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Frequent BSODs, Suspected HDD or RAM issue

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Hello Helpful Folks!

This all started a few days ago when my computer randomly displayed a Blue Screen of Death (BSOD). I wasn't in the room at the time, but I saw the message upon returning and restarted. Since then I have seen many more BSODs with various errors. I did a little searching and found that it was likely a hardware issue (for one BSOD when Vista came back up it said there was a hard drive issue). Below is the info about my system, and what steps have been taken.

Sony Vaio (still under warranty)
250GB Fujitsu HDD
Windows Vista (Home Premium I think)

No new software or hardware installed in the past week.
Ran SpyBot S&D as well as AdAware. Both found tracking cookies but nothing else.
Also ran full tests at PCPitstop.com with no significant problems found.
Use AVG Free Antivirus, always up-to-date.

The BSODs come up randomly even after a clean restart with no major programs open. They happen anywhere from 30 minutes to 15 hours after turning on the computer.

Ran scandisk (on restart) and it found bad sectors and added them to bad sectors file. More info on what scandisk said in the attached file. It didn't look pretty.

Continued to have BSODs after scandisk fixed stuff. Suspected HDD problem.

Downloaded the HDD test tool from Fujitsu, it came up with an error pretty quickly and said the drive "FAILED." I chatted with Fujitsu support and they confirmed this means drive is failing and I should replace it.

Called Sony. Told them the story and said I need the drive replaced (under warranty). They want me to wipe the drive and reinstall Windows. I said I haven't backed up yet and besides, I have confirmed it's the HDD. Eventually had to hang up and call back to talk to a more intelligent person.

Second person was much better. Took me into the Vaio Recovery thingy and we ran a "quick test" hardware test. It showed the HDD to be OK. He said I should re-seat the memory since loose memory could be the issue, and if that's not it then it is probably software and I should wipe the drive. I have re-seated memory, but there is still an issue and I don't believe it's software.

I went back to Vaio Recovery and ran the full Hard Drive surface scan tests, which found errors but supposedly repaired them. Went back to Fujitsu test, which still says the drive FAILED. Currently re-running Vaio tests to see if it finds errors again (if so I will assume it did not repair them the first time). Then I plan to start into safe mode and wait a long time to see if it crashes. If so, then it's not likely a software issue.

So, I still think it's probably the hard drive failing. What do you think? What do I tell Sony when they refuse to believe any test software but their own?

Thank you very much!!!

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well if you have bad sectors i'd recommend replacing the hard drive.... it could be the beginning of a cascade failure... besides in my experience ( still rather limited in the Vista arena... ) windows historically has not been very good of dealing with bad sectors on hard drives....

--- edit ---

you also may want to try and run the software from the hard drive manufacturer ( usually available on their website ) to see if it sees any issues... if not maybe backup and reformat.... I have also seen windows report bad sectors but the next time you format not find any.... ( which could be that the drive is starting to go or false failures detected by the software. )

Edited by shard92, 15 May 2008 - 10:30 AM.

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