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Long problems with computer...
10-05-2008, 10:37 AM
Post: #1
Hello,
my problem is quite long, so please bear with me because I think it's important to look at every single thing that happened with my computer. I was playing TF2 and I met this pretty cool guy named "Death Count" and he told me I can come here to help fix my computer, so here I am.

Last Christmas I got a new Dell Insipiron Desktop. It was great, and everything worked fine. However, the first problem I noticed was that one time (about 2 weeks after I got it) I tried turning it on, and for some reason it just simply wouldn't load. No error, no screen, nothing. Well, I turned it off by holding the button down, restarted it and it worked fine. I don't know what happened, but I wasn't too concerned with.

But then, it happened again. often. But heres the thing. It would happen say, every 1 out of 40 times I would turn on my computer. So again, I wasn't concerned with it, because it didn't seem that big of a deal to me.

Well things got worse. after turning on my computer, I began recieving this message.

"NOTICE: The hard drive SELF MONITORING SYSTEM has reported that a parameter has exceeded its normal operating range. Dell recommends that you back up your data regularly. A parameter out of range may or may not indicate a potential hard drive."

Interestingly enough, there is no word after hard. I googled the above statement, and all the other errors say "Hard drive failure" or "Problem".

But again, my computer would run fine so I just basically ignored it.

So things got even worse. Eventually, I started getting the message that says "We're sorry, but windows did not open successfully" and it would give me options to start in safe mode, last known good configuration, or normall. You all know what I'm talking about right? Well, I couldn't get past that screen, so I googled some information to help me. I also had a windows XP disc, so I loaded that into the drive.

I tried to "CHKDSK" in recovery mode, but it would always get stuck at 50 percent, saying it ran into an error..

So, since recovery mode didn't work, some people suggestion I try to perform a Windows XP repair install, using http://www.michaelstevenstech.com/XPrepairinstall.htm
as a guide.

So I did. and it took a while, but it worked! My computer was running fine, my data was still there, it was great. However, I did run into this really weird problem. While it was installing everything, it told me it couldn't install this file "DNSAPI.DLL" I kept telling it to try again, but nothing. I googled it, and tried some of the suggestions I found, but nothing worked. Whatever, I told it to skip that file and my computer seemed to work fine.

Unfortunately, a lot of things wouldn't run because I had to install Servcie Pack 2. So I downloaded it, installed it, and bam. BSOD. I restarted my computer, tried installing it again, ans this time it worked fine. Odd.

Then, I began to notice things that were wrong with my computer. I began playing TF2, and it would take FOREVER to load steam, then FOREVER to load TF2, then FOREVER to actually connect to a server. I'm talking 10 mins for each thing.
And then when I played TF2, I began lagging a lot. Now, my computer isn't a high end gaming computer, but it could run tf2 fine before. Unless I was in a 32 person server in a small room where everyone was shooting, I'd be fine with little lag.
But whenver I'd shoot, even if I was by myself, it would skip horribly.My ping was low, so I can't say it was my connection. I could run fine but thats it. Everytime I'd shoot, the game would pause for about a second.


Well, last night, the worst thing that could have happened happened. I was doing homework listening to Itunes, and my lights went out. I tried turning on my computer, and it was dead. A blue screen flashes after the Windows XP screen loads, but it flashes so fast I can't read it, and then it restarts itself.

Needless to say, after all this, I felt like throwing my computer out my window.

So, sorry for the long post, but I felt it was important to list all my problems.

Here are my specs:
2gb of ram,
320 GB HD,
8300 GTS graphics card,
Intel Celeron dual core at 1.6 GHZ

So please, HELP!!!
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10-05-2008, 01:39 PM (This post was last modified: 10-05-2008 01:45 PM by DeathCount.)
Post: #2
Hello,

Welcome to Adversity got_jorge, glad you can make it!

Well, unfortunately, it sounds as if your hard drive might be failing... There are a few things we can try before we jump to that conclusion though. Don't worry, we'll get your computer up and running in no time. :icon_cool:

What I would recommend is doing a "clean install" of windows rather than a "repair install". When doing a repair install, it reinstalls windows on top of the already broken install. A clean install completely wipes your hard drive so you start from square one, but.. it also deletes all of your data such as, music and text documents.
So, with that said, before performing this clean install, I would backup any important files.

If you need any help performing this, post back and I can give you a step-by-step run through with screenshots.

As for TF2 and steam running slow after your repair, did you re-install your device drivers?

By the way, which model is your Inspiron?
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10-05-2008, 05:03 PM
Post: #3
(10-05-2008 01:39 PM)DeathCount Wrote:  Hello,

Welcome to Adversity got_jorge, glad you can make it!

Well, unfortunately, it sounds as if your hard drive might be failing... There are a few things we can try before we jump to that conclusion though. Don't worry, we'll get your computer up and running in no time. :icon_cool:

What I would recommend is doing a "clean install" of windows rather than a "repair install". When doing a repair install, it reinstalls windows on top of the already broken install. A clean install completely wipes your hard drive so you start from square one, but.. it also deletes all of your data such as, music and text documents.
So, with that said, before performing this clean install, I would backup any important files.

If you need any help performing this, post back and I can give you a step-by-step run through with screenshots.

As for TF2 and steam running slow after your repair, did you re-install your device drivers?

By the way, which model is your Inspiron?

Deathcount! Thanks for taking the time to read my problem and for the warm welcome haha. In TF2, my name is "I'm what Willis' was talkin bout'." I don't know if you remember me or not.

I'm thinking the same thing about my HD failing. While googling, I've found that many people have had problems with their HDs as well, and something about "maxtor" HDs are nothing but garbage. Dell apperantly uses theses HDs.

So what do you think? Do you think I should even bother trying to fix this? Or should I simply just buy another better HD? I'm thinking...Wester Digital?

Or, if I do decide to do a clean install, how can I back up my data? I mean, I don't know how to do it without Windows. My sister has an external drive I can borrow.

Oh, and don't worry about posting the screenshots and directions. I don't want you to waste too much of your time, I already appreciate just some feedback. :icon_cool: I'm sure I can google directions.

As for the drivers, yes, I'm pretty sure I installed the right ones.

Finally, my model is an Inspiron 530
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10-05-2008, 07:29 PM
Post: #4
Willis,

I've also read on the net that Maxtor HD's are not all that great. Personally, in my experience, I've never had any Maxtor drives fail on me. (Guess I'm lucky).

Western Digital is a good choice, I'm currently running a WD raptor in my system, and it works great!

As for attempting to re-install windows, I would. I would try to re-install windows to see if that fixes it first. If in the end it doesn't work, I would then buy a new drive. (Unless of course you're itchin' to get a larger / faster one :icon_winkSmiling

You can backup your data to blank cds or if you have another functioning computer on your network, you can just move those files to one computer to the next with file sharing. An external hard-drive is a great idea if you have one you can acquire.

No need to google for instructions, as I decided to go ahead and do it anyways. It's a great topic to start up my "Tutorials" section in the forums with. :icon_cheesygrin:
http://adversity.gameover.com/forum/show...php?tid=30

Also, another thing you can try. Do you happen to have an older computer with a spare hard drive laying around? You can always try to put that in to see if that works better for you.
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10-05-2008, 09:49 PM
Post: #5
(10-05-2008 07:29 PM)DeathCount Wrote:  Willis,

I've also read on the net that Maxtor HD's are not all that great. Personally, in my experience, I've never had any Maxtor drives fail on me. (Guess I'm lucky).

Western Digital is a good choice, I'm currently running a WD raptor in my system, and it works great!

As for attempting to re-install windows, I would. I would try to re-install windows to see if that fixes it first. If in the end it doesn't work, I would then buy a new drive. (Unless of course you're itchin' to get a larger / faster one :icon_winkSmiling

You can backup your data to blank cds or if you have another functioning computer on your network, you can just move those files to one computer to the next with file sharing. An external hard-drive is a great idea if you have one you can acquire.

No need to google for instructions, as I decided to go ahead and do it anyways. It's a great topic to start up my "Tutorials" section in the forums with. :icon_cheesygrin:
http://adversity.gameover.com/forum/show...php?tid=30

Also, another thing you can try. Do you happen to have an older computer with a spare hard drive laying around? You can always try to put that in to see if that works better for you.


Thanks for replying to me death count,

Well, I think for now I'll try reinstalling windows as a clean install. The reason is, I'm a poor college freshmen and I don't have money to purchase another HD. I've applied to tons of jobs, but no one wants to hire me. lol.:icon_cry2:

But tell me, if I can't even get past the windows loading screen, how can I back up my data using an external HD? My sister has one I can borrow. Because I'm pretty sure that doing a clean install would basically reformat and remove all of my previous files on my HD, correct?

and hahahah I have tons of old HDs....but I think the biggest one is about 16GBs or so. My music folder is (or maybe was :icon_cry2: ) 32 gbs. Soo....I don't think they're gonna cut it.

Actually, now that I think about it, I'm thinking maybe I WILL buy a new HD. Cause honestly, while it might be expensive, I really don't want to take the chance that while working on a 10 page paper, my HD suddenly decides to quit on me...and well, my inner hulk will come out and blood will be everywhere...lol..

I'm just angry that my computer isn't even a year old and already the HD is failing.

Oh, and thanks for that tutorial. I will put it to use!

cheers,

Jorge
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10-08-2008, 02:32 PM
Post: #6
So does anybody have suggestions as to how I can back up my date when I can't even load windows? I'm itching to get my computer up and running. Not having a computer and attending college is horrible, and on top of that, I miss hearing the screams of my unsuspecting victims as I stab their backs...
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10-08-2008, 08:24 PM
Post: #7
Willis,

Sorry for not getting to your post sooner.

For backing up your data, I would temporarily install one of those old hard drives you have laying around and install windows on it, while leaving in your old one. This will allow you to boot into your new windows installation while maintaining access to your old files on your broken hard drive. At this point you should move all the data you want onto an external drive.

Also, if you were planning on getting a new drive, you could also install windows on it when you get it, while leaving your old one plugged in.

Let me know how it goes... looking forward to seeing you playing some TF2.
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10-09-2008, 09:56 PM
Post: #8
(10-08-2008 08:24 PM)DeathCount Wrote:  Willis,

Sorry for not getting to your post sooner.

For backing up your data, I would temporarily install one of those old hard drives you have laying around and install windows on it, while leaving in your old one. This will allow you to boot into your new windows installation while maintaining access to your old files on your broken hard drive. At this point you should move all the data you want onto an external drive.

Also, if you were planning on getting a new drive, you could also install windows on it when you get it, while leaving your old one plugged in.

Let me know how it goes... looking forward to seeing you playing some TF2.

Deathcount, don't worry about it man. I really appreciate your replies.

Well, I am all giddy today. haha, for some reason, I decided to turn on my computer, and it worked! Of course, it's still super slow, took forever to boot up, and TF2 was laggy as usual.
buttttt....it just occurred to me to speak with a Dell representative online, and it turns out my computer is still under warranty.

So what does this mean?
Basically a technician is coming over my house soon to replace my HD.

For free.

Freakin' awesome.

Deathcount....I WILL see you in TF2...

watch your back.....Smiling

P.S. Add me on steam!
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11-24-2009, 03:37 AM
Post: #9
Go in control panel .and simply delete your account and now create the new account.
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