Theories invited.

This is a discussion on Theories invited. within the Tech Board forums, part of the Community Boards category; My newest machine has started to play up in a new manner, ideas invited. It is about 18 months old ...

  1. #1
    It's full of stars adrianxw's Avatar
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    Theories invited.

    My newest machine has started to play up in a new manner, ideas invited.

    It is about 18 months old and has always had the odd BSOD stop, but this is new. Running a fully patched XP.

    Yesterday I started to install Visual Studio .NET on the machine, (and anyone who says it is a MS problem will just get ignored!). A couple of minutes into the first disk, the machine froze, I was unable to do anything other then press the button. I tried again, the same thing happened, although not on te same file. Trying about 6 times, it never got passed the first disk. Always, just before the system froze, there was a "pop" noise, for want of a better description, sounded like it was the disk drive, (MAXTOR 6L040J2). There is nothing being written to the system log files.

    I figured the disk may be crapping out so I booted into Caldera and ran the Maxtor PowerMax disk diagnostics. Perfect, I did the heavy test which really excercises the disk and the controller, again, no problems.

    I tried the install again, same problem. I tried it again, but this time, instead of using the CD writer, I used the DVD drive which is slower. This time it installed and got part way through the MSDN install before it did the same thing. Anyway, since then, the machine has frozen a couple of times without provocation.

    I believe the mainboard is still alive as there is periodic activity on the disk LED as if it is trying to talk to it, but Ctrl-Alt-Del doesn't work.

    Suggestions?
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  2. #2
    'AlHamdulillah
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    had the odd BSOD stop
    well, BSODs are usually caused by memory errors, both physical and Windows caused. I would check out the computer with a different stick of memory, as memory problems also cause freezes(if it were the cpu, it would probably just crash the program to desktop).

  3. #3
    End Of Line Hammer's Avatar
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  4. #4
    It's full of stars adrianxw's Avatar
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    I have that memtest86 already, it is not showing any errors. I have tried most of the obvious things, it is a case of if I try to write down everything I've done, the post would be so long, nobody would read it!
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  5. #5
    ¡Amo fútbol!
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    Might it be the newly patched OS conflicting with the install? What patches have you applied recently?

  6. #6
    Its not rocket science vasanth's Avatar
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    are you sure the CD you are using does not have any corrupted file or anytin like that..

  7. #7
    PC Fixer-Upper Waldo2k2's Avatar
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    run a test on your processor...heavy installs like that might be putting full load on the processor, causing it to fault.
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  8. #8
    Carnivore ('-'v) Hunter2's Avatar
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    >>a "pop" noise
    Are you sure it was a 'pop' and not a very short high-pitched beep from the internal speaker?
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  9. #9
    Registered User major_small's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by adrianxw
    I believe the mainboard is still alive as there is periodic activity on the disk LED as if it is trying to talk to it, but Ctrl-Alt-Del doesn't work.
    what state is your system in? is it working, or just frozen on a BSOD or what?
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  10. #10
    It's full of stars adrianxw's Avatar
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    >>> What patches have you applied recently?

    There were a few, 4 I think, security patches a couple of weeks ago.

    >>> you sure the CD you are using does not have any corrupted file

    Whilst you can never be absolutely sure, the fact that it always stopped in different places, the fact that the disks are brand new, (just opened the box), and MS authentic disks would tend me to think that was not the case.

    >>> ...heavy installs like that might be putting full load on the processor

    The processor is pretty much 100% busy all the time. I run SETI@Home which is a true test of any CPU. Has been running for more then a year. What I did wonder about was the amount of load that a heavy install puts on the chipset rather then the CPU. There is no active cooling on the chipset. The fact that the install from the very much slower DVD drive worked made me wonder.

    >>> Are you sure it was a 'pop' and not a very short high-pitched beep from the internal speaker?

    Quite sure. I hear the same noise when the machine is going through the power down sequence. (The disk does not have power savings enabled).

    >>> what state is your system in? is it working, or just frozen on a BSOD or what?

    No BSOD. It just seems to stop, I can for a short period, move the mouse cursor around but can't open/close/do anything. After a while the mouse pointer stops. Ctrl-Alt-Del doesn't do anything.
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  11. #11
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    You may want to try, using some software like Alcohol 120% (I think they have a free trial), to make images of those disks and install from there, and it may put less strain on the IDE bus, and therefore on the chipset.
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  12. #12
    PC Fixer-Upper Waldo2k2's Avatar
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    maybe your kernel image got damaged somehow....or some other important file could have been damaged by one of the security patches, causing it to fault for some reason when a certain process is being run during the install?? Try reinstalling windows and then going back through the patches again later. See if it works before the patches that is.
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  13. #13
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    Well that popping sound doesn't sound at all good...

    Sure it wasn't just your speakers?

    I would stop running so much on that comp of yours..and then try to install it
    I wouldn't see how you could run so much as to completely overload the chipset..o.o, thats a bit odd..
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  14. #14
    It's full of stars adrianxw's Avatar
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    >>> Sure it wasn't just your speakers?

    I am quite certain it is not the speakers. the sound comes from the hard drive. It sounds like the heads being pulled out. I hear the same noise towards the end of the power down cycle, and when the machine is frozen, the first thing that happens when I press the button is the "pop" sound.
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  15. #15
    Registered User major_small's Avatar
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    is there any way you can record this sound and upload it?
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