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View Full Version : Windows XP...WOE is Me!!!



chiefnz
21-03-2005, 09:53 AM
I have recently formatted my hard drive and re-instlled Windows XP Home. The reason for doing this was that I was getting random lock-ups and applications were crashing. These were not happening continuously, probably on average once a day maybe even twice.

I play Battle For Middle Earth and prior to the re-install it crashed constantly, after the reformat it didn't for about 2 weeks and then last week it did crash. From what I can tell my monitor goes into power saving mode? Which basically means it's off. Another strange occurrence I had before the re-format was in Yahoo messenger... if I right-clicked in a message window or on a person's name Yahoo would close and I'd have to restart it again. After the re-format it didn't do this.. until last week that is, when it started closing whenever I right click.

Now I'd don'treally want to re-format again... but is it possible that my SATA drive is starting to pack it in... when I reformatted last time the Windows installer said that the file system was an unknown type?

Does anyone know what the problem may be?

I've tried system restore used Ad-Aware, Spybot S&D, scanned for viruses... all come up with nothing?

cheers

chiefnz

Overdrive_5000
21-03-2005, 09:55 AM
What video card do you have ?

chiefnz
21-03-2005, 10:02 AM
GeCube Radeon X800XT VIVO 256MB

chiefnz
21-03-2005, 12:20 PM
Well it's just done it again, I was playing CS-CZ, I got through 3 rounds then at the start of the 4th the display went all garbled and the system crashed. So I restarted, once I was back into Windows I decided to give HL2 a try, went through the motions of decrypting the files etc etc, got to the 1st stage (Insertion Point) and started playing, just before the part where Gordon gets saved by Alex the system crashes again and I am forced to restart, there was no garbled display for this crash though.

So I restart and when I log into Windows, I get told that the Remote Procedure Call service encountered an error and the system needs to shut down.

Ok so the system shuts down, I then boot into SAFE MODE, I go to Admin Tools in Control Panel and open Services. In Services I open Remote Procedure Call and change the FAILURE setting to "TAKE NO ACTION" it was previously set to "RESTART THE COMPUTER"

I then restart the system again and when I get into Windows, everything just slows to a crawl.

So I back-up all my files and move them to my Back-up hard drive.

Really I'm fed up now and I'm busy formatting and re-installing XP.

I have always tolerated this sort of thing from Windows but this is the 1st time I haven't really been able to pinpoint the problem...

For me right now I'm of the opinion that Windows sucks... but sadly I cannot do without it. Maybe after I've done the re-install (AGAIN) I will have another crack at Knoppix

Anyone know what the problem might be, I'm currently using my dad's PC and he has XP installed too... I checked his RPC setting and it's set to "RESTART THE COMPUTER" but he doesn't seem to have any problems.

Any advice will be appreciated.

cheers

chiefnz

godfather
21-03-2005, 12:32 PM
Unless you install at least SP1, and have a firewall activated you will get shut down by the RPC error.

That is the Sasser worm and all it's derivatives I suspect, it takes seconds only after connecting to the internet on an unpatched XP PC to get reinfected.

chiefnz
21-03-2005, 12:50 PM
I always install SP2 BEFORE I connect to the Internet. Usually what I do is unplug my network cable while I'm installing Windows and all the other software, mobo drivers etc

cheers

chiefnz

Overdrive_5000
21-03-2005, 12:57 PM
I too used to have this problem and also had a ATi card but when I switched to an nvidia card the problem went away and has never come back

chiefnz
21-03-2005, 01:03 PM
Right now that is not an option I just spent $800.00 on my X800XT and I'm not about to ditch it for a nVidia card. I also thought it could be the video card but these crashes don't only occur when I'm playing a game. It sometimes happens when I'm using MS Word or Acrobat Reader.

cheers

chiefnz

Murray P
21-03-2005, 01:21 PM
What does the Event Viewer tell you about the problems? Control Panel > Admistrative Tools > Event Viewer.

chiefnz
21-03-2005, 01:58 PM
Wouldn't be able to tell you as I have now re-installed XP.

I suppose it's a matter of wait and see.

cheers

chiefnz

pctek
21-03-2005, 02:52 PM
Ram error?
Try troubleshooting that.

Nice graphics card by the way. Actually nice system. :-)

DigitalMessiah
21-03-2005, 03:43 PM
im not an expert in PC's like you guys but i do know that ALL Windows OS's have what they call a "Half-Life" and i believe if i remember correctly that if it lasts say, oh i dont know about, 12 years without a format, after you format it should only last 6, then 3, then it wont even run it all basically... and about the video card.... NVIDIA FOREVER BABY!!!!! lol.

chiefnz
21-03-2005, 06:05 PM
OK system is back up and running. I installed HL2 and ran the game and the system crashed in the opening video sequence.

I checked the Event Viewer and there are 2 errors which come up quite regularly.

The 1st one is a Windows Security Centre (http://sal.neoburn.net/imagef1/files/securecentre.jpg) error.

The 2nd one is a Windows Management (http://sal.neoburn.net/imagef1/files/winmgmt.jpg) error

With reference to the 2nd error...I doubt whether it's a free space problem (100GB free) or a RAM shortage (1024MB installed, 714MB free) This is confusing to say the least.

I don't know if this is any help but your comments would be greatly appreciated.

I haven't installed Yahoo Messenger yet so I don't know if that will crash too.

Incidently what should my settings be for Remote Procedure Call in Control Panel-Services.

cheers

chiefnz

Chilling_Silence
21-03-2005, 06:17 PM
Should be set to "Do Nothing"

Speedy Gonzales
21-03-2005, 06:19 PM
try this for the Winmgmt error

1. Open a CMD.EXE prompt.

2. Type the following commands, pressing Enter after each one:


winmgmt /clearadap
winmgmt /kill
winmgmt /unregserver
winmgmt /regserver
winmgmt /resyncperf

Taken from here http://www.jsifaq.com/SUBP/tip7700/rh7751.htm

Remote procedure should be on Automatic under general / service status started, and Restart computer under Recovery tab.

And Remote procedure call (RPC) locator on manual under General tab. Which is stopped on mine. Dunno what that does. And Take No Action Recovery tab.

gibler
21-03-2005, 06:25 PM
Before bothering to reinstall ...

did you

1. check the ram isn't faulty memtest86 (http://www.memtest86.com)

2. check you hard drive isn't faulty - use the manufacturers diagnostic tools for that

3. check your temperatures of cpu/motherboard - see your motherboard maker

4. make sure the fans are running okay, the heatsinks aren't overly hot.

5. Try another power supply unit

6. Windows updates, driver updates (especially motherboard) and game patchs

Prescott
21-03-2005, 06:41 PM
have you got the latest drivers for your graphics card?

Murray P
21-03-2005, 06:53 PM
Remote Procedure Call should be set to automatic.

chiefnz
22-03-2005, 07:33 AM
Currently using the original drivers which came with my card, previously I was using the Omega drivers. I don't think it could be a driver problem as the PC crashed with both sets of drivers. I'm busy downloading drivers from the ATi site now I'll install them and see what happens.

Memtest didn't pick up any errors, hard drive appears to have no problems at this stage. Motherboard and CPU temps are within acceptable parameters, all fans and heatsinks are fine and the PSU is only 3 - 4 months old.

cheers

chiefnz

chiefnz
22-03-2005, 09:15 AM
I've installed a set of drivers which I downloaded from the GeCube site. I played half-life and everything went well until I got a "Memory could not be written error".

I have had this problem before with CS-Source and HL2, it was a steam related problem, I don't know what fixed the problem before, all I did was keep playing until it crashed then restart and wait for the day when it doesn't crash.

Seems a bit futile I guess. Reminds me of an article I read in PC Gamer Magazine.. one reader commented on buggy software releases... in this case it's STEAM... it's causing a headache and a half.

Well guess I'll install Doom 3 and see how that goes.

Incidently I ran a few benchmarks and this is what I got...

3DMark2001 - 16323

3DMark03 - 11050

3DMark05 - 4820

I used 4 x FSAA and 6 x AF for 03 and 05 @ 1024 x 768

cheers

chiefnz

chiefnz
22-03-2005, 10:39 AM
Well I think a buggy graphics driver can be ruled out at this stage. I've been playing Doom 3 for about 30 minutes and nothing happened. Doom 3 looks awesome with the X800.

Quite stumped actually.

Well only time will tell.

cheers

chiefnz

Biggles
22-03-2005, 11:06 AM
Seems a bit futile I guess. Reminds me of an article I read in PC Gamer Magazine.. one reader commented on buggy software releases... in this case it's STEAM... it's causing a headache and a half.

But you original problem occurred when playing Battle for Middle Earth, plus you were crashing with standard apps, so while Steam might be an issue for HL2 crashing, it doesn't look like the root cause of all your problems.

chiefnz
22-03-2005, 11:24 AM
Yes agreed Bruce, I suppose I'm trying to eliminate all possiblities, I haven't run Battle for Middle Earth yet. I was just mentioning the STEAM problem as I have had an issue with it before that seemed to have fixed itself.

I'll run BFME and see if I pick up any problems.

As I said before only time will tell.

cheers

chiefnz

chiefnz
22-03-2005, 01:14 PM
OK now I'm confused, I've just finished about 4 stages in Battle for Middle Earth and not a single crash. I don't understand it, also Yahoo Messenger seems to be behaving itself. I am glad that things are running ok but it still doesn't explain what was wrong in the 1st place. I'm going to run HL2 again and see if that's ok.

cheers

chiefnz

Big John
22-03-2005, 01:19 PM
OK now I'm confused, I've just finished about 4 stages in Battle for Middle Earth and not a single crash. I don't understand it, also Yahoo Messenger seems to be behaving itself. I am glad that things are running ok but it still doesn't explain what was wrong in the 1st place. I'm going to run HL2 again and see if that's ok.

cheers

chiefnz

Have you run MEMTEST386 and left it running to really hammer the ram????

I had similar problems when the ram was faulty. Applications would crash especially once the machine started to get loaded up. I tried 3 different memory brands and in the end just slowed the memory down one notch and no issues ever since.

chiefnz
22-03-2005, 02:31 PM
Well HL2 crashed again after about 30 minutes of play. The system stopped responding and the in-game music and sound just started skipping. Had to Reset to get back into windows.
...in the end just slowed the memory down one notch and no issues ever since.How do I slow the memory down, currently running @ 200MHz (400MHz dual in other words.. I think thats how it works?) I think I may need to invest in a better make of RAM... I think I'm using a brand called SEITEC? I'm going to run memtest and see what it comes up with.

cheers

chiefnz

Biggles
22-03-2005, 02:59 PM
Well HL2 crashed again after about 30 minutes of play. The system stopped responding and the in-game music and sound just started skipping. Had to Reset to get back into windows.

You've done all the updates to HL2 via Steam, I assume?

chiefnz
22-03-2005, 03:29 PM
You've done all the updates to HL2 via Steam, I assume?Yeah it's all updated... which is the puzzling thing.

I have run Memtest386 and from the results I think it maybe a buggy RAM chip.

Memtest summary as follows:

No. of errors - 531

Errors on Test 6 @ 239, 252,647, 649, 674, 693, 749MB (rounded down for brevity)

Errors on Test 7 @ 264, 291, 337, 768MB (rounded down for brevity)

I don't know if that tells anyone anything, but I suppose I should start saving some $$$ for new RAM... and a quality brand at that too.

Is Kingston Value RAM any good?

cheers

chiefnz

Metla
22-03-2005, 03:34 PM
531 errors would hint at more then thinking you may have faulty ram, A single error means that the ram is knackered,531 errors...well, I suggest you return it.

Going by your specs you muct have more then one stick, Your best bet is to identify which stick is faulty and remove it.

chiefnz
22-03-2005, 04:44 PM
Yeah thanks Met, I'm going to do that now and see what I come up with.

cheers

chiefnz

chiefnz
22-03-2005, 05:57 PM
Well I found the culprit and I've removed the buggy 512MB stick. I've been playing HL2 for the last 45 plus minutes and not a single crash. Quite chuffed actually... system performance doesn't seem to have dropped at all.

And of course HL2 looks beautiful.... now that I have played it for longer than 5 minutes.

I guess I'll invest in some reliable RAM from a reliable vendor...

Anyone have any suggestions?.... good quality without breaking the bank would be good.

cheers and thanks for all you help.

chiefnz

Big John
22-03-2005, 07:10 PM
Well I found the culprit and I've removed the buggy 512MB stick. I've been playing HL2 for the last 45 plus minutes and not a single crash. Quite chuffed actually... system performance doesn't seem to have dropped at all.

I guess I'll invest in some reliable RAM from a reliable vendor...

chiefnz

As I said I tried 3 different brands and some of them really expensive but still could not do the job. I just went into the advanced mode in the BIOS and slowed the memory down to the next speed down. There was a different but when I did that all my memory errors went away. This was only while it was in Dual Channel mode. Single Channel mode was fine at full speed so really the sticks of memory were okay. You may indeed have a faulty stick though but if you get higher quality and it still does it then you may have to slow it down a notch. Running 1 notch down in dual channel was still miles faster than full speed in single channel. How to do it depends on your MB and BIOS. You will need the read the BIOS manual.

AMD1
22-03-2005, 07:16 PM
I guess I'll invest in some reliable RAM from a reliable vendor...

Anyone have any suggestions?.... good quality without breaking the bank would be good.

cheers and thanks for all you help.

chiefnz

Running 1024 Meg Legend RAM here with any problems with the RAM. Lifetime warranty. I know there is better RAM but just saying I don't have a problem with mine.

Billy T
22-03-2005, 08:17 PM
I have always tolerated this sort of thing from Windows but this is the 1st time I haven't really been able to pinpoint the problem...

For me right now I'm of the opinion that Windows sucks... but sadly I cannot do without it. Maybe after I've done the re-install (AGAIN) I will have another crack at Knoppix

So Chiefy?

Now that you have identified your RAM as having been the culprit all along, are you going to revise your previous position on Windows? :D

If you stop and think about it, Windows is not really all that bad. From years of reading PF1 threads, it seems to me that hardware conflicts, driver issues, temperature , viruses & worms, and bad user habits are responsible for many of the OS problems experienced by FF1 users.

Give a dog a bad name!

Cheers

Billy 8-{) :xmouth:

gibler
22-03-2005, 10:05 PM
Well I found the culprit and I've removed the buggy 512MB stick. I've been playing HL2 for the last 45 plus minutes and not a single crash. Quite chuffed actually... system performance doesn't seem to have dropped at all.

And of course HL2 looks beautiful.... now that I have played it for longer than 5 minutes.

I guess I'll invest in some reliable RAM from a reliable vendor...

Anyone have any suggestions?.... good quality without breaking the bank would be good.

cheers and thanks for all you help.

chiefnz


Aha. I've actually received many a bad stick of new ram from retailers. It does cause all sorts of funny problems.

I like Kingston Memory as it doesn't drain the wallet but isn't cheap and nasty. Otherwise Micron and Corsair for those with the $$$$.

chiefnz
23-03-2005, 04:08 PM
So Chiefy?

Now that you have identified your RAM as having been the culprit all along, are you going to revise your previous position on Windows? :D

If you stop and think about it, Windows is not really all that bad. From years of reading PF1 threads, it seems to me that hardware conflicts, driver issues, temperature , viruses & worms, and bad user habits are responsible for many of the OS problems experienced by FF1 users.

Give a dog a bad name!

Cheers

Billy 8-{) :xmouth:

Ummm Nooooooooo! :D

Yeah I suppose my previous statement was a bit rash and ill investigated. However, I am still of the opinion that Windows although stable 95% of the time does have it's flaws, and too often are we the end users left with a bit of a lemon in hand. Windows is a remarkable piece of software but I think it can be much better than what it is. Bill just needs to stop worrying about how much cash his making or how much market share MS has and deliver a BUG FREE OS. I guess a quality OS that will prove all those unbelievers wrong.

cheers

chiefnz

Graham L
23-03-2005, 04:28 PM
But Billy, Windows has a hard-earned reputation for being flakey. ;) It is possible for bad memory to make a Windows system behave "no worse than usual".

The folklore (containing many superstitions) which has grown up since Windows stumbled on to the computing scene doesn't help. People seem tio think that occasional errors are just "something that happens". There is an irrational belief that reloading drivers or operating systems "fixes" things.

When I learned to use computers I learned one basic rule: "Errors are [n]not[/b] normal". If there's an error, there's something wrong.

I think I would run a memory test if a computer crashed randomly. But when I learned to use computers a crash was not a normal thing, either. That meant that something was seriously wrong.

Billy T
23-03-2005, 08:02 PM
Bill just needs to stop worrying about how much cash his making or how much market share MS has and deliver a BUG FREE OS.

Fair enough Chiefy :thumbs:

You do realise though, that the only thing that lies between you and the dream of a totally bug-free OS is a very large bucketload of $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$.

Just like the 100% reliable car, the aircraft that never crashes, the parachute that always opens, the fish that always bites, the bank that doesn't charge interest, the plumber that turns up at the right time on the right day, the Lotto ticket that wins the BIG one, and the wife who is never wrong; you pays your money and you accepts the shortcomings.

It is a commercial product and it would probably be totally uneconomic to attempt to make it bug free, even if that were remotely possible given the number of programmers out there writing Windows apps, each with their own interpretation of protocols, varied skill levels and idiosyncratic programming styles.

Cheers

Billy 8-{) :D

chiefnz
24-03-2005, 08:29 AM
Point taken Billy, I anxiously await the arrival of Longhorn... hopefully it's so-called downgraded features but upgraded security and stability will make it something worth while spending my money on.

What is happening on the Longhorn front anyone got a BETA I can test... it's all very hush hush.. could it be that we are actually going to get a better designed OS? Only time will tell.


cheers

chiefnz

Metla
24-03-2005, 10:15 AM
Its XP with more bells and whistles,most of which are Windows dressing for no reason,and the rest are to restrict what you can do with your computer.

MS take the wrong aproach to security, they are focused on ways to make money from us,thats the bit they want to secure (DRM).

Required specs are to go through the roof as well.

hamstar
24-03-2005, 02:16 PM
Longhorn... what a joke, like Metla says, it's just XP with more bells and whistles.

Underneath its still the dodgy dodgy same old windows code, kept alive since Windows 3.11...

Remember, windows is a 32 bit extension and a graphical shell for a 16 bit patch to an 8 bit operating system originally coded for a 4 bit microprossessor, written by a 2 bit company that can't stand 1 bit of competition.

I'm glad you found the solution to your problem cheifnz, but I urge you to dump Windows XP Home and either get 2000 or XP Pro... You will notice much improvement... You don't even have to spend any money! Just download it, no one will know... (get the corporate version).

chiefnz
24-03-2005, 03:58 PM
I hear what you're saying Ham, but how much longer will Win2K be supported, I'm toying with the idea of XP Pro but the only way I can get that is if I buy new hardware. I'm looking for a place where I can buy an OEM copy of XP Pro without having to buy a substantial amount of hardware with it.

cheers

chiefnz

hamstar
25-03-2005, 12:39 AM
Supported.... XP is Windows 2000!

Most XP drivers will work fine on 2000, and 2000 will be supported for a few more years yet.

a) it is so similar to xp (rather XP is similar to it)
b) many companies have seen how crap xp is and stayed with 2000.

Hell, 2000 to XP is hardly even an upgrade!

Myth
25-03-2005, 12:55 AM
After reading this post from start to end, I thought I would put my 2 cents worth in :p

As far as Op/Sys's are concerned. I have used 98 which wasn't too bad, used ME on my stepfathers comp (hated every minute of it), Xp, and now XP Pro.
Can't say I will be changing from XP Pro in a hurry. I have used it for over a year (on lappie) and only changed desktop over about Xmas (ok so I used student ID to get it (well had to work for the money)). I personally think its a good O/S, stable (despite some of the sites I go to, and the spyware, viruses I find) I have yet to have a blue screen (on either comp).

BTW in case you are wondering, Lappie is on SP1 (don't wanna push my luck too far:p) and desktop on SP2 (which I have had no probs with)

Thats my longgggg 2 cents worth (sorry) :)

My recommendation would be to go to XP pro chiefnz, when you are able to
Forget XP