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Quite possibly the most strange and mind boggling PC problem EVER


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#46
Samm

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Ok, I've never heard of a screen causing this type of problem. Cathode seems equally unlikely. Mouse is a possibility although shouldn't cause HDD failure.
If you have the logitech software installed, try removing it as that may be causing BSOD problem.

I'm slightly confused about the HDD failure. Are you saying that the SATA drive has failed, or the IDE one?
If it's the SATA, then in what way has it failed? Is it totally dead?

Another thought - the sata drive is larger than 137GB which means both the bios of the motherboard & the OS need to support 48 bit LBA. The bios obviously will but if you installed XP initially without a service pack then it won't support anything beyond 137GB. This means you need to partition the drive during the XP install so that the 1st partition is smaller than 137GB. Once SP2 is installed, you can then safely partition the rest of the drive or increase the size of the primary partition. If you make the primary partition bigger than 137GB BEFORE the service pack is installed, then you are likely to run into problems.
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#47
Mitesh

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No no samm you got it all wrong.
Ok from the beginning:
Recieved new parts.
1st problem: New red Cold Cathode would not fit so I sanded down the edges of it to make it fit. Took me 2 hours by hand. (Please note this is urelated to the HDD failure). The cathode's wire would not stretch far enough so I cut the wire and added some wire in between to extend MAKING SURE the positive and negative were connected correctly.
After I put the PC together and turned it on and turned this red cathode on I found it to be very dim :whistling:. Must have damaged it when I was sanding it cus I kept the sandpaper on a surface and held the plastic part of the cathode and rubbed it on the sandpaper so the internal light tube was exposed to some G forces!

Put the other parts in.

Noticed that whilst I was installing the heatsink on the mobo (the zalman one) I was screwing into the paths on the mobo's. (Hey it was 2:00am I was knackered). I looked at it very closely and found that it seemed to have dented one of the paths however I though what the [bleep] and left it and carried on installing all the other parts.

Turned on PC. Checked all BIOS settings, changed a couple such as 'Alert when CPU fan fails' etc (no important BIOS changes were made).
Checked it was recgonising the RAM and the CPU - seemed to be fine so I thought nah the mobo probably wasnt damaged.

Installed XP.

THE OTHER 80GB IDE HDD IN THE MEANTIME WAS DISCONNECTED INCLUDING POWER; AS WAS THE SONY DVD-ROM DRIVE (although the molex power cable was connected to the Sony DVD-ROM drive (cus the IDE cable couldnt stretch far enough to reach the IDE connector on the mobo so the Sony DVD-ROM was not conneceted only the LG optical drive).

OK now before I go on further it is important that you understand how the power has been configured in my rig:

Molex 1 - Rear 120mm Fan, Front 120mm Fan,
Molex 2 - Front lights of case, Blue and red Cold cathodes
Molex 3 - WD 320GB I had to purchase a power splitter to connect the WD HDD because the wire is not long enough (Using legacy power cus I'm using the WD secureconnect cable which I ordered along wiht everything else) and the 80GB Seagate IDE - although intially this was disconnected.
And err cant remember anything else.

Ok so I installed XP.

Loaded up into XP.

Installed mobo drivers, went OK.

Turned PC off (after all mobo drivers were installed)

Connected power to IDE and removed IDE connector on mobo and attached older IDE cable form previous mobo to the IDE HDD and the IDE connecotr on mobo.

Powered up.

Went into My Computer, clicked on the IDE drive.

Went onto SP2 (I dont have Service pack 2 on ayn CD's and ALL my documents and extra downloaded apps and all game saves are on the 80GB IDE HDD)

Started installing (setup files were being transfered as that is the intial thing then you click next etc) got about 3/4 of the way through and the WD 320GB SATA HDD went whoosh (as in the HDD slowed down quickly) and I saw that BSOD and it made a clik noise after which it span up fast again and the PC rebooted itself.
Tried again same problem except soemtimes the BSOD stays for like 30-50seconds and other times it justs rebooted quickly but it almost always eventually rebooted in the BSOD.

So I disconnected the IDE HDD (that is the power and IDE cable) and attached the new IDE cable to the Sony DVD-ROM and the mobo (was in a hurry so I connected it to the Sony).

Turned PC on.

Put my X-Fi's installation CD in after I got to desktop.

It came up as usual - Select language click next - however when I clicked next it took longer than usual for the next part to come, - then oyu get options as to what you want installed - then minimum, full or custom installation - all these parts were appearing slower than usual so when I clicked next the mouse cursor changed to the loading symbol for like 20 seconds everytime.

Then it took AGES for it to install even though it didnt as you will understand:
It went 1% then after about 2 mins it went to 8% then BSOD.

Turned PC off.

Disconnected IDE from the Sony drive and connected it to the LG drive.

Turned on PC.

Again same thing put X-Fi CD however EXACTLY the same problem except sometimes it manages to get ot 11% although it takes about 5mins to get there (normally it only takes about 3 mis for COMPLETE installation.

Oh and I forgot to mention that XP's loading time was extended alot after I got the 1st BSOD.

So I rebooted and put in my SP1a CD.

That installed fully although for some reason there were loads of files left over by the previous unsuccesful attemepts of installing SP2 most had the second sub-folder as I386 or something along those lines I cant quite remember.
They had long a*ss names like D52sdfsfdsd2fsf56sf etc.
Although SP1a installed fully it took 40 mins.

Rebooted again tried X-Fi, same problem.

Reinstalled XP.

Put on mobo drivers, went fine.

Tried X-Fi again same problem. Tried Nvidia EVGA CD same problem except no BSOD instead it simply hangs and is extremley slow.

The noise the HDD makes when I get that BSOD indicates it is damaged.

Also note that I got this BSOD previously on the older WD 320GB HDD so this rules out the possibilty that the mobo is damaged (this is a brand new warranty replacment if you remember Samm you asked me 'and tell me if your HDD has been behaving itself these days' go back in the pages and you'll see- so I have had this HDD for say about 2 months although dont forget I have hardly used it as I was selling the older parts and before that I RMA'd the X1900XT and got a X1950XTX after which I sold everyhting - never used the X1950XTX as that would devalue it so between the time it took to RMA the X1900XT and the time I got my new components, the PSU and EVERYTHING (Except the Power to the LCD) were disconnected.)

Now another thing I should mention is that before I got the new pats that is when my PC was TOTALLY disconnected to all peripheals and from the power (I pulled out EVERYTHING from the back of the PC, - obviously as there was no mobo, however I also took out the 3 pin power to the PSU).
The other thing is AGAIN the main fuse box burnt out. Like last time except this time the 2 fuses were burnt as well as the main power cable that the energy company is responsible (there is a black box int he fuse box, anything above that is our responsibilty).
The surge protector on my new Belkin surge protection unit still indicates that it is protected and the grounded light is still on indicating that the plug socket is properly grounded.

Whew OK that was aloot of typing.

So that leaves the older components to point the finger at - LG and Sony optical drives, 80GB IDE drive, 17 inch Iiyama Prolite E435BS or whatever its called, the old Dell keyboard, USB Logitech G5 mouse and thats it.

Ok now I gave the 80GB IDE to Jamie to test my 80GB HDD drive. He configured it so that it replicated my setup in that he has a WD HDD connected via legacy power (his own WD HDD) and my 80GB IDE via the SAME legacy power so in that sense it is in the same configuration as mine, his machine is not the same spec as mine.

So that rules out the IDE HDD I suppose.

I did disconnect the G5 today to see if that would make any diffrence but no diffrence whatsoeer (I used an older mouse connected via the ither funny connector which I think is called PS2).

Removed 1 RAM module (only just cus the 8800 GTS gets in the way) still the same. Cant remove other RAM module as there are sensitive components of the 8800 GTS just below the RAM slot.

Givent the fact that the older X1900XT I had got damaged and gave me very low FPS hence the replacment X1950XTX, it makes sense to pint the finger at the screen however What the...?

I know about the partiton thing which is why I normally install SP2 after putting in the mobo drivers, so no the HDD was not experiencing partition problems cus I didnt even think about partitioning it cus of the problems.

NO LOGITECH software was installed as I have a set procedure of installation I normally 1st put the mobo drivers in then SP2 then GPU drivers, then Sound card drivers then Logitech drivers.

So now you have the info tell me if you have answers!

Looking forward to your reply Samm.

Many thanks in advance.

Edited by Mitesh, 15 April 2007 - 11:38 AM.

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#48
Samm

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Ok, I need to be clear about the sata drive partitions.
You said you didn't repartition the drive this time, just reinstalled windows, right?

What size was/is the primary partition? If it was over 137GB at the time of the install, then you are likely to have problems with it. Installing the SP after the mobo drivers still means that the primary partition needs to be <137GB when you install the OS. You can only increase the size AFTER installing the SP.

Can I suggest that run a diagnostic over the sata drive? Try WD's DataLifeguard Diagnostic for windows :

http://support.wdc.c...?...d=15&swid=3


Another point worth mentioning - although this is probably not connected to the problems you are having, make sure that the IDE cable connected to the 80GB drive, is an 80 wire cable, not a 40 wire one, and make sure the blue connector is connected to the motherboard. I only thought to mention this when you said about using the old IDE cable from the previous mobo with it.

You mentioned using a power splitter with the sata drive. Be careful with these as they are notorious for causing problems & being generally flakey.

Also, next time you get a BSOD, if it's a STOP error then write down the code after the word STOP. i.e the 0x00000000 code & let me know what it is.
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#49
Mitesh

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OMG Samm. Iv told you EVRYTHING there is to be said - the HDD could not have been over 137GB because SP2 is not part of my XP's setup. 'Repartiton this time????' I only partition the drive after I finish installing all software games etc- its one of the last things I do - I have not partitoned the drive since i'v had the new parts.

OMG- Iv told you the stop error code in the 1st email regarding this problem (not the 1st 1st one but the one at the bottom of page 3) - thats THE SAME ONE that keeps coming again and again.

The power splitter could not be the cause - look at the page number of this thread - we a re on page 4 - this is not the 1st time the SATA HDD has broken - this is now the 5th time.

Samm I have given you all the info and the STOP error code; I cant think of what else you need to know.

Oh and I have downloaded that software EVER since I received my 1st WD HDD, this is my 3rd one, and yes that software says everything is fine even after loads of tests - then again it said that for the other 2 drives and both were warranty replcaed after they found a fault with it.

Also my Gigabyte GA-8I915P-Duo Pro did not come with cables THAT old man I mean seriously 40 pin cables went 'out of production' sort of like 5 years ago.

Edited by Mitesh, 16 April 2007 - 01:31 AM.

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#50
Samm

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OMG Samm. Iv told you EVRYTHING there is to be said - the HDD could not have been over 137GB because SP2 is not part of my XP's setup. 'Repartiton this time????' I only partition the drive after I finish installing all software games etc- its one of the last things I do - I have not partitoned the drive since i'v had the new parts.


Lol, keep your wig on Mitesh, otherwise I may just refer you PCWorld Tech Support. THEN you'll have something to complain about!

Re. your quote about only partitioning the drive AFTER you finish installing s/w etc...you HAVE to partition the drive (or let XP partition it for you) & create at least a primary partition BEFORE installing ANYTHING. Hence my original question. Anyway, that to one side, you are saying that the primary partition is <137GB, so fine. That's all I wanted to know.


OMG- Iv told you the stop error code in the 1st email regarding this problem (not the 1st 1st one but the one at the bottom of page 3) - thats THE SAME ONE that keeps coming again and again.


OK, so the STOP error is 0x7e then. I'm not telepathic BTW, and I also work on the basis that assumption is the mother of all f*ck ups, which is why I like to check these things.


I want you to do this:
Download WinAudit, extract the files to your hard drive & run it. When it's finished, go to the File menu & click Save. Make sure you select the 'Web page HTML ONLY' option. Close winaudit & email the saved report to me as an attachment.
NB It will create 3 html files - the main report file (with whatever name you gave it), LEFTFRAME.HTML & RIGHTFRAME.HTML.
I NEED ALL THREE.

Attached File  winaudit.zip   578.63KB   37 downloads
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#51
Mitesh

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Ok right heres what happened last night:

Got home removed power to DVD-ROM drives, cathodes and removed sound card. Removed IDE wire from mobo.
It still did not work.
So I reinstalled XP.
Installed mobo drivers. (Obviously plugged on the LG drive)
Plugged in IDE 80GB and ran SP2- no problems it installed without a hitch.
Removed the 80GB drive after turning PC off.
Plugged in LG optical drive.
Installed graphics card drivers- WOW the first time those worked!!
Perfect except apprantely the monitor the tempreature is now a perfomance feature and must be downloaded.
Anways; turned off the PC.
Installed X-Fi.
Booted XP.
'Windows has found new hardware - ahhh shut up! Clicked cancel as you are meant to.
Double clicked the CD-ROM icon/DVD-ROM.
I noticed that as it loaded up it was as slow as it was when I installed windows and got those BSOD's.
So cliked Europe - Language: English - again much slower than normal.
Clicked Next...... Hang on whats that popping up in the bottom right hand side near the time???
-> 'Delayed write failed'
Windows was unable to save all the data for the file C:\WINDOWS\system32\config\SysEvent.Evt. The data has been lost. This error may be caused by failure of your computer hardware or network connection. Please try to save your this file elsewhere.

After that went (well some time after) the installation of the drivers/software began- 1% - 2 minutes later 3% - 5 minutes later 11% etc until about 22% then CTRegSvrfails to register "C:\Program Files\Creative\Sound Blaster X-Fi\Console Launcher\ Audio Creation\ModeAC.dll".

Okkkk then- what next? So I clicked OK (then only option there). After about 1 minutee BSOD - (The usual : A problem has been .... etc) then: A process or thread crucial to the systems operation has unexpectedly exited or been terminated. (Then the usual "If this is the first time.....etc) 0x000000F4 (0x00000003, 0x89AF5728, 0x89AF589C, 0x805D1142).

Thats it no address thingy this time.

So it rebooted.

I tried installing it again (no sound was coming because the device manager still did not recognise it). None of the software was installed - nothing. Went to Regedit and found that the Creative folder is there. So tried installing again- this time it got to about 20% again same error message and then it got to 60% after which reboot by itself.

After reboot I left it running for about 30 seconds to see what would happen (the intial launch of desktop was very slow in that I couldnt click on the start menu or my computer or right click etc). It BSOD'd me againsame one as before 0x00000F4.

So after reboot I let the "Found new hardware wizard" install the drivers for me- result sound! Double clicked one of the music samples- WMP did not open. Tried again etc nope wasnt opening.
So I decided to try installing it again this time when it got to installation of sotware and drivers etc I clicked cancel.

Bottom right corner again: Delayed write etc :C:\WINDOWS\Prefetch\CTLAUNCH.EXE-3148614B.pf. - That was the name of that file.
Another that popped up was : C:\$BitMap
There were some others but I cant remember them and I think there was only another 1.

Remember the Sound card worked fine with my previous setup. This defintley seems like some driver problem however it is weird that the installation menus take soo long.

Restarted.

BSOD same one.

Restarted. Decided to delete the Creative folder in the registry as it did not appear in the Add or Remove programs (in fact the icon to remove had gone on the other software installed in the add or remove bit).
Deleted.

Restarted manually.
No BSOD.
Checked registry- it had reappeared!!
However no more BSOD although the entire OS is extremley sluggish and often hangs.
I treid installing COD2 - Stream write error.
So I clikced OK took the disc out put it back in and this time the menu came up for installation.
Clicked install- PC hanged.

Looked at my watch 11:38PM- s**hi*t got college tommorow- went to sleep. Had dreams of - ok I'll stop there (grins :whistling:)

So that is basically it.

It seems to be that it doesnt like the soundcard but why is that?

Ceck out this forum - the guy (onlinewarrior40) has a similar setup to mine except his GPU and RAM are diffrent (and of course his sound card is a higher model) same HDD: http://www.atomicmpc...2...c=6&t=11538
Notice that my RAM although it seems it is merley the same as his only mine is slower. Thats what it seems but the weird thing is on Corsairs website this mobo has only been tested with the 6400 version of the RAM. However I did try removing the modules - no diffrence - I will try again and use different RAM from the other PC (Cant use anything else as it is the Shops security PC in that all CCTV footage is recorded on there)- however this seems to be a driver or mobo and sound card issue as XP, Nvidia drivers and Mobo drivers install A OK with no perfomance issues in that the sluggish perfomance I have been experiencing in th OS. Removing the soundcard wont make any difference as I tried that on my 1st installation of XP - however I will give it a go.

I am downloading that thing and following your instructions Samm in the meantime I am emailing gigabyte- corsair- Creatvie - Intel and Western Digital.

Any ideas as to the solution?

Edited by Mitesh, 17 April 2007 - 10:32 AM.

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#52
Samm

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Hi Mitesh

Sorry - forgot to give you my email address last time - removed to confuse email harvesters

Re. your latest post - Make sure that you have the onboard audio disabled in the bios to start with. Apart from that, if you believe the problem is with the sound card, which would seem a reasonable assumption, then try removing it completely from the system (just for a few days) to make sure that it is the cause of the problem.
If all seems OK without the soundcard, then try reinstalling it but place it in a different PCI slot & see if that makes a difference.

Apart from that, I might get a clearer idea when you email the winaudit report to me
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#53
Mitesh

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Ok just finished reinstalling everythi8ng with the X-Fi completley removed and the onboard audio on. Still BSOD's and clicking from the hdd and regular crashes- couldnt even install the graphics card drivers this time. Sending EVERYTHING back for checking - that means the sound card and the PSU as well. Hopefully this may be the last time I have to do this.
Tried my WD HDD and Seagte 80GB IDE on the other pentium4 pc - worked fine.
Tried USB mouse - didnt cause any problems.
Seems definte hardware faults.
I got unkwon hard error, (Windows - System Error' popup tballon), Whilst insstalling DivX (just thought I would try it see what would happen) I got 'System Shutdown' Red circle white cross in middle - : System process: 'C:WINDOWS\system32\services.exe' Terminated unexpectedly with status code - 1073741818. The system will now shutdown and restart. - 1 minute countdown - after time was up it didnt restart... hanged though.
God this is living [bleep].

Edited by Mitesh, 18 April 2007 - 09:13 AM.

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#54
Samm

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Hi Mitesh

Thanks for the winaudit report

First thing that struck me was the startup list - you have a raid configurator utility in there, which suggests you have SATA Raid enabled in the bios. Is this correct?
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#55
Mitesh

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No in BIOS it is disabled - that is utility is needed for SATA 2 apparently and is part of the mobo driver installation.
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#56
Samm

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OK. cool.
According to the motherboard manual, your board has 8 sata ports - 6 are part of the Intel ICH8R Southbridge controller & the other 2 use the Gigabyte sata controller. Out of Interest, which of these two is your HDD connected to?
If you're not sure, the 2 Gigabyte sata ports are the 2 nearest to the power LED header on the board.
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#57
Mitesh

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I have it connected ot the Gigabyte one but intally it ws on the ICH8 one however it was Slave so I connectedd it to the gigabyte one. Made no difference to anything at all.
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#58
Samm

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Can you double check these particular settings in the bios please? Do not change them, just let me know what they are set to now & whether you have altered any of them at any point...

check the following settings under 'Integrated Peripherals' :

SATA RAID/AHCI Mode : [RAID] [AHCI] [DISABLED]
Onboard SATA/IDE Device : [ENABLED] [DISABLED]
Onboard SATA/IDE CTRL Mode : [IDE] [AHCI] [RAID/IDE]
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#59
Mitesh

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Cant do anything till I get my parts back - no motherboard etc.
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#60
Mitesh

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OK so far the mobo has been tested and found faulty so new replacment- ok sounds good (to tell you the truth I think I damaged the board whilst fitting the Zalman heatsink and fan - so this time I will se the original heatsink and fan) because when I put the zalman fan and heatsink on I was screwing into the mobo (it was 2am!!) and I think the heatsink has problems and the fittings as well, becasue when I removed the heatsink to RMA the mobo I found that the latching part (the part that holds the proccessor in and on which the heatsink almost otuches) was bent inwards indicating that I had damaged it in the fiddly process of installing it and it is also possible that I damaged the CPU becasue the pressure may have been a bit much.

Ebuyer have yet to tell me what is happening with the CPU and RAM (even though that was the first RMA I sent).

Last but most certainly not least I sent the graphics card; they came to collect it on Friday so I doubt that it has reached there yet. I checked and no it still says in progress.

And I am RMA'ing the hard drive (I really dont care if I have to pay for the return carriage if the products are found not faulty - it wil be worth it once I can actually use my PC).

Well I'll update as I go - Samm any recommendations as to whether or not to use that heatsink (that is the zalman one)?
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