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Strange Computer Issues

Peeps ChickenPeeps Chicken Registered User regular
edited November 2007 in Help / Advice Forum
I got back from vacation Friday, turned on my computer (it had been powered down while I was gone), and piddled around for a few minutes before it spontaneously restarted. It would continuously cycle through getting to the Windows XP logo then restarting.

I had two hard drives in the computer; my boot drive was a SATA drive, and I also had an EIDE drive for backup. When I set the computer to boot from the Windows startup disc, it only recognized the SATA drive, but I never could get it to boot to that drive.

I went out and bought a new SATA drive and reinstalled Windows to this drive. Then I tried to look at my old drives. The EIDE drive is apparently shot to hell; I can't get the computer to even recognize it. It doesn't matter if I try new EIDE cables, or if I plug it into an EIDE port I know is working (I tried unplugging my DVD-RW drive that is working and plugging in the EIDE hard drive instead, to no avail). My computer just won't recognize that drive at all.

The old SATA drive (my old boot drive) was going nuts; at first, it told me that the drive wasn't formatted. Eventually, it recognized that it was indeed formatted and let me access my files. I got an error message saying the drive was failing, so I copied all my important files to my new SATA drive.

Here are my problems:

1) I'm unsure what could cause two previously working hard drives to fail simultaneously. I'm afraid I may have just fixed the symptom instead of a larger hardware culprit.

2) Things still aren't quite right: I used to run two copies of WoW at the same time with no problems. Now, when I do it, I hear my hard drive accessing like crazy. Even worse, they play fine for 15 or 20 minutes, but then my frame rate will drop from 60 FPS down to 3-4 FPS, and the programs will eventually stop responding. Even if I can manage to tab out, my system begins running ultra slow and unresponsively. I didn't used to have this problem, so I'm afraid that indicates a larger problem somewhere in my system. The constant accessing of my hard drive made me think it might be a RAM issue, but I ran a RAM test for several hours that didn't spot any problems.

Any help/advice/suggestions?

Peeps Chicken on

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    PrimesghostPrimesghost Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    First take your old drives to a friend's and see if they will read on their system. If they do then you know it's your motherboard's disk controller. If they both still have these problems then they are both indeed shot. This kind of behavior is what hard drives do when they go seriously bad. It's odd though that they would both go bad at the same time like that. The only thing I can think of that would cause that would be a power surge. Were there any storms in your area when you were away? Maybe someone hit a power pole in your area. You might want to check your power supply and run Memtest86 for a few hours to check the memory in your system.

    Edit: Also, right-click on "My Computer" and select "Manage". Open up the event viewer and select "System". Check for any system errors when you have these severe system performance hits. Also check under "Application" to see if maybe an application is hanging up when this happens. Severe performance hits like this can be caused by your computer trying to read from a bad sector on your hard drive as well as a few other things.

    Primesghost on
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    Peeps ChickenPeeps Chicken Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    First take your old drives to a friend's and see if they will read on their system. If they do then you know it's your motherboard's disk controller. If they both still have these problems then they are both indeed shot. This kind of behavior is what hard drives do when they go seriously bad. It's odd though that they would both go bad at the same time like that. The only thing I can think of that would cause that would be a power surge. Were there any storms in your area when you were away? Maybe someone hit a power pole in your area. You might want to check your power supply and run Memtest86 for a few hours to check the memory in your system.

    My old EIDE just doesn't show up, neither on my computer nor my wife's. I was out of town, but there weren't any storms as far as I know. My power supply seems okay; I'll run memtest over night, but the memory diagnostic I ran for several hours didn't show anything.
    Edit: Also, right-click on "My Computer" and select "Manage". Open up the event viewer and select "System". Check for any system errors when you have these severe system performance hits. Also check under "Application" to see if maybe an application is hanging up when this happens. Severe performance hits like this can be caused by your computer trying to read from a bad sector on your hard drive as well as a few other things.

    There were tons of system errors from when I had the old SATA disk, saying there was a "bad block."

    I just had another one of the performance hits; there's nothing listed under "Applications." I did notice in Task Manager that I was down to about 14 megs of physical memory while it was happening. I have a 2G of memory on board and a page file set to 4G. Is it possible WoW (or my system) just isn't releasing memory, or that a memory leak could be causing this?

    EDIT: Just found this ( http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/thread.html?topicId=113942311&sid=1&pageNo=3 ). It appears there is a memory leak issue when you alt-tab in WoW. Since I'm running two clients, I'm basically alt-tabbing every few minutes, so maybe this is what's causing it?

    Peeps Chicken on
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    PrimesghostPrimesghost Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Yeah, bad blocks mean bad hard drive. It is kinda strange that they would both go out at the same time but maybe you're just lucky that way :)

    Try running just the one client and see if you have the same problems. Is your old SATA drive still hooked up in your machine?

    Primesghost on
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    Peeps ChickenPeeps Chicken Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Yeah, bad blocks mean bad hard drive. It is kinda strange that they would both go out at the same time but maybe you're just lucky that way :)

    I'd rather be lucky in that way rather than the "your entire MoBo is bad" way, so I kind of hope that's all it is. It made me realize "hey, having your important files store on two different drives on the same computer isn't the best means of backup."
    Try running just the one client and see if you have the same problems. Is your old SATA drive still hooked up in your machine?

    One client seems to be ok. The old SATA drive is sitting in a box on the floor, along with the completely dead EIDE drive.

    Thanks for the help... I'm crossing my fingers and hoping this one is solved. The drives were apparently bad, and the memory leak I'm experiencing now is apparently a known issue.

    Peeps Chicken on
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