Jump to content


 


Register a free account to unlock additional features at BleepingComputer.com
Welcome to BleepingComputer, a free community where people like yourself come together to discuss and learn how to use their computers. Using the site is easy and fun. As a guest, you can browse and view the various discussions in the forums, but can not create a new topic or reply to an existing one unless you are logged in. Other benefits of registering an account are subscribing to topics and forums, creating a blog, and having no ads shown anywhere on the site.


Click here to Register a free account now! or read our Welcome Guide to learn how to use this site.

Photo

Laptop Running Strangely After Fresh XP Install


  • Please log in to reply
16 replies to this topic

#1 Unfortunato

Unfortunato

  • Members
  • 135 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:02:16 AM

Posted 15 November 2010 - 09:14 AM

Hi folks,

I'm just hoping to get a bit of advice here. I have a friend's laptop (Acer Aspire 1640Z) that I said I'd sort out for him - it's around 3 or 4 years old, and he'd been complaining that things were starting to become very sluggish, even after defrags, tune-ups etc. So I said I'd reinstall XP for him, and he was happy enough for me to do this.

On the first install attempt, the keyboard was working - I was able to hit 'Enter' etc whilst going through the set-up menu - but when Windows asks for a username, the keyboard wouldn't work. This was something which he said happened every now and again (whilst in Windows). I restarted, let the set-up process restart itself, and then the keyboard worked fine. Even after an apparently successful install, there were again times when the laptop would seem to decide on its own whether the keyboard would work or not! Other odd problems were not being able to view Device Manger by right clicking on my computer, properties and so on - I had to go into control panel. It would also hang just after choosing shutdown from the start menu, and would often require a hard power-down. Also, driver installation would apparently not complete, and would hang during the process.

I knew it was nothing I had done with the machine, yet I felt bad as I'd told him all would be well after reinstalling... So, I decided to run a few checks. After running Memtest for about 7 or so hours, it returned no errors. I downloaded SeaTools for Windows, to run diagnostic checks on the Seagate HDD - and 2 of the longer tests failed. SeaTools itself suggested 'SeaTools for DOS', which I downloaded and ran - it also has an option to repair any bad sectors it finds (one, in this case). So after repairing the sector, it ran the test again, which it passed. My next step was then to wipe and format the drive again, and install XP. Things had been looking better after having done this, but it's playing up again as described before. Installing any software seems to hang. I'm also getting 'not responding' errors when trying to shutdown, from 'Power Meter' and 'ZcfgSvc.exe'. Even when the machine is powered through the wall socket, and not through the battery, the screen is sometimes pretty dark too, as if it's in power saving mode or something.

I would hate to be the bearer of bad news if I had to tell him his laptop was ready for the graveyard... any ideas? Thanks for reading. :thumbup2:

BC AdBot (Login to Remove)

 


#2 Barajiqal

Barajiqal

  • Members
  • 127 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Local time:08:16 PM

Posted 15 November 2010 - 11:04 AM

Hmm, with some failed hdd tests even though they are "repaired" I thinks it is the hard drive failing. Maybe worth attempting a new one with another fresh install. Run the HDD utilities again and see if it doesn't fail some of the long tests?

-bar
"I am Become Death, Destroyer of Worlds" - (Verse 32 Chapter 11 of the Bhagavad Gita) Robert J Oppenheimer

"Any Man Who Has a Habit and Cannot Bear to Share it Should not Have the Habit at All" - Misqoute From Rolland of Gillead in the Stephen King Series The Dark Tower

#3 Unfortunato

Unfortunato
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 135 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:02:16 AM

Posted 15 November 2010 - 11:20 AM

Hi Barajiqal, thanks for replying. :thumbup2:

Yeah, I ran two of the long tests with the 'Seagate Tools for Windows', both of which failed - and also, after running both the 'Seagate DOS Tools' short and long tests, both of them failed. Like yourself, I tend to be sceptical of the tool's claims that the bad sectors are 'repaired'!

#4 Barajiqal

Barajiqal

  • Members
  • 127 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Local time:08:16 PM

Posted 15 November 2010 - 12:18 PM

Hmmm. most unfortunate(read unfortunato :hysterical: ), but it may be time for a new hdd in that laptop. I think that laptop hdd tend to be a more finiky then desktop ones due to size constraints. Best of luck. post back what you decide to do.

-bar

Edited by Barajiqal, 15 November 2010 - 12:20 PM.

"I am Become Death, Destroyer of Worlds" - (Verse 32 Chapter 11 of the Bhagavad Gita) Robert J Oppenheimer

"Any Man Who Has a Habit and Cannot Bear to Share it Should not Have the Habit at All" - Misqoute From Rolland of Gillead in the Stephen King Series The Dark Tower

#5 hamluis

hamluis

    Moderator


  • Moderator
  • 56,302 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Killeen, TX
  • Local time:08:16 PM

Posted 15 November 2010 - 12:22 PM

FWIW: Bad sectors are not normally repaired...they are usually just marked as bad and not used. I cannot say that is what the SeaTools diagnostic did, but that would be my guess.

The chkdsk /r function will move data from bad sectors and relocate it to good sectors of the drive. I suspect that SeaTools also does this.

See comments by GlowingBlueMist at http://www.wirelessforums.org/alt-comp-hardware/seatools-cant-fix-bad-sectors-35445.html

Louis

#6 Unfortunato

Unfortunato
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 135 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:02:16 AM

Posted 15 November 2010 - 02:14 PM

FWIW: Bad sectors are not normally repaired...they are usually just marked as bad and not used. I cannot say that is what the SeaTools diagnostic did, but that would be my guess.

The chkdsk /r function will move data from bad sectors and relocate it to good sectors of the drive. I suspect that SeaTools also does this.

See comments by GlowingBlueMist at http://www.wirelessforums.org/alt-comp-hardware/seatools-cant-fix-bad-sectors-35445.html

Louis


Hi hamluis, thanks for that. :thumbup2:

I've ran the Seagate function which writes zeros to the drive, as the Seagate guide said that this too can 'repair' or overwrite bad sectors. So, I've then installed XP again, and am experiencing the same problems. As mentioned in an earlier post, I'd had to exit the set-up at the point when Windows asks for a username, because the keyboard wouldn't work at that point, and then let set-up restart from the point a few minutes before the Windows asks you to select a username. Could this possibly cause a corrupt installation? Also, is there the possibility that the optical drive is faulty, also possibly causing a corrupt installation, or would I see a message about failing to have copied files or something similar?

#7 hamluis

hamluis

    Moderator


  • Moderator
  • 56,302 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Killeen, TX
  • Local time:08:16 PM

Posted 15 November 2010 - 03:10 PM

Well, you seem intent on ignoring what seems obvious to me.

Failure of the Seagate diagnostic...is about the most straightforward error message that a user with a Seagate hard drive can get.

A bad hard drive...obviously can impact any function of a system...since the hard drive is the foundation for the file system, partition structure, and (finally) all files.

<<Could this possibly cause a corrupt installation? Also, is there the possibility that the optical drive is faulty, also possibly causing a corrupt installation, or would I see a message about failing to have copied files or something similar?>>

A "corrupt installation" would not result in a failed hard drive diagnostic. A "corrupted installation" would (IMO) refer to Windows. A hard drive diagnostic...is unconcerned with Windows.

The possibility of an optical drive...causing a reflected failure of a hard drive diagnostic...well, that's a major reach, IMO.

Louis

#8 Unfortunato

Unfortunato
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 135 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:02:16 AM

Posted 15 November 2010 - 04:18 PM

Well, you seem intent on ignoring what seems obvious to me.

No, far from it. I'm just trying to eliminate as much as possible...

<<Could this possibly cause a corrupt installation? Also, is there the possibility that the optical drive is faulty, also possibly causing a corrupt installation, or would I see a message about failing to have copied files or something similar?>>

A "corrupt installation" would not result in a failed hard drive diagnostic. A "corrupted installation" would (IMO) refer to Windows. A hard drive diagnostic...is unconcerned with Windows.

The possibility of an optical drive...causing a reflected failure of a hard drive diagnostic...well, that's a major reach, IMO.

Louis


I'm aware of the fact that a corrupt installation would not be a factor in a diagnostic tool reading a hard drive as defective, and at no point did I imply that it could. What I was asking was whether a corrupt installation could perhaps contribute to the behaviour that I'm seeing of the machine whilst running in Windows (given the fact that you've said in post #5 that bad sectors are not used, but marked as bad, I thought you'd see that that was what I was getting at).

Edited by Unfortunato, 15 November 2010 - 04:21 PM.


#9 cryptodan

cryptodan

    Bleepin Madman


  • Members
  • 21,868 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Catonsville, Md
  • Local time:01:16 AM

Posted 15 November 2010 - 04:44 PM

It is from my memory and experience that the only OS that can denote bad sectors and not use them are of the Unix/Linux Variety.

Windows does not include that feature.

#10 Unfortunato

Unfortunato
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 135 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:02:16 AM

Posted 16 November 2010 - 07:21 AM

The main issue I'm having now is that it's hanging on shutdown. When this happens, it's a case of pressing start, then shutdown - and at this point the mouse pointer on screen turns into the little timer symbol, and stays like that. I don't even get to see the small box with the log-off, shutdown and restart options.

This now seems to be happening regardless of which drivers are/aren't installed, and there's no apparent pattern as to when it will happen.

#11 Unfortunato

Unfortunato
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 135 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:02:16 AM

Posted 16 November 2010 - 09:25 AM

Update...

It now seems as if each time the machine hangs on shutdown, that the wireless software isn't running - I've noticed that the little wireless symbol isn't present at the bottom right of the taskbar. But when it is present, I'm not getting this shutdown problem!

#12 Unfortunato

Unfortunato
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 135 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:02:16 AM

Posted 16 November 2010 - 01:22 PM

Update...

It now seems as if each time the machine hangs on shutdown, that the wireless software isn't running - I've noticed that the little wireless symbol isn't present at the bottom right of the taskbar. But when it is present, I'm not getting this shutdown problem!


Right...

I'm spotting a definite pattern now. Most of the time, I'm not getting the hanging issue on shutdown. However, when the wireless software does not load after starting up, and no wireless logo is present on the taskbar, I do get the shutdown issue. Another thing that happens when the wireless software has not loaded is that the keyboard and touchpad mouse do not work, even although the drivers are installed... Some sort of driver or device conflict going on here?

#13 Eyesee

Eyesee

    Bleepin Teck Shop


  • BC Advisor
  • 3,545 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:In the middle of Kansas
  • Local time:08:16 PM

Posted 16 November 2010 - 01:35 PM

I would replace the hard drive
In the beginning there was the command line.

#14 cryptodan

cryptodan

    Bleepin Madman


  • Members
  • 21,868 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Catonsville, Md
  • Local time:01:16 AM

Posted 16 November 2010 - 02:40 PM

I would replace the hard drive



I concur with this statement.

#15 Unfortunato

Unfortunato
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 135 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:02:16 AM

Posted 16 November 2010 - 03:58 PM

I would replace the hard drive

As said, I'm somewhat sceptical of the claims of tools being able to 'repair' bad drives. That said, the issue described in post #12 is fully consistent in terms of its pattern, and is surely to much of a coincidence to ignore?




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users