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Slow startup, computer crawls, gets locked up.


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#1
Pluto56

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Hello, haven't been around much, haven't needed to until now. What do you think is the problem here? I'm thinking hard drive, but don't know.

Dell Inspiron 1501 laptop.
AMD mobile Sempron 3500+ 1800mhz
1 G ram
60 GB Toshiba MK6034GSX H.D.
Windows XP SP2
AVG anti virus
Zone Alarm personal firewall

It has been extremely slow on startup and after starting, it crawls. Get's hung up if it has more than one task to run.
This started when I accidentally left it turned on all night with my email and Firefox running. A few times upon startup since this started, I have received assorted messages such as this:
SysPro.sysinfo.XML is not a function, OK?
Loading PBR for descriptor 2......... done........ disk read error..... ctrl, alt, del to restart.
Following file missing - \Windows\System 32\config\system

I've tried to restore with the Dell operating system disc that came with it, and it did improve slightly as in, I haven't gotten the syspro or file missing messages since. I did get a failure message at the end of the attempted reinstall however. It still crawls though and I still get the PBR message once in a while.
I've tried windows system restore, set 4 different restore points, and it says it failed, can't restore.
I've run check disk, which took forever, and it found nothing.

Scans run:
Spybot
AVG anti spyware
Super Anti Spyware
Hijack this (checked by a close friend)
All of these found nothing but a low risk cookies.

Utilities run:
CCleaner
Tuneup 2007

Any ideas? Did I possibly damage the processor leaving it on all night? Hard drive? Or is this an XP problem? The warranty runs out on this machine in about a month, and Dell has been no help at all. All I get is automated responses from them.

Thank you for your time.

RS

p.s. I'm posting this message using my desktop puter. The laptop is running next to me and I've been watching the CPU usage chart. It's running 0% to 7% with occasional spike to 90+% for no reason that I can see.
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#2
The Skeptic

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It could be the hard disk.

1: Run check disk from windows: right click the local disk in My Computer > properties > tools > error checking. Check the two boxes > start. Repeat the same procedure if you have more then one partition.

2: If you know the make and model of the hard disk download a diagnostic tool from the manufacturer's site and run a complete test. If you don't know, either pull the disk out and see the details or downloas Everest from the link in my signature, go to Srorage > Physical drives. At the top you will see the details.
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#3
Pluto56

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Thanks for replying, I'll run check disc again and see if I can find the Toshiba hard drive online.
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#4
Pluto56

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Results of Check Disc..........

"Volume is clean, Windows has finished checking the disk".

So this means no hard drive problem? It is still incredibly slow on startup, and occasionally if I have 2 or more processes running at the same time.

Thanks for your help.
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#5
The Skeptic

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The PBR message is similar, in ways, to MBR error. This a serious error and I wonder how it comes and goes. The fact that the installation of xp ended with an error is also not good.

1: I suggest that you try to use the disk maker's diagnostic tool to make sure that the disk is OK.
2: Use my list of programs below to downlod Sandra XII. It's a good tool to test your computer. Please follow these instructions:

How to create a Sandra XI report.

Important Note: Sandra, like all computer test programs, stresses computer components beyond the average use. This is necessary to discover weaknesses in the system. On the other hand, if the system is in a marginal state a permanent failure of components may occur . Before running the program make sure to save any unsaved data.

Download Sandra XI using the link in my signature. Please note that if you run XP 64 you need a different version of Sandra then when using XP 32. Install and run the program.

Click on Tools and then on Create Report. Follow the instructions and when given the options uncheck everything which you do not need to test. Choose a place in which to save the report. The report can be very long and complex so do not attach it to your post unless specifically asked to do so.

Run the program. The test is quite long. On my computer just testing the hardware takes about 40 minutes. At the top righthand corner there is an idicator that shows that the test is running. At the end look at the report on the screen and report items which did not pass the test successfully.
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#6
Pluto56

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Before I do that Skeptic, what do you make of this? This morning I turned the laptop on, it was starting up and I got a blue screen with this message.


A problem has been detected and Windows has been shut down to prevent damage.

Unmountable_boot_volume

If this is the first time you've seen this stop error screen, restart your computer. If this screen appears again, follow these steps:
Check to make sure any new hardware or software is properly installed.
If problems continue, disable or remove any newly installed hardware or software. Disable BIOS memory options such as caching or shadowing.

Technical Information: ***STOP 0x00000ED (0x85325E30, 0xC000009C, 0x00000000, 0x00000000).

I then restarted the computer and it started "normally", which means very slowly.
Also, I looked for a Toshiba hard drive diagnostic tool, can't find one on their site. Did some googling and found this comment on TackTech.com:

"Toshiba does not provide diagnostic tools for hard drives, currently.
Hard Disk Drives and Optical Disk Drives purchased as part of a complete system are warranted by the system OEM. Please contact your system manufacturer for further details. 2.5" Hard Disk Drive ("HDD") products purchased in the United States and Canada from Toshiba authorized distributors carry a 3-year limited warranty. 1.8" Hard Disk Drive ("HDD") products purchased in the United States and Canada from Toshiba authorized distributors carry a 1-year limited warranty. Optical Disk Drive("ODD") products purchased in the United States and Canada from Toshiba authorized distributors carry a 1-year limited warranty. Toshiba's USB 2.0 Portable External Hard Drive carries a 1-year limited warranty. Click here for additional information."

I'll wait to hear from you before proceeding.

Thanks!

Edited by Pluto56, 18 November 2007 - 08:12 AM.

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#7
123Runner

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Try http://www.techspot..../topic7602.html for the diagnostic tools.
There is rumor that Maxtors powermax and IBM's dft will work on Toshiba.

You can also run a check with HD Tune
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#8
Gnomad1600

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When you boot up your laptop you should be able to hit F12 and enter Dell's diagnostic partition. It will have options to check your harddrive.
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#9
The Skeptic

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Looks very much like your hard disk is failing. Please backup every valuable data. You may try the diagnostic tools of another comany and see if it works. very often it does. Please create a bootable cd and run a complete test.

Seagate (Seatools. also working for Maxtor which was bought by Seagate)
Western Digital (download data Lifeguard Diagnostic For DOS CD)
Samsung

Edited by The Skeptic, 18 November 2007 - 10:34 AM.

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#10
Pluto56

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Thanks guys. I'm running the Dell Diagnostic partition right now. The first phase showed no problems, all passed. It's running a more thorough exam right now, said it would take 30 minutes.
Skeptic, I think I may save SandraXII for last if it really stresses components.
I've already backed up what I need from this machine, so all is cool. I think in the end if it does fail completely, I'll put in a new drive and install Ubuntu, been wanting to give that a try anyway.
I'll let you know how the diagnostics turn out, and Sandra when I run it.
Thanks again, you guys are alright.
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#11
wannabe1

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Hi Pluto56...

Just out of curiosity, check something for me...

Right click on "My Computer" and choose "Properties". In the Properties window, click the "Hardware" tab, then the "Device Manager" button. In Device Manager, expand (click +) IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers...right click on "Primary IDE channel" and choose "Properties". In the Properties window, click the "Advanced Settings" tab.

You should see two devices displayed in the resulting window. List for me the "Transfer Mode" and "Current Transfer Mode" that's shown for each device.

Follow this same procedure for the Secondary IDE channel and list the information for those devices, as well. (Note that some newer machines will not list a Secondary IDE channel.)

wannabe1
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#12
Pluto56

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It appears that I have fan problems.
I ran the Sandra program, good grief I let it scan way more things than needed. It has taken me some time to read through it. Here's what I gleaned from it:

Under file systems:

Warning 5206: Low Disk index. Check DMA bus-mastering is
enabled.

Mainboard performance tips:

Warning 2507: Mainboard has too few memory slots. Upgrading
the memory may be difficult or expensive.
Warning 2508: All memory slots are full. Upgrading the
memory may be difficult or expensive.
Warning 2528: System monitor device implementation is known
to vary.
Warning 2518: Mainboard temperature is too high.
Warning 2519: One of the system fans has failed or is
spinning too slowly.

Performance Tips >
Tip 210: Mainboard supports faster CPUs, so the CPU
can be upgraded when needed.
Notice 224: SMBIOS/DMI information may be inaccurate.
Warning 2528: System monitor device implementation is known
to vary.
Warning 216: CPU fan has failed! Check it.
Warning 236: Vcore higher than rated maximum. Check Vcore
setting!

Could this mean that damage has been done from excess heat?


Wannabe1, here's the info you requested:

Device manager shows 2 primary IDE channels.

#1
Device 0
Transfer mode: DMA if available.
Current transfer mode: PIO mode.

Device 1
Transfer mode: DMA if available.
Current transfer mode: Not applicable.

#2
Device 0
Transfer mode: DMA if available.
Current transfer mode: Ultra DMA Mode 2.

Device 1
Transfer mode: DMA if available.
Current transfer mode: Not applicable.

The secondary IDE channel:

Device 0
Transfer mode: DMA if available.
Current transfer mode: Not applicable

Device 1
Transfer mode: DMA if available.
Current transfer mode: Not applicable.



Thanks again!
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#13
wannabe1

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Your Primary channel is using the wrong transfer mode...as I suspected.

Right click on the first Primary IDE channel and choose "Uninstall"...accept the change.

Reboot.

When Windows starts it will reinstall the Primary IDE channel and the devices associated with it...once it finishes reinstalling the devices, reboot again. It should boot and run faster.
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#14
Pluto56

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Oh yes, big difference now Wannabe.

Question, how could this have suddenly have happened? How did the settings get changed? The problem seemingly started overnight.
Also, what about the diagnostic telling me my fans are messed up? Were they wrong or could it still be a problem?

By the way, thank you very much, all of you.
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#15
wannabe1

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Glad that helped... :)

This will usually happen if a device attached to the channel throws more than 6 transfer errors...Windows will set the channel to Programmed Input/Output (PIO) transfer mode, which is slower than a seven year itch. It may have been something as simple as a failed copy/paste operation to something as serious as a failing hard drive...it's really hard to say what caused the problem at this point. Temperature is something that can play a role in such matters so that's something that should be explored a little more.

The fan error may be that the scan either can't hook and read the motherboard sensors...or it may be a bad fan. Let's use another tool and see if we can determine which it is. Download and run SpeedFan on the machine. Attach a screenshot of the SpeedFan window with the "Readings" tab selected so we can look at the temperatures, voltages, and the fan performance.
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