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Hi everyone! This looks like a great place, many members, lots of posts, and can't wait to "dig in." But first, a problem . . .

I am a heavy user of my PC, and as of the past few months its "behavior" has been troubling. The problem is that I do not know what exactly is wrong, but that the FOOLPROOF way to fix it is to buy a new computer.

First, the basic specs:

Mobo: A7N8EX-E, ASUStek
CPU:AMD 2600+ Barton
RAM: 1 GB PC3200 DDR
Video: Radeon 9500 (formelly modded to 9700 pro)
Hard Drive: C- Fat32 (can give make) I know fat32 sux but stick with me
D- NTFS Western Digital 80GB
Then I have combo CD/RW / DVD
Windows XP

The problem is in crashing/bootups. I hear a spinning noise (if my computer is running) that I believe is my CD-ROM (might by HD too), and my computer freezes. However, the side of my case, which has a fan connected, is not completely connected. I've found that if I press the side of the case against my computer, that the CD-ROM spins back up for an unknown reason, and my computer is fine. If my computer doesn't boot, I can "press" it into position again, and the CD-ROM spins and my computer boots up.

I have reinstalled windows, and such, but I believe the problem is hardware related. I can try to give more information.

I just remembered my other problem: IE. I have version 6.

Whenever I open it from the icon, it takes a loooooongggg time for it to open completely. Even when all the text is there, it takes at least 60 seconds or more to be able to "use" the website. I can circumvent this error by opening "My Computer" and typing a web address, but this is not acceptable. I have tried to use my System Restore but it doesn't seem to be functioning.

Again, welcome, I will try to be an active poster, but if you have any idea(s) about my problems I would love to hear them!

Edit: I just remembered: When my computer starts, it says: "System completed power-on self test; computer now booting from Operating System.'

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Last Post by gerbil
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hmmm... spinning noise at boot. if ur boot order is floppy first it will give the platen a twist to check if there is a medium loaded. Some boots give the floppy drive a quick whirl anyway just to reassure themselves that they have not been passed by progress. I think the cd drive is a bit smarter.... no cd, no spin. If case manipulation has ANY effect it means it is well time to unplug the power, open her up and unplug and reseat EVERYTHING, including cards on the mobo, the RAM sticks..... A couple of times. I used to swear by spraying a very brief squirt of WD40 onto a rag n giving accessible pins etc a soft wipe and polish. You'd be surprised how oxides build up on pins, even if they look like they COULD have the thinnest of gold platings man can contrive.... Remove hopeful spiders and dust the thing - a soft makeup brush and vacuum cleaner on blow is the go. Resist using a broom cos ul knock bits awry for sure.
Course, it could be something else...
[WD40? it cleans and it protects.... i'm not talking dripping residues here.]
[your edit.... that is the sequence all boots go thru...]

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Check the BIOS settings and see if it is set to stop on all errors. There might be a sensor on the case. Some computer (dell, compaq, hp) had them and you would get a warning that the case had been removed. Set it not to halt on all errors.

Also, as stated above, reseat everything. I would rule out everything before buying a new computer if this one is fine.

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Thanks a lot guys. I will unplug everything and dust it out with rags and maybe even try WD40.

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DO NOT USE WD-40!!! This is a solvent and has NO use in a computer! What are you thinking, next you will be using duct tape to hold your case cloased.

Try what has been suggested in regards to connections, and see if you can latch the case as that seem to be one of the problems. You should also run a disk check, the sound you're hearing might well be your hdd going south.

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dcc. it's a solvent. yep, a petroleum spirit...... and duct tape keeps the world working. Vibration, dust, oxidation, grease [ur in a home, the air is laden with it as an aerosol, and it oxidises to give acids....].. all these take a toll on the electrical contact... WD40 [and i did not say to spray it on..] wiped on in the merest smear and polished off cleans and leaves penetrated residues. It dries, it works. And you won't wake up to a gluggy clay coloured pool of wires n chips. Circuit boards go thru a minor hell in manufacturing. Most households have a bit of wd40 lying around, but there are proper and better contact cleaners in the shops. We used to use freon, an it was magic, an then we'd go outside an improve our tans...

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dcc. it's a solvent. yep, a petroleum spirit...... and duct tape keeps the world working. Vibration, dust, oxidation, grease [ur in a home, the air is laden with it as an aerosol, and it oxidises to give acids....].. all these take a toll on the electrical contact... WD40 [and i did not say to spray it on..] wiped on in the merest smear and polished off cleans and leaves penetrated residues. It dries, it works. And you won't wake up to a gluggy clay coloured pool of wires n chips. Circuit boards go thru a minor hell in manufacturing. Most households have a bit of wd40 lying around, but there are proper and better contact cleaners in the shops. We used to use freon, an it was magic, an then we'd go outside an improve our tans...

WD-40 contains fish oil and will dry...in about six months.:lol:

There is a technique that Bell labratories has used for decades that works quite well, remove and reinstall the connectors, RAM, and cards several times. If for some reason you have some residue on the contacts of the RAM or cards use a pencil's eraser to clean it.

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What sorts of disc checks would you guys recommend? I also have another Hard Drive, a "better" 80 GB western digital that is right now backup. Should I try to put windows on that HD and ditch my current "C" drive?

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did u fix that case error you mentioned in your first post.... the case sensor rickdev mentioned reports to BIOS - you can disable it in there. And it does not hurt to at least unplug n replug all connections.
Disk check to run is, in your case,
chkdsk c: /f
-time it takes depends upon the number of files you have. Try very hard not to stop it prematurely, best is to not use PC while it runs. It basically checks the written disk surface by running a series of checks on each file. Of course, implied in that is a check of all the HD subsystems....
Finally, your backup drive. If C: fails checks, then why not put windows on it?. But because that disk is a single volume [D:]you will lose all your data on it, so backup to DVD first. The way to avoid that in future is to put more than one volume on a HD. I strongly recommend installing windows xp to a 6 - 8GB partition of its own.... and if you are likely to leave all temp files, folders with windows then make it 10GB. Put apps and data in other partitions - that way a format of the system volume where windows lives will not hurt your data if in the future you wish to reinstall again.

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Update: I talked to a CS major in a game clan, and from his advice I am thinking the best option (with my limited skills) would be to install XP on my "D" drive (It's actually the better HD) and boot it from that.

The basic question: is it wise to have XP on both Hard Drives? And if not, what would the best thing to do if I think my C drive is dying?

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Update: I installed windows on my "D" drive. I booted from my "D" drive. I still had crashes from "C." So I disabled "C." That solves the problem. I will get a DVD burner, try to back up the stuff from "C" sometime, and get rid of it! Thanks for all the help.

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Actually that wasn't the problem, it was a wire that went into the Hard drive that was loose. We tightened and fixed the wire, and it's fine now.

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well that's just gotta be a Yahoo!! thing, now doesn't it?
[not the website, but the original, happy cry of success]
Thanks for posting the fix...

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