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Devastation by stupidity
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  #1788573 26-May-2017 09:56
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A problem with this is that so far it is so infrequent that it is almost impossible to diagnose through a process of elimination. I have other computers but this is the main one I use for browsing. I will have to wait until it gets much worse before I can try disabling different things. I was hoping someone might recognise something from the symptoms I was describing. 

 

 





I don't think there is ever a bad time to talk about how absurd war is, how old men make decisions and young people die. - George Clooney
 


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  #1788591 26-May-2017 10:17
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Rikkitic:

 

A problem with this is that so far it is so infrequent that it is almost impossible to diagnose through a process of elimination. I have other computers but this is the main one I use for browsing. I will have to wait until it gets much worse before I can try disabling different things. I was hoping someone might recognise something from the symptoms I was describing. 

 

 

 

 

Ive had HD's(yes) , PSU, MB & RAM cause those exact symptoms .
There is no magic test for intermittent issues, intermittent hardware can sometimes pass every test you throw at it then fault again the next day
And it could be software related. If you have a spare HD, chuck that in & do a clean install to test with...and keep the Win install as clean as poss.

 

welcome to my world :-)
intermittent faults are a nightmare. Sometimes the options are : replace everything or live with it.
You can replace 1 part ,based on best guess, then may be another 2 months before the PC re-faults . Or may fault again in a hour.

 

You have to make a choice, replace everything & be done with it , or start replacing 1 part at a time (start with RAM as its cheap)
and be open minded as to what it could be. It could be the part thats least expected to cause these issues .

 

 


 
 
 
 


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  #1788604 26-May-2017 10:34
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My go to replacements for problems like that are usually PSU and ram. Swapped ram out on my misbehaving computer that always passed memtest and it became well behaved.





Richard rich.ms



Devastation by stupidity
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  #1794192 3-Jun-2017 13:02
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I decided to put off doing anything about this until it got worse. Today it suddenly got worse. This finally pushed me to take a closer look. Dust build-up is present, but not too bad since I cleaned it not long ago. But then I checked the CPU heat sink with my finger. Yikes, it was really hot. Way beyond the 50 degrees that the health sensors are reporting. Also I still don't find any kinds of error messages relating to the BSODs in the event logs, just the generic stuff about the computer not shutting down cleanly. Anyway, unless my finger sensor is way off, it looks like a thermal protection issue. I am going to do some cleaning and replace the heat sink paste and see what happens.

 

 





I don't think there is ever a bad time to talk about how absurd war is, how old men make decisions and young people die. - George Clooney
 


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  #1794200 3-Jun-2017 13:48
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If the heatsink is hot, then the thermal paste is doing its job ok. Even maxed out I never have had a heatsink itself get over slightly uncomfortable to touch when there was a working fan on it. If you are feeling it and its over 50 degrees on the heatsink then its either massivly undersized for the CPU or the fan is stuffed or something.





Richard rich.ms



Devastation by stupidity
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  #1794302 3-Jun-2017 19:05
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It gets weirder and weirder. I understand your point about the heat sink but it really was that hot, like touching an iron, and the fan did seem to be working correctly. There was dust in the flanges but they weren't blocked. This is the original heat sink and it has worked fine for years. I replaced the paste anyway and then it was cool as, but one of my two drives (the important one, naturally), had died. I don't know if this was just coincidence or not. At this stage nothing would surprise me. Anyway, there is no sign of the faulty drive in the BIOS but the computer now seems to be working fine with the other drive. Something came up so I haven't had time to pursue this further but I will look into it in the coming days.

 

 





I don't think there is ever a bad time to talk about how absurd war is, how old men make decisions and young people die. - George Clooney
 


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  #1794862 5-Jun-2017 12:30
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A failing HD can definitely cause hanging/bsod & restarts


 
 
 
 




Devastation by stupidity
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  #1795210 6-Jun-2017 10:59
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I am still going around in circles with this but feel I should post an update for anyone still following. I know a little about hardware issues but there is a lot more I don't know and I can't make sense of this at all. I seem to be getting random results. It might be a drive issue, or something in the BIOS, or one of the SATA cables or motherboard connectors. Different things keep happening but I can't find a pattern or establish cause and effect. Sometimes it works, sometimes I get different errors. Maybe it is just time for a new computer. I am going to go do something else for awhile. Thanks everyone for the tips.

 

 





I don't think there is ever a bad time to talk about how absurd war is, how old men make decisions and young people die. - George Clooney
 




Devastation by stupidity
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  #1795310 6-Jun-2017 12:40
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As often seems to happen with me, things clicked into place just after a message of despair. I went through everything methodically and finally traced the puzzling problems to apparent power connection issues. This seems to lie with the damned SATA connectors, which are definitely NOT an improvement over the good old IDE drives.

 

The issue (and my confusion) was compounded by bloody Windows and its love of cryptic error messages. I have a dual-boot system with two drives and Easy BCD, which is installed on one of the two. Initially I started getting a Windows error about Winload.exe being corrupted or missing, with repair advice which, from long Windows experience, I fortunately did not follow. In fact, one of the drives was simply missing, but of course Windows couldn't just say that.

 

When I started diagnosing by reconfiguring and switching things around, I got a variety of other confusing errors but in fact they all had to do with one drive not being in the system. Eventually while trying to figure things out in the BIOS, I realised that the reason it wasn't seeing the drive was because the drive wasn't there. There seem to be problems with multiple SATA power connectors on my computer, with only two working reliably. I had to disconnect my DVD drive and use the connector for that to finally work this out.

 

I think this is the answer, though it will take some time to be sure. 

 

 

 

 





I don't think there is ever a bad time to talk about how absurd war is, how old men make decisions and young people die. - George Clooney
 


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  #1795350 6-Jun-2017 13:15
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If possible-----I'd probably swap out the power supply (but not everyone has a couple lying around). Screen freezing and then suddenly going black/rebooting (not sure if it is rebooting as you haven't mentioned it). In my experience, would led me to thinking  MB or PS is dying.

 

Fun part or not so fun part about these dying is it can go on for months lol. With a "fix" working for a while and then something else odd happens. Although, it is hard to say with certainty ....without seeing it.




Devastation by stupidity
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  #1795351 6-Jun-2017 13:30
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Yeah there seem to be multiple issues which really complicate things. Obviously the blank screens and BSODs are not related to the connector, though maybe PSU. I think it may be time for a new pc anyway.

 

 





I don't think there is ever a bad time to talk about how absurd war is, how old men make decisions and young people die. - George Clooney
 


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  #1795558 6-Jun-2017 18:12
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The annoying thing with power supplies is that its usually capacitors, and the performance of them changes as they get hot for electorlytic ones, so things can get "fixed" just by letting the machine heat up, and then break again overnight.

 

Also the possibility of bad caps on the motherboard for its CPU power supply stage. Have a look for bulging or leaking caps there, try slightly underclocking it if you can and see if that helps - that will reduce the power draw from the CPU a little bit.





Richard rich.ms

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  #1795658 6-Jun-2017 23:24
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As I recall the first generation of sata connectors and some subsequent felt awful. The straight ones I'm talking about. Big wobbly mechanical lever in effect. The compact angled ones give me more confidence the physical properties will last.



Devastation by stupidity
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  #1796044 7-Jun-2017 16:25
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Now I screwed something up with Easy BCD. I have two drives that worked fine until I started playing around today trying to make another USB connected drive bootable. Of the two drives that matter, the first one works normally, as it did before. This is the drive with Easy BCD on it. The second drive, which booted normally until today, now gives a lengthy error dialogue. Mainly it says that a recent change is signed incorrectly or damaged. It also says that Windows cannot verify the digital signature for Winload.exe in the sys32 folder. It says I should run the repair function from the Windows installation DVD but from many very bad past experiences I have no confidence in this at all. Also, if I boot directly from this drive it works normally. I only get the error with both drives in the system. I am as certain as I can be that this problem is related to whatever I did with Easy BCD and not a virus that just happened to jump into my system at the same moment. Can anyone tell me what is going on here?

 

 





I don't think there is ever a bad time to talk about how absurd war is, how old men make decisions and young people die. - George Clooney
 




Devastation by stupidity
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  #1798008 11-Jun-2017 13:48
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I feel I should wrap this up. Everything seems to be working correctly again, but I still cannot be 100% certain what was actually going on. There was definitely a problem with the SATA connectors. Possibly this could have been related to the freezing and BSODs. Since changing the drive cables that has no longer occurred. Since cleaning everything there has been no overheating. While trying to understand things, I did something that affected the boot procedure. At first this didn't make sense either, but eventually I discovered that the partition type of one drive had somehow been changed to OEM. I changed it back to normal and all other problems disappeared. Everything has been working correctly for a couple days now with no other issues. Hopefully they won't return.

 

Again my thanks to everyone who tried to help with this. If there are other problems in the future at least I will know where to start looking.

 

 





I don't think there is ever a bad time to talk about how absurd war is, how old men make decisions and young people die. - George Clooney
 


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