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is it my hard drives failing or my OS???

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November 27, 2007 6:18:25 PM

I recently have been having problems with my ide drive that I use for storage and my sata drive for my system drive so I am not sure if this is a windows xp malfuction or a hard drive malfunction. Both drives are under one year old and have worked great until now. It all started when I was installing a couple newer games. towards the end of the installation it would throw up a blue screen ( I have the picture, but no website to post it on through here) then reboot. So I tried reinstalling the program again and it would work. On my last game that I had to install it would never let me install the whole thing. It would always blue screen and reboot my cpu. After rebooting it will always stall at bios start up when its counting the memory. I have to restart my cpu from there to get it to boot properly. I was using a virtual drive on some iso's to install these programs. I scanned all files with AVG free virus scanner and they were all clean before I ever touched the iso's. I was thinking it was because of using a virtual drive on a ISO from an ide drive and installing the program to a different sata drive(should I run into problems by doing this?) But I copied the ISO to the same sata drive I was installing it to and got the same blue screen. Now, when ever I try to scan certain folders in my IDE(storage) drive with AVG, I get a blue screen from XP usually after 2-3 minutes of scanning. These folders contain old files that I had previously scanned in the past with no problems ever. I never had this AVG problem before trying to install these games. I do not get this blue screen when I scan my Sata(system) drive however. I ran defrag on my ide drive once and still get the blue screen when I scan my drive with AVG. I tried scanning online on Trend Mico's site and still got a blue screen. Nothing else seems to get a blue screen error like playing games, running other software.

Does anyone know of a good Hard disk utility to test any possible errors or malfuctions? Or does anyone have any other ideas on what this could possibly be? The only thing I can think of is either a undetectable virus/trojan, or my hard disk is failing, but its odd that one game will blue screen when I am installing it off my sata drive and not utilizing my ide drive at all. I have also ran ccleaner, registry cleaner, and spybot, and hijackthis with no apparent problems.

More about : hard drives failing

November 27, 2007 6:41:17 PM

acoustic5679 said:
I recently have been having problems with my ide drive that I use for storage and my sata drive for my system drive so I am not sure if this is a windows xp malfuction or a hard drive malfunction. Both drives are under one year old and have worked great until now. It all started when I was installing a couple newer games. towards the end of the installation it would throw up a blue screen ( I have the picture, but no website to post it on through here) then reboot. So I tried reinstalling the program again and it would work. On my last game that I had to install it would never let me install the whole thing. It would always blue screen and reboot my cpu. After rebooting it will always stall at bios start up when its counting the memory. I have to restart my cpu from there to get it to boot properly. I was using a virtual drive on some iso's to install these programs. I scanned all files with AVG free virus scanner and they were all clean before I ever touched the iso's. I was thinking it was because of using a virtual drive on a ISO from an ide drive and installing the program to a different sata drive(should I run into problems by doing this?) But I copied the ISO to the same sata drive I was installing it to and got the same blue screen. Now, when ever I try to scan certain folders in my IDE(storage) drive with AVG, I get a blue screen from XP usually after 2-3 minutes of scanning. These folders contain old files that I had previously scanned in the past with no problems ever. I never had this AVG problem before trying to install these games. I do not get this blue screen when I scan my Sata(system) drive however. I ran defrag on my ide drive once and still get the blue screen when I scan my drive with AVG. I tried scanning online on Trend Mico's site and still got a blue screen. Nothing else seems to get a blue screen error like playing games, running other software.

Does anyone know of a good Hard disk utility to test any possible errors or malfuctions? Or does anyone have any other ideas on what this could possibly be? The only thing I can think of is either a undetectable virus/trojan, or my hard disk is failing, but its odd that one game will blue screen when I am installing it off my sata drive and not utilizing my ide drive at all. I have also ran ccleaner, registry cleaner, and spybot, and hijackthis with no apparent problems.


You likely have a memory problem, not hard drive. In BIOS increase your memory voltage to RAM Mfg. specs and set the memory timings to specs too. You might run memtest too. Bump your memory voltage a notch.
November 27, 2007 6:52:39 PM

You know I wasn't going to write about it because I fixed it(I think) about 2 weeks ago I got 2 new gigs of mem so I have 4 gigs now. I tried taking the two out to see if that was cauing my problems. It didn't stop the blue screening, but I couldn't get my cpu to turn on after I put the additional two sticks back in. it would throw a bunch of beeps at me from the mobo. I had to take them out and put them in about 10 times before my cpu would boot up again. I thought my mobo's dimm slots were fried or something, but it seems to work now. I guess the memory slots on my mobo are really finicky.

I believe I ran memtest (thats the progrma you have to boot with right? and it runs it through a series of tests and keeps running passes until you press a button to reboot?) If thats it, I ran it, and it passed on every test it gave.

Since I installed 2 additional gigs of ram could it be that I need more voltage going to the memory? I would think BIOS would automatically configure that once it saw I had more memory put in. I will try that after work today.
Related resources
November 27, 2007 6:57:13 PM

Yeah, you have to set the memory voltage to Mfg. specs in BIOS. PC6400 is 2.0-2.2v. Your problem is a classic memory issue and setting the voltage correctly will likely solve the system failure problems.
November 27, 2007 7:10:09 PM

Thanks so much! I can't wait to try it out!! So I have Patriot PC2-6400 memory 800mhz ddr2

It states (4-4-4-12), 2.2v

the 4-4-4-12 is the timing I am assuming so I will go in my bios to see if thats the problem. Its so stupid how XP throws up a whole page of crap to read and gives you a second or less to read it before it reboots!
November 27, 2007 7:13:41 PM

Absolutely. Go in BIOS and set those settings there. To have the Blue Screen stay up and the system not reboot do the following:

Right click on My Computer.
Select properties
Select the Advanced Tab.
Under 'start up and recovery' select 'settings'
under 'system failure' uncheck 'automatically restart'

The system will remain up with the BS displayed.
November 27, 2007 9:46:29 PM

The only thing on my gigabyte cmos set up utility is a overvoltage control and you can basically raise it .1, .2 and so on. I am going to call them to see if this bios has a feature to change these settings I am looking for. AVG does pick up Shell32.dll when ever I scan any part of the drive and right away too. Its labeled as a change under result/infection. Any ideas?
November 27, 2007 10:10:57 PM

Which MB do you have. The model number.
November 27, 2007 10:12:01 PM

gigabyte GA-965P-S3
November 27, 2007 10:22:07 PM

You have the P965 chipset, so the BIOS should have adjustments for the RAM voltage and timings. You would have to make the adjustments in BIOS.
a b G Storage
November 27, 2007 10:34:05 PM

Gigabyte boards require you to press Ctrl-F1 while in the BIOS to reveal advanced settings such as memory timings.
November 27, 2007 11:11:55 PM

Thanks. I couldn't find that anywhere in the manual.

I switched it to 4-4-4-12

I still get a blue screen when scanning my ide drive. I scanned each individual folder in the ide drive with no blue screen, but when I scan the whole D: drive thats when it blue screens.

I can't find the voltage setting for the memory in the bios, so I did not get to change that yet. Do you think it would be ok to raise over voltage up a notch?

There are also these setting in my bios below the 4 regular timing options
Act to act delay(trrd)
rank read to write delay
write to precharge delay
refresh to act delay
read to precharge delay

I left these alone though.

On my BIOS settings for memory timing I chnaged it, but only the highlighted numbers are changed
Example
5 4
5 4
5 4
16 12
the numbers on the left are what it used to be and the numbers on the right are what I changed it to which are highlighted. Is this just showing me what the default would be for the numbers on the left if I were not to go into manual mode and switch them to 4-4-4-12? I am just trying to figure out if my bios is really loading my 4-4-4-12 settings.


on the blue screen it states this at the bottom everytime
Stop : 0x000000F4 (0X00000003,0X8A242BC0,OX8A242D34,0X805D11F8)

THEN IT STATES BEGGINING DEUMP OF PHYSICAL MEMORY
November 27, 2007 11:26:19 PM

Can you run check disk from windows.

Double click on my computer
Right click on your OS hard drive.
Click on Properties
Select 'Tools'
Select 'check now'
Select 'automatically fix file system errors' and scan and attempt recovery of bad sectors.

Restart the system until a disk check occurs. Let it run all 5 stages.
November 27, 2007 11:29:22 PM

If the check disk doesn't solve the problem, you may have to do a repair of the OS by booting to the Window CD. Gotta' drive home soon, so maybe someone can guide you through that.
November 27, 2007 11:31:11 PM

Thanks a bunch for your help

I will do this error checking on both drives.
November 27, 2007 11:35:19 PM

From the blue screen error message you are getting it looks like you may have some corrumpted files along the way, can't really say for sure. Maybe a check disk can repair the OS. If not, you should probably try a repair of the OS by booting to the Windows CD to the 'second' repair console.

Bumping the memory slightly past Mfg. specs is ok, but going to far could damage the memory.
November 27, 2007 11:36:03 PM

Five stages of disk check takes quite a while. Let it run though.
November 27, 2007 11:48:51 PM

The Ultimate boot CD shadow suggested is a good idea. I use it too, but usually for memory test. Run any HD check from that program if possible.
November 27, 2007 11:56:17 PM

I am currently dling it. Thanks! I will lose all data such as save points in games and anything on my OS drive if I do a repair right? If none of these disk checks work and ultimate boot disk doesn't work, would you suggest using Dban(or another data erasing program) on both drives to get a fresh start? I have been using dban for years, but its a pain to reinstall everything overagain. Exspecially the XP updates. Thanks again for your help!!!
November 28, 2007 12:00:35 AM

If someone knows exactly what that Blue Screen message pertains too, it would be great to reply here. I'm thinking corupted OS files. I suppose the BS could be hardware related (hard drive? or even RAM?).

If you do a repair booting to the Windows disk, it should not wreck you files. You will likely haveto go online and get a lot of MS updates because the disk will repair the OS files back to what is on the disk. Any updates past that will have to be rinstalled. The only hard drive I ever had fail directly on me locked the system up completely and I couldn't get back up into the OS.
November 28, 2007 12:14:01 AM

yeah. All my backed up files that are of any importance are on my storage drive which is also the drive I am getting the BS when I AVG scan it. I just have to find my saved game files and things like that I suppose. check disk is still going through the ide drive. After that I will check disk the OS drive. If I still get a BS after that I will try all the utilities on that Ultimate boot cd and if all that fails I will repair the OS through the windows cd. Thanks again for your help! You are awesome!

November 28, 2007 3:14:09 AM

Can't you just view the dump files and see what the cause is?
November 28, 2007 4:20:29 AM

My mistake.
November 28, 2007 5:04:05 AM

Where do I view the dump files from the BS?
November 28, 2007 5:11:28 AM

Dude, you should check the memory sticks one at a time to see if any are bad. This would take you very little time compared to what you have already spent on the issue. Take them all out, then put them in one at a time and try to duplicate your errors.
November 28, 2007 5:36:14 AM

acoustic5679 can you use your MB manual under BIOS configuration and find the memory voltage adjustment in BIOS and increasae that voltage to 2.2v
November 28, 2007 12:33:32 PM

I can't find it in there. http://america.giga-byte.com/FileList/Manual/motherboar...

I can't even find where it states what the voltage is for the ddr2.

I completed 2 check disk passes on both drives and I also booted up a few memory tests on Ultimate boot CD. Still have the same problem. I am going to wait till I figure out how to change the voltage before I do I XP repair.

If it were my memory, would one of those tests pick up on it?

November 28, 2007 12:46:50 PM

Trying to download the link you posted, the MB manual? Can your try 1 DIMM of RAM in slot one only? If you get the blue screen when running software, try another DIMM as a single. Let me reread osme of this, research the blue screen error code and read the manual.
November 28, 2007 12:52:11 PM

Yes, that is the manual from gigabytes site.

I haven't tried what a commandodan suggested yet. But I will try that when I get home today. I will use one mem stick at a time to see if that helps, but could it be that one of the Dimm slots in the mobo is bad too?
In that case, I guess I should try getting the BS to come up using one stick at a time in each of the 4 slots?
November 28, 2007 12:55:22 PM

Looks like the link to the MB manual is the Chinese version. 8) Reminds me of a laundry in my neighbrood when I was a kid. Helpee Selfee.
November 28, 2007 12:56:44 PM

Did you see this?

SYMPTOMS
A computer that is running Microsoft Windows XP or a later operating system stops responding during resume from standby, and you receive the following KERNEL_DATA_INPAGE_ERROR stop error message:
0x0000007a (e163a3e4,c000000e,bf8e9313,0697f860)
or
0x000000F4 (0x00000003, Parameter2, Parameter3, Parameter4)
Note Parameter2, Parameter3, and Parameter4 in the stop error may vary.

This problem occurs on a computer in which Windows XP or a later operating system is installed on a hard disk that is configured as a subordinate and no other device is connected to the same IDE controller channel (primary or secondary).
Back to the top

CAUSE
This behavior may occur when you use Windows XP or a later operating system with some motherboards. Microsoft is researching this problem and will post more information in this article when the information becomes available.
Back to the top

RESOLUTION
To resolve this behavior, use one of the following methods:• For Parallel Advanced Technology Attachment (PATA) hard disks, configure your disk drive as master only. For Serial Advanced Technology Attachment (SATA) hard disks, connect the hard disk cable to a master channel SATA connector on the motherboard.
• Connect another device as a master, such as another disk drive or a CD drive or DVD drive.
• Change your PATA and SATA IDE cable even if the cable does not appear worn.
• Install Windows on a new hard disk because it is possible that your hard disk or your Windows installation may be corrupted.

Back to the top

MORE INFORMATION
Steps to reproduce the behavior
1. For PATA hard disks, set the hard disk jumper to slave mode. For SATA hard disks, connect the hard disk cable to a slave channel SATA connector on the motherboard.
2. In BIOS power management, set BIOS to S1 or S3 (STR).
3. Install Windows XP Professional with Service Pack 1 or Service Pack 2.
4. Restart the computer.
5. Set the computer to Standby.
6. Try to resume the system. The system stops responding.

November 28, 2007 1:03:08 PM

So if we go that route, if your IDE HD is a single drive, configure the jumper as Master. Also, replace the IDE cabble. be sure you have the cable installed correctly.

On the SATA drive, you should change the cable and be sure you are connecting the SATA drive to a 'common' SATA port on your MB, not some special 'raid' ports that may be available.

Resolution suggests you reinstall windows on a 'new' hard drive to eliminate any corruption factor or 'bad' hard drive factor I suppose.
November 28, 2007 1:03:46 PM

Yeah. I am almost positive all my jumper settings are correct. I will check that as well when I get home.
November 28, 2007 1:07:57 PM

So, the blue screen error message points to the posts I referred to. Try resolving the issue this way. It would be funny if you did all that and it turned out to be a bad DIMM...or the RAM just needed a little increase in the voltage.
November 28, 2007 1:11:19 PM

You know something just got brought to my attention. I dbanned my SATA(system) drive around 3 months ago for the first time, but realized I hadn't downloaded the latest ver in a while. Turns out, my ver I had did not support SATAS very well so it took 9 hours and it was only at 5%. I turned the cpu off in the middle of the dban and just reinstalled windows after that which seemed to work fine. Do you think that could be it? I can't believe I forgot about that.

I have the newest ver of Dariks boot nuke so maybe I should dban both drives and reinstall XP with a slipstream xp cd. I just ordered a external HD from newegg so I am going to store all stuff on that when I get it.
November 28, 2007 1:14:01 PM

I will try everything in those posts
November 28, 2007 1:16:30 PM

Not familiar with dban. You have some corruption of the OS files, or possible a misconfigured HD jumper/faulty cable or bad HD. Or the memory could possibly be the cause. Try the resolution listed on the post I referenced to.
November 28, 2007 1:29:59 PM

ahhhh. I was just researching data erasing programs too. So, corruption of OS data is a possibility. Your idea to save important data before a complete crash occurs is good. After checking jumpers, cables, RAM a reinstall of the OS may be the answer. Let me know how it goes.
November 28, 2007 1:37:26 PM

I will and thank you so much for all this help! I never had this problem before with BS's and I have never changed my jumper settings since the build which was 8 months ago about. It wouldn't take that long to BS from having a bad jumper setting would it? I suppose it could be a bad cable, but those are only 8 months old too.... Computers are so fun=)
November 28, 2007 1:44:03 PM

That blue screen error code is apparently not a common one. I was hoping someone was familiar with the error code and the resolution of it. My last blue screen was a stop error that turned out to be a faulty DIMM. I am thinking blue screen point to failing hardware. Corrupted OS files, I'm not sure. Wonder how accurate are those MS blue screen codes?
November 28, 2007 2:03:26 PM

considering its microsoft probably not=)

I do notice that some of those codes specified are not the same code as mine, but very close.
Mine.....
0x000000F4 (0X00000003,0X8A242BC0,OX8A242D34,0X805D11F8

examples in the other forum site....
0x0000007a (e163a3e4,c000000e,bf8e9313,0697f860)

0x000000F4 (0x00000003, Parameter2, Parameter3, Parameter4)
Note Parameter2, Parameter3, and Parameter4 in the stop error may vary

I am not sure weather these codes specify I totally diffrerent problem or if they are similar to my problem.

November 28, 2007 3:58:36 PM

I just got off the phone with gigabyte and apparently they do not have a actuall option to change the voltage, however the Overvoltage is where they said you chnage it. default is always 1.8 and my patriot mem states 2.2v. So the options are .1, .2, .3. etc... He suggested raising it however much to get to 2.2 . In my case, raise the over voltage to .4 to qual 2.2. I will try this when I get back to the computer.
November 28, 2007 4:03:07 PM

Yeah, your patriot is rated at 2.2v and you are running it at 1.8v default voltage. That was my initial suspicion as to your system crashing while running software. I would definately give that a try, raising the voltage however you can. Funny, I don't have a Gigabyte MB up and running, so I am unfamiliar with thier products, BIOS etc. My many ASUS systems easily specifically adjust the memory voltage in BIOS.
November 28, 2007 4:04:05 PM

Try 1 DIMM in slot one only if the system crashes. Try each DIMM and see if you can get stable that way. And bump the voltage like you said.
November 28, 2007 4:11:13 PM

would it matter if I had 2 gigs of ram at 1.8 vs 4 gigs?? IE more ram you put in the more voltage you need? Or is the voltage (2.2v) just specific to the type of memory I have no matter how many sticks are in?
November 28, 2007 4:20:48 PM

I would try setting the voltage up .4v to get to 2.2v. Then I would use 1 DIMM only in slot 1 and see if the system was stable with 1 DIMM. If not, I would try the other 3 as singles in the same fashion. Hopefully all four DIMMS are good and 2.2v stabilizes the system. No, don't go over 2.3v, you could damage the RAM going higher. 2.2v-2.3 for 1 DIMM, 2 DIMMS, 4 DIMMS.
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