PC is broked

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PC is broked

Postby underspray on Thu Oct 22, 2009 11:57 am

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Sigh, PC just decided to power down unexpected.
It wouldn't boot either normally or in safe mode.
The Windows loading screen pops up, followed by a blue screen with some white text which appears for a fraction of a second.
Hoovered a large amount of dust out of the case.
Tried removing each memory stick in turn, still no joy.
Got into bios and load failsafe defaults.
Restarted and got this useful message "Keyboard not detected, press del for setup or F1 to continue."
Its a USB keyboard and I assume the failsafe nonsense has disabled the USB ports?
Do I need to go and buy a USB adaptor plug thingy before I can do anymore?

With my little bit of knowledge i'm assuming a bit of hardware has died, gfx card? Mobo? or something cheaper?
Any help or advice greatly appreciated.
Cheers
Spec to follow once I work out what it is.

Re: PC is broked

Postby underspray on Thu Oct 22, 2009 11:59 am

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XP
2ghx core duo 2
2 gig corsair ram
nx8800gts gfx
abit ip35e mobo

Re: PC is broked

Postby underspray on Thu Oct 22, 2009 12:08 pm

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oh and a corsair 520w psu

Re: PC is broked

Postby larchy on Thu Oct 22, 2009 12:21 pm

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Pop the XP disc in, load setup, go to the recovery console.

Type:

CHKDSK /P

Wait until it's finished, then type EXIT and reboot.

Re: PC is broked

Postby underspray on Thu Oct 22, 2009 12:23 pm

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Cheers larchy

Re: PC is broked

Postby larchy on Thu Oct 22, 2009 12:36 pm

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Did it work?

Re: PC is broked

Postby underspray on Thu Oct 22, 2009 12:49 pm

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Well...
I couldn't boot from the CD drive without getting into bios and I couldn't do that without a keyboard with a round connector.
So i gave of searching for a USB keyboard adaptor and borrowed my neighbours keyboard.
Whilst rummaged for my XP cd I found a partion magic boot disk.
It's currently checking the HD but has already reported "partition improperly dismounted."
Is this codespeak for "hard disk dead"? or can it be mended?
thx!

Re: PC is broked

Postby larchy on Thu Oct 22, 2009 12:57 pm

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Nah it just means the file system is a little bit b0rked.

Usually a BSOD on boot right after a sudden shutdown is because the OS was writing something to the file system when everything went tits up, and that causes and error when you try and load back up.

Simply running checkdisk with the 'fix everything' flag (that's the /P after the CHKDSK command) sorts it, but so should any other file system checker too.


No big deal at all, pretty trivial :)


Of course it could be something else, but try this first as it's quick and easy and is 95% probably the problem :)

Re: PC is broked

Postby underspray on Thu Oct 22, 2009 1:37 pm

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Chkdsk /p found and recovered some errors but still the same bsod during boot. :(

Re: PC is broked

Postby larchy on Thu Oct 22, 2009 2:55 pm

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So much for the easy solution then.


Hit F8 when windows begins to load to bring up the startup options screen.

Select "Disable Automatic Restart on System Failure" to prevent the system restarting when the BSOD occurs.

Tell us the BSOD STOP code :D

Re: PC is broked

Postby underspray on Thu Oct 22, 2009 4:06 pm

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F8 makes the loading screen freeze so I can't get to the options :(

Re: PC is broked

Postby underspray on Thu Oct 22, 2009 4:30 pm

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fixmbr gives

***CAUTION***
this comp appears to have a non-standard or invalid mbr.

i get the option to write a new one but could lose all data....

aarrgh!

Re: PC is broked

Postby larchy on Thu Oct 22, 2009 4:47 pm

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Actually that's mybad, I should have mentioned that as well as CHKDSK. It'll be ok - the partition will still be intact even if the MBR remains b0rked.

FWIW I've never ever seen FIXMBR cause data loss - not saying it can't happen, just that it's a pretty common thing to use in situations like this and I've never seen it make things worse even if it hasn't fixed the issue.



If it's none of this then normally the BSOD would be down to a driver... but the fact it's happened after a sudden shutdown makes it pretty certain that it's just the above filesystem issue (also the inability to get the boot options screen).

Re: PC is broked

Postby underspray on Thu Oct 22, 2009 4:54 pm

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Just filmed the crash on my phone, slomo reveals the BSOD
IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL

Re: PC is broked

Postby underspray on Thu Oct 22, 2009 4:56 pm

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ran FIXBOOT and FIXMBR, still BSODing

Re: PC is broked

Postby larchy on Thu Oct 22, 2009 5:18 pm

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Ok that changes things... something screwy is happening when Windows is trying to access locations in your RAM.

What happened when the PC shut off? Any idea what caused it? eg were you playing a game or anything else at the time that could cause overheating? Did it just lose power or did it BSOD and restart?

Have you recently installed or updated any drivers? This would include anything from Windows update or updates installed by a game installer perhaps.

Usually that message is caused by a buggy driver, but normally you can just get to the boot menu and 'load the last known good configuration'. I'm a bit concerned if that screen isn't appearing though, since that may point to a hardware issue... most likely RAM if nothing is overheating.

If you can maybe try booting with a single stick and then swap them to see if one of the sticks has gone bad it'd help narrow things down.... assuming you don't have memtest86+ handy which would probably be a better/easier way of checking.

Gah, never simple these things are they!

Re: PC is broked

Postby underspray on Thu Oct 22, 2009 5:26 pm

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I had just finished downloading season 1 of dexter and installed some new video codecs and dvd player software to watch it maybe 30 mins before crash.
It didnt BSOD the first time it started doing a shutdown, turned off my virus checker etc then tried to restart.
see if i can burn memtest to a CD and shuffle my RAM around again.
Thx for your help larchy :)

Re: PC is broked

Postby underspray on Thu Oct 22, 2009 5:27 pm

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Re: PC is broked

Postby larchy on Thu Oct 22, 2009 5:36 pm

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Hmm, dunno, hard to say tbh... especially with not being able to get into safe mode etc

If the RAM is ok I'd just boot from the XP disc and do a repair installation - that'll take half an hour or so, keep all your current OS etc intact but usually (not always) overwrites anything that has been misbehaving too badly.

Sorry the help isn't a bit more helpful at this point :P

Re: PC is broked

Postby underspray on Thu Oct 22, 2009 7:57 pm

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sigh out loud!
I couldn't repair XP cos my yoyotech machine had an OEM install and no CD.
I have an old XP cd but no product key.
Anyway long story short I rummaged around and found Ultimate Boot CD which has let me access windows and control panel and my drives etc.
Now I'm in any advice on what I should be looking for?
I'm downloading a virus scanner and trying to uninstall the new software I added.
thx.

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