June 8th, 2008, 09:27 PM
Run chkdsk from the XP cd (or Bart PE). That drive may be
going bad. Make sure S.M.A.R.T. is enabled in the bios.
It's not unusual to see PC's with more than one issue, both
hardware and software.
“Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.” — Will Rogers
June 8th, 2008, 11:04 PM
I wonder if it isn't something to do with the Dell CD? A hidden partition or the like?
So I swapped out the hard drive with one that I knew was good ran the install and I got a blue screen again when I tried to boot into windows. I noticed the computer was only on bios version 3 so I updated it to bios version 9. I swapped out the dell xp install disk for a regular windows xp install disk
June 9th, 2008, 12:03 AM
Dell is notorious for that kind of stuff-- my laptop came with a small fat partition (~50mb) with memtest and some dell utils...It is likely you have a small logical partition at the beginning of your hd...i recommend just deleting it
"...to give correctly is to give them what they need from us, for it would not be skillful to bring gifts to anyone that are in no way needed."
*Einstein Would Be Proud*
June 9th, 2008, 01:45 AM
Nihil- I've also tried the install with 2 non dell windows xp discs and they also ran into the same problems.
Hard disk A had bad sectors chkdsk repaired them and it still blue screened.
Hard disk B also had bad sectors when I ran chkdsk. Hard disk B also blue screened. So I decided to use a 3rd hdd which we will call hard disk C. I ran setup and it blue screened when windows tried to boot. Now I'm pretty sure hdd B, and C were fine before I stuck them in the computer. Is it possible that the virus is hiding somewhere else in the computer and some how wrecking the sectors on the hdd's when I run setup? I also swapped out the cd drive and that didn't fix the problem. I'm not sure if this is applicable but on each of the 3 hdd's when I run chkdsk it goes through really fast until around 50% then it goes really slow.
At this point the user is going to by a new computer so I will no longer be working on this issue. Thank you to all the AO users for your help and suggestions.
Last edited by joshmobile; June 9th, 2008 at 03:51 AM.
June 9th, 2008, 11:11 AM
Hmm well I would really like to know the outcome of this?
Was this malware or hardware problem?
The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it.
June 9th, 2008, 12:16 PM
Hi there joshmobile & Cider,
This really is an intriguing one, and I think that we are looking at more than one problem.
1. Malware. OK a nuisance, but I have never heard of spool.exe causing damage. It is associated with trojan/worm remote access type activity. I do not believe that this is related to the HDD problems.
2. To have three HDDs "go bad" one after the other is strange. I don't really believe that was caused by hardware faults in the drives themselves. That is just too much of a coincidence for my liking.
3. RAM seems to check out.
4. Different cables were tried.
5. Different installation CDs were tried.
At this point, all I can suggest is that the PSU is defective and is killing the drives during the Windows install? After all, the Molex connector comes straight from the PSU to the HDD. If you use the same bad one, it will kill anything you attach it to.
I would suggest getting the respective manufacturers' diagnostic software, slaving the drives to another machine and running a full/deep scan. If you are offered a "repair" option then take it, otherwise, try zero-filling it.
Normally I would not recommend continued use of a defective drive, but I don't think that these drives are physically damaged, just electronically scrambled. Unfortunately, checkdisk isn't exactly the sharpest tool in the shed when it comes to these situations
It might even be possible to "repair" these drives, but the software is quite expensive and would not be worth it, unless you encountered defective drives on a regular basis.
Yes, that is quite possible but highly improbable. I think that is what this TCP (trusted computing platform) technology is all about. Basically you protect flashable components with a special EEPROM chip to keep malware out.
Is it possible that the virus is hiding somewhere else in the computer and some how wrecking the sectors on the hdd's when I run setup?
You see, there are a number of memory devices in your PC that are flashable. They are used to store device firmware and can be updated, which also means that they can be infected or compromised.
To do such a thing would take a considerable degree of skill and knowledge, and I hardly think that someone with those pre-requisites would stoop to something as trivial as this?
My money is on a bad PSU