I have a Soyo A7V Dragon Plus motherboard, AMD Athlon XP 1800+, VisionTek ATI Radeon 1600 X1600XT Extreme Gamer Edition, Creative Extreme Gamer Fatality Pro, Adaptec Duo Connect, and Linksys Standard Ethernet Card.
A week ago, my 425W RaidMax power supply started shooting sparks and fried a capacitor. I swapped it out with a 300W Skyhawk PSU. Now my computer keeps locking up with a high-pitched squeal, and the only thing I can do is push the reset button or unplug my computer. Often it will lock up within five or 10 minutes after rebooting. It happens when I’m listening to music, playing games, or watching movies, both online and off. Sometimes it locks up after Windows starts. It doesn’t lock up with that squeal all the time, only most of the time. I believe it probably has something to do with my audio card, but then it just might be as simple as my power supply lacking sufficient power.
I’ve looked online and could only come up with answers for the audio card and nVidia-related hardware; my problem is conveniently named the “Squeal of Death.” Is there any way
I can fix this with my current hardware configuration? Or will I have to get new hardware? —Kavan Scott
My roommate, with my help, built a brand-new PC worthy of mention in your magazine; it has a Q6600, 4GB of DDR2/1066, an ATI Radeon 4850 GPU, and a DFI P45-T2RS motherboard. After installing his student copy of Windows Vista x64 and some of his favorite programs, I advised him to run CPU-Z to ensure that the motherboard had set everything correctly, as I didn’t really want him to have to dive into the BIOS unnecessarily. CPU-Z reported that his RAM was cruising along at DDR2/800.
He has a 1,066MHz front-side bus, so the RAM timing was unusual, especially since the board is certified for DDR2/1066. We checked the BIOS and found that we cannot set that frequency without overclocking, which causes the machine to become unstable. We decided that the problem is the BIOS and discovered that DDR2/1066 is supported only in the latest BIOS—but DFI’s BIOS update utility doesn’t work with Vista x64! Neither of us owns a floppy drive anymore, so we thought we might try booting from a USB drive, but we can’t find any Vista 64 capable tools for creating that, either. What should we do to update the BIOS?
When my computer is on, the Shift key seems like it’s being pressed repeatedly, even though I’m not pressing it. The StickyKeys feature keeps coming up and I can type only caps and symbols, not numbers. When I click an app on the desktop, it highlights almost all of them. When I click in my web browser, all of the screen’s text gets highlighted. I’m really not sure if this is a virus or a malfunction in the hard drive or what. The computer is a 3-year-old HP ZV6000 laptop.
I have an Alienware Area-51 m7700 laptop computer with 2GB of memory and an Nvidia GeForce 6800 Go with 256MB GDDR memory. It’s three years old and runs fine, but I would like to upgrade the graphics to get better video response. I play World of Warcraft and occasionally have problems with the video becoming a bit choppy. Plus, with the economy in its current poor state, I don’t really want to buy a new computer anytime soon, so upgrading my current computer seems like a good, relatively inexpensive way to go. The problem is, when I talked to a tech support person at Alienware, I was told a video upgrade isn’t available for my computer because the current videocards work with only the current bus configurations, not with my computer’s bus. Is there truly no way to upgrade my laptop’s video?
I am becoming increasingly frustrated trying to fix a problem I’m having with a videocard driver (I think). My computer is crashing in the middle of games. The error message I get when I reboot is: STOP 0x000000EA THREAD_STUCK_IN_DEVICE_DRIVER. I have searched forums and tried different things, but nothing seems to work except when I install an old videocard (Nvidia 6800 GS).
I’m running an Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 processor, Asus P5K motherboard, EVGA 8800 GT GPU, and 4GB of RAM. I also have an Nvidia 9800 GTX+, and when I installed it, the problem became worse.
Read on to find out the answer to Gman's question!
A few months ago, my 5-year-old Alienware Area 51 died. I narrowed my problem down to the motherboard. Since this computer is so old, I decided to replace it with a new, updated computer. The busted rig had two 200GB hard drives on a 3ware RAID controller (RAID 0 configuration). Is it possible to install the RAID controller and drives (as is) on my new computer as a secondary drive and retrieve the existing data, or will I have to rebuild my RAID during installation?
Looks like your system is on the fritz again -- it refuses to boot your operating system. What do you do now? You can take it a tech shop and have "experts" investigate the problem, but that a costly option. Even if your computer can’t load Windows, there is still a way to fix boot problems without reformatting. With the right boot CD, you can perform your own troubleshooting dianosis the cure whatever ails your PC. Our guide will show you how to make a powerful boot disk that'll let you do more than just access a DOS prompt. You'll be able to run processor stress tests, memory scans, edit partitions, and even extract hard drive data.
I have two 256MB RAM modules. I recently bought an additional 1GB DIMM. A friend of mine asked me to try his RAM, as it was the same as mine. I tried it and my computer flashed an error. I stopped immediately, removed my friend’s RAM, and shut off my computer. The 1GB DIMM was installed and so were the other two 256MB sticks. But now the computer only recognizes the 1GB and says the other slots are empty, despite the presence of the 256MB DIMMS. How can I get the system to recognize the rest of the RAM?
I recently bought an Asus P5K-E motherboard during a round of upgrades because it seems to support the most operating systems (I’m a developer).
I also purchased an EVGA GeForce 9800 GTX. This card is huge: It takes two slots, reaches all the way across my motherboard, and nearly touches my hard drive array. It’s so big that if I put it in the top PCI-E slot, it completely covers all six of my SATA ports, and, well, I use those.
If I use the PCI-E slot on the bottom of my mobo, the card is limited to x4 instead of x16. Do applications (games?) saturate this interface yet? Will I even notice the difference between the x4 and the x16 slots with this card?
If I use the PCI-E slot on the top (the x16), I can’t use my SATA controller. Is my only option then to buy another controller? Does it matter if this is the cheapest one out there or does Maximum PC suggest a particular brand?
I built a computer for a friend a couple of years back, and it was working fine until a few weeks ago, when the computer started to lock up on boot and the screen would stay black. I tried to reinstall Windows XP, only to have it freeze halfway into the setup. Eventually I was able to reinstall XP. All case fans, the CPU fan, and drive lights work fine. I updated video drivers, replaced the videocard, the memory, and the power supply, and even switched out hard drives; the system still locks. I’m at a loss for what to do next. I suspect maybe the mobo is at fault. Can you help?
Read on to find out the answer to Howard's question!