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Blue Screen- Hard Drive Problem Or Something Else?


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#1 marshale

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Posted 15 June 2008 - 11:04 AM

Hi all, I'd appreciate your help on this one.

I have a DELL laptop which started getting blue screen error messages a few weeks ago. The error message changed each time. Following this, I reinstalled the operating system (windows xp) and it's no longer crashing in the same way. However, I am still getting blue screens, but the comp restarts itself after displaying error message, so I haven't been able to record what it says.
It doesn't seem to matter what I am doing at the time- eg using Word, Internet, Photoshop etc all can trigger this blue screen. I think it may be a problem with my hard drive, but this laptop is 4 years old and I am on my second hard drive already. Before I get a third hard drive, I am wondering if there could be something else causing this problem?

Thank you!

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#2 hamluis

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Posted 15 June 2008 - 11:48 AM

Error messages provide the keys to understanding :thumbsup:.

If you can post one or more, then we can make reasonable suggestions.

To stop the computer from restarting after errors, see Disable Auto Reboot On System Crash - http://www.theeldergeek.com/auto_reboot_on_system_crash.htm

Louis

Edited by hamluis, 15 June 2008 - 11:49 AM.


#3 marshale

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Posted 15 June 2008 - 12:00 PM

Thank you- have disabled the auto reboot as you advised. I'll be back on as soon as the next blue screen occurs...
Thanks again.

#4 eLenka

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Posted 16 June 2008 - 08:23 AM

You can view error message via Event viewer
Start -> Settings -> Control Panel -> Administrative Tools -> Event Viewer

You need browse System events.

#5 marshale

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Posted 17 June 2008 - 11:34 AM

Hi again, sorry for the delay but was waiting for my next blue screen to show up...
eLenka, thanks for the tip, but I've only just seen your reply.

So- here's what the last blue screen says:

The usual stuff about a problem has been detected etc. The technical information at the bottom says :

STOP: 0x000000F4 (0x00000003, 0x820FADA0, 0x820FAF14, 0x805c749A)

At the time of blue screen, I was working on a Word document, but this is the same blue screen message I was getting a few weeks ago before reinstalling the operating system. Back then it would happen very frequently- didn't seem to matter what I was doing, or what programs were open although it occurred several times after I moved the laptop.

Thanks again for your thoughts on this.

#6 hamluis

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Posted 17 June 2008 - 04:35 PM

From what I read...it seems that your hard drive is attached as a slave, rather than a master.

I don't think that applies, since you have a laptop, with (likely) one hard drive, not two or more :thumbsup:.

To be honest, I have no clue, based on what I have read for your particular error.

What I would do:

a. Run chkdsk /r or the equivalent on the C: partition. It's easier to follow the directions for running the Graphical Version via My Computer, XP Chkdsk, Using the Graphical Version (My Computer) - http://www.updatexp.com/windows-xp-chkdsk.html . You want to put check marks in both options (scan, recover).

b. Run a long test diagnostic from the hard drive manufacturer, after the chkdsk completes. It doesn't hurt to be more sure that there isn't a hard drive problem.

Louis

#7 marshale

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Posted 17 June 2008 - 05:21 PM

Hi thanks for your help.
You're right- I have just one hard drive.
I ran chkdsk which returned nothing, although it really took its time...
Tried to run diagnostic test for Hitachi hd but can't get it to run properly- says it can't initialise, maybe this is connected to the problem?
Also, from the Event List in my computer, the most frequently occuring problem ( with extra info from Microsoft Help Desk) seems to be:

Details
Product: Windows Operating System
ID: 11
Source: Disk
Version: 5.0
Symbolic Name: IO_ERR_CONTROLLER_ERROR
Message: The driver detected a controller error on %1.

Explanation
This problem is typically caused by a failing cable that connects the drive to the computer.


User Action
Replace the cable.


I really don't know what this means. Any ideas...? Thanks again for your help with this.

#8 hamluis

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Posted 17 June 2008 - 09:15 PM

OK...what I suggest is...remove the drive in question from its connections, then reattach same, making sure that no pins are bent and that connections are proper.

I cannot think of anything else to suggest on a laptop...on a desktop, the connecting cables (both power supply and motherboard) could easily be switched to try to isolate/eliminate the problem.

That particular error message can be a bad cable/connector or a loose connection to the drive, IMO.

Louis




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