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Discussion Starter #1
Right, so first, here's a few drops of information about my PC...

Processor
Model : Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 CPU 2.80GHz
Speed : 2.80GHz
Performance Rating : PR3080 (estimated)
Cores per Processor : 1 Unit(s)
Threads per Core : 1 Unit(s)
Internal Data Cache : 8kB Synchronous, Write-Thru, 4-way set, 64 byte line size
L2 On-board Cache : 512kB ECC Synchronous, ATC, 8-way set, 64 byte line size, 2 lines per sector

Mainboard
Bus(es) : AGP PCI IMB USB
MP Support : No
MP APIC : Yes
System BIOS : Award Software, Inc. ASUS P4S533-MX ACPI BIOS Revision 1004
System : System Manufacturer System Name
Mainboard : ASUSTeK Computer INC. P4S533MX
Total Memory : 256MB DDR-SDRAM

Chipset 1
Model : ASUSTeK Computer Inc SiS651 CPU to PCI Bridge
Front Side Bus Speed : 4x 133MHz (532MHz data rate)
Total Memory : 256MB DDR-SDRAM

Video System
Monitor/Panel : Plug and Play Monitor
Adapter : NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200 (Microsoft Corporation)

Physical Storage Devices
Removable Drive : Floppy disk drive
Hard Disk : HDS722580VLAT20 (77GB)
CD-ROM/DVD : DVDRW DRW-3S163 (CD 48X Rd, 48X Wr) (DVD 6X Rd, 6X Wr)
CD-ROM/DVD : SAMSUNG DVD-ROM SD-616Q (CD 48X Rd) (DVD 6X Rd)

Logical Storage Devices
1.44MB 3.5" (A:) : N/A
Hard Disk (C:) : 30GB (23GB, 77% Free Space) (NTFS)
Backup (D:) : 47GB (27GB, 57% Free Space) (NTFS)
CD-ROM/DVD (E:) : N/A
CD-ROM/DVD (F:) : N/A

Peripherals
Serial/Parallel Port(s) : 1 COM / 1 LPT
USB Controller/Hub : SiS 7001 PCI to USB Open Host Controller
USB Controller/Hub : SiS 7001 PCI to USB Open Host Controller
USB Controller/Hub : SiS PCI to USB Enhanced Host Controller
USB Controller/Hub : USB Root Hub
USB Controller/Hub : USB Root Hub
USB Controller/Hub : USB Root Hub
Keyboard : Standard 101/102-Key or Microsoft Natural PS/2 Keyboard
Mouse : PS/2 Compatible Mouse

MultiMedia Device(s)
Device : Standard Game Port
Device : Game port for Yamaha DS1
Device : YAMAHA Legacy DS1 WDM Driver
Device : YAMAHA Native DS1 WDM Driver

Power Management
AC Line Status : On-Line

Operating System(s)
Windows System : Microsoft Windows XP/2002 Professional (Win32 x86) 5.01.2600 (Service Pack 2)

Network Services
Adapter : SiS 900-Based PCI Fast Ethernet Adapter


And here's some more detailed info on mainboard...

Mainboard
Manufacturer : ASUSTeK Computer INC.
MP Support : No
Model : P4S533MX
Version : REV 1.xx
Serial Number : xxxxxxxxxxx
System BIOS : 01/24/2003-SiS651/SIS962/IT8705F-P4S533MX

System Memory Controller
Location : Mainboard
Error Correction Capability : None
Number of Memory Slots : 2
Maximum Installable Memory : 1GB
Bank 1 - DIMM 1 : Empty
Bank 2 - DIMM 2 : DIMM Synchronous DRAM 256MB/64

Chipset 1
Model : ASUSTeK Computer Inc SiS651 CPU to PCI Bridge
Bus(es) : AGP PCI IMB USB i2c/SMBus
Front Side Bus Speed : 4x 133MHz (532MHz data rate)
Maximum FSB Speed / Max Memory Speed : 4x 133MHz / 2x 166MHz
Width : 64-bit
IO Queue Depth : 8 request(s)
Priority Master Queue Depth : 7 request(s)

Chipset 1 Hub Interface
Type : MUTOL
Width : 16-bit
Full Duplex : No
Multiplier : 2/1x

Logical/Chipset 1 Memory Banks
Bank 0 : 256MB DDR-SDRAM 2.0-2-2-5 2CMD
Channels : 1
Width : 64-bit
Refresh Rate : 7.80µs
Power Save Mode : No
Fixed Hole Present : No

APIC 1
Version : 8.00
Multiplier : 1/2x
Maximum Interrupts : 24
IRQ Handler Engaged : Yes
Enhanced Support : Yes

Memory Module 1
Type : 256MB DDR-SDRAM
Technology : 8x(32Mx8)
Speed : PC2100U 2.5-3-3-6
Date of Manufacture : 25 December 1999
Set Timing @ 133MHz : 2.5-3-3-6
Set Timing @ 100MHz : 2.0-2-2-5

Cooling Device(s)
Auto Fan Speed Control : No
Chassis Fan Speed : 3199rpm

Voltage Sensor(s)
CPU Voltage : 1.52V
Aux Voltage : 1.62V
+3.3V Voltage : 3.04V
+5V Voltage : 4.95V
Battery Voltage : 3.26V

AGP Bus(es) on Hub 1
Version : 2.00
Speed : 4x
Fast-Writes Enabled : Yes
Side Band Enabled : Yes
Aperture Size : 64MB

PCI Bus(es) on Hub 1
Version : 2.10
Number of Bridges : 1
PCI Bus 0 : PCI (1/1x PCIClk)

System SMBus Controller 1
Model : SiS 961 Ext SMBus
Advanced TCO Mode Enabled : No
Slave Device Enabled : No
PEC Support : No
Speed : 56kHz


And, yet more information. :p This time about my CPU...

Processor
Model : Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 CPU 2.80GHz
Speed : 2.80GHz
Performance Rating : PR3080 (estimated)
Cores per Processor : 1 Unit(s)
Threads per Core : 1 Unit(s)
Package : FC µPGA478
Rated Speed/FSB : 2800MHz / 4x 133MHz
Multiplier : 21/1x
Minimum/Maximum Multiplier : 0/1x / 21/1x
Generation : G8
Name : P4N (Northwood) Pentium 4C 130nm 1.6-3.4GHz 1.475-1.575V
Revision/Stepping : 2 / 9 (9)
Stepping Mask : D1
Microcode : MU0F2921
Core Voltage Rating : 1.550V
Maximum Physical / Virtual Addressing : 36-bit / 32-bit
Native Page Size : 4kB

Processor Cache(s)
Internal Data Cache : 8kB Synchronous, Write-Thru, 4-way set, 64 byte line size
Internal Trace Cache : 12kB Synchronous, Write-Thru, 8-way set, 64 byte line size
L2 On-board Cache : 512kB ECC Synchronous, ATC, 8-way set, 64 byte line size, 2 lines per sector
L2 Cache Multiplier : 1/1x (2800MHz)

Advanced Settings
Data Error Checking : No
Fast Strings : Yes
x86 FPU Compatibility Mode : No
Prefetch Queue : Yes
Branch Trace Storage : Yes
Data Cache Active Mode : Yes
IO Queue Depth : 12 request(s)
TM - Thermal Monitor : Yes


And, finally, some more of my BIOS ROM information...

ASUS Model: P4S533MX
Version: ASUS P4S533-MX ACPI BIOS Revision 1004
Chipset: SiS651/SIS962/IT8705F
Date: 01/24/2003
Onboard Sound: None (woa)
Onboard Lan: Exist (wl)
BIOS Size: 256 K
BIOS Type: Award


---------------------------------------------------------------------

So I'm running Windows XP w/SP2, and I'm kinda dual-booting, too. I've got 2 WinXP w/SP2 installation sat on my main partition, but as my PC had already gone wrong, I had no regard to properly make it so only one OS was on there, but still deleted user accounts from the other Windows after taking ownership of them and transfering important files. (The other XP installation stopped working. That's the reason for me dual-booting; I didn't have any spare partitions to play around with.)

So anyway, not too lnog ago, my brother decided to open this PC up and give it a clean and ended up using a vacuum cleaner. Upon putting it back together and booting it up, the BIOS decided to mess around with me.

It would halt after the opening screen where it displays your PC information (like your BIOS versions and stuff). The screen where, if you're booting a CD (like the XP installation disc), it comes up and tells you to press a key to boot the CD.

It'd stop there. So, I went configured my BIOS and disabled a lot of stuff. It then worked, so I re-enabled these again, in small groups, several after several, until I discovered that by disabling "IDE Bus Master Support", my PC would skip the screen it used to halt on and just go straight on to boot from my hard drive.

There's all kinds of other problems which have spawned, too. For some reason, when I try to install Windows, I can't seem to do a non-"quick" format because it just does nothing when I attempt to.

Anyway, since the vacuum cleaner incident, my PC has drastically reduced in speed. Slow enough, and inconsistant enough for my PC to not be able to play just about any audio in real-time without crackling or slowing down.

Also, in the past few days, another problem began to occur. For some reason (and I strongly think it's triggered, but not directly caused, by the programs or combination of programs that I use) -- for some reason, after a period of time using my PC (could be 3 minutes, could be 40 minutes), it'd come to a sudden halt where it'd appear to run at litterally 0.3% of the speed it should do. When it does this, a simple task such as trying to minimise a window, bring up the task manager, or open the start menu would be delayed for about half a minute.

When this happens, I'm forced to restart. However, I've noticed that when this major slowdown occurs, upon restarting, my PC fails to get past the screen with all the mainboard info on -- it will get to the part just before where it accesses and displays the drives in my system, and just halts and does nothing. However, if I turn my PC off and leave it for a few minutes, it'll be fine (or my PC's version of "fine") and boot up like my PC's version of normal. Obviously, because I switch it off at the mains (which I don't like doing), it informs me of my PC being hung at its improper frequency in the BIOS config.

With the PC coming to a halt and slowing down drastically, I've noticed that 3 times in a row where I was using Winamp nearly immediately after booting up Windows, my PC began its major slowdown antics within 3 minutes. But, after this, I decided to try it in Windows Media Player and it didn't trigger the major slowdown at all. Craziness.

I'm in knowledge that having 2 Windows sat on one partition can substantially impair the performance and efficiency of the PC's operations, but I believe that the problems occured before that. As soon as I've fixed problems not related to operating systems, I will then reinstall a fresh version of WinXP and go through my regular proceedure of making the fastest, safest, most reliable, most efficient and most effective form of Windows XP possible for my hardware.

Additionally, because of the problems my PC has encountered, I lost any regard, whatsoever, to look after this Windows installation. It could be a complete mess, and thus be the cause of some of these problems, but definitely not the ultimate cause of all of them.

So, if anybody on these forums can help me out with this problem, it would be greatly appreciated and you will be my favourite person for nearly 3 minutes. If you have any queries, then I'll answer them. Thank you.
 

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welcome to tsf
wow, quite a story, anyway
So anyway, not too lnog ago, my brother decided to open this PC up and give it a clean and ended up using a vacuum cleaner. Upon putting it back together and booting it up, the BIOS decided to mess around with me.
check your heatsink is on securely
and your ram, is it 1 - 256 chip in bank number 2? why isnt it in number 1?
post back
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I took the whole PC apart and put it back together again, and the problem was the same. I put the RAM in the second bank just to make sure that it wasn't the RAM slot being faulty.

I'm almost certain that the heatsink is on properly. Even if it wasn't, there's still the mystery of why it halts when I enable IDE bus master support, and why it doesn't allow me to format properly, etc, etc, etc.

I'm great with software, but that's mainly operating systems and not the BIOS. Until recently, I knew all I needed about the way the BIOS works and the configuration of it, but now, my limited knowledge of this area is not doing me any favours.

Thanks for the warm welcome and attempt at helping, though, anyway.
 

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Parl:

I think you are going to be forced to do a nuke and boot to clean the drive completely and re-install your OS / all windows installations get cluttered up after awhile and run like crap. / sounds to me like your at the max / I would suggest you back-up your important data / and use Dban boot & nuke (not just formatting)
http://dban.sourceforge.net/ <<<< download the floppy version


I also strongly suggest you download sandra lite and post your system temps
http://www.download.com/3000-2086-10018691.html
paste your system temps after running defrag, anit virus scanner & spyware scanner all at the same time / let these all run for about 20 minutes then post your temp readings / sounds to me off the cuff of the info you posted that you CPU is getting too hot / as a result it will throttle back to reduce heat therefore making it run like a snail / it may be a matter of cleaning your CPU with goof-off (found at any paint store or paint department) just reapplying a fresh application of Artic Silver 5 thermal grease

another way to test my thoery is to remove the side case off the computer and run a house fan blowing into it full blast / if it runs longer and better than usual than you have a heat issue.

regards

joe

regards

joe
 

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Sorry but I'm just going to say something about cleaning PC's with vacuum cleaners! I'll leave your problem to the other guys.

A vacuum cleaner creates a huge amount of static that is potentially damaging to a sensitive device such as a PC due to the rapid movement of air into the nozzle. Putting this near your motherboard is risky despite the fact having it plugged in an earthed as good protection. The best way to clean dirty fans and heatsinks is with a lower rate pump or air cannister...I personally use a balloon hand pump!!!! It's very good and carrries little risk.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Well, my PC has had a consistant speed since I got it. The time when I recognised the substantial speed decrease (the states it's in now) was the first time I used it after the vacuum incident. However, I do think it's time to nuke both of my HDDs because I've noticed them slow down over the last 2 years.

On the temperature matter, I strongly feel it's not that. I've checked and my CPU temp is generally between 40 and 50. A year ago, it used to be between 50 and 60, oftently. The temp decrease came about from me quickly engineering a better airflow system in my PC (well, that was the plan - I didn't think it'd actually do much, but it did.)

Anyway, it's just that, along with the time I recognised (and it was obvious) the speed decrease was also the change in antics of the BIOS, which shows that the 2 are linked. I don't think the BIOS acts weird because the the prcoessing acts weird. I think the processing acts weird because the BIOS acts weird.

I think that my BIOS ROM is has gone a bit wrong. Either that, or the vacumming sent my RAM a bit crazy. What do you think?

Thanks for trying to help, Herr Lindermann and Karlos, nethertheless.
 
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