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Old 03-30-2007, 06:36 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Unhappy That annoying computer.....

Kind of venting... this is gonna be a long read...

So, I posted previously in the high performance forum a question about SCSI drives that are in a friends PC. Now, I have built a couple dozen PC's, about 5 for myself, and a few for various friends & family, and NEVER have I encountered a PC NEARLY as tempromental as this.

It started with her video card dieing, and one of her friends had her replace it with an AGP Radeon 9250. Then, she wanted more space on the PC, so I go to her place to check it out. As I was telling her about hard drives, and the different types, and costs, etc. I just finishing saying that I am 99% sure her drives are IDE or SATA, and I pop the case door, and find not one but TWO SCSI drives looking back at me connected to an Adaptec PCI-x (PCI compatible too) SCSI card. I log into the computer to find that the 16 Gig main drive has about 500 Megs free space left, and the 34 Gig drive was COMPLETLY empty. I thought, cool, I don't even have to do anything but show her how to use both drives, and move file storage to the second drive.

About a week later, her computer has no video output, same as when her LAST video card died. Her USUAL comptuer buddy was busy, so I come out to look at it. Sure enough, it has NO output on the monitor at all. I run to my parents house to get a spare (old, VERY old) 15" monitor that I got on the curb with a x486 system I found a few years back. I also quickly disected all the AGP cards I could out of the dinosaurs sitting in my parents garage. I get back to her house to test the cards & monitor. just swapping the monitor did nothing.... so I tried card #1 on the KNOWN good monitor, and still no output. The other 2 AGP cards had the same result. The machine OBVIOUSLY wasn't posting. So, rather than refer her back to her other computer friend (probably should have), I offer to take it home with me and test everything out.

I get home, crack open my media rig, and swap out all the parts I could. I had my media rigs Mobo & CPU running her computer (minus the mobo & CPU obviously, and all was good. I tried to re-seat the CPU and put a fresh coat of thermal paste on it, but still nothing. I didn't see anything visually wrong with either of them, so I give her the news, and tell her I don't have proper hardware to test them individually. I threw together a Socket 754 mobo & CPU for about $80 shipped, and she was cool with it, and I waited about 2 weeks her to get paid and order the parts.

I get the parts, excited to finally get the computer back to her, to find out that in my haste, I failed to notice the CPU was OEM.... So, I run to microcenter, and eat the $20 for an Antec cooler that works pretty good.

I FINALLY get the system hardware set to go, and embark on setting up the software. I boot up the computer to install Windows, and after it starts to boot into Windows setup, the PC hangs when scanning the PCI BUS. A few freezes later, I take out the only 2 PCI cards in the system, a PCI 802.11g card, and the SCSI controller. The problem now is that there are no drives, do I dive into my 'bin o junk', and found a Western Digital 20 Gig drive. (anyone who has seen my posts about hard drives KNOWS I recommend ONLY Seagate drives, and that is all that I activly use on my computers). So, I figure I will give her the WD drive, because I don't care for them. After getting Windows installed, all the programs set up, and the wireless card & SCSI controller back in, everything updated & patched, the WD drive dies. When booting, it will throw a BSOD while booting up Windows 2K Pro saying "inaccessable boot device". Ok, so I take out the drive, thorw it into another machine as secondary drive, and the machine boots up, but won't read the drive. Ok, It's a WD, so I figure it MUST be dead, cause it was rather old.

So, I tell her what is going on, and she wanted more space anyways, so she gets a 160 Gig Seagate SATA drive for $49 after MIR, not too shabby. I JUST got the drive on Wednesday night, and told her it SHOULD be done in 48 hours. (already have had it a MONTH at this point). So, I get the drive installed, ALL the software installed, updated patched, etc. Then, I put the SCSI card back in, because it doesn't play nice with the Mobo outside of windows. Once windows starts, and installs the SCSI controller drivers, I got the data off of the SCSI drives, and save it on my NAS drive and the SATA drive. After the FIRST reboot, I got the SAME BSOD upon booting Win 2k.

Now, this is a BRAND NEW hard drive, and I KNOW that from time to time, ALL manufacturers will have a bad piece of hardware. But, this thing was working FINE one second, then just quits like that? I was thinking it was an issue between the SCSI driver, and IDE/SATA driver with the motherborad, so I boot up the PC with the install disc in it, and delete the partition, and format the drive. I re-installed Win2k with ABSOLUTLY NO PROBLEMS!!! That was just last night, about 12:30 AM CDT. So, IMMEDIATLY after installing Win 2k, I shutdown, and put the SCSI controller back in to try and re-create the problem, thinking that the PREVIOUS 2 times the problem arose, it was the FIRST BOOT after windows installed the SCSI controller drivers.

SO, I get it hooked up, boot, install SCSI drivers, and restart. Flawless boot, quick too... Did that FIVE more times in a row. Now, the trouble seems to have vanished.

I swear, this computer is CURSED... Since getting it, my media rig has quit working, and the BSOD's on my Gaming rig that I got taken care of with a driver upgrade (BSOD was a driver conflict) is BACK..... I NEEEEEEED to get rid of this thing, preferably before I chuck it off my 5th floor balcony, lol. I suppose I will install software 1 at a time, and reboot a few times between each install to try and identify the weak link.

Has anyone ever had this problem before, and if you did, if you were able to RESOLVE it, what did ya do? [/Short Story]
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Gaming Laptop: - ASUS K501LX-EB71 - Stock (Wife's) - Gateway P-6860FX - Stock (Mine)
General Laptop: - Sony Vaio SVE141D1L - Stock (Mine)
Gaming Rig: BACK ONLINE!! ASUS Z87-PRO (V EDITION), Intel Core i5-4590 Haswell (Stock Cooling), HyperX FURY 8GB DDR3 1866,
XFX Radeon HD 4870, SILVERSTONE DA700, Samsung 840 500Gig SSD MZ-7TD500BW, 3x WD20EARS 2 TB Green,
ASUS DRW-2014L1T (DVD), LG WH14NS40 (Blu Ray), Dell 2709W, Sony SDM-HS95P, Windows 10 Pro
The NAS Box: OFFLINE D-Link DNS-323, 0.1RC3 Alt-F firmware, 2x 7200.14 ST3000DM001 3TB EXT4 - NO RAID - 6 TB
Home Server: BUILD LOG!! - Supermicro SC826TQ-R800LPB chassis, X8DTN+, Dual Xeon E5620 (Stock),
4x Nanya NT4GC72B4NA1NL-CG (24GB Reg ECC DDR3), 12x MICRON MT36JSZF51272PZ-1G4G1FG (48GB Reg ECC DDR3), (72GB total memory)
2x OCZ Agility (60GB) (OS & Backup), 6x WD40EFRX (4TB) in RaidZ2 (14.3 TB usable), 2x Q Series HDTS225XZSTA (256GB) ZIL & L2ARC mirrored

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Old 03-30-2007, 09:37 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: That annoying computer.....

I would give her a Live Linux CD or DVD such as Knoppix (knopper.net). If the SCSI drive is FAT32, it maybe able to read the older drives and back them up to another drive (not sure). You can then use the new drive only if it works.
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Old 03-31-2007, 08:55 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: That annoying computer.....

Well, at this point (as of this morning), I have all of the motherboard drivers installed EXCEPT the IDE & SATA drivers that were on the disc. Since it is working fine without them, I see no reason to install them. I have the computer running now (well, at home) and it has both the SATA drive and SCSI drives working fine with ONLY Win 2k Pro installed, and most drivers, and about 75% of the windows updates. I think that perhaps the SCSI drivers and IDE & SATA drivers that I installed last time might have been the cause of the problem, but not 100% positive.
__________________
Gaming Laptop: - ASUS K501LX-EB71 - Stock (Wife's) - Gateway P-6860FX - Stock (Mine)
General Laptop: - Sony Vaio SVE141D1L - Stock (Mine)
Gaming Rig: BACK ONLINE!! ASUS Z87-PRO (V EDITION), Intel Core i5-4590 Haswell (Stock Cooling), HyperX FURY 8GB DDR3 1866,
XFX Radeon HD 4870, SILVERSTONE DA700, Samsung 840 500Gig SSD MZ-7TD500BW, 3x WD20EARS 2 TB Green,
ASUS DRW-2014L1T (DVD), LG WH14NS40 (Blu Ray), Dell 2709W, Sony SDM-HS95P, Windows 10 Pro
The NAS Box: OFFLINE D-Link DNS-323, 0.1RC3 Alt-F firmware, 2x 7200.14 ST3000DM001 3TB EXT4 - NO RAID - 6 TB
Home Server: BUILD LOG!! - Supermicro SC826TQ-R800LPB chassis, X8DTN+, Dual Xeon E5620 (Stock),
4x Nanya NT4GC72B4NA1NL-CG (24GB Reg ECC DDR3), 12x MICRON MT36JSZF51272PZ-1G4G1FG (48GB Reg ECC DDR3), (72GB total memory)
2x OCZ Agility (60GB) (OS & Backup), 6x WD40EFRX (4TB) in RaidZ2 (14.3 TB usable), 2x Q Series HDTS225XZSTA (256GB) ZIL & L2ARC mirrored

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Old 03-31-2007, 01:45 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: That annoying computer.....

Well sometimes I gotta wonder why I love to mess with computers, I think I've pulled out most of my hair dealing with problems like this. On some level I think I love the challenge and on another level I think I would just like to blow them all to ****.
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Old 03-31-2007, 05:20 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: That annoying computer.....

Well, like I had said before, this is BY FAR the biggest problem I have EVER had with a computer. My next worst scenario was when my Gaming rig wasn't reading my XP CD correctly.... lol
__________________
Gaming Laptop: - ASUS K501LX-EB71 - Stock (Wife's) - Gateway P-6860FX - Stock (Mine)
General Laptop: - Sony Vaio SVE141D1L - Stock (Mine)
Gaming Rig: BACK ONLINE!! ASUS Z87-PRO (V EDITION), Intel Core i5-4590 Haswell (Stock Cooling), HyperX FURY 8GB DDR3 1866,
XFX Radeon HD 4870, SILVERSTONE DA700, Samsung 840 500Gig SSD MZ-7TD500BW, 3x WD20EARS 2 TB Green,
ASUS DRW-2014L1T (DVD), LG WH14NS40 (Blu Ray), Dell 2709W, Sony SDM-HS95P, Windows 10 Pro
The NAS Box: OFFLINE D-Link DNS-323, 0.1RC3 Alt-F firmware, 2x 7200.14 ST3000DM001 3TB EXT4 - NO RAID - 6 TB
Home Server: BUILD LOG!! - Supermicro SC826TQ-R800LPB chassis, X8DTN+, Dual Xeon E5620 (Stock),
4x Nanya NT4GC72B4NA1NL-CG (24GB Reg ECC DDR3), 12x MICRON MT36JSZF51272PZ-1G4G1FG (48GB Reg ECC DDR3), (72GB total memory)
2x OCZ Agility (60GB) (OS & Backup), 6x WD40EFRX (4TB) in RaidZ2 (14.3 TB usable), 2x Q Series HDTS225XZSTA (256GB) ZIL & L2ARC mirrored

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Old 04-02-2007, 12:58 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: That annoying computer.....

I like to build a lot of computers so i get a lot of used parts and throw them together that makes for some real trouble shooting challenges when all the parts are used. But I just love putting them together. I think I have 3 or 4 just sitting on the floor in my computer room right now just waiting for someone I know who needs one I'll have to slow down soon or my wife will kill me.
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Old 04-02-2007, 12:49 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: That annoying computer.....

Well, computer ran fine all day yesterday, and even had Folding@home running on it all day... I have just about all the software installed, and windows totally up-to-date (for being Win2k anyways).

The only things left to do are install iTunes, move her data BACK to the new harddrive (figured no point in moving many gigs EVERY time I have to format it when it bugs out), and install The Sims2.

I am now about 99% sure that the problem was with a conflict between the SCSI drivers, IDE drivers, and SATA drivers.... As mentioned previously, I left the IDE & SATA drivers un-installed, because all of the drives are working properly. If WAS actually a hard drive issue with the computer being unable to read it, then I doubt it would have gotten through most of the loading screen for Win2k, and would have given the BOOT DISK FAILURE, or MASTER BOOT DISK FAILURE or whatever it is just after POSTing (as my old drives used to do often).
__________________
Gaming Laptop: - ASUS K501LX-EB71 - Stock (Wife's) - Gateway P-6860FX - Stock (Mine)
General Laptop: - Sony Vaio SVE141D1L - Stock (Mine)
Gaming Rig: BACK ONLINE!! ASUS Z87-PRO (V EDITION), Intel Core i5-4590 Haswell (Stock Cooling), HyperX FURY 8GB DDR3 1866,
XFX Radeon HD 4870, SILVERSTONE DA700, Samsung 840 500Gig SSD MZ-7TD500BW, 3x WD20EARS 2 TB Green,
ASUS DRW-2014L1T (DVD), LG WH14NS40 (Blu Ray), Dell 2709W, Sony SDM-HS95P, Windows 10 Pro
The NAS Box: OFFLINE D-Link DNS-323, 0.1RC3 Alt-F firmware, 2x 7200.14 ST3000DM001 3TB EXT4 - NO RAID - 6 TB
Home Server: BUILD LOG!! - Supermicro SC826TQ-R800LPB chassis, X8DTN+, Dual Xeon E5620 (Stock),
4x Nanya NT4GC72B4NA1NL-CG (24GB Reg ECC DDR3), 12x MICRON MT36JSZF51272PZ-1G4G1FG (48GB Reg ECC DDR3), (72GB total memory)
2x OCZ Agility (60GB) (OS & Backup), 6x WD40EFRX (4TB) in RaidZ2 (14.3 TB usable), 2x Q Series HDTS225XZSTA (256GB) ZIL & L2ARC mirrored

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Old 04-06-2007, 12:19 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: That annoying computer.....

Well, as of about 1am this morning, the computer is now setup and working at her house. I am SOOO happy to finally be rid of it, because it was a curse, and caused me to break my gaming rig... lol...

Anyways, I am still 99.99999% certain that the issue with the BSOD's I was getting was related to complications between IDE, SATA & SCSI adaptors...
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__________________
Gaming Laptop: - ASUS K501LX-EB71 - Stock (Wife's) - Gateway P-6860FX - Stock (Mine)
General Laptop: - Sony Vaio SVE141D1L - Stock (Mine)
Gaming Rig: BACK ONLINE!! ASUS Z87-PRO (V EDITION), Intel Core i5-4590 Haswell (Stock Cooling), HyperX FURY 8GB DDR3 1866,
XFX Radeon HD 4870, SILVERSTONE DA700, Samsung 840 500Gig SSD MZ-7TD500BW, 3x WD20EARS 2 TB Green,
ASUS DRW-2014L1T (DVD), LG WH14NS40 (Blu Ray), Dell 2709W, Sony SDM-HS95P, Windows 10 Pro
The NAS Box: OFFLINE D-Link DNS-323, 0.1RC3 Alt-F firmware, 2x 7200.14 ST3000DM001 3TB EXT4 - NO RAID - 6 TB
Home Server: BUILD LOG!! - Supermicro SC826TQ-R800LPB chassis, X8DTN+, Dual Xeon E5620 (Stock),
4x Nanya NT4GC72B4NA1NL-CG (24GB Reg ECC DDR3), 12x MICRON MT36JSZF51272PZ-1G4G1FG (48GB Reg ECC DDR3), (72GB total memory)
2x OCZ Agility (60GB) (OS & Backup), 6x WD40EFRX (4TB) in RaidZ2 (14.3 TB usable), 2x Q Series HDTS225XZSTA (256GB) ZIL & L2ARC mirrored

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