XP instability

  Halfbeat 18:51 01 Dec 06

Dear all,
I’m having a spot of bother with a new computer. The main manifestation of the problem is the loss of sound. It can be sat doing nothing and when I come back to it there is no sound and clicking the sound icon brings up an error message saying there are no mixer devices. In device manager it then looks like there is no sound hardware (it’s onboard sound). Usually this is the only problem but sometimes the whole thing is locked up. A re-boot sorts things out.
When working normally device manager shows no problems. Full scans show no viruses or spyware etc.
The most obvious sign of the problem is when playing Medieval Total War. This will sometimes crash to the desktop for no apparent reason. It played fine on my older, less powerful computer with, perhaps significantly, XP service pack1 (the new one is SP2).
Additionally, my wife has the same computer (bought 2 at the same time) and the same problem. The manufacturer’s suggestion is to restore it to the factory settings and take it from there. I don’t want to do that if I can avoid it.
Is there any software that can monitor the computer and pinpoint what is causing the conflict?
Computer details are- AMD Athlon 64 3800 processor, NVIDIA 7300GS graphics, 1GB RAM, Realtek high definition audio.

  brundle 19:00 01 Dec 06

Can you leave the PC running playing an mp3 or wav file (not a CD) on repeat, no screensaver or power-saving options?

  Halfbeat 14:01 02 Dec 06

thanks for getting back to me so quickly on this one. The answer seems to be yes- I left an mp3 running for 2-3 hours OK. Power saving rang a bell- I vaguely remember reading that it could cause problems. While I was at it I turned off 'allow hibernation'.

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