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Velotix von Skruviktorrius

The SSMB PC Troubleshooting and Discussion Thread

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Windows 7 Professional 64-bit

The 64-bit part is important as the 32-bit systems are capped at 4GB RAM, compared to the 64-bit version's 192GB. Or 16GB if you bought Home, so you buy Professional.

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Bit late posting this reply aren't we? :P

As the chart makes clear, there are plenty of other reasons to pick up Professional over Home, and considering how they're usually very similarly priced, it's worth the extra cash. Should you actually need the Ultimate-only features too, pick that up, but most people won't.

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That said, I just saw some seller on Amazon advertising copies of 64-bit Ultimate for £72 - and that's an unbelievable price for a non-OEM version. If you can find that much of a bargain on such high-end software, then definitely splash out the few pounds extra for the better version.

Almost makes me sorry for pirating Windows 7...

Almost. But not quite...

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Thought I'd ask here to see if anyone has any advice.

I typically use my laptop for various net browsing and 'work.' anyway, lately the machine has been getting hot and tends to run a little slower than usual.

If I place a desktop fan near it, low and behold the performance improves. But obviously this isn't very practical. I'm quite aware that overtime dust can build up in the machine which increases the heat (as this thing does get very hot) and affect performance. The laptop has never been taken for a service/clean out, because that costs money.

So heres my question, other than take it to 'the man' and have him take it apart and clean it out, is there anything I can do to either clean it a little or some kind of external fan that I can get which will improve the heat issues and performance? It's only ever shut down once due to heat issues, and that was when I was running a game on it (something I almost never do).

These are the two main vents on my laptop.

lapvent1.jpg

And then directly under it there is this one.

lapvent2.jpg

The one thats under the laptop isn't the most efficient thing due to the low ground clearence of the laptop. So even if it blows hot air out or takes cold air in, it can't possibly be as effective as it could be.

Is there anything I can do, or buy which would help with this issue without resorting to 'the man'?

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You're in the shit deeper than you think here.

First, if your computer is getting hot enough for the performance to start being throttled, it's being forcibly slowed down by your motherboard's safety features. It's in danger of overheating and excessive system heat for an extended period of time leads to damage because the softer metals in the system start melting and/or the capacitors begin to short out, which will near-instantly wreck a circuit board and render it either fundamentally unstable or just kill it completely. (Whilst capacitors shorting at lower temperatures also happens eventually through regular use, heat speeds it up bigtime.) Leave your laptop like that and the damage will eventually be permanent and shorten the life expectancy of the system. After being throttled as it apparently is now, it'll then shut down completely on its own if it gets hot enough (which apparently it did when gaming - and it should only ever start throttling when it's doing something as intensive as a game, let alone shut down! - and on older PCs where neither of these safety features were in place, the first thing you'd know that something was wrong was when your PC died the second the CPU began to melt. :P

In other words, your PC throttling for any reason, gaming included, is cause to shit your pants and immediately start improving the cooling on the system.

The first thing you can do to prevent this is prop up the back of the laptop with a small wooden plank or something that gives your underside vents room to breathe and actually do their job. This is actually Unwritten Rule #1 of laptop care, because there's nowhere near enough ventilation if you don't allow heat to dissipate from the bottom of the system as well, and wooden tables don't transfer heat all that easily.

Another thing you can purchase which can help with this is a cooling mat made out of conductive gel. This is the other thing you can do to improve ventilation and should cost less than £10. Here's an example. Naturally combining the two should solve this problem straight away. If it doesn't, unfortunately then it's time to panic.

However if it's been like this for a while, it's probably been damaged by "silicon heatstroke", to give it an affectionate name, and you should probably get it looked at by the man anyway before you end up having to replace the whole thing.

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I've had something like 77+ BSODs since I built my machine. icon_redface.gificon_facepalm.gif I thought I had it fixed last year after consulting the PC Gamer forum's techies, but, well, nope.

Using the amazing tool 'Blue Screen View', it has come to my attention that it's probably bad drivers fucking my shit up. The driver most commonly implicated is this bad motherfucker:

  • ntoskrnl.exe

    But it's not alone. Others that appear to be causing BSODs from time to time (but not nearly as often as ntoskrnl.exe) are:

    • hal.dll
    • lvrs64.sys

    There are a couple of other drivers also noted in the list which have caused BSODs, but these appear to be isolated incidents and the names don't appear more than once or twice, so I won't list them. I might have a RAM problem actually.

    I've had five BSODs in the last hour alone, four of which were caused by that bastard ntoskrnl.exe driver. icon_facepalm.gif This shit's getting ridiculous! I'm gonna open my machine up soon and seen if my motherboard's capacitors are bulging and whatnot (which was the cause of my last PC's ultimate demise), maybe change the RAM sticks around, or take one out and run memtest and change it over after. I'm sorely tempted to just order new ones right now though.

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I'm going to look into this.

Here's something I found early on.

This may be one of those rare cases where reinstalling Windows isn't an overkill solution to the problem, as if it actually is ntoskrnl.exe itself dying, your Windows install is critically faulty. Oops.

In my experience, assuming you're running Windows 7, if you're encountering stability problems then something is wrong with your hardware, not Windows itself. Windows 7 is pretty difficult to bluescreen without feeding it crappy driver instructions or trying to make it use faulty hardware.

EDIT: Hm, this may be helpful as well. You didn't really specify anything about the history of your system, so...

EDIT 2: There's also this.

Before we can really help further, you're probably going to need to flesh out the system info and history.

Edited by Velotix Lexovetikan

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I opened up my PC this morning; the mobo capacitors look to be in fine condition and there is no leakage that I can see. I removed the stick of RAM from the #2 position and ran MemTest; two errors were found:

oizw9k.jpg

I then removed that stick and placed the other in the #1 position and ran MemTest again. No errors were found.

I'm thinking that the error-y RAM stick is probably at fault here, so I've left it out and closed up my machine and am just wondering what to do now. Should I try to test for more problems? Should I leave it for a few days/weeks until I can be sure it's not this RAM card to that's at fault? Help me out here.

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OOOH, ouch.

Yeah if RAM fails a memtest pass it's faulty, don't bother using it, leave it out of the system for good. You also managed to get that error pretty quickly too.

Stuff I'm reading recommends you run memtest with at least five passes to make sure there's not a more obscure fault with the sticks.

I'd see how stable the system is now and start looking for replacement RAM because you're going to need it anyway now.

Edited by Velotix Lexovetikan

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I'd see how stable the system is now and start looking for replacement RAM because you're going to need it anyway now.

IIRC, this was the RAM I bought, a two-pack. I'd like an identical one if possible, in a one-pack, but I don't think they sell those. sad.png

Are there any 4GB sticks of DDR2 RAM out there? My mobo can take up to 8GB but only has two DDR2 slots so there must be some out there...

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Whoops. Got wrapped up in recommending PC parts. n_n

EasyCap 2.0

... *Googles it*

Stuff like that exists? Cool. Never heard of anything like that, but it looks legit, might as well.

Are there any 4GB sticks of DDR2 RAM out there? My mobo can take up to 8GB but only has two DDR2 slots so there must be some out there...

4GB RAM on one chip is a very recent development - this year in fact I believe - so you'll only find DDR3 variants. Also you are correct, they do not bother to sell individual sticks normally, as 999/1000 times that would be silly. Interestingly though a quick check revealed that in actual fact you can buy individual bog-standard DDR2 chips.

However rather than terrible bargain RAM you use Corsair, good choice. I use theirs myself. This being the future, you should be able to get 2GB DDR2 sticks.

Here's what appears to be your old ones going on the cheap, because DDR2 is shit obsolete tech.

And these are the newer 2GB stick models.

You will notice that RAM is really fucking cheap now. Exploit that fact. :P

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Right, seeing as people have seemingly been getting rather confused about this in the Sonic Generations PC thread, allow me to explain what many of us consider to be a tricky beast to fathom; Nvidia's card numbering system:

The old system (9000 series and below) titled cards both numerically and with suffixes according to their performance. For example (X represents an ignorable or non-subject value, by the way):

8XXX - Series 8 GeForce card. EG: 8400 GS, 8800 GTX. This increases yearly.

X8XX - High-end (8-range) card of an undefined series. EG: 7800 GTX, 6800 Ultra. This increases with the power of the card.

XX50 - Higher revision of a card in an undefined range. EG: 7950 GX2

Remember that only the second (and, non-primarily, third) digit of the four has anything to do with the actual performance of the card itself, so:

9400, despite being a higher number than 8800, is an inferior card to the 8800, as comparing the two is effectively comparing a high-end gaming graphics card from one year to the low-end budget solution of the next; it's not comparing like with like.

In terms of the suffixes, the order of performance is this: GS < GT < GTS < GTX, and GX2 denotates that the card contains two GPUs. Of course, the suffixes are only present to differentiate two cards in the same range and series from eachother; so while the 7800 GS will be beaten out by the 7800 GT, both cards could be outperformed by an 8800 GS card from the following year.

The new naming scheme is far, far less confusing and complex; from series 200 and onwards, all Nvidia cards begun being numbered thus (again, looking purely at examples):

5XX - 500 series GeForce card. EG: GTX 560 Ti, GT 520. Again, this increases yearly.

X80 - Top-end card in an undefined series. EG: GTX 580, GTX 480.

XX5 - Deprecated term for a card whose power level lies in the middle those of two other cards; now disused, because the only card in a recent series that used it, the 465, was actually less powerful than the later-released 460 (which is, factually, the best value for money graphics card ever released).

The same logic as the old system applies when dealing with the numerical side of things, though the prefixes and suffixes have changed to far simpler forms; the GT, GTS and GTX prefixes correlate directly with the second digit of the card depending on the range that it falls into: EG, GT 440, GTS 450, GTX 460 etc. There is now only one suffix, and it's only ever been used on two cards so far; the designation "Ti" was applied to this year's GTX 550 Ti and the GTX 560 Ti as a means of differentiating them from the GTS 550 and GTX 560 respectively - and they basically act as a less numerical version of the 400-series' "XX5" stepping. And nowadays, dual-GPU graphics cards just say what they are on the packaging, and don't bother with any overly elongated titles and descriptors.

I hope this helps!

And please, please, SOMEBODY do Radeon numbering for me; I'm not sure if I can go through that, too... :(

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so.... I plan to buy/build a new computer on Black Friday (I know this is a UK board but still)

any suggestions? I'd like it to at least match Sonic Generation's reccomended specs:

"Recommended Requirements

Microsoft Windows 7 Intel Core i5 @ 2.66 GHz / AMD Phenom II X4 @ 3.0 GHz 3GB RAM NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 / ATI Radeon HD 5850 11 GB free hard drive space"

I'd like to get the most bang for my buck!

any suggestions are appreciated!

Edited by Baking Blue Potatoe

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so.... I plan to buy/build a new computer on Black Friday (I know this is a UK board but still)

any suggestions? I'd like it to at least match Sonic Generation's reccomended specs:

"Recommended Requirements

Microsoft Windows 7 Intel Core i5 @ 2.66 GHz / AMD Phenom II X4 @ 3.0 GHz 3GB RAM NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 / ATI Radeon HD 5850 11 GB free hard drive space"

I'd like to get the most bang for my buck!

any suggestions are appreciated!

RAM and Solid State Drives get you the most bang for your buck. Granted, SSDs can be expensive but they are coming down in price. If you can get one at a reasonable price, it's well worth it since it's much faster than a traditional hard drive. One thing you could do is get a SSD for putting the OS on and than a regular hard drive as a second hard drive for putting all your personal stuff on.

4 GB of RAM should be the minimum and make sure you get the 64 bit version of Windows 7.

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Once the technology becomes more affordable, SSDs will completely take over from traditional hard drives; they are easily the superior technology.

However right now they're still very expensive for the amount of practical storage space you get, so speaking personally until that situation changes, and that will take a few years yet, I cannot in good conscience recommend you purchase an SSD unless you are already getting a very expensive bleeding-edge system. This is especially true considering the technology is still rapidly maturing and already the SSD models released this year are an order of magnitude faster and more reliable than their predecessors for roughly the same price. Even by technology's fast paced standards SSD tech is developing lightning fast.

Give the SSD market time before diving in unless you're willing to experiment. That's my recommendation until further notice. :)

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Recently, I've been planning on streaming the PC version of Sonic Generations on launch (4th of November, of course) but there seems to be an issue.

Simply put, as far as I can tell, the capture card that's in my brother's PC (which is the PC I will be running Generations on, as mine is not powerful enough to do so well enough) does not support streaming sites like Twitch.TV, which seems really strange to me...

It's the Hauppauge Colossus. It seems to be the only Hauppauge Capture Card that DOESN'T support Twitch/Justin.TV- even the one that's VERY similar to it in terms of hardware and specs (I think the HD-PVR).

Is there any way that I can stream with it? Some people say that they usually use Xsplit broadcaster and just select the screen region of the Collosus' capture program, but that's not streaming directly from the capture card, so the quality/framerate might not be as good.

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Could you capture the output from your brother's computer with another machine and stream it from there?

so.... I plan to buy/build a new computer on Black Friday (I know this is a UK board but still)

any suggestions? I'd like it to at least match Sonic Generation's reccomended specs:

"Recommended Requirements

Microsoft Windows 7 Intel Core i5 @ 2.66 GHz / AMD Phenom II X4 @ 3.0 GHz 3GB RAM NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 / ATI Radeon HD 5850 11 GB free hard drive space"

I'd like to get the most bang for my buck!

any suggestions are appreciated!

The core i5 is probably the best bang for buck, what to go for right now would probably be a so called sandy bridge processor. TBH, that's probably the only i5's still on the market.

The absolute best bang for buck video card would probably be the 560 Ti, but that's bordering on overkill. If you have the extra scratch for it, it'll let you turn everything way up. The listed 460 would do the job, AMD's 6870 is worth looking at, the 6850 would probably do in a pinch as well.

By the way, what's your level of experience with this sort of thing?

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Core i5 2500k

gtx 560ti

4/8gb of RAM

Build a PC around those specs, you'll smash any game. I work in an internet cafre and this is what we went for... it's the absolute best bang for buck combination on the market, IMO.

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