Prepare for a massive Wall of Text:
Over the last few weeks, this computer has become more and more problematic.
Just to get it out of the way, I can, with 99.9% certainty, rule out viruses or malware, as I'm extremely careful and use
Malwarebytes, AVG, and Firefox with Noscript. My computer has been virus-free for years. Every scan (the above two, Spybot,
Avira, Ad-Aware, Bazooka, HijackThis - all scans have always been clean for years). Keep in mind that this computer was
functioning flawlessly up until this week. This hardware setup is from 2008 and I am using the same Windows 7 disc that I
installed on it three years ago. This is the second format and re-installation since I built the computer. No problems the
last time, which was about a year ago.
About a week ago, I started getting random squeaks and buzzes out of my
speakers - especially when a progress bar is moving in a browser. I figured this was a power issue. Three days ago, my
Windows volume control stopped responding. I'd click the icon in the taskbar, and it would take a good minute or two before
it would show up. Then I wake up a few days ago, and the computer is frozen and the speakers are making some freaky,
possessed R2-D2-esque beep/squeak/buzz noises - almost like the on-board sound card is experiencing some power issues. Also,
for the last few days, when Windows would start, it wouldn't be able to recognize my USB wireless adapter. I'd disable and
enable it, and I'd get a "failed to connect to network" error upon enabling it. "Diagnosing" it would fail a few times, then
succeed temporarily, and then it would disappear again, then magically the adapter would fix itself and automatically connect
to my network about 10-15 minutes later. None of these problems were happening a week ago. It was running perfectly then. No
hardware changes. No software changes.
Then two days ago, I was about to go to bed and told the computer to go
into Sleep mode. The screen went blank and I figured it was just shutting down some processes and preparing to sleep.
However, I came back an hour later, and it was still on, so I turned it off manually and went to sleep. I woke up the next
morning, turned it on, and it got to the Windows 7 logo loading screen, then suddenly a Blue Screen of Death appeared for a
fraction of a second and the computer rebooted. It was stuck in a BSoD loop for a good 20 restarts so I selected the "System
Repair Menu" option from the "Windows did not start correctly" prompt. None of the options helped or worked correctly. I
couldn't perform a system restore, as it didn't detect any installed copies of Windows. I ran the "Automatic Repair" program
from that menu a few times, but it eventually gave me a "Windows could not be automatically repaired" message.
slow stream of problems seemed to have escalated to what I'd call a catastrophic failure.
The BSoD loops continued
for a while, so I decided I'd see if I could boot from the Windows 7 disk. I made sure that the DVD drive was the top boot
priority and opened the boot menu and told it to boot from the CD. However, it somehow went to boot from the hard drive
anyway. So I restarted it again, and it magically made it to Windows. I took the opportunity to browse to the DVD drive and
manually run the Windows installer, and after I did this and it told me to reboot, the installer finally ran and took an
eternity to actually get started. However, the installation failed somehow. I ran it again, formatted the C: drive, and tried
reinstalling it again, and it successfully installed this time.
So I got into my formatted and fresh Windows 7
installation, and the volume control is working just fine, but I'm still having the network issue - including the fact that
it fails after startup for 10-15 minutes then magically repairs itself and automatically connects to my network. Once I had
connectivity, I activated Windows, thinking that the problems I'm about to describe are because perhaps Microsoft limits your
performance before you activate; this is not the case.
What is truly frustrating, however, is the fact that this
fresh Windows installation is mind-numbingly slow, both hardware and network wise. The online Google Chrome installer was
hung (not frozen, but not progressing) for a good hour before I finally closed it. Windows Update has been stuck at 23% and I
can no longer open the Windows Update window from the taskbar icon (if I end the process in Task Manager, it just re-opens a
few minutes later and hangs at 23% for hours, though the process isn't frozen as I can still get the percent completed pop-up
to appear when I hover my mouse over the icon). Because Windows Update isn't working, I can't see if any updates or Service
Packs might fix this. Internet Explorer (nothing else to use, since installers are all hanging) takes about two minutes to
open, and freezes for a good minute when I try to open a website or the options (or change tabs in the options window). Even
Task Manager is slow and takes about 30 seconds to close a process. It takes 10 seconds or so to open a folder in Windows
Explorer, and doing things like opening the "Save" window in Notepad, or pressing "Save" are now taking seconds when they
were previously instantaneous.
The nForce 650i Chipset driver installation took about an hour as each driver
installation hung (but didn't freeze) at 30% for 20 minutes or so, but finally finished - but no effect on the slowness. I
can't really test the effects of other drivers at the moment, as their installers are just too slow and unresponsive to ever
I downloaded the Google Chrome Standalone Offline Installer, and clicked the icon.
"ChromeStandaloneInstaller.exe" appeared in Task Manager, and five minutes later "GoogleUpdater.exe" finally showed up.
However, no actually installer visibly opened. Fifteen minutes later, an installer finally appeared, hanging (but not
freezing) for another fifteen minutes. It just now finally finished and Chrome was successfully installed. Contrary to what
you'd expect from Chrome, it's taking several minutes to start, and is running about as slowly as IE, with the welcome page
taking a minute to appear the first time, and then not opening at all, and browsing is very slow as well, both software- and
latency-wise. It seems as if both my computer AND my computer's internet access are suddenly slow after this reinstall (but
the internet is just as fast as usual on my other computers, so I know it's an issue with my computer rather than my ISP or
router - the other computers are crappy 98/XP rigs but all running faster and getting faster internet than my 2008 powerhouse
is running right now). It took about five minutes for the registration page for these forums to finally load, and the page
(but not the browser) actually froze several times for 30-60 seconds during the loading. Other websites are behaving
This thing could smoothly run Crysis at high settings before, and now after a format and fresh
installation of Windows, it can barely open a web browser. The CPU usage in Task Manager is stuck at 0% (not sure if that's
right), and the Physical Memory usage is hovering around 25%. The Hard Disk activity is reported as 100% in the Resource
Monitor, and the HD light on the front of my case is constantly on no matter what I'm doing. I just tried to close Resource
Manager, and it hung for about 30 seconds before closing.
I finally got Defragmenter to run after several
attempts, and an analysis of the C: drive says that it's 1% fragmented. I don't know if this is considered high. However, as
I did a "Slow" format of the C: drive before reinstalling the OS, I assume any existing fragmentation was made irrelevant
since all data was erased. Could a 1% fragmented C: drive cause this slowness?
This is probably irrelevant, but I
had a 5.5 Windows Experience Score before the re-install, and now it is a 1.2. I'm not sure how it would drop so much with no
hardware changes. All four sticks of RAM are recognized by Windows, so I don't think any of them have failed.
Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
ASUS P5N-e SLI motherboard
4GB of RAM (whichever type the P5N-e uses... can't look it up at the moment)
nVidia GeForce GT240 (1 GB)
Two 250GB Western Digital hard drives
Rosewill 700W PSU
Lite-On DVD drive
12Mb Comcast Cable Internet
None of it is, or ever was, overclocked in any way.
I have no idea what is
wrong with this thing, and it's really getting frustrating, especially since I was laid off and can't afford to replace any
of the hardware right now if this is a hardware failure. I'm considering trying another format and reinstall, though I'm not
expecting different results.
I'm sure I left something out despite this being an excessively long and wordy post,
so if you need more information, please let me know. I hope this is the best possible forum for this issue, because my
computer and internet are now too slow to find any other forums. Took a total of 20 minutes just to get registered and to
this "New Thread" page.