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Can bad hard drive cause random freezes?

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April 8, 2011 3:48:37 PM

Hi,

I recently installed a 500gb Samsung harddrive that I had lying around so I could use it as a backup. However, it seems like after I added this harddrive my computer will randomly freeze. I have to hard restart it, and upon restart it always asks to do the "startup repair". I've run this, and it found no errors to fix. My computer will also randomly lock up when trying to boot windows at the "starting windows" screen.

Since I continued to have problems, I did a clean install of Windows 7 Pro, and during the installation it would even freeze.

Could the HDD that I installed be causing this? I never had any problems before, and everything worked fine until I added this harddrive.

Please help!
a c 371 G Storage
April 8, 2011 3:52:42 PM

The easiest way to tell is to disconnect the drive for a couple days and see if the lockups stop.
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April 8, 2011 4:02:44 PM

haha...yeah I plan on doing that once I get back home. Hopefully Windows 7 finished install, because after the install finished, it locked up on the "starting windows" screen. I didn't have time to check cause I had to go to work.

Do you think this could have been a problem though? I don't really see what else could be causing it.
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a c 371 G Storage
April 8, 2011 4:11:43 PM

I'd expect it to be more of a problem if it was the OS disk, but I'd imagine any hardware that acts inappropriately can crash the system.

Also, when installing Win7, make sure only the boot drive is connected to the motherboard. If you have multiple drives installed during setup, windows will most likely put the OS on one drive and the boot loader on another drive. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but will cause your system to become non-bootable if you remove the drive with the boot loader on it, even if the OS isn't on that drive. This may be why your clean install is failing. It may be trying to put the boot loader on the drive you think is defective.
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April 8, 2011 4:33:00 PM

Interesting. So since I had my main hard drive that I installed Windows on, it may have installed the boot loader on the other hard drive? Is there a way to check to see if the boot loader is on my other hard drive, and if so can I remove it to try another clean install?
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a b G Storage
April 8, 2011 4:59:15 PM

An easy way to find out would be to disconnect one or the other drive and try booting up. If the bootloader was on the other (possibly defective) drive, you would expect that the BIOS would bring up some kind of a "bootable drive not found" error and fail if the drive was removed. However, since you did have a good install of windows on that drive before, it may find the bootloader from that install and generate unpredictable errors. A more sure way to check then would be to remove your good main drive and see if the computer gets past BIOS with what should be an unbootable drive in it. I started looking for the way to check this from within windows, but then I realized that you don't have a working copy on that computer, so that would be pointless :) 
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April 8, 2011 5:13:38 PM

thanks elel. I'll have to mess with the drives once I get home. The only reason I added the 2nd internal HDD was because my external HDD started acting up. I need to get some files off of the 2nd internal HDD and back them up on something else, and I'll probably just format both drives again, and then only use my original hard drive that was working before adding the other one. Hopefully the hard drive is what was causing the random freezing issues, because I don't want to have to mess with mem, PSU, or motherboard issues.
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a b G Storage
April 8, 2011 10:40:23 PM

It wouldn't surprise me too much if the hard drive was the problem. Other than that, I just fixed a friend's computer which had random freezing and crashing by increasing the RAM voltage, and the same fix worked for someone else who couldn't boot with more than one stick of RAM. So if you just got more memory or new sticks, that would be a likely cause also.
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April 8, 2011 10:56:07 PM

yeah when I first built the computer i had freezing and that was due to my memory timings and voltage not being set correctly. Hopefully I can just unplug my 2nd hard drive and then do another clean install and everything will be fine.
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a b G Storage
April 9, 2011 12:09:01 AM

Theoretically speaking, your RAM would be more likely to cause this. Realistically, whenever I plug an old, corrupting HDD into my system, it starts acting like you put a ten-pound sledge hammer through the motherboard. It's just a brick wall - it BSODS, starts beeping, and then dies until you disconnect the faulty HDD and reset/reboot.

Like I said, it 'theoretically' shouldn't be your hard drive causing this, but my computer tells me otherwise. You'll just have to wait and see... :) 
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April 9, 2011 2:19:39 PM

yeah....i messed with it a little last night and still no luck. I don't know why the RAM would be bad now, cause it's a little over a year old and nothing was wrong with my comp until I put that hard drive in. My RAM is muskin, so I'll have to see if there is a warranty on it at all, and maybe try swapping it out or using 1 stick at a time to test
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April 9, 2011 11:30:56 PM

try checking for a cycle redundancy they can cause this too./.
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!