it) and when running chkdsk i have had numerous problems (etc. 'this disk is write-protected' or something..) i have also failed the 'SMART' test by western digital lifeguard diagnostics..

this has been bugging me for a long time now and I just want to see my computer diagnosed.. though I think i have answered my own question i would appreciate the input from the bright people present here, all info and instruction is highly valued & thanks for your time
5 answers Last reply
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  1. What kind of RAM do you have? You didn't list the brand or the type to get more information on it. Also, what case do you own and what PSU do you own?
  2. Sounds like a RAM problem more than anything.

    The reason I asked about the case, is because you could be overheating your system, make sure all of your fans are working.

    Also, once you figure out the problem, I suggest upgrading your GPU.
  3. I'm not home so I can't tell you much about the ram+psu, however I assume its a HDD problem cause I've gotten errors before about my hard drive failing. I've also done the extended HDD test and it failed when repairing bad sectors.

    Replacing my GPU is one of my priorities this year and my case is a haf922 with cold air blowing out of the case so I dont think it has anything to do with that.

    Edit ; looked up my order history
    PSU - http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817371030
    Nram - http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820211410
  4. Play a game for a while, then turn off your PC and check if your RAM is getting hot. I had exactly the same problem with my old Kingston 4GB DDR2 1033Mhz, got new RAM and the problem was fixed.
  5. Yea man I do think it's a RAM problem, I suggest you get this RAM, it's a good one that can run well with your mobo;

    CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1866

    If you want to go A little cheaper, then I suggest this RAM;

    Crucial Ballistix sport 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333

    I was a little scared going to crucial because I'm so used to CORSAIR or Kingston, but I'm not upset over my decision, my RAM has worked very well.

    If you REALLY just want RAM now and can't afford the 41 dollars, then use this;

    Crucial Ballistix Tactical Tracer 4GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1866 (PC3 14900)
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