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My computer is as useful as toast

Trish's Escape from Hardware Hell Help Board » Hardware » Dead, Dying or Booting Problems » My computer is as useful as toast « Previous Next »

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Posted on Sunday, June 9, 2002 - 1:14 pm:   

Hi- If you can offer any help to my conundrum, I'd truly appreciate it.

I bought a computer from last August. It's a 1.4 ghz Athlon with a Western Digital 300BB 30 gig HD @ 7200 rpm, a US Robotics 56k Win INT modem, an ECS K7AMA moboard, 256 megs of DDR ram, and some non-essential other stuff. I thought this comp would be useful. Right now, it's basically a giant paperweight.

After about 4 months, the modem stopped working- i.e. I could no longer connect to my ISP because the modem was unable to retrieve a dial tone. A few days later, I had a bad sectors message when I booted up and the drive started to hum and the CD-RW went ape and began running so fast that the desk started shaking. I had to send back my old modem and hard drive and installed the new exactly same replacements. Later on that day, I got a bad sectors message again, so I had to send back the new hard drive. Weeks later, another new hard drive was installed and a week after that, I got bad sector messages again. So I sent the whole system back to and after a whole month of repairs, they sent it back to me and as soon as I put it together, the modem failed to work in the exact same way it did in the first place and the drive is humming again.

This is a major pain in the a--. The computer isn't even a year old. I'm embarassed to say that my 6 year old 200 mhz Compaq runs better than this hunk of grey crap on my desk. As is clearly too incompetent to fix this, I would like some suggestions. I don't know what is causing this problem. Western Digital has a great rep and it's surprising to me that 4 hard drives would fail on me from that company in less than a year. I think there may be a compatibility issue between my hard drive and the modem, or a wiring problem. If anyone can offer any help to me, please email

Thanks very much for the help and for reading this message.
Posted on Sunday, June 9, 2002 - 9:40 pm:   

there's a few things i can think of. a bios virus, is one, device drivers, is another, just plain messed up hardware, is another, and that you do have a virus somewhere on the drive, if you put the data exactly back on the new drive as before (or the repair guys did).

what i would do, is save all data worth saving. fdisk the drive, wiping the master boot record as well, and clear the bios back to defaults, then i'd take the battery out of the board to clear any bios virus. reset the bios to what it is supposed to be after returning the battery back. then re-install from scratch using the latest drivers using only the video card and memory in place on the computer. then i'd add 1 piece of hardware at a time until it happens again, and usually, there's the problem hardware wise. it would be either a resource conflict, or an incompatible driver, also some hardware incompatibility with the current board or any other hardware.

this can be tough to figure out. but with lots of patience and time, it can be resolved.
Posted on Monday, June 10, 2002 - 8:35 am:   

Thanks a lot, WIN. I'm definitely going to try out your suggestions.

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