Thanks for the thoughts. The RAM is 2x2GB modules - the POST speed looks normal to me.
Unfortunately I don't have a Windows 7 licence and I wasn't planning to invest in one right now just for this problem, but on the last installation (which I wiped) I did have a dual-boot linux setup. The linux X-Server/KDE seemed to behave normally (I didn't do a lot with it though), so I suspect it is a windows / H55 issue.
I have more or less striped the system down to the basics, though it does also have a DVD drive which I haven't disconnected - could try that. What do you mean by testing "out of the chassis"? Do you suspect some sort of interference or noise in the case? The system is stable, it never crashes, always comes back and behaves normally if you just wait for a bit.
I also tried booting windows in protected mode with VGA res. - that didn't make any difference.
I am not sure really whats going on, which i swhy i am suggesting everything thing i can think, as afar as i know there isn't a specific issue with the H55 and XP. What SP is XP? ill try an do a test and install it here... also in what order did you install the drivers? did you get them form the CD or the web site?
Do you have another HDD to test?
Does it do this staright form installation, before installing any drivers? or activating windows?
Also have you tested teh system with only one memory module at a time?
Thanks for the ideas. Of course it could also be a hardware fault somewhere. I assume if it were a general H55 / Win XP issue it would be widely known and my searches before posting would have turned up some similar reports.
All my components are new, bought for this computer. I have Service Pack 2, slipstreamed into the Win XP install CD, which is a corporate version, so no activation. I installed windows and then the drivers from the CD supplied with the motherboard - I'm not 100% sure at what point the problem first appeared. No, I haven't tested with just one memory module - could easily do so though, will try that tonight. I could try another HDD too, though that will mean another install of course.
Ok, a quick update, i just tested the board withg XP SP2 and it worked fine, no issue at all. I am afraid you are going to have to reinstall prob a few times and tested prob all the components and cables. when you do the next reinstall, see if it does it straight away, before any drivers or win updates are installed. when you do install teh drivers use teh ones from teh web site and install in this order Chipset audio Video lan ME.
I would def test each RAM module individually also the HDD and HDD cables and ports. same goes for the dvd. Sorry but it is going to be a process of elimination for you!
Hey many thanks! I am most impressed that you did an installation just to check out my problem! I was convinced it was an MB problem so your input to the contrary definitely helped me in the right direction. Well I spent a couple more days reading forums and finally found the problem so I thought I would report back just in case this helps someone else. I have a 1,5TB Western Digital WD15EARS HDD in the system and that thing is DEAD SLOW unless you first run the WD Align formatting utility on it - something to do with the WD use of 4KB blocks instead of 512B blocks. I checked out the speed with CrystalDiskMark and especially for small write operations it was unbelievably slow (0,09MB/s!), so I guess anything that e.g. updates a last access time on a file or whatever was hanging. Alternatively you can apparantly jumper pins 7-8 before installation - it's explained here
Anyway I ran the advanced format and now the hangs in the system are all gone gone gone :-)))
Thanks again, David
I saw a similar hangup with analog output from a set-top box with a TV card. Being very new to Media Center I suspect I should have stopped playback before closing. In any event it seems odd that even though CPU usage goes from about 3% with digital to 15% with analog (no hardware decoder) there would be a problem. I'm also not sure how to interpret usage since multiple cores are present. With XP and digital your experience is different and hard drive speed is relevant for TV particularly for full Media functionality.