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windows corruption


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#1
ox411

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ive built my own computer and it works 99 percent. its that last little 1 percent that is killing me

here my system
motherboard : asus a7n8x-e deluxe
processor : athlon xp 3000+
Ram : Corsair XMS twinx1024-3200pt ddr400 pc3200 (ive got 2 matched sticks of 512)

sometimes ive been trying to set windows up on s SATA drives in a RAID 0 array and sometimes ive been tyring to set windows up on a single IDE drive.

all of my hard drives are western digital

the problem is that after i install windows and turn the computer off, windows (and sometimes other programs) is corrupted when i turn the computer back on. it seems to be worse the longer i wait before turning the computer back on (meaning if i get windows up and running then turn it off and right back on it will usually start up. if i turn it off and leave it overnight, it will usually not start up.) as the computer tries to start i can hear the hard drives spinning and clicking as if they are searching for files that are scattered throught the drive

this problem has been going on for months. at this point i can always fix windows by running CHKDSK off the windows CD. but after i run the CHKDSK program and turn the computer off, windows will have problems the very next time i turn it back on. sometimes the problems are minor (all of the sound files in my "media" folders dissapeared one day for instance) sometimes the problems are major (ill get a black screen that says windows cant start because a particular file is corrupt or missing. even wierder is that its not always the same file that is corrupt or missing)

here is a list of thigs i have tried to troubleshoot the problem:

ive tried 3 different CPU's (an athlon XP 2400+, an athlon XP mobile chip which i
understand now isnt compatable with my motherboard and my current chip an athlon XP 3000+)

ive tried 5 different hard drives (ive tried 4 different SATA drives sometimes setting windows up on a single drive, sometimes as a RAID array on both drives, and ive tried 1 IDE drive)

ive tried 2 different kinds of RAM orriginally i bought Kingston Hyper X pc3700 which i found out later is too high a pc for my motherboard. so now i have the Corsair Ram at pc 3200 which should be correct. Ive tried the memory timings at the auto detect setting, and then ive tried adjusting them to the timings that corsair has on their web site.

ive tried installing windows off a different CD thinking that maybe something was wrong with my CD

ive been looking around to try and get another motherboard but finding one that will work with my current RAM and CPU is proving difficult.

ive been looking online at all different forums, ive spent 1000 of hours on the phone with tech support from all these companies ive brought it to a local computer repair shop and noone seems to have any suggestions that sound reasonable

ive spent so much money and time on this id hate to throw it out. but my wife is starting to get understandibly upset as to why weve spent so much money to have a non working computer taking up space in our living room for over a year

any one have any ideas that i can try before i just go to sony and buy a computer?

thanks
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#2
comanighttrain

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well that sure is wierd.

What capacity is your Power supply?

Have you tried a different mobo?

Iv heard sata can be quite buggy, have you updated your bios?

Dont go and buy a new computer man, trouble shooting these kinds of problems can be really good experiance, however i understand certian "she who must be obeyed" factors are coming into play.

forgot to ask this on first post. Do you have a copy of PC-Check? if not i can hook you up with one.

Edited by comanighttrain, 14 August 2005 - 11:49 AM.

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#3
Samm

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I agree with comanighttrain on this - it does sound like it may well be a PSU related issue to me. As well as the power rating, can you also tell us what make the psu is?

You said you have tried loading windows from the sata drives & from the IDE drive. Have you tried doing this with the other drives disconnected? ie sata only with ide removed & ide only without the sata?

Is your system overclocked in any way? What are the FSB (external frequency), the multipier & the vcore voltage set to for the Athlon 3000+?
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#4
ox411

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my power supply is an antec true430 with 430 watts of power

i thought it might be a power supply issue too because i have a bunch of fans in the case, but even when i try it with only one of the 3 hard drives hooked up, i get the same problem. im pretty sure that the 430 is more then enough power for my system

ive heard that the SATA can be a problem also., so for the past week or so ive had the jumper on the motherboard for the SATA set to 'off' and ive just been trying with windows on a single IDE drive. Same results

yes my Bios has been updated to version 1013, which is the latest one available on the ASUS web site.

no i havent tried another motherboard yet, i cant seem to find one anywhere in manhattan that will be compatable with my processor and ram. plus im kind of getting sick of spending money on parts that dont fix the problem.........

i dont have pc check, im not even sure what it is but if it will help diagnose the problem, id be happy to try it

thanks for getting back to me
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#5
ox411

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samm- this is a contiuation of a problem you had responded to in another post last week. i was having the same problem and then it turned out that i had an incombatable cpu. it also turned out that my RAM was too fast for my motherboard.

i bought a new chip and new RAM, both aproved by asus for the motherboard.

is it possible that the motheboard is damaged from having these incompatable parts formerly installed in it?

i havent played with any of the bios settings for the chip (the external frequency is at 200, the multiplier is at 10.5, and the vcore is 1.650) i had to adjust the memory timings away from the auto detect settings as per the corsair website. i set them to what corsair says should be correct.)

yes ive tried it with only one drive plugged in

thanks for looking into this

Edited by ox411, 14 August 2005 - 01:10 PM.

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#6
warriorscot

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It shouldnt have been damaged with the incompatibe parts, if you can borroe a PSU that you know works and is big enough that would be worth a try, have you looked on newegg i find it hard to believe they wont have a motherboard that is compatible with your parts.
Do you have a speaker attached to the motherboard, if you do if you take out the ram and try to start the pc, it should give you a beep code, if it doesnt and the speaker is properly attached then it is a sign that the motherboard is bad.
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#7
Samm

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Hi ox411

Yes I remember your previous problem now!
Can you just clarify something for me - when you get this problem, the system still powers up ok & passes the post test, the problem is with file corruption when trying to load windows, right?

Apologies if anything I'm about to suggest was already tried in your previous thread....

Try setting the bios to fail-safe defaults, in particular the cpu/ram/hard drive/general performance settings. Your actual cpu fsb/speed/voltage settings seem fine but other performance related stuff may need tweaking down a bit.

The PSU you have should be ok in theory as it is a good make & 430W is just about high enough. I wouldn't rule out a psu problem completely though.

Have you tried running the system in single channel mode using just one stick of ram?
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#8
ox411

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yes youre right everything seems fine until windows comes up ( the RAID utility and the BIOS both work, and i never have a problem when im installing windows either)

ive gone back to the default settings on the BIOS many times. the only things i change are the date/time , boot order, and the memory timings. (Corsair has a thing on their web site that says the auto detect timmings are wrong with my motherboard / RAM combination. it gives the correct settings...

http://memtest.corsa...00C2PRO&id=5026

but other then that my settings are all set to the defaults.

i havent tried to run in single channel mode yet. but my memory passes mem test 86, if that means anything.

ok.... ive been hearing about the power supply posibility from a bunch of people, and seeing how its one of the very few parts i havent yet replaced, i went out tonight and got a new one. its an Antec smart power 2.0 500 watts.
once it was in, i did a clean install of windows on the SATA drives in a RAID 0 array. i did a low level format of each drive, and i let windows do the long version of the format, so everything would be new and clean.
everything seemed to go fine. so i plugged in a bunch of my 'extra crap' and it still seemed fine.
so now i have all 3 drives, all my fans and everything else plugged in and it seems to be running fine. i guess i wont really know for a few days but so far so good.

do i just have too much crap plugged in? early on with my problem, a few people here suggested that not enough cooling could be the cause. so i went nuts buying fans. every part of a computer that they make to stick a fan somewhere, i got one.
plus 2 fan control panels to plug them all in (cooler master makes some very functional and sexy controllers, if anyone is looking)
i have
2 80mm intake fans (came w/ case)
1 80mm exhaust (came w/ case)
1 80mm blow hole fan
1 92 mm CPU fan
1 little round Northbridge fan
1 bigger round video card fan
1 40mm fan on RAM sticks
and each of the fan controllers has a 40mm intake fan too
plus the 2 in the power supply

then i have the 3 hard drives, a DVD player, a DVD burner. Floppy drive...
graphics card, modem, the case has 2 little LED lights......plus the motherboard itself....

is it just too much?
is there any way to check and see how many Watts of power my system is actually drawing? it would be nice to really know......

Edited by ox411, 14 August 2005 - 10:56 PM.

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#9
comanighttrain

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uhhh....that should be one cool [bleep] system. Hope that the new PSU works man, but to check output im not sure how you could do that, I think a digital multimeter would work but at that high a voltage it could be risky and it could mean exposing some wires.

Ill look for an easy solution at work.
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#10
warriorscot

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You can get an adapter that you use to see how much energy it is drawing from the mains. Well if everything goes well you should see if antec will refund the PSU because the 430W should have been enough before, or at least send them a strong worded letter. LOL that is alot of cooling maybe you should get some HD cooler just to make sure the entire pc is frosty.
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#11
OneCool

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Looks like they tried just about everything.I would look into a new motherboard.


I had that mobo about 2 years ago and never had a problem like that with it.

Its still going strong today in a friends PC :tazz:
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#12
Samm

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Glad to hear it appears to be working so far. Yours symptoms really did smack of a psu related issue, but normally i would expect it of a cheap nasty psu not an antec one.

As far as working out the amount of power your system is drawing, using a multimeter isn't going to help really. This will measure the voltage output, but you know those values anyway, its the current (or watts) that are important.

Warriorscott is right, you can get an adapter that will measure the overall power consumption from the mains, although depending on the PSUs efficienct rating, this value will be slightly higher than the total power being produced by the PSU.
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#13
ox411

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yup so far everything is still running well......

the only little thing is that when i turn the computer on, it seems to hang up on the welcome screen for about 20 seconds.....the little windows song plays about 5 seconds after the welcome screen comes up.... but i think thats a probolem for another day.

just a question... how long should it take for the computer to fully start up from when i press the power button?

so this adaptor youre talking about.... would plug into the back of the computer and then the power cord would plug into the adaptor?

whats the adaptor called? where would i get one?

thanks alot.......
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#14
Doby

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Hi,

You can use this calculator to get a rough idea on how many watts a system needs

Rick
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#15
Samm

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Nice one Doby, thats really useful! :tazz:


ox411 - heres an example of the type of thing we're on about for measuring power comsumption :
http://www.maplin.co...=38343&doy=16m8
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