Crappy Computer: Take 3

Latest update: 12/23/08, 9:39 PM
A couple months ago after finally realizing that it was a BIOS issue that kept me from booting, I installed Windows XP 64-bit because my nice, legal copy of Vista Business 64-bit wouldn’t work. A month later, I had to reformat. I put the same OS on again. That was about a month ago. This weekend, I reformatted again and put Vista Business 64-bit on my PC thanks to Antonio lending me a DVD. It installed without a hitch! Then, I tried to figure out Steam. I ended up just shoving my entire Steam folder in a new directory other than Program Files (x86). I realize that applications can’t save in Program Files now. However, I tried installing Steam in Vista and then observing where it puts stuff before copying my old Steam files into the correct location, but I couldn’t figure it out. Anyways, leaving it in some other folder seemed good enough.
However, World of Warcraft randomly crashes. I haven’t really tried any other games for more than a minute or two. Here’s what’s going on: If I launch Wrath off of my internal HDD, it crashes either right after getting in game or during the loading screen after choosing my character. If I run it off of my external, I can usually play for a few minutes, but it’ll still crash. When it crashes, everything freezes, including my speakers playing the last quarter-second or so of audio repeatedly. I’m using the latest graphic card drviers, 180.48. Vista is completely up to date. I download the latest drivers for my wireless card and motherboard also.
This is my system:

  • MSI P45 Neo-F motherboard with up to date drivers
  • Intel Core 2 Duo Wolfdale 2.53 GHz
  • 4 GB of OCZ Platinum DDR2 1066 RAM
  • PNY GeForce 8800 GT PCI Express 2.0 x16 with 180.48 drivers (latest)
  • Rosewill 802.11b/g PCI card with up to date drivers
  • Vista Business 64-bit,up to date
  • DirectX 10

I found this thread talking about WoW crashing in Vista. I followed the advice of changing my graphics card’s 3D settings from maximum quality to maximum performance. I then ran it from my internal disk, and it crashed while loading my character. I’m reinstalling my graphics drivers now. I’m going to continue to update this post as a personal log so I can keep track of what’s happening.
Update: Reinstalling video card drivers didn’t work. I have a couple options. I can try installing older video card drivers or trying to go to DirectX 9. Using DirectX 9 would kind of annoy me though. DirectX 10 is one of the few things Vista has going for it.
Update at 5:52 PM: Installed the latest nVidia beta drivers, 181.00. Same problem when running World of Warcraft from the internal.
Update at 5:57 PM: Disabling all add-ons does not help!
Update at 6:23 PM: I wanted to try DirectX 9c, but Microsoft’s site won’t let you choose old versions. I found it easily on another site. I downloaded AVG Free because I wanted to scan it first. AVG stopping during install to tell me that my copy of Vista wasn’t up to date. I was missing the KB929547 patch. I checked Windows Update again, but it said I was completely up to date. I clicked check again, and my PC froze. This is the first time it’s frozen outside of a game. Here’s the description of the patch according to Microsoft: “Install this update to resolve an issue where after installing the Windows Filtering Platform (WFP) driver, applications and services appear to stop responding for approximately 15 seconds.” That doesn’t really sound like my problem because my computer stays frozen. I’ll try getting it anyways.
Update at 10:44 PM: I went back to Windows Update, but it still said I had everything completely up to date. I told to check again, and after it checked a couple times, it found more updates. Weird. I updated a whole bunch. Same problem.
Update at 11:52 PM: I found out that DirectX 9 won’t work in Vista, so there’s no need for me to worry about trying that. I tried running WoW as an administrator, but it still crashed. My account is an administrator already, but I think in Vista you have to run applications as administrator to use those privileges. I’m not positive though. I also tried running it in XP SP 2 compatibility mode. That didn’t work either. I still need to try both together, but I doubt that’ll yield better results. Also, I need to turn UAC off to see if that helps. Another thing to consider is that I changed the compatibility of and tried running as administrator Launcher.exe, which launches wow.exe. I don’t know if the compatibility option or “run as administrator” settings carry over to an .exe launched by the original .exe. I guess I need to look into that too! At least I have this log to keep my thoughts coherent.
Update at 12/23/08, 9:39 PM: I realized that I hadn’t tried any games other than World of Warcraft yet. I didn’t really think that mattered since I froze outside of WoW while checking for updates with Windows Update. I ran Left 4 Dead and played a full level with everything on high settings. It ran really well! Then I tried WoW again. I ran the copy stored on my internal drive, and for the first time ever, I got into the game! I noticed that my add-ons were all off and wondered if that’s what was causing the problems before. However, I was pretty sure they were off because the last thing I tried last night was turning them off. Anyways, I logged out, turned my add-ons back on, and tried to log in again. It froze! I found the problem, right? Wrong! I rebooted, turned them all off, and it froze again trying to login. I’m not really sure what’s wrong! It makes me want to play more Xbox!