is my hard drive dying?

By zack247 ·
hi, i have a dell dimension 4500 with 1gb Ram, a p4cpu, and a seagate 40gb barracuda hard drive. the ram was installed recently, and they are different brands of 512mb ddr. my computers programs kept on having problems and needed to close. after searching for viruses, and turning up none,i reformatted the computer using the dell cd from my dimension 2400. the other non-dell windows xp install cd wouldn't work on this computer, i dont know why. anyways, after reformatting, the problem persisted, and the programs still closed. parts of AVG were even "experiencing problems". what is wrong here? is my hard drive dying? and why do i get a blue screen from my ati catalyst drivers?


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Find up to date Drivers

by ChillBilly In reply to is my hard drive dying?

Remember that although you may not be under warranty, Dell has if not the best then one of the better Customer Services around. Try using


Go to the Warranty link click it and see if your computer is Still under warranty.. Probably not if you have already added things to it or it is an older machine.

Second go to the same link listed above and click on the drivers link. Find the drivers for you machine. The reload for the 2400 is not the same for the 4500. Make sure you also install your NIC drivers as well as your chipset and bios drivers. These have a lot to do with your problem. If you do have another hard drive you can always slave out the current one you are suspecting of having problems.

AVG free has its problems too. Try Avast Free version and see if you can have the same results. You can find this by going to

As for your video drivers ensure you have received the correct drivers for the respected Operating system.

It is always easier to try the easy steps before resulting to destroying your hardware.

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well, i got it used...

by zack247 In reply to Find up to date Drivers

so no discs came with it, just the computer itself. according to dell, the warranty ran out in '05. i will try the right drivers, the reload you speak of, does that mean i have to reformat again?

nope, just the one hard drive, and avg never did this before...

im positive i got the right drivers, and amd isn't helping much...

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I'd say unlikely

by Slayer_ In reply to is my hard drive dying?

But you can run a SMART test just to be sure.

SpeedFan can run smart tests, I believe there are some other tools out there as well that can.

Sounds more likely to me your processor or RAM. Something is dropping the ball. RAM might be losing information (Try running on one chip, swap around chips to see if the problem goes away) or it could be your processor.

I had a motherboard that did that as well, something went wrong on it and it wouldn't give the CPU the correct voltages. Which would cause odd random errors in programs.

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2nd this and...

by ---TK--- In reply to I'd say unlikely

I noticed in the original post, the user stated that he has different brands of RAM. Often times the symptoms you are getting are signs of conflicting RAM. The modules are technically good, which is why it passes POST, but they just do not play nice together.

So, either get matching RAM (make, speed, size), or use one module.

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i kind of want to keep it at 1gb...

by zack247 In reply to 2nd this and...

i like playing some online games, so i guess i'll have to buy some matching ram...

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try running one chip for awhile to see if your problems go away

by Slayer_ In reply to i kind of want to keep it ...

Even on one chip, you should be able to game, it will just be very slow to load up.

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i guess i should have mentioned...

by zack247 In reply to I'd say unlikely

that my antec 350w psu i installed is making some whining noises... this may be the root of the problem? i'll try to get a .wav file up here so you guys can tell me if its normal, ive never used any antec stuff before

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yes, go buy a new one.

by CG IT In reply to is my hard drive dying?
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are you sure?

by zack247 In reply to yes, go buy a new one.

everyone else says otherwise, they say it might be drivers or ram, i think i might buy the cheaper stuff before i spend too much on a hard drive.

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No not sure

by CG IT In reply to are you sure?

but then if you have to ask if your drive is failing, I'm gonna say go buy a new one if you think that. Eliminate hardware problems first.

So if it's your drive that's failing go get a new one.

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