Help with a PC... Please???!!!???

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Joined: Apr 22 2004
Posts: 379

My wife's computer has had a life of its own lately. I've copied her data to another computer, and have been trying to install XP Pro to it. It has been running just fine for ages, and decided it didn't want to work any more.

It bluescreened with an invalid configuration error, which was traced to a bad DIMM. After that was removed, its been gving random messages when starting XP stating that the /windows/system/config file is missing or corrupt.

It's a self-built PC with the following items:
- ECS K7SEM v3.0 Socket A motherboard with built-in video, sound, network and 2 DIMM slots. Video RAM is set to 8 MB.
- Athlon XP 1800 processor
- 256MB PC133 DIMM
- Agere-chipset PCI Winmodem
- Western Digital 40GB IDE hard drive
- OptiRite 48x CD-RW drive

With the exception of the modem, all items were bought new and have not given any trouble until recently. Originally it had an Intel chipset modem in it, but it is in the backup machine now.

This is the third time I have tried to fix her computer. I'm starting to think it could be the hard disk.

Anyone else have some suggestions?

Thanks ahead of time.

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Joined: Dec 20 2003
Posts: 455
Look at the capacitors on the

Look at the capacitors on the motherboard.

I have had 3 similiar vintage ecs motherboards that were for amd motehrboards that all had blown caps.

It is a very common problem and the biggest sympton are weird intermittant errors that don't seem to be caused by anyone thing.

goto www.badcaps.net and look at the pictures to get an idea of what the blown caps looks.

I repaired all 3 of my blown ecs motherboards with new caps and all 3 systems are now running very very stable whereas before, they were more unreliable than anything.

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Joined: Apr 22 2004
Posts: 379
I'll take a look at it tonight

Strangley enough, it only occurs from a cold boot. If windows is restarted without powering down entirely, it works fine.

Weird....

chrismeyer6's picture
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Joined: Jan 28 2004
Posts: 40
It may be related to the powe

It may be related to the power supply. Try swaping it with a known good one to see if it fixes the problem.

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Dr. Webster's picture
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Joined: Dec 19 2003
Posts: 1687
I'd do a thorough scan on the

I'd do a thorough scan on the hard drive. Manufacturers have diagnostic disks that you can download and boot off of to detect hard drive problems (like bad sectors, etc.). It's quite possible that a critical system file just got written to a bad sector.

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Applefritter Admin

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Joined: Apr 22 2004
Posts: 379
Dum dum dum dum.... dum!!!!

Well, I tried to power it up this evening, and while it powers up, there is no picture. While it may be related to being connected to a KVM switch, it had a picture yesterday.

Back to the drawing board...

I'll check the drive and look at the capacitors.

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Joined: Dec 20 2003
Posts: 851
Things may have been corrupte

Things may have been corrupted on the disk by that bad memory dimm. I suggest reinstalling

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Dr. Bob
Applefritter Admin

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Joined: Apr 22 2004
Posts: 379
Reinstall

Actually, it's been reinstalled several times since the DIMM was removed. I'll try another power supply this evening.