BSOD with Seagate SATA drive HOLY CRIMANY...any suggestions?

Wow what a headache. Started getting BSOD in XP Pro SP3 from time to time on my HP Pavillion desktop with AMD Athlon X2 5200+, 2 gigs ram (4-512mb sticks, two are patriot memory added to machine after purchase, two came with original comp), original Seagate 320 GB SATA drive. BSOD message says Windows has shut down to prevent hardware damage, etc. says to remove any new hardware (no new hardware to remove), etc. says to run virus scan and chkdsk /f. Have done all that numerous times, still BSOD.

Thought I might be having a ram sticks going bad, removed two sticks of ram, worked for a few days, then started giving BSOD again.

Called my tech guy who says I probably have some bad ram, changed out all ram to new matching sticks, still getting BSOD.
Tech guy says it's probably mobo memory controller. Bought new mobo Gigabyte MA-785gm-US2H, won't boot. Read manual that says you should run a 500w minimum power supply or board may not boot (original PS was 250w). Purchased new power supply with 500w, but now I'm still getting BSOD. Well maybe it's my CPU? Changed CPU from AMD Anthlon x2 5200+ to Anthlon II x3 440 since memory controller is on CPU.
Still getting BSOD. Tried to boot with different HD from another computer, same OS but SP2, (not SP3). It boots and runs fine.
Took original Seagate SATA 320 7200rpm (again has XP Pro SP3) and tried it in a Dell Dimension 5150, works fine.

I have change out every conceivable part, cleared CMOS on new drive, disconnected front case USB's, disconnected front case audio, memory stick slots, firewire, removed CDRW drive. STILL BSOD with the original seagate drive.

You guessed it I don't want to format the drive because my whole business life exists on that drive. Yes there are backups.

I'm considering buying new drives (to utilize raid) but don't really want to spend the time moving all the date from the old to new drives.

Would love to hear anyone's thoughts and suggestions
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  1. You changed the motherboard, but you did NOT say you made any effort to update the set of drivers by running a Repair Install from the Win XP Install CD.

    The version of XP Pro (SP3) already installed on your 320 GB HDD has installed in it all the drivers necessary for the many devices of your machine. That includes a LOT of devices that are part of the mobo. Then you replaced the mobo. That means some drivers are installed for devices that no longer exist, and some new devices are now there with no drivers installed.

    In such cases you are supposed to be able to fix it. You must use the XP Pro Install disk you have. With your 320 GB Seagate installed as the boot HDD, you boot from the Win Install CD as if you were going to install XP, but DO NOT run a normal Install. Look instead for a REPAIR INSTALL process. Run that. It inventories all the devices found in the machine and all the drivers already part of the OS installed on your HDD. It then corrects any mismatches for you. When it is done, your machine should work with all the correct drivers in place. It is probably a good idea at this point to make sure ALL your drivers in the system are updated to the most recent available.

    Now, even if that works, you had an original problem of BSOD's intermittently. If that problem is gone and stays gone, you can assume all the hardware changes you've made fixed it. If not, you're back to diagnosing that. You might try donwloading and using Seagate's HDD diagnostic package, Seatools for DOS. (I prefer the "for DOS" version you can burn to your own CD-R that you boot from.) Use ONLY its NON-destructive tests to check for HDD hardware faults. Some of the tools to fix problems are destructive of data but they will warn you first, so pay attention to the screen prompts.
  2. Thanks so much for all the information. Here's the million $$$ question: what I can't figure out is why a different hard drive with XP Pro Sp2 from a different computer WILL boot to this new mother board etc. The driver in that computer are actually older that the Seagate 320 with SP 3 on it but it the SG 320 won't boot....just a BSOD.
  3. My guess is that, although the HDD from the older machine does not have all the correct drivers for the new machine, the ones it does have just happen to work OK for the key devices that are needed for booting. That does not mean that ALL the drivers are right or functional. It just means you were lucky.

    I would still recommend you mount ONLY the newer 320 GB unit in your new machine and do the Repair Install procedure on it. Then do all the updates.

    IMPORTANT "by the way": With all versions of XP, you MUST set the SATA Port Mode to "IDE (or PATA) Emulation" unless you have done a special AHCI driver install. XP cannot deal with native SATA (aka AHCI) devices because it does not have those device drivers built in. There is a standard procedure early in the Windows XP Install routines that allows you to install additional device drivers from an external source (almost always a floppy disk) to become a "built in" part of this Windows so it can use that device. This can be used to install an AHCI driver so that you can set the BIOS to use the SATA drive in that mode. BUT unless you actually did that when you first installed Win XP from the CD, your OS will only be able to deal with an IDE disk type. The BIOS Mode setting "IDE (or PATA) Emulation" lets the BIOS fool Win XP into thinking that is exactly what is in the machine, and it works. However, if you change it to any other device type, it cannot use that HDD.
  4. Great info! THANK YOU

    I bought two new Seagate 500gig SATA drives to set up Raid 1...yep you have to have that driver to install the SATA raid...what fun to use a floppy? what's a floppy, I vaguely remember something like that? Well of course I must be doing something wrong or have the wrong file on my floppy cause it keeps asking for a different file that the SATA driver that I down loaded from the Gigabyte site that is SUPPOSED the right one for this mobo.

    I should have just bought a new computer.
  5. Best answer
    If I read your last post correctly, you have purchased two 500 GB Seagates to be used in a RAID1 array on a machine that is already operating. Or, maybe not operating. PLUS you actually have a floppy disk drive and floppy diskettes to use, even if the connection is only temporary. Let me differentiate between two ways that you MIGHT be planning to set up the RAID1 array, and then comment on ugeneral riles for floppy use.

    1. One scenario is: you plan to use the RAID1 array as your boot device, just as if the array is the ONLY drive on the system. (Even though the array has 2 HDD's, Windows will "see" it as ONE "drive".) And even if you have other HDD's elsewhere, they are NOT your boot device.
    In this scenario you MUST install, at the beginning of the Win XP Install process, the RAID drivers for your mobo, and that installation must come from a floppy drive / diskette. That way the OS you install can incorporate those RAID drivers in itself at a low level so it can actually access that RAID1 array as a "drive" it can install to. NOTE: read the mobo manual very carefully on how to prepare for this. Some systems basically provide a RAID driver somewhere on the CD that comes with the mobo and / or make that driver available for free download from the website. In all such cases, be sure you get the correct driver matched BOTH to the specific motherboard you have, and the OS you have. In SOME cases there may be different drivers to be used IF the mobo has TWO different SATA drive controllers - a main one plus a secondary one. In those you usually must use the MAIN SATA ports (SATA_0 through SATA_3, or some such) for the boot device. Anyway, be sure to use the correct driver for the correct controller / port. Then these simpler systems direct you to simply copy the driver file(s) from the CD to the floppy diskette.
    Also NOTE that some systems do it differently to make it "easier". They tell you to actually run a small application on the CD (or from the website), and that application does the actual writing of the proper files to your diskette for you. In these cases if you just COPY the application file to the diskette, you will NOT have the driver(s) on it!

    2. Other scenario: you will NOT boot from the RAID1 array. You will always boot from another device (HDD), and the RAID1 array is only a data storage system used by the OS. This is actually easier.
    In this scenario, the OS does NOT need to have drivers added in from floppy as the Install process begins, because it will NOT try to use the RAID1 array for the installation. You are better NOT to install the two HDD's intended for RAID1 use until the OS install is finished. AFTER the OS is installed and running you shut it down, install the two HDD's then reboot, going into BIOS Setup immediately (assuming you are using on-board RAID functions in the mobo controller). There you set the SATA port modes for these drives to RAID, Save and Exit. As it reboots you will see a message to press a certain key combo to enter the RAID Configuration utility. There you specify exactly which HDD's are to be part of your new RAID array (any you do not assign to it will NOT be RAID units) and tell it which type of RAID array you want and how it should be set up, then create the RAID array. When this is finished it will complete the reboot into Windows. That OS may automatically discover the new device that has been added to the machine and go looking for the right drivers for it, or you MIGHT have to tell it to search for the new hardware. Either way, you will need to guide it (it might even find them itself) to where the driver(s) are for RAID, and it could be on any HDD, on a USB drive, on a floppy disk ... Windows will add those drivers to itself and be able to use the RAID array from then on. It just won't be able to BOOT from that "drive".

    Now, there is one type of system that might look like situation #2, but requires the approach of situation #1. I have seen systems that only allow you to set ALL SATA ports to either RAID or NOT RAID - you don't have the option of setting your first two or three SATA units to IDE Emulation, and the next two to RAID. In those cases, in order to use ANY drives in a RAID array, you actually have to set ALL SATA ports to RAID mode and install the RAID drivers from floppy during the initial OS installation. Even though you do NOT use the first HDD or two as RAID devices (because you did NOT assign them to any RAID array in the RAID configuration utility), one common driver is used to operate them and to operate the actual RAID units, so it must be installed early in the Install process.

    Some common notes on floppy use:
    Usually your mobo will have only one (or none, which makes it hard!) floppy drive port. The cable from it will have two connectors (for two devices), and the end one will have some of its cable wires flipped over. Unlike IDE hard drives, there is NO setting for Master or Slave. It's just fixed that the unit on the END will be the "A:" drive, and the middle will be "B:". (In BIOS often now you have the option to reverse these if you choose.) If you have only one device on the port / cable, it's a good idea to go into BIOS and set the other to "Disabled".
    In making the data ribbon connections (and don't forget the power, too!), look very carefully at the markings on the mobo port, the cable and the floppy drive itself. On the cable the wire on one edge will have a red stripe along it. This is the #1 wire. Both the mobo port and the floppy case should show you clearly which end of their respective connectors has the #1 pin. Make sure to plug them in the right way.

    Probably the most common problem with floppy drives is the entry of outside dust and dirt that can accumulate inside in many places. Among those places, the worst is on the heads themselves. Dirt accumulated on the heads can actually scrape a groove in the floppy diskette surface, making it unreadable. This can happen easily to the very first track of the diskette that contains the root directory, which then means that EVERYTHING on this diskette is lost! So I keep a floppy disk drive head cleaner kit with my systems. Since I use the drive rarely, I always assume they have dirty heads and clean them BEFORE using any diskette in them! The common cleaner kit has a "diskette" containing a mildly abrasive and absorbent disk, and a bottle of alcohol. You put a few drops of alcohol on the "diskette", insert it into the drive and force it to run for a few seconds. (Sometimes this is done automatically as it searches for a non-existent directory. Other times I tell it to read or format that "disk" to force rotation, then cancel that.) Remove the cleaning disk and then use a small stick or pencil to prop the front door flap open and allow air to flow through to evaporate any excess alcohol for a couple of minutes. THEN you can insert the diskette and use it.
  6. Problem is going to be solved....with the purchase of a new computer....too too much headache. It been over a month since this started and I don't want to become a computer professional which I am becoming...but with no pay. Thank you all for all the great comments, you have been super helpful. Maybe if this was not my main computer that I spend 8 hours a day on it wouldn't matter. But after all the crap and the poor tech support from Gigabyte, I'm done. Never have I had so many problems trying to solve a problem...never have I have the OS not want to load.

    I'm thinking you can buy a nice quad core AMD for $499-550 with a lot of power, Win 7 Pro/Xp Pro down grade...plug it in and it works. Yes it cost me a few more bucks but my time is worth the $150 I might have saved.
  7. Best answer selected by tomb56.
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