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Need advice on problem with HDD or RAM

Last response: in Systems
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December 13, 2006 6:42:28 PM

Hey all,
I recently have been having some weird problems with my computer (obviously). I cant figure out if its a HDD or RAM problem. My computer randomly restarts. sometimes it takes 10 minutes sometimes 2-3 days before it restarts or requires me to restart. Also i have weird lockups often. The thing that leads me to believe its a HDD problem is that when i do a windows button/ E command to open up my computer it takes like 25 seconds to open up. THe thing that makes me think its the ram is the lockups and restarts. I hope this makes sense.
thanks

More about : advice problem hdd ram

December 13, 2006 7:16:10 PM

have you ever thought it was the PSU ?
December 13, 2006 7:18:59 PM

Sounds to me like it's a RAM problem. I suggest downloading and running Memtest to check your RAM and Maxtor has a hard drive checking utility that you can look into.
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December 13, 2006 7:26:20 PM

Thanks ill give it a try
December 13, 2006 7:29:54 PM

Random reboots are often caused by a faulty power supply too. It could very well be RAM/HDD, but I wouldn't limit it to those two. It's best to try to recreate the problem, but being completely random like that, it's most likely PSU having power fluctuations.

Best way to check is to look at your log files to see if there's anything in there that could give you a better indication. Go there by: Right click on My Computer, select Manage, left click that. You'll get the Computer Management box. On the left side, you'll see System Tools, and right under than you'll see the Event Viewer. If the problem is caught by Windows, it will usually log it in there. Go through the Application and System logs, find logs within the time period of some of your reboots, and see if any are critical errors marked with a red symbol. Double click the error and look at the information in there. If you find the same one in every time-period where there was a reboot, then take that as a good indication that it's a single piece of hardware and can be replaced.

You'll want to do a full scan-disk on your hard-drive to check for bad sectors and to eliminate (for the most part) one of your problems. Also, defragment your hard-drive if you haven't done so as that can cause some issues.

I have a couple questions though:

1) what are you doing when it reboots?
2) does it ever happen when it's sitting idle?
3) is there anything that you can do to reproduce it, i.e. running a certain game or app?

It's really hard to say what it could be, but to me it looks a lot like a PSU or something along those lines.
December 13, 2006 7:45:02 PM

I never really thought about it. WHat could be a good test for that?
December 13, 2006 7:49:42 PM

Without some sort of monitoring program that can log your voltages, it's hard to say unless you can sit and watch it, and see if it fluctuates before it reboots. But then, you may not be ready for it. Best thing to do is eliminate everything else and try a new PSU just in case. Besides, the PSU is the most important part of a computer. It can take out everything else if it's bad. So you may want to consider getting a good one anyway just for the sake of having a good PSU :) 

What do you have for a PSU anyway?
December 13, 2006 7:51:25 PM

ill look at the logs. THe restarts happen when im playing games lightly and when im idle. Especially idleing. I get bad lockups whne im playin hardcore or watching movies. EVerything also seems to have a really long seek time. For example whenever i open a window. Its also weird cause when i close a firefox browser it take sa minute to fully close. while im in it thoguh everything is fine... It seems more and more like the ram to me but i dunno.
December 13, 2006 8:03:34 PM

also to let everyone know my specs are:

X2 4400+
DFI lanparty UT 3200
2 gb OCZ performance DC RAM
seagate barracuda 320 gb 7200 rpm 3.0 gb/s HDD
maxtor(?) 200 gb HDD
Benq 16x dvd-dl burrner
thermaltake big typhoon cooler
x1900xtx w/ arctic cooling accelero X2
X-fi xtreem music
Just pc 500w modular PS
logitech g7 mouse


i had to try to remember everything (im at work)
!