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What is causing this? Hardware related?

Last response: in CPUs
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November 2, 2009 1:43:02 AM

My computer was working perfectly yesterday, but when I turned it on today I got an error. It posted and then went to "DMA-1 Error System halted". I checked all of the cables and reseated the RAM, and the symptoms changed. Now it gets to the "Start System Normally", "Enter Windows Recovery", "Safe Mode", ect. No matter which option I choose, it starts its task and then restarts the computer. It will get to the Windows loading screen and restart the computer. It will just go in a loop until I shut it off. I can still enter the bios and see the harddrive there. What is wrong here? Is it a hardware issue? What can I try to resolve it?

Pentium D 925
ECS PT890T-A
2GB OCZ 800Mhz
Vista Ultimate 32-bit

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a b à CPUs
November 2, 2009 1:53:41 AM

lets see now............DMA

Bad news man, Your HDD is dying, get a new one quickly and put it in and save ur data
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November 2, 2009 1:06:55 PM

Can anyone confirm that this is the hard drive failing? If it is, what can I do?
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a b à CPUs
November 2, 2009 6:39:51 PM

get anew one quickly and copy ur data to the new one
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a b à CPUs
November 2, 2009 7:19:11 PM

have you tried to run a recovery from the vista disk?
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November 2, 2009 9:15:37 PM

The reason that I'm hesitating to get a new hard drive is that I've been told that the problem may be the motherboard. Upendra09 might be right, but I'd like other people to either agree or disagree with this. I have tried the recovery disc option, but it restarts after it begins to load.
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a c 227 à CPUs
November 2, 2009 10:45:51 PM

Hmm from what I can tell its either the motherboard or an expansion card error. Likely its the Northbridge on your motherboard failing. Especially since that MB has VIA chipsets. VIA is generally = cheap junk.
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a b à CPUs
November 2, 2009 11:18:47 PM

if u have tried the recovery dic as well then it is ur HDD, if u can find better advice it has to be soon, the more u delay the higher the risk of losing ur data on the HDD

anort3 can u elaborate please?
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November 2, 2009 11:48:31 PM

Most websites say the DMA-1 error is motherboard related, but I think it seems like the hard drive has a problem. The only cards are a video and Ethernet. I haven't been able to try the recovery disc, because it never gets that far. I would also appreciate an elaborated response from anort3.

Will my chance of losing data really increase with time when the computer is off? Can it wait until this weekend? I don't have anything to save the data to right now.
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a b à CPUs
November 3, 2009 12:35:11 AM

not really but the boot up sequence kills the HDD as if it is on the verge of dying

so until we isolate the problem, don't use that comp very much

speaking of which, wouldn't a read/write sequence from the vista recovery disk hurt the HDD even more?
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November 3, 2009 3:16:41 AM

Unfortunately, it wasn't the network card. I'll mess with it more this weekend, but I'm going to buy a cheap PC tomorrow anyway. I'll let you guys know if I have any luck.
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November 3, 2009 3:18:59 AM

In general DMA errors usualy indicates 1 of 3 components, RAM, HDD or northbridge...

You mentioned that you reseated the RAM, i assume you have 2x 1 GB modules, a quick test is to take out one DIMM, try to boot, if it doesn't work try the other DIMM.

Its the easy one to rule out...

Second one is usualy as Upendra09 suggested HDD. And its never a bad idea to backup the data.

My money is on memory since the symptoms changed after a reseat...
But since ECS and VIA is in the picture we can't be sure.
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a c 227 à CPUs
November 3, 2009 4:34:50 AM

Sorry for being so short before. As I understood it if it was the HD failing it would have been a DMA 3 error. The site I linked to in my earlier post explains DMA much better than I can.
I still think your HD is ok and if its not an add in card then the Northbridge is about to fail.

I have been wrong before though :whistle:  once or twice. lol

Hope you can get it fixed. Let us know and good luck.
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a b à CPUs
November 3, 2009 9:28:51 PM

u could take the HDD out and put in to the cheap PC and test it out to see if the HDD was bad or the RAM

if they both work fine then ur mobo is shot.
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November 4, 2009 4:26:25 PM

Upendra09 said:
u could take the HDD out and put in to the cheap PC and test it out to see if the HDD was bad or the RAM

if they both work fine then ur mobo is shot.

That's exactly what I did. It turned out to be the hard drive. Luckily, Windows 7 was able to repair it enough to get the data off. I'm even tempted to put the hard drive back in the old computer to see how it works. I'll probably RMA it to WD though. Thanks for all you guys help. I'm so glad to have a desktop and all of my data again.
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a b à CPUs
November 4, 2009 6:38:45 PM

no problem
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