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5 Hardware Questions/Tech Problems of my Computer

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Existence, Jan 23, 2011.

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  1. Existence

    Existence Thread Starter

    Jan 22, 2011
    Hi there. I have recently been trying to repair my computer and I have five questions I would like to ask concerning some hardware issues I have experienced. If you could point me in the general direction of the solution to the problem that would be greatly appreciated.

    1. About 2 weeks ago my computer wouldn’t start up properly. After progressing past the BIOS screen, the monitor would go blank and in the top left corner of the screen, a small box rotating between ‘Digital’ / ‘Analogue’ would display, like the monitor could not connect to the computer. I can’t remember now, but I think the computer actually restarted and began the launch process again, until it got to the start of the Windows XP loading screen where the same issue would appear. Initially, I thought this was a monitor or cable problem, however I tested with different monitors and cables and the same issue persisted. Eventually I gave up and took it to a computer repair service. Apparently, the problem was the hard drive which got ‘corrupted’. Amusingly, the technician wasn’t sure the cause of the incident, stating ‘electrical damage’. He replaced my hard drive with a new one and transferred as much of the undamaged files from the old disc to the new one. When I got home, I tried the computer in the same electrical sockets that I normally used and it didn’t work. Though in a different socket, it worked. So, I thought that since I used 1 power socket for about 10 appliances, the ‘electrical damage’ might have been caused from this overuse. I switched around the allocation of my many appliances, installed new cables for the monitor and power supply for both the computer and monitor. After all this, the computer functioned properly.

    Though the issue still persists in a different manner. Prior to the start up problem that I had, rarely the monitor would go black and the same ‘Digital’ / ‘Analogue’ box would appear in the top left during normal computer use. The monitor would shut off and the music that I was playing would stop playing (therefore, the computer turned off?). The only way to get the computer back to full health would be to turn it off at the wall and start again. Now, this same issue is popping up again and it has happened three times so far today, more than it usually had happened over a whole 3 month period. I’m afraid it is again a prelude to the cataclysmic failure to launch problem. So my questions are; What is the cause of the start up issue I had two weeks ago (the technician didn’t really know himself)?; What is the cause of this recent and reminiscent problem with the monitor shut off and consequent computer shut off during normal use?; Are these issues connected?

    2. In the last week my computer has been sounding like a lawnmower. Should I assume this is one of the fans? How can I verify this?

    3. About a year and a half ago, I had an electrical surge during a thunderstorm and my monitor and power supply needed a replacement. Luckily, no data was lost, though every time since then, when I shut down the computer, Windows would get to ‘Windows is shutting down’ and it would simply stop there and not shut down fully. I've had to shut down fully using the power switch of my power supply. I'm afraid it might have done some damage. What is the cause of this issue? How can I fix it?

    4. Following issue no. 1, I was told that some of the data on the ‘corrupted hard drive’ was ‘irretrievable’. Is it worth paying a different technician to try and recover some of the files? Secondly, how do you best back up files and programs in preparation for a computer problem? I bought an external hard drive for a start, are there any programs, websites and so on that could help me with back up? Does Steam have any services to save campaign data? I lost my campaign progress in an excellent game I was playing!

    5. I was told by the technician in issue no. 1, that my hardware is ‘unstable’. Specifically he referenced to issue no. 3 which he noticed, but I’d imagine the hardware components in general are not in a fantastic shape. Is there a way to test the stability of my hardware parts?

    Thanks for your time and insight.
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