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Failed Hard Drive or RAM?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by XboxGuy15, Aug 11, 2007.

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  1. XboxGuy15

    XboxGuy15 Thread Starter

    Jun 27, 2005
    My computer just suffered a massive failure. I'm not sure where to start, but I decided to post in the Windows XP section since it failed to boot.

    After installing a program, I was promoted to restart. I did so, and Windows froze at the sign-in screen. It says "Windows is starting up" and shows the Windows logo. Normally, that would go away quickly and I would be shown the three different users. Except it never comes up. It just stays saying "Windows is starting up."

    Here, the plot thickens. I have an older verison of Ubuntu installed on my PC for any such emergencies. I do a hard shutdown and tell my computer to reboot into Linux. Ubuntu tries to run a consistancy check on my hard drive, and it fails, and Ubuntu fails to boot.

    This is where it gets interesting, and the only point that makes me uncertain that this isn't a failed hard drive. I put in the Ubuntu Live CD, to go on the internet and look for help, but that failed to boot. I assumed that Linux Live CD's used RAM, not hard drives, to boot up. So it doesn't seem like it matters.

    Both my slave and my master drives are older, the slave is 7 years old, the master is 4 years old. Windows is installed on the master, and Ubuntu is installed on the slave, and I find it unlikely that both failed. Which makes me wonder if its the RAM or or something.

    My computer's stats
    Intel Pentium 4 (2.6Ghz)
    NVIDIA GeForce 5200 128MB
    512MB SDRAM
    Master Drive, Hitachi 80GB
    Slave Drive, Seagate 80GB

    Does anybody have any suggestions? Maybe just let the drives cool down and they'll boot?
  2. Flags


    Sep 9, 2001
    X: http://www.memtest86.com/download.html. Go there and download an ISO image of Memtest86, burn it to a CD and use it to test your memory. Of course, you'll have to do this on another machine that boots
    Boot with the disk in your CD drive and it will run. Run for about 7 passes or longer.
    If it's not the memory problem, then go to the HDD maker's site and download their Diagnostic tool. It, too, will boot and run a check of your HDD. At least you'll know if those 2 devices are problematic.
    Another way is to boot with your XP disk in the drive and go to the Recovery Console.
    At the prompt, type chksk /r, press Enter. It will check the HDD. When it finishes and there is no problem, at the prompt, type fixboot, press Enter. Then see if it will boot.
  3. XboxGuy15

    XboxGuy15 Thread Starter

    Jun 27, 2005
    I now think it could be the firewall I installed, which promted me to restart.

    I installed AVG firewall, and configured it for an office network PC, even though its on a home connection. After searching Google, I read reports of certain anti-virus programs deleting critical OS files from Windows.

    I think this is the problem.

    Also, I know its not the RAM. It turns out the verison of the Ubuntu Live CD i have is faulty. An older one booted into the Live CD, which means my ram is fine.

    I'm going to check my drives via ubuntu.
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