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Major device manager problem

By DeathJester999
Jan 6, 2006
  1. Hi all,

    Recently put together my new dream machine, but it's turned into a nightmare.

    Two or three weeks following the installation of WinXP SP2, the device manager starts failing with any new installs. Any new hardware or trying to view properties of previously installed hardware gives the following error "Windows could not load installer for ######, please contact your hardware vendor". The '######' is any hardware that is currently installed or hardware I'm trying to install.

    I've had to rebuild the system two times now and the error keeps appearing. It doesn't appear to start with any one of the peices of hardware I have installed either.

    Any help would be much appreciated.

    Deathjester
     
  2. iss

    iss TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,994

    WHen you buitlyour new system did you install the motherboard drivers? also was the hard drive formated with a cleaninstall of XP Sp2?
     
  3. DeathJester999

    DeathJester999 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Yeah on both counts. I tried doing a repair install of XP but that just made things worse so I did a complete reformat.
     
  4. iss

    iss TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,994

    what are your hardware specs?
     
  5. DeathJester999

    DeathJester999 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Athlon X2 4800+
    ASUS A8N-SLI Premium
    OCZ Plat Rev2 1 GB kit
    XFX 7800 GTX 256
    SB Audigy 2 ZS
    Enermax noisetaker 600W
    WD 74GB Raptor

    I probably should mention that I can still update drivers if it's through a piece of software. Eg. new nvidia driver for the g-card etc. However, if go through the device manager, it will first give that error and then sit there until I stop using the task manager.
     
  6. iss

    iss TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,994

    if it is hardware related then the most likely culprits would be a bad hard drive or something faulty on the motherboard. you could try running System File Checker to see if their is corruption or missing files. with your XP disk in the drive open a command prompt and type sfc /scannow system file checker will check Windows system files and replace or repair any missing or damaged files.

    have you run scandisk?
     
  7. DeathJester999

    DeathJester999 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I've done both the scandisk and the sfc function, so I'm assuming the HDD is fine and the installs have been OK. I had been hoping that it wasn't something related to the motherboard but becuase the error doesn't appear straight away I was beginning to wonder.
     
  8. Vigilante

    Vigilante TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,666

    This may be one of those special times where, during XP setup, you press the magic key and have it load a special HAL for the machine. Maybe somehow it is taking the wrong HAL?

    Unfortunately my details on that procedure are vague, maybe someone can tell you what that is about if they know it?
     
  9. DeathJester999

    DeathJester999 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Pardon my lack of computer knowledge,.... but what is an HAL?
     
  10. iss

    iss TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,994

    HAL is Hardware Absraction Layer, it is installled when windows is loaded and is specific to the hardware windows is being installed on. it is becuase of the HAL that you cant take a hard drive from an intel chipset and boot it up on an AMD chipset.
     
  11. DeathJester999

    DeathJester999 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    It appeared to have all the right hardware and drivers when it was working. It still has them at the moment. Can it become corrupted?

    If the motherboard did have a few problems, how would it effect the device manager?
     
  12. iss

    iss TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,994

    Hardware problems can cause software corruption.
     
  13. DeathJester999

    DeathJester999 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I suppose the question would be then, how do you test if it is a hardware problem such as the motherboard? I guess the only way would be to put a new board in and see what happens.
     
  14. iss

    iss TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,994

    Moterboard problems are hard to pin down since there are many components and any one of them could be defective and the cause of the problem. better computer shops usually have specialized diagnostic cards they can plug in to a Mobo's PCI slot and test motherobards with. but since these devices run several hundred dollars they are out of the rach of the average computer user.
     
  15. Vigilante

    Vigilante TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,666

    Let's not put out the far off conclusion that maybe, just maybe, some particular program of your is corrupting it? If it worked for a while then didn't? You could alway do another full format. Then pay particular attention to exactly what happens after each driver and update and program you load.

    At least it is something you can do for free, at home, before taking to a shop. Any particular corrupt driver could do this, or even a corrupt program that changes the way hardware abstraction works.
     
  16. DeathJester999

    DeathJester999 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I'd say it's going to come to that.

    I just read in another forum not to use the drivers on the CD the came with the motherboard. I'll be doing some downloading of the newest drivers first and then see what happens. If it happen again though it might be trip back to the shop.
     
  17. iss

    iss TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,994

    Vigilante has made a very good point. it could very well be a piece of software that is causing the problem. my sister in law had a similar problem with an accounting program she loaded on her new computer. everytime she installed it the computer began throwing drivers and freezing momentarily.
     
  18. DeathJester999

    DeathJester999 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    The idea that it was a piece of software or some unstable drivers etc did originally pass through my mind when it happened the first and second times. However, I was unable to nail it down.

    I thought it might have been either the NVidia IDE drivers or Norton internet security at first but I didn't install them the third time.

    Things I don't install now are NV Firewall and IDE drivers. I'm not sure if any ASUS utilities are troublemakers I tend to only use the chipset drivers and ASUS probe.
     
  19. Lovepeaceguru

    Lovepeaceguru TS Rookie

    ATI and Logitech drivers

    I have found that the drivers for my ATI All in Wonder X800XL are very unstable. I had problems with installation and ever since there's been random, bizarre error messages.

    Logitech are the other people who seem to be responsible for a lot of errors and, all for the sake of a keyboard, mouse and webcam, they flood my system withe files, registry entries etc
     
  20. DeathJester999

    DeathJester999 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I use NVidia drivers and don't bother with extra keyboard and mouse drivers, like you said, to many extra files etc. To date I've never had any dramas with the NVidia video drivers though.
     
  21. SCHUMIinSA

    SCHUMIinSA TS Rookie Posts: 134

    Stry starting your pc with as little hardware attached as possible. In other words leave your graphics card off and let it use the onboard, which I presume that motherboard has as most do these days, see if you have less issues then. If you do have less issues start attaching the hardware one by one and always go back and check if the issues have returned.
     
  22. DeathJester999

    DeathJester999 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    A bit labour intensive,.... but probably worth a go.
     
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