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brynjames

Failing PC advice please!

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An acquaintance of very limited funds is being given the opportunity to buy an upgrading friend's 3 year old self-built Windows 7 PC for a good price.

 

The PC ran well for a couple of weeks, but then started to crash at random times, and  checkdisk, scan disk or defrag operations all fail to complete and  cause a crash.

 

There are no Windows disks or recovery disks.  Apparently the friend had a computer shop install Windows 7 for him directly on the hard disk and no DVDs were provided.  There is a 36GB partition on the HD called "System Reserved" - not sure what is on it. 

 

Any suggestions on how to proceed? Can we somehow get the OS transferred to a new HD, as it looks as if the HD may be failing.  And if the OS itself has been corrupted is there any way to repair it?  Funds don't exist to buy a new HD and OS together, and anyway, there are no motherboard driver disks available either!

 

Coming round to the feeling that this is one bargain to walk away from :)

 

 

 

 

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System reserved...

When your computer boots, Boot Manager fires up and reads data from the Boot Configuration Data Store. The computer boots the boot loader off the System Reserved partition, and it boots Windows from your system drive. So never delete or mess with "System Reserved".

 

Have you tried firing up System Restore, and restoring the hard drive to a previous date? As far back as you can I'd say.

 

Install Crystal Disc info, it will read the SMART data from the drive and give you an idea of it's condition.

 

Have you scanned for viruses?

 

Could well be just a corrupted Windows, or a crap HD.

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Thanks Martin.

 

System is anti-virus scanned regularly.  Unfortunately no System Restore Points had been created.

 

After the last crash, scan disk was run again, and this time instead of freezing at a certain point as it usually does, it just paused for a long time at that point and then completed successfully while reporting no errors!   I just don't understand computers :)

 

We'll try Crystal Disc info, thanks for that suggestion.

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We have now run Crystal Disk Info, and it shows the disk condition as "Caution" which fits in with your suspicion about the state of the HD.

 

We could, I suppose, clone the entire HD onto a new one.

 

Would Windows would demand its activation code when we started it from the new HD?  That activation code is something, along with original Windows disks, that we don't have!

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Is that "Caution" in regard to "reallocated Sector Count"?

 

If so it's not definitively indicating a critical HD issue. I'm not saying it isn't a HD issue, it probably is, just that a caution isn't definitive.

 

All drives have defects from manufacture. To circumvent this, sectors are moved or reallocated. The very PC I'm using at the moment has a caution in Crystal Disc Info. Some times even new hard drives have a caution.

 

Sector reallocation is actually quite a poor indicator of drive health. Basically, if the reallocated sector count is increasing then you should worry, if it's stable you shouldn't. If it was showing a "Warning" I'd be more concerned.

 

If Windows detects a different component in the system, then yes it could very well ask for reactivation.

 

Is this PC overclocked? If so, return to optimised defaults.

 

 

What CPU temperature are you seeing under load? Read with either CoreTemp or RealTemp? If the CPU is running to close to TJMax it will first throttle back and then at TJMax it will shut down to prevent damage.

 

What temperature is the Graphics card running at under load?

 

Has the PSU been tested. You can test the PSU with a very cheap PSU tester available from Amazon.

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Thanks for all your help  here.  Unfortunately the PC continues to prove to be unreliable, and without all the disks necessary to put it back in first rate condition he is going to return it and wait for something better!

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