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Vista BSOD/HDD Not Recognized

Discussion in 'Windows Vista' started by Chief-Phillips, Sep 21, 2008.

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  1. Chief-Phillips

    Chief-Phillips Thread Starter

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    I had bought a Dell Insp. 9200 last year, but it wasn't really up to my standards, so I ended up buying a new motherboard etc. etc. and taking out the RAM (3GB DDR2 800MHz), processor (Intel Q6600 2.4), and the DVD-ROM and left the old Dell sitting under my bed while I had a blast with my new powerful PC.

    While searching TigerDirect.ca while I was bored, I noticed that there was an OEM Q6600 for only $180, so I figured why not buy that, some new RAM (OCZ DDR2 800MHz, Platinum Edition) and some thermal paste and fix up that old Dell to replace my sisters older computer (then fix up my sisters older computer for my parents... That's how it tends to go with my family, hehe).

    So I take the RAM and DVD-ROM that came from the Dell originally and put that with the new Q6600 into the Dell hardware and took my sisters Western Digital WD2500JS 250GB HDD and put that in, formatted and installed from the Dell branded Vista DVD. Everything was working great, all 4 cores were running well at under 20 degrees (Dell knows how to cool a CPU), Vista was running smooth, and I installed all of the drivers that were needed. I started porting over my sisters documents and music from the 6 backup DVDs I had made (1 entire DVD was photos.. that kid sure loves her camera) and installing the programs she used such as MSN Messenger, Firefox, Team Speak, etc., and I started to notice slow downs and then outright crashes.

    The first step in the crashing would be a Windows module crashing, like dwm.exe, or the logon process not being able to load windows, and then the hard drive would become unwritable. So since I couldn't do anything with the computer, I did a hard reboot from the power button. When the PC would begin to boot up, one of two things would happen. First, either the BIOS wouldn't completely do its process and the little progress bar under the Dell boot logo wouldn't complete, thus requiring a restart. The second, and most common occurance, would be the failure to recognize a hard drive by the BIOS. Once I got the hard drive not recognized error I'd again reboot and the computer would start up normally.

    I've run chkdsk twice and no errors in the file system were found, nor were any bad sectors, so I'm completely and totally at a loss. Before I end up using that Hard Drive as a paperweight and buying new, is there anything I can do to salvage what I got?

    Processor: Intel Q6600 2.4GHz
    RAM: Kingston 3GB DDR2 (2x 1GB 2x 512MB)
    Hard Drive: Western Digital WD2500JS 250GB
    Motherboard Chipset: Intel 945 (Dell manufactured)
     
  2. Orumph

    Orumph

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    The only way to salvage any data is hook it up to another system as a slave drive.
    But you have all the data already.

    Run Hard Drive Diags
    Get the WDDiag... http://support.wdc.com/product/download.asp?groupid=612&lang=en

    Data Lifeguard Diagnostic for DOS (Floppy) or (CD)
    Don't worry about the drive, the diags are the same for all drives.
     
  3. Rich-M

    Rich-M

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    Sounds more like ram errors to me.
     
  4. Orumph

    Orumph

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    Maybe, but I have never seen a ram issue cause a hard drive to not be detected.
    I have seen mobo issues cause this problem, but not ram.

    I think this is more a possible bad mobo, (sata or IDE drive controller, or bad/leaking capacitors I have seen cause this issue) or bad hard drive.
     
  5. Rich-M

    Rich-M

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    It could be a lot of things ie psu, ram and of course drive but the fact that the issue changes and takes time to happen, rather suggest something more like a ram incompatibility or weak psu to me and ram errors can appear to be software errors and can prevent bootup, they are all over the place and not necessarily with any consistency.
     
  6. Orumph

    Orumph

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    Yes, I agree. But, in this type of situation, I would run HDD Diags first, then RAM tests, if those pass, then other issues.

    But suspect Hard Drive or Memory will be the failing components.

    I just had a system that was throwing errors all over the place, memory errors, missing files, generally running like crap, infact, device manager was missing from the mmc and it was a bad drive with one bad sector which was repaired with the hdd diags. most of the errors stopped and device manager popped up again, but there was a lot of other OS corruption that we reloaded the OS also. Yes, I also tested memory just to be sure it wasn't also bad, it was fine. So I generally start with HDD Digs, cause 8 times out of 10 it's a bad drive causing these types of problems.
     
  7. Chief-Phillips

    Chief-Phillips Thread Starter

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    The HDD passed all tests with the WD diagnostic tool, but it sounds right now (I'm actually using the computer typing this) like it's having a heart attack, working overtime, however you want to put it.

    I'll run Memtest86 and see if that yields anything, but like Orumph said, it's probably a long shot with the HDD not being present when the errors occur. As for other problems, I'm not entirely sure what it could be... The computer was sitting under a bed since April or May and never had any sort of problems before. The only alien components (other than perihpials) is the processor, even though it's the exact same model (just a new purchase) and the HDD.
     
  8. Chief-Phillips

    Chief-Phillips Thread Starter

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    No memory errors it seems. For a little while the OS runs fine, but programs will open slower than they should, then eventually everything will freeze for 30 seconds or so and the task manager won't appear if I CTRL + ALT + DEL until that time is up.

    I haven't replicated a BSOD yet, the last one was this morning when I was working elsewhere in the house. My sister (the primary operator) says she noticed her MSN Messenger disconnecting from time to time as well.

    Any more ideas?
     
  9. Rich-M

    Rich-M

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    INot enough time has passed for you to have tested the memory with memtest86. That takes 3to 4 hours. What you are supposed to do is run 4 full tests, and each test has 8 passes. Now that said this is sounding like a bad hard drive for sure now.
     
  10. Chief-Phillips

    Chief-Phillips Thread Starter

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    I ran up to 10% on Test 8, in my experiences testing memory (and I've had to do this a lot with my friends' computers), almost all errors come up within the first few tests.

    I'll just buy a new hard drive... If that doesn't work, then I'll just gut the Dell and toss it to the corner. That's the last time I buy a pre-fabricated computer, the three PC's I've built myself have never had any sort of serious problem, only my Dell.

    It does sound (literaly) like some sort of HDD problem though, I have uTorrent going downloading PlaneShift, something my sister plays, and the HDD is working very hard... Not something it should be doing, so the sectors may be okay, but something in there isn't doing its job.
     
  11. Orumph

    Orumph

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    This is incorrect. Not all memory errors will show up that quickly.
    some may, but if not, that is no indication the memory is ok.

    Only testing for a period of no less than 4 to 6 hours will actually test ALL of the memory.

    Hard Drive Thrashing doesn't always indicate a bad disk.
    HDD thrashing can also be caused by processes over working the system.

    It is a slight potential it could be the CPU, but that is a slight potential.

    however, if the drive doesn't sound right, like clicking, or working very hard with little activity, then yes, the drive could be mechanically bad.

    The other thing I was thinking.... are you sure that system is fully compatible with the Q6600? I'm trying to research this now.
     
  12. Orumph

    Orumph

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  13. Chief-Phillips

    Chief-Phillips Thread Starter

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    Everything in the computer is default, so yes, it does support the Q6600. The processor is brand new out of the box, and I've installed many processors on many computers in the past, it's 100% in working order.

    I know the MemTest86 test wasn't done completely, but to me it didn't seem like it would have found anything based on what was happening, so I didn't bother waiting 6 hours, I tried new things. And long behold...

    I think I may have made some headway. I disabled a feature (I can't remember exactly what it is off of the top of my head) that automatically assigns drives as RAID and re-installed Vista. So far it's been extremely stable. All updates have been installed, all of the latest drivers, the programs she uses, etc. The HDD still sounds like its being over-worked to me, but it seems to be working, so maybe I'm just used to my more quiet HDD I have in my own computer.
     
  14. Orumph

    Orumph

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    That could be.

    AHCI may be what you are referring to. But, Vista is AHCI compatible, so could be you need drivers for that system.

    Everything I am reading says otherwise on the Q6600, but if it's working, then I guess that's a moot point ;)
    Glad it's fixed.

    This just goes to show, that computer problems manifest in really strange ways.
     
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