My computer's dying. What to do?

Pedrocas

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So, my computer was fine and working almost all day without any problems when suddenly it started freezing when loading Windows XP. It simply freezes and then I have to hit reset to make it work again. Sometimes it loads the OS fine thought as soon as it enters in the OS, nothing works. The mouse moves around fine, thought no software runs no matter how hard I click on the shortcuts. Turning the computer's off or reseting it by going to start -> shut off doesn't work either. I've formatted it, I've installed another OS' version, it worked fine for 5 days and then the problems came back allover again. What's happening? What more can I do to fix this computer?

Right now I'm working on it through an Ubuntu Live CD.
 

Dr_Grip

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Does the ubuntu live cd work? If it does, i call hard disk failiure as the hard disk is the only part involved in regular, but not in live cd operations.
If the live cd shows the same (or related) behaviour, i think a cooling or ram issue is most likely.

Coming to think of it, i think Linux (and thus, ubuntu) adresses Ram the other way round than Windows does (starting from the highest available adress and moving down to the lowest), if i remember correctely. If that's the case, the live CD could be omitting a ram error windows stumbles upun. Run the Memtest program on the ubuntu CD overnight first of all.
 
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Pedrocas

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The live CD works perfectly, it even lets me save files into the hard disk. I've run the memtest and the memory is alright, I've also run the hard disk test and that gave me one error I couldn't understand exactly what was it about, thought it seemed a life-threatening error.

If this problem comes from the hard disk, how come it let me format and reinstall the OS and work with it for 4 to 5 days without any problems and suddenly goes back to freezing and not loading the OS sometimes?
 

WillDAQ

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If this problem comes from the hard disk, how come it let me format and reinstall the OS and work with it for 4 to 5 days without any problems and suddenly goes back to freezing and not loading the OS sometimes?
Don't try to apply logic to a failing hard disk, they fuck up in ways you never expect. Get your data out quick and bin it.
 

brydie76

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^^ I daresay when you install the OS, it is getting saved to an area of the HDD that is undamaged and ok. But as you start using it more/install stuff and more files get on there, the damaged segment/platter is getting used and screwing everything else up. But yeah, as willdaq just said, don't toy around here, my dad had a HDD failure a couple months ago and they are catastrophic. Still have't managed to fix the computer fully yet.
 

Pedrocas

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Thanks, guys. All data is backed-up already since the last time I had this problem, before formatting and reinstalling the OS. I guess there?s no other choice but to replace the hard disk, thought that?s something I cannot do just right now, so the computer will have to wait for the surgery. I?ll keep using the Ubuntu?s live CD just to surf the web until then. It doesn't let me do much more, thought.
 

Dr_Grip

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Good thing harddisks are cheap as fuck these days.
 

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I had a similar error with my PC. I tried to fix the problem for almost half a year. while using my old PIII backup PC. I replaced the main board, the RAM, checked the processor, the graphics card, the power supply, the drives, reset and updated the BIOS - nothing solved the problem. It wouldn't even let me format and re-install Windows XP.

Finally I gave up and bought a new PC.
 
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Pedrocas

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I had a similar error with my PC. I tried to fix the problem for almost half a year. while using my old PIII backup PC. I replaced the main board, the RAM, checked the processor, the graphics card, the power supply, the drives, reset and updated the BIOS - nothing solved the problem. It wouldn't even let me format and re-install Windows XP.

Finally I gave up and bought a new PC.
So, you checked everything but the hard disk? :blink:
 

MadCow809

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doesn't sound like a bad HDD to me.

more like a corrupted OS.

Have you tried formatting it?
 

MacGuffin

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So, you checked everything but the hard disk? :blink:
I wasn't able to access it anymore.

Maybe it was the hard disk and maybe I will rebuild the PC in the future but for now I am happy with my new PC :) The other one was already 5 years old anyway.
 

Pedrocas

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doesn't sound like a bad HDD to me.

more like a corrupted OS.

Have you tried formatting it?
Yes, I've formatted it and reinstalled the Windows XP, thought another version of it, so to check if the problem was with the then-installed OS.
 

Pedrocas

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I wasn't able to access it anymore.

Maybe it was the hard disk and maybe I will rebuild the PC in the future but for now I am happy with my new PC :) The other one was already 5 years old anyway.
Mine's almost 5 years old as well. Weird. :?
 

argatoga

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It could be something more subtle as well. Try it in this order. New hard disk, new memory, new motherboard. Memory testers miss stuff all the time.
 

Pedrocas

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It could be something more subtle as well. Try it in this order. New hard disk, new memory, new motherboard. Memory testers miss stuff all the time.
Problem is, I don't have anything of that yet. I'm going to take the computer to the repair store, ask the guys to run some tests before putting the new HD and more memory on it.

If the problem was caused by something other than the HD, how would I be able to web for several hours using an Ubuntu Live CD? To do it, the motherboard and the memory stick has to work fine, at least. The only thing I'm not using right now is the HD, even if it's still connected and inside the computer, thought the Ubuntu Live CD doesn't require disk space to run.
 

argatoga

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Memory problems can be subtle and only pop up when using certain tasks. The Ubuntu CD may not be using all the memory, or not using it in a way which will cause it to fail. Ditto for the motherboard. Try using a computer with burst capacitors, it will do real funky crap.
 

Dr_Grip

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Don't take the computer to a store. Hardware repairs on desktop computers are easily done and the parts are a dime a dozen, they'll just fuck you with the work hours. Really, you can get a HD and RAM for under 50 Euros each, which most likely is less than one hour of work from an IT professional will cost.
 
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