I have a home built system that I loaded windows 7 on. It worked great for a month or so, then the onboard audio went out. After I uninstalled the drivers for the onboard audio, I went to best buy and bought a Creative Sound Blaster titanium audio card and installed it into the PCI express x2 slot on my motherboard.
The drivers installed great and the sound worked, I restarted my computer and it got stuck on the "starting windows screen". Therefore I forced a restart of the system. I ran start up repair afterwards and the computer started up. This is when everything stopped working.
Pretty much all my applications would crash saying "this application has stopped working" asking me to look online for a solution or to close the program. I can't download anything in firefox either. Basically the only thing I could do was surf the internet, and even then only a few pages would load right.
I ended up doing a system restore 3 times, but this also did not solve my problem. Even in safe mode, all my applications crashed.
I removed the sound card and the drivers, and restarted but to no avail. At this point I decided to just wipe the system and do a fresh install of windows 7. Much to my suprise, even formatting my HD and completely reinstalling windows, I have the exact same issues. I did this 2 more times and each time, I still had the same problem. I ran a full diagnostic on all the hardware in my system (MRI diagnostics: HD, memory, CPU, video, mobo) and everything passed.
At this point I have no idea what could be wrong after 3 fresh installs of windows 7. Anyone else have a similar problem? If you would like specs for my system, just let me know. Thank you to everyone for your help.
My on-board sound was fine, and I don't know what prompted me to try to install a new X-Fi card. The on-board sound was de-activated. The drivers were updated.
Anyway, the first thing I noticed was that the card fit like a loose tooth in the PCIe slot. That's when the problems and crashes started. I immediately uninstalled the sound card, and re-activated the on-board audio, and things were fine once again.