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Problem with my computer

  1. Nov 17, 2004 #1
    I don't know if placing this post in this section is appropriate or not but I will appreciate any help.

    I built my computer last summer and got a 40 GB WD Hard drive for it. After a couple of months, the HD started clicking and freezing the computer and after a while the computer wouldn't even start. I found that I lost the reciept so I bought a new 80 GB WD Hard drive and it worked fine. after about a month or two it started doing the same thing! I am pretty sure that there is something wrong with my computer because two faulty WD hard drives in a row would be a really wierd coincidence. I tried switching the IDE cables around but that didn't work. I put the HD in my brother's computer, then ran a disk check and it fixed it for a bit, but after a week or two in my computer it did the same thing again. Now it gives me the error: "Windows could not start because the file ntoskrnl.exe is missing or corrupt." I can probably format it and get it to work again for a while but I would like to hear what anyone has to say about it, because, like I said before, I don't think it's the hard drive's problem.

    I'm running windows XP PRO
    2.0 GHZ AMD athlon XP processor 2400+
    256 MB of ram
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2004
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 17, 2004 #2


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    How about using the hard drive in another computer for a week. That will tell you if it your computer's fault or just a bad hard drive.

    This is a difficult problem to diagnose because so many things can contribute to bad data written to the hard drive.
  4. Nov 17, 2004 #3
    Sorry I wasn't clear, but when I put the HD in my brother's computer it worked fine for about a week. I wasn't booting from it though. Also, when I bought the second HD and got it working for about a month, I plugged the old 40 GB HD back in just as a storage HD and it worked fine. I tried to boot the computer from the 40 GB and it wouldn't boot. I think there's something wrong in my computer that makes the hard drives stop booting but they work fine if I want to just store data on them, which made me think that it's not a HD problem.

  5. Nov 17, 2004 #4
    I had a very similar problem once. I had a Segate die and i bought a WD that died a few months later, but it was under warranty so i got a free replacement. That repalcement has worked fine ever since (2yrs).

    My drives died from physical defects/damage to the hard drive (i think). I don't know if a poor hardware configuration can cause similar problems. Do you move or bump your computer while it is on? That could potentially damage the drive. It is possible the drive could get damaged by excesive vibration, like the kind you get from having a subwoofer next to your computer, it is unlikely but possible. HD are pretty durable, but they can go bad.
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2004
  6. Nov 17, 2004 #5
    When I bought this HD I extended the warranty to three years, so I have about 2.8 more years to go before the warranty is over and I will probably get a replacement if I can't figure out what's making my hard drives die. But I don't think vibrations is a problem because I take very good care not to hit or trip over my computer and things like that. Thanks anyways though.
  7. Nov 17, 2004 #6
    If you don't have them already, you can download 'Data LifeGard' tools from http://support.wdc.com/dlg/ or use the online tools if you can; they should be able to give you an error code that you can look up on the site to get a better idea of what is going wrong with you drives. Diagnosing both drives could help narrow in on the problem's source.
  8. Nov 17, 2004 #7
    Yep, I tried that before but they say that my HD is good when it really doesn't work. :grumpy:
  9. Nov 17, 2004 #8

    Dr Transport

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    Years ago, WD got a bad set of hard drives, the lubricant became sticky and didn't allow the drive to spin normally. If the drive is under warranty, get it replaced and send it back to them for analysis.
  10. Nov 17, 2004 #9


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    You probably have a bad controller. I would suggest not using that IDE bus anymore. If necessary, buy a new motherboard.

    - Warren
  11. Nov 17, 2004 #10
    Thanks for the replies. I tried playing around with the IDE cables again but now I turn on the computer, it goes to the windows xp starting page, then gives me a blue screen for like .3 of a second and restarts again and just keeps on restarting. Does this mean anything? BTW, there's no way for me to read what's on the blue screen because it goes by so fast. That happened before and that's when I put the HD in my brother's computer and it was fixed for like 2 weeks after a disk check. I might be able to do it again but I wanted to see if someone knew what was making the hard drives do that.
  12. Nov 17, 2004 #11


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    The drive's contents are probably irretrievably lost. You might be able to send it to a professional drive recovery company if you need to recover any significant files.

    IMO, the drive itself is probably okay -- it's just that the controller was (is) bad. You might try a low-level format, and put the drive on the same bus as other drives that are working properly.

    - Warren
  13. Nov 18, 2004 #12
    It's a coincidence that I had built exactly the same kind of system with WindowsXP Pro, AMD AthlonXP2400+, 256MB RAM, IDE controller and WesternDigital 40GB. After two months, the drive started work slower, so that when I booted the system Windows needed >3-4 minutes to start. Actually another black screen appeared (which I had not seen before) with a progressing white bar while the OS was being loaded. When I transported my PC to my new residence some hundred miles away, the HD started to make those annoying cliks, which freezed the normal operation of the computer. Finally it wouldn't work at all, because the OS could not be loaded. I replaced therefore my drive under my warranty, losing so MUCH valuable files that I wouldn't ever recover.
    Now my worry is that the new HD is the same (WD40GB) in the same system, and I'm casually experiencing the same kinds of delays and noises. Either these types of drives are defective/too sensitive to physical damage, or it's this kind of system configuration that causes this problem!!!
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2004
  14. Nov 19, 2004 #13
    Alright, I took the HD outta my comp and put it in my brother's. It ran a disk check when booting up and fixed the HD (I think), because I can just go in "my computer" and get anything that was on my old HD. When I did the same thing before, there were 4 kb of bad sectors; now there are 8 kb of bad sectors. Could a faulty power supply or IDE bus cause bad sectors? I have the sides of my computer off, so you think maybe it's because dust can get in there?

    I gotta get to the roots of the problem before I decide on what I'm going to do.

    Appreciate any help
  15. Nov 20, 2004 #14
    If your computer screws up the disk, then your brother's computer fixes it, then your's screws it up again and your brother's fixes it again, it's probably not a defective disk.

    And I wouldn't think that dust is the culprit either, unless your brother's computer has a built-in vacuum cleaner.

    Are the sides off your computer because it was overheating with the sides on? You're not overclocking it, are you?

    If you can rule out overheating (not necessarily overheating of the drive, but overheating of the cpu and other motherboard components), then I think chroot had the answer. Replacing the motherboard is a nuisance, but not expensive. That's probably your best shot.
  16. Nov 20, 2004 #15
    Yea I've narrowed the problem down to either the power supply or the motherboard. I'll probably end up buying a new case w/ a new power supply and a new motherboard. Thanks for the help everyone. I got one more question tho, I downloaded speedfan because someone told me that it can check the voltages of my computer. However, I have no idea what those voltages mean, here's a screenshot www.geocities.com/iamjico/speedfan.bmp If you understand those voltages, any help would be appreciated.

    P.S.: My comp is not overheating. The cpu temperature is almost always between 30c-40c. I have the sides off just to make it as cool as I can, since I only have one fan on the cpu (Volcano 12)

    Thanks again,
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