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Computer Turns Itself Off And Other Things


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#1 birdlady

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Posted 07 January 2006 - 06:54 PM

My sons computer is possesed or something.
Here's what it's doing and not doing:
He turned it on this morning and was presented with a screen: Safe Mode, Safe mode with ?, Normal startup, and Last Previous Good Config.
Hit Normal...computer restarted...hit anything and computer restarts. Have yet to get to the Windows XP screen.
Nothing was installed that we are aware of...nothing changed that we are aware of.
How can I get this blasted computer to start?
He is running Windows XP sp2 home edition.
Anything else you need?

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#2 amcferrin

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Posted 07 January 2006 - 07:01 PM

My first thought is adware, spyware or even a virus. There was a virus floating around months ago that would shut down the computer. It is possible that it wasn't shut down properly (power failure) and there are important files that are corrupt. It is also possible that the hard drive is going bad. My laptop did the same thing when it's hard drive died.

Assuming that there's a problem with your hardware, your computer manufacturer sometimes provides some self diagnostic programs to determine what's wrong. If you have a Dell or Compaq/HP, there should be a diagnostic CD that came with the computer that you can run.

Can you tell us about your computer?

#3 Rimmer

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Posted 07 January 2006 - 07:19 PM

:thumbsup: to BC birdlady,

See if you can boot the computer in Safe Mode (tap the F8 key while it boots until you get the screen with the boot options you saw before).

If it will boot there run an anti-virus scan and any anti-spyware scans you have installed. Post the results back here.

If the computer does not run properly in Safe Mode there may be a hardware problem.
:flowers:

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#4 birdlady

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Posted 07 January 2006 - 07:20 PM

It's a put together Dell...piece here piece there.
It has a Maxtor 91024D4 HD...I can't give you much more in the spec dept.
I got it to get to the Window XP screen but then get a Blue Screen of some message which doesn't stay long before the computer restarts.
He was hit with the Spyaxe trojan a few days ago but managed to clean that off his puter via a program. He didn't have any problems starting or otherwise after that. Till this morning.
How can you tell if the HD is shot?
Also, if files are corrupt, how does one fix that?

#5 birdlady

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Posted 07 January 2006 - 07:24 PM

See if you can boot the computer in Safe Mode (tap the F8 key while it boots until you get the screen with the boot options you saw before).

If it will boot there run an anti-virus scan and any anti-spyware scans you have installed. Post the results back here.

If the computer does not run properly in Safe Mode there may be a hardware problem.



I get a screen telling me that my computer has encountered a problem (self explanatory..in case I couldn't figure that out..lol). I try starting in Safe Mode...it begins to load, then turns itself off. I hit start in SAFE MODE WITH NETWORKING...turns itself off. I hit SAFE MODE WITH COMMANDS, turns itself off...Try starting in LAST KNOWN GOOD CONFIGURATION, turns itself off..(i've rebooted a 100 times today).
I've let it sit for hours to see if it would dump, nothing.

#6 birdlady

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Posted 07 January 2006 - 07:56 PM

Ok I went in and changed the boot order when starting..
I put CD as first, then floppy, then hard drive...
I get the following:

Main Processor: Unknown CPU type 1533 mhz
Memory Testing: 786432k OK
Primary Master: Maxtor
Primary Slave: Omega Zip
Secondary Master: Samsung

Memory Test Failed

F1 to continue DEL to enter Setup

#7 Rimmer

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Posted 07 January 2006 - 08:12 PM

managed to clean that off his puter via a program

Any details?

How can you tell if the HD is shot?

Boot in Safe Mode with Command Prompt.
At the command prompt type the following:
CD C:\

To see the chkdsk help type:
chkdsk /?

To fix errors on the volume type:
chkdsk /f

To fix errors on the volume, do a surface scan and attempt recovery of data, type:
chkdsk /f /r

For the /f options the drive must be locked. If chkdsk cannot lock the drive, a message appears that asks you if you want to check the drive the next time you restart the computer. Click yes and reboot.
The scan can take a long time.

Test your RAM
There is a free RAM diagnostic called Memtest86 which you can download from here Memtest86.
Use it to create a bootable floppy disk. When you reboot with that floppy in the drive it will automatically run a memory test. Let it run at least overnight, unless errors come up right away, and then examine the error count.
(If you have no floppy drive there is an iso image available to create a bootable CD.)


Also, if files are corrupt, how does one fix that?

When you are sure your hardware is OK then you can do a repair installation of WindowsXP if needed.

EDIT: Saw your new post. Shutdown, open the case and remove all the RAM. If you have more than one stick try replacing one stick at a time until the memory test passes. If you have only one stick, and reseating it in different slots doesn't help, you will have to buy a replacement ant try that.
If you can boot your PC now run the RAM test above and post back.

:thumbsup:

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#8 amcferrin

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Posted 07 January 2006 - 08:21 PM

Boot in Safe Mode with Command Prompt.


It won't let her get to that mode without the blue screen. She already said that. I think you might want to try pressing F8 like you have and select "directory services restore mode"? Of course, I'm looking at computers that belong to domains and it might be called something else on the XP home edition. But that gets to a command prompt and then allows for a CHKDSK /R (the /F will not work in that mode).

You should be able to get there by booting the XP install CD too. There is an option to enter the recovery/diagnostic mode without reinstalling the software.

EDIT: Just found out the the DS-Restore mode isn't what I was thinking. There is a recovery command prompt from the CD that you should use.

Edited by amcferrin, 07 January 2006 - 08:39 PM.


#9 birdlady

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Posted 07 January 2006 - 08:49 PM

Inserted the Windows XP CD and hit R...got the Dreaded Blue Screen which said:
Memory_Management

Then it shut itself down




Can't start in ANY safe mode...keeps turning itself off after I select one.
Will try the memory stick info written and get back to you.
Can also make a bootable cd from my puter (I have no small floppy disk drive) and run it back to his puter.
Holly

#10 VB4

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Posted 07 January 2006 - 10:33 PM

It may just be a hardware problem then!?

For fast computer answers, visit SparkCore. A brand new computer forum with dedicated members, who will get you the answers you need to solve all your computer problems.


#11 birdlady

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Posted 07 January 2006 - 10:41 PM

ok if its a hardware problem, what do I do to figure out WHAT hardware?

#12 Rimmer

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Posted 07 January 2006 - 11:33 PM

What happened with the RAM sticks?

You can make a Memtest86 bootable CD - instructions are on the site I posted before. Download the iso image and burn that to a CD.

Similarly with the hard drive you can download a diagnostic to match your hard drive from Leurgy's compendium of Hard Drive diagnostics: http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/28744/hard-drive-installation-and-diagnostic-tools/

Or download another iso image to turn into a bootable CD - Digital Dolly

But you've had two errors pointing towards memory so I'd be looking at that first.

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#13 acklan

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Posted 08 January 2006 - 12:02 AM

Ok I went in and changed the boot order when starting..
I put CD as first, then floppy, then hard drive...
I get the following:

Main Processor: Unknown CPU type 1533 mhz
Memory Testing: 786432k OK
Primary Master: Maxtor
Primary Slave: Omega Zip
Secondary Master: Samsung

Memory Test Failed

F1 to continue DEL to enter Setup


Pull all but one stick of RAM and see if it boots. Rotate each stick booting each time. If it's only one stick this should eliminate that bad stick. I assumed you have 3 stick of 256mb?
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#14 birdlady

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Posted 09 January 2006 - 10:56 AM

Ok pulled out 2 of the 3 memory sticks...
Computer restarted and then informed me that my partiton was corrupt and that it needed Reformatting.
I pressed OK...it refomatted. I then reinstalled WinXP (since everything is now gone). All is running smoothly now.
BUT...have 1 ?.
When and CAN I put back in the other 2 memory sticks? I have 2 - 256mb boards sittting out. Is it ok to put them back in?
Or is one of them bad? both of them bad? hmm
I'll leave them out for now till someone tells me differently..lol

#15 usasma

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Posted 09 January 2006 - 11:20 AM

You can continue to do what acklan suggested:

Rotate each stick booting each time. If it's only one stick this should eliminate that bad stick. I assumed you have 3 stick of 256mb?


Swapping the sticks out one at a time should tell you which one's are bad (presumably the one you're using now is good). Then you can use all of the good ones.
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