I've been asked by a friend to look at his lap top which was having problems (with no OS or restore CDs).
When he brought it to me ,the original hard disk drive was failing and would hang when booting Windows Vista at CRC.SYS, soon it failed altogether. I replaced HDD with a brand new HDD fresh out of the box, and installed Vista. The laptop booted up into Vista fine for the first dozen or so times, but then I started to get an intermittent problem during booting Vista.
When turned on it hangs with a black screen and a blinking cursor in the top left corner then says "A read disk error occurred, press Ctrl+Alt+Del to restart", sometimes it does not recognize hard disk drive, or states "Error loading operating system", or reboots immediately to start-up BIOS POST. When rebooted with it usually reboots up OK into Windows without problems.
When it boots up into Vista successfully it's USUALLY rock solid, running prime95 for 48 hours with no errors, connects to the WLAN fine, runs firefox, avg, spybot, etc all fine, but occasionally it'll BSOD with a "KERNEL_STACK_INPAGE" error message or "windows has encountered a critical error and needs to shut down".
In the Bios setup the HDD appears to be recognised fine.
So this suggests to me that the HDD is fine, but there is a problem with the mobo of the laptop, possibly in the SATA controller.
I'm worried that the new HDD is starting to show the same symptoms as the old one, and the laptop is somehow damaging the HDD. I've never heard of a hardware kill mechanism like this, but I'll be the first to admit my ignorance in this area.
Does anyone have any ideas on what sort of a problem would cause this?
I'd call myself quite well experienced in building desktop computers and installing XP, but I've only set up laptops a few times, and I have remained blissfully ignorant of Vista (just as I've remained blissfully ignorant of the taste of dog e****ment, and for pretty much the same reason), so I'm asking for suggestions from those with more experience with laptops and/or Vista.
I've obviously googled the problem but the search terms are too common for me to find anything useful. I'd like to be able to tell my friend, who is poor (like me!) that he doesn't have to pay for an expensive repair or new mobo.
The laptop specs are;
Fujitsu-Siemens Esprimo V5535 laptop
Celeron CPU firstname.lastname@example.org Ghz
250Gb Western Digital Scorpio SATA HDD (replacement)
Dell Vista Business CD version, sp2 32bit
Could be over-voltage on the hard drive connector due to faulty power supply component (in the laptop probably not the power adapter). May need power component replaced or a new motherboard. Either way, expensive.
sounds like a voltage regulator issue, a drop or spike can both crash your drive or corrupt your memory, leading to dumps and file corruption. Sounds like a fairly low spec laptop. I would probably consider a replacement as the cure may be pricey.