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I Wish I Could Tell What Was Wrong Here

By thebaronjocelin ยท 16 replies
Dec 16, 2007
  1. I had a computer that was working perfectly until recently, when things started going downhill with the machine and s*** really hit the fan.

    It started fairly small - certain sites online would no longer be accessible, programs would cease to work, and it was all pretty petty.

    Soon, though, things got way worse. All of a sudden I'd start BSODing in the middle of tasks. I can't remember the hex code of those early errors, but I didn't think it was important. I'd restart and move on.

    Then, I started getting disk read errors on starting the machine. I used to solve this by transplanting the drive to another computer, accessing it, then moving it back. This would sometimes work, and when it didn't, I'd go into the Recovery Console and run a "fixboot", "fixmbr", and "chkdsk /p /r" suite. Generally this fixed things.

    When even that stopped working, I would simply repair or reinstall Windows, and all would be well for a while, but things would fall apart again eventually.

    It got so bad I was forced to reformat and do a clean install of Windows. I had a lot of personal stuff on there that got lost in the reformat because I never backed it up, and it aggrieved me greatly to lose it all. No suprise, then, that I was furious when the problems cropped up again.

    I resorted to taking the same steps I had before, fixing the boot sector and master boot record and checking the disk, reinstalling Windows.

    Then, I started getting bad stop codes. I'd get 0xD1 errors ("DRIVER_IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL"), or it would just shut down abruptly and quickly dump to memory - so quickly, in fact, that I couldn't see what the stop code was.

    Now, it won't even get past the BIOS splash screen when I try to boot it.

    This machine has taken two years of my life and over $1000 dollars, on a student's pay, to get working. It's been an enormous hunk of my life, and to see it go up in flames like this is nigh-traumatic.

    ANY HELP at all that you can contribute to me would be greatly appreciated. I'm afraid I would crash worse than this machine if I can't get this working.
  2. Daveskater

    Daveskater Banned Posts: 1,687

    Go to C:\WINDOWS\Minidump and put 4 or 5 of your latest minidumps into a zip file and attach it to a new reply in this thread, then I will take a look at them for you to see what is causing the crash.
  3. thebaronjocelin

    thebaronjocelin TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 158

    Well, I would, but I'm afraid the machine quite literally get past the BIOS logo. So I can't do anything. And the HDD is password-locked, so I can't currently access it as a slave on another machine.
  4. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    Defective hard drive (though the Seagate 320 is very reliable) would be our second choice? Can you borrow a different drive temporarily to test?
    Can you boot it in SAFE MODE?
    First thing you do if you can get it to boot is remove that password.
    It could be any component, so you will need to test everything.
  5. Sherlock_oz

    Sherlock_oz TS Rookie

    This will be fun


    You will need to get to another PC to sort this, go see one of your mates (take beer)
    First thing to do is to go to
    Download the ISO and burn yourself a boot disk, check that the disk boots on the good PC you created it on


    Try to Boot your PC with this disk, if Suspect machine will not boot, check boot order in the BIOS.
    If BIOS is password protected, and password is not known, remove motherboard battery, leave at least an hour and replace.
    Leave BIOS settings at default, set boot order to CD first.
    Once you are booting from the CD, run a memory test. if any problems show up in the RAM replace it. then test the new RAM.

    At this point you should have known good RAM


    Get back to me and watch this space
  6. thebaronjocelin

    thebaronjocelin TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 158

    The RAM is good - the HDD may be defective, I need to test.

    The problem is, I can't even get into BIOS. The only thing that happens is the splash screen comes up, and then the unit won't respond any further. I'll try some of the steps you've suggested anyways.

    Looking like a defective motherboard, maybe? I hope it's not hardware - I simply don't have the cash to spare on it.
  7. be_patient

    be_patient TS Rookie Posts: 103

    i had an issue the began with freezes and eventually led to BSOD's.

    Sometimes it would randomly restart, shut off etc and finally wouldnt get past POST. the problem on my end was my power supply so i suggest you give that a test.

    Also my gfx card was causing crashes and BSODs and since i have got my new 1 i have had no problems... but it did not disallow me to boot.

    good luck
  8. thebaronjocelin

    thebaronjocelin TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 158

    Figured that power supply would go bad eventually; guess it's time to pop an older model in, if I even HAVE one anymore. Argh.
  9. drpepper55

    drpepper55 TS Member Posts: 65

    I notice in your specs under OS that you show "Windows Home Edition OEM" but you don't say if 98, ME, 2000, XP, or Vista. If XP or Vista, have you tried booting up in Safe Mode and then trying to go to a Restore Point prior to the start of your problem and see if you can clean yourself up this way? I know the restore point method has saved me a time or two and gotten me back going by preceding a problem state. Hope this helps to you...
  10. thebaronjocelin

    thebaronjocelin TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 158

    Thanks, Pep, but I really... you know the screen that it goes to when it would be POSTing? It stays there. It just has the big WinFast logo in the middle of the screen and no matter what I do, it doesn't move from there. It doesn't go to Windows load, it doesn't allow me to go to BIOS or Boot Options. It just indefinitely stays on the mobo manufacturer's splash screen. Indefinitely.
  11. drpepper55

    drpepper55 TS Member Posts: 65

    I was just hoping that when you first start your machine that you would hit and hold F8 which then gives you the boot-up options screen and also allows/offers you the option to go to restore instead, that is if you have either XP or Vista as your os it will. Then at that point pick to go to restore and proceed from there to a restore point prior to your problem. Have you tried pressing and holding F8 from the point where you first turn on the machine?
  12. thebaronjocelin

    thebaronjocelin TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 158

    Nay, it does not.
  13. thebaronjocelin

    thebaronjocelin TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 158

    Bumping again, just in case there's some hope.
  14. SOAD

    SOAD TS Rookie Posts: 55

    you put in a new psu?
  15. thebaronjocelin

    thebaronjocelin TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 158

    Haha. No, I've still gotta track one down. I may or may not have the stock PSU. Still, I don't think it's PSU related - if it was PSU, I'm fairly certain the machine would die soon after boot. It doesn't; it stays on, it just doesn't do anything.
  16. Daveskater

    Daveskater Banned Posts: 1,687

    PSU's can cause all sorts of problems that seem unrelated so you'd be surprised.

    Try a different one and see, it wouldn't hurt.
  17. thebaronjocelin

    thebaronjocelin TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 158

    Well, I'll take a look at it if the shop work comes back inconclusive - yeah, I caved and took it to a specialist shop. I feel repulsed by myself, but whatcha gonna do?

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