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Blue screens, repair install attempts, crashes


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#1
rrsafety

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Hey folks,

I have a Dell Dimension 4500 with Windows XP Home.

A week ago, I had many different blue screen crashes (many different codes). For a while I could get into my computer in Safe Mode, so I got to backup all my photos, songs, etc... I also got to update my drivers, etc... My local computer guy did some tests and said "the memory looks okay", "the hard drive looks okay", "the power supply unit isn't in great condition, but doesn't seem to be the problem"... he suggested I try a repair install as the blue screens became worse and Safe Mode was no longer working...

So I tried the repair install last night and it got almost all the way through, in fact i got to "Repair Existing XP Installation", it did the "setup is copying files" even got through the "Restart" to the point where you get the Home Edition Installation screen ("39 minutes to install") etc... I thought I was home free, but then got a blue screen fatal system error... I've tried a few more times and the computer tries to Install the repair/update but at some point during the install I get a blue screen error (seems to be a different error code each time).

So, my questions are:

- any suggestions as to how I can get my computer to finish the repair install?
- does this sound like a hardware error (power supply unit maybe)?, or
- is my next step to try some hardware fixes or should I go directly to the total reformat/ total reinstall of Windows?
- and, if the computer won't complete a repair install, does that mean it is likely to screw up a complete reinstall also?

Thanks for any direction or suggestions....
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#2
Retired Tech

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Click this for a guide to using Memtest


Click this to download Memtest


Run it overnight if possible
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#3
fleamailman

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if you can get your hands on one booting up on any live linux cd for a couple of hours is useful since it does not touch your harddrive but tells you if there is a problem in some other part of the computer.

honestly, I think that as you have backed up your system, I would call it a day and reinstall but before doing so see if you have a restore disk that came with the computer, do not reformat the computer because often the restore is a ISO image hidden on the harddrive which is unlocked by the restore cd. If you don't have the restore disk or would like to fresh install then do so and afterwards go onto Dell's site to download the drivers. Copies of the programs that need to be reinstalled are needed too.

but at any rate once this is all done, the system should be clean and therefore the problem whatever it was is unlikely to occur again whereas repairing it might just leave the problem to arise again since the cause unknown here remains unchecked.

no need to follow my advise as it is only that but I hope this helps

Edited by fleamailman, 25 July 2007 - 11:24 AM.

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#4
rrsafety

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i've tried memtest but I think tt froze after about 30 seconds and just two tests. frozen results say pass 1%, test 0%, test #3 and now nothing is happening. did same thing two other times when I rebooted. errors does say 0 though... isn't this supposed to just keep going? what does it meanwhen it stops? thanks..
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#5
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Can you try this

http://oca.microsoft.../en/windiag.asp
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#6
rrsafety

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Thanks, I will give that diagnostic a try....


Also, I tried rerunning the the MemTest86+ and tried running the tests (numbered 1 -10) individually. Most test ran fine, but test #3 and #6 froze up and never completed.

Even though I didn't get any "errors", does the inability of the MemTest to complete tests 3 and 6 signify anything about my problem or is it more likely a bug in the MemTest program?

Thanks....
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#7
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Run the other diagnostics

You could try the memtest disc in another PC, particularly for tests 3 and 6

If your PC has a number of Ram Memory sticks, you could remove all but the one in slot 1 and run memtest, if you get errors, change the stick

The mains lead should be disconnected from the wall socket before the case is opened
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#8
rrsafety

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HI...

my question today is 'when should I give up?'

i've run the mem diagnostics w/ no errors, tried each ram stick alone and still got blue crashes, my computer guy said the mem looked okay, and i've tried both a repair install and a full complete reinstall, both resulting in either freezes or blue crashes. almost got the full install done, but then got some 'cannot copy file cmprops.dl_' and all that silliness even though the file was right there on reinstall cd...
should I just drop this off at Best Buy or another repair shop and have them reinstall Windows or what?
I really thought that if I re-installed, my problems would go away, but I can't even reinstall ... argggh.

thoughts?
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#9
fleamailman

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I am still thinking the same thing as before, but can you tell me if you are using a restore disk, or using an XP cd of the same flavour(ie, an XP home cd for XP home) for your reinstall. if it is the latter I would go for a full format of the harddrive wiping you drive(the choice offered in doing a fresh install), this anyway is exactly what the repair shop will do, and it is the same price for them to repair your computer even if you have messed things up battling this problem for yourself as to take this computer in the state it is in directly to them, but who knows you might surprise yourself by battling on here.
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#10
rrsafety

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i'll check my cd when I get home to see what it says on it... i'm pretty sure I reformatted when I did the complete reinstall. everything w
s going fine until it couldn't find the file I mentioned above...
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#11
rrsafety

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my disk is:
operating system
reinstallation cd
microsoft windows xp home edition

... it came with my dell...
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#12
rrsafety

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I don't know if this helps, but when I reboot, it takes me thru the install proces [installing devices, languagen options, time zone, com-uter name, installing network]. then with '26 minutes to go' it goes into 'copying files' mode and I get a copy error for D:/i386... 'cannot copy the file cmprops.dl_' I hit 'retry' and nothing happens. if I hit cancel it justngoes on to the next file it cannot copy. the filenis right there on the disk, but it won't copy it... so i'm stuck... any idea howni get unstuck or why the install just won't complete?
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