Hardware Hodgepodge

  • seekermeister
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I've been having some strange behavior from the PC recently, which I assume are hardware related, but am not certain exactly which piece to suspect. To give a history, several months ago, I had a problem which were apparently due to the motherboard (Asus A8V) and a WDC 80 SATA harddrive failures. For good measure, I also replaced the PS. However, that was not the end of the problems, because at first, neither the Asus motherboard or the MSI K8T Neo 2-F that I'm now using, would boot regardless of any hardware combinations that I tried. I even had a local repair shop look at these, but he seemed to think that the problem was with the AMD processor, despite the fact that I tried two different ones (X2 4400+ and a 3500+). Therefore I sent the X2 to AMD, but they said that they could find nothing wrong with it (however, they returned it to me with a bent pin, which I straightened).

During that time, I tried the MSI board again, with the 3500+ and for no reason that I understand, it worked. When I got my 4400+ returned, I installed it, and it also worked.

Of course, I sent the WDC for RMA, and they sent me another, but it soon failed like the first. Recently I installed the second RMA, and the BIOS couldn't see it connected directly to the motherboard. I then connected it to the PCI controller card, and it worked. In fact, I used it to do a test recovery of the OS using True Image, and all seemed well, until a very short time later, when rebooting, it had disappeared from the BIOS and the OS. I checked connections and changed the data cable, but so far it is still gone. Yesterday, when I tried to bootup, the BIOS couldn't see any of my harddrives until I disconnected the WDC.

I would let it lie there, except today, when I came to the PC, everything was randomly freezing, and when I checked with Process Explorer, the processor was running wild with interrupts. After rebooting, the problem was cleared, but the pattern of events has me concerned, so I checked with several diagnostics and not only was the WDC naturally invisible, but only one HD was visible in HD Tune and Data Lifeguard and Disk Checkup, but none in SpeedFan.

Checking the one Maxtor SATA with HD Tune showed a transfer rate from 56.8 to 30.1 with an average of 46.6 MBs. A burst rate of 80.5, access time of 14.5ms, and CPU Usage of 10.6%.

If it seems that I jumping around alot, that is because I am. I'm looking for something that would indicate what the problem(s) are. I'm not sure if the problem is the motherboard SATA controller, the harddrives, or ? The data that I have seem to point to more than one possibility.

I really do not expect anyone to give an accurate diagnosis, nor give me a procedure to do so, but I'm hoping that someone can see a picture in this blot that I don't?

EDIT: If all of that isn't enough, I must also add that the Maxtor SATA that I tested above also contains my XP x64 OS, which I just finished doing a clean install of. It was fine, until I tried to boot it today, after installing a number of Windows Updates, and several other programs, and now it will only boot to a black screen, without any logos or text or error messages...just like it was before I reinstalled the OS.
  • seekermeister
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I've found a portion of the problem, because for some reason, I can boot into x64 now. I found that the missing Maxtor SATA was visible in x64's Computer Management, but when I went to format it, it first said that the format had failed, so I tried again, and it continued for a while, then disappearred again. While thinking about this, a dialog appeared that said that Windows had recovered controller 0 location 0, or something like that, and the drive reappearred in CM. This convinced me that the controller card was going bad (or perhaps I should have said gone), so I removed it...so far so good. But, that still doesn't answer all of the rest of the problems, unless that controller was crossing wires with alot of other things. I'll have to give it some time to know.

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