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Reboot, date change, and invisible icons

Discussion in 'Computer Talk' started by Thorvald of Lym, Nov 15, 2014.

  1. Thorvald of Lym

    Thorvald of Lym A Little Sketchy

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    Last September my ~5-year-old desktop computer began running into problems when the motherboard stopped communicating with the hard drive. Fortunately I was able to back everything up; I bought a new drive and tried to copy everything over but for whatever reason the recovery always failed, so in the end I handed it off to a friend who installed Windows 7 on the new drive. For the past few weeks everything worked pretty much fine, and I could even read the old drive without problems.

    These past couple of days, things started getting screwy. Without warning, the monitor will cut to black and the fans will start whizzing as though it's rebooting, but it doesn't go through BIOS and in the end I have to shut it off manually. When I start it back up and log into Windows, the system clock has changed to the year 2000, some of the sidebar applications don't load properly, and at least half the right-hand taskbar icons are invisible and unresponsive. A manual reboot restores the icons and everything seems to work fine.

    At least until the next crash.

    Automatic restart is disabled, but I don't even get a blue screen; the computer simply seizes up. Anyone know what might be going on?
     
  2. Bamspeedy

    Bamspeedy CheeseBob

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    One of my computers was doing this also. Eventually I couldn't even reboot it (well, the computer would run like it's starting up but fail to send anything to the monitor, and trying a different monitor resulted in the same result). Found out there was blown capacitors on the motherboard.
     
  3. Zelig

    Zelig Beep Boop

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    Yeah, sounds like something fairly critical hardware-wise.

    If you want to eliminate software problems, boot to Linux off a usb stick and use that for a few days to see if it has problems too.
     
  4. Mr.WorldWide

    Mr.WorldWide Smugly Inferior

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    The clock resetting is strange, maybe the cmos battery is dead? I had a PC that would blackscreen freeze from time to time until it refused to boot. Turned out two RAM sticks were malfunctioning.
     
  5. Timsup2nothin

    Timsup2nothin Deity

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    First thing I thought from the clock resetting also.
     
  6. Thorvald of Lym

    Thorvald of Lym A Little Sketchy

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    I checked the battery a month ago so it should be fine. A memory diagnostic came back without error, but it must be some sort of hardware failure: I've had blue screens for SYSTEM_SERVICE_EXCEPTION, REFERENCE_BY_POINTER and MEMORY_MANAGEMENT, although the latest crash didn't reset the clock. I might try buying replacement RAM.
     
  7. Zelig

    Zelig Beep Boop

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    Which memory diagnostic? Only really worthwhile one is booting to memtest86+ and letting it run at least overnight.
     
  8. Timsup2nothin

    Timsup2nothin Deity

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    Agreed. Even better, if you have sufficient memory, is taking out half and seeing if the problem goes away, then swapping if it doesn't. I eventually figured out once that I had a bad memory socket that way...after much pulling out of hair.
     
  9. Thorvald of Lym

    Thorvald of Lym A Little Sketchy

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    Well, as I probably should have clued in given the pattern of the crashes, it's the same problem that knocked me out the first time. A brand-new drive should not be causing a 'disk read error' on boot-up, so there's probably some fault in the motherboard. I'm grabbing Ultimate Boot CD and trying that for diagnostics, but at this point I'm likely shopping for a new computer either way.
     
  10. uppi

    uppi Deity

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    Have you checked the capacitors? It sounds like the motherboard has some serious electric fault and a blown capacitor might be responsible. It is also pretty much the only thing that is repairable with reasonable effort.

    If you have one lying around, you might also want to try replacing the power supply. A broken power supply might lead to problems with the hard disk as well as the motherboard.
     

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