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Old 04-27-2007, 11:13 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by big_news_1
Thanks for the help, BvSSE. I won't be able to work on this much more tonight, but if you're in the middle of downloading and want to post some tips, I wouldn't complain :P. I'll hit it later tonight when I get home or tomorrow morning. I appreciate the suggestions a lot. I'll definitely set up the BIOS to boot from CD right now before anything bad happens.

Also, are you suggesting that I go ahead and snag another hard drive to copy some data? I don't want to spend unnecessary money, but if we're pretty sure it'* the hard drive I don't want to lose data, either.
NP, I'll post what I find out

Can you burn your data off to CDs? Suppose you could pick another hard drive... not sure if that is exactly the problem, diagnostics may very well tell you one way or another.
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Old 04-27-2007, 11:16 PM   #22
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Download didn't work. i am going to try the ISO instead of the EXE.
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Old 04-27-2007, 11:25 PM   #23
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I can burn some data to CDs, but that just reminded me I ran out and need to go get more! Any suggestions on what I should backup? I know I want my MP3s, pictures, videos, financial data, etc., but should I snag any important system files or other such data?
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Old 04-27-2007, 11:31 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by big_news_1
I can burn some data to CDs, but that just reminded me I ran out and need to go get more! Any suggestions on what I should backup? I know I want my MP3s, pictures, videos, financial data, etc., but should I snag any important system files or other such data?
It sounds like you have identified files that contain data that you create. Question is: do you use any programs that store data in places that you don't know about or care about? I.e. internet favorites.

But I would definitely start with backing up what you know about.

System files would be restored in the event that you had to do a complete restoration of the operating system. If in the end you find that you need a new hard disk, I think that would be where you are headed.
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Old 04-27-2007, 11:32 PM   #25
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Here are some of the auxiliary folders that I back up on my PC

Documents and Settings/<user name>/Desktop
Documents and Settings/<user name>/Favorites
Documents and Settings/<user name>/Start Menu
Documents and Settings/<user name>/Local Settings/Application Data/Microsoft/Outlook
Documents and Settings/All Users/Start Menu
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Old 04-28-2007, 12:39 AM   #26
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Okay, change of plans.

Instead of creating a CD, let'* try this first

1) download this file and install it => http://downloads.sourceforge.net/sma...3&big_mirror=0
2) Begin a hard drive self test:
start =>programs => smartmontools => smartctl examples => start long self test

You should get a response like this pop up in a window

Quote:
smartctl -t long hda
smartctl version 5.37 [i686-mingw32-xp-] Copyright (C) 2002-6 Bruce Allen
Home page is http://smartmontools.sourceforge.net/

=== START OF OFFLINE IMMEDIATE AND SELF-TEST SECTION ===
Sending command: "Execute SMART Extended self-test routine immediately in off-li
ne mode".
Drive command "Execute SMART Extended self-test routine immediately in off-line
mode" successful.
Testing has begun.
Please wait <number of minutes> minutes for test to complete.
Test will complete after Fri Apr 27 23:35:47 2007

Use smartctl -X to abort test.
Press any key to continue . . .
3) You can continue to use the PC while the test runs.
4) wait for test to complete. If you want to check the status of the test, you can choose the following link:
start =>programs => smartmontools => smartctl examples => SMART capabilities

Look for the Self-test execution status line

Quote:
Self-test execution status: ( 249) Self-test routine in progress...
90% of test remaining.

5) if you need to abort the test (i.e. it takes longer than expected, or you want to shut down the PC), choose this option
start =>programs => smartmontools => smartctl examples => Stop(Abort) self test

6) When the test is complete, go and look at the log to see if you have any errors
start =>programs => smartmontools => smartctl examples => SMART selftest log

If the test completed without error, it should look something like this

Quote:
smartctl -l selftest hda
smartctl version 5.37 [i686-mingw32-xp-] Copyright (C) 2002-6 Bruce Allen
Home page is http://smartmontools.sourceforge.net/

=== START OF READ SMART DATA SECTION ===
SMART Self-test log structure revision number 1
Num Test_Description Status Remaining LifeTime(hours) LBA
_of_first_error
# 1 Extended offline Completed without error 00% 2070 -

Press any key to continue . . .
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Old 04-28-2007, 03:00 AM   #27
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Thank you for the link! I'll download and start it shortly, then post results as soon as it finishes.
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Old 04-28-2007, 03:59 AM   #28
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It said it completed without error. Does that mean my hard drive is in the clear? What exactly was that testing?
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Old 04-28-2007, 09:58 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by big_news_1
It said it completed without error. Does that mean my hard drive is in the clear? What exactly was that testing?
I would say so!

What that did was command your hard drive to perform an internal diagnostic on itself

Can you do the following and either PM or post the results?

start => programs => smartmontools => smartctl examples => all info

I'll see if I spot anything out of the ordinary.

In any event, at this point, I would begin to suspect either memory, motherboard, CPU, or power supply.

I would suggest that you run a memtest next.

Do you have a floppy drive? Or just a CD drive? If the latter have you acquired some blank CD'*?

If you have a floppy drive, you can download this:
http://www.memtest.org/download/1.70....70.floppy.zip

Otherwise, here is a CD ISO
http://www.memtest.org/download/1.70...+-1.70.iso.zip

Do you know how to burn a CD ISO? If not, go and download this program. After you install it, double click the CD ISO that you installed above to create a CD:
http://isorecorder.alexfeinman.com/isorecorder.htm
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Old 04-28-2007, 11:19 AM   #30
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keep it simple at first. The first thing I always do first is clean out junk files...Temp files,
temp internet files, cookies, history
go here: C:\Documents and Settings\<user name>\Local Settings
delete contents of temp folder, temp internet files, history
go here C:\Documents and Settings\<user name> and delete contents of cookies
run spybot (free internet spyware program)

MY BACKUP METHOD:
purchase a second hard drive, install it and use that as your backup.
When I upgraded to XP, I slaved my ME drive and used it as backup. NOW, if something happens with XP bootup, I can make the ME drive primary boot device to fix the XP drive.
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