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At the end of my tether....

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by nathcrow, Jul 10, 2006.

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  1. nathcrow

    nathcrow Thread Starter

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    Hi, around a month ago I pretty much put together a new PC. New case which came with a PSU, new mobo, new gfx card, 2 new sticks of 512mb corsair RAM. The only 3 things that weren't new were the CPU, CD drive & a HD that contained my preinstalled OEM version of XP.

    Everything was fine for around 4 weeks, then last week I started getting blue screen crashes, lots of blue screen crashes. Until eventually on Friday I tried to boot and saw "windows/system/config is missing or corrupt" & could get no further.

    because my copy of XP was an OEM version I didnt have the disks and the recovery program no longer worked as I had changed the mobo. So I had to get a new copy of XP (I also grabbed a new 300gig HD at the same time)

    This brings us up to saturday, I formatted both HDs and attempted to install XP, at around 70% of the initial "copying files" stage I kept getting an error saying various files were not copied correctly, I also had a number of blue screen crashes during XP setup.

    Eventually after around 8 hours trying I got XP installed. It ran for around 2 hours but was acting strangely (I have some DVD image files on an external HD and some of these would not install), then I got a blue screen crash, I rebooted and after a while the PC just reset itself and rebooted, no blue screen this time. After this reboot XP took ages to start up and all kinds of strange things started happening, with programs acting very strangely. Then it refused to boot in anything except safe mode.

    I reformatted the drives today and reinstalled XP, using a different CD drive as someone suggested that the CD drive may have been at fault and may have caused the XP installation to have been corrupt (bearing in mind that it took 8 hours to get XP to install the first time)
    Today it installed first time, everything was fine for around 5 hours, then around an hour ago it reset itself again, no blue screen, just suddenly rebooted.

    I am thinking it has to be either the PSU or the CPU. The PSU is a 350W that came with the case, it is only 4 weeks old but is a cheap one, the case & PSU were only £30.
    The CPU is a 2.4ghz Celeron, it is around 3 years old and I have been playing Oblivion a lot recently which means the CPU has been under strain.
     
  2. acameron

    acameron

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    Well, At first glance I would say your PSU is at fault. As you should buy a quality name brand unit as soon as posiible anyway, I would say try that first.

    Also, when you did the clean install of XP did you install the motherboard chipset drivers and then update xp?

    Please list make and model of the components you installed as it will make it easier to identify any problems.......Motherboard / GPU / and so on
     
  3. qldit

    qldit

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    Good morning Chaps, these kinds of problems can be a real nuisance, initially when you do a clean instal if you have any tendency for file read errors try another CDROM, it is simple to load corruption and learn later.

    The memory may also be involved, you might try running an extended Memtes86 for at least several hours, accept no errors. Compatibility problems are also common.
    http://www.memtest.org/

    Actually your initial symptom also could involve a hard-drive error.
    Try this little HDDRegenerator program, it makes a bootable CD or Floppy and will scan a drive without having any effect on the data, but it certainly shows drive surface problems.
    http://www.dposoft.net/

    qldit.
     
  4. Rich-M

    Rich-M

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    I'm with gldit, soujds like incompatible ram...
     
  5. kiwiguy

    kiwiguy

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    While it pains me to agree with an Australian (even though we have just whipped them again in Rugby), I too suggest RAM as a likely issue.

    Installing Windows is the most stressing thing that RAM experiences, it is usually all used and in a most critical manner. It always shows up as missing files.

    (What was that qldit, did I hear sobbing from over the Tasman?)
     
  6. qldit

    qldit

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    Not sobbing, Kiwi, it is plain crying!! Boo Hoo!!!
    I hope you fall off your perch!!
    qldit.
     
  7. kiwiguy

    kiwiguy

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    qldit, next time please send over a real rugby team.

    Not a bunch of girls blouses, we need competition not entertainment!
     
  8. qldit

    qldit

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    Well your team looked more like trained gorrillas and were very naughty to our team.
    No further comment!!
    First we got knocked out of the World Cup then the Kiwis beat us!!

    Next thing the Pommies will beat us, it is the end of the world!!
    Sob, Sob!!
    qldit.
     
  9. nathcrow

    nathcrow Thread Starter

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    Mobo is an Asus P4V800D-X Socket 478, RAM is 2 modules of 512mb corsair PC2700 333 (I checked compatibility and the RAM is compatible with the mobo), GPU is an ATI x1600 512mb.
    It can't be a HD problem as I have tried installing the OS on both the old drive and the new 300 gig drive with the same results. I did not update the mobo chipset before the XP install.

    Is there any way to check if the CPU is on its way out? for example by putting it under stress for long periods and seeing if it crashes?
    I think I remember reading somewhere that if a CPU was dying you would tend to not get blue screens, the PC would tend just to restart itself, I seem to have a mixture of blue screens and restarts.
     
  10. qldit

    qldit

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    Good Evening nathcrow, I have actually seen a P4 processor with similar symptoms that was a defective processor but this is very uncommon.
    Probably the best tack is to gradually discount various elements that are easiest tested.

    Dropping another processor in as a trial is a little expensive.

    This problem could also be symptomatic of Electrolytic capacitor failure.
    See www.badcaps.net for further info.

    Another analysis tool is to see if the voltages and temperatures can be seen.
    Everest is a handy tool to see this (if the sensors are on your motherboard)
    http://www.majorgeeks.com/download4181.html
    Open the computer applet then open the sensors applet.
    You might copy and paste the readings here for consideration.

    So you will appreciate the idea of trying to determine what is not amiss, to consider what is causing your problem.
    So memory, hard drive, capacitors, voltages, temperatures and other things progressively assist determination.
    Cheers, qldit.
     
  11. pshnfry

    pshnfry

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    Am I reading nathcrow post correctly "I did not update the mobo chipset". ANY install of XP will require motherboard drivers (or chipset drivers) to be installed. Your initial problems may have been related to the cd and hard drive, but current issues following the successfull recent install will be difficult to troubleshoot if you have truly not installed motherboard drivers.

    Further troubleshooting a fresh install and new motherboard would be to look at the home site of the motherboard and review bios updates against the version shipped with yours. DO NOT update bios unless there is a specific issue addressed which impacts your install.
     
  12. nathcrow

    nathcrow Thread Starter

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    Perhaps I misunderstood what was meant by chipset drivers, the first thing I did afer each XP installation was to put in the CD that came with my mobo and install RAID, soundcard & USB drivers. Obviously I couldn't update these prior to the XP install as they would be wiped out with the format prior to installation. I thought that the reference above was to updating the bios, which I have not done.
     
  13. Rich-M

    Rich-M

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    Chipset drivers are on the motherboard cd or you can download from the internet, and you mentioned everything but in last post...
     
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