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Screwed my PC up badly, need help please

Conall

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#1
Today I finally worked up the courage to try cleaning my main PC.
I say that because often something seems to go wrong when I do, and today, it went really, really wrong..
First I'll describe how I cleaned it. I wore rubber rain boots, touched the metal case to rid myself of static, and wore latex gloves. I used a can of compressed air, a small paintbrush, and for the huge fans on my case I used a vacuum (with a hose!) to get everything off of them.

It booted up normally, then I noticed the mouse wasn't working, and the hardware installation wizard popped up asking me to install it. The mouse was working just fine last night, and has been for a couple months.. I thought a reboot might fix it, nope. I rebooted again, this time it hung before fully loading the desktop. The desktop appeared and for a minute it appeared to be loading as usual, then stopped. Only the task manager worked at this point. I tried closing and restarting explorer.exe, but it failed to restart.

I tried looking inside to see if maybe I knocked something loose, or if anything at all looked wrong, didn't see anything.
I tried switching out my ram, since I think its been trying to go bad on me.
I tried just one stick, system locked up at the "Windows is starting up" screen.
Tried the other stick, failed to post, and restarted itself several times before hanging at a black screen.
Tried a third stick of my old ram, it got back to the desktop before hanging again.
The task manager wouldn't even load this time.

I can get into safe mode, and it works without any hanging, but it's unusually slow.
I ran spybot and avast, they found nothing.
That's everything. Does anyone have any ideas? I'm completely at a loss here..
Thanks for any help..
 
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#2
I wore rubber rain boots, touched the metal case to rid myself of static, and wore latex gloves.
Cleaning computer.... Or, inseminating horses?
Just teasing, good luck man :toast:
 

baggpipes

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#3
Not to scare you but vacuums are a big no no when cleaning out your comp... Static makers they are... But what I would do is check all the cables make sure they are snug... And when you were using the canned air did do its freeze thing when turned at an angle or upside down? could have caused condensation on your computer...
 

AsRock

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#4
You ran a chkdsk on the HDD(s) as it might of been corrupted from the static from the vacuum.

Then run a check with HDD tune see if you have any bad blocks and make sure not to pick quick scan.
http://www.hdtune.com/download.html
 

baggpipes

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#5
You ran a chkdsk on the HDD(s) as it might of been corrupted from the static from the vacuum.
Yup that a big possibilty...
 

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#6
Did you run the vacuum near the fan on your PSU?
 

Conall

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#7
The canned air did freeze, but I was careful not to hold it at an angle that would cause it to spray water.
The vacuum I used was one of those big bagless things with a long plastic hose.
The vacuum was sitting on the floor, the computer up on a table, only the hose getting close to anything. I had to use it once before last year, without any problems, and I cleaned the entire thing with it.. But maybe I just got lucky then.
I'll go and do what AsRock suggested. If the hdd is damaged, well, I guess I'll have my answer.
 

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#8
You really... really... really... do not need to "ground" yourself or rid yourself of static.

I don't see why anyone would have to. I've never had a problem where I short-circuited computer parts with my own body parts.
 
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#9
You really... really... really... do not need to "ground" yourself or rid yourself of static.

I don't see why anyone would have to. I've never had a problem where I short-circuited computer parts with my own body parts.

You really... really... really... do need to "ground" yourself or rid yourself of static.

You may have been lucky up to this point; however, if, the conditions are right you can destroy the components on a board.

Zapping a $3000USD LiteSpan card teaches the lesson of static discharge very quickly.
I, always, wore a wrist strap connected to the frame after that.
 
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#10
You really... really... really... do need to "ground" yourself or rid yourself of static.

You may have been lucky up to this point; however, if, the conditions are right you can destroy the components on a board.

Zapping a $3000USD LiteSpan card teaches the lesson of static discharge very quickly.
I, always, wore a wrist strap connected to the frame after that.
Hi

+1 95Viper, "if, the conditions are right you can destroy the components"

atb (all the best)

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#11
I think the only thing you could do is try installing a fresh copy of Windows 7/XP/Vista.
 
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#12
First of all when worried about static you want to be grounded not insulated. So the rubber is pointless. Second static elec is only a problem in dry environments. If you live in a area with high humidity then dont even worry about it. Just grab a kitchen faucet before you start. Otherwise wear a grounding strap if you in a dry area. Bare feet would be better then rubber. You want your body connected to the earth. Hence the grounding strap

Loosing a driver is normal with XP any time you disconnect a USB device and plug it back in. Just reboot or unplug and plug back in. If it doesnt, then force the driver in your hardware manager
 
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#13
If I were you, i´d try to:

1) disconnect power

2) disconnect all usb devices connected directly or via usb-hub. Espacially any self-powered usb-devices (hubs, printers, external harddisks, etc.). Those self powered usb-devices sometimes route back their electric power back through the usb into (to) the computer. In such a case your computer is still connected to an electrival power source, even if you have allready disconnected the main power line.

3) If you have any pci cards installed which are not neccessary to run the computer, you should also remove them for testing. Same procedure with any extra internal hdds, dvd-drives, etc - just let them remain disconnected. Connect only the primary hdd from which you are booting from.

4) Reset your BIOS. It depends on your mainboard (model) how you have to do such a reset. Sometimes you have to move a jumper (on your mainboard) to reset the BIOS, sometimes the BIOS has it´s own automatic recovery routine. Your Manual will tell :)

5) After that, re-connect power, monitor cable, keyboard and mouse. Just this minimum hardware setup for the first test!

6) Try to boot up your computer... It may happen that windows re-installes your usb-mouse and/or you usb-keyboard, but that´s ok.


Don´t know if it solves your problem. If it does not solve your problem you might have a real hardware problem you can´t fix on your own. Hope the best :)

good luck!
 

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#14
You really... really... really... do need to "ground" yourself or rid yourself of static.

You may have been lucky up to this point; however, if, the conditions are right you can destroy the components on a board.

Zapping a $3000USD LiteSpan card teaches the lesson of static discharge very quickly.
I, always, wore a wrist strap connected to the frame after that.
I usually touch a heater before I start. Those wrist straps are often not needed but you have to discharge yourself before starting.
 
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#15
If I were you, i´d try to:

1) disconnect power

2) disconnect all usb devices connected directly or via usb-hub. Espacially any self-powered usb-devices (hubs, printers, external harddisks, etc.). Those self powered usb-devices sometimes route back their electric power back through the usb into (to) the computer. In such a case your computer is still connected to an electrival power source, even if you have allready disconnected the main power line.

3) If you have any pci cards installed which are not neccessary to run the computer, you should also remove them for testing. Same procedure with any extra internal hdds, dvd-drives, etc - just let them remain disconnected. Connect only the primary hdd from which you are booting from.

4) Reset your BIOS. It depends on your mainboard (model) how you have to do such a reset. Sometimes you have to move a jumper (on your mainboard) to reset the BIOS, sometimes the BIOS has it´s own automatic recovery routine. Your Manual will tell :)

5) After that, re-connect power, monitor cable, keyboard and mouse. Just this minimum hardware setup for the first test!

6) Try to boot up your computer... It may happen that windows re-installes your usb-mouse and/or you usb-keyboard, but that´s ok.


Don´t know if it solves your problem. If it does not solve your problem you might have a real hardware problem you can´t fix on your own. Hope the best :)

good luck!
^ best advice so far. You will be ok with the static. So long as you were touching the case, there will have been no problems.
 

AsRock

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#16
^ best advice so far. You will be ok with the static. So long as you were touching the case, there will have been no problems.
Not 100% sure about that for some people ( used a good source for static ).. I touched the front USB port of one of my old AMD 939 setup ( metal front ) and since then it never worked right. 1/2 the ram was found dead.

I usually touch a heater before I start. Those wrist straps are often not needed but you have to discharge yourself before starting.
That's partly why i got the computer chair i got as it does discharge me from static as summer time i have to be careful when shopping as all the shelves tins even the cart\trolley will make even me jump a miles and i am used to it..


Anyways maybe the HDD got corrupted and just a OS install is needed ?.
 
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#17
Will if it will boot up in safe mode and not in normal mode I would think it is possible that it is video related.
 

Conall

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#18
Okay, chkdsk and hdtune finally finished.
Ran chkdsk with automatically fix errors and attempt to recover damage areas checked, then immediately after that finished, ran hdtune without quick scan checked.
Interestingly(to me), hdtune reported no damage.
The desktop still hangs, though. Doesn't even finish loading all of the icons for the shortcuts on the desktop before it hangs, or any taskbar icons.

binford6001, I always disconnect everything before opening the machine up, since the area it sits in is too cramped to do any work there. I have to move it somewhere else to get inside.
The only thing inside I could remove is my old dial-up modem.
I took it out during cleaning since I don't use it, but tried reinserting it when these problems occurred, just in case. Didn't make a difference, of course..
My motherboard has no integrated video card, and the only thing I could disconnect is my dvd-drive.
I'll try that and resetting the bios later today, then report what happens..
 

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#19
You have a spare HDD you could install a fresh OS on ?.. And disconnecting the one you currently use then you would have a better idea if it is a HDD issue.
 

Conall

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#20
Unfortunately, no, I don't.
 

JrRacinFan

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#21
After giving it some thought. This sounds like memory/ram/IMC related errors. I would say run a few passes of memtest but you might not be able to build yourself a bootable cd but yet again. In OP, you did state you were having lockups with old ram in place.


Hmmm, going to give this some more thought.

EDIT:

I know it may suck with odds are going to be in downtime, but RMA you motherboard. I think there is an issue with it's northbridge.
 
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Conall

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#22
That was the first thing I thought too, but this still happens even when trying three different sticks of ram one by one, and in different slots.
 

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#23
You know what? I freaking love you guys.
Clearing the CMOS appears to have done the trick, it's running fine now.
You are all awesome. Thanks, everyone!
 
Joined
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System Name The Mailbox 4.5
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#24
I clean my computer on a shag carpet in the summer heat during a sand storm. Never had an issue. However I never used a vacuum cleaner......thats just crazy.

Use a wrist stap next time man. Congrats!
 

Conall

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#25
Yeah I guess it is crazy, but you should have seen how filthy this thing was.
My case has three huge fans, and the CPU fan is large as well. The entire inside was a mess of cobwebs and dust bunnies.
The canned air wasn't blowing hard enough to do much of anything, so, like last year, I got desperate and grabbed the vacuum.. It was so bad, after removing it all the CPU and video card temps dropped nearly ten degrees each!
I won't be using a vacuum again though, I tell you that much right now..