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Unactivated Windows 7 or hardware problem?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Hello all. Last month I built a computer using some spare parts as well as a new refurb mobo and GPU. I installed the Windows 7 Home Premium trial to test the computer, if it still worked well by the end of the trial I was going to activate it. It did work well for the few days I tested it and I overclocked the GPU. I didn't have time to use this computer much and left it off for a few weeks without activating.

I recently turned on the computer which caused a BSOD then system restart before Windows could load. Using system restore to roll back allowed me to enter Windows but the wireless internet wouldn't connect. Trying to load up programs didn't work either. MSI Afterburner for example. Clicking buttons on the task manager didn't do anything. Figuring there was something software related wrong I thought I'd reformat.

First I stuck a USB drive in the computer to backup some files, and after moving them to the drive, a whole bunch of things popped up. Internet got connected, Windows asking for administrative permission to launch MSI Afterburner, auto-run asking what to do with the USB drive, task manager responding, Steam bugging me about being in offline mode, and finally Windows tells me my copy might not be genuine. I shut down the computer and Windows installed some updates.

Powering back on, Windows tells me my trial has ended and that I should activate Windows 7. I tell it to ask me later and then the computer starts up normally. I can run programs fine. The internet is connected. I test out my GPU overclock and it seems stable. Everything seems normal now, except the non-genuine Windows thing.

Now what I'm wondering is it Windows that was causing my problem, or possibly a defect in some hardware? Would the unactivated Windows have caused the BSOD and the other issue? To me it seems possible that it was a software issue. However I wanted any extra insight there might be since my refurbished warranties run out in a little over a month from now, and I don't want my motherboard to become a paperweight since I ignored early warning signs.
Edited by Ulric - 3/6/12 at 5:31pm
post #2 of 5
Nope, it's most definitely a hardware or software related issue. If you'd like, you can attach the dumps to your next post for me and I can see what caused them and help you out. I'm betting money is was MSI Afterburner causing the BSODs on startup which then led to partial OS corruption, but we'll see.

Navigate to C:/Windows/Minidump and zip / rar up your latest dump files. Once you've done that, please attach the zip / rar to your post by clicking the paperclip icon in the reply / post box.
post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
Sorry for the late reply.

Thanks for the offer E-Peen. Unfortunately I don't appear to have any dump files in that location.

I experienced the slowdown at start-up once more after my original post, but after reinstalling my anti-virus(Avast!) which was broken by the system restore, I haven't had the slowdown afterwards. I haven't had anymore bluescreens either. Things seem to be running fine now. I activated Windows 7 though I don't have the time to reformat yet.

On the BSOD; Do you think maybe the overclocked settings and Windows trying to end the trial interfered with each other and caused it? This was before Windows started loading up, I'm not sure when the settings are applied. Also would an unstable GPU overclock cause a BSOD?
post #4 of 5
Windows 7 doesn't like not be activated...

I'd wipe the drive and do a fresh install, if problems persist, then time to do diagnostics...

Download Ubuntu 11.10 and run the memory test, then try to boot Ubuntu...

I use Ubuntu to test machines to verify the hardware is indeed working..
The Rock
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The Rock
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post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
The problems have not persisted in the unformatted drive. The computer seems to be running in tip-top shape currently. What I'm wondering is why these problems had happened in the first place. I was wondering if anybody had any experience or insight into this problem.
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