Massive computer problems...blue screens, restarts, beeping noises

Discussion in 'Windows 64 Bit' started by Eric, Jan 23, 2007.

  1. Eric

    Eric Guest

    This is a copy of the email I sent to tech support. Cliffs: basically I blue
    screen a ton and get many errors in windows. Fatal errors/disconnects in
    warcraft 3/wow. .net framework does not install, etc. The most common error I
    see is modification of a system structure or critical data has been detected.
    I have formatted 4 times and have registry scanned, anti virus scanned, and
    chkdsked. If any of you can help me or can point out what is the cause of
    all these issues, please let me know.

    ---EMAIL---

    After searching the internet and trying many fixes and even talking to your
    tech support, I have finally exhausted all my options. I bought my computer
    at the beginning of my freshman year of college. Besides not being able to
    change my mouse cursor, the computer was fine for the first year and a half.
    A year and a half later, I would bluescreen every now and then when playing
    games - no big deal, I thought. 2 and a half years later, this is what
    started happening: (Keep in mind I have only been updating my drivers and
    have not made any other changes, I even get these errors AFTER I format)

    -started randomly blue screening, particularly in WoW. 2 months later,
    started disconnecting from warcraft III games(this was not a connection
    issue, tested on two connections and shared connection - no one else dced)--
    clearly computer problem. Computer would also make very annoying BEEPING
    noises that would not stop(I assume from the motherboard). This noise sounded
    like an alarm and was a huge nuisance.

    -after happening for a few months, decided to reformat. used cyberpower disk
    and floppy. i'd like to mention here that the cyberpower reformat gave me
    tons of trouble, i bluescreened a few times in dos and when i finally entered
    windows setup, it gave me the 'signature is invalid/product catalog fatal
    error' - which meant i needed to go find another solution. i finally
    reformatted to Windows XP Sp1, but could not update microsoft .net framework
    to 2.0, directx 9.0c or update to service pack 2 via windows update.

    -after being unable to find a solution, decided to dl windows xp x64 and
    give it a shot. although i finally had direct x 9.0c, i started getting fatal
    errors in games and began blue screening much more frequently - maybe 6 times
    or more in one boot. i also get low virtual memory errors -- which in turn
    totally eliminates all the text on my screen. these blue screens and other
    errors make it difficult for me to even continue.

    - under my 3 year warranty, i would like cyberpower to restore my computer
    to factory settings - WITH Windows XP SP2. I am tired of all the trouble and
    would really like to see what you guys can do to help. I am looking forward
    to buying my next computer from you guys, so I'd like to see how your
    customer service is.

    Please give me a number to call and I will call you as soon as I can, I can
    give you the windows xp cd key you have taped to my case or any other
    information.

    one more thing: my friend used to work under your tech support and from what
    i hear...it's not too good. please prove him wrong.

    Thank You,
    Eric

    ---END---

    Once again, if you have any idea what the problem might be(hd, mobo, etc.)
    please let me know. I have a hunch that it's the HD but I'm not ready to drop
    two hundred on something I'm not sure about.

    Thank you all very much
     
    Eric, Jan 23, 2007
    #1
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  2. Eric

    DP Guest

    More details on your system would help. It's at least 2.5 years old, I
    gather.
    And I assume it's a 64-bit cpu; otherwise, I don't think x64 would load on
    it.

    We recently had a discussion in this group (I think; or maybe the Quicken
    group) about Cyberpower. Looks like your experience with them has turned
    bad.
     
    DP, Jan 23, 2007
    #2
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  3. First, not knowing what your system is, and seeing it is getting 'oldish' -
    check your temperatures, disconnect all your cables one by one (outside and
    inside) and put them back where they were, pull out every card inside, and
    the memory too and re-seat it all in order.

    How is ventilation? Is the heat-sink building dust inside? Did you attach
    several devices over time that didn't come with the machine when you bought
    it?

    Consider that - then tell us the Motherboard and CPU - describe your case
    and Power Supply, what devices are attached and if you remember, what kind
    of error started this and when? Check your Event Viewer as well - any
    specific error messages that you can tell us will be helpfull too.

    And, out of curiosity - if all this didn't happen, would you have been happy
    with the performance today? Would it be fitting in with your needs and
    expectations?


    Tony. . .
     
    Tony Sperling, Jan 23, 2007
    #3
  4. Eric

    Eric Guest

    I'm sorry, stupid me. Please ignore the numbers at the end, I just cut and
    pasted from my order form. Average CPU temp is 47 C. Hard drive is 32 C.
    System specs:

    CAS: ALUMINUM X-SuperAlien Server 420W W/ Window & LCD Temperature Display +
    Fan Control (BLACK COLOR)
    CD: ARTEC 16X DVD ROM (BEIGE COLOR)
    CDRW: NEC ND-2500A DUAL FORMAT 8X DVD�R/�RW + CD-R/RW DRIVE (BEIGE COLOR)
    CPU: (939-pin) AMDT ATHLONT64 FX 53 Processor [+0]
    FAN: AMD ATHLON64 FX CERTIFIED CPU FAN & HEATSINK
    FARCRYGAME: FAR CRYT DVD GAME [+0]
    FLOPPY: 1.44 MB FLOPPY DRIVE (BLACK COLOR)
    HDD: Hitachi 160GB 7200RPM Serial ATA 150 8MB Cache -- Cyberpower
    Recommended [-104]
    MOTHERBOARD: (939-pin Socket) ABIT AV8 VIA K8T800 MAINBOARD WITH LAN,
    USB2.0, IEEE, & AUDIO
    MEMORY: 1024 MB (512MBx2) PC3200 400MHz Dual Channel DDR MEMORY (Standard
    Major Brand)
    MONITOR: [BLACK] ViewSonic� VP201B 20.1 inch TFT LCD MONITOR
    NETWORK: ONBOARD 10/100 NETWORK CARD
    OS: Microsoft� Windows� XP PROFESSIONAL x64
    POWERSUPPLY: THERMALTAKE 480WATT POWER SUPPLY [+79] (SILVER COLOR)
    SOUND: Creative Labs SB Audigy-2 ZS 7.1
    VIDEO: Raedon x1600
     
    Eric, Jan 23, 2007
    #4
  5. Right, this sounds potent enough, and something you'd expect to last a
    while. I'd put the box onto a well lit table and have a good look inside -
    go through the re-seating I mentioned and se how it behaves then. If no joy,
    then update your BIOS and/or reset it to the conservative default,
    disconnect everything that isn't needed for the machine to boot and have a
    close look for any errors, checking 'Event Viewer', too. If it behaves, then
    put all devices back one at a time and it will tell you which one is failing
    if what you have done didn't fix it after all.

    The beeping you mentioned - is that when booting or right in the middle of
    normal operation? If it beeps when booting, you should check your manual or
    the web-site this is sort of a morse-code that tells you what kind of error
    you are up against. Don't try and mimic the codes to me here, I wouldn't
    understand it, that will make it a serious error that the manual or
    tech-support should be able to handle.

    (One trick to try early on is to borrow another keyboard and try that first
    of all!)


    Tony. . .


     
    Tony Sperling, Jan 23, 2007
    #5
  6. Eric

    Eric Guest

    I'm going to try this right now, Tony. I'll let you know how it goes. And
    the beeping noise has since stopped since I've formatted -- it was just a
    problem I had before. Also, where can I find Event Viewer? I'll respond
    with my results in 30 minutes or so.

     
    Eric, Jan 23, 2007
    #6
  7. Eric

    Jane C Guest

    Another thing to check is the cabling itself. Can you try using a different
    SATA cable? A friend of mine was having similar issues recently. It turned
    out to be a duff SATA cable.

    --
    Jane, not plain ;) 64 bit enabled :)
    Batteries not included. Braincell on vacation ;-)
     
    Jane C, Jan 23, 2007
    #7
  8. Eric

    Jane C Guest

    The SATA cable is the red one that attaches to your SATA hard drive. By all
    means do some dusting, but make sure you use a natural fibre brush, a sable
    artist paintbrush is good. Don't stick a vacuum cleaner nozzle in there!

    --
    Jane, not plain ;) 64 bit enabled :)
    Batteries not included. Braincell on vacation ;-)
     
    Jane C, Jan 23, 2007
    #8
  9. Eric

    Eric Guest

    I see a grey cable that attaches do it, on the side it says 'serial ATA' on
    it. I also see a red/black/yellow cable attached to it. Just a FYI i just
    finished 'reseating' everything and I am still getting the same problems. I
    also ran Windows Memory Diagonostic to check my memory and there are no
    problems with it. I switched my bios to fail-safe defaults to no avail. I
    still got the blue screen "a modification of system data or a critical data
    structure has been altered".

    I'd also like to mention that I am trying to install a game right now and I
    either a.) freeze or b.) get the blue screen error mentioned above.

     
    Eric, Jan 23, 2007
    #9
  10. Eric

    Aaron Kelley Guest

    The grey cable is probably the serial ATA cable (which is usually red), the
    black/red/yellow cable is definately the power cable.

    The serial ATA cable is rather thin and flat single cable (as opposed to the
    power connector which has several wires).

    - Aaron

     
    Aaron Kelley, Jan 23, 2007
    #10
  11. Eric

    Eric Guest

    thanks im going to purchase one now

     
    Eric, Jan 23, 2007
    #11
  12. Eric

    Eric Guest

    As of right now I went around looking for a SATA cable but the stores were
    sold out(weird). Does anyone have any other suggestions? It seems when my
    computer gets a the least bit intensive, it will blue screen. It has trouble
    with extended installs, such as big games(world of warcraft).
     
    Eric, Jan 23, 2007
    #12
  13. Eric

    Eric Guest

    I have run a memory test, I did ten run throughs -- no problems.
     
    Eric, Jan 23, 2007
    #13
  14. I had to go lay down, while you were at it. I read of what happened further
    down, but respond here to continue where we left off. It is imprtant that if
    reseating doesn't help, you strip the machine down to the absolute minimum
    that will boot the machine - this means one stick of memory, and make notes
    as you go, if the one stick of memory that you left in didn't work take it
    out and put the other in the same slot. Method is important if you want to
    be able to remember anything because you are going to do a lot of re-booting
    today!

    If you find a configuration that seems to work, put things back in (H/W) one
    at a time and re-boot every time and wait for as long as your experiences
    tells you before connecting the next thing. If you impatiently skip on any
    of this, you may end up learning nothing.

    Make a giant pot of coffe and try and make a virtue out of necessity.


    Tony. . .


     
    Tony Sperling, Jan 23, 2007
    #14
  15. Eric

    Aaron Kelley Guest

    You can try taking out one of your RAM modules and running the test again
    (and trying with the other one if it fails). Chances are pretty good that
    one of them will still be good, and that might even leave you with a usable
    system while you get the other one replaced.

    On the other hand, if it still fails with each one of the RAM modules in
    there by itself, either you got some unlucky bad memory somehow or the
    problem is somewhere else.

    - Aaron
     
    Aaron Kelley, Jan 23, 2007
    #15
  16. No, not neccessarily. Initially, I had this thought in the back of my mind,
    but I wanted us to reach a state where I heard you say that you could boot
    the machine and it was running stable - so, of course, it doesn't have to be
    dying, you mentioned dust inside the case, this means there is probably a
    decent amount of that questionable resource inside the PSU as well, this
    could definitely be the culprit here, but not all products from all
    producers with a good name to them can live up to the text on the labels and
    in their add's. I counted 6 power consuming devices off your list not
    including the fans, and there is a good chance there is only 5 power cables
    coming out of the casing of that PSU. So, you might have two devices sharing
    a connection - which ones would that be? This is an issue that could have
    many good products working hard, and often too hard.

    If this is the situation with you, then I suggest you remove some of the
    devices that you don't need for booting and give all the rest their own
    distinct connection to the PSU, (fans can share a connection), if now you
    run stable, then (dying or not) you need a better PSU. Discussions with
    Charlie here in this forum led me to buy a Seasonic M12, it has seven
    distinct connectors + 6 specific SATA connectors. Don't go by the Wattage
    rating, it tells you nothing of the quality, you need something that can
    give all your devices a distinct connector and deliver the rated power to
    everyone of them, and at the same time. There aren't all that many around
    that is able to do that. And don't try and save the odd buck, it doesn't pay
    off.

    The M12 I have is 600W, but is geared for a SLI system, your 480W does not
    sound low in any way, although your graphics card + the TFT could strain the
    system, I couldn't really say. Try looking at the PSU market, Thermaltake
    should have some really good models, others are Antec, PC Power & Cooling,
    and of course the Seasonic.

    The mantra goes - you need lots of cables, more watts isn't autmatically
    better (enough is enough), it must be able to deliver it's rating everywhere
    all the time. Pay what it costs. And mine wasn't all that expensive at that.


    Tony. . .
     
    Tony Sperling, Jan 23, 2007
    #16
  17. Eric

    Dennis Pack Guest

    Eric:
    You're not the first one to be bitten by bad ram. There is a difference
    in how ram is addressed in XP and x64 so a fault will only occur with x64.
    Vista also addresses ram differently than XP. Have a great day.
     
    Dennis Pack, Jan 23, 2007
    #17
  18. Eric

    Dennis Pack Guest

    Eric:
    When buying ram steer away from the cheaper brands. If buying 2 or 4
    sticks at a time buy in matched pairs to take advantage of dual channel use
    with newer motherboards.
     
    Dennis Pack, Jan 23, 2007
    #18
  19. After reading all this and getting more submerged in the problem, I think
    you should have a session with that PSU first of all, as Spirefm said bad
    power really can be misleading, unfortunately Random errors can be anything,
    but bad power can generate random errors like rings in the water.

    I find it suspicious that one day you say there are no errors from the RAM
    test and then suddenly you have a mass of errors. This could still be power
    related. Try and disconnect enough devices to give each it's own distinct
    cable in there. And tell us what it has to say about that.

    Tony. . .
     
    Tony Sperling, Jan 23, 2007
    #19
  20. Eric

    McG. Guest

    an addition to this;
    The power problem can be in the PSU or it can be in the motherboards
    voltage regulators.
    I have had that problem with a GA 8IHXP mobo for P4 CPU. The problems
    similar to the OP's persisted until a regulator IC finally popped, with
    a hole and tiny burnt spot on top. It was one of three supplying the
    AGP slot.
    McG.
     
    McG., Jan 24, 2007
    #20
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