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Slow boot up, distorted audio and noisy HD – possible hardware issue?


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#1 MickW

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Posted 14 October 2012 - 05:10 AM

Hi All

I am a 'refugee' from the Virus, Trojan, Spyware, and Malware Removal Logs Forum. There is a lot of info on my posts to this forum regarding what has been done so far so FYI the link is below:

http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/topic464277.html/page__st__60__gopid__2868584#entry2868584

I have been receiving a lot of help and guidance from Gary (aka OhMy) with this, but he has referred me to this forum as he believes that the remaining issues that I have could be down to a hardware fault

Basically the subject header says it all – everything seems to be working (sort of) but the audio quality is very poor, (distorted and erratic [i.e. music is out of tempo]), it takes an absolute dog’s age to boot up, and the HD seems to be working very hard all the time.

I would really appreciate any help any of you guys could offer so I look forward to hearing from you soon.

All the best

MickW

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#2 jhayz

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Posted 14 October 2012 - 07:57 AM

Download Speccy and then install the program. To post and publish a snapshot of your PC.
. In the Menu bar, click File -> Publish Snapshot
. Click Yes > then Copy to Clipboard
. On your next reply, right-click on a empty space and click Paste on reply box then click Post

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#3 MickW

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Posted 22 October 2012 - 01:40 AM

Hi jayz

Thanks for the reply - here is the URL

http://speccy.piriform.com/results/liEmkPLIu5dI4Bu7KyJ6hJI

Looking forward to hearing from you soon

MickW

#4 dc3

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Posted 22 October 2012 - 06:06 AM

One of the problems with some virus removal techniques is damaged system files.


Guide Overview for sfc /scannow

The purpose of this guide is to teach you how to use the System File Checker (SFC) to examine and repair corrupt operating system files.

In doing this, the SFC tool may replace some of your files that were updated by Windows Update. The only way to check this (and to update any of the files) is by visiting Windows Update and allowing it to check your system for updates and update as needed.

References

Description of Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 System File Checker (Sfc.exe)

Microsoft Windows XP - Repair overview


Instructions


1. Locate your Windows installation CD. If you don't have one, you'll need to locate a directory on your system that's named"i386" (without the quotes). This directory may be on a hidden partition on your hard drive.

2. Go to Start, then to Run, and type in "SFC.EXE /SCANNOW" (without the quotes - and with a space between the SFC.EXE and the /SCANNOW). The press Enter. (For VISTA, go to Start and type in the above information, then go to the top of the box and right click on SFC.EXE /SCANNOW and select "Run As Administrator")

3. The program may (or it may not) ask you for your Windows XP installation CD - please insert it at the prompt. If it doesn't ask you for the CD this means that it wasn't necessary to replace any files.

4. In the event the the system asks you for the CD, you must visit Windows Update immediately after the scan is completed (Please note that there won't be any confirmation dialog - the program will just exit without telling you anything).

5. If this doesn't repair the problem with your system other troubleshooting procedures are required.

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#5 MickW

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 04:52 PM

Yes it was asking for the CD which I'm afraid I don't have...

Not sure what to do now :o

#6 dc3

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 05:42 PM

Do you know anyone who you could borrow the installation disk? It would have to be for Windows XP Professional 32-bit.

In the interim, let's make a bootable CD to access the Recovery Console.


Please download ARCDC from Artellos.com.

* Double click ARCDC.exe
* Follow the dialog until you see 6 options. Please pick: Windows Professional SP2 & SP3
* You will be prompted with a Terms of Use by Microsoft, please accept.
* You will see a few DOS screens flash by, this is normal.
* Next you will be able to choose to add extra files. Select the Default Files.
* The last window will allow you to burn the disk using BurnCDCC

Your ISO is located on your desktop.

In order to boot from this CD you may need to change the boot order in the BIOS so that the CD-ROM is the first device in the boot order.

Once you have booted from the CD you will come to a screen which will offer the options to Install or Repair, select R.

When you reach the command prompt type chkdsk /r then press Enter. Please observe that there is a space between chkdsk and the forward slash r (/r).

Chkdsk has five stages which will display the percentage of each stage as it runs. This can take a very long time to run, it may even appear to have stalled. Please do not stop this process as it can cause severe damage to the operating system.

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#7 MickW

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 04:18 AM

Will I need the installation disk anyway?

I don't know where it is now, but I do remember that this was not a standard Microsoft Windows XP disk, but an OEM version from Dell. Would it have to be this version or would a standard disk do the trick?

If I do need it I can try and track one down I guess?

#8 MickW

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 04:33 AM

Will I need the installation disk anyway?

I am a bit confused by something in one of your previous posts where you said

Locate your Windows installation CD. If you don't have one, you'll need to locate a directory on your system that's named"i386" (without the quotes). This directory may be on a hidden partition on your hard drive.


Are you saying that if I can locate the directory "i386" I won't need the disk?

The problem is I don't know where it is now, but I do remember that this was not a standard Microsoft Windows XP disk, but an OEM version from Dell. Would it have to be this version or would a standard disk do the trick?

If I do need it I can try and track one down I guess?

Or should I forget about the disk and make a recovery disk and just try to recover the system by the chkdsk /r command?

#9 dc3

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 11:26 AM

Will I need the installation disk anyway?

I am a bit confused by something in one of your previous posts where you said. Are you saying that if I can locate the directory "i386" I won't need the disk?


The instruction to find the "i386" involves editing the registry which can be a risky endeavor for the uninitiated. If an error is made while making this edit it could leave your computer inoperable. This is why I asked if you could borrow a installation CD. If your OEM disk is an installation disk it can be used... if you can find it. If you borrow a disk (OEM or retail) it would have to be for Windows XP Professional 32-bit.


The problem is I don't know where it is now, but I do remember that this was not a standard Microsoft Windows XP disk, but an OEM version from Dell. Would it have to be this version or would a standard disk do the trick?


If your OEM disk is an installation disk it can be used... if you can find it. If you borrow a disk (OEM or retail) it would have to be for Windows XP Professional 32-bit. Doing a sfc is probably the best solution for this problem, so it would be worth putting some effort into either finding your installation disk or borrow one. Until you find or borrow a installation disk doing a chkdsk c: /r is another option, this will locate bad sectors and recovers readable information, so yes, I would go ahead and do the chkdsk.








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#10 jhayz

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 09:19 PM

Your speccy report shows that you have windows firewall and outpost firewall(not familiar) running at the same time.
Furthermore,

C5 Current Pending Sector Count: 100 (100) Data 0000000001
C6 Uncorrectable Sector Count: 100 (100) Data 0000000001

I suggest backing up your data from another storage immediately as these reads your drive is going south. After backing up your data, run the seagate for Windows or DOS mode and run the short and long test.

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#11 MickW

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Posted 25 October 2012 - 08:47 AM

Hi All

I burned the boot up CD as instructed and re-booted after checking the BIOS to make sure that it would boot from the CD drive first. Unfortunately it didn't work! My screen went blank and the HD started whining like it was going to blow up (which it probably will at any time!). I let it carry on for a good few hours but nothing doing so I hit the power button and then restarted the PC which thankfully worked.

I am not using a standard monitor so I'm wondering if that might have affected it...

I will address the firewall issue which Jdayz pointed out and will also run the Seagate for Windows in DOS mode and carry out the short and long tests - I already ran it in 'find and fix' mode but presumably that was not thorough enough, so I will try again with that. I have already backed up my data and my entire WIndows folder to another disk, just in case!!!

Will post something tomorrow to let you know how I got on.

Thanks guys!

MickW

#12 MickW

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Posted 25 October 2012 - 09:00 AM

ps just checked Windows Firewall and it was supposed to be 'off' so I don't get why it was showing as operating in the Speccy log...

#13 dc3

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Posted 25 October 2012 - 09:07 AM

I missed that in the SMART, good catch jhayz.Posted Image


The following is an excerpt from Wikipedia.


"S.M.A.R.T. (Self-Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technology; often written as SMART) is a monitoring system for computerhard disk drives to detect and report on various indicators of reliability, in the hope of anticipating failures."


What jhayz is referring to are bad sectors. Sectors are the smallest units of storage in a hdd, there are usually millions of these. Sectors can and do go bad, this is why chkdsk /r is occasionally suggested being run as it will find bad sectors and recover readable information. These sectors will no longer be visible by the operating system and will not effect its performance. But when you have increasing amounts of bad sectors it will reach a point where the operating system will start seeing them and try to read them causing the system to slow down. If the SMART in enabled in the BIOS it will give the warning SMART bad, this usually means that the demise of the hdd is imminent. What jhayz saw in the SMART was a high number of bad sectors which usually is indicative of the hdd "going south".

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