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Is this likely a hard drive problem?

Last response: in Storage
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May 20, 2007 2:47:57 PM

Recently, I built my own computer. It is only the second time that I have done so, and the last time was 8 years prior.

Needless to say it gave me a wide array of problems, but I ironed them out. Or so I thought.

I got, from what I understand, a fairly serious blue screen error (Kernel_stack_page, I forget the exact wording, but I'm sure anyone familiar with it will immediately know what I am talking about). I was concerned about this, delved into a couple forums, including this one, and asked several friends who are in the computer business. While they all agreed this could be a bad omen, I was told that if it didn't come up again, to just ignore it and go about my business. So I did. 2 weeks later, the kernel error came up again. I was told that problems with my hard drives could be the issue, and sure enough chkdsk, found and corrected errors when I ran it.

A little more then a week later, boom, blue screen again. Still, not so jarring that I was distressed, but I ran chkdsk again, and kept going. Then the blue screen became more frequent, and another memory dump error started coming up at times as well. The computer began freezing all together at times. Eventually it reached the point where the computer could scarcely run for 2-3 hours without crashing. Obviously I knew I had to start trying to narrow down the root cause.

So, here is what I know about the situation in shorthand:

Hardware definitely NOT causing problems:

1. Sound Card
2. Network Card
3. Video Card
4. RAM (checked with multiple programs under multiple conditions)

Potential and likely culprits:

1. Hard drive (s)
2. Motherboard
3. Processor
4. Software (unlikely)

Things I have tried and their effects thus far, or just notable conditions:

1. Crash seems to be accelerated when running Emule, which frequently moves files around on D (storage) drive. Download queues are frequently lost when these crashes occur. Note that while Emule runs off the C (boot) drive, all the files it handles are on the D drive.

2. Crash will occur without emule running.

3. Disconnected D (storage) drive and computer ran for 22 hours consecutively, with several hours of heavy use. No crash.

4. Have now reconnected D drive and am running without emule functioning. So far 6 hours with no crash, but limited use.

5. Just incase it will be asked: Yes I have updated my bios and SATA drivers.

So here is the jist of my question. Would a hard drive failing cause crashes similar to this? Has anyone else experienced something similar with their systems?

More about : hard drive problem

May 20, 2007 5:54:30 PM

BFG 1000w power supply
Asus Striker Motherboard
Pentium core 2 quadro
2 gigs of Corsair DDR2 RAM
Geforce 8800 GTX
Soundblaster fatality X-fi
Western digital 150 gig Raptor (boot drive)
Seagate 750 gig (storage drive)

Running windows XP



I have indeed done a fresh windows install, thought that was some time ago. I have suspected the HDD dying partially due to what other have said, and now due to the fact the computer didn't have a crash when the storage drive was disconnected. I will be able to check in a few hours if hooking back up that drive has resulted in a crash again.

I am also wonder if something could be wrong with the SATA port on the motherboard, so if it does crash, I will likely try switching it to another.

Thanks for the advice, I will have to consider reinstalling windows (again :roll: ).
May 20, 2007 11:08:25 PM

If you haven't done so, run the diagnostic/repair software from the backup hdd mfg. If this doesn't do it, I'd RAM the hdd
Related resources
May 21, 2007 10:33:51 AM

Quote:
If you haven't done so, run the diagnostic/repair software from the backup hdd mfg. If this doesn't do it, I'd RAM the hdd


I wasn't given any software with either of the hard drives.

Update on what I've been able to replicate:

Computer first ran with only C drive for 22 hours, no crash.

Computer then ran for 24 hours with both drives, no crash.

Started Emule program 7 hours later, computer froze. Firefox lost all of its bookmarks, which is unique. Now trying a run without Emule again. I will try to see how long it can run.
May 21, 2007 11:17:02 AM

You can get the hdd software as a download from the mfg website
May 21, 2007 12:10:11 PM

I had this problem or something very similar on PC before. Tried fresh installs, reformating etc etc and was always getting the problem.
What solved it for me was using errr "kill HDD" or something i think it was called. It completly removes all the partition and dos area on the harddrive and totaly removes any trace of any file. I think the format drive i was using prior to this wasn't removing it all completly or not correctly resetting on new installs. Anyway this solved the problem for me.
May 21, 2007 12:28:50 PM

I'm gonna be trying a bunch of things, first, trying to run a solid week without emule running.

For some reason I have had a total brainfart and never thought to look up "emule crashing computer" on metacrawler, which I just did, and I'm shocked to see how many people get blue screens while running this program. I could have sworn my comp still crashed without it, but maybe I am thinking back to when my video card and sound card were locked in a duel to the death (Just so anyone knows, Geforce 8800 and X-fi do NOT get along unless you install them in a particular order), or when my RAM was not installed properly (hey it's been 8 years, this stuff is new to me :p ).

Anyway, after give it a week, if there is no crash, I will start tampering with emule to get it to behave. If it still crashes without emule, then I will start taking other steps, some of which you have listed here.

Either way I will post the results here so that if someone has a similar problem, they will be able to narrow down the problem faster.

Thanks all for your assistance in this matter.
a b G Storage
May 21, 2007 1:32:00 PM

I had a similar problem. They way I fixed it was to limit the amount of connections to my computer from the P2P application.
May 21, 2007 2:02:19 PM

Forget emule and try limewire instead. I've never had a problem with it.
May 21, 2007 4:32:24 PM

Quote:
Forget emule and try limewire instead. I've never had a problem with it.


I'm very hesistant to try another P2P. I've had nothing but bad experiences with them. From viruses, to lack of files, none of them have been as reliable as emule. Never gotten a virus, and anything you want is on there. The only drawback is that the speed isn't tops, but if you want obscure files, sometimes that is the price to be paid. My one friend has at least 6 different P2P, and runs them all, but he agrees; emule is just as it sounds, relatively slow, but very reliable and if you can't find a file on Emule, you aren't going to find it anywhere else. I might look at limewire though, thanks for mentioning it.


Quote:
I had a similar problem. They way I fixed it was to limit the amount of connections to my computer from the P2P application.


Yeah I saw that in the thread on the emule crashes. Now that I look back at it, the sudden increase in frequency in crashes coincides with me upgrading emule and changing (probably increasing) the number of connections.
May 21, 2007 6:02:29 PM

I have emule running pretty much 24/7 and never had it crash once. That said it's usualy just plodding along, i limit the transfer speed. Very seldom get misnamed films or viruses. Have to use a little common sense to weed out the misnamed ones but not much.
May 21, 2007 7:31:46 PM

Quote:
I have emule running pretty much 24/7 and never had it crash once. That said it's usualy just plodding along, i limit the transfer speed. Very seldom get misnamed films or viruses. Have to use a little common sense to weed out the misnamed ones but not much.


What are your connection limits?
May 21, 2007 11:39:06 PM

Quote:
I have emule running pretty much 24/7 and never had it crash once. That said it's usualy just plodding along, i limit the transfer speed. Very seldom get misnamed films or viruses. Have to use a little common sense to weed out the misnamed ones but not much.


What are your connection limits?
Normaly have it set between 16 and 30 download what ever that sets it to upload i'm not sure.
I've got a 10 meg connection but it's sometimes pretty busy with kids using browsers, messengers and online games so it's just set between 16 and 30 never let it set it's self because it sets some way high hog all the bandwidth setting.
May 22, 2007 12:39:45 AM

I meant the number of connections, not the Kb/sec limit.
May 22, 2007 1:12:41 AM

Quote:
If you haven't done so, run the diagnostic/repair software from the backup hdd mfg. If this doesn't do it, I'd RAM the hdd


Did you mean RMA the hard drive or is RAMMING the hard drive some new repair techinique that I have not heard about before? Sound like fun.
May 22, 2007 6:28:10 AM

Quote:
I meant the number of connections, not the Kb/sec limit.

Max sources/files =350
Max.Connections =400
16KB/s - 30KB/s downloading speeds
version = emule 0.47C
It plods but it always gets there.
May 22, 2007 11:14:46 AM

It depends on your frustration level, how geographically close you are to the mfg, and how you define fun. :D 
May 23, 2007 1:55:46 PM

OK, dropped the limits to 300/200.

Computer crashed while i was at work, somewhere between 7-20 hours of run time.

Downloaded Linksys wireless drivers to use instead of Windows connection manager, so far 12 hours of continuous run time.
May 23, 2007 11:08:58 PM

Do you see any errors in the event viewer at all? What I would do is go on the net and get a cd called Hiren's boot cd. It has all the tools to test your pc..including repairing bad sectors on your hard drive so you can move your data to another disk.
Another thing to try is a good anti virus. I had a trojan on my pc that would crash my pc..blue screen of death then reboot. AVG found nothing so I tried Avira and then I found this trojan.
Sorry but finding the cause is not easy.. you have to eliminate things one by one. Good luck
May 26, 2007 1:57:04 AM

Time for update:

Found new drivers for my wireless. Ran emule. Crashed after 12 hours

Starting running computer without Emule. 48 hours and counting no crashing.

I think I may have narrowed it down :p . Will keep it running to see if it is indeed the case.


To answer the last person, my comp freezes, or because unresponsive (the mouse pointer moves, but nothing opens or runs). This seems to only happen with Emule running.
May 26, 2007 3:04:47 AM

seems pretty obvious to me that Emule is the problem. Dump it and go to BitTorrent. You can have just as much luck finding files that way.
May 26, 2007 3:31:29 AM

Hi,
I see two area where You schould check things.
Firstly I would remove X-fi sound card. Ive read a lot of post with people having instability problems with those sound cards due to their drivers. Just remove to confirm this.
Secondly I would check if You dont have installed activearmor firewall during initial installation of motherboard drivers. I personally encounter a lot of bsod's on Nvidia motherboard. After many, many days of checking everything I narrowed it down to problems with hardware firewall build in nvidia chipset.
Try uninstall activearmor - and install drivers whitout it.
hope it helps.
best regards,
Piotr
May 26, 2007 4:17:26 AM

Quote:
seems pretty obvious to me that Emule is the problem. Dump it and go to BitTorrent. You can have just as much luck finding files that way.


Ugh, bit torrent is god awful at getting files. Fast when it finds them, but I would be lucky to get nearly anything off of it. Nearly everyone I know has uninstalled bittorrent because of similar issues.

Nabuhonodozor, the X-fi card is fine now, but as you said there are a lot of conflicts and BSOD involved with it. I did literally have to remove it and reinstall it. I can't remember where I found it (some other computer forum), but there is a certain order you have to install it alongside the Geforce, and then it functions normally. The error I recieved from the sound card was different then what I am getting now, and I'm not getting any BSOD now that emule is down.


I may have to find a mod of Emule or something of the like in order to enjoy my DLs while not having to reboot every 7-12 hours.
May 26, 2007 4:21:03 AM

Quote:
seems pretty obvious to me that Emule is the problem. Dump it and go to BitTorrent. You can have just as much luck finding files that way.


Ugh, bit torrent is god awful at getting files. Fast when it finds them, but I would be lucky to get nearly anything off of it. Nearly everyone I know has uninstalled bittorrent because of similar issues.

I may have to find a mod of Emule or something of the like in order to enjoy my DLs while not having to reboot every 7-12 hours.
Agree to disagree?
Your problem has got to be with EMULE - especially if you get the problem after your clean install. Whoever asked about the MB firewall might be onto something. I've heard about MB firewalls causing all sorts of problems.
If you're deadset keeping EMULE, disable any firewall you have, cross your fingers, and see what happens.
!