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New build hanging randomly in Windows

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by Stringy, 11 Jul 2006.

  1. Stringy

    Mobster

    Joined: 2 Aug 2004

    Posts: 4,287

    Location: The moon

    Ahoy,
    My friend got himself a new computer, and my brother put it together for him and installed Windows. From the get go there was something wrong with it so I agreed to have a look at it and sort it out today.

    Fired up the computer and it hung on the desktop, unphased by this I reinstalled Windows, and went to install the chipset drivers, where it proceeded to hang after the reboot. After several failed attempts to install more drivers I decided to reinstall Windows again where I was getting much the same behaviour, so it left me thinking it was a hardware problem.

    As I couldn't get on the internet, I couldn't test the memory or anything to see if it was the problem. I'm going back tomorrow armed to the teeth to try and suss out the problem (I feel it is clearly a hardware issue) and this is where you guys come in - what should I look out for, and what should I take with me to run tests with (memtest etc).

    Spec below:
    A64 3800+ (AM2)
    2 x 512MB Corsair Select DDR2 (533 I think)
    Asus M2NPV-VM Motherboard
    Aopen Impression Silver super tower 400W SATA ATX2 USB/audio/firewire
    Can't remember brand 300GB SATA HDD


    So chaps and chapesses, give me advice on what to look out for pleeeeease, I don't want to be defeated by this :(
     
    Last edited: 11 Jul 2006
  2. _PD_

    PermaBanned

    Joined: 30 Dec 2005

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    Exact symptoms I had once... turned out it was the hard drive.

    EDIT: Put it in another PC, and it will probably lock that too.
    If it doesn't, check it with SpeedFan.
     
  3. Stringy

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    Bah, that will mean making more journeys with said hard drive :p Are there any hard drive checking utilities from outside windows?
     
  4. _PD_

    PermaBanned

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    Yep, what make/drive is it?
     
  5. Stringy

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    Can't remember and forgot to look :( :p I'll ask my mate to look when he gets back from work.
     
  6. _PD_

    PermaBanned

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    Lol OK. Well I'm going out anyway, so I'll pass the baton here.
    Good luck!
     
  7. Stringy

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    Joined: 2 Aug 2004

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    Can someone hook me up with a diagnostic program for Maxtor drives that doesn't need to be in Windows to be run?

    edit: found it, 'PowerMax', the instructions say it should be run from a floppy, will it work from a CD?
     
  8. Steeps

    Soldato

    Joined: 8 Nov 2003

    Posts: 5,273

    Location: Bedfordshire

    if you leave the computer watching temps in bios does it lock up? will it just hang doing anything, or is it at specific points?
     
  9. Stringy

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    It only hangs in Windows, installing windows is fine, and it's fine in the bios.
     
  10. Pulseammo

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 10 Jan 2006

    Posts: 1,120

    Location: Glasgow

    Look in the event log, I've had this before with paging errors. Solved the problem by a format, a change of sata cable and a change of sata drivers. I think it was the format or the drivers that solved the problem.
     
  11. Stringy

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    Event log? Who what why when where how?
     
  12. leezer3

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    Joined: 18 Jan 2006

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    Location: Norwich

    It will very probably be NCQ ;)
    Maxtor drives & Nforce motherboards simply don't play ball properly when NCQ is turned on. You should be able to turn it off from the SATA controller properties in device manager.

    -Leezer-
     
  13. Stringy

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    The Maxtor webby says PowerMax won't work on SATA drives? Can anyone shed any light on this?

    So I've got to try and disable NCQ, failing that I'll test the hard drive, and then I'll probably run memtest. Any others people can think of?
     
  14. Pulseammo

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 10 Jan 2006

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    Location: Glasgow

    Start -> Control Panel -> Performance and Maintenance -> Aministrative Tools -> Event Viewer -> Most likely the errors will appear in the System Tab.

    If the control panel is in classic view you can just skip the "Performance and Maintenance" step.
     
  15. VeNT

    Capodecina

    Joined: 9 Jan 2003

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    Location: Cornwall

    UBCD has Hard disk tools
     
  16. Stringy

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    Heh, the computer will probably hang on the way there, but thanks for the tip :)
     
  17. Pulseammo

    Wise Guy

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    Location: Glasgow

    Windows Key + R -> "eventvwr" -> Enter Key

    :D
     
  18. Stringy

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    Cheers.

    I've changed the power lead to the HD and the SATA cable too, and that hasn't helped at all. PowerMax wouldn't detect the HD, however the IBM utility on the Ultimate Boot CD did. The quick test found no problems, so I'm doing the thorough test (which takes ages). If I find nothing there I'll run memtest after having a look at the event log. If they reveal nothing I'm fresh out of ideas - anyone think of anything else?
     
  19. Stringy

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    *shameless self bump*

    The hard drive test revealed no errors, and memtest didn't show anything on it's first pass - so now I'm all out of ideas. Somebody please come to my rescue :( Could any other components be causing it? (DVD or wireless card maybe?)
     
  20. VeNT

    Capodecina

    Joined: 9 Jan 2003

    Posts: 20,708

    Location: Cornwall

    ok, so the mem is ok
    the hard disks ok
    as are the cables to both,
    have you checked that the PSU is dillivering enough?
    try unplugging everything but the hard disk and motherboard etc (ie bare min) and see if that helps? if that fails again (still) try another PSU in there.