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Cannot Use Computer (blue Screen At Startup)


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#1 strawberryfields

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Posted 23 August 2008 - 11:48 AM

Hi there.

I'm posting from an internet cafe, I will try to provide any info that may be requested by anyone here. The computer is a Pentium 4, 160GB hard drive, 512MB RAM. Purchased new from Dell about 3 years ago. Believe the video card is an integrated 128MB card.

Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition (build 2600) SP 2.0
Architecture: X86; Language: English

CPU 0: IntelŪ PentiumŪ 4 CPU 3.00GHz

A few months ago, I noticed a clicking / beeping sound coming from within the mid-tower case, sometimes a single loud beep, sometimes several (8-10) beep-clicks in succession. When this started happening, the flickering activity light on the front (related to computer/RAM activity, I believe) stopped flickering and became solid, the computer froze up and went to a blue screen. A reboot generally resolved the problem. In April, I was infected by a trojan virus, and this crashing problem became much worse, happening more frequently. Once in a while, the beeping would stop and the computer would be usable after a minute or so, but most of the time when this happened it froze, went to blue screen and required a reboot. The trojan issue was resolved, see thread below for details and HJT logs if needed. Once the virus was removed, the crashing problem has continued, but with less frequency. I don't believe this problem is related to the virus, although it did seem to make things worse.

http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/ind...mp;#entry829454

I have been using IE for the most part, about 10 days ago I started using Firefox instead, and it seemed like that helped, as the crash problem only happened 2 or 3 times since ... until two days ago. Since then, it has been crashing 3 or 4 times a day, until last night when it did the same thing for the 3rd or 4th time of the day. Only this time, the computer will no longer reboot, in either regular or safe mode. It simply goes to a new blue screen.

In the past, when the computer froze up and went to blue screen, it was a generic error message, with this at the top:

KERNEL_DATA_INPAGE_ERROR

Now, when I try to turn the computer on, it beeps once, and takes me to a blue screen which displays the error message below. This happens in both normal mode and safe mode:

STOP: C0000218
The registry cannot load the hive (file):
\SystemRoot\System32\Config\DEFAULT
or its log or alternate.
It is corrupt, absent, or not writable.

Beginning dump of physical memory.
Physical memory dump complete.
Contact your system administrator or tech support group for further assistance.

The question is, what is causing this problem? My suspicion is faulty RAM, but do people think this is a hardware or software problem? Is it very serious, or something that we can fix, and if so, how?

This is a terrible time for this to happen as I am looking for a job at the moment, and need computer access. I am frustrated and now unable to use the computer. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Edited by strawberryfields, 23 August 2008 - 02:13 PM.


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#2 smurfgod

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Posted 23 August 2008 - 06:42 PM

If you have an OS disk ie XP Vista whatever you were using, try running a repair install on it. If you can burn cd's at the internet cafe You could dl a linux distribution. Ubuntu is a good one. Even if you don't choose to install it you can still run it live, off the cd rom drive.
I gotta ask tho, did you go into your registry and delete/change stuff? when you were trying to fix the trojan problem most likely? I avoid the registry like the plague just because of this problem you're having. I'm not saying it will work, in fact kind of skeptical but it's worth a shot. Also I'd like to point out that even if you can't burn the linux cd you can still order it. Although it does take a while to get one to you, but its still free.

#3 strawberryfields

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Posted 24 August 2008 - 12:10 PM

Hey. The OS is Windows XP. It was a Dell purchase, I will try to find the cd (I don't remember seeing one, but will assume they did provide one in the box).

Not entirely sure how to run a repair install, how exactly would I do that?

#4 hamluis

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Posted 24 August 2008 - 12:20 PM

Worth reading: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/307545

Same info...slightly different format, http://www.aade.com/XPhint/XPrecovery.htm

Louis

#5 garmanma

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Posted 24 August 2008 - 02:28 PM

If you can't find your disk, go here at the bottom of the page. They didn't charge me and took about a week

http://support.dell.com/support/topics/glo...lang=en&cs=
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why won't my laptop work?

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#6 strawberryfields

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Posted 24 August 2008 - 04:25 PM

I located everything that came with the computer, there were discs for a few programs but not for XP. I found a card stating "Your computer does not require an operating system CD or drivers CDs". It then refers me to the System Restore feature on the desktop, which of course I cannot access.

I have located some troubleshooting tips on the Dell website, which I'll try tonight. After that, I will have to talk to the Dell people or possibly take the hard drive into a computer store.

If anyone has any other suggestions, please let me know. I'll check back here on Monday. Thanks.

#7 strawberryfields

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Posted 22 September 2008 - 11:46 AM

An update on this situation:

I spoke to a Dell technician and described what was happening, and he seemed to think there was a 50/50 chance that the problem was related to either a faulty hard drive, or problems within the Windows registry. They were able to send me out the XP install discs, but since I believed the problem was hardware related, I took the computer in to a computer store instead. I explained the situation to the person in the store in some detail, but he ended up sending it to someone else who fixes computers for him, so I'm not sure how many of the details the second person actually heard. He ended up being able to get into the desktop, and retrieved quite a few files for me, before wiping the HD and re-installing Windows XP.

Upon returning home 2 or 3 weeks ago, the computer worked great for a couple of days, but then started doing the very same thing, with increasing frequency over the past week. I suppose it is possible that there was a virus on the DVD's he burned for me (of my previous files), but it seems much more likely at this point that is a hardware issue, rather than a problem in the registry.

The activity light on the front of the computer will turn solid, and the computer noises suggest activity is happening, even when the computer has been on but not used for a while. There is definitely something happening behind the scenes, and I haven't been able to pinpoint anything specific that causes this as it is totally random, sometimes the computer is fine for hours, other times it keeps crashing within 10 minutes after re-booting. Same thing, loud beeping/clicking sound coming from within the mid-tower case, then it freezes up and goes to a blue screen, or on a couple of occasions, a black screen error message.

I am still wondering if the problem is related to faulty RAM, another friend of mine thinks the motherboard is on the fritz. I would be grateful for any suggestions, let me know if there is any additional info required to make a diagnosis. At this point the computer is still able to boot up and I can use it, but at some point it will probably do the same thing as described in the first post.

Do you think the problem is:

- faulty hard drive
- faulty RAM
- faulty motherboard
- something else?

Thanks in advance for any help provided.

Edited by strawberryfields, 22 September 2008 - 11:48 AM.


#8 garmanma

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Posted 22 September 2008 - 12:52 PM

The first thing to do is to check the hard drive. Go to the support site of the hard drive manufacturer and download their diagnostic utility and run that. After that, we'll discuss testing the memory
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#9 strawberryfields

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Posted 23 September 2008 - 07:44 PM

Alright, I'm not entirely sure what I'm doing here, but I believe my hard drive is a MAXTOR 6Y160M0. I did some searching and found this diagnostic tool (SeaTools For Windows) on Seagate's website:

http://www.seagate.com/ww/v/index.jsp?loca...000dd04090aRCRD

I ran some Basic Tests:

S.M.A.R.T. - Pass
Short DST (Drive Self Test) - Pass
Long DST - Fail
Short Generic - Pass
Long Generic - Fail

I couldn't find any more information for the results of these tests, but two of them did produce a "Fail" result. There are also Advanced Tests in the SeaTools program, which I haven't attempted yet.

What would you suggest I do next?

#10 hamluis

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Posted 24 September 2008 - 09:57 AM

A failed long test (the short test is too short to be conclusive) indicates problems with the drive.

I suppose I'd like the specifics of the test data re the failures...but I would suggest moving any files you desire...from that drive ASAP. Once that is done, you can worry about what to do with the drive.

Hard drives are not terribly expensive these days, I think it's time to look at getting a new one.

Louis




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