BSOD seemingly no matter what!

August 23, 2011 at 18:19:37
Specs: Windows 7
I'm at my wit's end here.
So I've had a computer now, for about two years. I use it to do schoolwork, play tf2, post on a forum, nothing major.

But I swear, it's like whatever I use with the computer only has a short amount of life before failing.
I got the computer from a more savvy friend. He constructed it from a lot of spare parts, but I know he knew what he was doing, as he'd been working at a computer repair shop for multiple years at the time.
Only a few months after receiving the computer, I started having problems, used Google, and learned the problem was one of the RAM sticks had failed. I found the defective one, took it out, and thought nothing of it.

Since the two years have passed, I have had the power supply explode, installed a new fan since the computer ended up overheating, lost the use of a usb port, ended up losing usb devices any time I turned off the computer and left them attached, took out another ram stick, and now I'm getting hard disk problems.
Each time I started up my computer it's a crap shoot. When it's working, there's about a 1/4th of a chance it won't boot up, and I have to spend at least an hour getting it working again, by unplugging everything but the keyboard, or enabling bios settings, or using chkdsk.
Speaking of chkdsk, the damn thing is detecting tons of errors constantly. No matter how many times it fixes it, it comes up with new ones the next time.

Right now I've got very little money. Fortunately I won a 70 dollar external hard drive in a silent auction. The plan was to attach it to my computer, make it bootable, and wipe my hard drive clean. I only paid 40 bucks for it as opposed to 70, but it was still pretty aggravating to see it fail on the first try. I got an I/O device communication error, and it wasn't working with any other computers, either.

Just a day ago I discovered a new error. I'm now blue-screening, due to either a bad boot header pool or a irql neither-greater-or-less error. Now it's impossible to start up the computer.

By using another site, I was able to determine the culprit behind my failing parts was my Ultra Lifetime series PSU. I had gotten the same kind after the first exploded, since at the time I was unfamiliar with PSUs and wanted something I knew was appropriate for the computer. However, I'm still unable to recover my computer. I even tried using another hard drive, and yet I still get the same blue screen! I have two sticks of RAM, and have tried to see if either is corrupt. I took one out, and it behaved normally. I put the first one back in and took the second out, and this time the computer just freezes before giving me a blue screen.
What on earth is malfunctioning? Everything?

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August 23, 2011 at 19:14:43
Dunno if it was junk to begin with.

Might set bios settings to fail safe or default. He may have them set to over clock.

I'd run memtest first then move on to hard drive diags. Get ultimate boot cd if you don't have suite.

In some cases cheap ide cables can cause this or any sort of bad connection be it component or motherboard on internal lans.

Temperatures might need to be looked at too. Some bios's have health screen to view some numbers.

1/3 of highway deaths are caused by drunks. The rest are by people who can't drive any better than a drunk.

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August 23, 2011 at 19:36:09
I had set it to fail-safe some time ago, sorry, I should have specified!

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August 24, 2011 at 08:56:15
From your description of the problems, I would say your "savy friend" isn't so savy. Buy a new (or decent/used) computer. The one you have is a lost cause.

BTW, how to do "win" a $70 external HDD & end up paying $40?

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August 24, 2011 at 12:19:17
It was a silent auction!
A few more details:
for a while before the crash, I noticed the computer getting pretty warm when I started using it, so I installed a program to monitor the temperature. It does easily overheat, I ended up moving it to a less enclosed area and that helped. Still, I'm not sure that should have been an issue on a healthy computer.

I'm considering salvaging what I can from the old computer. Is it generally cheaper to buy computer parts and assemble it, or get a new one? I've taken apart and rebuilt this one so many times I could do it in my sleep.

Luckily I had run the memtest before crashing early enough to make this a difficulty. Oddly enough, no problems were detected. I'm not sure how to use a hard-drive diagnostic, I'm afraid. Can it be accessed during boot up?

Anyway, should I purchase a new IDE cable first, or is it a bit too early to tell?

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August 24, 2011 at 13:37:49
Ultimate boot cd or the OEM disk is easy to run.

1/3 of highway deaths are caused by drunks. The rest are by people who can't drive any better than a drunk.

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August 24, 2011 at 20:56:48
Hard drive utility can be downloaded from the hard drive manufacturer of the drive you have and you just burn a bootable CD like you did for Memtest and boot to it.
If I were you I would carefully research all new components from a reputable source like Newegg or TigerDirect and stay away from auctions so you get first run merchandise and not seconds, plus you get the option or returning defectives within 30 days to them instead of the manufacturer which you would otherwise. By starting with a clean slate you know that your choices are the best you can afford instead of purchasing one component so you can still use it with some older style part you still want to use therefore making bad compromises. I have had some good results with Gigabyte motherboards, even their very reasonable ones, just do the research first and refine your choices as you go.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.

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August 25, 2011 at 13:11:47
If you can't get this one stable then buy a pre-made computer from a large trusted company that has warranty and service.

1/3 of highway deaths are caused by drunks. The rest are by people who can't drive any better than a drunk.

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