Someplace to stash my stuff
Sometings not right.
Published on March 2, 2006 By starkers In PC Hardware
At start up recently I've been hearing a whirring sound like something is having trouble getting started, and though the noise eventually goes away and startup completes, although not as quickly as before, my system performance seems to have dramatically slowed, particularly when mutli tasking or working with large or compressed files.
I've updated the BIOS, chipset and Cpu drivers because several new components have been added since it was built, but alas, this has not resolved the whirring, slow startups and lagging during operation, etc.....so I'm thinking it's a hardware problem and possibly related to my Cpu, chipset, motherboard as all HD's are and all other components with moving parts are relatively new.
My CPU is a P4 2.8F/ 1mb Cache and I think dual core as 2 monitoring graphs appear in task manager and do not always correspond with eachother....with the right graph quite often peaking much higher than the left CPU usage can fluctuate considerably between 2-3% up to as high as 75-80%, even when I'm not actually working with any programs and just the background processes are running
I also have 1.5 gig of DDR400 RAM....so essentially I should have enough processing power and memory to multi task and work with large/compressed files with ease. However, running something like an Adaware scan and Winamp will not allow me to play Spider Solitaire at normal speed at the same time.
I've cut all but the essentials at startup and ended all non-essential processes to improve performance but this has also failed to resolve the issue.....so I'm thinking perhaps a CPU problem and that maybe its on its way out....possibly a chipset, Mobo problem also.
A thorough cleaning with compressed air and vaccuuming the excess dust, etc, has also failed to resolve the issue, tho I've been unable to detatch the heatsink and fan to properly access the CPU for a more direct/efficient cleaning.
Advise/technique as to how would be helpful....the clips holding it in place are released but it still won't budge.
If anyone can explain and/or advise to assist in resolving this I'd be eternally grateful...yrag, anyone?

If it comes down to a CPU/Mobo replacement, Im looking at a P4631/ 3.0GHZ/2mb cache/800FSB/LGA775.....and a GA-8IPE 775 Gigabyte Mobo for about AU$450....if anyone can advise of another, better, more economical alternative to this, that would also be most appreciated as I'm not exactly rolling in it at present.

Sh!tty luck seems to be my run at present....yesterday I was told surgery may be required to remove a plate inserted after a skull fracture and now 'apparently' causing severe headaches; today we were informed that our 15 yo Tanka is pregnant, afraid to come home as a result of it and receiveng little or no assistance elsewhere...and now seems big bucks may be required to keep my PC up and running BTW, it's 3.45am here in OZ and well past my bedtime, so please be patient if my replies to your responses are delayed some....I will return after some necessary zzzzzzzzz's

Comments (Page 2)
on Mar 06, 2006
Thanks for the advice, Scorpio....I checked into the ASUS mobo's for AMD but there's none that support my AGP graphics card and have x4 dual RAM as well....meaning I'd not be able to utilise my 1.5 gig of RAM and would have to also replace my graphics card...,and onboard's often don't support WB5 per pixel too well Looked into a few others but the Asrock is the only one I've found in my price range that supports 'all' of my hardware/needs. Was hoping somebody might have come up with a budget priced alterative with AGP/x4 dual RAM and x3-4 PCI slots, but it seems not too many manufacturers are supporting it all...particularly the AGP.
As for the Asrock I've been looking at, well I ended up phoning a techie mate in another state, and he told that he has been working with them for over a year and found no major stability or performance issues with them....so I guess that's that cos I can't afford to go all out on a major upgrade with all this new-fangled stuff that has outdated mine in the blink of an eye, or so it seems.


If you have not frequently cleaned the fuzzballs out of the board and heatsink, your cooling is not going to be so effective and the fan will go broke sooner than later. before going all out on new components, try a new cpu fan.


I would if I could, but the CPU fan/heatsink is firmly embedded on the mobo and cannot be removed without causing major damage, so it is new components to resolve the issue, whether I want to or not.....and being that the AMD is equivelant to or better than the P4 3.2 ghz, it's alot better than the P4 2.8 I've got now and isn't behaving too well...

Thanks again to all for the input/advice, etc
on Mar 09, 2006
I would look into the board options more. Evil is right in the nvidia chipsets. Go with Asus and you will be quite happy.


It has been one helluva performance, but after a number of issues, my ATI graphics card not wanting to works on the Asrock board being one of them, I ended up with the ASUS A8N-VM-UAQYGZ mobo instead....not that it resolved all issues. Although it allowed me to optimize 1.5 gig dual RAM, I eventually had to replace my graphics card from AGP to PCI Express....and then I wasn't too confident it would support per pixel in WB5, being only 64mb, reasonably cheap and not alot of added features, but very much to my surprise and pleasing. it supports WB5 like a dream
T'was a bit scary there for a while, being that I'd already gone $170 over budget, cos that card was the only one I could afford and didn't want to lose my WB5 features.
That part ended well, despite having to spend close to an extra $300, but my issues were far from over. In wanting to keep costs down, I decided to reload XP pro myself, which should have been quite simply achieved with a repair to adjust to the new BIOS, etc. There was no way XP would let me do a repair, something to do with a corrupt or missing file, so it meant a clean install by booting from disc, and that didn't come easily. Being quite unfamiliar with the new Bios settings and etc, it took ages before I managed to get my ROM as first boot priority. nothing seemed to want to do as it was told, and yeah, I was just about ready to throw one enormous tantrum when suddenly the BIOS and boot sequence mysteriously decided to behave as required....and not through design of this newbie Finally, I'm able to do a clean install of XP, and it went without hitch, but I went through the screaming abdabs for about 6 hours or so until I could get around to reinstalling my Stardock gear. That default XP look was so awful after all the lovely skins from here, I was too scared to go to bed for fear of default blue nightmares....so I stayed up until 5.40 am this morning reloading my system to how it was before...minus the CPU issue.
Shoot, it got that bad, I switched to classic view and changed colour ever 20-30 minutes to get some sort of customizing fix until WB5 and the like was back up and running.

Well, the thing is, with this ASUS/AMD 3200V combo, I'm truly thrilled at how well it performs, as compared to my old P4 2.8 ghz/Gigabyte setup at its peak. It is certainly much faster and more stable...the freeze ups and lock downs of the past seem to be over, fingers crossed, and whereas the P4 tended to get finnicky with a few things running, now I can smoothly muti-task with ease.

Thanks to all for the input, but to you Scorpio for the heads up and advice on the AMD/ASUS combo, its really doing the trick for me.
on Mar 09, 2006
I wasn't too confident it would support per pixel in WB5, being only 64mb


I wonder how much the memory on the video card has to do with supporting WB5 features -- I use an nVIDIA GeForce FX Go5200 with only 32 MB memory with no issues.

On another note, it's good to hear that you got it all worked out (I've dropped in on this thread a few times)
on Mar 09, 2006

Geez...missed this one till now....

Good to see you got it sorted.....you coulda' dropped in at my joint....just up the road from Tassie...and I'd a fixed it all for you....[I have a C.I.G. spanner and all]...

on Mar 09, 2006
I wonder how much the memory on the video card has to do with supporting WB5 features -


Given that many people were posting about this and that card not supporting per pixel and etc, and I was in fact downgrading, it was a concern the lesser card may not have been up to it. My previous card was a 256mb ATI and feature rich, not that I knew what half of it meant, much less how to use it...so with this new 64mb card being fairly standard in comparison, yeah, I was dreading the WB5 system information report coming back as negative to per pixel support. All's well that ends well, as they say.

Good to see you got it sorted.....you coulda' dropped in at my joint....just up the road from Tassie...and I'd a fixed it all for you....[I have a C.I.G. spanner and all].


Thanks for that, Jafo.....it got to a point when things weren't going too well with the new setup/clean install and I could've used some help, though the 'almost' temper tantrum would've seen me fixing it with that C.I.G spanner.
BTW...that just up the road bit...actually it's a body of water called Bass Strait, and swimming that with PC under one arm......

Also, I received an unexpected call from the techie this morning....the previously irremovable CPU fan and heatsink is now off. He soaked it in a vat of liquid overnight and managed with some effort to prise it off this morning. No wonder I was having problems.....apart from it being 'glued' on, the 'clown' techie who built my system also installed the heatsink/fan assembly back to front (left on the right side) and thus the CPU was shutting down due to ineffective cooling.
However, and quite surprisingly to me, it all tests out as working fine and the tech has offered to buy the whole setup (CPU/Mobo/graphics) from me to supplement his spare parts, given the mobo is no longer manufactured and AGP is on the way out, etc. It's great news as I'll recover a bit under half of my expenses

And Jafo...that 'thing' about Tassie being way behind the mainland, it took a Taswegian to fix what a Queenslander shouldn't have effed up in the first place Maybe 2 heads are better than 1 after all