Hi, I've tried checking to make sure there are no older posts with the same problems so please excuse me if I missed one. Apologies in advance for what will be a long post I recently took the plunge and built my own PC rather than buying a prebuilt one. I approached the task with some trepidation, it's a very expensive way to learn from your mistakes Anyway, first I'll list my spec, and then launch into the problems I've been having in the hopes someone can help me as I'm at my wits' end here. Spec: AMD Phenom II X4 Quad Core 955 Black Edition 3.2GHz (Socket AM3) - Retail Titan TTC-NK85TZ Fenrir CPU Cooler (Socket 754/939/940/AM2+/LGA775/LGA1366) XFX ATI Radeon HD 4890 1GB GDDR5 PCI-Express Graphics Card - Inc. Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X Corsair XMS3 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 10666C9 1333MHz TwinX Dual Channel (TW3X4G1333C9) Corsair XMS3 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 10666C9 1333MHz TwinX Dual Channel (TW3X4G1333C9) Pioneer DVR-216DBK 20x DVD±RW SATA Dual Layer ReWriter (Black) - OEM Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 500GB SATA-II 16MB Cache - OEM (ST3500418AS) Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 500GB SATA-II 16MB Cache - OEM (ST3500418AS) Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium 7.1 Sound Card (70SB088000000) Antec 900 Ultimate Gaming Case - Black (No PSU) Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-Bit - OEM (66I-01939) Logitech G15 Gaming Keyboard (920-000375) MSI 790FX-GD70 AMD 790FX (Socket AM3) PCI-Express DDR3 Motherboard OCZ Freeze Extreme Thermal Conductivity Compound OCZ ModXStream Pro 700w Silent SLI Ready ATX2 Modular Power Supply Logitech G5 Gaming-Grade Laser Mouse (910-000094) Creative Fatal1ty Gaming Headset (51MZ0310AA001) Samsung Syncmaster 245B Problems: After putting it all together, I booted the system, went into the bios to set the time etc, then saved and booted. I got to a screen asking for a boot disk, so installed my new oem copy of vista home premium 64 bit SP1. Installation went fine, system booted up. Next, I put my mobo drivers disk in the optical drive and installed the chipset drivers and ethernet drivers. I then looked at 'the windows experience' and saw my system rating was 1.0. So I inserted the gfx card drivers. It wouldn't let me install the drivers from the disk, it literally forced me to go online to get the latest drivers from XFX/ATI. The new catalyst (9.5) downloaded and installed, but said it failed to load the windows C++ files. Windows experience now said I had a rating of 5.9. I then installed the drivers for my G15 keyboard and G5 mouse Then I installed the copy of H.A.W.X. that came free with the gfx card. This said it installed the windows C++ drivers and succeeded. After this, I installed steam, firefox, registered on a few of my old forums. I was getting this weird problem occasionally where the screen would freeze, go black and say my gpu had stopped responding and reset itself. Meanwhile, windows update was downloading all sorts of things to my system. So, the screen suddenly went haywire while I was looking at some pictures I'd downloaded from my digital camera, with weird jagged lines all over it like a corrupted vista bootup screen. I then reset the system. Upon rebooting, the new windows updates were configuring themselves, and I got another screen freeze, or maybe I was just being impatient. But after several minutes of apparent total inactivity I hit the reset button before windows had fully booted. While the PC was restarting, I got a strange message. It said "Boot critical file C:\windows\system32\ntoskrnl.exe is missing or corrupt" It told me to boot from the vista disc and use repair system, but the vista disc was unable to repair it. The only way I could boot was to install vista on the second hdd and boot from there. Error code was 0x490 status 0xc0000221 Apparently this occasionally happens on multi-core processors sometimes due to memory getting locked by one application and simultaneously called by another. So anyway, as a workaround, I installed Vista onto my 2nd HDD. Install went fine, so I swapped the sata cables on the two drives so that what used to be the 2nd drive in the boot order was now the first. After using the new HDD, my gfx card hasn't reset once, but it also won't let me install the drivers. It lets me install Catalyst 9.5, but when I try to run the setup procedure, it fails to install the display drivers and the hd audio drivers. I installed the drivers for my G15, and rebooted the machine. Not sure if I installed anything else before the reboot though. Upon rebooting, the system had to perform a checkdisk. It found 3 errors and fixed them. I then installed HL2 and CS:S from steam, but every time I tried to run them, it said "verifying game files" and failed to start them. So I rebooted again, and once again checkdisk ran. This time it founds loads of errors, fixed them and then moved lots of orphaned files. Check disk was running every time I rebooted. So after doing some research, (answers were on techrepublic.com) I checked the registry settings for check disk, and these were fine. I then did the fsutil dirty check and was told my drive was dirty. So using chkntfs /x C: I disabled checkdisk for the next boot. After rebooting, I opened command prompt and did Chkdsk /f /r C: Upon reboot, this ran a full checkdisk, which took well over an hour and cleaned the dirty bit. Check disk hasn't run since. One problem solved. During the next reboot, I noticed that on the screen where it gives me the choice between which hard drive to boot from (both now having vista installed) there's also a toold option to run windows memory test. It does two passes and after both passes, windows booted and told me my memory was fine. (Which I'm glad about because my fenrir is a big beast and I'd have to remove it to remove the RAM.) It's also constantly failing to install the majority of windows updates after they're downloaded, still won't run any steam apps (I've already deleted and reinstalled these with no luck) and won't let me install the drivers for my gfx card or soundcard. Or the drivers for my monitor. I've gone into system manager and it says that the VGA device has been stopped. I'm wondering if that's because it detected my 4890 or if it's yet another problem to deal with. Is there anyone out there who has survived this wall of text and can help please?