Constant crashing even after fresh OS install.

  Mysticnas 16:26 23 Feb 2004

Hi all.

[Dell P4 1.4Ghz, 384Mb RD RAM, Dell DVD, Asus CDRW, 20gb HDD, 330W PSU, sound blaster live sound card came preinstalled in system, dial-up modem.]

I got a Dell machine to sort out. I can't figure out what's wrong with it.

It kept crashing all the time and wouldn't let me access certain system folders. Explorer kept crashing, and constantly blue screening and hanging up at reboot.

It's been working fine. Added a CDRW and more RAM about a year ago and all was fine up until about a week ago. Something really strange that i've never come across is that the device manager window showed nothing. It was just blank, no matter if i restarted the pc etc... always blank. It was fine before.

No tell tale signs or anything, working perfectly 1 minute and mashed the next. It was left on browsing the net using AOL dial-up connection, while the user went away for a about half an hour to an hour came back to it to see it constantly rebooting.

On trying to go to a restore point it would (blue screen) crash and reboot. tried loads in safe mode and no luck. Ran virus scans with no infection reported. I thought it was a driver or hardware problem cuz of the constant blue screens, but no new software or hardware has been installed.

Removed sound card, modem, CDRW and DVD drives, with out any luck.

Then tried reinstalling XPpro, as a last resort, by booting from the CD and that kept crashing while going through the CD setup. So tried reinstalling WinME from the DELL cd that came with the system. After about 6 attempts it finally managed to complete the install process but kept getting the same explorer errors as it was in XP.

I think that the hard-drive may be the cause?

Any opinions?

  Paranoid Android 16:32 23 Feb 2004

Try substitute PSU. Run Memtest on RAM.


Marvin has already pointed out the first two things I would point my finger at, but you could be right about the hard-drive. It is almost certainly a hardware fault so be very careful as Dell tend to use Proprietry parts (particularly PSU's) so make sure you use approved replacements.

  Mysticnas 16:44 23 Feb 2004


I don't understand how it could be the PSU, although that's one of the things i tought about.

It's a 330W PSU, which is more than adequete. I really can't think how the PSU could be damaged all of a sudden? If i could stay in the OS long enough i'd run a mem test.

  Mysticnas 17:08 23 Feb 2004


  georgemac 17:57 23 Feb 2004

also go to the hard drive manufacturers website and download any diagnostic software and run it to check the drive, and the memtest memory utilty uggested by marvin.

I had a similar problem not long ago - it turned out to be the motherboard - which is the worst of all to diagnose - in the end I purchased a 2nd hand motherboard just to try it and it has been OK since fitting this.

  Mysticnas 17:59 23 Feb 2004 i can't replace the motherboard. And the drive is unlabled.

  Rayuk 18:00 23 Feb 2004

What info does it give on the bsod also check event viewer for any info

  woodchip 18:02 23 Feb 2004

Run SFC for corrupt files and it sounds like Overheating problem check the CPU fan is turning

  woodchip 18:04 23 Feb 2004

It could be Bad Memory

  HaniM 18:56 23 Feb 2004

Mysticnas, I've just suffered from the same thing. It took me about 10 days to come to the bottom of the problem. After taking out everything and replacing one item after the next, it turned out to be the processor. Try that.

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