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Need help determining the problem with this computer.


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#1 Firespike

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Posted 26 September 2011 - 03:23 PM

Hello there. Don't know the version of windows vista, it's been a long time. My second visit here, hoping someone could help me out. I think that a video would do a lot to show the problem. Okay here's some history to this. It happened about a year ago after restarting the computer (had been installing some bluetooth software windows recommended). When the problem first started this screen issue was only apparent during the freeze, I could see the bios but as soon as it reached the windows startup screen the computer would freeze. Even safe mode would fail to load. I tried booting from cd's which would also fail (although I can't remember what happened). I did get a few cd's to boot (setup cd's) and chose the repair option. This was around when the screen glitches became more frequent (they would happen a minute into the boot process at first). It managed to get through the repair so I rebooted and again it fails. Each consecutive boot up the computer screen glitches would become worse (obscuring more of the visible screen) and happen more quickly than the last time. It's now at the point I can't see anything, including the bios. I have tried disconnecting all but one ram as well as disconnecting the "WinTv", and the cd/dvd drives and some sort of a phone line in adapter (never used, dunno if thats what it is lol). No beeps are made when the computer starts up and it sounds like it's running except I can't see anything. The computer is an HP and was running vista at the time of its death we (me and my father) assumed it dead, but I have a suspicion it's the video card. Any help would be appreciated :blink: . The dang thing doesn't have onboard video either...

--- Some things I forgot to add. Tested with 2 different monitors, tested with different ram seated, removed video card and cleaned contacts then reseated. Inspected video card for visible defects, none were found however the fan was very dirty with some built up dust. Never had any artifacts appear on the screen in the past (no signs of a dying video card) ---

- The problem -



EDIT - How can I change the topic title, I should have said it's a graphics related problem, sorry.

EDIT 2 - Thanks for moving the topic for me :)

Edited by Firespike, 27 September 2011 - 02:58 AM.
Moved from Vista to Internal Hardware.


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#2 AustrAlien

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Posted 27 September 2011 - 06:53 AM

For what it's worth, I would put my money on it being a failed graphics card, and get hold of another.

If you have another graphics card (borrowed), you could try it in the machine. Or ... you could try the suspect card in another suitable machine. That's about the only way to know for sure, before buying a new card.
AustrAlien
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#3 Firespike

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Posted 27 September 2011 - 09:27 AM

Dang, I'm a bit out of luck then. The downstairs computer uses onboard video, it does seem to have a slot for the video card but I can't find where to plug in the connector (little black and white connector, It's supposed to plug in to a port on the mobo.) As far as a spare goes we don't have one, the only computer we have with a video card my dad doesn't want to touch, since we can't afford to break another computer if something should go wrong. I'm going to try to explain the situation to a local store and see if any can let me return it if it should fail, who knows maybe will find a nice person willing to do it (wont hold my breath though) xP So a defective video card can effect the bios screen too?

EDIT - I tried seating the video card in the downstairs computer and got a black screen. I restarted and got 2 short beeps and 1 long, again only a black screen.

More Research...It appears it is a "SPDIF cable" is this required to output the video signal onto the moniter? Or will it still work without "SPDIF" plugged in? Googling shows its related to the hdmi audio.

EDIT 2 (Sorry too many edits lol) - Okay tested on the HP again this time with the spdif unplugged (to test whether or not its needed), display was still warped. So 95% sure its the video card since A. It gives a wacky display on hp, B. It does not work with the downstairs computer (giving a beep code or blank screen). Now there is a possibility that it's coincidentally incompatible with the downstairs computer, or that something else failed at the same time as the video card on the hp, the hd for example. But these seem unlikely, all thats left is to test a new video card.

Thanks for you opinion AustrAlien, as well as the troubleshooting tips :wink:

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Edited by Firespike, 27 September 2011 - 01:52 PM.


#4 AustrAlien

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Posted 28 September 2011 - 12:54 AM

No worries. Good luck.
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#5 Firespike

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Posted 20 October 2011 - 07:53 PM

IT FIXED THE VIDEO ISSUE YAY! Sadly I can't get it to boot <_< I get a blue screen "Stop 0x0000007B" after it passes the loading screen. Could the HDD be corrupted, if so is there any way to fix this? I'm trying "Startup Repair" atm, its restoring the computer to a previous time though I don't know if this will fix anything.

EDIT - Two problems in the startup and repair log.

Repair action: System Restore
Result Failed. Error code = 0x5aa


Repair action: System files integrity check and repair
Result Failed. Error code = 0x2

EDIT - Here is the stop error: 0x0000007b (0x80599bb0, 0xc0000034, 0x00000000, 0x00000000

Edited by Firespike, 20 October 2011 - 09:36 PM.


#6 Firespike

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Posted 04 November 2011 - 03:20 PM

Can I have some help? I guess the HDD is dead too, or failing? Or is there some way to fix it beyond startup repair? The comp has a second Hard drive, is there anyway I could get everything off the first hard drive, onto the second?

Edited by Firespike, 04 November 2011 - 03:21 PM.


#7 AustrAlien

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Posted 04 November 2011 - 03:23 PM

Sorry about neglecting your previous post. I will bring myself up to date on what you have posted so far and get back to you shortly.
AustrAlien
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#8 AustrAlien

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Posted 04 November 2011 - 04:20 PM

There are two matters that can be addressed separately:
  • I guess the HDD is dead too, or failing? Or is there some way to fix it beyond startup repair?
  • The comp has a second Hard drive, is there anyway I could get everything off the first hard drive, onto the second?
I'll address #2 first ... because there is of course no guarantee that we are going to be successful with #1.

If your computer is not able to boot into Windows or simply not able to access the internet, you can use a LIVE Linux operating system run from a bootable CD or flashdrive instead of Windows, to access the internet, to access files on the HDD(s) and do other tasks.

You may use this method to copy files from one hard drive to the other in your computer.


:step1: Using a working computer:
  • If you wish to use a LIVE CD ...
  • Download the Linux version of your choice (usually an .ISO image file).
  • There are many options to use for a LIVE CD. I suggest that you try one of the following:
  • Puppy Linux (download file size 128 MB)
  • Ubuntu (download file size almost 700 MB)
[*]Burn the .ISO image to CD: If you do not already have a suitable burning program for writing .ISO images to disc ...
  • Download and install ImgBurn.
  • Ensure that you UN-check the box agreeing to install the Ask toolbar during the installation.
  • Place a new (blank) CD disc in the drive tray.
  • Choose Write image file to disc.
    • Under Source, click on the Browse button: Navigate to and select the .ISO file that you wish to burn.
    • Place a check-mark in the box beside Verify.
  • Click Posted Image
[*]When the CD has been burned and verified as successful, it will be bootable.
[/list][*]OR ... if you wish to use a LIVE flashdrive ...
  • Go to UNetbootin - Homepage and Downloads and at the top of the page, click on Download (for Windows) to download the application.
  • Follow the instructions further down the page under the heading Installation & Screenshots.
  • Run the application to download and install the Linux version of choice to your flashdrive.
  • I suggest that you try one of the following:
  • Puppy Linux (download file size 128 MB)
  • Ubuntu (download file size almost 700 MB).
[/list][/list]
:step2: Boot the problematic machine from the LIVE CD or flashdrive.
  • (You may have to configure the Boot Menu or BIOS Setup Menu to boot first from the optical/CD drive or the flashdrive, which ever you are using.)
  • Choose to run the Linux operating system from the CD or flashdrive without making any changes to your computer.
    Do NOT install Linux on your hard drive.
  • When the Linux operating system loads ...
  • You will be able to navigate to all the files on your HDD.
  • You can backup your files by copying them to a flashdrive or an external hard drive.
  • Before using the internet (if you choose to use Puppy, for example) you may have to:
  • Configure/set up the internet connection
  • Download a favourite browser
    (With Ubuntu the foregoing should not be necessary.)
[/list]You may find one of the following guides useful:
Recover files from Windows XP hard disk using Puppy Linux

Recover files from Windows Vista hard disk using Puppy Linux

Recover files from Windows 7 hard disk using Puppy Linux

The easiest way to copy files/folders in Puppy is to drag-and-drop from one window to another. To do this open a window showing what you want to copy. Open another window showing the location that you wish to copy to .... and move the windows so that you can conveniently see both at the same time.

Now, simply drag the items you wish to copy from one window into the other. Simple.
===================

Looking at the matter of testing your hard drive(s), which would be a good first step to resolving the problem with your computer, it would be useful to know the manufacturer's name (the brand name) of the hard drives, so we can download and use the most appropriate tool for testing. If you don't already know their brand, then you will be able to find it when booted into Linux. Let me know if you need help with this when you get that far.
AustrAlien
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#9 Firespike

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Posted 04 November 2011 - 05:15 PM

Thank you, I'll let you know when I get a chance to try this out :thumbsup: Have a nice day :)

No need for apologizing, your helping me with your own free time after all! Thanks for sticking with me.

Edited by Firespike, 04 November 2011 - 05:24 PM.


#10 AustrAlien

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Posted 04 November 2011 - 09:50 PM

No worries.

I noticed that the time lapse without any response between your posts was around two weeks: That's very patient of you. However, sometimes a topic or a post gets overlooked for one reason or another: If it happens again, send your helper a PM to remind them. Otherwise, PM a forum Moderator, or any of the BC staff. None of us like to see requests for assistance being neglected or apparently ignored altogether.
AustrAlien
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#11 Firespike

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Posted 11 November 2011 - 02:20 AM

Hello again, finally got a chance to test out that linux cd. I created a live dvd, tried a ram test just for kicks and all was good. I then proceeded to install linux when I got this error: "General error mounting filesystems" (A google search didn't give me much to work with) and then it started the developers shell. Really sounding like a hard drive issue, but shouldn't it have at least been able to find 1 hard drive (the second one)? I am verifying the integrity via the live dvd atm, will see how that goes. I burned it to a Memorex dvd, we also have fujifilm dvd's, incase this is burn related?

Edited by Firespike, 11 November 2011 - 02:24 AM.


#12 AustrAlien

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Posted 11 November 2011 - 02:36 AM

Have you retrieved copies of all the files that you wanted ... running the system from the LiveCD/DVD?

I am a bit concerned about you trying to install Linux .... when you probably shouldn't be ?
AustrAlien
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#13 Firespike

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Posted 11 November 2011 - 03:10 AM

Have you retrieved copies of all the files that you wanted ... running the system from the LiveCD/DVD?

I am a bit concerned about you trying to install Linux .... when you probably shouldn't be ?


I've read up on Linux before and thought it would be a good thing to install anyways, just on the second hd. I have a feeling that windows itself is probably corrupt (or lost do to hd failure) and since we have no install DVD it would be impossible to reinstall it. Sorry about that, I'll just try booting into the live dvd now. Once in there, how should I proceed?

- I keep editing my post :whistle:

Edited by Firespike, 11 November 2011 - 03:17 AM.


#14 AustrAlien

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Posted 11 November 2011 - 03:28 AM

I am verifying the integrity via the live dvd atm, will see how that goes.

Did the Linux disk itself check itself out OK?


I'll just try booting into the live dvd now. Once in there, how should I proceed?


Preferably make no changes to the existing hard drive that has Windows Vista installed on it: Simply retrieve copies of all data that you wish to save to a safe place ... either a separate hard drive (already installed in the box), or a USB flashdrive/external hard drive .... as per the previous instructions.

When you have completed the above ... while still booted to the LiveCD ... have a look at the system information to identify the make and model number of the problematic hard drive.
Edit to add ... and the second hard drive too! We might find that info useful later?

Edited by AustrAlien, 11 November 2011 - 03:33 AM.

AustrAlien
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#15 kbit

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Posted 12 November 2011 - 01:46 AM

hi, just browsing and thought I`d offer this word of caution. you are safe swapping PCI video cards between computers , you are safe swapping PCI-E video cards but AGP video cards come in different voltages and can permanently damage both the motherboard and video card if mismatched.{all AGP cards fit the same slot.}It is easy to ruin hardware in your haste to discover a problem { I know ha,ha} check out the hdd post at the top for tools to test your hdd and don`t forget a little research and proper identification of your hardware.

Edited by kbit, 12 November 2011 - 01:47 AM.





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