A week of Problems and Crashes - PLEASE HELP

  [email protected] 23:58 17 Apr 2005

In the last week, I have had nothing but problems with my PC that has been running fine for the past 2 years.

I had 256MB PC2100 RAM and decided to upgrade that by buying a stick of 512MB PC3200 (so that when I upgrade motherboard & processor later this year, I could use the faster RAM) RAM from Crucial.

I was using the two sticks together that day and played on Call of Duty for several hours without any problems at all. Later that night, I wanted the FPS to be shown so I typed the command into the console to show FPS and my computer totally froze. I had to reset it and went back on the game and tried to show the FPS again. Again it froze, however, when I reset it, I got an error message on loading Windows saying that the following file was corrupted: C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG and it refused to boot.

I ended up reinstalling Windows (not formatting, just installing over the top of what was there) to get back on. Although I could use it, it was not the same as it used to be as the mouse was sometimes jerky and I was getting blue screen error messages when using Napster.

I decided to format the computer the next day. Once done, all seemed fine until I went to play on Call of Duty that night. It froze at the menu and forced me to reset. When the Windows loading screen came on however the computer would just reset itself and I couldn't even get on through safe mode.

Very, very annoyed, I formatted the computer AGAIN. I made very sure that I installed all the latest drivers and was fully protected. Hoping that the past few days was just bad luck, I installed Call of Duty again and gave it a try. Again it froze but luckily I've had no Windows corruptions this time.

I've tried using my old RAM by itself (and the new RAM) in case there was a conflict with the two different speeds but the same happens. I also installed Medal of Honor: Pacific Assault in case it was something to do with Call of Duty and it froze on that too so that rules out it being a problem with the game. It has also frozen once when just browsing the Internet. One thing I've noticed is that each time it freezes; the hard drive activity light is constantly lit.

My PC is: Pentium 4 1.7GHz, 768/512/256 MB PC3200/PC2100 RAM, 128MB GeForce 6600 GT AGP 8X (running on a AGP 4X), 60GB 7200RPM hard drive, 300 Watt PSU.

Many Thanks,


  Jak_1 01:00 18 Apr 2005

Have you tried system restore? Put the pc back as it was with the old RAM, then do system restore back to a date you know everything was working fine. Then change things one by one, it may be that the RAM you got is not compatable with your motherboard. That often happens, one make will work whilst another wont.

  Chegs ® 10:14 18 Apr 2005

Tracing this kind of problem is hard work.You have already "bitten the bullet" and reinstalled,and its still unhappy.I would have blamed the RAM,but if you used your previous stick and it still misbehaves,that reduces that possibility(although,depending on mobo make,you might be able to "dial-in" a bit more stability if you can alter the RAM timings)

  DieSse 10:34 18 Apr 2005

This is the type of problem that can occur if you mix RAMs of differeing speeds/latency/etc. Intemittent, difficult to trace, problems.

It's simply best not to.

Are you sure your motherboard actually supports PC3200 RAM?

  DieSse 10:36 18 Apr 2005

When you are fitting the RAM - are you removing the power from the system - not just switching it off?

A normal switch off will leave power on the motherboard and to the RAM. Changing it then will affect it!!

  [email protected] 10:53 18 Apr 2005

Jak_1 I've formatted twice since everything was fine so I can't do a system restore.

I used Crucial's memory selector when buying the RAM which it said was compatible. When fitting the RAM, I do leave the power cable in but turn the switch off on the PSU as I read somewhere that it keeps the case earthed so that it would prevent any static damgaging the RAM.

My motherboard is a Matsonic MS9147C.

  octal 13:11 18 Apr 2005

Never leave the power lead plugged in when working on any electrical equipment, including computers, there's no need. It just creates an electric shock risk.

I've never ruined any RAM or any other static sensitive component by placing the item on a table and working on it. If you are worried touch earthed metal like a radiator prior to working on the computer, which will discharge any static build up.

  DieSse 15:10 18 Apr 2005

Well, the manual click here says the board supports up to 333MHz DDR - which is PC2700 - so it's clearly arguable as to whether it will handle 400MHz DDR or not.

Yes, you're correct, leaving the mains lead in, whilst switching off at the rear of the PSU is quite in order, and gives an earth path for static charges to leak away.

There are truly dangerous voltages inside the system case (only inside the PSU sealed box), especially when the mains switch is off.

  sil_ver 15:23 18 Apr 2005

You might consider if your PSU is up to the load as it's only 300watt

  DieSse 15:32 18 Apr 2005

"There are truly dangerous voltages inside the system case"


"There are NO truly dangerous voltages inside the system case"

  MONTYBLUE 16:26 18 Apr 2005

there could be a possible hardware conflictions
due to installing an upgrade module.
this happened to me when i had a gigabyte k7vlm
m/board when i installed a gxforce pci graphics
card and everything was fine until the computer
beacame unstable with crashes if in safe mode
and not being able to use screensaver or video palayback without have to disable on or the other
of the graphics one being the pre installed coming into conflict with the pci whereby the m/b
had a pci to a agp controller without the agp expansion slot causing a backward inherent problem
between the two graphic cards just thought this may give a clue in similarity i suspect that you should upgrade your computer like i did to a 64bit
AM ATHLON PC3200/400 PROCESSOR and dump your old one motherboards are cheap enough to upgrade

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