|State the make and model of your brand name system, or if it is a generic system, the make and model of the desktop mboard. |
The specific brand name system model is usually on a label on the outside of thecase somewhere, or it can be determined by going to the brand name's web site.
The model of the mboard in a generic system is usually printed in obvious larger characters on the surface of the mboard, often between the card slots.
"OK, here is what is going on. First of all WinXP doesn't natively support SATA drives. Therefore you need to supply SATA drivers at startup."
You only need to supply the SATA controller drivers for the mboard when you are booting from a regular XP CD and the mboard's bios Setup has the SATA controllers set to SATA or AHCI or RAID (SATA or AHCI RAID) mode.
If you go into the bios Setup and set the SATA controllers to IDE compatible mode or similar, save settings, the regular XP CD will then be able to "see" all SATA drives (as IDE compatible drives).
If you then choose to run Setup and load Windows from scratch, .....
(the RAID array, if you're using one - SATA or AHCI RAID - must already be setup BEFORE you install Windows. In that case you MUST supply supply SATA controller drivers at the beginning of Setup by pressing F6, and have the mboard's bios Setup SATA controllers set to RAID (SATA or AHCI RAID) mode.).
Whenever you load Windows from a regular Windows CD (or DVD) from scratch, after Setup is finished you must load the drivers for the mboard, particularly the main chipset drivers, in order for Windows to have the proper drivers for and information about your mboard hardware, including it's AGP or PCI-E, ACPI, USB 2.0 if it has it, and hard drive controller support. If you have a generic system and have the CD that came with the mboard, all the necessary drivers are on it. If you load drivers from the web, brand name system builders and mboard makers often DO NOT have the main chipset drivers listed in the downloads for your model - in that case you must go to the maker of the main chipset's web site, get the drivers, and load them.
After the drivers for the SATA controllers have been installed, If you go into the bios Setup and set the SATA controllers to SATA or AHCI mode or similar, save settings, then the SATA hard drives will then be able to achieve their full rated max data burst speed - 300mb/sec - instead of that being limited to the max IDE speed - 133mb/sec.
(A RAID array must already be setup BEFORE you install Windows).
"Second, if Windows is only seeing 130GB of your large drives your WinXP is either Original WinXP (no service packs), or your computer BIOS is NOT 48 bit LBA compliant"
If you could see the hard drives previously as their full 500gb size on the same computer, the mboard's bios is 48 bit complaint - your problem is the XP CD has no SP updates at all.
The original XP CD has SP3 or SP3 printed on it if it includes SP2 or SP3 updates. If it has nothing about SP printed on it is either the original version of XP that has no SP updates, or it has SP1 updates included. If the CD recognizes hard drives larger than 128gb as about 128gb, the CD has no SP1 updates included
It is not recommended you run Setup or do anything to the data on the hard drive in that case. What the CD detects when the drive can't be seen as it's full size is what it sees when Setup can detect the full size.
If you can't borrow an XP CD that has at least SP1 updates included on it, you can make yourself a"slipstreamed" burned disk, preferably a CD-R, that has the data contents of your XP CD with the SP3 updates integrated into it, and, optionally, the SATA controller drivers for your mboard integrated into it, and use that to repair or install Windows. You use the same Product Key with it.
"Today, the screen started to flash green dots occasionally and turn off and on."
"So I let it cool down and everything was fine for 10 minutes,.."
"I cleaned out my intake fan and gave the system a thorough wipe down."
Did you check to see if the cpu fan and heatsink are filthy, inside the case?
Unplug the case/power supply.
Power off your monitor.
Open up the case by removing the left panel as seen when you're looking at the front of the case.
Check all the connections of the wiring to make sure they are all the way onto their pins and into their sockets, especially the main connector from the power supply. The wires close to the mboard going into the main power connector/socket should be more or less perpendicular to the mboard surface rather than at an angle. Most mboards require an additional connector from the PS be connected to a socket for power on the mboard, other than the main socket. Make sure all cards in slots are all the way down in their slots.
Check your SATA data cables. The connector on each end should "latch" into the socket on the drive and on the mboard, or on the drive controller card - it should not move when you merely brush your hand against it near the socket - if it does, mere vibration can cause a poor connection of it - use another SATA data cable that does "latch", or tape the connector in place.
(There is a slight projection or bump on one side of the outside of the connector that "latches" it into the socket - it's easily broken off or damaged)
The same thing applies for the SATA power connection.
While you're in there, if the cpu fan/heatsink has mung (dust, lint, etc.) on it, clean it off, but DO NOT use a vaccuum cleaner to do that (they produce a tremendous amount of static electricity when running, and anything connected to them can discharge that to your components) - use canned air, or an air nozzle if you have access to an air compressor, or an artist's brush that can be used in small spaces, etc. It may be difficult to clean the top of the heatsink under the cpu fan - the most likely place to have mung on it - and the bottom side of the cpu fan blades unless you remove the fan. If you have a case fan, clean that too if it needs it.
With the cover still off, restore the AC power, start the computer and make sure the cpu fan spins
- if it doesn't spin, if you're sure the power supply is working okay, don't use the computer until you have found out why it doesn't spin (see next below).
- if it doesn't spin, if you're sure the power supply is working okay, don't use the computer until you have replaced it.
If it spins too slowly, and/or if it makes rattling or screeching noises, most likely to be noticed when the computer has cooled to room temp, has not been used for a while, and then is started up, the cpu fan's bearings are failing - replace it as soon as you can.
There's usually nothing wrong with the processor - cpu - unless the cpu fan failed.
If the cpu fan does not spin,
- if it's blade moves easily when you try to spin it with your finger, there may be nothing wrong with it. Try removing it and connecting it to another desktop mboard's 3 pin header for a case or power supply fan - if it spins, your processor is probably okay - if it doesn't spin your processor MAY be damaged.
- if the cpu fan is difficult or impossible to spin when you try to spin it with your finger, your processor is probably burnt out.
Your symptoms can also be caused by a failing power supply.
Failing power supplies are common and can cause your symptoms.
Check your PS.
They often partially work, fans and hard drives may spin, leds may come on, yet you may get no video and the mboard will not boot all the way.
See response 4 in this:
If it is failing, you can usually replace it with any decent standard sized standard ATX PS with the same capacity or greater.
Standard (PS/2) power supply size - 86mm high, 150mm wide, 140mm deep, or 3 3/8" h x 5 7/8" w x 5 1/2" d , or very close to that, though the depth can be more or less for some PSs.
Don't buy an el-cheapo PS.
See response 3 in this:
We are seeing this problem often lately - someone has built a new system or has upgraded their video card, and the power supply may not be able to handle the load or the additional load.
Your power supply must have at least the minimum capacity required to support a system with the graphics card you are using installed, or the max graphics card you might install in the future.
(Onboard video - video built into the mboard - IS NOT A CARD!)
You can go to the video card maker's web site and look up the specs for the model - often under system requirements - the minimum PS wattage, and, more important, the minimum amperage the PS must supply at 12v is stated. If you don't find that, any card with the same video chipset including any letters after the model number has very similar minimum PS requirements.
Some power supplies have more than one +12v amperage rating - in that case you add the rated max amperages to determine the total +12v amperage rating.
A video card that requires more PS capacity than you system has often works for a while anyway, but the PS is overloaded 100% of the time and is eventually damaged and fails.
"They both went out at almost the exact same time, which is weird. "
It is extremely unlikely two hard drives would fail at the same time.
Sometimes if one drive is failing, another one connected to the same drive controller won't work properly either.
In that case, try disconnect the data cata cable to the drive that seems to be malfunctioning.
Check your hard drive with the manufacturer's diagnostics.
See the latter part of response 1 in this:
(thanks to Dan Penny for this link:)
Hard Drive Diagnostics Tools and Utilities
If you don't have a floppy drive, you can get a CD image diagnostic utility from most hard drive manufacturer's web sites, but obviously you would need to make a burned CD, preferably a CD-R for best compatibilty, on another computer if you need to.
If the hard drive itself tests okay, any data problems found can be fixed, one way or another.