BAD_POOL_HEADER... taking the next step
So I've been dealing with some major computer errors for a little while now. At first I thought I had found a way around them... but as everyone knows, a way around doesn't fix the problem, only hides it until it comes back.
Well, it's come back.
I started to get (seemingly) random "BAD_POOL_HEADER" blue screens, and the computer would shut down. After a little probing around, the error started to come more consistently whenever I would use Windows Media Player. That in mind, I downloaded a free player (KM Player... it's okay), and got rid of all links to WMP. And things were good for a little while.
But now the problem has returned, especially when I boot the computer. Often it will attempt to boot, have an error shortly after loading Vista, and the blue screen out with the same "BAD_POOL_HEADER" warning.
Now I believe I've found the source of the problem... which is two-fold. First, my computer is getting up there in years. It's almost 3 years old now, and has had a myriad of programs installed, uninstalled, and so on. I have never reformatted or reinstalled Vista, so I'm sure by now things are getting pretty confused on the inside. However, that's not really a reason why the computer would blue screen out, only a reason why it boots so slowly.
The main problem I believe to be is my video card... an NVidia GeForce 7900 GS. Since I got it, I noticed that any time I would right click on the desktop (to change a setting, for example), the monitor would flash and glitch. I thought this was just "one of those things," and never thought too much of it. Additionally, a few months ago during a Windows update, a new driver was provided for the card... at the time, I installed the new driver, and the computer crapped out. Thinking it was a Windows issue, I rolled the computer back to a previous point and ignored the new driver. Thinking perhaps it was about time I tried it again, I recently tried re-installing the driver. You know what happened? "BAD_POOL_HEADER" again, and while it downloaded the driver, it was unable to install it.
All this has brought me to my conclusion... (1) it's time to re-install Windows (possibly upgrade to "7"), and (2) it's time to buy a new video card.
My question really is: "Does that make sense to those 'in the know?'"
It seems almost a little too logical to me... the screen flashes, WMP can't play videos, and I can't update the driver... the problem must be the video card. But that seems too much like what any idiot who knows how to push a few buttons would think... and being that I'm just that idiot, I remain a little skeptical.
So what do ya'll think? Does that make sense? Is that the best place to start... replacing the video card? Or is there something else I should try before I buy any new parts? Any help or suggestion would be really appreciated!
Here is my system info (I hope I got all the relevant stuff):
Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium (32-bit)
Version: 6.0.6002 Service Pack 2 Build 6002
System Type: X86-based PC
Processor: Intel(R) Core(TM)2 CPU 6600 @ 2.40GHz, 2400 Mhz, 2 Core(s), 2 Logical Processor(s)
BIOS Version/Date: Phoenix Technologies, LTD ASUS P5N-E SLI ACPI BIOS Revision 0602, 4/25/2007
SMBIOS Version: 2.4
Installed Physical Memory (RAM): 3.00 GB
Available Physical Memory: 1.48 GB
Hard Drive (C:\): Hitachi HDT72525032VLA SCSI Disk Drive (298.09 GB)
Hard Drive (B:\): ST315003 41AS SCSI Disk Device (1.36 TB)
Hard Drive (B:\): ST350063 0AS SCSI Disk Device (465.76 GB)
Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce 7900 GS
PNP Device ID: PCI\VEN_10DE&DEV_0292&SUBSYS_C6223842&REV_A1\4&15F 80C0A&0&0018
Adapter Type: GeForce 7900 GS, NVIDIA compatible
Adapter RAM: 256.00 MB (268,435,456 bytes)
Installed Drivers: nvd3dum.dll
Driver Version: 188.8.131.5245
(Connected to 2 Samsung SyncMaster 941BW monitors)
0x00000019 (0x00000020, 0x858B3000, 0x858B3A00, 0x09400000)
I tried to get an event log profile, but for whatever reason (while there were many errors) none appeared to correspond to this particular problem.