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Suspected faulty hardware


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#1 Firepaw

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Posted 25 March 2011 - 03:51 PM

I'm running windows xp pro SP3 on the desktop I built(a couple years ago), and recently it has been having problems:

So, I'll start from the beginning of my problems. My computer was randomly freezing at times, so I figured it was malware/etc..(by freezing, I mean the current program would not respond, and I couldn't do anything but move the mouse) I scanned my computer and nothing was found. I ended up doing a fresh install of windows to see if it was a software problem. After reinstalling my drivers, It was somewhat slow and still would randomly freeze, so I remembered it was probably about time to dust out my computer. I dusted out all my fans (my CPU heatsink had alot of dust in it.) That seemed to speed up my computer to around how it is supposed to be, but it still was freezing. Occasionally after restarting the computer after one of these crashes, it would automatically run a DSK CHK before startup. Now it won't load windows at all. It will bring me to the screen with "last known configuration / start windows normally", but at this screen my keyboard doesn't work. If I let the timer run out under the "start windows normally" option, it displays the text:

Windows could not start because this file is missing or corrupt:
\WINDOWS\AppPatch\drvmain.sdb
"you can attempt to repair this file by starting windows setup using the original setup CD-ROM"

It did this once before, after a freeze, and then I was able to fix it by putting in the disk and replacing the file via the recovery console. The problem is, now at the screen "press any key to boot from CD" it doesn't recognize that my keyboard is plugged in. If I go into my BIOS at startup, my keyboard works there, but no time else during startup.

Any ideas as to how I can fix my computer? I don't think its a problem with interior fans/ heating, as I've had this current computer with this setup for a couple years, and never had heating problems. When it was still starting up, I tested each of my RAM, and they all seemed to be working fine. I did notice that my Graphics card was running extremely hot (to the touch) but from what I've read online, they can get very hot. I've checked my motherboard's capacitors, and none of them are bulging/ leaking. I think my power-supply might be the culprit, but I've no way to test it. I don't want to be throwing money left and right on new parts only to find they were fine to begin with, so I'd like some input on what the most likely cause is. Thank you for your time!

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#2 Suicide King

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Posted 25 March 2011 - 10:16 PM

To me, it sounds like a possible hard drive failing. I'd run a check disk.

If you are unable to boot into windows to schedule a check disk, because of a faulty disk, you can boot from your windows XP CD. Once it loads, enter the recovery console (there should be a prompt to enter it by pressing "R").

Once in the recovery console, type "chkdsk c: /r". This will check the hard drive for errors. You are especially looking for bad cluters/bad sectors -- as these are a good indication of a failing hard drive. Post all the results though, if you can.

#3 Firepaw

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Posted 26 March 2011 - 08:41 PM

Hmmm... I booted from the windows disk, and when I press r for the recovery console it is saying "setup did not find any hard disk drives installed in your computer..."

Also, my computer is now making a weird noise that sounds like something is trying to turn on, then turning off. It sounds like it may be coming from my hard-drive.

EDIT* I looked under my boot menu, and my hard-drive no longer shows up.

Is it safe to assume that my hard-drive has died? Also, what causes a hard-drive to just die? Time?

Edited by Firepaw, 26 March 2011 - 08:46 PM.


#4 Suicide King

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Posted 26 March 2011 - 08:54 PM

It could be failing to spin up successfully -- the magnetic disks inside the hard drive, that is. If the hard drive isn't showing up anymore, it could be either the motherboard or the hard drive -- most likely the hard drive, from my experiences with hard drives.

You could try plugging the hard drive into another computer to test to see if it works. If the other computer cannot detect it, then the problem is the hard drive.

#5 Firepaw

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Posted 01 April 2011 - 12:35 AM

Ok, so I put a different hard-drive into my computer, and it recognized it, so I partioned it and reinstalled windows. I've installed all the drivers (as far as I know) and it still has the same problems as before. It is randomly freezing. I've found that after turning off my computer after one of these freezes, that my Graphics card is burning hot to the touch. I also have found that if I boot the computer on w/o my mouse plugged in, it wont recognize that its plugged in until I restart my computer.

Any ideas as to what is the problem? My graphics card? My power supply? My MOBO? Thanks for your input!

Edited by Firepaw, 01 April 2011 - 12:37 AM.


#6 Firepaw

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Posted 04 April 2011 - 08:54 PM

So, I figured out what was wrong with my computer (I hope...), and it appears I have some bad RAM. Individually, they all tested as working fine, but when brought together, they are faulty. I removed 2 gigs, and now my computer is running stable.




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