Strange Crash Problem

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Not sure if this should be in the games forum but then I don't know if it's a hardware problem.

Last year I built a machine for a friend who unfortunately hasn't been able to use it till now because of faulty wiring.
Specs

MSI 865PE Neo2-P socket 478 mobo
P4 3.0ghz hyperthreading cpu
OCUK Radeon 9700 pro
Corsair Value Select memory DDR 2x256mb 400mhz sticks dual channel set up (I think, so long since I built it now). In slots 1 and 3 on the mobo.
Seagate 80gb sata hdd
using onboard AC 97 sound
400watt antec psu
all parts purchased from OCUK, the mobo/memory/cpu was a bundle.

Now I tested this machine solidly for a week using IL2 Sturmovik forgotten battles, cs-source/hl2 and raven shield plus ran 3dmark 05 and I think 03? for 3hrs each in loops with no problems at all.

But whenever the daughter of my friend plays Sims 2 (dvd edition(legit)) the machine will randomly go to a black screen (tft gets no signal type black screen) as if the machine has gone to standby.
On restart I get the dreaded windows can't load because a system/config file is missing or corrupted.
It's running XP-Pro (legit) with SP2 on and all updates upto date. AVG free anti-virus and has office 2003 (legit) installed and patched upto date.
So I've had to do a reinstall of xp twice without losing any of their files (which are backed up on 2 seperate external sources now) redone all the patches and updates and it does exactly the same again.
Checked memory speed on mobo was originally set to auto but is now set to 400mhz, agp was at 8x tried that on 4x (card is capable of both), agp aperture set to 64, 128 and 256 making no difference. Heat is fine, nothing gets hot, got a lovely centurion case.
So has anyone got any ideas what might be causing this to crash so devastatingly?
I can understand the odd crash to desktop but to damage a system config file every time?
Nothing apart from avg is running in the background when this happens. I've failed to recreate the problem myself with it only having to be reset and starting up again fine afterwards so maybe it's a certain point you reach in the game that triggers it?
I'm at a complete loss so any help appreciated. :(


ps: no artifacts or any other problems, just yesterday ran 3dmark 05 (yes I know the card is a bit old for that but I wanted to give it a workout), absolutely flies through every app thrown at it without complaint. Just this bloody game and it's the only game she likes!
 
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So I've still not managed to recreate the problem and I'm still none the wiser for possible causes.
Does anyone have any helpful tips or hints. Something I've missed?
It's completely stable with everything else I've thrown at it, I'm slowly approaching the hammer solution which isn't good since it's not my machine.
 
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Yup it's patched up to the latest edition as are all drivers. PC has run absolutely perfectly since I removed the game disc from it's owner to test on my own machine (without problems). I guess I was hoping someone on here might've encountered similar problems :(
 
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Sir Random said:
From my experience, that's a sign of faulty ram. Try running memtest for a few hours.


You were spot on, sorry for taking so long to reply but that was indeed the fault, picked up on first pass of memtest and again on repeated tests just to be absolutely 100% sure I didn't halluncinate. Owner of the PC was persuaded to upgrade whilst waiting on rma stuff with the old memory and now has a 1gb dual channel kit and a very very smooth running pc (which I promised him I'd build!) :D .

Just a bit peeved that we're getting the runaround on rma'ing the memory with the the seller giving us the "send it back to corsair" stuff when I'm pretty sure (but ready to be wrong) that the first stop is with them rather than paying out postage costs to the usa.
I'm trying to avoid putting this post into locked/deleted stuff but we all know how hard it can be to get straight answers on something that should be straightforward
 
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