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23 October 2007 @ 07:23 pm
My computer is extremely dead  
So for the past few days my computer's had a little trouble booting up. I'd have to restart it because it wouldn't get past loading Vista. Yesterday, though, the progress bar simply froze. I came back a few hours later (after class) and it was still there, frozen.

Vista's repair DVD didn't detect any problems. Scandisk didn't detect anything, either. So I decided I'd try reinstalling. Worked for two reboots, and then it froze on the third one. Maybe some hardware components were the problem. I took out a wireless card and sound card I don't use anymore, and it worked once, but then no more.

So then I decided to install Vista on another disk, assuming the first disk was busted. Worked for a few times, and then it locked up. Okay, maybe it was something else on the IDE chain - I removed every IDE device, including CD drives, and unplugged all USB devices, and still - even after running on a disk I had put inside the computer just to install Vista, it would still hang after a few initial reboots.

Safe mode works most of the time. I just don't know what in safe mode makes it work, while booting up normally doesn't.

So I'm lost. I don't know what's causing the problem. If it's nothing IDE-related, and it's not the disk that's in there, then the only things I can think of are RAM (which I memtested), my video card (which I uninstalled drivers for to disable video acceleration - no luck), or my motherboard. No idea.

This really sucks. I've always been able to pinpoint the problem, but I'm really out of luck this time. I don't know what to do. I don't want to buy new RAM or a new motherboard because they might be perfectly fine. Maybe I should just install Ubuntu on my computer and say farewell to my days as a Windows user (and as a computer gamer and web designer - HAHA FAT CHANCE) forever?

edit fixed (for now!) Thanks hatchling!! HAHAHA DISREGARD THAT, I SUCK COCKS
Music: John Coulton - Still Alive
kat: deathhatchling on October 24th, 2007 02:49 am (UTC)
Sucks. My first instinct is RAM. Do you have 2 separate sticks, so you can pull them out one at a time? Or a friend whose RAM you can borrow for an afternoon?

I hesitate to say mobo because of the symptoms. Does it have any onboard video, so you can pull out the card?

And have you taken a good can of air to it all? could be something overheating.

Good luck :(
Jeffrey Carl Fadenjeffreyatw on October 24th, 2007 02:52 am (UTC)
Yeah, first thing I did was spray the hell out of everything. There was a considerable amount of dust, but I doubt that that's the problem...

Testing each stick of RAM separately might be a good idea. I'll probably do that now.

It doesn't have onboard video. In the times that Vista works (right after installing and one or two reboots afterwards), installing NVIDIA's latest drivers works fine. Booting Vista up at low graphics mode does not help, though.
Jeffrey Carl Fadenjeffreyatw on October 24th, 2007 03:02 am (UTC)
Hot dangety digg, I think the RAM might have been the problem. Took out a stick and there were some major bunnies on the pins. Now let's see if it was just dust and not a busted stick...
kat: deathhatchling on October 24th, 2007 03:40 am (UTC)

At least RAM is just about the easiest hardware to deal with :)
Jeffrey Carl Fadenjeffreyatw on October 24th, 2007 03:41 am (UTC)
Yeah, thanks a ton for the thought. I didn't even consider testing one stick at a time.
kathatchling on October 24th, 2007 03:56 am (UTC)
Anytime :)
(Deleted comment)
Jeffrey Carl Fadenjeffreyatw on October 24th, 2007 03:18 am (UTC)
Ooh, you know, that happened to me too when I didn't install my mobo properly - forgot to use those raised screws that came with it. Had to get a new mobo because of it, because it did indeed short out.
שירן shiranne シラーン 冉施安gogalucky on October 24th, 2007 04:20 am (UTC)
so that's where you went! :)
Same story, different iteration.soygirl on October 24th, 2007 05:55 am (UTC)
You know what I'm going to say so I'm not going to say it. But Leopard comes out on Friday... That's all.

I don't know what to suggest because it sounds like you did all the right things to me... and I have zero Vista experience... I wish you luck though. :[
Jeffrey Carl Fadenjeffreyatw on October 24th, 2007 06:38 am (UTC)
I'd love to buy a Mac, I really would. But I don't gots that cash.

I'd like to think that my next computer will be a Mac, but then again, I've never really had a "next computer" since I had it built in 2003. Sure, I've replaced almost all of the components, but only when I've needed to. It's all just cheaper and more convenient... and I really don't have any specific gripes about Windows besides this whole not especially working with my hardware thing.
seth_xseth_x on October 29th, 2007 12:12 am (UTC)
Ha! It took me 3 days, and my wireless network card doesnt work anymore (I have to use my laptop as a bridge for my desktop), but I finally got my comp functional again! Beat that!

Also, if you want to get a Mac for the reason that 'everything will be fine' with your next comp, you could get a Dell instead. From what I hear, they have awesome tech support.
Jeffrey Carl Fadenjeffreyatw on October 29th, 2007 12:48 am (UTC)
I've got a Dell laptop. They're great, definitely. But I think I'll always have a home-built machine as my desktop, since it's just more economically feasible. As for the next laptop, it'll be a Mac just because it's a great PC with a great OS. Apple's tech support is pretty great, too.