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Am I being hacked or some other problem?

Last response: in Windows Vista
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December 14, 2009 8:15:35 AM

Ok, I have had 2 separate PC harddrives that appear to have died in the past couple weeks and now I can't even reformat my nwer PC because of weird issues. I am a noob so please be patient here. :ouch: 

One of the harddrives that died was on a very old PC.. so I don't know if it was just a coincidence. But I have reason to suspect someone on a messageboard may have hacked me or sent me some kind of malicious malware somehow -- I have been getting harassed by some bullies on a website.

So on my newer Windows Vista PC I have 2 large harddrives. This PC is a HP Media center PC -- M8300F.

http://www.retrevo.com/search?q=HP+M8300F&rt=sp

The first issue I had on the PC was on the auxialliary drive. It started running really slow and my PC would freeze. The Aux harddrive also wasn't being recognized by my PC.. the autoplay thing would come up and ask me what to do with the drive.

So I managed to try to get as much info off it I could by removing it and using a USB adapter I have to make it a USB drive.

The main harddrive and my PC seemed to be working better then.

So I got everything off the main drive and reinstalled windows using recovery disks. Was working good for a couple weeks. But now there is a new issue.

I had rebooted my PC and it froze after I logged on to the Administrator account. I tried to use a previous restore point thinking that maybe a Windows update caused this... when I rebooted I noticed that my PC was installing a driver for my harddrive for some reason???

But my PC still kept freezing up after logging in and the programs loading. I tried to disable all programs on startup, too. So I tried to reformat but this didn't work.. after reformatting and reinstalling Windows it was freezing after the screen, "please wait while Windows prepares to start for the first time."

I ran Dban and wiped the drive and the same thing is happening.. I did get this message a couple times while trying to install windows --

Quote:
Problem detected -- Windows shutdown to prevent damage


Page fault in nonpaged area

Check new hardware

if continues disable remove new hardware

disable bios memory options - - caching, Shadowing

use safe mode to disable components

*** stop: 0x00000050 (0xFFFFFF86, 0x0000001, 0x8449DB35, 0x00000000)


Now it is freezing even before the recovery disks installs my factory programs...


So am I being hacked and that is why all this crasy stuff is happening? Or is it just a coincidence and this is all just old PC issues hitting at once?

My hunch from talking to someone and reading around is that it could be my RAM.. but I am trying to figure the best way to check that....

OR someone hacked me or got me to accidentally download some malicious software on a messageboard and it ran my harddrive till they failed and or messed up my BIOS or something like that.. if that is the case can I fix one of my harddrives and my BIOS?

More about : hacked problem

December 14, 2009 8:51:14 AM

Most often faulty memory is the cause of those stop errors. Perhaps run memtest and check for errors.
December 14, 2009 8:55:44 AM

I take it you can run memtest without installing windows/fully booting up? I will Google memtest and see what I can find.. thank you!

Also, if I do find a bad memory "stick"? how do i go about removing that.. I thought I heard something about needing pairs of RAM sticks or something.
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December 14, 2009 9:09:53 AM

I'm reading that now and it says to start PC in safe mode.. I thought I had tried to start in safe mode but it wouldn't let me without windows being installed and any time I try to install windows it freeze up in the process.

Also, how could the display driver be messed up? It's been working all this time... I gotta keep reading though it probably explains it.

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December 14, 2009 9:12:53 AM
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The Stop error you were getting most likely refers to faulty RAM or a bad/corrupted driver whether system or video. The error even refers to the system memory,
December 14, 2009 9:16:50 AM

Ok, thanks man! I will keep researching. amazing how things can be working fine then EVERYTHING goes wrong all at once! haha

2 harddrives on different PCs died out of nowhere and my driver or RAM died.. in a couple week span? crazy.
December 14, 2009 9:19:40 AM

Welcome. Maybe a frsh format and installation of the OS using the installation DVD is in the future.
December 14, 2009 9:24:29 AM

Thanks for the welcomee. :) 

I already tried install though.. :(  I DBAN'ed the drive and tried to use the recovery disks and it is still freezing up on install. Hopefully I can just remove one RAM stick or somehting and get it up and running just to make sure it works?
December 14, 2009 9:33:53 AM

Well, not sure of your situation, but if you have a Vista installation disk and do a reformat of the HD that would eliminate any bad video or system drivers previously present. If after a format of the drive, the actual installation of the OS hangs then faulty RAM could very well be the cause of the system failure.
December 14, 2009 9:39:45 AM

So I can do the memtest pre bootup?

I am just trying to figure out how to go about rearranging the RAM if possible to see if that is the problem. (maybe remove one bad stick)

I am having to disconnect these 2 different PCs from the same monitor while alternating between testing the dead PC and going online to try to get more info such as from here.
December 14, 2009 9:46:32 AM

You might try removing the DIMM in slot 1 (closest to the CPU), then insert the second DIMM in that vacant slot 1. If that doesn't boot to desktop, then the current Vista installation may be corrupted, etc. When booting try tapping the F8 key (or try other F keys) and get to Safe Mode. In Safe mode you need to update the video driver or at least roll it back or even remove it. I am getting abit ahead of myself here, but if switching the RAM gets you back to desktop or Safe Mode, the RAM you removed is the likely cause of the system crash. If not, then there is a driver/corruption problem with the current Vista installation. If it were mine, I would do a reformat and reinstallation of the OS. I am not sure what you have in the way of recovery disks/options with a DELL. I have never owned one.
December 14, 2009 9:53:47 AM

It looks like there are four sticks of memory in there.. but I don't know what they are. I know less than zero about RAM. :/ 

This is a Hewlett Packard PC --

http://www.retrevo.com/search?q=HP+M8300F&rt=sp

This has a 3 disk recovery set that I burned when I got it. But it's made by HP I believe.. so it's different than the actual Vista installation disk I think. Probably makes it EVEN worse than the Vista install disk.


I wonder if I screwed up my own RAM while messing with my Hardrives? I don't use one of those ground wristband things. Probably really stupid on my part.
December 14, 2009 10:10:31 AM

Anyway, if you can manage, use 1 DIMM of RAM in slot one only and try to boot to the OS that way. Use a DIMM other than the one currently installed there. Remove the other three. Ha, this is kind of complicated if you have never worked on a computer or in fact built a computer before. LOL. I have built a lot of desktop computers. No need for DELL. LOL.

Can you try this. Boot the computer and keep tapping down on the 'delete' key. A BIOS screen should appear.
December 14, 2009 10:23:57 AM

I will try hitting delete.. I have got into the boot menu through there and "setup".. but not sure if that is the section you are talking about.

I think I am going to crash now and when I wake up I will researchRAM a little and then swithc PCs on this monitor and experiemnt again.. :/  scared..

I wish I had experience building PCs.. scary though when you are tight for cash and no help.. :/ 


Thanks so much for your help, badge! I would be screwed without your help.. seems like everyone has questions online and few ahve answers. :( 
December 15, 2009 1:51:39 AM

I removed all my RAM but one stick and I was finally able to install windows and bootup fully. But now I am wondering how to find out exactly which RAM stick has the error.. it could even be the slot too, couldn't it? I tried a diagnostic thing HP provided as part of the recovery disk set and it didn't show anything even with all the RAM sticks in.. no errors of any kind.

EDIT: I tried running my PC with all the sticks of RAM one by one - one at a time -- and they have all worked and no errors were found with the test. I have yet to try them all in at once though. so could still be slot.
December 15, 2009 3:55:19 AM

Well, it takes more voltage to run 4 DIMMs than 1 DIMM. If the BIOS has an adjustment for RAM voltage, increase that voltage a bit. Did the system come with 4 DIMMs from HP? Usually the HP MB's will not allow voltage increass in BIOS.
December 15, 2009 4:10:00 AM

I'm not understanding a lot of what you are saying there. I will have to research more. I haven't modified this PC at all though if that's what you mean.

I tried putting the last 2 sticks in in the last 2 slots -- furthest from the CPU -- I tried one at a time.

The first one I put in the PC wouldn't boot up and at one time when I was trying to remove it it seemed like when I moved a wire the PC tried to come on..

so I took that one out and tried the last stick in the 4th slot. This time the PC started but wouldn't finish booting up.. I think it froze on the windows symbol on black screen. Took that one out and now the PC is working again. I am posting from it.

I wonder if this could have something to do with th power supply?

Also, when the PC wouldn't start on the 3rd slot it made some beeping noise.. 2 loud beeps with a space between..

EDIT: One thing I am curious about.. why are 2 slots colored white and 2 slots colored blue?
December 15, 2009 5:14:06 AM

The PSU is prime canditate. The motherbioard supports the CPU's dual channel memory controller. The color signifies Channel 1 and channel 2. Sure, with 4 DIMMs installed more voltage is required than with 1 DIMM installed. Populate slot 1 if using a single DIMM. Inserting a DIMM in slot 4 or slot 3 will not work. Also 1,2 or 4 DIMMS will work, but not 3 DIMMS.
December 15, 2009 5:20:09 AM

So that was maybe the problem? That I only had 3 DIMMs filled not 4? I will try all four then. Maybe it was just some kind of lack of contact and nothing is wrong with anything?
December 15, 2009 5:51:23 AM

OK, I tried all four and it wouldn't run... but one thing I had problems with.. this thing is so tightly filled with wires and stuff that it was difficult to work in there.. AND I wonder if a loose connection from the big mass of cables that goes to the harddrives is causing a loose connection? I tried to make sure everything was tight but at times the PC seemed to be all together but it wouldn't turn on. I looked like the fans were trying to turn on the power supply so this made me think it was the power supply.. but now I am thinking it is the wires pulling loose because it;'s so tight in there. Is there some cheap way I can set mu PC up better without buying a different PC tower?

But anyway.. I took the last 2 out sticks out and now it's working again.

Another thing that really bugs me is how loose the cable that go to the harddrives are.. there's nothing really holing those on there.. crazy.
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