Jump to content
  • 0

Question

Posted

Hi Guys,

I've experienced a problem on my PC recently.

I have a Dell XPS420 and towards the end of last summer the PC started to crash, screen would go black, and one of the fans sped up inside really quickly, until i rebooted, and the fan would come on slowly again, and then eventually the same thing would reoccur.

I removed the side panel, blew out the inside with compressed air, downloaded the latest driver for my Geforce 8600GT video card and as soon as i downloaded the driver the fan speed sped up without it crashing, i reformatted the hard drive, reinstalled Windows, and all was fine until two days ago.

The same thing happened again two days ago, first the operating system locked up, and the Windows bar at the bottom of the desk top screen changed colour (went white) then the screen started locking up, then it went blank, the fan sped up, i tried downloading the driver for the graphics card again, but didn't work this time.

I therefore purchased a new video card yesterday, the Geforce 630 with a massive fan ontop of it, installed that last night, but the operating system was playing up big time, i couldn't install the drivers for the video card, tried the enclosed CD Rom, even online, everything i tried to do on the Pc wouldn't work, even right clicking on the desk top and choosing 'personalise' came up with errors, Google Chrome wouldn't open, i couldn't even right click 'my computer' to try and get into Device Manager, as it told me that Windows Explorer could not open or something to that effect!

The whole thing was running slow, even though i'm running Vista on a Quad Core Intel with 4GB Ram (i know Vista can only use 3GB).

It was even doing a religious CHKDSK on every reboot!

So, i went for a fresh install of Windows, using the installation CD, all sorted i thought, until it loaded for the first time and told me straight away on the login screen it came up with some error box telling me that the user account control file or something is corrupt! This was a fresh install!

So, i'm now thinking hard drive problems, so thought about replacing the hard drives and removing the dreaded RAID 0 whlist i was at it, thought i would experiment with the old drives whilst removing the RAID0 and then if i can do it, then buy 2 x new hard drives once done.

Managed to remove the RAID0 volume from within the RAID BIOS screen (CTRL & I) and then set the hard drives to ATA in BIOS, then reformatted both hard drives using the Vista installation CD, and all reinstalled fine and i now have 2 x 300GB separate hard drives showing in Windows Explorer (happy days !)

The hard drives and the PC all seem to be working brilliantly now, but do you reckon i could still have bad hard drives?

I'm running a CHKDSK now but it seems to be taking a lot longer now they are no longer RAID0.....

Also, its been so long since i've not had RAID0 set up, how would you use the 2 seperate hard drives?

I was thinking having 1 of the drives just for the operating system and program files, and the other hard drive for my media, i have about 180GB of media consisting of photos, videos etc., and if i wanted to replace that hard drive for media with a 1TB drive would that be easy enough to do if i keep it seperate to the program and operating system drive?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

21 answers to this question

  • 0

Posted

"The hard drives and the PC all seem to be working brilliantly now, but do you reckon i could still have bad hard drives?"
Yes. If something is going wrong with your RAID then either you have crappy drives or crappy controlling hardware/software. If you remove the RAID and still get problems either one or both of the hard drives are bad and need to be RMA'd. Run the manufacturer's utility to check the condition of the drives.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Posted

You seem to be using the drives that were in RAID 0 with one drive having the OS on but we still don't know why a new install got corrupted when the drives were in RAID 0 what the problem is?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Posted

Guess What? Just as well i havent loaded anything onto these drives yet, as Windows is starting to mess up again.

I started to load MS Office 2007 from a CD, it was taking forever to open one of the files on the CD, the progress bar at the top of the screen kept creeping along slowly, and then it froze, i tried a Ctrl Al Del and it said its not responding....

Then it came up with something about System Login Security failed........

Do you reckon its the drives? Have i done anything wrong do you think?

They are Western Digital Drives, just about to see if i can download there diagnostics checker.

Edit: Would welcome as much input and assistance as i can get, as can't really afford another PC, and this was a great PC for a good few years.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Posted

Check the SMART on those drives, that should be the first thing you should do. Also see if the event viewer has any disk error / warnings on it. Also RAID 0? really?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Posted

[quote name='Praetor' timestamp='1361490033' post='595535628']
Check the SMART on those drives, that should be the first thing you should do. Also see if the event viewer has any disk error / warnings on it. Also RAID 0? really?
[/quote]

Hi Mate, i'm not all that clued up, what does that mean?

Yes they were def RAID 0.

I've just tried to download the Western Digital disk checker here

http://support.wdc.com/product/download.asp?groupid=606&sid=3

Extract, run, and it comes up with 'unable to execute file' 'Create process failed code 740, the requested operation requires elevation?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Posted

Just managed to run Western Digital Data Lifeguard Diagnostics - DLGDIAG for Windows and run a quick test on both drives and it came back as a Pass.

Ran a quick Smart test on each drive and it placed a green tick in each drive saying 'Smart Status' Pass.

Any other ideas what could be wrong?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Posted

[quote name='Soni' timestamp='1361490298' post='595535640']
Hi Mate, i'm not all that clued up, what does that mean?

Yes they were def RAID 0.

I've just tried to download the Western Digital disk checker here

[url="http://support.wdc.com/product/download.asp?groupid=606&sid=3"]http://support.wdc.c...oupid=606&sid=3[/url]

Extract, run, and it comes up with 'unable to execute file' 'Create process failed code 740, the requested operation requires elevation?
[/quote]

run as administrator that app (right click on the exe and chose "run as administrator"); also try HD Tune http://www.hdtune.com/download.html to view the SMART table on the disks; S.M.A.R.T. or Self-Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technology, is a technology that every modern HDD has; it holds lots of info about the HDD, like temperature, spin time, reallocated sectors count and more; you can see lots of attributes here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S.M.A.R.T.#Known_ATA_S.M.A.R.T._attributes. Also there are lots of programs that check the SMART table and report in a easy way if the HDD is good or is damaged.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Posted

Ok so ive now peeformed Extended tests on both drives and they said they completed succesfully using the Western Digital diag tool that I posted above and the SMART has passed.

So they cant be damaged then?

Anything else can be slowing it down and causing hangs and error messages after a reformat?

Shall I start another thread?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Posted

OK if the tests passed then you have something VERY WRONG with your hardware, be it RAM or drive controller chip.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Posted

Hi N_K what does that mean and how can I overcome that problem?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Posted

Take the drive(s) out, try them in radically different hardware and see if the same problem occurs.
If no problem -> your motherboard or drive controller (if not on the motherboard) or RAM or PSU is dodgy.
If same problem -> your drives are failing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Posted

[quote name='Praetor' timestamp='1361491188' post='595535688']
... also try HD Tune [url="http://www.hdtune.com/download.html"]http://www.hdtune.com/download.html[/url] to view the SMART table on the disks; S.M.A.R.T. or Self-Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technology,
[/quote]

I'd second this over running the SMART app from Western Digital. I had a 2TB WD disk causing issues in windows. Windows logs indicated it had issues writing to the drive (a lot or retries). Running the WD app showed the SMART as a pass. Running HDtune showed a fail. I returned the drive to WD for RMA.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Posted

Thanks N k And Jason, ill try that Hd Tune on the drives.

Also, re swapping out the drives into another pc is it as simple as disconnecting from my faulty pc and installing into another? I have an old Packard Bell running XP, if I swap the drive out to the XP machine will that XP Machine boot straight into Vista (which is on the troublesome pc) ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Posted

Run Memtest86+
[url="http://www.memtest.org/"]http://www.memtest.org[/url]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Posted

HI Guys,

Might have had a breakthrough, although a confusing one at that....

As mentioned above, i performed a quick test via Western Digital dianostic test and each drive returned fine.

Then last night before going to bed, i did a longer 'extended' test and Drive 1 (operating system) (think the operating systems on that one as don't know if WD number them differently) and when i got up this morning it past, then when i went out to work this morning i started the 'extended' test on Drive 2, and just got in from work and it said 'stopped - too many bad sectors'!!!

But its on Drive No.2 and i'm almost sure its Drive 1 that the operating system is installed on...

I'm just about to download HDTune and run that as suggested,

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Posted

Bad sectors on any drive can cause crashes, especially if they send bad data to the disk controller. If you open event viewer and look under system you'll probably see some error messages indicated that there were paging errors and / or delayed write failures.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Posted

Downloaded HDTune and could only test 1 drive as was only showing 1 in the drop down box, run the test on that drive and it found something cant now remember what as I was confused as wanted to know why it wouldnt show the other drive so went into explorer and the other drive isnt even showing now!!

To summarise, both drives were showing in explorer as I remember saving a notepad file to the d drive (drive 2) once I removed the raid 0 to make sure it worked.

So I then restarted the pc to see if it would show and the pc wont even boot now!

Came up with an error in the flash/dos screen that no boot device can be found or something.

Could that WD diagnostic test have killed the drive completely?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Posted

Edit said 'drive 1 not found serial ata sata1 Alert! Failed to detect one or more drives during post strike f1 key to continue f2 to run the setup utlity press f5 to run onboard diagnostics.

So well and truly knackered them drives!

Can those diagnostic tools finish off a poorly drive?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Posted

Yes they can but only really if the drive is inheritly bad anyway, i.e. running a diagnostic isn't going to make a drive that fine have mostly bad sectors.
Either RMA the drives if they're within warranty or sell the spares if not or whatnot.

And don't listen to people moaning about RAID0, it does what it's meant to. If you store all your mega important files on a RAID0 then yes, you're an idiot, but if you use RAID0 for what it's meant for (a boot OS drive only with applications/games) then that's fine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Posted

[quote name='n_K' timestamp='1361665172' post='595539472']
And don't listen to people moaning about RAID0, it does what it's meant to. If you store all your mega important files on a RAID0 then yes, you're an idiot, but if you use RAID0 for what it's meant for (a boot OS drive only with applications/games) then that's fine.
[/quote]

it's not moaning, RAID 0 is fine for what is meant for (performance); the problem is i never saw a RAID 0 configuration purposely made with the perception of the disadvantages in mind, ever; all the RAID 0 configs is saw was in the aftermath of a single HDD failure (meaning the array was gone), with important data going bye bye; much safer is RAID 10.

lol it's not moaning :rofl:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Posted

RAID 10 needs 4 drives and you might as well RAID 5/6 them instead, plus this is all being done using your system CPU, so it'll run much slower than a software RAID 0.
I've got a RAID 0 setup for my arch box, it's not my main device and if the drive/array failed then yeah I'd lose some things but nothing of importance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.