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Windows crashing/freezing/not booting

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Well, I was playing Battlefield Bad Company 2 when my computer bluescreened. No big deal, just rebooted and waited.... and waited..... and waited...

At first it was freezing at 'Checking NVRAM.. ' in the boot-time diagnostics screen. I went into setup (f1) and enabled clearing nvram on boot-up, which got it to the point where it asks me how I want to boot because it failed to last time. No matter which one I pick, about 9 times out of 10 it freezes, hardware light turns off and nothing else occurs unless I turn it off and back on. Sometimes it boots up! And when it does, it usually freezes or crashes at some point or another, especially if I try to launch any applications or download anything. I already checked the ram for corruption, did an extended SMART self-test, both of which passed. I am at wit's end (as is my brother, Bluescreen_of_Death who is here and recommended I post) and I really just want to get back to gaming. If any other details are needed then I will provide them.
post #2 of 18
To corroborate his story, At my suggestion ehlohel burned memtest to a CD and ran it for the full test, passed with no errors.

The PC in question is an OEM desktop from HP with an updated GFX card. It's already had a HDD fail, and I'm at a loss on what to check next.

HALP!
post #3 of 18
Might not have ever had a HDD failure, though it could have failed due to what I'm suggesting is wrong. Have you tried swapping out the PSU, they have been known to ruin parts if they go bad. They can also cause a lot of crazy symptoms, just a thought.
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post #4 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mushroomboy View Post
Might not have ever had a HDD failure, though it could have failed due to what I'm suggesting is wrong. Have you tried swapping out the PSU, they have been known to ruin parts if they go bad. They can also cause a lot of crazy symptoms, just a thought.
if I knew what a PSU was then I could answer.

(I'm not nearly as computer literate as my brother is, sorry about that...)

edit:
google finally cooperated. no, I haven't tried swapping out the power supply and I don't think we have any spares, unless my brother does.
Edited by ehlohel - 2/6/11 at 5:22pm
post #5 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by mushroomboy View Post
Might not have ever had a HDD failure, though it could have failed due to what I'm suggesting is wrong. Have you tried swapping out the PSU, they have been known to ruin parts if they go bad. They can also cause a lot of crazy symptoms, just a thought.
I do have a spare lying around. Next time I'm over in that direction I'll give it a shot.

And trust me, the HDD was dead. it was making the click of death.
post #6 of 18
Ahh, well they can "take out" parts. That's usually rare, but I've had a MB die because of it (I assume). Though that can be just a power surge, I'm not sure as it was years ago. =P Have you tried re-setting the cmos? Google your modle/make and "reset cmos" or bios* together. Though I'm sure he's probably already helped you on that. Hmmm, tried windows repair? Stick it in another windows computer and run chckdisk (or whatever it's called). Might just be a bad disc, I think there are boot cds that have those tools. Hirens? Not sure, as I've got 4 drives to work with. =P

[edit]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluescreen_Of_Death View Post
I do have a spare lying around. Next time I'm over in that direction I'll give it a shot.

And trust me, the HDD was dead. it was making the click of death.
That happened in my xbox's with 2 drives because of something I did wrong. =( Something happens to the heads and they keep resetting, I'd really swap the PSU out and check that.
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post #7 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by mushroomboy View Post
Ahh, well they can "take out" parts. That's usually rare, but I've had a MB die because of it (I assume). Though that can be just a power surge, I'm not sure as it was years ago. =P Have you tried re-setting the cmos? Google your modle/make and "reset cmos" or bios* together. Though I'm sure he's probably already helped you on that. Hmmm, tried windows repair? Stick it in another windows computer and run chckdisk (or whatever it's called). Might just be a bad disc, I think there are boot cds that have those tools. Hirens? Not sure, as I've got 4 drives to work with. =P
He's already reformatted, so the windows install probably isn't bad unless the PSU is throwing a fit and causing the memory to corrupt or something like that.

We shall give the PSU replacement a shot, but I'm on the other side of town from him, so we can't check it right now. Any other suggestions?
post #8 of 18
Umm, if it's a new install and ram passes, it's either Mobo/PSU/GFX/CPU. You have to strip it to bare components for trouble shooting. What does it require to run? (that's not ment to be answered, I'll explain) You strip it to CPU, one hard drive, one stick of ram, and if you don't have onboard video one GFX card. Get it to boot and run with that, and work from there. If it doesn't work with the bare essentials you need to find out why. This is especially so with a fresh/new install. Swap out the parts one by one. If you have a spare GFX I'd check that too, since he was gaming during the BSOD. Card could have over heated and craped out.

So things to check, GFX + PSU. This is assuming the HDD/Mobo/CPU work. Generally the Mobo/CPU are real obvious failures (bios won't post, troubles posting, ect... ect..). Don't rule them out though, as you "test" different parts you'll get a better image of what's probably wrong (as the parts "pass" tests). Other than that, there's nothing you can do. If a fresh install doesn't work, with a good CD, it's all down to hardware work. Trial/Error

[edit] I chose GFX + PSU because you added the GFX and were gaming. Both things will stress the GPU/PSU. If you want to rule out CPU then you could do stress tests (prime), but that requires you to know that GPU/PSU work right. Of course you get into what about other parts, and that's the problem, you don't know. =( Test the obvious first, then move on.

[edit] If you can swap out a part, and it boots to "stable" most likely you've found the part. Run stress tests to make sure, always double check.
Edited by mushroomboy - 2/6/11 at 5:42pm
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post #9 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by mushroomboy View Post
Umm, if it's a new install and ram passes, it's either Mobo/PSU/GFX/CPU. You have to strip it to bare components for trouble shooting. What does it require to run? (that's not ment to be answered, I'll explain) You strip it to CPU, one hard drive, one stick of ram, and if you don't have onboard video one GFX card. Get it to boot and run with that, and work from there. If it doesn't work with the bare essentials you need to find out why. This is especially so with a fresh/new install. Swap out the parts one by one. If you have a spare GFX I'd check that too, since he was gaming during the BSOD. Card could have over heated and craped out.

So things to check, GFX + PSU. This is assuming the HDD/Mobo/CPU work. Generally the Mobo/CPU are real obvious failures (bios won't post, troubles posting, ect... ect..). Don't rule them out though, as you "test" different parts you'll get a better image of what's probably wrong (as the parts "pass" tests). Other than that, there's nothing you can do. If a fresh install doesn't work, with a good CD, it's all down to hardware work. Trial/Error

[edit] I chose GFX + PSU because you added the GFX and were gaming. Both things will stress the GPU/PSU. If you want to rule out CPU then you could do stress tests (prime), but that requires you to know that GPU/PSU work right. Of course you get into what about other parts, and that's the problem, you don't know. =( Test the obvious first, then move on.

[edit] If you can swap out a part, and it boots to "stable" most likely you've found the part. Run stress tests to make sure, always double check.
Rgr that. We have orchestrated a way to get him the PSU tomorrow, and if that doesn't fix things, we will move on to part by part diagnosis.

Thanks for the help!
post #10 of 18
Yeah, to do the GPU you can swap out a different one or test it in another machine. At that point, I'd say things aren't looking so good. I'm sure you can get him to clear the cmos, but honestly I don't see that randomly going bad in a game. By then you've tested everything but CPU/Mobo and at that point if either one is bad you can get a combo deal and just replace both. Upgrade/fix really, but I'm sure it will be either PSU or gpu, I don't see a solid cpu/mobo going dead all of a sudden. Still, don't assume. =P It's always good to keep the possibility open. lol I've broken parts, fried parts, fried myself, all in the pursuit of learning how and why it works.
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