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I think my PC died... This should be a challenge


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#16
anzenketh

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If you do not have a ISO burner you could use Deepburner

Edited by tuxmaster, 23 May 2007 - 07:30 PM.

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#17
The Skeptic

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Quote from the report: "READ DMA : Testing... Error : Undefined error"

DMA stands for Direct Memory Access. This is a technology that makes data transfer between IDE storage devices and the memory more efficient. Idon't know what this Undefined Error is but please enter BIOS and look in the menus for somehing like "IDE DMA Transfer enabled/disabled. Make sure it is enabled.

As a matter of fact I don't believe that it will make the necessary difference since c: partition is working. Presently I don't have other ideas and I invite everyone to contribute. This is one classical case in which I feel that had I have the computer in front of me I might have found a solution. Or maybe not.

I am afraid that we are nearing a point in which I would recommend format.
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#18
anzenketh

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I would agree with you on the format however I don't think a format will solve the DMA issue.

My usual advice is Uninstall and reinstall the IDE controllers in device manager. But you should not get a DMA error in DOS. The IDE controllers are on the mainboard.

What is the make and model of the computer now we need to get into BIOS settings. I just Checked in my MSI mainboard and it has a Phoenix Award BIOS and there is a setting there For DMA mode. So I would first check that. Try reseting the BIOS to Defaults.

This may even one of those that I might even consider Flashing the BIOS but I rarely do that. And you need some sort of Bootable CD or Floppy for that usualy.

It is even possible due to the fact that you plugged in a CDROM device and your system came to a crawl that your IDE controlers on your southbridge may be going south. Anotherwords to prepare you for the worse we MAY be looking at a mainboard replacment. Generaly we would Say Hard drive replaced before mainboard. However when you pluged in your CDROm your system came to a crawl the 2 things related in that instance is the mainboard.
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#19
The Skeptic

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Hi tuxmaster.

how will he uninstall drivers in device manager if his computer is not bootable? Let's use our options on the cheap side, steps by step, before crossing the south bridge and falling into the abyss of motherboard replacement.

DMA is a BIOS feature and no one claims that format will solve a DMA problem. Since the HD test looks quite good I would give the HD and the computer another chance by reformatting, making sure that we don't have a windows problem.

I do agree about restting the BIOS but not just to default values.

Do this to clear the BIOS: disconnect the power cable from the back of the computer.
Open the side cover and carefully take out the cmos battery (looks like a silvery button).
Keep it out for about 20 minutes. Reinstall in the reverse order and reboot. You will probably
get a checksome error. If you do, enter BIOS by pressing del or F2 repeatedly when starting
the computer until BIOS tables show up. Set time and date, save the new values and let the
computer boot. There are computers in which other keys have to be used to enter BIOS.
You can find the correct key when looking at the screen right after pressing the start button.
Look for what key you have to press to enter setup.
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#20
anzenketh

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Skeptic I agree with your post. I was not recommending a motherboard replacment now I am just preparing for the worst case sennerio.

I would defenently agree with a BIOS reset First.To help diagosis lets make shure that CDROm is not BAD try the CDROM in another computer make shure the CDROM itself is not bad. Make shure that the CDROM is put in properly.

I agree 100% With the rule repair the cheapest part first except when futher diagnosis proves otherwize.

Uninstalling the Device drivers in windows will not solve anything due to getting a DMA error is DOS. It my post I stated this is my usual responce. The Diagnostic is running in DOS independent of the OS so it is not a windows problem.
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#21
noobsaibot21

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Hi all,

Thanks for the suggestions so far. I tried the BIOS reset suggested above by taking the internal battery out for 20 mins but it had no effect. I should point out that i can get Windows running on the old dell, 8Gb hard drive without any problems with the dodgy DVD rom drive in it OR the old DVD drive so it's most likely the actual hard drive. I will check back here tomorrow to see if anyone has any more suggestions and, if there are no more ideas, i will try the format route.

Regards,
Noobsaibot21
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#22
anzenketh

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Perfect it is a dell.

What you want to to do is run the diagnostics that come with the system.(this is if you have not replaced the mainboard once before)

If this is a portable please with the system off turn it on by pressing the FN+ the Power Button.
It should say booting Dell Diagnostics. Press any key press any key.

Go to Custom Test then mainbaord.

If this is a desktop. Turn the computer on start tapping F12
Go to Diagnostics Not Hard drive diagnostics.

If ither say can not go into diagnostics. Get your Drivers and Utilities CD and run it from there.

On all three do custom test then mainboard test.

Report back if you get any errors.
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#23
noobsaibot21

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Hi,

No, you misunderstand. My OLD dell HD works but this is a different PC. New Motherboard, Samsung HD, DVD RL, PSU - The works. Basically, my old (Dell) HD is working on my current (MSI) motherboard and thats why i assume that my Motherboard is okay. I am 99% positive it is only my samsung HD at this point. And i can completely format it with the Boot CD i created. All i'm waiting for now is if someone knows any way in which i might be able to back up a few things before i format. It's no big disaster if it can't be done - i will be formatting regardless - but it would be nice if i could get a few things backed up (such as my Nero 6, iTunes, games, codecs etc...)

If anyone knows of a way, please let me know. If i dont hear any suggestions in the next 2-3 days, i will just reformat.

Many thanks to everyone who has helped so far,
Noobsaibot21
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#24
anzenketh

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Sorry and thanks for the clarification I am trying to see how i misread that.

Ya if you tried a new hdd in it and it works fine depending on the age of the drive you mainboard should be ok.

Just to clarify though you did put in the CDROM that you thought was bad with the old hard drive and it worked fine?

I was talking to someone at work and they recommended checking the jumper settings on the hdd and the CDROM.
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#25
noobsaibot21

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Settings for the cable are fine. The new (not really working properly) DVD RL drive works in with the old hard drive. But it tends to slow down the computer a lot so i'm currently not using it. It will be returned as faulty in a matter of hours regardless.
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#26
wannabe1

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Hi noobsaibot21...

I think you can pull this off with the Dell cd...

Parallel Installation of Windows XP

Boot to the Windows XP installation cd by pressing a key when the "Press any key to boot from cd" prompt appears at the top of the screen.
  • At the "Welcome to Setup" screen, press Enter to set up Windows XP.
  • Accept the License Agreement by pressing F8
  • With your current installation selected in the box, press Esc
  • Select C: Partition1 [NTFS] in the box and press Enter
  • To continue setup using this partition, press C
  • Now you should see formatting options...choose the last one, Leave the current file system intact (no changes), and press Enter
  • To use a different folder, press Esc
  • Name the folder WINDOWS0 (just type a 0 (zero)) and press Enter
The Windows installation should begin. This will install Windows to a new folder, leaving your data intact. Any programs installed on the old directory will have to be reinstalled to the new one. Device drivers will also have to be installed for all the hardware to work as it should.

The data will be located in the Documents and Settings folder (C:\Documents and Settings) under your old user account name...so when you set up the new installation, give yourself a slightly different user account name.

wannabe1
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#27
noobsaibot21

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Hi,

Unfortunately, i'm not able to get that far. I can get as far as:

1. Install Fresh Copy of Windows
2. Repair Windows using recovery console
3. Reboot

If i even try to install or repair, it will get as far as "examining Startup enviornment" at the bottom and then i get the ntfs.sys error outlined on the first page of this topic. The samsung boot CD i created gives me the option of scanning and/or deleting the HD but not to try and repair it through the boot CD. I wonder if the other boot CDs (the Seagate and UBC) will give me that option.....
Might give that a go.
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#28
wannabe1

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Give the SeaTools disk and UBCD a shot...they may help, but this sounds like the file system has dropped out. If the data you have aboard is important, GetDataBack is able to recover a hard drive by cluster and should be able find the data. This is NOT a free program...I only recommend it because it works. You can download the program and run it on your drive (slaved in another machine) to see what it can find at no cost, but to actually recover the data, you'll have to purchase the key at about $80.

If you decide to wipe the drive, use Boot and Nukee...that will take the drive all the way down and write it to zeros.
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#29
noobsaibot21

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Hello again,

I had a quick search on Yahoo just on the off chance and stumbled along this little beauty:

http://www.retospher...amp;#references

Apparently there's a slight chance it will delete data but, since i'd have to format at this point anyway, i'll give it a go. I will post back the results. If it works, this site would make a decent sticky.....

Regards,
Noobsaibot21
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#30
noobsaibot21

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Hello again,

I had a quick search on Yahoo just on the off chance and stumbled along this little beauty:

http://www.retospher...amp;#references

Apparently there's a slight chance it will delete data but, since i'd have to format at this point anyway, i'll give it a go. I will post back the results. If it works, this site would make a decent sticky.....

Regards,
Noobsaibot21



UNBELIEVEABLE!

It actually worked. Not exactly as it's laid out in the link (had to get version 3.7 as opposed to 5.1) but by god it actually worked. I highly recommend that you add the link to a sticky somewhere as it will save someone A LOT of hassle. You can close this topic as the issue has been resolved.
Many thanks for everyone's help and input.
Regards,
Noobsaibot21
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