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Thread: Bad hardrive or memory? both?

  1. #1
    Member jbell255's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Ames, Iowa

    Bad hardrive or memory? both?

    First off, sorry for posting yet another of these posts. Yes, I have spent much time scouring these forums for any posts relevant to memory/ hard drive failure and BSODs. My setup:

    Xp 1800+
    Shuttle ak31a
    2 x 256mb Kingston pc2100
    1 x 40gb Seagate 7200
    GF4 4200 Asus
    Soundblaster Live 5.1

    Fresh install of win XP Pro (5 days old, up-to-date drivers, antivirus, etc).

    I just completely reformatted my hard drive. I used to be running windows 2k pro and was having the same problems i am experiencing now. On win2kpro, I would get frequent BSOD's and random restarts. I would also, on occasion, after a restart get a message saying the data on my harddrive was corrupt/unreadable/unuseable. I would attempt to run chkdsk but it would just flash and not give me anything to work with. I figured I'd try starting fresh with XP because it didn't cost me anything.

    Upon loading up XP, everything was fine for the first day or two. So far I've had 2 restarts and 1 BSOD saying something about a NTFS problem... I'm guessing having something to do with my harddrive again .

    Reading many of the posts of similar problems to this, you guys have recommended SeaTools and Memtest86. I am about to run Sea Tools and will run memtest86 tonight. I will update you all tomorrow after I run these tests. I just wanted to put my problem out there in case anyone has a pretty good idea of what's wrong.

    Other misc. Info that might help:
    *One of my sticks of ram is about 8 months old, the other is almost 3 years old.

    Don't know what these mean.. hopefully someone here can help me out!

    *Conflict Sharing

    Thought I'd throw in this one as it just happened when I closed MSPaint after saving these screen shots... I get errors like this often, not just with Paint, though. I get them with many others like AIM, video games, media player, winamp, etc.

    *Memory Error

    As I said, I will run Sea Tools (to check harddrive) and memtest86 (to check ram) tonight. Should have results by tomorrow afternoon. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Ultimate Member rmanet's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2000
    Sunny San Diego
    sure sounds like a memory problem - also check your BIOS settings, I'm almost certain you're running two mismatched sticks and that always causes problems like yours - highly doubt it's the hard drive, but even if you get the ram problem addressed I'd do a reformat and fresh install of XP to avoid future problems.....

    and no need to apologize for a legitimate post asking for help - that's what sysopt is all about

  3. #3
    Member jbell255's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Ames, Iowa
    Checking bios, is that just going into the bios menu upon startup of the computer?

    What you said about the two sticks being different and causing the problems makes a lot of sense. Thinking more on the subject, I remember that I did a small upgrade about 8 months ago that included another stick of ram (i got kingston figuring that since they're the same manufacturer they'd work fine...), new video card, and sound blaster 5.1 sound card. As far as I can remember, I only experienced these symptoms AFTER this upgrade. I really wasn't sure of what it was though, because I didn't just add the memory; I also installed a new video card and sound card. It's a pretty good bet though because one is almost 3 years old (march 2001) and the other is only 8-9 months.

    If they're simply mis-matched and not necessarily bad, will memtest86 give any relevant information? I'll still run it just to make sure there's nothing physically wrong with either stick but if there's not, would it just be a compatibility issure?

    Would removing the older stick and using the new one only be worth a try? Or vice versa?

    Thanks for the ideas.

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