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***URGENT*** system critical stop, restarting...

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January 18, 2006 6:12:49 PM

24 hours ago, formatted my pc and reinstalled windows xp pro, for the 100th time. im a performance hog. I built my system 5 months ago. everything has worked splendidly.

This time, now that all my stuff is re-installed and working, my computer restarts itself every time i log in. in safe mode, it works properly. I have disabled everything that starts up thru regedit and msconfig to try and solve this. the only thing ive done differently this time around is installing the nvidia nforce4 firewall. also, the other night, there was a storm, lights were flickering, and my computer was on the whole time. the problem did not occur till after this. every time it restarts, i hear a physical *CLICK* and it reboots.

my possibilities:

-hardware short-circuted during the storm
-some of my hardware is not compatable when using the nforce4 firewall
-windows had a corrupted install and i need to re-format and install everything. again.

system:
MSI neo4 k8n-sli mobo, nForce4
athlon 64 3500 venice OC to 2.42ghz
1gb corsair valueselect, 2.5cas
msi 7800GT 256mb
400W fortron PSU
coolermaster case
USB keyboard and USB mouse


basically, i cant use my PC, but have to for work. its the only PC i have that does 3D modelling.
January 18, 2006 6:50:45 PM

What is clicking? where do you PHYSICALLY hear it clicking? PS? CPU? Video Card? It might have sent a spike to your PS which would not allow you to get the required VOLTAGE to all your system parts and memory.

let me know.
January 18, 2006 9:07:40 PM

dont know. when i get back from an internship application, in a few hours, ill find out.
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January 19, 2006 12:20:56 AM

the clicking was the hard drive, probably resetting itself when the system reboot so quickly. one, single loud click.

i managed to reinstall nforce4 drivers, with new ones, and after 20 tests, the system seems to work fine...
January 19, 2006 12:45:12 AM

If the hard drive is clicking you better get a new one soon. That is about the only thing that clicks and would explain your crashes.
January 19, 2006 12:47:05 AM

to clarify, it would click once, loudly enough for me to hear it, each time the system randomly rebooted. there is no incessent or prolonged clicking.
January 19, 2006 12:59:46 AM

It is for sure you Hard Drive. Your harddrive could be overheating or it could be corupt. Sometime it can skip and that can be casued by the plates or even it being around a magnet. See if you can put an old Hard-Drive in there and see how it performs.

Let us know!
January 19, 2006 1:16:04 AM

system working fine after a round of FEAR. seems ok. the drive is a SATA150 seagate, 200gb.

if it stops working again, i will totally take these suggestions, but for now, i think im good... i hope!

thanks alot for your interest, though!
January 19, 2006 1:49:55 PM

Quote:
24 hours ago, formatted my pc and reinstalled windows xp pro, for the 100th time. im a performance hog. I built my system 5 months ago. everything has worked splendidly.

Just curious, do you have your newly installed drive imaged or do you do it from scratch each time?

Check Six,
Shakespeare
January 19, 2006 6:24:49 PM

scratch every time, full format.
January 19, 2006 11:38:12 PM

having your PC on during that thunderstorm cant help at all, and in most cases it Will hurt.
That click you are hearing might just be your PSU poping an internal fuse or something. It could also be your HD in the process of dying (again caused by the flickering lights).

when a system works great and then suddenly turns flakey, chances are high that its a PSU issue. If you have another one around, id suggest trying that one.
January 20, 2006 12:01:46 AM

The clicking noise is most likely the result of the random reboot, not the cause of it.
If your system was still running after the storm, its probably OK.

You probably solved the problem by reinstalling the NForce driver

Mike
January 20, 2006 5:41:23 AM

My system seems to work fine now.

BUT, it now boots up slowly. When in the windows loading screen, the hard drive clicks incessently for 7 cycles of the little GIF image under the windows logo. my system takes 10 GIF cycles to boot.
--THIS is bad -- my system previously has taken 3 1/2 GIF cycles to boot up. i defragmented, which usually does the job, rearranging the boot files, but no luck.

i think, even though i now have everything working fine, (except the bootup) i may reload windows.

what should i do?
January 20, 2006 7:56:43 AM

If it is your HDD (and not PSU as I originally suspected), then you should get the diagnostic tools for it.

For Seagate = SeaTools, Maxtor = PowerMax, Western Digital = Data Life Guard tools. They can be downloaded from the websites of the manufacturer of the HDD.

These tools usually extract to floppy (make it bootable for you), and permit a manufacturer surface test. (Beats CHKDSK /R, SCANDISK /SURFACE, or even FORMAT, as they are all high level tests to the HDD. You want a low level test, but *not* a Low Level Format or Zero Fill that's for sure).

Run the "extended media check" in whichever tool suites your brand / model of drive. If the HDD fails checks then backup your data (in order of importance, in case it fails), then start fixing it (cable replacement, etc, gradually moving to drive replacement). You may beable to RMA it from the word go depending on if a RMA error / failure is reported during ext testing.

I would also avoid defraging your HDD if it is suspect (heads move around like mad during a defrag, could just push it over the edge and finish it off - Assuming it is the HDD).
!