Trouble loading os

Alienware / M9700
March 28, 2009 at 14:04:58
Specs: Windows XP, amd turion 2.4 ghz/2 gigs ram
I need help in the worst way. Recently I started getting to blue screen of death and my computer would reboot. It would start and run fine for a little while and then crash again. It progressively got worse and worse until I couldn't load a OS or even reinstall. I'm new to this so take it easy on me. Thanks.

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#1
March 28, 2009 at 14:52:41
Basically you need to consider a way to recover any data before you go to the next step. I use live cd's or bootable usb to access data.

Then you have to locate your original disks or read doc's to find out how to recover your computer.

Might have to diag hardware issues if it isn't software. Like powersupply or ram or what not.


If you can't do all of that maybe a friend or neighbor might help otherwise you need a tech.

"Best Practices", Event viewer, host file, perfmon, antivirus, anti-spyware, Live CD's, backups, are in my top 10


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#2
March 28, 2009 at 15:12:07
Im not worried about recovering any data. I would just like to be able to install an os.
I recently bought a new hard drive. The new one is a samsumg 320 gig. The old one is a fujitsu 80 gig. I had vista installed on the 320 and xp installed on the 80. During startup I would just choose which hard drive to boot from. I use the xp for games and the vista for everything else.
I also recenty upgraded my ram. From 1g to 2g. The ram is PNY.
Also just upgraded the CPU from 1.8ghz to 2.4ghz.
I was reading a article on the web and I noticed a few people left messages that said they were getting the blue screen after visiting the same page. Then it started happening to me.
I would like to find out if this is a virus or worm or if some of the upgrades I have recently made is the problem. Thanks.

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#3
March 28, 2009 at 15:47:17
Watch the POST screens at start up to verify that all the drives are being properly identified by both model and FULL capacity. If your hard drive is only showing as 127GB or so then that is a problem.

Post back with results. If you don't see any POST screens then boot into the BIOS (setup) and disable fast boot and any logos.


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Related Solutions

#4
March 28, 2009 at 18:16:08
I took it to a technician and he told me that it is a issue with the RAM. He says the PNY I put in it is causing it. Does this sound legit?
I am going to go with the Ram he recommended but I am going to have to wait for it to be delivered.
Does this sound like what the problem could be?

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#5
March 28, 2009 at 18:36:48
No, that doesn't sound right. RAM can cause BSODs all right but not the other symptoms.

If your computer is not 48 bit LBA compliant and you installed a 320GB hard drive eventually the drive will become corrupted and the symptoms you are experiencing will happen. Look at the link below for more info on 48 bit LBA compliance.

http://www.48bitlba.com/index.htm


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#6
March 28, 2009 at 21:10:00
Ok, like I said, Im new to this and you are going to have to let me catch up.
OtheHill, are you basically saying that the hard drive is too big and my computer cant handle it?
How do I find out if my comp is 48 bit LBA compliant?
I have tried taking out the 80 gig and booting with just the 320 and vice versa.
I will be here all night checking and I really thank all for your help. I dont want to pay this tech if he doesnt know what the hell he is talking about and hell, I would be willing to pay anyone who can help me get my baby back. Thanks to all.

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#7
March 29, 2009 at 07:59:55
I am saying that MIGHT be the problem. You need to watch the POST screens to find out. If the drive is not reported as a 320GB then your computer or version of WinXP is not 48 bit LBA compliant. I don't know if that is the case or not.

The reason to suspect this is your problems started AFTER changing the drive out.


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#8
March 29, 2009 at 10:43:51
It reads it in the post screens and says 320 and I didnt see any other problems in there.
Even if that is the problem shouldnt I be able to boot from the 80?

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#9
March 29, 2009 at 10:52:56
If the full capacity is showing then the computer IS 48 bit LBA compiant and my thoughts above do NOT apply.

What service pack is installed with your WinXP?

I would recommend you download and run a memory tester. The link below has a number of different files. The iso file can be burned to a CDR and run from the bootup. If the memory worked fine when you first installed it and now you have problems the contacts may be oxidized. Snapping the sticks in and out 4 or 5 times should burnish the contacts.

The issues you are having may have nothing to do with your RAM but you can determine that by running memtest86+.

http://www.memtest.org/


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#10
March 29, 2009 at 12:25:46
I had service pack 3 for xp and service pack 1 for vista.
I dont think the contacts are oxidized. I have pulled them a couple of times already just to inspect them and they looked fine.
I took it to the tech on Fri. and he kept it over night. He wiped both drives. The 80 went smooth but the 320 kept hanging up. Finally, after several tries it wiped.
Still nothing would load. I got the computer back yesterday and just waiting on the new ram now.
I will try running the memory tester but when I put either vista or xp disk in it wont even read that. Tried putting in the alienware respawn and it wont read that. Before you suggest that it is the cd drive, I have an external dvd drive and it wont read off of that either.

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#11
March 29, 2009 at 14:03:53
Then it might be incompatible or defective RAM. FYI, that PNY RAM should have a lifetime warranty on it.

Check the POST screens to see if the RAM is being properly configured.


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#12
April 1, 2009 at 10:46:54
Ok, just installed the new ram and I have xp up and running. So that seems to be what the problem was. But now I have a new one that I find really interesting and confusing.
I installed xp on the 80. No problems there. With trying to install vista on the 320 it doesnt even show up when trying to install. I have formatted the 320 several times now. And in xp it shows the drive as only 127. How do I get it to read the 320?

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#13
April 1, 2009 at 11:50:40
Did you read #7 response? You evidently don't have any service packs installed on the WinXP installation. Original WinXP is NOT 48 bit LBA Compliant. Install SP3 and the full capacity should show in WinXP.

Vista should install showing the full capacity as Vista IS 48 bit LBA compliant. If you install Vista without installing any service packs in WinXP and you attempt to access the Vista drive data corruption could result.


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#14
April 1, 2009 at 14:13:28
I hate to say it but the first thing I did was download all the updates for xp. Sp 2 and 3 are installed. I dont understand.

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#15
April 1, 2009 at 14:25:49
Did you try to partition the 320GB in WinXP BEFORE downloading the service packs.

Once a partition is made it won't change. Look in Disk Management at the drive to see what the total capacity is. If only 127GB then you may be mistaken about how the drive shows in the POST screens.

BTW, You don't need to install any service pack except SP3. It is cumulative.


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#16
April 1, 2009 at 16:53:00
Once again, thank you so much for trying to help me. The reason Im so confused is because it shows the 320 in bios. Im not mistaken about it reading it and showing 320 in the post screens. Ive tried taking out the 80 and setting it in bios so it boots from the 320 but it still doesnt show it. Im losing it.

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#17
April 6, 2009 at 18:07:24
Thanks for all your help OtheHill. I have everything up and running now. It was just a couple of files that needed to be deleted on the 320. I feel like an idiot.
Wanna help me with my sound now?

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#18
April 6, 2009 at 20:13:27
Install all the drivers for the motherboard. Including the chipset, sound, LAN, video, etc.

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#19
April 6, 2009 at 20:50:47
For future reference, the reason why Disk Management was showing the drive as 137GB after all the updates were installed is because the XP CD you have was the original version of XP and not a version with any of the service packs. It's not just that the original version of XP can see a maximum hard drive capacity of 137GB, but it's also the XP Setup program on the CD as well.

WinSimple Software


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#20
April 6, 2009 at 21:13:16
I have installed all drivers, including sound. I can get sound with the headphone jack. But the internal speakers on the laptop itself do not work. And you should know that I have never been able to get them to work.
Any suggestions?

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#21
April 7, 2009 at 05:49:03
I would guess that you have the speakers turned off. I don't use laptops so I am not up to speed on the exclusive laptop controls. That said, I am pretty sure there is a way to turn off the internal speakers so you don't disturb others in a public environment.

Try to find out in your manual. Probably an Fn combination.


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