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Old 08-18-2009, 01:24 AM   #1
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Default Problems, no clue where to start

About 3 weeks about I built a new computer for gaming. It ran very well up until yesterday. I had a friend over last night and we were trying to play some games together. Everything went fine until we started playing Medieval 2 Total War, a game that I know my computer should soar through. In that game I started to get lockups that lasted for a few seconds and occurred every few seconds. Thinking nothing of it, I just restarted to see if it would go away and was amazed when Vista wouldn't boot with the error code 0x00000e9.

After much searching I finally did a chkdsk on my Vista partition from XP, which took forever but eventually did boot. I also have 3 other partitions for XP, games, and just storage. I've been doing some cleaning up of my hard drive for the last few hours and about 20 mins ago started a disk clean cycle with the Auslogics tool. It took it literally 20 mins to clear about 8 GB. Maybe it's just me but that seems a little long.

I've also noticed that lockups are still occuring in Firefox for a few seconds at a time. Also just after Auslogics finished, iTunes and Last.fm opened, both of which are supposed to be startup services.

My problem is that I have really no clue where to start with this. I recently overclocked my Q9550 to 3.4 GHz on an Arctic F7P and I also overclocked my Kingston HyperX RAM, which is rated at 1066 anyway, to that speed. I'm not sure if this is a sign of an unstable overclock as I successfully ran Prime95 for just under 20 hours, but that may not mean a whole lot. The heat's not a problem as all my temps are well within the safe zone.

Also, the hard drive I'm working with is a 3-year old WD Caviar 250GB that I stole from my old computer. It hasn't been defragged in awhile and lately there has been a good amount of data, probably in the 10 or more GB range, being written and deleted from it. I'm going to try defragging all of my partitions tonight and see if that helps with the lockups.

As I was thinking about it though I started to realize that this has been going on for a few days now, especially in GTA IV. That game would freeze, albeit with a greater gap between incidents, for a long time before resuming.

There's probably more information that I'm forgetting, but for now that's it. I really have no clue where to start because this computer is only 3 weeks old and really shouldn't be having problems doing ordinary everyday jobs. Sorry for the long post, but if anyone helps it would GREATLY, GREATLY appreciated. Thanks for your time.

P.S. If you want them, my specs are:

Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550 at 3.4 GHz
Arctic Freezer 7 Pro
Kingston HyperX T1 DDR2-1066 RAM running at 960 MHz
Gigabyte EP45-UD3L
EVGA Geforce GTX 260 Superclocked Edition running at stock
Western Digital Caviar 250 GB 7200 RPM HDD
Corsair 750W PSU
Cooler Master CM690
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Old 08-18-2009, 01:34 AM   #2
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Default Re: Problems, no clue where to start

Quote:
Originally Posted by cldd5678 View Post
About 3 weeks about I built a new computer for gaming. It ran very well up until yesterday. I had a friend over last night and we were trying to play some games together. Everything went fine until we started playing Medieval 2 Total War, a game that I know my computer should soar through. In that game I started to get lockups that lasted for a few seconds and occurred every few seconds. Thinking nothing of it, I just restarted to see if it would go away and was amazed when Vista wouldn't boot with the error code 0x00000e9.

After much searching I finally did a chkdsk on my Vista partition from XP, which took forever but eventually did boot. I also have 3 other partitions for XP, games, and just storage. I've been doing some cleaning up of my hard drive for the last few hours and about 20 mins ago started a disk clean cycle with the Auslogics tool. It took it literally 20 mins to clear about 8 GB. Maybe it's just me but that seems a little long.

I've also noticed that lockups are still occuring in Firefox for a few seconds at a time. Also just after Auslogics finished, iTunes and Last.fm opened, both of which are supposed to be startup services.

My problem is that I have really no clue where to start with this. I recently overclocked my Q9550 to 3.4 GHz on an Arctic F7P and I also overclocked my Kingston HyperX RAM, which is rated at 1066 anyway, to that speed. I'm not sure if this is a sign of an unstable overclock as I successfully ran Prime95 for just under 20 hours, but that may not mean a whole lot. The heat's not a problem as all my temps are well within the safe zone.

Also, the hard drive I'm working with is a 3-year old WD Caviar 250GB that I stole from my old computer. It hasn't been defragged in awhile and lately there has been a good amount of data, probably in the 10 or more GB range, being written and deleted from it. I'm going to try defragging all of my partitions tonight and see if that helps with the lockups.

As I was thinking about it though I started to realize that this has been going on for a few days now, especially in GTA IV. That game would freeze, albeit with a greater gap between incidents, for a long time before resuming.

There's probably more information that I'm forgetting, but for now that's it. I really have no clue where to start because this computer is only 3 weeks old and really shouldn't be having problems doing ordinary everyday jobs. Sorry for the long post, but if anyone helps it would GREATLY, GREATLY appreciated. Thanks for your time.

P.S. If you want them, my specs are:

Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550 at 3.4 GHz
Arctic Freezer 7 Pro
Kingston HyperX T1 DDR2-1066 RAM running at 960 MHz
Gigabyte EP45-UD3L
EVGA Geforce GTX 260 Superclocked Edition running at stock
Western Digital Caviar 250 GB 7200 RPM HDD
Corsair 750W PSU
Cooler Master CM690

I have not seen a situation as bad as this, but I have known incompatible games with Vista can be a bit troublesome. In this particular instance, I am not sure if the damage was done from the game, but it's definitely possible. The game ran on the DX9 engine, and I don't know of a patch that made it run with DX10 correctly.
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Old 08-18-2009, 01:47 PM   #3
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Default Re: Problems, no clue where to start

Last night after I got my hard drive to boot back into Vista, I'm really starting to notice the lockups, ESPECIALLY in Firefox. There have been times where it takes 30 or so seconds for Firefox to respond after browsing like 4 pages. I defragged all of my partitions except my storage one, also.

I'm starting to think that the problem may lie with Firefox though, because the browser has locked up and I'll be able to access other things fine. Only once or twice has it locked up the entire computer. I read that 3.5.2 is not a very stable version for some people. So I may try rolling back, but I prefer not to unless I know I have to.
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Old 08-18-2009, 02:25 PM   #4
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Default Re: Problems, no clue where to start

Quote:
My problem is that I have really no clue where to start with this. I recently overclocked my Q9550 to 3.4 GHz on an Arctic F7P and I also overclocked my Kingston HyperX RAM, which is rated at 1066 anyway, to that speed. I'm not sure if this is a sign of an unstable overclock as I successfully ran Prime95 for just under 20 hours, but that may not mean a whole lot. The heat's not a problem as all my temps are well within the safe zone.
Well, it may or may not be the problem, but I'd roll back any overclocks when dealing with issues just as a matter of cause.

Quote:
Also, the hard drive I'm working with is a 3-year old WD Caviar 250GB that I stole from my old computer. It hasn't been defragged in awhile and lately there has been a good amount of data, probably in the 10 or more GB range, being written and deleted from it. I'm going to try defragging all of my partitions tonight and see if that helps with the lockups.
Did you reformat the hard drive when you got it from your old computer, or are you working with a "transferred" windows installation? If it's the latter, then I'd seriously recommend wiping, reformatting and starting over - I'd never recommend going down this route, and it's almost certainly what's causing you issues if that's the case.

If not and you haven't reformatted in a good while anyway, it might be worth it nonetheless, windows does muck up from time to time and things will get slower. Defragging and error checking can help marginally, but not always brilliantly...

If you're still getting the problems after reformatting or you just want to be cautious (always a good move) it's worth checking the SMART status and backing up all your data - just in case. Can't do any harm and if the drive IS about to pack up, you'll want all your data off there fast!

I'd also run memtest for a while to eliminate memory as a problem, doesn't sound like it's the most likely cause of the issue here but it's always worth a try just in case!
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Old 08-19-2009, 07:56 AM   #5
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Default Re: Problems, no clue where to start

Definately undo the overclocking. And roll back firefox. It's not that big of a deal to do that. Post back with results after doing both of those and we can go from there.
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Old 08-19-2009, 11:57 AM   #6
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Default Re: Problems, no clue where to start

Now this is really starting to get annoying. I ran memtest overnight last night on my RAM and this morning woke up to see that Vista won't boot again with the exact same error as I had before. I moved back the overclock and still cannot boot. Windows XP will also not boot now because of a registry error. So essentially, I get control anything other than the BIOS right now.

I've tried to burn Vista onto DVD with a backup iso I have on my laptop, but every disc I burn isn't even recognized by my desktop. And yes I switched the boot order in BIOS. I even tried booting this disc and another one onto my laptop but I get the 0xc00000e9 error for I/O error. I use Sony DVD-R's and they've been good discs so far, but have never been able to burn Vista to disc. I don't know if it's the way I do it, or if it's something else. I might just go buy a new HDD today.
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Old 08-20-2009, 03:26 PM   #7
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Default Re: Problems, no clue where to start

Well as a little update, I managed to get it solved with most of my files back by buying a new HDD. Vista installed in a flash and everything is good so far.

I tried a bunch of junk before I did it though, switching out my two RAM modules, running one at a time, different sockets, changing out the SATA cable, and reinstalling Vista twice, both of which failed. I'm glad it's done though.
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