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Suggestions for cleaning up an unstable system...

Question asked by Daen Hendrickson on Jan 14, 2010
Latest reply on Feb 18, 2010 by Daen Hendrickson

I am running SW2008 Premium with SP5.0.


This is a bit of a fishing expedition but figured it couldn't hurt to ask. My workstation has become unstable with SW and our lone IT/Network sort of guy is way too busy to pay attention to us CAD folks. So I am digging into it myself.


My workstation was built in-house. It consists of an Intel Core2 Quad 2.4 GHz processor, 4 GB Kingston ram, Intel 975X MB, Window XPPro 32-bit with SP3 and running 3G switch, 250 GB Segates in RAID, dual monitors, Space Pilot, PNY NVidia Quadro FX4600 with driver (currently installed) and (previous).


I have been using this system for a couple of years without issue. It started acting flakey around Thanksgiving. The symptoms are as follows:


  • Windows Picture & Fax View reports 'drawing failed' as I parse through several images on a network shared area. Not every picture fails. A failed picture may view fine when I return to it.
  • Adobe Reader 8.1.7 will launch and show the first page, but when I scroll the image remains fixed except for about an inch at the bottom where I can  see the pages rolling by.
  • NVidia desktop manager allows different backgrounds on each of my dual monitors. I had some personal pictures displayed for a long time. These now show up briefly as the system boots and then disappear to the Windows background color. NVidia says the pictures are there in the control panel.
  • SW background upon initial bootup is black instead of showing the DeSault/SW logo.
  • SW Property managers will often show only some of the graphics. Does not seem to be limited to a specific property manager. Feature manager seems fine.
  • If SW launched a second time without a system reboot, often cannot find networked resources. Launching windows explorer to the same network drive will pop an error message along the lines of 'not enough resources to perform this task'. Does not happen every time. Other users in the office not having the same issues and retaining full access to networked resources.
  • Just this morning SW popped a message along the lines 'OpenGL being launched because..." Never seen that one before. Could my graphics card be tanking?


I was running video driver 8264 for quite a while. Then when I started having the picture viewer problems our IT guy found a KB article on MS that said to reinstall the video drivers. I did and it fixed the problem - for a while. Then I started having all the other problems. When I changed the driver, I completely uninstalled the old driver. Rebooted the system, cancelled the "found new hardware" message and manually launched the driver installation.


After not regaining stability I have gone through this exercise several times. I have bounced back and forth between the two drivers. I have performed a system error check and defrag between installations. I keep close tabs on services and task that are running and get rid of all the 'auto' updaters and other sneaky-ware. I have not installed any new (different) software - but do get updates. My machine is not dedicated to just SW. I typically have Outlook running, a web page or two, a network folder open, etc. However, I have used the machine this way for a couple of years and its performance was very consistant.


We changed corporate virus software about six months ago from F-Secure (off subject... I really like this stuff) to Symantic (not its biggest fan). In December we had a lengthy power outage. The battery backup infrastructure in our server room was modified (not robustly) and caused several of the servers to shut down hard. They were problematic afterwards but have all been rebooted. Others in the office report they are not having issues.


I know this is not much to go on, but I would enjoy hearing what usual or typical steps you go though or places you check on your systems in a case like this. Are there some registry areas to dig into? I just discovered a reference to the Windows Performance Monitor utility on these discussions. Looks like a handy tool... if I knew how to put it to good use.


Thanks in advance.