Weird Aptiva ?hardware? problem
I'm having a problem that had initially looked easy to solve, but now appears more puzzling.
Setup: Aptiva P3/550, 256mb, 20gb, Savage4 video card, DVD and HP cd burner. Trying to run Visual Studio .NET 2003 under Win2k.
Here's what happened: During the Visual Studio installs, the system would always hang if I tried to scroll through something (like the Microsoft license text). Occasionally, on reboot, the BIOS would report that the amount of RAM had changed to 192mb.
Since this sounded like a bad RAM chip, I took out one of the two 128mb's and tried again. No dice. Tried the other chip. That didn't work either. Tried the other slot with each of the two chips. Neither fixed the problem. I did end up getting a successful install by avoiding scrolling (and trying a few times -- it hung randomly a few times during install). Self-diagnostic software didn't find anything even with both RAM chips in place, although it hung after maybe 5 runs through the memory.
So VS.NET is finally onboard and running. I'm scrolling in one of the programs, and ... doh! It hangs. I'm starting to think that it might be a software problem, so I fire up Symantec AntiVirus. That hangs too. In fact, it hangs every time I try it. By 'hangs', I mean completely locked up. The screen gets this little 1x2 inch area of static on it (over the normal screen image, not instead of it) and you can't even ctrl-alt-del out.
Oddly, through all of this I've never gotten a BSOD, just these crashes. I'd assumed it was the hardware because of that BIOS message, but trying to isolate a bad component was unsuccessful. This is a brand-new install of Win2k and VS.NET, as of literally a few days ago (not an upgrade, but a fresh install). What's going on? It doesn't crash at the same exact place each time btw...
thanks for any help you can give!