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Constant crashing, often with no error, variety of programs

By MadnessRed · 23 replies
Oct 27, 2008
  1. HI, I have a serious problem with my computer. It is constantly crashing to desktop, often with no error.

    Some examles

    Zend Developer Environment - Crashes to desktop, no error, event viewer has nothing for it.
    Sims 2 - Says the application has cashed, no info given.
    Need for Speed Pro street / Star Wars Battle Front / Grand prix 3 / AudioSurf Track Man Nations - Just says application has crashed, do you want to send an error message to Microsoft.

    I have run a mem test but to no avail,
    I dual boot Windows/Linux and linux runs perfectly with no problem.

    My Computer
    Intel P4 519 3066MHz
    GeCube Radeon HD3850 (ATi)
    2gb DDR II RAM
    300 Watt PSU <-- Preaps not powerful enough but would that be the cause and if so, why does linux run fine?

    I am going to try doing a non-destructive system restore which (I think) re-instates windows files without making any changes, but this does cause hassle and I am always paranoid as my recovery cd is a bit dodgy and getting the linux bootloader back is a pain. I would like to know if there is anything I can do first a little less drastic.

    here is what I have done.

    Replaced Graphics Card with and old nVidia
    Ran the linux memtest thingy
    Checked the temperatures via SpeedFan whilst running games in windwosed mode to check for overheating.
    Re-installed the programs.
    Already installed Windows twice (completely)
    Run CCleaner.
    Removed all garbage from add/remove.

    Any help would be great, I will post more info as I get it.
  2. almcneil

    almcneil TS Guru Posts: 1,277

    I noticed you wrote that you re-installed Windows twice. That eliminates a software problem, except for a conflict between two applications. have you started using a new application recently? If not, then there is a hardware issues.

    After reviewing your list, I'd start with swapping the hard drive and see if that cures the crashing.

    -- Andy
  3. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,431   +77

    How old is the motherboard? There is an effect called capacitor rot (or something like that !). If you examine motherboard capacitors with this disease very closely, you can sometimes see they have little bubbles on the sides. This is internal pressure causing them to burst. There is no cure, just replace the motherboard....

    However, this looks less likely when you report Linux works fine. I would rather suspect a driver problem. Are you certain you have updated ALL drivers, especially the motherboard drivers, and the bios. I know you will not be cheered by the information that sometimes updating one driver can cause conflicts with other (old) drivers, which have not been updated. If you have any crash dumps pointing to one particular driver, then that can sometimes be regressed to an earlier version with a full cure resulting.

    It would be useful if you gave some history. For instance, did it ever run fine, and if so for how long? Also you have given no indication whatever as to what OS and current patch level it is at....
  4. MadnessRed

    MadnessRed TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 19

    I only have 1 hard drive, but it is partitioned. I also have just taken a screen shot of the error messages from one of the crashes.

    The motherboard is an Abit IP-95 - it is quite old, I will look for the bubbles, 1 sec, Ill post the results.

    Attached Files:

  5. almcneil

    almcneil TS Guru Posts: 1,277

    Stil, see if you can get your hands on another hard drive and install Windows on it and see if it's stable or crashes. If it's stable, then there is your problem.

    -- Andy
  6. MadnessRed

    MadnessRed TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 19

    ok, I, also have 512mb of DDR memory, my motherboard can take both DDR and DDR II, so I wil swap that in, getting a hard drive could be hard but I am getting an iPod soon (hopefully) so I should be able to install windows on that. Are there any other hard drive tests?

    Thanks for all the responses.
  7. almcneil

    almcneil TS Guru Posts: 1,277

    It's unlikely the memory as you have already tested that.

    iPODs are for playing music, not bootable hard drives. iPods don't run MS Windows.

    If you find a friend who's a computer tech or hobbyist, they may have the Ultimate Boot CD. It has hard drive tests for most of the common hard drive manufacturers. See if you can get your hands on a copy.

    -- Andy
  8. MadnessRed

    MadnessRed TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 19

    ok, I though i could use the iPods hard drive to install windows on,

    I will see if I can find a hard drive i can borrow, here is another screenshot of event viewer, and I also got a funny message from data prevention.
  9. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,431   +77

    Umm, GP3.exe is not just a game, it can also be an infection. See here http://www.prevx.com/filenames/2074309754148211965-0/GP32EEXE.html

    Execution protection can be unavailing efforts to stop an infection (gp3.exe ??) from wrecking everything. There are also perfectly legit programmes which require execution protection to be turned off on certain CPU's. Of course, the vendor is going to advise about that.
  10. almcneil

    almcneil TS Guru Posts: 1,277

    iPods doe not have hard drives. They used flash memory. I used to be a high tech engineer. These devices are too small and low power to use a hard drive.

    -- Andy
  11. MadnessRed

    MadnessRed TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 19

    ok, I though they were hard drives, never knew you could get flash as big as 120gb.
    you learn something new every day.

    i have checked for bubbles and there don't seem to be any.

    I also tried switching my ram to the DDR ram but then my computer wouldn't start.

    I will keep looking for a hard drive to install windows on to check, meanwhile, any other ideas or things I could do which would help?

    Thanks fro all your help so far :).
  12. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,431   +77

    A few of your errors are coming from the Apache service, which is a web server far more commonly associated with Linux than Windows. Do you know why you are running that?
  13. almcneil

    almcneil TS Guru Posts: 1,277

    I owe you an apology. We're both right, both wrong. The standard iPOD has a miniature hard drive (2") The iPOD shuffle uses flash, no hard drive.

    The standard iPOD must suck a lot of batteries if it has a hard drive. That's a key reason embedded systems don't use hard drives. I used to design embedded systems (an iPOD is an embedded system)

    -- Andy
  14. MadnessRed

    MadnessRed TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 19

    odd, I do program php and have Apache installed on linux, I think I tried installing Apache on windows once but it didn't work and doesn't show in add/remove so I thought it hadn't installed. Is there a way to remove it?

    @ andy - that makes sense actually as to why some ipods like nano and shuffle are only 4gb whereas others are massive,
  15. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,431   +77

    Run regedit and search for all cases of 'apache' (I think that word will occur in the path, but am not sure, so check). Delete any you find in the registry, whilst noting the paths referred to. Then run 'msconfig' and do the same - check all tabs, but it will probably be in the 'services' tab. Finally, having noted the paths referred to in the registry, delete up to the root of the c:\drive if appropriate, or just the dll files if they occur under windows, windows\system or windows\system32.

    It will be most interesting if that results in a complete cure for you, and if so, please, please let us all know.....but have you checked out the gp3.exe link ?

    Ooops, nearly forgot. It would appear Apache is running, so you will need to stop that first by crtl-alt-delete and stop the service under the services or applications tabs in windows task manager.
  16. MadnessRed

    MadnessRed TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 19

    ok, I will try that, will post any results.
  17. geekygirl63

    geekygirl63 TS Rookie Posts: 54

    almcneil: I have an 80GB IPOD - it's pretty good on battery use - And while it probably can't be used to load or boot windows, you can enable "drive mode" (not sure if that is exact term) which allows you to mount it as an external drive and read and write to it. So instead of just using the IPOD sw, you could store files there for purposes of back up.

    MadnessRed: Your post said you reloaded Windows twice. Have you completely wiped that partition and reformattted or just "repaired" the install. The way those windows are drawn all over the screen is sure looks like virus type activity.... just a thought.

  18. MadnessRed

    MadnessRed TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 19

    when the windows draw over the screen usually it mean that the window behind it has crashed ?? Thats what i though anyway. I have AVG 8 and ZoneAlarm.
  19. almcneil

    almcneil TS Guru Posts: 1,277

    I Stand Corrected!


    Actually, the originator may be correct on this point. It may be possible to use the iPod as a bootable HD.

    I used to be an engineer and I developed what are called "embedded systems." Portable music players such as iPods and MP3 players are examples of embedded systems. One key aspect of embedded systems is that they don't use hard drives or tape drives to store the program for the microprocessor. Rather, the program is burned onto a PROM chip and this is referred to as "embedded firmware", hence, the name "embedded system" because they all use this type of program storage. That's why my reaction to his suggestion of using the iPod to store a bootable copy of Windows naïve. Typically, embedded systems don't use hard drives to save on power consumption. Turns out, I am the one who is incorrect.

    I was surprised to discover that the standard iPod does in fact use a miniature hard drive. But hey, nothing says you can't! If this mini-HD can store a Windows installation and is accessible via USB, yes, it is possible to use the iPod as a bootable hard drive.

    As I wrote in a separate post, just because someone has a higher degree doesn't mean they know everything.

    I stand corrected.

    -- Andy
  20. MadnessRed

    MadnessRed TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 19

    I know that you can install linux on ipods or hard drives so I just assumed that the same would be true with windows.
  21. almcneil

    almcneil TS Guru Posts: 1,277

    That is correct but with 2 qualifiers. First, you are re-using the iPod as a boot drive for a computer (you can't load the iPod with an OS) Also, the harddrive is large enough to hold the OS installation. If you can load one OS, ie. linux, it can load Windows (providing there's enough disk space.)

    -- Andy
  22. MadnessRed

    MadnessRed TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 19

    ok, anyway I have disabled the Service Apache 2.2, and I ran a game and got an error saying Send Error report or don't i go the technical info test file and uploaded it to the internet,

    also hwo do you search the registry (in xp)

  23. almcneil

    almcneil TS Guru Posts: 1,277

    Here's how you search the registery:

    Start -> Run -> regedit -> Edit -> Find ...

    -- Andy
  24. Bobbye

    Bobbye Helper on the Fringe Posts: 16,335   +36

    Might want to consider any of the following. I didn't see any mention of the 'gp3'exe app error that is causing the problem:
    The above are all copy and paste from sites so I didn't make ant spelling corrections.
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