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XP stuck in boot loop - now on second desktop. Very persistant.


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#16
Skesis

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What does the -5V voltage mean? It's jumping about now -8.68 -6.43 -5.12 -8.1 etc. Assume that's bad? All the others are staying more or less the same.
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#17
Roman Pope

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I woudn't worry about it. It is just the software is incompatible somewhere. I would actually be very surprised if your psu (power supply) even has -5 volt support. It has been optional for many years. Very few modern power supplies implement it. Even very old motherboards don't need a -5V, haven't seen those since like times of PII. As long as the 3.3, 5 and 12 stay in range...
There is one wire of -5V though... I doubt the motherboard can read it. It's colour is white (well mine is and usually it is). Usually it is from the power supply directly into the motherboard and it supplies power for the sound (like - is to make a negative step).

Edited by Roman Pope, 30 June 2009 - 11:57 PM.

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#18
Skesis

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OK got you. That's put my mind at ease that the PSU/motherboard seems to be in working order, thanks for your help. I'll just need to try not to damage it from now on;). Do you know anything about those UPS devices that were recommended to me? As far as I can tell they're just a surge protector with a backup battery? Will a regular surge-protecting adapter prevent power spikes reaching the computer?

Also, if anyone out there knows if it'd be safe to plug in an external drive with a small chance of an infection on it, first to scan it then to burn files to CD/DVD let me know. As I said I've disabled Autoplay, installed Ninja Pendisk (which guards against anything autorunning), if there was anything on it these steps would prevent it running, correct?
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#19
Roman Pope

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Hm... I am assuming, and my assumption can be wrong, but if there were any power surges in your wiring, then most probably your power supply would fry or your system would simply restart... your power supply rectifies the AC into DC which is then used by your mobo (motherboard). Next logical step would be to say that your motherboard is somewhat faulty, but voltage seem to be in order. So that is why I am sceptical about such a simple explanation.

Edited by Roman Pope, 30 June 2009 - 11:00 PM.

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#20
Roman Pope

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You said linux is working... if you have Linux live CD, type in the "shell" (there is console, or root login, or terminal; it should be done in root):

cat /dev/hda > /dev/null

Wait for the result, the bigger the HDD is the longer it takes. If in the end it says "passed end of file" then everything is fine with the HDD. If it says "I/O error", then some of disk's sectors are 'punctured' (don't know the English word).

Also, you said that everything seem to work at the moment, you could run chkdsk with the option "surface scan". I don't remember the exact syntax... CHKDSK /R perhaps... I think /R option (recertify bad sectors) calls for a 100% surface scan. Hopefully by morning, someone will take another look at this topic.

Another problem can be bad BUSes. Like not all of the 80 wires inside leading to the HDD might be intact...

Most probably, in your case, hardware is the problem.

Edited by Roman Pope, 30 June 2009 - 11:50 PM.

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#21
Skesis

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Cheers I'll do that tomorrow and report back. This has got me so paranoid I'm even ordering new speakers as my old speakers/subwoofer were crackling:P

edit: already ran a chkdsk /r earlier today before I formatted again and it completed with only a small error found and fixed, something about free space showing as in use.

Edited by Skesis, 30 June 2009 - 11:47 PM.

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#22
Roman Pope

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God, I hate Windows in this perspective. It is so difficult to rule out the hardware error. All the errors seem to point to bad soft. I would definitely run the Linux scan first. Then on bad hardware, good soft won't work. That is what I like about Linux, that grunt works till the final end.
PS For lolz and giggles:
SpeedFan application has this "S.M.A.R.T." feature for the HDD analysis. You can perform a "in-depth online analysis". Try it.

Edited by Roman Pope, 01 July 2009 - 12:32 AM.

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#23
123Runner

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I will put my 2 cents in here. As long as autoplay is disabled, you should be able to scan the external drive for virus's.

As for power voltages and temp). For a added precaution/ check, download and run Everest (from my signature).
On the far left...expand computer
Click on sensor
At the top go to report
Go to quick report sensor
Go to plain text
Paste in the report in your next post. You do not need to copy anything below Debig-PCI

As for the possible problem with power in the house...
Can you give me the specifications (esp wattage) on the power supply in the old computer, and the same for the supply in the new computer.

Also a power surge protector strip will only protect against surges. What should really be installed is a power conditioner. A UPS is a conditioner, but with added protection. A UPS (uninterrupted power supply) will maintain power (based on battery size) for a certain amount of time. It allows you to safely shut the computer down in case of power out conditions.
A conditioner will maintain good power and condition it against spikes, drops, frequency changes, and noise. These conditions will create all types of weird things going on. It is something to look at.

What else is powered from the plug that the computer is plugged into? In other words, what is on the same circuit? Is there a toaster oven, hair dryer, etc. Because that will interfere with power and give you voltage changes, frequency errors, etc.

123runner
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#24
Skesis

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S.M.A.R.T. indepth analysis: All of the attributes of your hard disk have normal values. This is good.

The overall fitness for this drive is 90%.
The overall performance for this drive is 90%.


Everest:

--------[ EVEREST Home Edition 2003-2005 Lavalys, Inc. ]------------------------------------------------------------

Version EVEREST v2.20.405
Homepage http://www.lavalys.com/
Report Type Quick Report
Computer STEPHEN-D9A1679
Generator Stephen
Operating System Microsoft Windows XP Professional 5.1.2600 (WinXP Retail)
Date 2009-07-01
Time 15:09


--------[ Sensor ]------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Sensor Properties:
Sensor Type ITE IT8712F (ISA 290h)

Temperatures:
Motherboard 33 C (91 F)
Aux 28 C (82 F)
Hitachi HDP725050GLA360 27 C (81 F)

Cooling Fans:
Chassis 2657 RPM

Voltage Values:
CPU Core 1.15 V
+2.5 V 1.79 V
+3.3 V 3.42 V
+5 V 5.05 V
+12 V 12.16 V
+5 V Standby 5.00 V
VBAT Battery 3.10 V
Debug Info F 07 FE FF
Debug Info T 28 33 193
Debug Info V 48 70 D6 BC BE 03 4C (77)



The thing about getting a UPS, all the reviews of the cheap ones say they're not too effective, like they take 0.15 seconds to kick in or whatever, computer only cost 250 new so not really wanting to spend a similar amount protecting it.

The 4-way the computer is plugged into only has the monitor and wireless router in it just now, it did have my speakers/subwoofer but this time I've decided just to get new ones, they were crackly and about 10 years old, just in case they were something to do with it (I know it's unlikely but I'm clutching at straws here).

I'll run that linux scan in an hour or two and post back the results.

Edit: It says No Such File or Directory when I try to run that command in the Terminal when booted up from the Ubuntu cd, should I replace hda with sda1?

Edited by Skesis, 01 July 2009 - 08:40 AM.

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#25
Skesis

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Forgot to mention, PSU in the new one is 250Watt Standard ATX2, pretty sure the old one was 250Watt as well. I got delivery of a Belkin Surge Protector/Power Conditioner today and I've been using it a lot, doing everything I did before and rebooting it quite a bit (problem seemed to manifest after a reboot) and so far all's working well.

One weird solution someone offered is to do with my Netgear router being on top of my subwoofer. The subwoofer stopped working years ago but it's connected to my speakers so I have to have it sitting there. It was within a day or two after placing the router on top of the subwoofer that the problem started on the old PC (got a new PC desk with less space than before), apparently this guy reckons that if the wiring is really old in the subwoofer it could carry signals from the wireless router down into my PC and during the shutdown process while the mbr is being accessed frying something. Is that at all feasable? Sounds like crazy talk to me. I did order some cheap new speakers just in case and threw out the old subwoofer/speakers just to be safe.

I found a huge thread with all the online scanners and have scanned the external with all of them plus mbam/SAS/AVG and found nothing btw.
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#26
123Runner

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Forgot to mention, PSU in the new one is 250Watt Standard ATX2, pretty sure the old one was 250Watt as well

. 250watt is unheard of in these days. This could, and most likely creating some issues. 250w is back in the days of floppy drive, a CD and a small hard drive. Not running a huge OS like XP or Vista and the programs to boot. Especially with the video cards they put in them. The PSU on todays computers should be an absolute minimum by todays standards.

As for signals coming into the computer from the subwoofer. Anything is possible. Noise will create issues also. I would not rule anything out when it comes to power. Proper grounding is criticle also.
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#27
koryo

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Hmmm, interesting.

You say you transferred files from your "old" hard-drive to your new hard drive through a linux OS. Although a virus can't typically spread through linux if it is programmed for a windows OS, if the virus is attached to the media files you passed across, then theoretically you could be re-infecting yourself through those files. I would suggest you submit those files to www.virustotal.com so you can be confident they are as clean as you possibly can be.

Have you tried running fix mbr in the windows recovery shell? that should reset your boot sector on you hard drive for you, eliminating the possibility of a boot sector virus.

If possible, run a "chkdsk C: /R" on your hard drive from a command prompt window, or through a recovery console, this should check and fix any issues on your hard drive. If you see multiple errors or "bad sectors" then the hard drive is dieing.

before following any of the steps below, if your system is still under warranty, i would suggest you try and claim on it for a replacement. ESPECIALLY if there are bad sectors on your new hard drive. you were ripped off.

I would suggest that, if you are comfortable in doing so, you take out your BIOS battery and power supply cord for 10 minutes and then put the battery and power supply back in to reset your BIOS. If you HAVE got a BIOS virus that should kill it.

also it may be a good idea for you to get a surge protection system so that power spikes won't damage your computer system. That and/or a Un-interruptable Power Supply could help.

Hope this helps you solve your problem! ^_^

Regards

Koryo
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#28
Skesis

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Forgot to mention, PSU in the new one is 250Watt Standard ATX2, pretty sure the old one was 250Watt as well

. 250watt is unheard of in these days. This could, and most likely creating some issues. 250w is back in the days of floppy drive, a CD and a small hard drive. Not running a huge OS like XP or Vista and the programs to boot. Especially with the video cards they put in them. The PSU on todays computers should be an absolute minimum by todays standards.

As for signals coming into the computer from the subwoofer. Anything is possible. Noise will create issues also. I would not rule anything out when it comes to power. Proper grounding is criticle also.


Sorry, I read the wrong bit, the old one was 450Watt (just opened the case to check). Is there a way to check this one without opening the case? Like I said it's new and if I did have to return it within the 28 days I void the warranty by opening the case. I copied the "250Watt Standard ATX2" from another forum where someone had bought the same computer, a lot of techies were recommending this one so I'd guess it's got more than 250Watt if 250Watt is outdated. I know the same system has been purchased by a couple of people and had a ATI 4670 and a Nvidia 9800 put in it with no probs (I just have the onboard graphics as I don't play games and it works fine on my 1680*1050 monitor), don't know if that helps narrow it down.

Hmmm, interesting.

You say you transferred files from your "old" hard-drive to your new hard drive through a linux OS. Although a virus can't typically spread through linux if it is programmed for a windows OS, if the virus is attached to the media files you passed across, then theoretically you could be re-infecting yourself through those files. I would suggest you submit those files to www.virustotal.com so you can be confident they are as clean as you possibly can be.

Have you tried running fix mbr in the windows recovery shell? that should reset your boot sector on you hard drive for you, eliminating the possibility of a boot sector virus.

If possible, run a "chkdsk C: /R" on your hard drive from a command prompt window, or through a recovery console, this should check and fix any issues on your hard drive. If you see multiple errors or "bad sectors" then the hard drive is dieing.

before following any of the steps below, if your system is still under warranty, i would suggest you try and claim on it for a replacement. ESPECIALLY if there are bad sectors on your new hard drive. you were ripped off.

I would suggest that, if you are comfortable in doing so, you take out your BIOS battery and power supply cord for 10 minutes and then put the battery and power supply back in to reset your BIOS. If you HAVE got a BIOS virus that should kill it.

also it may be a good idea for you to get a surge protection system so that power spikes won't damage your computer system. That and/or a Un-interruptable Power Supply could help.

Hope this helps you solve your problem! ^_^

Regards

Koryo


Hi, thanks for the reply. I already took all those steps, the hard disk is fine, fixmbr had no effect when I've tried it (after it fails), neither did rebuilding the boot sector manually, I've scanned all the files loads of times with nothing coming up. It seems to have rectified itself with the most recent steps (using the surge protector/power conditioner and removing the dodgy subwoofer/speakers).

Like I say, it seems to be fine now. It's just it's been bugging me for over a month now so I'm really curious what could have caused it!
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#29
123Runner

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My money is on the power being flaky at this point.
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#30
Skesis

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Well lets hope that's all it needed. Lets hope you don't hear from me again:)

Just while I've got a techy here, can you tell me if ZoneAlarm is fine to use as a software firewall? I'm behind a router as well. Switched to Comodo for a few months but it's far too fiddly/paranoid for me, is ZA fine to use? Used it for years, only changed because people on other forums were telling me it was useless. With the router being there all I really need is something to monitor my outgoing connections right?
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