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Thread: Check disk and graphics problems

  1. #1
    Time Lord Member The_Doctor's Avatar
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    Default Check disk and graphics problems

    Hello, I am having some problems with my computer and was wondering if you guys can help.

    Problem 1:

    When I start up my computer the check disk(CHKDSK) program starts running, this started a few days ago, but I did not tell it run on start up, I thought it might be a one off error triggering it. When it gets to 98% of phase 1 of the scan the computer locks up and I have to restart the computer. I have been skipping the scan so I can use the computer. I decided to start check disk by starting it through the tools section of the hard drive properties, this also locked up when it got near the end of phase one. Then I started check disk thought MS-DOS, and again it stopped at 98%.

    Problem 2:

    Many, many graphics problems and games crashing becasue of them. Lots of coloured lines and fickering. So far I have seen them in EU3, Mount and Blade, Homeworld 2, Civ4, C&C3, and on the desktop.

    I'll get some screenshots of all these.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Backordered Member CrossLOPER's Avatar
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    Default Re: Check disk and graphics problems

    I think your graphics card is fried, dude.
    Requesting suggestions for new sig.

    -><- GOGOGO GOGOGO WINLAND WINLAND ALL HAIL TECHNOVIKING!SCHUMACHER!
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  3. #3
    Time Lord Member The_Doctor's Avatar
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    Default Re: Check disk and graphics problems

    That thought did cross my mind.






  4. #4
    Prince Louis of France (KotF) Member Ramses II CP's Avatar
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    Default Re: Check disk and graphics problems

    I wouldn't rule out a bad graphics card, but your first line has to be checking your hard drive. Step one is to immediately make a backup of any data you're afraid of losing. The very next time you boot up get anything you really want off of that HD. I'm going to assume you use a good anti-virus program and not step into that mess.

    If chkdsk is bailing out at 98% you need to try a different tool. If you know the name of the manufactorer of your HD go to their website and download their toolset, then run their checks. Here's a page that lists most of the major HD makers and their utilities:

    http://www.tacktech.com/display.cfm?ttid=287

    If you don't have that info you can try any of the freebie or trialware solutions out there for checking disk integrity.

    After you've got all your data backed up and your disk checks out, then you need to work through and weed out the possibility of bad RAM, a GPU that's going south, etc.

    Good luck!


  5. #5
    The very model of a modern Moderator Xiahou's Avatar
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    Default Re: Check disk and graphics problems

    Quote Originally Posted by Ramses II CP
    I wouldn't rule out a bad graphics card, but your first line has to be checking your hard drive. Step one is to immediately make a backup of any data you're afraid of losing. The very next time you boot up get anything you really want off of that HD. I'm going to assume you use a good anti-virus program and not step into that mess.

    Check disk running automatically on boot is a bad sign.
    "Don't believe everything you read online."
    -Abraham Lincoln

  6. #6
    Time Lord Member The_Doctor's Avatar
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    Default Re: Check disk and graphics problems

    I got the utilities program for my hard drive (made by samsung) and ran the test. Their is an error on the hard disk and it recommend that I erase the hard disk. Is there a way of fixing it without deleting everything?

  7. #7
    Boy's Guard Senior Member LeftEyeNine's Avatar
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    Default Re: Check disk and graphics problems

    The Doctor can you still access your HDD normally (browsing, copying, moving files etc.) ?

    If yes, back up now.

    If not, Get some live CD Linux distro such as Ubuntu, burn the image you download onto a CD (apparently on another machine if this is the case), and try booting your system from that CD in order to access your HDD. Linux may do wonders under such circumstances. I am thankful to that invention twice (such as for saving my 80GB big music archive).

    Don't worry, using Ubuntu is not a mess. It's clear enough with their instructions and the graphical user interface they are providing.

    Good luck.

  8. #8
    Prince Louis of France (KotF) Member Ramses II CP's Avatar
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    Default Re: Check disk and graphics problems

    I'm not sure you understand quite how serious that kind of error can be; if it's an indication of failing hardware, as seems possible, your drive is inevitably going to die and have to be replaced. You should buy another HD if you don't have a good one you can back up onto, copy over all the files you want (Usually the test software also has a drive mirroring function of some sort that you can use) and never rely on the defective drive for critical data again.

    I have literally had drives that failed on the next boot after testing. It won't necessarily wait until you reboot either, it could happen at any time. HDs are relatively inexpensive and easy to install, so don't risk your data on one that's falling apart.

    If you flat out can't replace it right now, at least find a way to make a good back-up. If you have good 'net speed there are a number of free online storage options (Like MediaFire) where you can back up your data. My experience with a drive that is going bad is that wiping it can make it last a little longer, but it's still going to die. Better to just replace it.


  9. #9
    Time Lord Member The_Doctor's Avatar
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    Default Re: Check disk and graphics problems

    I had the HUTIL(the samsung hard drive tool) program erase everything on the hard drive, there was only games and some holiday photos, which had alrealy been backed-up, so nothing important was lost. I have reinstalled windows and everything is back to normal. I ran the CHKDSK program a few times and it did not find anything wrong, however I think I will buy a second hard drive just to be on the safe side.

    The graphics problem is still there. I have tried changing the monitor and they still happen, so I think it is the graphics card that is the problem. I did all the tests on the dxdiag tool, and there where all fine. Are there any other tests that I can do?

  10. #10
    Prince Louis of France (KotF) Member Ramses II CP's Avatar
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    Default Re: Check disk and graphics problems

    That's unusual that you've had what looks like two components fail within such a short time. Is your machine plugged in to a surge suppressor? Were there any electrical storms recently that might have knocked out power?

    Do you have another monitor you can hook up to test so we can rule out damage to the cables and the monitor itself?

    Those utilities basically block out the part of the drive which was going bad, which prevents data being written where the problem is and extends the life of the drive. However, if the problem is mechanical it will spread to more sectors and this problem will crop up again, or the drive may simply die. I'm glad you didn't lose any data.


  11. #11
    Time Lord Member The_Doctor's Avatar
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    Default Re: Check disk and graphics problems

    I forgot to say that the graphics problems started months ago, and has slowly been getting worse.

    Do you have another monitor you can hook up to test so we can rule out damage to the cables and the monitor itself?
    I have arleady done that, and the problems are still happening. The GPU is a Nvidia GeForce 7900 GT. It is about a year and half old.

  12. #12
    Prince Louis of France (KotF) Member Ramses II CP's Avatar
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    Default Re: Check disk and graphics problems

    Hmmm, and after the HD utility did it's repair it had no effect on the graphical glitches, right? I know you said it's still happening, just want to make sure there isn't any noticeable difference. As I understand it it's difficult to test GPUs effectively without additional hardware, but here's a freeware app that claims to do stability testing:

    http://freestone-group.com/video-car...ility-test.htm

    I suspect that's pretty much just going to tell you what you already know, that you have graphical glitches.

    I would always also test, just because it's fairly easy and could save you a chunk of money, your RAM before buying another GPU. Switch it around, booting up between swaps, until you've given each chip a chance to be the failure point. If the problems are reproduceable without regard to those changes, it's either your motherboard or your GPU, both of which are somewhat difficult to isolate a problem with at home. I'd recommend that you try something like Ultimate Boot CD:

    http://www.ubcd4win.com/

    Which contains a laundry list of diagnostic tools, but there are no guarantees it'll be able to isolate the problem. Most likely (Say 80-90% odds) it's the GPU at that point, and if you have a local shop with a good return policy you can test that by buying a compatible GPU and installing it in your box to see if the problems continue.


  13. #13
    Time Lord Member The_Doctor's Avatar
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    Default Re: Check disk and graphics problems

    The stability test program crashes everytime I run a test. It is always a few minitues into the test and the spinning earth gets covered in graphical errors, then the computer locks up and sometimes restarts.

  14. #14
    Prince Louis of France (KotF) Member Ramses II CP's Avatar
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    Default Re: Check disk and graphics problems

    That's a pretty bad sign, eh? Had a chance to try swapping in and out your RAM? You could also run Memtest (http://hcidesign.com/memtest/download.html) just to make sure you rule out the cheaper components before buying a new GPU.

    There's still an outside chance it's just the motherboard, but I'd say if the RAM checks out that you're looking at 90%+ odds that your GPU needs to be replaced. Good luck!


  15. #15
    Time Lord Member The_Doctor's Avatar
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    Default Re: Check disk and graphics problems

    That's a pretty bad sign, eh?
    Indeed.

    I used Memtest and got 9 errors with both sets of RAM in(I have 2 sticks of RAM). So now I am testing them one at a time.

  16. #16
    Time Lord Member The_Doctor's Avatar
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    Default Re: Check disk and graphics problems

    Huuumm, the plot thickens . I tested each RAM stick by themselves and got no errors, so I put them both back in and tested it again, and got loads of errors. So I thought it might the socket on the motherboard that was broken(there are 4 of the, when you have 2 sticks of RAM you have to use socket 1 and 3 or 2 and 4). I changed the RAM sticks to the other confirguration and ran the tests again and still got loads of errors. Then I noticed something, when I had both sticks in, the program told me to have two of the program running at the same time because I was asking it to test too much RAM, but when I did this the program I started second always had the errors. So now I have one of the program running and have not found an errors. I need to test it some more before I can be shore it is not the RAM.

    I have ran the GPU stability test a few more times, while there was on one stick of RAM in, and it still failed it.

  17. #17
    Time Lord Member The_Doctor's Avatar
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    Default Re: Check disk and graphics problems

    One of the sticks of RAM is dead, I have taken it out, but the graphics errors are still happening.

    Are there any programs that test the motherboard?

  18. #18
    Prince Louis of France (KotF) Member Ramses II CP's Avatar
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    Default Re: Check disk and graphics problems

    There are applications that claim to test your motherboard for faults, but to be quite honest I doubt their reliability and their ability to pinpoint problems without additional hardware. Repair facilities use diagnostic hardware to discover problems with a motherboard. You're deep into an unusual series of failures, however, with hard drive problems, graphical problems that aren't monitor related, and bad RAM now (Which actually could cause the sort of hard drive data issues you had).

    In my opinion, which is of limited value for not having had a a hands on with the hardware of course, you need to take your machine to someone who can check it for power faults and motherboard problems in person with quality testing hardware. I wouldn't feel comfortable spending money to replace any one of those components without having a feel for the larger picture. If, for whatever reason, you don't want to go to a repair shop or don't have a reliable one nearby then I'll put this application out there as it is well reviewed and claims to test your motherboard. This is not an application I've used myself, but I hope it can help you. It's called 'HotCPU' and it does whole system and component specific stress testing, page is here:

    http://7byte.com/index.php?page=hotcpu

    download is here:

    http://www.7byte.com/hotcpu.exe

    Obviously they want you to purchase the full version, but I wouldn't recommend that. It'd be better to shop around for a good price on a system analysis at a hardware repair shop. There are still some who will do it for free and give you a report to try to entice you into paying them to fix the problems, but you may have to pay.

    I don't know how old your machine is, but at some point you might want to consider salvaging the parts you know are reliable and building a new one. Computer repair tends to be expensive for limited return, while builing a mid-range new system is relatively cheap (If you're happy with your monitor).

    Again, good luck! I'll be watching to see how things come out, or if you have any other questions I'll do my best to help.


  19. #19
    Time Lord Member The_Doctor's Avatar
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    Default Re: Check disk and graphics problems

    I took a bit of a gamble and bought a new graphics card (A Geforce 8800GT), and that solved the problem, so it was the old card that was broken.

    Thanks to everyone that helped.

  20. #20
    Prince Louis of France (KotF) Member Ramses II CP's Avatar
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    Default Re: Check disk and graphics problems

    Good to know! Keep an eye out for any creeping hard drive corruption or signs of other problems. It's unusual for so many things to have cropped up at once and it's hard to believe the graphics card was responsible for your HD problems.


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