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System is dead. AGAIN!!!

Desmo

Member
This is really strange. My HTPC used to be bomb proof. Never had a problem and never even crashed. Now it seems to have gone belly up for no apparent reason.

This started about a month ago but I thought I'd solved the problem. Now it's happened again.

On booting WinXP Pro I get the message "Windows could not start becuase the following file is missing or corrupt:
System32\Drivers\Ntfs.sys"

Now, after I spent ages last time trying to re-format and all sorts. In the end I started looking at the hardware so I removed one stick of 256Mb DDR ram. This seemed to solve the problem. This time I'm getting exactly the same error but as I'm only left with the one other stick of DDR ram I can't tell if this is causing the problem or not.

Now, I'm no computer muppet but am I just unlucky that 2 sticks of DDR would die on me? Or is there a more serious problem going on?
 
C

Caveat

Guest
Ive "cured" systems before by un-plugging and then re-plugging connectors and RAM. Could be oxidation on the connectors or component pins, and re-plugging them (back into their original sockets) is sufficient to clean them up. Its happened once with RAM and once with an IDE connector - neither use gold plated terminals.

PS Hope the duck is well wrapped up for the winter.
 

Desmo

Member
The problem is I've reconnected everything as I've transfered it to my new DIGN case a few weeks back and it's been fine since. I'm going to strip it all out again this weekend and see what happens.

p.s. The Duke is most definately NOT packed away for the winter :)
I'll be off up to Cadwell for a weekend of track action on Dec 7/8. And may even fit in a trip to Brands later on in the month too.

Still, it will be a lot colder than the week in Nogaro I had in October :(
 
S

Squirrel God

Guest
I had this problem on my laptop. From what I can remember reading on support.microsoft.com at the time, being unable to load ntfs is often a sign of hardware failure with the HDD (particulary when you've done a fresh reinstall of the OS and it still comes up). In my case, this was right as it was the start of my hard drive about to die. Back up all your data sharpish and prepare to buy a new HDD IMO.
 

Desmo

Member
OK, I've just done a little bit of experimenting. I've swapped HD with another machine. My HTPC drive loads fine on the other machine whilst the other machines HD doesn't boot on the HTPC. It's obviously a hardware problem on the HTPC so I'll give it a strip down and see what I can find.
 
S

Squirrel God

Guest
Desmo,

When you put the other drive into your HTPC, did you use your HTPC's existing E-IDE cable? If so, it sounds like its the cable that's at fault....
 

Desmo

Member
Just tried swapping the IDE cables and it booted up first time. Then stopped again :(

I've got it stripped out to the bare essentials now. I still think it could be the RAM. I tried lots of things last time and removing one stick of RAM solved it. Trouble is I have no other sticks of DDR to try it out so I'd have to buy more but with the prices high at the moment I'd rather not.
 
S

Squirrel God

Guest
If it's RAM, could be a dodgy RAM bank or the stick. Try swapping them round.

Might be a dodgy E-IDE connector on the motherboard as well - try blowing dust off the connector - if it booted up first time, and then later failed, sounds like you jigged something into action :D
 

Desmo

Member
Squirrel, thanks for all your input. It's nice when someone else is chucking ideas at you to make sure you're not doing anything stupid and missing out the obvious.

I downloaded a small RAM testing program yesterday. It's an ISO to burn to CD that's bootable and then thoroughly tests your RAM. And when I say thouroughly I mean after 6 hours it still hadn't finished.

Anyway, it was showing errors all over the place so I've ordered another stick today so hopefully will be able to test it tomorrow. I'm hopping it the RAM that's dead rather than the mobo.
 

Desmo

Member
Got my new 256meg stick through this morning so will be able to test it out when I get home tonight. Should also be getting my new 120gig Seagate Barracuda V this afternoon too :D

I've checked the Crucial website and it looks like the old sticks can be replaced according to their lifetime warranty :)

Let's just hope it is the RAM playing up and not the mobo.
 

Desmo

Member
Hoorah!!! Looks like the new RAM has done the trick. Now I just need to get the other sticks replaced, fingers crossed.

And put in the new HD :)
 

Desmo

Member
Sure is :)

Thanks again for your input Squirrel.
 

Desmo

Member
Originally posted by Squirrel God
Better than the motherboard going :)
It's almost that bad but not quite. I've asked around on some other forums and a few replies are saying it is a known problem with this mobo and crucial RAM.

I'll just have to see how long this stick lasts :(
 

Desmo

Member
Just had a e-mail back from Crucial saying they will replace both sticks. That's 512MB of DDR on it's way :)
 

Desmo

Member
It's an Epox 8KHA. Apparently other RAM is fine and Crucial RAM in other Epox boards is fine. there just seems to be a problem with my combination. It's strange that I've had this board running for over a year without any problems at all.
 

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