Computer troubleshooting!

  • Thread starter Hurkyl
  • Start date
  • #1
Hurkyl
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
14,916
19

Main Question or Discussion Point

One day, when I got home, my computer started developing these symptoms:

Whenever any sound is sent to the speakers, a layer of static is also sent.

Icons and images (particularly the mouse cursor and system tray icons) are being distorted with an assortment of cyan and magenta pixels (mostly cyan). While I can't discern a pattern to the pixels, they certainly don't appear like they're totally random.

Any idea what could be causing this and how to fix it?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
chroot
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
10,226
34
Originally posted by Hurkyl
Any idea what could be causing this and how to fix it?
Sounds like either bad RAM or a bad DMA controller.

Try running some memory diagnostics on it.

- Warren
 
  • #3
Hurkyl
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
14,916
19
Does WinXP come with such a tool, or will I have to DL one?


Another interesting thing I've discovered; Opera displays all images fine (even ones to which I've zoomed), but windows picture viewer messes up the image (with white and dark cyan dots, clustered into lines) when I zoom in.
 
  • #4
Hurkyl
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
14,916
19
Also, most window .wav files are playing normally, only some are staticy.
 
  • #5
BoulderHead
You might consider using the Restore feature that comes bundled with winXP.
 
  • #6
dduardo
Staff Emeritus
1,890
3
Try formatting. It always seems to fix window's problems.

Most likely though it is a hardware problem, either with memory or some motherboard issue.
 
  • #7
BoulderHead
Originally posted by dduardo
Try formatting. It always seems to fix window's problems.
Good one, dduardo
 
  • #8
Hurkyl
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
14,916
19
In any case, it's probably not hardware?
 
  • #9
dduardo
Staff Emeritus
1,890
3
If it isn't a hardware problem, there is always time to switch


<---------------
 
  • #10
Hurkyl
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
14,916
19
Ok, some joyous problems:

(a) I was doing something (which I don't remember what it was) that required me to turn off system restore... I forgot to turn it back on. :frown:

(b) When I bought my computer from CompUSA, it had the WinXP installer already on the harddrive, and I did not get a Windows CD.


I've been wanting to reformat for a while now, but I've been too lazy to contact CompUSA to get a CD or instructions on what I'd need to do...

Oh, and I can't switch over to Linux because I am (or at least used to be) an avid game player, so nyah!
 
  • #11
dduardo
Staff Emeritus
1,890
3
I really hate how computer manufactures aren't giving a real windows cd anymore with new systems. Crappy good for nothing restore disks. Arrgh

Hurkyl, here is a tip, do what I do, download a copy.
 
  • #12
Hurkyl
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
14,916
19
Well, I'm poking around on the mysterious D drive where Windows keeps it's restore stuff and other information, and there's a directory called "PRELOAD", and it has some files named "CDx" where x is a number from 0 to 4, and it has a lot of .INP files and some other miscillaneous stuff...

So I would surmise the stuff I need to reformat / reinstall windows is here, I just don't know how to do it; I haven't found any suggestive .exe or .bat files on this drive yet. :frown:
 
  • #13
1,036
1
Hurkyl,

On the chance (& it sounds like a fairly good chance) that those CDx files contain everything that came preloaded on your C drive, you should try to burn copies of them onto CDs before you do anything else. Better yet, if that computer is on a LAN, copy them to another computer first, & then put them on CDs.
 
  • #14
Hurkyl
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
14,916
19
Well, the cdx files are small (106 bytes) and just contain a directory name: c:\Master\BOOTDIST\BOOT-XP\PRELOAD\Cx\PRELOAD\Cx

Given the arrangement of the files, these appear to be indexing information...

But the rest of the directory is 2 GB of what appears to be archives (datax.inp, base_x.inp)... whatever I do I'll backup this directory first.
 
  • #15
1,036
1
Beyond that, unless you have a manual, or find someone who's familiar with CompUSA sytems, you'll probably have to call or write their tech support for help.

I haven't seen anything on an HP or Dell system like what you're describing.
 
  • #16
Originally posted by Hurkyl
One day, when I got home, my computer started developing these symptoms:

Whenever any sound is sent to the speakers, a layer of static is also sent.

Icons and images (particularly the mouse cursor and system tray icons) are being distorted with an assortment of cyan and magenta pixels (mostly cyan). While I can't discern a pattern to the pixels, they certainly don't appear like they're totally random.

Any idea what could be causing this and how to fix it?
Can you hear any sound at all? or does the static just completely takes control?

What kind of sound card are you using? have you tried updating the drivers?
 

Related Threads on Computer troubleshooting!

  • Last Post
Replies
6
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
15
Views
4K
  • Last Post
Replies
4
Views
7K
  • Last Post
Replies
19
Views
662
Replies
12
Views
3K
  • Last Post
Replies
18
Views
2K
Top