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Have Tried Everything, Nowhere Else to Turn.

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Last response: in Windows 7
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July 23, 2012 5:12:34 PM

I'm not even sure what category this should go under, other than one possibly titled "Everything is going wrong oh god please help".

I'll just start from the beginning.

I recently started having problems with Steam. It would freeze occasionally...No big deal. However, recently I've been having significantly worse issues with it. It started with my inability to kill the task in the Task Manager. If it did succeed, it would take quite a few minutes to complete. Then, once it was finally done, my computer would be bogged down like crazy. I'm talking almost 5 minutes to open the Command Prompt. It's getting bad.

This kept happening to the point where even after a reboot, Steam simply won't start up. All it does is cause this crazy super-sluggish behavior in my computer. I thought to look at the process tab in the Task Manager to see if there's something causing a huge memory leak. Nothing. CPU and Memory usage were nominal. Yet, my system was still bogged down even after the Steam.exe was killed. I then tried flushing memory, DNS cache, and even temporary files. Nothing worked.

Over my time poking around and trying to figure things out, it seemed like the system was slowly coming back up to speed. I could get Chrome to open, but it wouldn't load any pages for at least 5 minutes. I tried a crazy hunch, and it turns out INCOGNITO mode was running just fine, no hitches or lags. That's what I'm using right now.

The insanity doesn't stop there. So I decided to just reboot my computer so things are a bit easier to navigate for troubleshooting purposes. The reboot takes a very long time to process, and seems to just get stuck at Shut Down. I have no choice but to hit the reset button on my tower. Lo and behold, to my utter surprise...The BIOS freezes. It won't go past the splash, and I can't enter CMOS or anything. It's totally locked up. This has never, ever happened to me before.

I power-cycle the PC, and it goes through BIOS. It asks to verify the drive Steam is installed on for consistency. It seems to pass everything, and boots up. However, upon trying to load Steam, this whole thing happens all over again.

I'd like to think of myself as a bit of a power user, but I have never had anything like this happen to me and I am completely baffled. How could Steam freezing possibly affect my damn BIOS!? There has to be something else going on here.

Please help me out. My PC is fine if I don't run Steam, but I like my video games that I've spent easily over $1000 on over the years.

Thank you, and here are my PC specs:

CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 Deneb core 3.2 Ghz
GPU: Sapphire Radeon HD 6870 1GB RAM
OS HDD: Seagate Barracuda 250GB @ 7200 RPM
HDD where Steam is Installed: Western Digital Caviar Green 1.5TB @ 7200RPM
RAM: 8GB DDR 3 @ 669Mhz
OS: Windows 7

Edit: My bad memory strikes again. I HAVE re-installed Steam, but the problem only seemed to get worse.

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a b $ Windows 7
July 23, 2012 5:32:21 PM

My first thought is the drive that holds steam is dying. Go to WD website and download whatever tools they have to check the drive health. WD is known to have some issues with their green drives.

Can you stop steam from loading on start up? If it doesn't load then is everything fine? Perhaps steam needs to be removed then reinstalled?
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a b $ Windows 7
July 23, 2012 5:33:07 PM

Check the basics. Prove your RAM, perhaps run with one stick at a time removed, and swap round slots. Make sure your PSU is delivering correct volts, esp. 12v, 5v & 3.3v
Check temps.
Problem seems to be worse when gaming, so use MSI Afterburn, graphical presentation allows you to check system after gaming for a spell.
http://event.msi.com/vga/afterburner/download.htm

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July 23, 2012 5:34:07 PM

first you should probably run a check disk on both your hard drives to check their integrity.
second I don't think WD green drives are 7200rpm, they are low power 5400rpm drives. this may be part of the problem having steam installed on a green drive.
third whats your antivirus software?
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a b $ Windows 7
July 23, 2012 5:40:18 PM

You dont sound like much of a power user..

You should check your HDD first... Run the manufacturers tests... make sure you get a clean bill of health on both.

If it all clear and you suspect Steam... kill it .... backup/copy off your games... uninstall... clean up... install a fresh copy of steam... see if problem goes away.
Copy back games if you dont want to redownload them all... Make sure you do consistency checks etc before you run them.


Be systematic/methodical and work it through...If you really lucky a "install over the top" of steam may fix.. .but you just need work it through.

Good luck
Cheers
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July 23, 2012 5:47:07 PM

4745454b said:
My first thought is the drive that holds steam is dying. Go to WD website and download whatever tools they have to check the drive health. WD is known to have some issues with their green drives.

Can you stop steam from loading on start up? If it doesn't load then is everything fine? Perhaps steam needs to be removed then reinstalled?


Yes, I've stopped Steam from loading and everything's peachy, including startup/shutdown. The only time problems happen is when Steam gets involved, which leads me to think that this is a very strange software problem that leaves a residual hardware imprint upon reboot.

flank21 said:
first you should probably run a check disk on both your hard drives to check their integrity.
second I don't think WD green drives are 7200rpm, they are low power 5400rpm drives. this may be part of the problem having steam installed on a green drive.
third whats your antivirus software?


I'm doing that now, as the previous poster mentioned.

Well, unless the product description was flat out wrong, I make it a point not to buy any drives that aren't at least 7200rpm. I always check this a few times as I've been burned before. But, it is a green. I now know, through poking around, that these are somewhat problematic drives.

I've been using this drive for over 2 years now and there's been no problems so far, Steam-related or otherwise.
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July 23, 2012 5:54:23 PM

The fact that the computer would not post that time, and you could not get into the bios makes me think something is wonky with the hardware. I would pop out the ram and blow out the ram slots with a can of air. Then reinstall the ram.

I would then run the ms memtest boot cd and let it run for a bit. Or you can run memory test from vista or win 7. Just type memory into the search bar on the start menu.

After that I would run check disk on the HDs. It is possible there is a bad sector on the hdd right were steam is....but that would not explain the bios/post issue.
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Best solution

July 23, 2012 5:56:34 PM

I definitely think it's a damaged or malfunctioning hard disk that's causing your problem. Nothing will slow down a computer more than fruitlessly attempting to read unreadable data. CHKDSK would be a good thing to at least try. It could very well be that the sectors your Steam installation and games are on are damaged or corrupted. Then I'd run something like HDTune or WD LifeGuard to verify the physical integrity of the drives.
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July 23, 2012 6:29:25 PM

You might, also, want to check out your network esp. the router. I know this sounds insane but I just went through something similar with Star Wars: The Old Republic. Let me explain the details.

At first the game would just hang at the splash screen just before entering the menu to select the character to play. A quick reboot and it would work every time. I noticed that every time it hung up it was after the system had been woke up from sleep mode. That went on for about a month and a half. Then it quit working altogether, hangs evertime at the splash screen.

I reinstalled SWTOR several times, reinstalled windows onto a brand new SSD, tried everything I could think of with no success. At about the same time everything stopped working I notice that I was also having problems with IE getting errors on web pages or just refusing to load pages. I thought I might have a virus but my virus/spyware scanner came back clean. Tried reinstalling graphics card drivers, reverting to older drivers and nothing works. I even had a couple of times where the computer rebooted for no apparent reason while working on the driver reinstalls. That was when I recalled that I had been having infrequent crashes in the game and one time the computer BSOD'd while playing. Reboots had always fixed that before.

I also had problems on my laptop with IE so I asked my dad if his computer was seeing intermittant problems with IE. Answer was Yes. Hmm, three computers, all with IE problems plus gamer not running a game that definitely requires good network connectivity. So I replaced my wireless router with an older one that I had saved "just in case". Suddenly everything works, no more hang ups at the splash screen, no more need to reboot after a wake up from sleep, no more IE problems on any of the computers, no more problems with drivers, no crashes since replacing the wireless router.

As I was reading through your post, I saw a similar pattern that could point to the same cause. If you find that everything on your computer checks out OK, take a look at the network. Since steam requires a network connection, that could be where your problem lies. Mine was caused by the router but it could also be something else in your network. Check for interference caused by nearby wireless networks using the same channel as yours. Check out your cable or DSL (or other type) modem. It might even be caused by the ISP.
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July 30, 2012 12:27:40 AM

Thank you to everyone, but it turned out to be a case of a bad drive. I replaced it with another HDD I picked up a few days ago and Steam is now working like a charm.

So, just in case someone with a similar problem is googling this and can't figure it out...Probably a bad drive.
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July 30, 2012 12:28:24 AM

Best answer selected by Time Glitch.
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