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WinXP lags then BSOD then crash; errors on boot

By Parivir ยท 14 replies
Jun 10, 2011
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  1. Hello. I'm new here, found the forum via googling.

    I've been having slowdown and BSOD issues on the last few days. The first time it happened was on a previous Windows installation. It was running very sluggish at times, or more accurately, it'd suddenly lag, and sometimes that'd lead to a BSOD. I do not have the minidump from that installation; I'm not really a computer person so I didn't even know minidumps existed before I did some research.

    I also formatted my HDD since the computer was working very poorly at the time - this seemed to have fixed it at first but then the booting issues and the BSOD came back the next day.

    The lag has been around for a while. It's working as fast as it should but then it'll suddenly get sluggish and laggy when I try to open my browser, or play a video on youtube or MPC, or sometimes during a game (not graphics intensive); and then it goes back to normal. In other words, I get lag spikes. They never culminated in BSODs before last Tuesday, though. Speedfan temperatures look fine during these lag spikes.

    I ran memtest and fixed my paging file as the sticky advised. I also cleaned the computer inside. Booting is still slow, and computer still lags at times.

    Here are my computer specs:

    CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E6550 @2.33GHz
    2GB DDR2 RAM
    Mobo: Asrock Conroe1333 D667
    GPU: GForce GT240 512MB
    PSU: Power Cooler Maximum Power Supply (450W, the box says maximum output is 530W)

    I already updated all my drivers except for the BIOS.

    Here are the error messages I got on boot, which is why I fear the worst:

    * NTLDR is missing.
    * Disk read error. Press Crtl+Alt+Del to restart.
    * Reboot and select proper boot device or insert boot media in selected boot device and press a key.
    * Primary Master Hard Disk Error. Press F1 to resume.

    The HDD is a 500GB western digital that's less than a year old, because my 160GB HDD stopped working last october - this is why I'm wondering if the problem could be the disk or the mobo.

    I'll add any other information you need, but I might need a hand on how to acquire said information. Minidump file is attached.

    Apologies for the long post, and thanks in advance for the help.

    Attached Files:

  2. Mark56

    Mark56 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,889

    The minidump just about confirms the error messages that you have listed. Your hard drive is failing. One should never jump to a rapid conclusion so just to confirm it you should run the diagnostics as per the guide below.

    Get everything backed up before the drive gets any worse.

  3. Parivir

    Parivir TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Many thanks for the help.

    I couldn't get the diagnostic tool from the manufacturer's website to work (some error message - "unable to locate license agreement file dlglice.txt", appears to be a fairly common problem), so instead I used ultimatebootcd which comes with that same tool, and it worked fine.

    A couple hours ago I ran both the quick and extended tests and it detected no errors.

    And just now I spent a good 10-15 minutes dealing with the already mentioned error messages before I could get my machine to boot.

    It seems like it'll boot with no problem once it's already on (for example, if I were to reboot it right now). But when it's been off for a while, it's hell for it to boot again. This is odd.
  4. Mark56

    Mark56 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,889

    You did download the diagnostics for DOS (CD)? I have had many people use this with no problem. Did you then burn the ISO image to a CD with image burning software not just by burning it as a file. The CD you used may well be an older version and not specific to your model of drive. You could even try to download the version for Windows but the results won't be as accurate. Seeing what is in the minidump I am amazed it past any test.

    Reseat all the connections on the drive and try running with just one memory stick fitted. If the problem persists then swap the memory. I know you have tested the memory with Memtest but it can miss minor faults, using one stick at a time is far more conclusive.

    There are two more tests that can be done from within windows.

    1. Press Start > type cmd in the search box and enter. At that c: prompt, type chkdsk /r exactly as written here with the gap before the slash, then hit Enter.

    2.You will then see a message "Would you like to schedule this volume to be checked the next time the system restarts? (Y/N)"

    Type Y for yes, and press enter. Then reboot the computer into normal mode. Chkdsk will start when Windows begins loading again. Let all 5 phases run and don't use or turn off the computer. (The chkdsk process may take an hour or more to finish.)

    3.Chkdsk finds any corrupted files that are causing the problem and fixes them. Read the results of each phase as it finishes. During the final phase, it will notify you if it finds any corrupted files. It also checks for bad blocks on the drive surface.
    4.When the Check Disk is done, it will finish loading Windows.

    Also try typing sfc /scannow in the Run box and hit enter, watch for the results.
  5. Parivir

    Parivir TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Yeah. I did get the DOS CD one, latest version as well, for my specific model (WD5000AAKS). And burned the ISO. But apparently that error message is a (somewhat) common problem. I found a number of people with it by googling the error message.

    In any case, I ran the very same program from ultimatebootcd without any problems. And yes - it passed both tests, with flying colors. I'm really confused.

    The biggest oddity is, like I said, that it works just fine once the computer is already running, no matter how many times I reboot. But after the computer's been off for a while, upon turning it on again, I always have problems.

    I already tried reseating all the connections on the drive, but I'll do it again. I'll try out the memory stick thing. I'm fairly sure chkdsk was already run by Tuneup but I'm gonna try it out anyway. Besides, considering I formatted this on Wednesday and it's only gotten worse, I doubt it's a software problem. But you never know.
  6. Mark56

    Mark56 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,889

    It is indeed an odd error. Seems like once the drive has warmed up it runs OK and they do get quite hot. Did you do the tests on it when it was cold?
  7. Parivir

    Parivir TS Rookie Topic Starter

    No, I only noticed that oddity I had already done the tests...I was using the computer and rebooted it to test it, and it passed the tests fine. After it was off for 2-3 hours, there were problems with booting it again.

    I'll run them first thing tomorrow morning when I turn on the computer.
  8. Parivir

    Parivir TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Alright. I ran the test while the HDD was cold and I got a "0139 - DRQ not expected" error from DLG. The error came up right away as I tried to start the test.

    I ran it once again a few minutes later and again, no errors.

    I'm gonna remove a memory stick and leave memtest running the way you said while I have to go off to do some things.
  9. Mark56

    Mark56 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,889

    Well, this error is at least proof that it has something to do with the drive confirming the details in the minidump. From a fairly fruitless search I think this is a read error, now, that could possibly also relate to the motherboard.

    My thoughts on this would be to put the drive in another PC and try to boot from it cold and see what happens. Also check settings in the Bios, make sure it is not set in IDE mode and that RAID is disabled.

    You misunderstood my instruction to test the memory. As I said, Memtest can miss minor errors so the best test is to run the PC on just one stick in at a time, not, to run Memtest on one stick at a time.
  10. Parivir

    Parivir TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Ah, I see. My apologies. Well, I'm testing it at the moment and the memories seem fine, the issue is the same.

    I think the SATA disk is in IDE mode. But I'm not sure how to change it in the bios. I do have an IDE disk, a slave disk that is. At the start, when I turn on my computer, it seems to auto detect all four drives I have (two HDDs, a CD RW and a DVD RW) as IDE.
  11. Mark56

    Mark56 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,889

    Don't want to jump to any immediate conclusions but if you have the SATA drive in IDE mode it may fail when cold if it is not spinning up fast enough, so I've heard. This would explain the error when the drive is cold. ALL Bios versions have a different layout but you should find a section with Peripherals that might have the drive mode options in it.

    I forgot in my last post that you have XP. XP has limited support for SATA drives so that is probably why it is running in IDE mode. SATA drivers have to be installed during the installation of XP either with a floppy disc or by slipstreaming the drivers into a copy of your OS disc.

    If you change the mode to SATA it will almost definately BSOD at start. The only cure for this is a reinstallation of the OS as that is the only way to get the SATA drivers correctly installed.

    This would all explain the boot up problems but not the sudden slow down that you have been experiencing, my only thought is that could just be an intermittent fault on the drive. A slow start when cold may suggest the bearings are tight or the motor simply isn't going fast enough, a small defect that the diagnostics might not pick up on.
  12. Parivir

    Parivir TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Running the diagnostic tool again gave me a "0219 - drive cable error".

    I switched to SATA ports 3/4 and took the SATA cable from the DVDRW and it seems to have booted fast and working fine.

    Keeping my fingers crossed because as it's been said it's inconsistent.

    Meanwhile I'll look for XP SATA drivers and how to integrate them with the disk. Just in case. And once again thanks for all the help.
  13. Mark56

    Mark56 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,889

  14. Parivir

    Parivir TS Rookie Topic Starter

    It appears it was the cable after all. The computer's been working fine since.

    I don't believe I can't thank you enough for this. Had it not been for your help, I would've never found the problem and would've likely shelled out quite a bit for a new HDD and mobo by now.

    I'm really thankful for all the help. See you later.
  15. Mark56

    Mark56 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,889

    Your most welcome, I will remember this one the next time something similar crops up.

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