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Diagnosing faulty component


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#1 danthecancanman

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Posted 15 May 2010 - 07:18 AM

I started my computer (Dell Dimension 4700, XP Home, about 5 years old so hardware problems inevitable) and received a Stop 0x00000024, NTFS.sys BSOD error. I re-tried in safe mode, but with no success - still couldn't get beyond that error message. Since then, I have done the following:

- used a Knoppix Live CD to access my hard drive and salvage all files that hadn't been backed up.
- used Recovery Console to run chkdsk which "fixed one or more errors", and to overwrite NTFS.sys with the version from the XP CD
- removed and replaced RAM (removed each stick individually, and tried booting with the other in place)
- tried to reinstall XP. After the drive was formatted and the files were copied from the CD, the computer rebooted "to continue Setup from the hard drive" as it should. Upon doing this, a Stop 0xF4 error appeared, and continues to appear on every subsequent reboot (sometimes 0xc0000005)
- spotted "hard drive diagnostics" in the boot menu, which results in a "Fail: Return Code 7". A bit of searching suggests "bad sectors"
- some more diagnostics, which resulted in "2F00:0119. Suspected memory component on System board, at label CHANNEL A DIMM 0" - motherboard? RAM?

I'm not really very informed in terms of hardware - for example, what hardware is involved when booting from CD? Hopefully there are enough clues in there to allow a reasonable guess as to what the problem is. I don't want to go out and buy a new hard drive, for example, only to find out that the problem is much deeper (eg motherboard).

Grateful for any guidance! :thumbsup:

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#2 MrBruce1959

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Posted 15 May 2010 - 08:36 AM

Well lets see if some answers come your way.

From reading what you've discribed so far, I'd have to say your hard drive has seen better days.

If your hard drive has been whirling away for the past 5 years, I'd say you've gotten good use out of it so far.

Based on your saying there was bad sectors detected on the drive is a sign the platters have taken a few hits from the read/write heads and this in its self causes the heads to wear as well.

Corrupted data or parts of files that are missing, the OS can sometimes make sense of what is what, to a point.

But failure has reared its ugly head upon this hard drive, so my suggestion is to replace the hard drive and most of your worries will go away.

That about sums it up. :thumbsup:
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#3 danthecancanman

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Posted 15 May 2010 - 09:05 AM

Thanks for the reply. I suspected it was a hard drive issue, but does the last point not suggest something more than that (quite possibly in addition to hard drive)? I don't want to end up in a wild goose chase of buying a new hard drive only to find that it still doesn't boot, then buying new RAM only to find out the same etc...

#4 MrBruce1959

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Posted 15 May 2010 - 09:41 AM

Thanks for the reply. I suspected it was a hard drive issue, but does the last point not suggest something more than that (quite possibly in addition to hard drive)? I don't want to end up in a wild goose chase of buying a new hard drive only to find that it still doesn't boot, then buying new RAM only to find out the same etc...


You have some valid concerns and I understand that, I would too and I always do. :thumbsup:

With that said, we know your hard drive is showing signs of disk ware when bad sectors start showing up, what happens there is your scan disk or check disk (Abbriv. chkdsk in XP and up) is marking sectors where files are located as (do not go there!) and those sectors are lost along with any files that might have existed there. Too many missing pieces of data eventually creates a program that no longer works properly, specially if you start losing important critical .dll files.

Eventually the streaks around the platter from the head crashes grow longer damaging more data and so on.

When you open a hard drive after its failed, you'd be amazed at the spiraling streaks you'll see, kind of like a cdrom or dvd disk that the laser smacked into, you can repair a cd or dvd within limits, but hard drives are not supposed to be opened and exposed at all.

So basically what I'm saying here with a little bit of an explanation, is that your drive has already given you reasons to believe it is waring out.

As for RAM issues, I would not rule that part out either, RAM can go bad, sure it can, but your hard drive has already shown you positive signs it is beginning to fail.

Edited by MrBruce1959, 15 May 2010 - 09:46 AM.

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#5 danthecancanman

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Posted 15 May 2010 - 09:50 AM

Thanks again. I have a netbook and another PC, so I guess it's just a tough decision to know whether to start spending money trying to salvage this system or not. I just wish I had lots of spare parts lying around so I could try swapping things in and out etc. I guess if I took it to a PC repair place, they'd be able to tell me the full extent of the problem before I start spending any money?

#6 MrBruce1959

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Posted 15 May 2010 - 10:37 AM

Sure they would but with a service charge.

Hang in there, you'll have plenty of stuff laying around the shop before you know it.

I just threw out a bunch of old 486 processors and some old hard drives that are the size of your CDROM drive and weigh about 3 pounds and only hold about 30 Megabytes. Try loading Windows 7 on one of those drives....No way! LOL

But trust me the stuff will accumilate fast enough. And just as fast, it will become obsolete as well.

Edited by MrBruce1959, 15 May 2010 - 10:40 AM.

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#7 hamluis

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Posted 15 May 2010 - 01:07 PM

Well...I would not consider the purchase of a hard drive...as something extraordinary for a system and I would not consider investing in a new hard drive as spending money on a system. A hard drive has continued life beyond any system and is easily used by any replacement system that users might procure.

A failing/bad hard drive...does not a bad system make, especially so when the standard life of a hard drive (covered by warranty) is typically 3 years.

OTOH...if a motherboard requires replacement...that would be my time to start thinking "newer" system.

Louis




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