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The eater of Solid States (need diagnosis) long

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Klute

New Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2016
I built my friend a computer about 1.5-2 years ago. He is blind and has been on XP previously. In short, his desktop loses the ability to boot. Just say's please insert proper media and restart etc. The last time this happened I found that a chkdsk uncovered several error's on the ssd, so since it was a refurbished ssd, I replaced it with a second ssd from my rig. Well it did it again. I had previously stress tested the cpu with prime95 for a 24hr period with no problems. Can't remember what else I have done for stability. So I'll give a history and the equipment and hopefully someone can give me advice.

AMD Vishera 6 core
4g generic ddr3
Asus M5-A97 R2.0
generic 400w psu
ATI X1900XT (fan died on this so it was replaced)
PNY Nvidia GT610
Corsair Force3 refurb (after several reinstalls chkdsk found errors on this)
replaced with my non-refurb Corsair Force3 (when it was booting I unplugged his laptop and the power strip hit the desk, bricked this drive)
Mushkin 120g ssd (this is the one that after a couple months won't boot, it's sitting in the car un-diagnosed)

So a brief history. I bought him these components and to save money re-used some of the part's from his previous desktop/IE my old Pentium D rig. The case and gpu were reused. For about a year the machine was just fine, running windows 7 with office and his screen reading software, Window Eyes. Then he upgraded to windows 10 and after a few months started having problems. After replacing all of the case fans I realized the fan on the ATI was stopping eventually and crashing the computer. So I went to best buy and got the PNY 610. After a few months his desktop started corrupting, I would reinstall windows and he would have it for a week and then I would get it back. After enough times it finally lagged hard while I had it and that's when I looked at the ssd and chkdsk showed several errors. Rather than risk a ssd that might be dieing I took my second SSD which had been running flawlessly for a couple years and used that. Of course the power strip got bumped during the first boot and bricked the ssd. Third times a charm...... I had ordered another SSD for mine so I gave him my Mushkin 120g and bought a new case so now every last piece is new. Everything worked fine for a few month's and then I get a phone call, it's done it again. I haven't even taken it out of my car to look, but from messing around at his house, it's doing the same thing.

So I'm out of ideas really. The only thing I found that looked odd, was in bios the ram had ECC set to enabled and I'm pretty sure this ram does not allow for ECC.

It has done this on both windows 7 and windows 10

Sata cable issues?

Food for thought, since he is blind he doesn't always know what is going on with the computer. Early on when he "thought" his computer was frozen, he would start spamming the power button. And he later admitted to me that the cable on his headphones would sometimes cut out, so that could have been the initial problem. But I basically told him to never touch the power button, so that shouldn't be the problem now.

I could really use some insight, the ECC issue sounds odd but why was it fine for the first year? Thought's or direction?
 

Automata

Destroyer of Empires and Use
Joined
May 15, 2006
"generic 400w psu" stands out to me more than anything else you've mentioned.
 
OP
K

Klute

New Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2016
"generic 400w psu" stands out to me more than anything else you've mentioned.
Thank you for the reply, Wouldn't a weak psu show an issue during a stress test of the cpu? It's what the guy at micro center recommended, same guy that has helped me build a couple of these computers.
 

Automata

Destroyer of Empires and Use
Joined
May 15, 2006
Thank you for the reply, Wouldn't a weak psu show an issue during a stress test of the cpu? It's what the guy at micro center recommended, same guy that has helped me build a couple of these computers.
A weak power supply can cause very strange issues, from lockups to killing hardware. It is the most important part of a system. I can't say this is the root cause, but I'd be suspicious of it.
 
OP
K

Klute

New Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2016
A weak power supply can cause very strange issues, from lockups to killing hardware. It is the most important part of a system. I can't say this is the root cause, but I'd be suspicious of it.
Thank you, that's one of the last things I could think of myself. I just went and got it out of the car and it's an inland 400w
 

EarthDog

Gulper Nozzle Co-Owner
Joined
Dec 15, 2008
Location
Buckeyes!
Cpu has filters for its power... ssd does not. If the guy at MC recommended a generic psu, that was poor advice.

I'd also be suspicious of it... or it could just be bad luck.
 
OP
K

Klute

New Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2016
Cpu has filters for its power... ssd does not. If the guy at MC recommended a generic psu, that was poor advice.
Well time to drive to Micro Center for another PSU. I'll get one of the Corsair's not to expensive and work rather well.
 

EarthDog

Gulper Nozzle Co-Owner
Joined
Dec 15, 2008
Location
Buckeyes!
Stay away from VS and CX series from corsair. Grab a 650w model and it's plenty for any single gpu amd cpu with both overclocked to their ambient cooled limits.
 

Mr.Scott

Beamed Me Up!
Joined
Jun 9, 2013
Chkdisk errors do not necessarily mean the SSD is bad. Could be just corrupting OS files. A crap stick of ram could do that.
Have you ever secure erased any of the questionable SSD's and tried them again?
 

trents

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2008
As OP mentioned in passing in his first post, it could be a bad sata cable. It could also be a failing SATA controller on the motherboard.
 
OP
K

Klute

New Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2016
Chkdisk errors do not necessarily mean the SSD is bad. Could be just corrupting OS files. A crap stick of ram could do that.
Have you ever secure erased any of the questionable SSD's and tried them again?

thank you for the insight, I will look into the ram issue. I went and bought a psu, an upgrade for my machine and I will hand down an overspeced psu to my friend. I'm not sure what a secure erase would be, is that similar to zeroing a drive? I haven't messed with any of the "dead" ssd's I have unfortunately accumulated. Can you point me in the direction of figuring out if the "bricked" ssd I have is truly lost? Power was lost during boot.... and I think I tried to hook it up to my machine as a second drive. I would love to recover this drive, it was my first ssd and never let me down.

- - - Updated - - -

As OP mentioned in passing in his first post, it could be a bad sata cable. It could also be a failing SATA controller on the motherboard.
I forgot to get a new sata cable.......... argh. Might have to go to best buy and buy one at an inflated price, if they even have them. Maybe I'll have to wait until I'm in the area of the micro center. (how do I have no other sata cables....... WTF)

- - - Updated - - -

- - - Updated - - -

Stay away from VS and CX series from corsair. Grab a 650w model and it's plenty for any single gpu amd cpu with both overclocked to their ambient cooled limits.

In the end I overpaid for an Antec psu to upgrade my own PC. The last thing I need is to start nuking equipment on my own rig. So I'm going to give my Corsair psu to my friend and let this Antec outlast this rig.
 

Mr.Scott

Beamed Me Up!
Joined
Jun 9, 2013
thank you for the insight, I will look into the ram issue. I went and bought a psu, an upgrade for my machine and I will hand down an overspeced psu to my friend. I'm not sure what a secure erase would be, is that similar to zeroing a drive? I haven't messed with any of the "dead" ssd's I have unfortunately accumulated. Can you point me in the direction of figuring out if the "bricked" ssd I have is truly lost? Power was lost during boot.... and I think I tried to hook it up to my machine as a second drive. I would love to recover this drive, it was my first ssd and never let me down.
Link for secure erase.
http://cmrr.ucsd.edu/people/Hughes/secure-erase.html
The program basically wipes the drive and resets to factory fresh, assuming the drive is not damaged. Give it a go, you have nothing to lose.
 

trents

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2008
Klute, have you tried putting a spinner in the machine to see if it does the same thing to conventional hard drives?
 

habbajabba

Member
Joined
Oct 29, 2005
Location
Oregon
Not to be negative but since he's blind, he would necessarily require BETTER hardware, not generic' crap prone to failure. The psu stood out for me as well.
 

Mr.Scott

Beamed Me Up!
Joined
Jun 9, 2013
Not to be negative but since he's blind, he would necessarily require BETTER hardware, not generic' crap prone to failure. The psu stood out for me as well.
Why? The hardware doesn't make him see.

EDIT- and before the bashing comes, my wife is blind, so........go ahead and come at me.