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Old 10-14-07, 10:44 PM   #1
Falkon
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Friggin computer v. IHateWindows

I'm having some issues with my computer that I can not figure out for the life of me. I have two symptoms that are consistent. Two days ago, everything was working just fine. I had no problems whatsoever. Now, when I restart the computer, it takes a good seven minutes to boot up into windows. This is a machine that is 3.6GHz, 2 GB RAM that I built myself. There is no damn way it takes seven minutes to boot into Windows. Now, the sound is also choppy. I tried everything. I can live with the boot time, but I actually use this computer to do audio recording and reviewing work. I have to have good sound. I tried reinstalling the sound drivers, no luck. I tried switching ports for the soundcard, no luck. Then, I get an idea. I'm going to do something at least somewhat hard drive intensive while playing a song. So, I start playing music then open firefox. Bam, popping and choppy sound everywhere. It's at this point that I have to use every ounce of patience I have to not kick this piece of **** out the window.

So, has anyone have this problem? Any ideas at all? The latest thing is Windows installed one of those little updates and restarted without even asking me as usual. Could that be the culprit? What can cause choppy audio and slow slow startup times that can be correlated to an IDE HDD? I also defragged the HDD yesterday. It took a good 24 hours to complete.
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San Jose has to be the most boring place I've ever been. And I live in Ohio.
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Old 10-14-07, 10:52 PM   #2
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Sounds like you picked up some adware and now it's slowing the boot as well as playing hell with the driver. Run Ad-Aware and see what it finds. I's also check system restore and see what was recently installed and go back until it starts to function like it did.
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Old 10-14-07, 11:24 PM   #3
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Are you sure it's not a hardware failure of some sort? I'd try to rule that out first.
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Old 10-14-07, 11:44 PM   #4
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When the computer first started showing signs of running slowly, I ran a full ad-aware scan. There were no problems found.

If it is a hardware problem, I'm not sure what hardware it is in. I tried unplugging my sound card and using the on board sound. The problem still persists. I can't really find any actual answers on google or the abit forums.
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Old 10-14-07, 11:51 PM   #5
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It sounds more like a hard drive issue, or something to do with the cache somewhere. Then again, Windows may just be really incompetent.
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Old 10-14-07, 11:55 PM   #6
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I was thinking it could be an HDD issue, but I don't understand why that would cause choppy audio, unless it was just putting a big strain on the system.
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Old 10-15-07, 06:15 AM   #7
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How about SpyBot. I use that as well and it will find stuff that Ad-Aware ignored or did not pick up on. Have you looked at system restore to see what's been installed?
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Old 10-15-07, 06:46 AM   #8
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Where do I find the system restore deal? I've looked at installed programs and even tried uninstalling the last windows update. No luck so far. I think some hardware has gone wonky on me, and I don't have the money to replace anything right now, so I guess I'll have to find another computer to do audio work.
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Old 10-15-07, 07:14 AM   #9
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Did you also run a good, complete virus scan? Since it's affecting your boot up time, I'd lean more towards a virus inserting itself into the kernel itself rather than adware running on top of the OS.
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Old 10-15-07, 07:16 AM   #10
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Do you have a lot of desktop icons?
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Old 10-15-07, 10:28 AM   #11
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I found it! This is the most whack ass thing I've ever seen, and I actually had an idea, but no idea on Windows how to check this. The hard drive was getting stuck in slow slow PIO mode by Windows, and I had no idea how to check it or how to fix it. With linux I could have just read the startup messages and seen it putting the HDD in PIO mode instead of UDMA mode. So, the suggestion about hard drive cache was almost right on.

I finally found the solution on a hardware forum that linked to a blog. I had to edit the registry and delete a couple of keys that corresponded to MasterIDChecksum and SlaveIDChecksum. Then, I had to reset a key that handled HDD timing so it would force Windows to recheck the timings. After restart, it was as good as new. I have no idea what even caused this, but the fact that it went into PIO on one boot and just got stuck there is another testament to just how messed up Windows is.
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Old 10-15-07, 10:33 AM   #12
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I found it! This is the most whack ass thing I've ever seen, and I actually had an idea, but no idea on Windows how to check this. The hard drive was getting stuck in slow slow PIO mode by Windows, and I had no idea how to check it or how to fix it. With linux I could have just read the startup messages and seen it putting the HDD in PIO mode instead of UDMA mode. So, the suggestion about hard drive cache was almost right on.

I finally found the solution on a hardware forum that linked to a blog. I had to edit the registry and delete a couple of keys that corresponded to MasterIDChecksum and SlaveIDChecksum. Then, I had to reset a key that handled HDD timing so it would force Windows to recheck the timings. After restart, it was as good as new. I have no idea what even caused this, but the fact that it went into PIO on one boot and just got stuck there is another testament to just how messed up Windows is.
That's nutty. Download and burn your self a Knoppix CD for troubleshooting in the future.
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Old 10-15-07, 10:43 AM   #13
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If it were an actual hardware issue, I could have diagnosed it with a linux distro, but this was a genuine Microsoft Windows ****-up. I just had to eliminate things. Well, it's not the sound card, because the problem is evident on another soundcard. Well, it's not spyware or virii, check was clean. I was about to start unplugging hardware. I even tried playing the music off an external USB hard drive, which helped, but winamp still had to run off the built-in, so to fully test, I would have had to use winamp on the external. I had pretty much narrowed it down to *something* that correlated with hard drive access. That could have been the IDE controller, the drive itself, or in this case, Windows.

I just happened to try doing ONE MORE search on ONE MORE forum and finally found a fix. This is the most obscure problem I've had with Windows, and I would not have been able to figure out where in the registry to find all these hardware settings. Conclusion: Windows still blows, but I'm too lazy to get a fully functioning Linux running on this machine with the ability to play my Windows games, so it's good enough.
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Old 10-15-07, 10:47 AM   #14
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Where's the link and how do the rest of us check this setting?? Can't hurt to see if somehow my HDD has gone into slow mode....

[edit: never mind... got it.]

Last edited by skiahh; 10-15-07 at 11:02 AM.
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Old 10-15-07, 10:56 AM   #15
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If it were an actual hardware issue, I could have diagnosed it with a linux distro, but this was a genuine Microsoft Windows ****-up. I just had to eliminate things. Well, it's not the sound card, because the problem is evident on another soundcard. Well, it's not spyware or virii, check was clean. I was about to start unplugging hardware. I even tried playing the music off an external USB hard drive, which helped, but winamp still had to run off the built-in, so to fully test, I would have had to use winamp on the external. I had pretty much narrowed it down to *something* that correlated with hard drive access. That could have been the IDE controller, the drive itself, or in this case, Windows.

I just happened to try doing ONE MORE search on ONE MORE forum and finally found a fix. This is the most obscure problem I've had with Windows, and I would not have been able to figure out where in the registry to find all these hardware settings. Conclusion: Windows still blows, but I'm too lazy to get a fully functioning Linux running on this machine with the ability to play my Windows games, so it's good enough.

I finally got tired of all the work of linux and all the headaches of Windows, so I switched to a mac. For the first day I thought I had made a terrible mistake but now I can't imagine going back. I still have an XP desktop for games but quite frankly it sees less and less use every week.
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Old 10-15-07, 11:06 AM   #16
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I finally got tired of all the work of linux and all the headaches of Windows, so I switched to a mac. For the first day I thought I had made a terrible mistake but now I can't imagine going back. I still have an XP desktop for games but quite frankly it sees less and less use every week.
ding ding ding. There's my choice of solution, BUT, I frankly don't have the money required to actually get a decent apple system. NOW, running OSX on PC hardware - there's an option I would try.
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Old 10-15-07, 11:45 AM   #17
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osx86. you can do it.

OpenBSD is my favorite OS, but to make it desktop friendly requires more time tweaking than most would probably like to invest. I have been using Kubuntu on my old-ass Dell and it seems to be fine for someone who wants to do what 99% of computer users wanna do. I tried plain-old Ubuntu (with Gnome) and it felt more like MacOS 8 than anything. Kubuntu feels cleaner to me.

I'm posting this from OpenBSD running inside Parallels on my Mac though.
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Old 10-15-07, 11:48 AM   #18
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Xubuntu I did for a while, but for some reason they could never get WPA wifi support right, so I went back to Debian. There is no way that I know of to install OSX86 on a PC without some sort of hack. I'd like to know if there are some reliable running systems out there using it. Heck, they make the games I like for Apple, so I really wouldn't be losing anything to switch. I just already have this computer built, and I don't have 3k to drop on a decent apple system.
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Old 10-15-07, 01:38 PM   #19
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I think the link to the registry edits would be great. I have had this same problem, and the solution suggested on the Web was to remove the HDD controller in device manager and reboot. This forces the hard drive out of PIO mode.
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Old 10-15-07, 01:45 PM   #20
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This isn't the link, but here is the same information.
http://www.aiscl.co.uk/how_to_forcedma.php

I think I just figured out what caused it. I was writing an image with Nero, and as Nero tends to do, it sat there, then said write error and coastered the disc. It worked the second time, but I think that little I/O fit it had there caused Windows to put the primary IDE channel into PIO mode on reboot. My board only has a single IDE channel, which both the HDD and CDRW are on right now [yeah, sucks]. I'll get another SATA drive one of these days.
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Old 10-15-07, 02:45 PM   #21
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Man,

How did you build a machine like that and have your HD stuck in PIO mode?!
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Old 10-15-07, 03:15 PM   #22
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No idea, really. It was only as of yesterday that it happened. I'm just happy to have it fixed, because choppy sound isn't too good when you're trying to edit music.
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Old 10-15-07, 07:28 PM   #23
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I hope flash drive technology keeps pace. Once drives become reasonable in price, the biggest advantage of flash drives is that drive and file fragmentation is pretty much no longer a performance issue. Defragging is more of making a file take less space in index nodes than slowing down everything.
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