Author Topic: hardware issues I can't nail down  (Read 4851 times)

Offline W7RE

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hardware issues I can't nail down
« on: Friday, September 23, 2011, 01:37:42 PM »
SHORT VERSION (current issues):

programs take 2-5 minutes to open
I sometimes get a "3rd boot drive failure" (or 4th) during bootup
I'm running with new motherboard, cpu, and ram (older pieces, but just got them new in box)

I'm running WinXP64 on a freshly partitioned/formatted drive (zero old data, no other HDDs). All I've installed since then is driver for the onboard audio, driver for the onboard ethernet NIC, Chrome, Ventrilo, AIM, and Java (which I've uninstalled from the add/remove programs menu because the sluggishness initially started near the end of its installation) I'm planning on upgrading to Windows 7, but if these issues are related to hardware I don't think that's going to make a difference.

LONG VERSION (how I got to where I am now):

I've been getting corrupt data and boot issues like what I'd expect from the Windows files being corrupt. Not recognizing the HDD, failure to load windows, etc. The system also was locking up a lot. The screen would just freeze and I could only hit the power switch. This could be while playing a game, or once it happened when I had nothing running but 2 explorer windows and I tried to create a new folder across the network. I tried defragmenting at one point, but that just locked the computer up. I removed one of two 2GB sticks of ram, and my bootup went from 4-5 minutes to less than 20 seconds, but the lockups were still there.

I got some new hardware (motherboard, cpu, ram) and installed it all. I went to reformat and reinstall and was having HDD detection issues. At first it seemed ok, then setup locked up 3% into formatting my drive. Then it would detect the drive, but BIOS shows its size as 0. (500GB drive) If I didn't go straight to BIOS, it would give me some kind of boot failure message and force me to go into BIOS. I wiggled some wires, and then unplugged the wire for the front panel reset switch (I don't have a reset switch on this old case), and suddenly the drive was recognized. I deleted the partition, created a new one, formatted, and installed Windows.

At one point (with the new hardware), I removed the SATA HDD and put in an older IDE 100GB drive and successfully installed Windows to it, but pretty shortly in it started having the same issues.

BIOSTAR A780L3G AM3 AMD 760G Micro ATX AMD Motherboard
AMD Phenom II x4 840 w/ the heatsink/fan that came with it
COOLER MASTER Real Power Pro 650W power supply
SAPPHIRE Radeon Toxic HD 4850 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16
Western Digital Caviar Blue WD5000AAKS 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive
LITE-ON 24X DVD Writer Black SATA Model iHAS-324-98B
shitty old ATX case I stole from a pentium 2

I'm trying to give as much information as I can here. I know it's probably something small or simple that's causing all this headache, but I'm missing it. I thought maybe someone with more knowledge would know where to look based on the symptoms.

Offline W7RE

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Re: hardware issues I can't nail down
« Reply #1 on: Friday, September 23, 2011, 08:37:46 PM »
I guess it's my hard drive. What's been confusing me is that I've had trouble with both the drives, which use different interfaces. I managed to get a Western Digital diagnostic tool to check the SATA drive. After 1 hour and 45 minutes of testing, it cancelled the test due to too many bad sectors. so the drive is definitely a problem, just the IDE one is probably having issues too (it's a fairly old one I think, from like 2003-2004).

Offline scottws

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Re: hardware issues I can't nail down
« Reply #2 on: Saturday, September 24, 2011, 01:53:04 PM »
I was going to say that it was screaming hdd or southbridge (motherboard).

Offline idolminds

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Re: hardware issues I can't nail down
« Reply #3 on: Sunday, September 25, 2011, 10:31:27 AM »
This makes sense, and its weird I didnt think about it until now. The family PC is my old dell from freaking 2000, but it works for what they use it for. They've had lots of trouble lately with slow booting and program startups. Turns out its the HDD causing it.