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Crashing, Pixelating, Not Booting etc.

By sherry_stuart ·
I?ve got an interesting problem, any suggestions would be appreciated. I?ve had a computer for nearly a year with no problems then all of a sudden they begin. During regular activities computer will suddenly crash. Upon rebooting, I get a Disk Boot Failure, Insert system disk?It gets through the RAID check and to DMI (usually for only a second). Then NVIDIA Boot Agent starts up, checks MAC address etc. then proceeds to DHCP. After some time, it exits boot agent and gives the disk boot failure.

I can 'fix' this problem by shutting computer off for an hour+. After that, I can usually start up without problems. Sometimes, it will boot past DMI, then tell me computer was shut down wrong and prompt for reboot option. No matter how I reboot, it will get to the Windows boot screen, then crash. Repeat. I'm pretty sure my boot sector has been corrupted. Problems continually reoccur (not being able to boot to Windows), not always the same error, but the same result. Most of the time I've had to use the Repair on Windows CD to create a new boot sector, that is, if the CD can even detect my Windows partition at all. Sometimes it says there is no valid partition.

Occasionally when I shut computer off; not restart, and start back up again, I see columns of pixel blocks across the screen. Columns are stationary, but change color whenever text (or in Windows, the mouse) moves on screen. Temporarily fix for problem is to shut down computer, reset CMOS and reboot.

System Details:
Asus A7N8X-Deluxe / Athlon XP 2600+
Maxtor 80GB 7200RPM Fluid Dynamic Bearing / Western Digital 40GB 7200RPM
350w Enermax EG365P-VE Dual Fan
Windows XP Professional

Troubleshooting Performed:
Installed motherboard temperature checking utility, CPU never went over 42 deg
Ran CPU / Memory stability program for 17 hours without a problem.
Updated BIOS to most recent version
Cleaned each component / Re-applied Arctic Silver compound
Changed IDE cables

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by Igor948 In reply to Crashing, Pixelating, Not ...

DiD you try to boot into DOS with a Win9x boot disk, and at the prompt enter "fdisk /mbr" (include the space before the "/", but not the quotes)? If you have a corrupt master boot record, this would fix it. You may also want to try running "chkdsk" to see if it reports errors.

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by Maelgwyn In reply to Crashing, Pixelating, Not ...

Ok, I am guessing this is a XP/2k based machine.

The video issue sounds like a bad video card - when itgoes into the video mode, it isnt working correctly. Try the drivers for that - reload that is. Otherwise, check the connection and if that doesnt work - return

Almost sounds virus related... have you tried a format & reload?

Other than that, try the 2k/XP disk and use the repair console - that may help - especially as you can use better tools

Anywho, I must be off


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by Ann777 In reply to Crashing, Pixelating, Not ...

Second paragraph sounds like a hdd/software related problem ... possibly with all the reboots your WinXP OS has some file corruption. I'd recommend booting to Safe Mode and doing a chkdsk /r at the DOS prompt. It should find and fix those problems.

The third paragraph sounld like video card or monitor. Try swapping monitors and see if the problem follows the monitor or the computer. If the problem seems to follow the computer, then try another video card.

If the problems persist, then you may have a systemboard problem.

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by sgt_shultz In reply to Crashing, Pixelating, Not ...

have you run mfg diags on the hds to rule out media problems. if you are using raid array, have you tried backing up and rebuilding array. have you considered bad raid controller as source or bad cable.
if you can fix problem cooling computer can you cause failure heating computer. can you prevent failure super cooling.

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by Red Chris In reply to Crashing, Pixelating, Not ...

Sounds to me like a HDD problem. On of the drives in your RAID config. seems to be having a lot of difficulties and the other drives are probably compensating for it. It won't last long, every time you reboot will do more damage. Find out which drive is causing the problem, and replace it. The other thing it could be is a overheating HDD. Are they stacked close together, and how hot are those drives?
Have you tried a different RAID card? I don't think that's the problem, but it could be.

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by csmith In reply to Crashing, Pixelating, Not ...

Since you ran the RAM test with no problem, there is nothing wrong with the motherboard, It also eliminates the Power Suppy as the problem.
There is nothing wrong with the Video Card.
Usually these symptoms point to a Hard Drive Problem, and sometimes a bad CMOS battery.
The first test though would be to check the hard drive.
The newer Hard Drives have to be fairly cool, (Good airflow.) or early failure ensues.
Regards, Chris

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