Bizarre Behavior: Opinions needed!

November 21, 2005 at 11:14:20
Specs: WinXP Pro 5.1.2600 Servic, Pentium D 820 Dual Core

I am a Computer Consultant; not a maximum Techwhiz, but am fairly experienced, at both computing and building/repairing. I have been experiencing a bizarre set of problems I have been unable to get to the bottom of.
So far, no one else has a clue on this mess either. I need some opinions:

I built a new system using the following:

A) Started out with:
Intel D945GNT mobo
Pentium D 820 Dual Core CPU ( 2.8 Ghz )
1 GB Dual Channel DDRII 667 RAM ( Samsung/matching )
Samsung SATA II 300 160 GB Hard Drive
Gigabyte GN-NX66256DP PCI Express 16 Video Card
Internal LiteOn Dual-Layer DVD/R/DVDRW ( +/- )
External TDK DED+440 Multi-format CDR/RW/DVDR/RW (+/- )
Seasonic S12430 ( 430 Watt ) Power Supply
New WinXP Pro 5.1.2600 Service Pack 2
( Bought all this from the same vendor; all updates to Windows and BIOS. )
( Software ( new ): PaintShop Pro 9, MS Office 2003, Norton Internet Security 2004 )

Weird stuff began to happen immediately:

1) unable to shut down from menu, unable to log off; or could log off, but not shutdown ( holding power button a long time to be able to shut down; a few times, plug pulling required.

2) No sound no matter what I tried ( used a temporary sound card for testing ).

3) Could not load software or some drivers at all: or had a partial load, or unbelievably slow load, or total hang. Weird stuff like some software or drivers being greyed-out, getting installation failure errors from programs. Some would appear to load, but upon reboot, never showed up in Programs

4) Not possible to get Email Function.

5) Plug and Play not finding much of anything.

6) Autorun either not working at all in either drive, or working sometimes; always incredibly slow.

7) Floppy working, not working,

8) internal DVD working/not working; alot of intermittent type behavior. Etc etc etc.....)

9) ScanDisk never running on a reboot.

I paid to have it diagnosed, because all the parts were under warranty. No errors with build at all: problems a total mystery.
Vendor loaded Windows in order to test. I encountered the same problems when I got it back home. Did another clean install of Windows; no change.
Mystery problem, so Vendor [B]replaced[/B] the following:

Power Supply ( new one of same )
RAM ( new, matched pair of same )
Mobo ( now have Gigabyte GA-81955X Royal )
Added 2 more case fans
( They mounted the CPU onto this 2nd new Motherboard )

10) THIS mobo would not boot. No beep, nothing!
Took it back: they checked build. Only build issue was that they found RAM lifting slightly in one corner. ( Not a big deal with the boot problem )

11) I paid for Diagnostics and Windows installation a second time; because of the warranty issue. They did BIOS flash, Windows updates. I wanted them to play around with peripherals and software installations, in order to see what was happening: they did not test any of this.

Boot problem solved; but to my amazement, I found that the same bizarre behavior described above, was still going strong!
Basically, the same type of behavior as with the Intel Mobo; a little different.

12) could not install printer drivers/software
13) could not install most other software or drivers I tried
14) impossible to get email function
15) autorun very slow to begin in both drives
16) slow to open internet pages
17) partial pixels in Taskbar ( various places: but all other display seems ok ).
18) no ScanDisk function
19) Plug and Play not fully functional

Logs show various installation failures, initiation failures, files not found, and errors. ( But no one knows WHY. )
All I can do with this very expensive system is surf the Net!

I have made 4 trips ( a total of 400 miles ); and have paid nearly $250 in total for Diagnostics and Windows installations on BOTH new System Configurations because I wanted to be able to enact the warranty on whatever might turn out to be damaged or in conflict; and be able to prove that such problems really were happening.

I have to get to the bottom of this: been going on for a month now.
What do you think is going on here? .....besides me going broke......
Corrupt Windows CD? Windows conflict issues? Bad CPU? Bad Hard Drive?


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November 21, 2005 at 12:21:45

Unbelievable... Too many problems to address and too many scenarios. Best advice is to EBAY or sell the parts and start fresh... Windows Diagnosis and all that crap is a waste of time being you have some experience AND you can get more help on here then taking it too a shop.

This is one of those hands on type things where I experienced tech would need to fool around with it.. because it could be ANYTHING!!

Sorry to not be helpful but I think just selling everything and going with different parts is your best option....and making sure the parts you buy are reliable and name brand

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November 21, 2005 at 13:25:39

Remove all the periphials except the video card, format the hdd and reinstall xp. If that doesn't work I would suspect a bad xp cd.

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November 21, 2005 at 13:28:54

Not sure if this will help but I would suggest you strip it down to the bare minimum and add components piece by piece. I had a similar problem with my system and went about troubleshooting in this manner and it boiled down to a bad DVD player. Not sure if this is is your problem but you never know until you actually do the process of elimination. It seems you have had most of the components replaced but sometimes the most logical answer is the simplest. I still have the DVD player in my system but had to disconnect from the motherboard because I got many on the same problems you're explaining. Good luck.

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November 21, 2005 at 14:15:14

Exactly what the last two said. Strip that puppy bare and then add things back one at a time after a clean install.

I have seen a bad, seemingly working hardware like an optical drive or network card cause some pretty odd behaviour.


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