Windows 7 has beaten me

#1
Building an HTPC has long been a challenge I wanted to tackle. I wanted a system that would be able to watch/record cable, play Blu-rays and also play some games. My build:

Intel Core Duo CPU
ASUS P5Q-E
4 Gb DDR2-800
EVGA Gtx 260 Core 216
LG GBW-H20L BD-R
Enermax 625W
1 Tb Samsung Spinpoint F1 HD103UJ
Auzentech X-Fi Home Theater (driver RC 4.5)
Hauppauge PVR-150

Keyboard Logitech diNovo mini
Logitech Harmony One remote

Monitor/TV Samsung LN-T4761F

Stereo Amplifier: Yamaha RXV-1600 (HDMI 1.2 only)

BD software Software: PowerDVD 9 Ultra (recently upgraded to 10 Ultra)

Initially the build had Vista Ultimate in it. Everything worked fine. My video went through the X-Fi and to my TV. Since my Yamaha doesn't have HDMI 1.3, I was using SPDIF out for the sound. This made things cumbersome switching to DD Live for video games and back again for everything else. Also, the Samsung Auto-Motion Plus settings looked better when I moved out of PC mode, but then that required me resizing my desktop to less than 1920X1020, but that all worked into a routine at least.

Enter Windows 7. With all the anti-Vista hype, I purchased Windows 7 Pro 32 bit. Since then, I have successively had to contend with two things: 1: when playing a Blu-ray, the movie will stutter with a corresponding CPU spike, with the audio continuing before the picture jumps forward again. And 2: the dreaded black screen of death.

For 1: I've disabled everything. Viruses, taskbar programs, Windows Update. Doesn't work. I run ReClock in the background, didn't seem to do anything. I unchecked the certificate thing that I read about in an AVS forum. Didn't work. What would cause CPU spikes with my new system?

For 2:
I've tried the PrevX fix. Didn't work.
Sometimes my IR blaster registered as faulty (I understand that the PVR-150 isn't fully compatible with Win7), so I disable it to reboot. That doesn't work.
I tried searching for viruses (Microsoft Security Essentials), and I've done the scandisk fix. Doesn't work.
I’ve unplugged the video from the X-Fi card and put it back directly into the TV. Didn’t work.

However, sometimes, it does work. I don't know what I do, but it does. The last thing I did recently from the last time it did work was update the nVidia drivers from 197.45 to 257.21. Now, nothing seems to work.

I’ve since gone back into safe mode, uninstalled the graphics card, rebooted, used driver sweeper, reinstalled the latest driver and done it again. Didn’t work.

After all the money I paid, I went out and bought a Samsung BD-C6500 for $230. I guess I'll go and try a system restore later and see what happens. Until then, I'm using my dependable Windows XP machine with a brick worth two grand that makes a black screen and a mouse cursor sitting in my living room.

Any help or insight will be appreciated.
 


Saltgrass

Excellent Member
Microsoft Community Contributor
#2
To start, since I do not run such a system as yours, some of you comments about settings I will not understand.

But, what speed of processor are you using?

Does the Home Theater card have Win 7 drivers? It uses a Creative chipset and Win 7 has had problems with some of those, even though I believe the X-Fi is compatible.

You have onboard audio.

If I were you, I would try to remove all unnecessary devices I could. Run the video directly from the Nvidia card using DVI or DVI-HDMI converter. You can add sound using the HDMI converter if it would help. Also the Nvidia 200.x drivers are mainly for the 400 cards. When I was running my 260, I actually had to go back to an earlier 100 series driver for it to work correctly in my games. Nvidia has put a lot of effort into the 3D portion of their drivers, so if you do not do 3D, they may actually be hurting your performance.

And you are right about the PVR 150, it is iffy with Win 7. Are you attempting to use Windows Media Player or the Win 6 TV?
 


#3
Thanks for the reply.

My CPU is actually a Quad Q6600 (mistook my CPU for my other computer)

Auzentech's driver says that is Windows 7 compatible: Auzentech, Inc. Sound Cards. Audio You Can Believe In. World First soundcards for Music, HTPC, and Gaming.
I'm using WMC for TV and PowerDVD for DVD playback. There is a HVR-1250 on sale at ncix so I will look into that.
Thanks for the tip on the nVidia drivers, I will return to the 100 series drivers if the problems persist.
 


Saltgrass

Excellent Member
Microsoft Community Contributor
#4
How did you get WMC to configure? I tried, and even though I did not realize I had an IR Blaster on the IR cable, it would not find the necessary hardware. I ended up using a fake IR Blaster driver to get it to work.
 


Saltgrass

Excellent Member
Microsoft Community Contributor
#5
Some information just in case it might help. I put my pvr-150 back in Win 7 x64. I had to play with it some, so what I saw may be due to certain drivers being set up correctly.

Anyway, I installed the drivers, and WinTV6 using the S-Video input. The video was very bad and ran very slowly and some time the Win 7 utility would not even start. I did 2 things, which one may have effected the performance the most, I do not yet know. I set the utility to run as Admin and Vista SP2 compatibility mode, and changed to the composite video input. Now the utility starts right up and the video looks good and no more hesitating.

I would use the Windows Media Center, but I cannot get past the Blaster hardware not found error page. If the video continues to look as good as it does tonight, I might spring for the WMC IR package and get the USB IR Blaster compatible with WMC. The Fake IR Blaster will not work in x64 and I have an e-mail from Hauppauge that if you Run Win 7 x64 and have more than 4 GB of memory, you may experience problems.... Since I have both, I do expect problems to pop up for me at some point.
 


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