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Windows 7: Hardware trouble shooting help


14 Apr 2013   #1
Lowlife

Oklahoma
 
 
Hardware trouble shooting help

The other day out of no where my computer froze. Tried to reboot and would not load windows. Ran start up repair and after 60 hours windows could not repair it. Tried to reinstall windows the hard drive would not show up, it was detected in bios but would not show up to install windows.

I ordered a new hard drive.

Installed the hard drive, after many problems some my fault some random windows errors windows finally installed. Started loading drivers. Had most of them installed and had to do something else, turned computer off.

When I cane back windows could not load. Reinstalled again. Installed drivers again rebooted several times in the process. Computer was "laggy" so I rebooted again. Wouldn't boot. Went to reinstall windows again. Windows says the hard drive is going to fail soon and will not install on that drive. (this is a brand new drive.)

Used a Ubuntu flash drive to check memory. All 4 first time. There was an error on test 7. Pulled one checked again same errors. Went through pulling each one then put them in one by one testing memory one module at a time. All 4 have errors on test 7.

I assume the mother board is the only option?

Motherboard = an old 770ta-ud3
1st hard drive = spinpoint f3
New hard drive = western digital blue
Graphics = sapphire tech HD 4850
Chip = AMD Athlon 630
Ram = G Skills 4 x 2GB


My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Apr 2013   #2
ICit2lol

Desk1 8 Pro / Desk2 7 Home Prem / Laptop 8.1 Pro all 64bit
 
 

Hello and welcome Lowlife (what a username I'm sure you're not) mate make a bootable memtest disk up and set the BIOS to boot from the optical insert the disk and Save and exit BIOS the memtest will boot the machine and start the test. and run the test.

It takes some time and you need to do at least 8 passes unless you start to get red errors straight way. Then you may as well get some new RAM.

But before you do that try reseating the sticks first though - just worth a try

Memtest86+ - Advanced Memory Diagnostic Tool

a couple of screens for how it looks.


Attached Thumbnails
-mem.png   -mem2.png  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Apr 2013   #3
Lowlife

Oklahoma
 
 

I did run "memtest86", first on all 4 memory modules. started showing errors on test 7 "random numbers". I pulled one module tested 3 modules, same results, pulled another module, tested 2 modules same results, pulled another module, tested 1 module same results. Then I put the first 3 modules in one at a time same results on each one.

If all 4 memory modules are bad then something else had to cause it to go bad.

If it was just the memory why are TWO hard drives messing up also?

I am stumped here.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Apr 2013   #4
TheCyberMan

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

You would be best testing one module at a time just in case one may be good.

Memory can go for various reasons and it is still the most volotile piece of hardware in a system today overclocking can shorten the lifetime of a module incorrect shutdowns power spikes and others.

does not mean your hard drives are messing up although it may appear so.

The data when read into memory and addressed and then transferred to th hard drive is probably corrupted and therefore cause the error in the installation giving the impression of the hard drive is at fault as hard drives can give similar errors when they are failing or have failed.

My advice if you have 1GB memory sticks or more spare that are compatible with your mothrboard then install one or two sticks and try the installation again if successful that confirms no issue with the hard drive sepecially with it being new.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Apr 2013   #5
Lowlife

Oklahoma
 
 

All 4 tested bad one at a time. I will have to find some memory to test with, Thanks for the suggestion.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Apr 2013   #6
TVeblen

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 64 Bit Home Premium SP1
 
 

Here are the possible reasons I can think of that you could see the symptoms you do:
  • Power Supply: faulty power to the motherboard, causing multiple failures, faulty power to RAM slots, faulty power to hard disk drives.
  • Motherboard: Faulty board , certainly, but it could also be a bad Checksum, BIOS setting error, or connection problem (short circuit).
  • Bad component not mentioned, like an optical drive.
The power supply can be (rough) tested with a multimeter. Do you own one? Otherwise you could borrow one to switch out temporarily.


As for the motherboard try these:

  • Clean out the case and motherboard with compressed air.
  • Remove and re-seat all installed components. Double check all wired connections
  • Go into the BIOS settings and restore Defaults. Be sure to write down all your preferred settings first so you can reset them after restarting. This will address any BIOS setting problem.
  • Perform a ClearCMOS procedure to re-enumerate the devices. See your motherboard manual for instructions.
As for components, disconnect all the other drives and externally connected devices except keyboard and mouse and test.


It seems highly unlikely that you were unlucky enough to have two bad hard drives, and even more unlikely that all 4 RAM sticks failed in the same area at once. My gut feeling is that these are symptoms and not the real problem.


Let us know what you find.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Apr 2013   #7
TheCyberMan

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Lowlife View Post
All 4 tested bad one at a time. I will have to find some memory to test with, Thanks for the suggestion.
You are welcome and keep us updated on how it goes.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Apr 2013   #8
Lowlife

Oklahoma
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by TVeblen View Post
Here are the possible reasons I can think of that you could see the symptoms you do:
  • Power Supply: faulty power to the motherboard, causing multiple failures, faulty power to RAM slots, faulty power to hard disk drives.
  • Motherboard: Faulty board , certainly, but it could also be a bad Checksum, BIOS setting error, or connection problem (short circuit).
  • Bad component not mentioned, like an optical drive.
The power supply can be (rough) tested with a multimeter. Do you own one? Otherwise you could borrow one to switch out temporarily.


As for the motherboard try these:

  • Clean out the case and motherboard with compressed air.
  • Remove and re-seat all installed components. Double check all wired connections
  • Go into the BIOS settings and restore Defaults. Be sure to write down all your preferred settings first so you can reset them after restarting. This will address any BIOS setting problem.
  • Perform a ClearCMOS procedure to re-enumerate the devices. See your motherboard manual for instructions.
As for components, disconnect all the other drives and externally connected devices except keyboard and mouse and test.


It seems highly unlikely that you were unlucky enough to have two bad hard drives, and even more unlikely that all 4 RAM sticks failed in the same area at once. My gut feeling is that these are symptoms and not the real problem.


Let us know what you find.
Case is clean, pretty OCD about that.
Removed everything but board, power supply, memory, one optical drive
first thing I did was restore "optimal settings" in BIOS, updated BIOS later, cleared CMOS many times.
I am waiting for a multimeter to be delivered actually, for another project.

I am trying to find some memory to test with. If the power supply was bad would the memory test bad even when everything was just working "ok" a few minutes earlier?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Apr 2013   #9
TVeblen

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 64 Bit Home Premium SP1
 
 

RAM needs steady power to operate correctly. Any dip in voltage or amperage to the RAM slots will cause/mimic data errors.

Here is the multimeter test I like to do: I find a spare power connector and connect the meter to the 12v (yellow) line and ground (black). Then I run the PC as usual - starting, shutting down, opening programs (not in your case, of course) and watch the meter on the desk the whole time. The voltage should be at least 12v and remain rock steady. Any fluctuation more than a tenth of a volt is cause for concern.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Apr 2013   #10
Lowlife

Oklahoma
 
 

The thing about that though is when I boot into Ubuntu from a USB drive everything works "OK". All the ram modules error out at the same spot in the test. Test 7 random number generator I believe. I will test the power supply at this point it could be anything it just doesn't make any since.

When I tested ram I tested each one individually and they all past all the test to the same point. It seems if it was a flaky power supply they wouldn't all error at the same time every time.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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