I read every comment left on this site. If you have your own website or blog and you include that address with your comment, I’ll probably pay a visit. That’s how I found this illuminating Vista troubleshooting report by David Moisan:
For the past six months, I’d been scraping by with Vista. Every few days, my machine would lock up. I tried many combinations of hardware; was it my cheap USB hub? Remove it. My Firewire? Removed. I wasn’t happy with the performance but it was never really bad enough for me to consider going back to XP. (or going to Linux as some would think) I added 2 gigs of Crucial memory to the box when I renovated my server, but the lockups didn’t go away.
Sometimes the machine would simply lock up, but other times, the symptoms were very interesting: I’d wake the machine up from sleep for the morning, and over a minute or so, the computer would slowly grind to a halt. Control-Alt-Delete would often yield an error message (a message about being unable to bring up the security dialog.)
I can hear the grumbling now: “Vista’s a train wreck. Not ready for prime time. How could Microsoft have released this dog?”
Except, in this case, the problem had nothing to do with software. It wasn’t caused by Microsoft or by a third-party driver. The solution was as simple as swapping a $4 SATA cable.
I’ve said it before, but it’s worth repeating: Whenever you begin experiencing instability problems with a PC, the very first thing to check is hardware:
- Most system and application failures are fairly easy to identify. Random failures often indicate hardware problems.
- Bad RAM, overheating, and defective hard disks, in order, are the most common hardware failures in my experience. A cheap or overtaxed power supply can cause grief as well.
- Hardware can fail over time. Most people assume that the problem is software because they haven’t changed any hardware lately.
Thanks for sharing the story, David!