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multiple crashes virus or hard drive failure

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#1 sg_10


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Posted 24 March 2011 - 10:43 AM

Hi - I am a newbie,
I've been trying to post for days but due to the multiple problems on my computer (including no java so unable to register for this site) I have now been driven to the library. The problem with this is that I don't have logs of the failures with me. Will try to get those and repost.
Basically I have a sony vaio vgn fz series which is about 4 years old and has been running almost perfectly all this time.
January this year, I tried to do a back up but it failed after one disk. Kept meaning to try that again but never got round to it (I know, bad housekeeping!)
Last weekend I tried to attach some photo files to an email and it froze my computer every single time. After I opened my pictures folder offline the same thing happened. I then tried to tidy up the folder with an aim to burning it to disc- more crashes. I then tried to do a defrag- which froze after about 8 minutes. Tried opening task manager, nothing happened. At this point the pointer is spinning, indicating loading, but if I try to do anything, close programme, alt ctrl del, it greys out and freezes. I have disabled windows defender in case of incompatibility issues with AVG, I tried to run a check disk from the start command, but like task manager, I just get the ghost of a box opening up and disappearing. I did run check disk through system, and it reported that everything was working properly!
I looked at my consumption rates through task manager advanced by going through control panel again, and though my hard drive has half its capacity free, the hard drive was running right at the top of the graph when I opened the pictures folder and tried to scroll down (4Gb total).It jumped to 86 and then 100%, followed by another freeze
As my ram is 4Gb, I thought it might be the size of the pictures folder causing the freeze up, but that it won't load tsk manager or chkdsk through command seems very suspicious. I loaded a new defrag program suggested from a forum, disabled the windows one and tried to defrag. It froze, 1st attempt it got about 8% in and hung after ten minutes, 2nd attempt it got less than 4% in and froze after 2 or 3 minutes.
I let the defrag run all night just to give it enough time to move on, but it was in exactly the same place 10 and a half hours later.
I have now had to hard boot my computer over 30 times in the last few days, so if the hard drive wasn't damaged before it certainly is now.
Is this the sign of a hard drive failure?
Strangely I can surf the internet without crashing, until last night when I windows update cause the browser to stall. I disabled update and let the defrag run without any internet connection. NO dice.
I don't have a boot up disk, none was supplied nor a vista reinstall disk as it came preloaded. I would upgrade to windows 7 but this is pointless if the hard drive is dying off. Previous to this the only issue I had was last October when I unwisely upgraded to AVG 11, then spent a week trying to get it off my system. The original install of AVG 9 wouldn't completely uninstall from my system, and even to date, I get a request to load the icon to the tray each time I boot up. This week it tells me the installation is corrupted and it can't update, but given all the other problems I been having this doesn't surprise me. I also ran ccleaner and system health check- annoyingly told me all drive are running normally!
Have to sign off now, will try to get back with more report info if computer allows!

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#2 MrBruce1959


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Posted 24 March 2011 - 03:02 PM

It sounds to me like your issues are either a failing hard drive or an over heating processor.

Information that is needed from you at this point is:

Your computer's make and model number?

Make and model number of your hard drive?

What operating system you are running?

I would need those questions answered before I can offer any possible solutions, besides the one I am providing below.

Please check your computer for dust buildup in the processor cooling fan and heat sink.

Dust buildup can cause your processor to over heat and cause system crashes and freeze ups.

If you see this condition, it is time for a major clean up.


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#3 fluffybunny88


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Posted 24 March 2011 - 03:18 PM

from your description I would think that your hard drive may be going bad, best way to verify that is to run some diagnostics on the hard drive, but not from within windows. One I recommend is seatools by seagate. http://www.seagate.com/www/en-us/support/downloads/seatools is the download link, make sure to download the DOS version. You will have to burn it to a CD then put the CD in your notebook, and boot to the CD. If you just put the disk in there it should boot straight to it. If it does not I believe the boot menu key for sonys is either f12 or the escape key. You hit that key on boot right when the sony logo comes up, keep hitting it repeatedly.

Once you get booted to the disk you should select the quick scan and full scan only, do not select any repair options. Continue clicking next until the scan starts. It will take possibly a few hours for the scan to run. If anything comes up in the window under the progress bar, anymore than about 3 sectors I would say the hard drive is bad.

Let me know what happens with that test, or if you have any problems getting it to run.

#4 sg_10

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Posted 24 March 2011 - 05:13 PM

[size="4"][size="3"][size="2"][font="Arial"]Hello Hello
Thanks for your replies and suggestions, I've checked underneath the laptop and there is a bit of crud in the superficial vents, so this could well be a dust fest inside.
My make and model # is
Vaio vgn-fz38m, and the hard drive is a fujitsu MHY2200BH, driver version 6.0.6002.18005. Running Vista O/S
Have neither the confidence nor the correct screwdriver to start exploring the fan, so this may be a service job.
If all is lost, should I just get a mac next time ?
I'll try the hard drive diagnostic tool tomorrow and let you know the results.

#5 killerx525


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Posted 25 March 2011 - 01:46 AM

To effectively clean the cpu fan you most likely have disassemble the laptop just to get to the cpu fan to clean it out properly.

System1: CPU- Intel Core i7-5820K @ 4.4GHz, CPU Cooler- Noctua NH-D14, RAM- G.Skill Ripjaws 16GB Kit(4Gx4) DDR3 2133MHz, SSD/HDD- Samsung 850 EVO 250GB/Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB/Seagate Barracuada 3TB, GPU- 2x EVGA GTX980 Superclocked @1360/MHz1900MHz, Motherboard- Asus X99 Deluxe, Case- Custom Mac G5, PSU- EVGA P2-1000W, Soundcard- Realtek High Definition Audio, OS- Windows 10 Pro 64-Bit
Games: APB: Reloaded, Hours played: 3100+  System2: Late 2011 Macbook Pro 15inch   OFw63FY.png

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