Constant headache with new system

By Orakar ยท 17 replies
Jan 26, 2008
  1. Hi guys,

    I recently placed my old hard drive in a completely new system, and it worked fine, other than the fact that I kept getting restarts (as I mentioned in another thread)... The thing is, I keep getting errors when I try to install/play World of warcraft, and they all point towards a corrupt hard drive.

    I ran a prime 95 mem test, and it stopped after 1 MINUTE, with these results:

    [Sat Jan 26 21:42:39 2008]
    FATAL ERROR: Rounding was 0.4999966826, expected less than 0.4
    Hardware failure detected, consult stress.txt file.
    FATAL ERROR: Rounding was 0.5, expected less than 0.4
    Hardware failure detected, consult stress.txt file.

    Prior to this, I've defragged my computer, I've ran a chkdsk /r, and nothing seems to fix my warcraft headache.

    Any idea what the results of the mem test show I need to do?

    When I turned on my computer for the first time, I didn't install any hardware drivers; they seemed to automatically install (I could use it 'perfectly' so I just assumed) could it be that I need RAM drivers or something?

    So confused... =/

    Thanks a LOT in advance!
  2. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    Prime95 has got nothing to do with hard drives. I would test the system RAM first and make sure there are no heat issues.

    When you first turned on your computer, it already had Windows on it, didn't it? Whoever put Windows there, installed the drivers too.
  3. Orakar

    Orakar TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 20

    Well, I installed windows myself from my XP disk (I made the pc myself), but that was when the hard drive was in the old PC. Now, I've taken that hard drive and put it straight into a new system. Should I have removed the old drivers?

    I'll run a RAM test (I believe instructions for that are on the solved issues forum :D)
  4. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    Oh. Well, you are very lucky that this XP worked at all. And yes you should install the latest drivers for this new PC right away.
  5. Orakar

    Orakar TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 20

    Why am I lucky? :p

    I think it must have auto-installed the drivers... things generally run, and I can play some games, just not 'craft. I tried automatically installing drivers for a few things, and it said nothing more could be added. =S
  6. Samstoned

    Samstoned TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,018

    because xp and vista have HAL protection mostly for Pi@@ate of OS
    if MB was very similar thats why it allowed boot to
    check diff between the boards
    could be that the new board chipsets are the (same)
    any install you would have seen on 1st boot
    remove all old chipset drivers re-install from where you put the new ones
    then run memtest again
    your not overclocking are you?
  7. Orakar

    Orakar TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 20

    No I'm not overclocking =P I wouldn't know how!

    Sorry, my vocab' is poor... By "remove all old chipset drivers" do you mean that I need to follow this route:

    My computer >> Properties >> Hardware >> Drivers >> then I select the chipsets (not the graphics card etc) uninstall them, and then reinstall them automatically?

    I tried running a proper memtest, I saved the memtest runner to a floppy, but can't alter the boot sequence from my BIOS during startup (I get like 1 second of BIOS and then it changes to the windows XP loading screen... And my manual doesn't tell me how to enter BIOS either :S).

    If all this fails, is it safe to assume that random restarts, and inability to install/patch games without errors, is caused by a corrupt or faulty hard drive, and that my RAM doesn't need replacing?
  8. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    No, I would assume RAM before HD. You should try and download the memtest CD ISO instead of the floppy.

    If you BIOS is still set to boot HD before CD, then disconnect your hard drive, memtest doesn't need your hard drive to run.
  9. Orakar

    Orakar TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 20

    I'm running memtest as we speak, and every test is failing :S

    I think I identified the source of the problem; The power lead my I got was 20 w higher voltage than the maximum for the PC... That might have messed up the HDD and RAM, and explain the random restarts right?

    If it's the RAM, then I'm boned and will just have to do without a PC; I can't afford new RAM. . .
  10. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    What? The components only draw the wattage they need. If you were 20V over what the components run on then something would have smoked.

    In any case, what type of RAM? ddr2 RAM is incredibly cheap right now, much cheaper than buying a new hard drive.
  11. Orakar

    Orakar TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 20

    So it'd have completely destroyed? even for 20V? I think the power lead was 20v over the maximum :S

    Uhm, DDR I believe... the slots on it are two long ones, that's DDR right? :p

    (Thanks for your help, you're amazing =])
  12. Samstoned

    Samstoned TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,018

    i would quote that too
    what do you mean power lead all PSU will be keyed pretty tuff to mess up
    if refer to wattage it's automatic don't worry about
    there is a 2nd power plug for cpu hope you did not confuse with sli
    I guess its possible to force plug in
    even then with a good boot to bios without HDD then cpu is OK
    as to speed of boot just start pressing the delete key on boot don't worry about the monitor.
  13. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    What I'm saying is, I think you may be confused on what you think is wrong. There shouldn't be a 20V coming out of your PSU at all. If you have something coming out of there that is 20V higher than what is expected (highest voltage anything runs on in a PC is 12V) you'd likely see smoke. And then your PSU would likely shut down.

    So I think its doubful that your PSU is outputting 20V over what it should. Now Wattage is different, it is your voltage times your amperage. Voltage should be constant coming out of your PSU (or nearly so). Your components will draw different amperage as needed, making the watt usage dynamic rather than static. Since they only draw what they need in amps (and therefore watts with the constant voltage) you can use a 1000W PSU on a system that only draws 200W and nothing bad will happen.

    So we need you to clairify what you think is wrong.

    Secondly, DDR and DDR2 aren't the same. If you have DDR it is more expensive (lower demand now since everything is ddr2 or ddr3 now). If you have DDR2, its crazy cheap right now (will go up like ddr did once ddr3 becomes more widespread).

    Here is the difference:
  14. Orakar

    Orakar TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 20

    Ok, well, on the back of the computer case, on the bit of the battery pack that shows, it says "230V", but on the lead that I currently have going into the battery pack from the mains, it says "250V".

    On the second note, thanks a lot! That really cleared it up for me, I think I'm running DDR2 =] Nice and cheap, and the memtest seems to suggest that it's the RAM that's faulty... would that create the problems I'm experiencing (of not being able to install or patch the game World of wacraft without errors talking about corrupt hard drives, unable to read <unknown>s, and general errors of not finding things?).

    One extra thing, about the RAM, will I need DDR DIMM, or DDR SODIMM?

    Dude, you are remarkably helpful, along with everyone else here. I wish to extend my gratitude again, I can't believe people here genuinely spend time to help a complete stranger!
  15. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    That 250V vs 230V isn't a problem.

    If you need DDR2 then all you need to be concerned about is DDR2 which is 240pin like in the image above. DDR3 is also 240pin so be sure its DDR2 stuff. After that there are speeds, while those do matter, you don't want to spend money for speeds your motherboard won't support. I'd recommend going to first, and see if you can run their memory advisor, that will make me more confident about what you need to buy. They will suggest what you can run, and then I'd just take those specs and match them to something from your favorite retailer.
  16. Samstoned

    Samstoned TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,018

    SODIMM is for laptops
  17. Orakar

    Orakar TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 20

    Cheers =D

    I currently have:

    DDR PC2700
    DDR PC3200

    So I might just re-buy those (I assume two 512mb memories run faster than just a single gig)

    I just realised that one of the RAM is PC2700 and one is PC3200... Could this be causing my errors, as they're on the the matching pairs slot?
  18. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    The RAM will run at the slowest speed, so in theory you can mix speeds and be ok. In reality though its strongly discouraged to run 2 or more different speeds and/or brands. Yes, I would buy 2 512MB modules, then you still have 2 more free slots to bump it to 2GB, which is all you'd ever need on that system. Plus you get the dual channel advantage with 2 matching sticks.

    In the meantime, you could pull one of your 2 sticks now and run memtest on it, if it comes up clean, then your computer should run stable with just that 1 stick in there, albeit slower. If it fails, put the other stick in and test it, if its clean, just run off of that stick. If both fail, then you'll have to wait until you have your new RAM for a stable system.

    Also, your current RAM should have a lifetime warranty, so you might want to look into that.
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