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Computer died and can't fix


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#1
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I built a computer about 3 years ago and it gets used about 2-3 hours a week. A few days ago it locked up to the point where I had to manually shut it down. When I tried to boot up again, I got a message saying I needed to run chkdsk and after about 3 hours of deleting, adding files, it said there was not enough disk space to continue. The HD is a 320GB with about 250GB free so I don't know what's going on. I decided to check the PSU and it gave me bad reading so I installed a new one. When I booted up, only the XP splash screen came up and then went black. I rebooted and got the same chkdsk error again. Then I installed a new HD and loaded up XP Home and everything seemed to work fine until I did a reboot after installing the chipset drivers and then it came back with Delayed Write error everytime I tried to click on something and then finally locked up. I decided to re-format the HD and start over and now it says that this new HD is damaged and can not be used. I've also tried new memory, and also disconnected all other devices so this computer has just the bare minimum to run, or should.

I've been building computers for about 25 years and although I'm not an expert, I've never ran into a problem like this. Is there something that could possibly be destroying HD's? On the time I've spent trying to repair this one, I could have built 2 more new computers.

Any thoughts would be appreciated.
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#2
phillpower2

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Hi Thumb :)
Apart from mechanical failure a bad power supply is the only other cause I know of that kills HDDs!
Have you tried doing a Repair Installation of XP on the original HDD?
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#3
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I tried that before anything else and the XP setup would not even recognize it saying that there is a hardware or network problem.
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#4
phillpower2

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What about using an external HDD enclosure to retrieve the data on the HDD and then a format and fresh install.
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#5
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I sort of tried that except I used the new internal HD, installed the OS and it worked great. Then I connected the old HD that failed and it came up like nothing was wrong with it. I started to copy files over to the new drive(family pics, videos) and then the computer froze. I was able to use the Ctrl-Alt-Del to reboot the comuter and that's when the problems started. When it started to boot up, it said that the H drive(old HD) was corrupt and needed to run the chkdsk and then it copied the files over to the C drive(new HD). Once that was done it finished booting up into windows and then I started getting the Delayed Write error. For some reason I'm thinking it copied the old OS files onto the new one and messed it up so I tried reformatting the new drive again and install XP but now the New drive is corrupt and unusable. BTW, these are SATA HD's in case that makes a difference.

I've done this on many computers with no problems but this one is something I've never encountered before.

Edited by Thumb, 30 April 2011 - 11:21 AM.

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#6
phillpower2

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This error occurs when you are attempting to copy large files, info @ http://www.gibni.com...ailed-solutions and http://support.microsoft.com/kb/330174
It is possible the HDD already had issues is it covered by any warranty?

EDIT: Just out of curiosity before attempting the fresh install of XP did you do a full format using NTFS, including deleting any partition/s?

Edited by phillpower2, 30 April 2011 - 12:49 PM.

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#7
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Yes, I read that issue on other sites about the Delayed Write errors. On the new HD yes, I did a full NTSF format on the whole disk after deleting all partitions. After the second try of formatting the new HD, it said that the HD was damaged and was not able to format it. The new HD is not in warranty because I bought it about 4 years ago when I was building 5 other computers and it was and extra backup.

FYI, I have tested the old and the new PSU with an Antec Digital tester and the old PSU was showing variable voltages for the 3.3v and the 5v.
I was getting 2.9v to 3.4v and 4.8v to 5.1v. The new PSU was perfect on all voltages.
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#8
phillpower2

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I'm running out of suggestions I'm afraid with trying alternative formatting and partitioning software about all I can think of;
http://www.thefreeco...oneditors.shtml

Edited by phillpower2, 30 April 2011 - 04:47 PM.

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#9
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I realize that you have suggested a lot and I am appreciative for it. Like I said before, I have been building computers(and repair) for many years and know most of the ins & outs but I don't know everything. I have a feeling something in the computer is causing this but just can't find it. I have a whole system sitting in the closet that I can get out and build a new one and play with this one later or at least salvage what I can from it.

All I'm really worried about now is I would like to get some files off of the old HD but am afraid if I put it in a new computer, it may mess it up also since the old HD has an OS installed on it.

Thanks for your input
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#10
phillpower2

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Yes after building and repairing computers for such a long time this must be frustrating.
Using an external HDD enclosure may be the best way forward for retrieving your data, have you used Recuva before
http://www.snapfiles...tarecovery.HTML or
http://www.geekstogo...over-your-data/

Run hard drive diagnostics: http://www.tacktech....ay.cfm?ttid=287
Make sure, you select tool, which is appropriate for the brand of your hard drive.
Depending on the program, it'll create bootable floppy, or bootable CD.
If downloaded file is of .iso type, use ImgBurn: http://www.imgburn.com/ to burn .iso file to a CD (select "Write image file to disc" option), and make the CD bootable.

NOTE. If your hard drive is made by Toshiba, unfortunately, you're out of luck, because Toshiba doesn't provide any diagnostic tool.

Thanks to Broni for the instructions
Sorry if you have already done any of the above.
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#11
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Thanks for those suggestions. I have not tried any HD recovery programs and I do not have any of those programs but I'll be looking into it now. My HD's are all WD SATA drives also.

I guess the reason I have never done an HD recovery is because I've never had to, I've always been able to take a HD that was bad and still get the info off of it just by having it as a 'Slave' drive.

Thanks again.
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#12
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Ok, I finally decided to try a new HD to install the OS on and it had the same problem as the others. Using the XP install disk, it gets to the format stage and then gives me the error that the HD is bad. I tried again with another brand new HD and got the same results that it was also damaged so there's a problem elsewhere in the computer other than the SATA/IDE cables.

I'm about to just tear this box down and use it for parts unless someone has and idea to what would cause this problem.
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#13
phillpower2

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Just a thought, can you loan another XP disk to try, it may be the disk!
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#14
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I know that's not the problem because I tried a disk recovery program and it gave me the same error.

At this time the computer is in pieces. I'm about ready to install a whole new system into the box.

Thanks for all the suggestions phillpower, I really appreciated it. I'll come back and let you know if those HD's
are still bad or not though.
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#15
phillpower2

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Thanks for the update Thumb and good luck.
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