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Windows gets corrupted and other problems

Last response: in Storage
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November 18, 2009 9:20:25 PM

I've been having much trouble with my PC for about a month now. I'll try to be as detailed and clear as possible (I apologize for any language-related problems since I'm not a native speaker).

First off, the specs:

Mobo: ASUS M3A AM2+
CPU: Athlon X2 5200+ 2.7GHz
RAM: 4 sticks 1GB DDR2 800MHz Supertalent CAS 5 (dual channel)
GPU: nVidia GeForce 8600 GT
PSU: Vitsuba 450 watt (18A @ 12v rail)
*note: the PSU is generic (yet I don't think it's utter crap).
OS: Win XP 32 bit first/ Win 7 Home Prem 64 bit after
HDD: Seagate 7200.11 500GB Sata II 32MB Cache

The Whole Problem:

-It all started about 3 weeks ago, when the PC, running XP, started rebooting quite randomly when the PC was not being used and at two other occassions while gaming. I then got to know that a file called powrprof.dll (or something alike) was missing and I stopped the reboots by replacing it.
-Some days later, the PC BSODed and XP wouldn't boot. Running chkdsk from a Win 7 RC install from another HDD solved this problem.
-The PC did this a few more times (and I managed to repair XP with chkdsk).
-Then my dad was playing (no comment) FIFA 10 while the game slowed down, then froze, and BSODed. This time, he heard some strange noise comming from the PC (he describes it as something getting into a chasis fan, though I've never heard how it sounded like). But chkdsk did not repair XP, so I had to repair XP from the install disk. Windows XP would just BSOD after the XP logo and loading bar was displayed at booting.
-After the repair, the same thing happened again to my father, and I repaired XP but did not finish repairing it since I got my new copy of Win 7 Home Premium.
-I wiped out XP and installed Win 7, which ran flawlessly.
-The same day I installed Win 7 I left the PC on overnight.
-The following morning (today), I found the PC frozen in the screen which appears prior to the repair console. I rebooted, and found that W 7 would BSOD in the exact same moment XP BSODed (right after "starting windows" disappears) while booting. The W7 repair console fails to open.

Hypotheses:

1- PSU failure is the root of all problems? Might be causing HDD to fail randomly? Evidence: Game getting low FPS before BSOD.
Counter evidence: Both Windows installs got similarly corrupted, which is unlikely for a random error; CPU and GPU stress stesting do not cause the PC to reboot.
2- HDD failure or damage causes the OS to get corrupted and fail.
Evidence: Both Win 7 and XP got similarly corrupted; noise comming from the PC. Counter evidence: ???
3- Other component failure??? Suggest which please (tested RAM and it's OK).

Help:

What do you think is causing all the problems???
a b G Storage
November 18, 2009 11:13:24 PM

Well the first thing I would do is substitute the power supply with a good known one, if that was not the cause of the problem I would run a memory test program overnight to test out the RAM. I know most people don’t have a spare power supply but even if this turns out not to be the cause of the problem a spare power supply will always be useful to have for future problems.
Also check temperatures of the processor and system and ensure the front vents are free of dust.
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