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  • Computer instability...Hardware problem?

    I have a Zotac Ion atom 330 in a Mocoso case. When I shut off the ignition, the screen goes to black and everythign seems to be working as it's supposed to. However, intermittently, when I get back in the car and start the car, the "windows has recovered from an error" screen comes up and asks me if I want to run startup repair or start windows normally screen comes up (as if I hit the reset button). Occasionally I will get a BSOD. NOW, occasionally the computer isn't detecting my hard drive. I get a "disk error, hit ctrl alt del to restart". It isn't detected in the bios either. If I disconnect power completely for a while and then restart it detects and will get into windows. However, I am having odd hangs within Centrafuse and sometimes it just stalls on the "starting windows" screen. I have formatted the computer and still having random problems. Does this sound like a hard drive problem? Bad Ram? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I am running Windows 7 32 bit. Thanks in advance!

  • #2
    You have to give details on your setup. It can be a PSU problem: overheating or not enough juice coming to it, or from it. Or simply the ignition is cutting it hard, or windows has no time to shut down and something is preventing it. Why the screen goes black?

    I had a faulty SATA cable that gave me a lot of headache and it had those detecting problems you describe. So lots of things are possible here.
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    • #3
      Originally posted by RipplingHurst View Post
      You have to give details on your setup. It can be a PSU problem: overheating or not enough juice coming to it, or from it. Or simply the ignition is cutting it hard, or windows has no time to shut down and something is preventing it. Why the screen goes black?

      I had a faulty SATA cable that gave me a lot of headache and it had those detecting problems you describe. So lots of things are possible here.
      Sorry RipplingHurst. And I had in my mind to give as much info as possible without writing a novel.

      As I said, it's an ion board with 2gb ram. I have a M2ATX PSU (which the amp out isn't working properly, and have tried 2). I have a couple USB peripherals (GPS, bluetooth, CD drive and a DVD player), also a USB hub with iphone connected to it. Directed HD Radio Module. I think that sums it up. Everything seems to be functioning properly aside from the random crashes. I was just watching a DVD movie via the dvd player (not in a front end, just WMP) and it just went BSOD and rebooted on me. So strange and don't know what else to check.

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      • #4
        if you feel that it is the hard drive, run a hard drive test on it. most of the manufacturers taht i have dealt with in the past usually have one available on their site, or search for UBCD (stands for ultimate boot CD)
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        • #5
          Yes, you should test your HD. Try another HD cable too just in case. If it's okay, then I would try one RAM module only, or swap the RAM with another computer.
          Worklogs: 08 Sequoia Platinum Carputer (In Progress!)
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          • #6
            Originally posted by RipplingHurst View Post
            Yes, you should test your HD. Try another HD cable too just in case. If it's okay, then I would try one RAM module only, or swap the RAM with another computer.
            Well I ran a good ol' fashioned chkdsk and a disk defrag (and it was only 1% fragmented), but that didn't seem to help. Unfortunately, I only have one stick of 2gb ram so I can't remove one stick. And my desktop uses ddr3 whereas it is ddr2 with a different alignment tab so i can't really check that way. Windows 7 has a ram diagnostic tool built in. I ran that and it didn't find anything. Ugh!!

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            • #7
              if the only problem was the "start windows normally" screen, there is a bcdedit command to always skip that screen. i.e. so it always trys to boot normally. (look for the windows 7 optimizations thread in the software forum)

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              • #8
                i have had bad drives that pass checkdisk with no problem(even some that trigger it on every reboot, but pass every time)-- you really need to use a hard drive checking program that boots from external media--preferably by your drives company,so that it is designed to test your specific drive (using a universal hdd tests has given me very mixed results in the past-- i have had drives that fail the universal test, pass the mfg test, and then redeployed, and have stayed running for years...).

                just run a quick mfg specfic hard drive test-- it usually takes no more than 6 min(seagate takes 90sec for the test, WD claims 5 min, but is closer to 2 min.), including the time to setup the system to boot from cd-- and i am sure you have spent way more time pulling your hair out, so what is another couple minutes?

                i know it sounds dumb, but i have spent way too many hours on too many pc's trying to fix a problem only to find out that it is a bad hard drive causing it that could have taken 2 hours to get back up and running if i had just run a hdd test in the first place...
                My OLD 2001 Mitsubishi Eclipse GT:
                "The Project That Never Ended, until it did"


                next project? subaru brz
                carpc undecided

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by soundman98 View Post
                  i have had bad drives that pass checkdisk with no problem(even some that trigger it on every reboot, but pass every time)-- you really need to use a hard drive checking program that boots from external media--preferably by your drives company,so that it is designed to test your specific drive (using a universal hdd tests has given me very mixed results in the past-- i have had drives that fail the universal test, pass the mfg test, and then redeployed, and have stayed running for years...).

                  just run a quick mfg specfic hard drive test-- it usually takes no more than 6 min(seagate takes 90sec for the test, WD claims 5 min, but is closer to 2 min.), including the time to setup the system to boot from cd-- and i am sure you have spent way more time pulling your hair out, so what is another couple minutes?

                  i know it sounds dumb, but i have spent way too many hours on too many pc's trying to fix a problem only to find out that it is a bad hard drive causing it that could have taken 2 hours to get back up and running if i had just run a hdd test in the first place...
                  Thanks Soundman. Mine is a WD. They have a new windows based software. I ran the quick test (about 2 min) and it "passed" the complete test takes about 45 min. I will run that tomorrow and see what happens. Thanks

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by crankycowboy View Post
                    When I shut off the ignition, the screen goes to black and everythign seems to be working as it's supposed to.
                    does the system gracefully shut down or does it shut down immediately when you power off the ignition?

                    they way you worded it there it sounds like you may have the M2-ATX set to "standard atx function" or may not have the ignition wire (the white wire) properly wired. This could cause the system to power down improperly and in turn give you the windows errors you're seeing.

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                    • #11
                      pandora bracelet

                      they way you worded it there it sounds like you may have the M2-ATX set to "standard atx function" or may not have the ignition wire (the white wire) properly wired. This could cause the system to power down improperly and in turn give you the windows errors you're seeing.

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                      • #12
                        O.o

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                        • #13
                          also check your device manager to see if there is any device with "?" or not installed drivers.
                          I had this issue with my bluesoleil driver that cause my computer to restart with the "windows has recovered from an error" at startup.
                          I also have occasional bsod that appears to be xport's issue which curiosity is currently working on.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Punky View Post
                            also check your device manager to see if there is any device with "?" or not installed drivers.
                            I had this issue with my bluesoleil driver that cause my computer to restart with the "windows has recovered from an error" at startup.
                            I also have occasional bsod that appears to be xport's issue which curiosity is currently working on.
                            Thanks Punky....I did so and this is what I found....

                            I'm hoping some of you guys much smarter than me can shed some light on. I have been looking for issues items that could be the cause of all these problems. In device manager, nothing showed a problem; however, I noticed under "view" in device manager, there is an option to show all hidden items as well. I did this, and a system file was "stopped" and it said the device could not be started properly. It was "null.sys" in the windows 32 folder. I couldn't "manually" start this, so I clicked "uninstall". Now, it shows no error, but what is null.sys? I did a search and many say it is a cause for BSOD and crashing (which I was experiencing)...but was mine corrupt and I need it? Haven't had a startup issue since I removed it; however, boot times and resume is really slow (like 2 minutes or more).....suggestions?

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                            • #15
                              Your system is not being shut down proper. Check PSU setup.
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