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Disk 0 seek failure

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June 27, 2010 11:28:45 PM

I am frequently getting a blue screen that I think might be due to memory corruption. I have downloaded the Windows Memory Diagnostic tool, which requires you to create a boot disk in order to run. I don't have a floppy drive in this computer so I tried creating a bootable CD. However, when I try to boot with the CD in the drive I get the error

Disk 0 seek failure

This seems to indicate that it can't read the disk. The drive is pretty old (7+ years) but it seems to work okay. It seemed to have written the ISO file to the disk fine, it just won't read it during boot up.

Any ideas? Here is my computer's profile:

Dell Dimension 8250 (purchased in 2003)
768 MB RAM (4 sicks total, 2 x 256 + 2 x 128)
1 CD Rom drive
1 DVD drive
Windows XP Pro SP 3

Thanks,
Dave

More about : disk seek failure

a c 126 G Storage
June 28, 2010 12:24:06 AM

Why not just burn an Ubuntu cd from Ubuntu.com and boot that CD, then choose the memory test in the menu.

(note: you may have to press scape when it boots from the cd, in order to see the menu; press escape after you see a symbol appearing at the bottom of the screen).

This should be the easiest way to run Memtest86+.
June 28, 2010 12:28:47 AM

you could use different memory testing apps.

Ram Pattern Integrity Testing
http://www.memtest.org/

Good for casual testing. It does not perform stress tests on all the memory subsystems with the CPU (imho, Prime95 is more suitable for that). Hence can't detect all memory errors.


Hard Disk Health Monitor
http://aeo3.com/apps/hdsmart

It's free and very quick. It does not write anything on the hard disk, just ask the hard disk controller for internal SMART Log files. Saw the latest version, it got a new temp-health-age panel.




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June 28, 2010 3:32:05 AM

stefo said:
you could use different memory testing apps.

Ram Pattern Integrity Testing
http://www.memtest.org/

Good for casual testing. It does not perform stress tests on all the memory subsystems with the CPU (imho, Prime95 is more suitable for that). Hence can't detect all memory errors.


Hard Disk Health Monitor
http://aeo3.com/apps/hdsmart

It's free and very quick. It does not write anything on the hard disk, just ask the hard disk controller for internal SMART Log files. Saw the latest version, it got a new temp-health-age panel.


Thanks for the help. Unfortunately, I have already tried out the tool from memtest.org and it requires you to make a boot disk just like the Microsoft one I mentioned earlier. I'm not that worried about the hard disk, but I supposed I could have a look at that tool to see if it gives me any indications of problems.
June 28, 2010 3:34:25 AM

sub mesa said:
Why not just burn an Ubuntu cd from Ubuntu.com and boot that CD, then choose the memory test in the menu.

(note: you may have to press scape when it boots from the cd, in order to see the menu; press escape after you see a symbol appearing at the bottom of the screen).

This should be the easiest way to run Memtest86+.


I have no experience with running Ubuntu, but installing a new operating system just to run a memory test seems like a lot of work at this point. And if I have to boot from a CD containing Ubuntu, am I not going to run into the same problem?
a c 126 G Storage
June 28, 2010 6:15:34 PM

You don't install anything; you just boot from the cd, press scape and get a menu which includes the Memory Test option.

So you don't actually boot Ubuntu at all, it boots straight into memtest86+. But if you do nothing it will boot into Ubuntu, that's why you need to press Escape when you see a symbol appearing at the bottom of the screen, just after the BIOS attempts to boot from the CD.
a c 126 G Storage
June 28, 2010 6:16:29 PM

June 29, 2010 3:08:32 AM

sub mesa said:
You don't install anything; you just boot from the cd, press scape and get a menu which includes the Memory Test option.

So you don't actually boot Ubuntu at all, it boots straight into memtest86+. But if you do nothing it will boot into Ubuntu, that's why you need to press Escape when you see a symbol appearing at the bottom of the screen, just after the BIOS attempts to boot from the CD.


Yeah, but the fact that my computer can't boot from a CD is the problem. If it did that I could have just run the MS memory testing tool from the get go and I would never have posted here.

Anyway, I tried using the Ubuntu CD per the instructions on the website and your instructions and it didn't work. Same disk seek error I got before.
a c 126 G Storage
June 29, 2010 11:54:46 AM

Computer that cannot boot from CD? Run towards a museum; chances are that PC is worth a LOT!

Seriously; why don't you buy something new for 100 euro? Something that cannot boot from CD is not even worth your time IMO.
July 2, 2010 5:19:07 AM

So is it safe to assume that my computer simply cannot work with bootable CDs? It has no floppy drive so does that mean boot disks are not an option in any form? That doesn't really seem right. Do you have to do something special to the CD when you write the ISO to it? Mark it as bootable in some way? I really need to test my memory and I have absolutely no recourse right now.

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a b G Storage
July 5, 2010 5:32:27 AM
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If you have a bootable iso, this software will burn it to a disc.
http://www.imgburn.com/

You'll need to select the CD drive as the first boot device.

Disable the floppy drive in the BIOS.

If that doesn't solve the error, you can test the RAM, by removing 1 chip at a time.

July 5, 2010 5:46:58 AM

Thanks for the input. You were right. I needed to use a CD burner that could set the disk up as bootable. Once I did that, it worked fine and I was able to run the memory test. Unfortunately, it did not show that there were any memory issues so I guess something else is causing the blue screen.
a b G Storage
July 5, 2010 6:27:02 AM

When you get the BSOD, look for the message with the underscores (EX: IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL). What message do you see?

By the way, if you're running memtest, it should be ran for ~5 - 6 hours to get an accurate result.
July 24, 2010 4:24:46 PM

A common one is PAGE_FAULT_IN_NONPAGED_AREA, which, from what I've read, is commonly a symptom of bad memory or a bad motherboard. I ran the memory test for about 10 minutes. I didn't realize you had to run it for hours. I can try that and see what happens.

The blue screens actually seem to have stopped (for the time being anyway). It's been almost a month since I've gotten one. Not sure what I did differently, but there you go. Thanks for the help.
July 24, 2010 4:26:26 PM

Best answer selected by computer12345.
a b G Storage
July 24, 2010 5:22:37 PM

Good to hear. Thanks for the update!

!