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Need some advice on computer problems.

crukks

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#1
Ok I built my own computer about a year back and ever since I've been having trouble with it. After about three weeks the computer basically had a random crash unable to run so I reformatted it ran for about another three weeks and messed up again rinse and repeat longest I've gotten it to run is two months. Last couple of days it seems that it has gotten a lot worse basically reformatted about 5 times with two different windows discs. In fact yesterday I reformatted, downloaded all the windows updates, went to bed, woke up, went to download avg, and got blue screen. Basically I'm trying to figure out what the problem is.

I think I've narrowed it down to the hard drive or my RAM. Common symptoms are random blue screens, webpages coming up as code, pictures loading weird (like part of the picture will be a big swash of purple or an assortment of pixelated colors), Games glitching, download files being corrupt, programs installing very slowly and other things. I'm running memtestx86 on it right now it's on its third pass and only found one error so I'm pretty sure it's the hard drive. I want some more opinions before i go out and buy a new hard drive especially with them being expensive now.

In the computer I have
AMD Phenom 2 processor
MSI 760GM-P23 motherboard
4 gigs dual channel Corsair Ram
Sapphire Radeon 5770 Video Card
Western digital 500 gb hard drive
750 watt coolmax power supply

Would really appreciate it if I could get another opinion.
 
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#2
well yeah it does seem hard drive from the info provided.
use hd tune. that should tell you for sure.
you have two sticks of ram? both are recognized? test each chip individually in each slot. if it doesn't seem to matter which chip or slot, chances are very good it's the hard drive.

Welcome to TPU! copy your info into System Specs in your profile! :)
 
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#3
Run HDtune (free version) on you hard drive. but most likely that the problem. You can also test your memory with Memtest86 as suggested above

You didn't list your OS
 
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#4
Id try a different hard drive if you have one and see if the same thing happens.

Or if you dont you may want to try a linux live disc (they are free to download, just burn the iso on a dvd then boot your pc) or similar, this doesnt use the hard drive so you will be able to see if it is really the hard drive that is causing you the trouble. If you still get problems even with the live disc, then it is likely something else, such as graphics card or ram thats the problem.
 

crukks

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#5
thanks for the advice trying hdtune now

os changes between windows pro and home
 
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#6
1st hard drive, then make sure your ram is at the proper speed and timings.
 
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#7
thanks for the advice trying hdtune now

os changes between windows pro and home
XP or 7 ? Why the switching back and forth? And are they legit? Not that I care it just may be part of the problem if there cracked. If HDtune doesn't finish then the drive is bad. If it does finish check the health tab
 

crukks

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#8
windows 7 They are both legitimate copies, got one free from college, reason i change is because i was checking which if it was one of the copies causing it to have problems.
 

crukks

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#10
checked ram speed it's running at the speed it's supposed to and so is the video card damn this is frustrating me

edit: ya that's three posts in a row when there's and edit option i feel dumb

edit2: ok checked video card again its running at 156 core and 300 memory when its supposed to run 850 core and 4800 memory could this be part of the problem or is it just because it doesn't need the power?
 
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#11
no that's normal. it still sounds like the hdd but without hdtune saying so it's not definite, thing is other than that i don't know, sata ports maybe? hdtune should have thrown an error for that too though.
 

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#12
I'm running memtestx86 on it right now it's on its third pass and only found one error
Even one error is bad. I would get the ram running without errors before I went looking into the hard drive personally.
 

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#13
Even one error is bad. I would get the ram running without errors before I went looking into the hard drive personally.
Exactly. Test those sticks individually. When you find out which stick is throwing errors, take it out and see is you are having the same issues with the one good stick. You really need a methodical way of ruling things out, and this is the first step, since you obviously have a dying stick. Also, next time you BSOD, you should try to make note of the type of error. That info can help narrow the issue too.
 
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#14
as previously mentioned i would try to resolve the error in the RAM first like sneekypeet said, one error is still one more problem, it may even be that simple error is the whole cause of the systems instability. The harddrive is also the prime suspect as you thought, if possible borrow a harddrive and try it out if its not check your ram
 
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#15
for it to run windows at all he really had to hook most of the important stuff up right, at least what we're dealing with imo. it is much more likely a parts defect.
as sneek, paulie and i mentioned, check each stick of ram individually to make sure that's not the issue before you go any further.
 
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#16
Hi,

I am also suspecting the power supply (besides the ram), the Coolmax 750W. I don't know what exact model you are using, but Coolmax is not well-known for good quality PSUs, especially when they labeled most (if not all) of their PSUs with higher wattage's than the actual units can cope: http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/Coolmax-CUL-750B-750-W-Power-Supply-Review/977/7

More evidence in the same review: http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/Coolmax-CUL-750B-750-W-Power-Supply-Review/977/8

So try again with an other better quality PSU.
 
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#17
for it to run windows at all he really had to hook most of the important stuff up right, at least what we're dealing with imo. it is much more likely a parts defect.
as sneek, paulie and i mentioned, check each stick of ram individually to make sure that's not the issue before you go any further.
yeah good point :laugh: shall re edit that part out then ;), i agree with ya's though the ram sounds possible culprit especially with the fact he has found an error in it somewhere
 

crukks

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#18
ok found one of the problems i was having (online photos being messed up) tried with both ram sticks one at a time and photo was still corrupted both times (checked with my other comp the photo wasn't just messed up on the site).

is there a way i can test how much my computer needs power wise in order to run correctly besides adding up how much power it needs for the individual pieces?

edit: ripped an old hard drive out of a computer installing windows 7 now hope this works
 
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#19
Download Linux Mint and run it from your dvd just to see if its software or hardware
 

crukks

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#20
working well so far I've installed all of my updates, drivers, and avg it seems as if it's going well.