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Old 08-22-08, 14:06
kree8tif kree8tif is offline
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Default I'm attempting to do my own diagnostics to save on a repair bill....

First off, I've attempted to get help from HP tech support, but all they do is try to sell me a new computer. I have a 5 yr old HP Media Center PC 854n. We added a second hard drive 18 months ago. We've added more RAM, replaced the DVD drive, replaced the Ethernet card, keyboard and mouse and upgraded monitors in the last year, so I hate to junk this and spend the money on a new computer now.

A few weeks ago, the computer crashed after my son had been playing an online game. I attempted to do a system restore, but that never worked, it only gave me the option to do a nondestructive recovery, but that didn't work either (it kept hanging up in the same location), so I had no option but to perform a destructive recovery. Everything worked great for a week, until he happened to be playing the game again when it crashed again. I couldn't get computer to boot up past the HP screen. Upon hitting F10, it allowed me to do a nondestructive recovery this time. Again, everything seemed fine for a week, when bam, it froze and wouldn't reboot again. This time I gave up and used the installation Cds and installed Windows again. Everything seemed fine, but I ran chkdsk anyway just to double check. The report was that everything was fine. Two days later, I got the blue screen of death.

I found my Seagate software that came with the newer hard drive and ran the Seatools diagnostics test. The results show that the mother board and primary and secondary IDE Controllers passed the test. The full test shows bad sectors, and gives the option to try to repair them, which I tried to do. The quick file structure test shows that both hard drives passed, yet on the first hard drive, the Partition 1 (FAT32 5.8GB) passed, yet Partition 2 (NTFS 114.2 GB) Failed with critical errors. It says that all physical diagnostics passed, to run chkdsk and defrag (which I did before this recent crash). The results on the second hard drive are identical to the first.

We replaced the ribbon cable in case that was the cause, but I'm still getting the same results when I run the tests. When I attempted the system recovery again, the computer would freeze up on the very last HP set up screen when I would click "finish". We then decided to remove the newer hard drive completely and tried to get the old drive to boot, but it was hanging up on the "finish" screen of HP set up as well.

To add insult to injury, when all of these issues started, when I attempted to go into BIOS, it's saying that I have to have a password (which I never set up in the first place!) The HP tech person I spoke to said I could try draining the CMOS battery to see if it would erase the password, but never told me how to do that.

Is it possible for both hard drives to go bad at the exact same time? If the IDE controllers were bad, wouldn't that show up on the Seatools test?

Any suggestions on what I can try next would be greatly appreciated! I'm sure I can reinstall Windows again, but since I keep having the same issues weekly, it's a waste of time until I can figure out what's causing this to begin with.
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