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Bosses Win2k system coming back to the shop...AGAIN

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Breadfan

Inactive Moderator
Joined
Jan 4, 2001
Location
Northern VA
Well, after building my boss a Windows 2000 system off the Epox 8kha+ and AthlonXP 1600+, he brought it back the next day with a registry failure. Basically, after teh two initial startup screens I got the blue command line dispay saying that it could not find one of the registry data files...

So, recovery yeilded the ability to get back into windows, but things weren't quite right. Being a new system, I just reformatted the drive and reinstalled eveything.

That was about 2 weeks ago. well, much to my dismay, I learned today that its coming back to me with the same problem. No power failure this time though, and he has anew house complete with nicely grounded outlets...so I doubt this is a power issue.

Seeing as though I've used W2k on many other systems with great results, I don't feel the need to blame my installation of it. And I've setup W2k on 2 other 8kha+ systems, and never really encountered any issues.

So, once I get it back I'm gonna go ahead and start troubleshooting for a hardware problem. My first place to look will be the 300w Enhance PSU which seemed to be doing an adequate job. This system is not OC'd, and has a Speeze cooler (nice job, and pretty quiet), 2 80mm Enermax adjustable case fans, a 60gb Maxtor, 52x cd and 24x cdrw.

However, I think this has to be a power problem. One speculation I have is that poor power delivery is causing registry files to corrupt. Ofcourse, this might be becuase I first had the issue after a power failure...

The other thing that could be suspect is the HDD, and maybe the IDE cable. I'll probably swap the IDE cable out for sure, just to be sure it's working. I'm not really sure what else could cause this hardware wise...it's not oc'd like I said, so the PCI/IDE is all in spec.

Is there anything I can do in W2k to prevent this from happening again? Like I said, this only seems to happen on this system, so thats why I'm leaning towards hardware related. But, if this is OS related or a flub on my part, I need to know that so I can make a correction :)

Mike
 

Xaotic

Very kind Senior
Joined
Mar 13, 2002
Location
Greensboro NC
Make sure to check the RAM, I had a nasty failure on a primary stick that corrupted an immense amount of data. Run the SFC and a good virus scan as well, just in case.
 

Oni

Oni-ni-Kanab;, Ninja Hippo eater Moderator
Joined
Apr 5, 2001
Location
St. Catharines, Ontario Canada
is the HD on an ATA33/66/100/133 chain? If so, that chain might be trying to write data to the harddrive faster than the hd is speced for (i.e. writing data at 100 to a 66 drive) and that could cause errors.
 

Xaotic

Very kind Senior
Joined
Mar 13, 2002
Location
Greensboro NC
That board will have dual fifo buffers in the IDE controllers and should not be able to attempt writing at the wrong ATA spec, unless manually overridden or misdetected in the BIOS. It should be functional even when using a PIO mode device together with an ATA133 in DMA5. Admittedly, the controller will be losing some performance due to delays when trying to read from both drives, but only slightly higher than if 2 similar devices were attached. Definitely check the BIOS and verify the modes of operation. It's still an excellent idea as to possible data corruption causes, check the modes in the BIOS just to make sure detection and settings are correct.
 
OP
Breadfan

Breadfan

Inactive Moderator
Joined
Jan 4, 2001
Location
Northern VA
The HDD is a new Maxtor the D740X of whatever series ATA133 drives....its running off the primary ide on the 8kha+ (ATA100)

Its the only thing on that channel.

I'll double check the settings in the BIOS though.

The RAM checked out just fine, that doesn't leave me with much. The problem is that it takes a few weeks of normal use before it gets corrupt to the point in which it wont start, shows the error and gets caught in a loop wehre it starts up, gets the error, then reboots.

So the issue is whatever I check or think is suspect, without a definite "Yep it's broken!" I risk giving it back to him just to have it returned 2 weeks later.

The psu give good readings, but could a power spike from the PSU or dirty power if its not conditioning hte power well enough cuase the problem?

I wish I could take the system home for a few weeks...the first time it happens to me I'll know exactly what was going on before it happened...right now I'm getting some really non-technical info to work off of :)

Since this is the president of our company, he said that we need a few more systems anyway, so why not take the nice video card and soundcard out, keep his monitor, and just get him new stuff and use this system around the office.

I kinda like that idea, infact, I could keep it around and use it myself for a few weeks, see if it gives trouble or not...

Considering my past success with Win2k, I'm seriously doubting it's an OS or software issue, so its just a matter of tracing down the hardware conflict/defect thats causing this.

Most likely getting other parts for the boss will yeild him a very reliable system, and taking the other parts from it and using them at work will help me track the problem down and RMA something if it needs to be RMA'd...

I think I'm gonna go stress that PSU a bit in the meantime...

...oh, and I backed up the registry and eveything after installing all his softawre, but he left the recovery disks I made him at home :)

Mike