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Wholly PC implosion batman!!!


The Voices Talk to Me
Well this past weekend (friday actually) my PC decided to have total meltdown. The scary part is I am not sure what is causing the problem. I have a guess but that is all.

It all started when I came home and found my PC locked up in the middle of a backup, so I rebooted the machine. I then received an error saying that NTOSKRNL.EXE was corrupted and that I needed to fix the file with recovery console. In the processes of trying to fix the file my graphics card started shutting down, and on reboot my system informed me that my video card failed POST. After fighting with this for about an hour I could get no response from the video card at all. DEAD JIM, DEAD!! So I went out to best buy and bought a Radeon 9550 AGP card. Not my upgrade preference but I am anorexicly tight budgeted at the moment. So at this point I now have video, but aparently my BIOS took a flying leap as it starts to fail checksums, and refuses to ID the HDDs on my system. So I clear the BIOS, and reboot. This time however I get an error that says that Boot.INI is screwed and that a default is loaded, then the NTOSKRNL.EXE file error again. So again I try to repair the file and then my CD-Rom drive went nuts and EAT my WinXP CD and scrached the hell out of it to the point that the I386 portion was not readable.

So on Saturday I go down to a local PC shop and barrow a WinXP CD. But now my 160GB WD HDD will not run, AT ALL!! No spin up, just a clicking sound. WTF!!! So I grab a brand new 80GB WD drive that I have from my last DOA WD drive and that one won't work either, after several tests and attempts it is DOA out of the box. So I connect my 60GB Maxtor backup drive, format my backup partion, as there is nothing there anyway as the comp crashed in the middle of my scheulded backup, and I installed XP there with no problems. I then tried several times to slave the 160GB drive to no availe. Everytime I connect the 160GB drive the system would lock up. At this point I really thought that all was lost as far as all my data on the drive. So I tried a last ditch effort to shock the drive back to life, I put the drive in the freezer for about 5 mins then quickly hooked up the drive the fired up the computer. Sucesses!! The drive came back to life, and I maddly started tranfering the data to the 60GB drive as fast as it would transfer. I was able to get everything except my backup of my favorites folder when the drive (after working for 2 hrs) totally died.

So waht am i left with, I had a video card die, 2 WD HDDs die, and a CD-Rom drive lose it's mind. Now I have run diagnostic tests on the motherboard, chipset, RAM and Processor and all came back clean with 0 errors. So I am left with 2 possiblilites, 1- I just have some bad luck with WD HDDs and everything else was just a fluke, or 2- my PSU is somehow causing components to fail.

I really just don't know as MBM5 history file showed no significant variances in voltages, all were .10 volts or less which is really good. but at the same time SOMETHING has to have caused this massive failure. I have ordered a new 200GB Maxtor DiamondMax 10 Sata drive to replace the 160GB WD drive, but I am worried that the problem might still exist and kill that drive or other components too.

Any thoughts? Is there anything else that is a probable cause for such failures that I am not seeing? I was able to recover a my log file from the last scan McAfee did and it does not show any virus or problems as of 30 mins before the crash. So I don't belive that it was a virus of any kind.
Sounds like you had a powerspike that your psu couldnt filter (hence the frozen pc and toasted video and hdd. I would sugest you want to replace the PSU (try enermax or tagan over antec I'm not too keen on antec even though I've never used them)& motherboard as soon as your financial situation permits such an emergency replacement and go from there.
You will never know for sure.

When the first component failed it may have dumped a higher voltage back into the rest of the system (say 12V into the 5V lines). I've seen it happen with MBs and CPUs. You actually got off light. Probably was the video card.

Of course it could be the power supply. Unfortunately you need the power supply connected to a system to do a burn in test. I keep some really old components (K5 MB/CPU, Voodoo 4500, 8 gig HDs, 8x CDROMs) for this kind of situation and just pile them up on the desktop and let it cook for a week (only when I'm where I can watch it though, combustion can happen).

I'll assume you have a good surge suppressor on the sytsem, monitor and printer. A voltage spike could have caused it but I would expect the Antec to go down first and protect the system.


Blame me for the RAZR's
had a psu take out 3 wd drives just like you described. replaced the psu and hadent had anymore problems (other than 3 dead drives)


The Voices Talk to Me
Well I have a top notch voltage and current protector that my PC is hooked up to. I made a point to check it for any faults and nothing as we have had some bad thunder storms lately. So if it was a power surge it would have to have come from the PSU, yet nothing in my MBM5 log files show anything out of range. Now granted that just shows voltage and not current. My mobo is brand new, just a few months old. I am just trying to find the most probable cause. When I get my WD drives replace under warentee I am going to sell them and use that money to replace the most probable culprit which right now I feel is the PSU, But I wanted to get some input from others as well.


Overclocked Like A Mother

Like the rest said. Had that happen to my File/Mail/Web 8HDD's Server tower. Lost three HDD's when that happened.


Admiral Michael

Michaelsoft Systems CEO
My motherboard and PSU died, not sure if it was the PSU or a power spike, I do have a belkin surge protector. Didnt help, I do have an APC UPS now to protect my system from over/under voltages and spikes.

I was going to try a new PSU when I couldnt remove the mobo power connector, when I did I was horrified with what I saw.

Pics if your curiuos:


Spammer representing.
Political User

I got a good Belkin UPS-Power Conditioner on my system at home. I feel that a surge suppressor ins't enough protection for top end systems. I have never however had a cheapo PSU die and kill everything with it, or a expensive one for that matter. But I have a had a undervoltage situation where the system corrupted writes and destroyed the install. And a underpower situation where under high load (disk activity & CPU intensive) it cooked the mobo. (K6-2 533 OC'd to 600ish)

If you have a voltmeter test the line voltages and if you are brave do it with the system running.


OSNN Junior Addict
Stevo is correct, a surge protector only kicks in when it picks up the surge, some of the spike is allowed through to the pc before it stops it, where as a UPS really is in between the supply & the pc there is no delay. Apart from stopping spikes & dips, it also acts as a conditioner and removes any electrical noise.


The Voices Talk to Me
Re: Wholly PC implosion batman!!! - UPDATE

Well I recevied my new Mator 200 GB 8MB cache 7200rpm SATA drive yesterday and preped and installed it. However I am having some serious issues with it. With it connected I can hear the drive spinning up and clicking. Everytime it clicks, everything freezes for a 2 seconds, then it clicks again and then everything is normal but it happens constantly. After disconnecting the drive, my 60Gb drive started to have all kinds of wierd errors and corupted files, that magicly go away after rebooting a few times.

I don't know what the hell is going on with this damn thing. So I am taking a gamble and I ordered a new top of the line PSU to eliminate that as a potential problem. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16817194001 ENERMAX All in One Noisetaker Series EG701AX-VE SFMA(24P) ATX12V 600W Power Supply.

The only thing that is bugging me is, what if this does not resolve the problem? What else can be causing these error and odd glitches and failures? I am running on a new mobo (only 4 months or so old), New video card, New HDD, clean XP install, new IDE HDD cable. The only thing left is my CPU, RAM, and PSU. I really can't afford to replace every component trying to hunt this problem down. My thinking on the PSU (as the Asus probe utility shows that the PSu voltages are within tolerances while the probe is monitoring) is that durring power up, all the components are over drawing my PSU because of some form of failure or damage to the PSU. I really don't think that my system should even be comming close to drawing down a fully working 550W PSU. I am just really out of ideas as to what could be causing the problems. I don't see how the RAM would cause drive access problems, the CPU maybe and the mobo maybe but why only when there is 2 drives connected? And even when the drives are not even on the same interface (EIDE and SATA)?

The other reason that I am getting the PSU is that, things seemed to stablize AFTER I disconnected the SATA HDD, and all my case fans (not the CPU fan for obvious reasons). Could the PSU be putting out the correct voltage but the wrong amperage (current) somehow?

I am just bewildered at the problem and looking for some insight.
Which Antec 480? Silent Power, True Power, etc? I'll check current ratings.

Any Antec 480W PSU should handle your system just fine unless it was damaged by a power surge (which it shouldn't be). If it is the supply, save the fried HDs and the old power supply and get on the phone to Antec. You should be able to get replacements for anything damaged. (Then sell the replacemetnts to pay for the parts you just bought.)

To isolate a failure you have to uninstall one part at a time. First leave out the SATA, see if it's ok. If not take out the fans, see if it's ok. If it is, then put the SATA back in without the fans and see if it acts up again. Continue this way until you have the problem isolated. If you have to remove multiple parts to get the system operating then the PSU, possibly the MB/CPU/RAM are at fault. When it comes to MB/CPU you are pretty much screwed (I picked up a MB/CPU dirt cheap and keep an old voodoo 4500 to use as a test rig.). At least with RAM you can try one stick at a time.

Long and time consuming? Yes! That is why it costs more to get something repaired than to buy a new one.


The Voices Talk to Me
Actually it is the Antec TruePower 550.

First I did just remove the SATA drive, with all the fans still connected and got a ton of strange errors, all kinds of files missing or corupted, serveral reboots didn't fix the problem, so I removed the fans and after 2 reboots it booted with no problems. But I am worried about messing with it just yet. I am making a zip file of all my data and am going to send it off site before I play with it some more incase something goes really wrong.

However, twice I have had my ASUS mobo say on POST that "System Failed Memory Test" yet it still boots, and shows no signs of any memory problems, even with running memtest.
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Son Goku

No lover of dogma
Three things I would think of that could cause this wide of a set of failures are

- mobo
- bad memory (well with many of your symptoms)

On the last note, when I had a DIMM go bad on me, I did start getting random crashes, lockups, it gripping a file was corrupt sometimes (I guess just the copy loaded in memory), weird STOPs that post SP3 (happened to me back when I had NT 4) that SP3 was supposed to correct and I shouldn't have been seeing, etc... It also didn't seem to be consistent with any one device (quite random but the errors started occuring progressively more frequent). Turned out the area of memory between 0 and 1 MB was the address space that was seeing this, aka what on a DOS system would have been conventional memory (0-640 K) and the upper memory area...

When I finally did get a new DIMM (ordered online), the input buffer for the keyboard was even corrupting and randomly changing the chars I was typing in...

However I didn't have a video card die on me or some of your POSTing probs...

If you tested the mobo and memory, I'd suspect the PSU... Further, if things are dieing like that I'd start there as others are saying. Better safe then sorry... A troublesome PSU could cost you more in the end (in it killing components), then in just replacing the thing now...

If it still continues and you know you got a good PSU in there, (I gather your mobo is still under warranty) RMA the thing...


The Voices Talk to Me
Well I thought I would post an update now that I have things back up an running. Right after my last post in this thread my monitor died!! Well on Friday I got my new Enermax Noisetaker 600W power supply (EG701AX-VE(W) SFMA) from Newegg, as well as a refubished Philips monitor from Tiger Direct.

I have a feeling that my problems were power supply related as with the new PSU I have NONE of the past problems. My HDDs are no longer clicking and clanking and I have noticed that my case fans are pushing alot more air than before. I am going to look into the warrentee on my old Antec 550W and see if I can get it replaced as well as RMA the old 160Gb and 80GB HDDs.

So far I have only had one fatality as my data backup got scrambled and that was the loss of all my bookmarks. :cry: I still have to get my outlook express and MS Outlook re-setup but everything else is installed on the new drive.

So far this "little" adventure has cost me:

$200 - power supply
$120 - Video Card
$100 - 200GB SATA drive
$120 - Monitor
Total Pain $540:dead:

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What a long strange trip it's been. =)

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