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01 Dec 2011  

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
Constant crashing on or after startup, white or brown screen

System specs:

Operating System: Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
PSU: 650W
Motherboard: Intel X58
Processor: Core i7 960
Memory: 16GB DDR3
Hard Disc: 1TB 7200rpm, partitioned
Optical Drive: DVD-RW
Graphics Card: GeForce GTX 470
Sound Card: X-Fi Titanium Professional Audio
Hard Disc 2: 300GB - 10000rpm (+ 31,500)
Monitor: Iiyama 24 Inch Flat LCD Wide 1920 x 1080

A little history on the system:
I bought the system about 18 months ago for the purposes of video editing and gaming. It served me well for around 11 months, when I started getting random crashes on Startup. After a lot of troubleshooting and replacing the PSU and RAM, it seemed that the cause was in fact the NVidia graphics driver - when NVidia released a new version of the driver the system suddenly functioned correctly again for around 6 months.

Recently I had a problem with the sound cutting in and out, and was getting error reports that stated "one or more audio service failed to start". Then once again the system refused to startup, crashing after the Windows logo. After two attempts at restoring from disc the system suddenly worked fine again for around a month.

Yesterday I was running Skyrim when suddenly the screen went completely brown and the system reset itself. It then refused to startup in Normal mode at all. Considering the wealth of problems I'd had with the system, I decided the best option would be to do a complete clean reinstall of Windows 7.

After reinstalling Windows I reinstalled drivers for the Wi-fi dongle and then downloaded the latest NVidia drivers, but the system refused to recognise the sound card. I also had an error message that drivers could not be found for a USB 3.0 Host controller which was showing up as 'unknown device' in Device manager. On the advice of another forum, I unplugged the computer completely to reset the motherboard and this seemed to fix the USB problem, though the sound card was still not recognised. Furthermore, the system now repeatedly crashes either immediately on startup or after around five minutes of use. When it crashes the screen simply goes either totally white or totally brown for around 10 seconds before resetting. Safe Mode with Networking works almost fine, although I still have the "Audio Service not running" error (even though sound works for the five minutes of usage I get in Normal mode, albeit only with the onboard sound).

Dump files for the last few crashes are attached to this post, though I'm nowhere near technically minded enough to make any sense of them. I tried the perfmon/report thing but it doesn't seem to work in Safe Mode.

I'm really at the end of my tether here, and I wonder if I perhaps have a hardware issue with either the GPU or motherboard. It's still quite a high spec system and was really quite expensive when I got it, which is why it's so frustrating that it's been the most problematic PC I've ever had. Any help would be much appreciated.
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