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Crash after crash XP

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A few years ago my Nephew and I built this computer (my nephews is the same age as me, don't ask messed up family with much older siblings). Anyway I runs on windows XP pro.
Some more specs

AMD Athlon 1.5 ghz 512 mb ram
I have 2 hard drives
my primary is an 120 gig drive
and my secondary is a 80 gig drive

I don't remember who built what but if it is required i can look at it and tell you. I think the 120 is by sea somebody.

If you can't tell i'm not a hardware expert

The problem:

At random intervals my computer will act strange, it "revs" up and drops off and repeats the cycle several times. While it is doing this the computer lags beyond belief and forgets how to open/close stuff. the solution to it is shut it down (usually requiring me to push the button because it is not allowing access to the start menu) Things act fine for a little while. Then it freezes solid i shut it off and it works for about 2 minutes(note that on the start up screen it says primary drive None secondary drive None) and freezes solid again. Finally when it goes to start up my computer again it says no drive found. I can fix this by unplugging my IDE cable from the motherboard and plugging it into the other blue (not sure of name) socket. It works for a week month 2 months and then starts over.

I took it to the computer emergency room in Endicott NY and they said that I needed to do a full reformat. So when I installed the 120 gig drive I did a full format to it. Transfered my music, pictures, videos over reformatted the 80 gig drive. Put the music pictures and videos back on it. And now I've gone since August without having it crash like that. Until 20 minutes ago.

What do I do?

Let me know if you need more information?

I appreciate the help.

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Retired Tech

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Open the CD ROM Drive used to install Windows, insert the XP CD but leave the drawer open. Click start then run, type sfc /scannow then press enter and close the CD ROM Drive drawer. You will get a blue progress bar, after the bar goes, reboot. This will check for and replace missing or corrupt system files.

You can check for an improvement after running sfc /scannow then after each step until you have run through them all, if necessary

Click start, all programmes, accessories, system tools to run disc clean up, then from system tools, run disc defragmenter.

Click start then run, type prefetch then press enter, click edit then select all, all the files in the folder will now be highlighted, right click any file, click delete, a box will appear asking if you want to delete all the files, confirm the delete then reboot

Click start then run, type chkdsk /f /r then press enter, type Y to confirm for next boot, press enter then reboot.

This will take an hour, it will appear to load normally then either the monitor will show progress or the screen will go blank, do not disturb this.

When it gets to the desktop, the system files and the hard drive will be as they should

If no change

Please go here to repair your operating system

Repair XP

If you are unable to run Repair XP

Alternate XP Repair Guide

Use the last one - Windows Installation CD to repair the current installation, which uses a slightly different method

Windows XP repair feature won't delete your data, installed programs, personal information, or settings. It just repairs the operating system

After running the repair it will be necessary to install all Windows Updates

Microsoft Update

The next steps are optional

Get the trial of Tune Up 2006 here

Tune Up 2006 Trial

Run disc clean up then registry clean up, then click optimize to run reg defrag, which needs a reboot

After the reboot, open Tune Up, click optimize and improve, system optiomization to run, optimize the computer configuration, which needs a reboot

If you use accelerate downloads in system optimization, select the speed which is just above your actual line speed
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