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What could cause Hard Drive Corruption?


Rogerb

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So I have an interesting problem thats gotten to the point where i'm pretty pissed off, and there could be 3 troublemakers here: CPU, S128 SSD, or Motherboard.

 

My system is a

64 Bit Windows 7

Asus Striker 2 Extreme Motherboard,

Q9550 (Originally OC'd, Problem started about a month ago so i took it back down because i'm clueless here)

4GB Corsair 8800 Ram

750W power supply (used to be a 620 Corsair, which has, according to the beeping on my motherboard and ASUS technical support, a grounding issue or something. Need to get an RMA # for it, eventually)

 

Here is my user case scenario:

I buy games off steam, I download them, I play them. Rarely, i will Delete them. By rarely, I have deleted 2 games since October. Thats about it. I know the pros/cons of a SSD and I don't make many changes.

 

Here is my problem:

In the last 2 weeks I have had the following issues:

1: Computer Bluescreening, Returns and says cannot find keyboard or BIOS is corrupted, I restart once or twice, everything is fine, no issues. Windows validates file structure and finds some issues. This has happened once a week for 2 weeks.

 

2: Firefox randomly craps out, Tons of old steam games are failing to validate (even after they were once perfectly fine), today i downloaded 3 files, all installers. Of those 3 installers, 2 were corrupted.

 

Overall, the system is very stable, with issue #1 being the only exception. Issue #2 is happening more frequently.

This is really starting to become frustrating, because I can't figure this out.

 

Could it be the SSD? The file systems screwed up to be sure. But If so, how do I check? And more importantly, how do I prevent it from happening again?

 

Could it be the Motherboard? The motherboard could've crapped out for any number of reasons, but I don't have proof and i wouldn't know how to get it. I have no knowledge of tests (similiar to memtest86) that could prove it.

 

Could it be the processor? This one would be the easiest to disprove, but stability wasn't bad when it was overclocked, and it hasn't gotten incredibly worse.

 

I'm going with SSD, but I don't have any proof, and to reiterate, I don't know how to prevent it. I did near-absolute minimum use for a reason.

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Now, I'm DEFINATELY not an expert here - but it sounds to me like a power supply issue - or, perhaps more likely, a motherboard issue with the power supply. I only suggest this because, although BSOD can occur because of driver issues, the only other likely cause is hardware malfunction - i.e. CPU or RAM. But, because the BIOS gets screwed, and various bits of hardware seem to be missing or broken on restart, I doubt RAM or CPU is permanently busted. Which leaves transient faults - and what is transient? Loose connections in the (new?) power supply, possibly, or the physical connector to the motherboard.

 

After re-seating everything, if you still having the problem, I would start swapping parts with a spare computer, if you have one lying around. Specifically, I would make sure the 'broken' Corsair power supply is really broken and not just more sensitive to the fault than the more powerful replacement.

 

Good luck.

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I don't think I quite made my point properly. Apart from bad drivers, pretty much the only thing that can cause a BSOD is faulty RAM, exactly as AlienwareALX says. What I was trying to suggest is that the RAM may not be permanently faulty, but may be being supplied with a fluctuating or low voltage, and the fact that you had previous power supply problems made me suspect that. Testing is the only way to find out.

 

Again - good luck.

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Happened again overnight. On restart it says BIOS checksum failed, Detecting something in drive A (there is nothing in Drive A) and can't find keyboard. 2 Restarts later it boots up as if nothing happened. No NTFS File check or anything.

 

I am in agreement with you that it could be the power supply, although i've got no way to check, and it seemed to be working fine when it was overclocked (for about 3 weeks), i think the only thing i can do in this regards is to remove 1 of my 2 8800s, as that should reduce total power drain, but won't necessarily improve the rails utilized by the motherboard.

 

Any thoughts?

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  • Corsair Employees
I don't think I quite made my point properly. Apart from bad drivers, pretty much the only thing that can cause a BSOD is faulty RAM, exactly as AlienwareALX says. What I was trying to suggest is that the RAM may not be permanently faulty, but may be being supplied with a fluctuating or low voltage, and the fact that you had previous power supply problems made me suspect that. Testing is the only way to find out.

 

I am sorry but that is not true, almost anything can cause a system to "BSOD" even strong sun spots. Granted a failing module or memory can cause the system to generate an Error, but so can bad cache on the CPU or erratic voltage from a bad PSU or failing voltage regulators on a MB. As well as many other things even software bugs...

I would agree testing the system with memory testing software would be a good place to start. But not the only place.

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Try replacing the m/b battery - strange as it may seem this can cause BSOD's. After that I would suggest that you remove all your attached hardware (excluding HD's) and then replace them one at a time until the BSOD appears. If you have onboard graphics use this until you come to replace your graphics card. Also, if you have more than one memory module remove them all and replace them one at a time and run a mem test on them; as you test one, remove it if its clean and then try another. Assuming that changing the m/b battery doesn't help.

 

As mentioned by others it could be a number of things ; CPU, memory, graphics, PSU even right down to the m/b itself. Of course it could be a flakey OS too. This is the problem with BSOD's it could be anything or combination of things - the only way to be sure is by a matter of elimination and possibly trying the components in another machine.

 

Wish you luck cos I know how much of a bitch tracking these BSOD's down can be ;-)

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Thanks for your responses! I'll try Memtesting this evening, but is there any other good software out there? i've got the ultimate boot disk, which has a ton of useful apps, but the EE part of me is nagging and saying i'd be better off with an oscilliscope.

 

Having shut him up however, I'll keep you informed.

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Wow, Just wow.

 

Memtest is a big screen of Red. Only about 28% pass at halfway through Test 6. I've never seen anything like this, especially on a system that will boot up and run for a few days. So where do we go from here?

 

The odd thing is the errors always seem to be on the least significant byte. Never anywhere else. At least so far. A clue maybe?

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Errors in Test 6 would suggest some other problem and if you have 4 modules installed on that MB you may be limited to DDR667 or DDR800, so what are the exact modules you have and how many are installed and what are the BIO settings for both CPU and memory?
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