Total System Collapse

By Anthony Coles · 12 replies
Mar 17, 2008
  1. Still struggling after 4 months with a Dell Dimension 9600 running XP. Blue screens, ( STOP error 0x0000007B (OXF78D2524 OXC0000034, OX00000000, OX00000000),stalling when actually runnning. Tried everything - honest, see previous posts. Have installed new HDD, new motherboard, new RAM (all from Dell!) Still unable to install XP to new disk. Stalls to blue sceeen after loading files from recovery CD and starting WIndows to continue installation. Out of sheer desparation tried putting Vista on. No luck but installation now stalls and sometimes asks for a DVD driver. Tried giving it one but no luck. Only bit not changed in DVD drive (TSST Corp TS - H5553 has a mixed reputation. I am told) Given I have changed everything else, it a change of DVD drive the only option?
  2. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 5,333   +101

    Did you replace the components with the same models? Perhaps whatever driver conflict existed before is still around because of that?

    Stop errors can be caused by many things. Perhaps your optical drive is indeed reading the disks wrong, maybe your CPU or cache isn't working properly, could be that your PSU is unstable, perhaps a data cable defective, maybe your video memory is corrupt etc.

    You might be best off taking a free day, borrowing a PC with similar components and just switch one thing at a time until you've narrowed it down. Yank your data cables out, put the other PC's in, if it doesn't work, switch them back and repeat with another component.
  3. Anthony Coles

    Anthony Coles TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Many thanks for this. Motherboard, RAM, HDD all sourced correctly from Dell. Data cable replaced. PC works OK for much of the time (with old HDD) but sometimes stalls when asked to do extra work - load up a lot of thumbnails in Explorer for instance.

    What I can't understand is why I can't do a clean install of XP to the new HDD unless it is a DVD problem. If it is a DVD problem then why would it cause the PC to stall when not in use?

    If it is a CPU problem, can I test for that?

    Thanks for your help. Really appreciate it.
  4. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 5,333   +101

    Just so you're aware I have not read your previous thread, so I am only suggesting things based on what you've said thus far in this thread.

    I believe I may have misunderstood your initial post. You were able to install Vista trouble free, but XP resulted in errors? Perhaps your XP CD is just defective? Now you're just asking about is whether or not your optical drive is broken because Vista is asking for drivers?

    Sorry for the confusion. It might help if you make a list of your current issues and questions.
  5. Anthony Coles

    Anthony Coles TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Sorry. My PC runs XP and suffers from occasional “stalling” – especially when asked to do a lot of work) and sometimes blue screen stop errors as described. I installed a new HDD (wanted for backup anyway) and tried to install XP to it. The installation loaded all preliminary files OK and got to the “starting windows” screen whereupon it bluescreened. Reinstalling XP over existing on original HDD had same result.

    I then tried putting Vista on new HDD and got as far as starting windows but then it asked for a DVD driver. When I got one it from Dell website it made no difference! It just stalls. It does not always ask for the DVD driver but it always stalls!

    Dell told me to buy new RAM (although I ran memtest properly) and then they said a needed a new motherboard. Put MB in and data cables changed. Still no difference.

    Please let me know if you need anything more. And thanks again
  6. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 5,333   +101

    What are the rest of your system specifications, and was the system working properly at any point. Were there any significant hardware or software changes during that general time?

    I would suspect that there is a driver conflict, resource conflict, incompatible hardware or just flat out defective hardware.

    You can attempt to isolate each and every one of those individually or just swap component after component until you've figured out what is at fault as I suggested. Swapping components would obviously definitely eliminate defective hardware and more than likely the others.

    If the replacement components you've received from Dell were of the exact same models, it wouldn't do much of anything for you if it were a resource conflict, driver conflict or incompatible hardware.

    You may also want to try updating your BIOS to the latest version.
  7. Anthony Coles

    Anthony Coles TS Rookie Topic Starter

    System ran trouble- free from new for 18 months. No conflicts. No new hardware or software. Just happened one day. updated BIOS. New bits from dell added one at a time, HDD, motherboard with old RAM, motherboard with new RAM. HDD and RAM tested OK in another machine. Sorry!
  8. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +184

    A few things
    1. Don’t understand what you mean by “stalling”. (Some standard terms in italics) It sometimes sounds like you mean it crashes (e.g. getting a BSOD = Blue Screen of Death). Sometimes it sounds like you mean it’s hanging?
    2. Have you checked if any more info available about BSODs? Collect a few mini-dumps, and post them. Ask someone to look at them for you.
    3. Where you getting the drivers from? If you haven’t already, go to Dell support site, and find all the recommended drivers/updates for your Dell make/model.
      • Be careful you match your own device Ids to the Dell list for your make/model. They use many different vendors and sometimes different versions of the same or different models from the same vendor and they will list all the drivers for all of them under the Dell make/model that uses them. You need to be careful you’re matching the right hardware with the right driver
      • Check the firmware! Some devices, such as your DVD player, will have firmware updates listed that will change its behavior which might also be causing your problems
      • Be sure the current BIOS update listed on Dell’s site is the one you have installed.
    4. UBCD4Win (Ultimate Boot CD 4 Windows) lets you build your own bootable recovery disk with your own selection of tools, etc. Of course, now’s not the time when you can build your own! But if you look online you should find images already built you can download and use to try and run a wide variety of hardware tests as well as providing other options to hopefully get your system working again. (By the way, these should all be FREE! If you find someone selling an image, skip it and keep looking)

    /* Edit */
    That is, you can use a UBCD4Win image after you borrow a friends burner to burn it to a CD!
  9. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +184

    Putting this in a separate post to make sure you see it but forgot to double check...

    you're doing a full disk format yes? not a quick format?
  10. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 5,333   +101

    I would still go ahead and borrow a PC with components that are compatible with yours and swap them back and forth until you figure it out. :p Last time I'll suggest that though as you seem uninterested.

    Please, correct me if I'm wrong on this but I thought the only difference between the two was a chkdsk. The odds of two HDD's having the same issues is unlikely.
  11. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +184

    A full format does both a chkdsk (which removes any bad sectors) AND rewrites all of the disk sectors to format them.

    The quick format is basically equivalent to just rewriting the disk's table of contents.

    Forgot he already replaced the HDD which may have already come formatted but in a case where you keep crashing and can't find the %$@! problem, I always try to err on the side of caution. The full format can take a very long time but one can run it overnight and, so doing, remove another unknown from the equation.
  12. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 5,333   +101

    I guess but it's not consistent to have an HDD that has always worked fine give you trouble along side of a brand new HDD giving you the same trouble.
  13. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +184

    You;re right. I agree the odds of it being the source or contributing to the problem are far, far less as the HDD was replaced (that fact not being in my head when i suggested the full format).. but like i said, at times after banging one's head against the wall as all else fails and trying to decide what next.. there are times it turns out it's good to be overly cautious (if it doesn't mean having to do alot of extra effort or $$ for it)

    Sometimes the long shots pay off. Or at least make you feel better after all those bangs to the head. :rolleyes:
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