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Need help diagnosing possible atapi controller error constant BSOD

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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January 23, 2014 6:38:46 AM

Hello all,

I am trying to diagnose my 1.5 year old acer AO 722. I am getting BSOD very often, sometimes right after start-up, sometimes after up to ten minutes or so of light activity. I believe this is a hardware problem with my graphics card which is likely not worth fixing in a netbook cause it would mean replacing the motherboard. I just want to be sure before I get a new one.

This all started with Windows movie maker causing BSOD one day a couple months ago. I got an error message referring to the graphics card. All drivers are up to date. I took it to my university's repair centre and because the drivers were up to date and I had run chkdsk, they thought it was likely a hardware problem. To be sure they recommended reinstalling Windows 7 but I don't have a CD drive and can no longer read my product key. I found the key through magic jelly bean but it is the wrong one (I read this is common and if I can't read it I'm out of luck). Was able to back up all my data thankfully.

The event logs show between 30 and 80 Atapi errors per hour so I know it's the graphics card. It says there is a controller error. The computer won't start in safe mode, it just hangs. Should I disable BIOS caching, etc like the BSOD says? Manually uninstall then install new drivers? Any hope left at all? It is all a bit tricky cause this thing is unpredictable.

If anyone has any advice I would appreciate it so much! I'm a PhD student and desperately need a working computer. Thanks!

-Taylor
a c 220 U Graphics card
January 23, 2014 6:51:33 AM

ATAPI errors are usually associated with drive controller issues, not video card errors. This is more likely the result of a defective HDD or SATA controller and could simply be that you need to update the motherboard chipset drivers.

Go here and get the AMD Chipset Drivers and install them before declaring your system dead:

http://support.amd.com/en-us/download/chipset?os=Window...
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January 23, 2014 7:00:19 AM

Thanks I will try that asap and get back to you
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January 24, 2014 4:12:22 AM

I finally got my computer to install the chipset driver but got a BSOD as soon as it finished. Chkdsk ran and now on start-up I get bombarded with a host of error messages: (happened before) WerFault.exe error, Skype error, LManager.exe 'bad image' etc to where I can only see the background and have to shut down or it restarts on its own or shows BSOD. Seems like I have no functionality at the moment. I was able to start in safe mode before the install though, in case there is something else I can try. Yesterday when I could read the flagged Windows error messages, it did cite a hard disk problem. Anyone know of anything else I might be able to try?
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a c 220 U Graphics card
January 24, 2014 5:09:56 AM

Honestly, reloading Windows may be your best bet. Do you have backup copies of your saved documents?
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January 24, 2014 5:12:37 AM

I do have everything backed up, I'm just not sure how I can reinstall Windows without a disk, without a disk drive in my computer, and without being able to read the product key...
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January 24, 2014 11:15:18 AM

sounds like a mechanical hard drive failure. I would check the cable connection to the drive if there is a access door in your notebook. Otherwise I would look into putting a cheap solid state drive in the machine and installing a fresh copy of the OS.
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January 24, 2014 2:06:29 PM

The key I got from magic jelly bean does not match the one on the sticker and not all letters are readable on the sticker. The computer pretty much won't boot at all, even in safe mode. Will try to do a reinstall if I can get a copy of Windows on a usb but I worry that might all be in vain if it's a hardware issue.
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January 24, 2014 2:58:55 PM

The machine manufacture probably just installed a cloned image of a windows drive and paid microsoft the license fee then stuck the sticker on the device to be legal in case you reinstall. It happened on my laptop, the sticker was worn, I ended up guessing several times until i got the key to correctly activate.


trileysm said:
The key I got from magic jelly bean does not match the one on the sticker and not all letters are readable on the sticker. The computer pretty much won't boot at all, even in safe mode. Will try to do a reinstall if I can get a copy of Windows on a usb but I worry that might all be in vain if it's a hardware issue.


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January 24, 2014 3:32:56 PM

I am a bit worried about paying someone to do the reinstall if it's a hardware issue. Sometimes when I attempt to start up I get a disk read error-does that point to hardware?
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January 24, 2014 6:45:33 PM

Disk read error is a hardware error. These disks spin pretty fast 5400 RPM for your laptop, the drive has a read/write head that is moved around just over the spinning disk. bumping the drive can cause the heads to bounce off the disk. Do this enough and the heads can make dents in your spinning disk and the little arm that holds the heads can bend slightly, just enough that the disk alignment will be off and you will start to get read errors.
(drives also start to have this same issue as they age)



trileysm said:
I am a bit worried about paying someone to do the reinstall if it's a hardware issue. Sometimes when I attempt to start up I get a disk read error-does that point to hardware?


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January 25, 2014 4:05:24 AM

Ok guys, randomly the computer started and is working today after about 8 hours of no start-up at all. Tell me if I may be wrong, but I think this means it's a hardware problem (like the one you just described). I suppose I should enjoy this while it lasts and look into a new computer. At this point I don't plan to re-install windows unless its recommended. This might be a lesson not to take my computer in my backpack and cycle 12 miles to and from uni on an old bicycle with no shock springs. Will see how the day goes and give an update tomorrow. If any one has any other suggestions I would appreciate it. Thanks so much.
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