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Windows XP - Problem with my computer

Discussion in 'Windows XP' started by jkostera, Jan 13, 2011.

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  1. jkostera

    jkostera Thread Starter

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    I am not sure what problem I am having with my computer. I keep getting a blue screen with a message that says a problem was detected with my computer and that it is now doing a complete data dump. When I start my computer back up, sometimes Windows starts right up and sometimes I get a screen that says Volume C:// is dirty ad it starts checking file systems. After this is done, Windows starts right up and I have no problems for a day or two. Then again my computer will shut down and go to a blue screen saying that a problem was detected. I have tried system restore to previous dates, I have tried registry cleanup via cleanpc.com. I have McAfee Virus Protection. I am not sure what the problem is. Right before Christmas I tried to install a DVD Writer with Nero 7 Essentials ( I had originally installed this in 2008 and then uninstalled in 2008). This time during the installation I received a message saying Invalid Drive F://, and that there was a fatal error during the installation process. Thinking this was causing my computer problems I have tried to unistall Nero 7 Essentials with no luck. I keep getting the message: Invalid Drive F://. I am not sure what to do. At this point I am very frustrated. Please help.
     
  2. Tabvla

    Tabvla

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    Hi jkostera, welcome to the TSG Forum :D

    The most important question at this stage is - Do you have important data files on this disk?

    If the answer to that question is "yes", then the next quetion is - Do you have a recent backup of those files?

    If the answer to that question is "no", then the next question is - Do you know how to make a backup to an external disk and do you have an external disk available with sufficient space to backup your data files?

    Once I understand the situation with your data files I will be able to proceed further to resolve this issue.

    T.
     
  3. jkostera

    jkostera Thread Starter

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    You asked about my data files. I guess I am at the beginner level in knowing what you mean here. I believe I have all my important files on this disk. I am using a laptop and have every file on my C drive. I do have an external hard drive that I plug in via USB occassionally to house a number of picure, video, and office files; but nothing important related to my system. My computer does system backups almost everyday routinely - that is what I have been conducting my system restores from. I pick a date about a month or two ago and hit system restore. I do have a backup CD of important files that I received when I purchased the computer; but this was over 5 years ago and is really outdated by now.
     
  4. Tabvla

    Tabvla

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    In very simple terms we can think of computer files in 2 categories - Program Files and Personal Data Files.

    All the files that you create are your Personal Data Files - photographs; videos; documents; spreadsheets.... these are the files that you create using programs like Word; Excel; Adobe; Roxio.... and so on. You should always have a Backup or a Copy of these files stored on a separate disk (hard disk; flash drive...etc) to your main disk which is usually designated as C drive. Because if you lose these files they cannot be replaced.

    Typically C drive will contain all your Program Files. These include Windows and all the programs that you use such as Word; Excel; Adobe; Roxio.... and so on. You can make Backups of program files for programs such as Word. If your Word program becomes corrupted you can restore it from your Backup. However, and this is important to understand, there is no point in making a Backup of Windows, because Windows will not work if you restore it from a Backup. To enable you to restore Windows you need to take an "Image" of the drive on which Windows is installed. For this you need special software such as Acronis True Image.

    Windows itself will backup critical system files when it creates a "Restore Point" and should you have a problem with Windows you can sometimes fix the problem by doing a "System Restore". You would typically do this using Safe Mode.

    However, Windows System Restore assumes that the hard disk is still working and that the problem that you have is with a Windows system file so it restores a set of critical system files. If the hard disk has failed then the ONLY way to get your Windows system back is if you restore Windows from an "Image" of the hard disk, that you have previously created, to a new hard disk.

    The symtoms that you describe are typical of a faulty hard disk and it is possible that this disk could fail at any time.

    T.
     
  5. jkostera

    jkostera Thread Starter

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    Ok, so if I have used the system restore to restore my Windows System to a "restore point" and my computer again goes to a blue screen saying there is a problem with my computer then you think I have a problem on my "hard disk." I have never previously taken an image of my hard disk and saved it to another hard disk - not even sure how to do this in the first place. That being said...is there anything I can do to correct my problem? Will I still be able to use my computer to temporarily restore my windows and use for a few days at a time or will my system just eventually stop altogether? I guess I just need to know how long my current computer may last or if I should just buy a new computer ASAP?
     
  6. SUEOHIO

    SUEOHIO

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    SUE
    if it turns out to be the hard drive going bad u can just replace the hard drive no need to buy a new computer. hard drives are a lot less expensive then a new computer.if u have all of your important stuff saved on a flash drive or cd like pictures programs documents etc if it crashes then u wont have to worry about retrieving something important.hope this helps.
     
  7. Tabvla

    Tabvla

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    Technically, there is a difference between a "hard disk" and a "hard drive". The term "hard disk" refers specifically to the platters on which the data is stored and the mechanical Read/Write arm and head that read and write this data. The term "hard drive" refers to the hard disk plus the electronics and the driver software that control the disk operations.

    When a hard disk starts to fail it can often be recovered using programs such as Chkdsk (Windows Check Disk); Defrag (Windows Disk Defragmenter) or recovery software that is often available as a free download from the manufacturer. However, should the electronics fail it is usually not economical to repair the drive and a new drive should be installed.

    Hard disks seldom fail without giving some kind of warning - for example the Blue Screens that you are getting. When the drive itself fails, specifically the electronics, this most often happens without warning. You will switch on one day and the computer will be "dead".

    In your case I would firstly run a full Check Disk. The syntax is chkdsk c:/r/f This will run the next time you start the computer.

    Next I would run the Windows Disk Defragmenter. Login as the Administrator and run the utility from Administrative Tools > Computer Management.

    For example you could have a critical system file located in a sector on the hard disk that is starting to go "bad". Running the Check Disk and Disk Defragmenter utilities should isolate that sector and move the file to a "clean" sector.

    Once you have done this let us know how your computer performs.

    T.
     
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