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If the hard drive is failing, a re-install of Windows may prove to be far from satisfactory.

Testing the hard drive is relatively easy if you have access to another computer to burn the bootable CD. It is always best to use the hard drive manufacturer's diagnostic software, if possible . If you know the manufacturer of your hard drive, then refer to Bootable Hard Drive Diagnostics. Review the page, download the DOS version for your hard drive, burn it to create a bootable CD, and run both short and long tests.

The Western Digital Diagnostics can be found Right HERE

Let us know the results.

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Do you perhaps have any suggestions on a good motherboard?  I'm apparently no good at picking them out.

 

This is what I'm looking at currently, though I'm not sure whether they're actually good or not or if the power supply could even handle it all.

 

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131823

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817182071

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115234

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231313

 

As for the graphics card, I hadn't decided just yet, but I was hoping to get one that wasn't too expensive, but would also allow me to run a dual monitor setup and also play The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim on my computer.

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Gee....

 

I'll tell 'ya, that's tough.  I can't sit in your shoes.  I can say I consider ASUS #1 and always suggest Intel CPUs and chip-sets.  However there are so many factors...

 

What you have is fine.  Prices are reasonable but you must also get a comparable LGA 1155 compatible heat sink and fan.

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Budget unfortunately is the #1 determining factor.  

 

Approximately how much money do you have to spend on a new computer?  

 

Do you really need a high end computer or will a rather cheap, fast, off the shelf computer from Costco actually provide more than enough computing power for you (for most users it actually can)

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In my case I was only intending to spend around $500-$600.  I may not need a whole lot of processing power, but I would certainly like to be able to play Skyrim without any problems.  I'm pretty certain that Skyrim is the most demanding game I have right now.  Also, I would really prefer to not buy a premade computer.  I've had so many bad experiences with them compared to this one that I've built that I want to avoid going back at all costs.

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did you mention if/what video card you have ?

an I3 would be plenty of crunch for what you are doing .... the stock fan/sink that comes with the cpu should be ok .

stay away from the gskill ram .

asus is good stuff ... it is my board of choice for a given budget .

rosewill is ok for swmps ... i have had good luck with them ... the one you picked out might be a little big for the job , and run outside of the "sweet spot" on the efficiency curve .

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Oh, okay.  Right now I have an NVIDIA Geforce GTS 450.  I was worried that it might be one of the causes of the blue screens I've been having, so I was planning to get a new video card as well, though I have no idea which video cards are good.  Also, do you have any recommendations for the RAM and the powersupply?

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hmmm ...

i glanced back over this thread ... at one point the video card was pulled , however ... it was quickly re-installed ...

if your motherboard has built-on-board video ; pull the video card and try to run the machine without the nvidia card .

 

you pulled a visual inspection of the swmps ... all looks ok ... but this does not rule out the swmps .

electrolytic capacitors can look ok on the outside but be bad on the inside .

 

it may be that the swmps is "on the edge" and under a peak power demand (by some cause) is momentarily dropping in output ... this can cause the bsod you are experiencing .

by lowering the demand by removing the video card allows the swmps a little more headroom and may allow the comp to run normally .

by the same token it also removes a glitch of the video card as being the culprit .

this is not the best way to determine which is at fault .

 

the absolute fastest (and possibly the best) way to prove out which one of the above parts is (or if it is) causing a problem is by individual substitution with a known good replacement .

(although the consumer reviews of the video card indicate that it is fairly decent)

 

can you post the model of motherboard and the swmps ?

 

as for a suggestion about the ram ...

it is best to go back to the motherboard manufacturer for a list of "tested and accepted" makes and models of ram .

sometimes the results are surprising and it removes one possible source of *yet another* headache .

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Since my financial aid has come in, I figure I'd prefer to just solve this problem with an upgrade.  The original power supply I was looking at was sold out, and per suggestion, I changed out the RAM.  I just want to make sure that these will all work together before I place my order.

 

http://secure.newegg.com/WishList/PublicWishDetail.aspx?WishListNumber=22861492

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