I used to be registered on here a long time ago when I was first building my desktop but it looks like the forum's undergone many changes since then. Anyway!
About two weeks ago I installed a new EVGA 260 GTX Superclocked and a Kingston SSD. I was a bit worried about my power supply (Mushkin 550W) not being powerful enough, but everything seemed to be running fine. Fast forward to about five days ago when I put my computer to sleep. For four days, I let it sleep, since I was just doing some basic stuff on my laptop. Shortly after waking it up, it bluescreened. Restarted, and it POSTed fine, but wouldn't load Windows - it actually came up with a Loading files screen as if I was reinstalling Windows.
I restarted and put my overclocked CPU back down to its stock frequency. Windows decides to boot this time, but after a few minutes in, Aero shuts off spontaneously. Two minutes later, it bluescreens. (Sidenote: each time it bluescreens, there seems to be a different error message. Some examples: reading to write-only memory, corrupt drivers, etc.) At this point, I figured it was just a Windows problem, so I unplugged all but the necessary hardware, tried using the Windows CD to fix the problem (bootrec.exe with fixboot, fixmbr, et al.) Nothing solved the problem. At this point I couldn't even boot Windows at my CPU's stock frequency. Tried booting off a live Ubuntu CD, didn't ever make it to the desktop before the system reset. Inserted a memtest86 CD, booted from it, and it wouldn't run past 4 seconds in.
I tested each of my 1GB memory sticks one by one, and memtest86 runs indefinitely on each of them, but they're all throwing tons of errors.
Here are my questions at this point:
1. What are the chances that all four of my sticks failed at the same time? Did my mobo fry them all? Are there any other tests I can do myself before I send my memory back to Corsair?
2. Is it possible that my motherboard's northbridge is messed up? Unfortunately, I don't have another mobo that uses DDR2 to test, neither do I have extra DDR2 sticks that weren't in the machine at the time.
3. Should I be using a bigger PSU? I know how important the PSU is to system stability, even though only powering the core components doesn't fix this problem.
I built this system in 2006 and I know it's showing its age in a few spots, but it still runs like a champ and plays the heck outta video games. I'd like to keep it for at least another few years, even if I have to upgrade a few parts in it. I was thinking about getting a 3.13GHz Core 2 Duo, thinking I could perhaps overclock it near 4GHz.
Motherboard: ASUS P5W DH Deluxe
RAM: 4x 1GB Corsair XMS2 DDR-PC6400
GPU: EVGA 260 GTX Superclocked, XFX 9600GT running PhysX
CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E6300 (was overclocked to 2.8GHz, but now at stock 1.86GHz for diagnosing this problem), Thermaltake Max Orb heatsink/fan
HDD: SATA 1TB & 320GB, Kingston 64GB SSD
PSU: Mushkin 550W
Fans: one 120mm in, two 120mm out (temps are fine)
DVD: 2x SATA DVD drives
Audio: Creative SoundBlaster Audigy 4 Pro
OS: Win 7 x64
I think that's it. If I forgot anything, just let me know. Thanks in advance for any help!