Phx Why is my computer being -sticky?-

Discussion in 'SouthWest Region Discussion' started by kreleia, Mar 7, 2004.

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  1. kreleia Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 14, 2000
    star 5
    No no no. I didn't spill anything on it to make it sticky. :p

    What's happening has actually happened twice before, and both times we ended up having to either completely wipe the harddrive and re-install from scratch, or get a completely new harddrive and start all over from scratch. Neither is fun. I've lost far too much information this way (and, yes, I do back-ups).

    Anyway, it's happening AGAIN! :mad: This is getting really really annoying, and I'm really worried that we're going to have to end up replacing **** again.

    Here's how it goes:

    I'll be working along, doing my thing like normal. Nothing out of the ordinary every-day computer usage. Then, the system will freeze - maybe only for a second or two, sometimes up to a full minute. It's extraordinarily frustrating, and slows down my production time in huge ways.

    I do everything I can to maintain the computer well. I defrag and optimize it often, I clean off spy-ware and ads regularly, I don't open viruses and run virus scans regularly. The computer should be immaculate, and then this starts happening.

    I swear, if it's not our cars, it's the computer. If it's not the computer, it's the cars. And if both of them have been trouble free for any period of time, then they'll all start exploding at the same time (the truck is currently in the shop getting new brakes... grrrr).

    Any advice?? Anyone? Please??? I'm about to take this out and shoot it.
  2. Commander_Choad Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 11, 2002
    star 4
    The only thing that comes to mind, having had first hand experience with your box, is that since the hard drive has been replaced, that there is something >else< going on, like bad hard drive controller... or something generally fubar in the rest of the board...

    Dunno, of course it >could< be the IBM hard drives that go in that series of computer... but that's just my prejudice...

    I prefer Western Digital... and if you really must know why, I'll start a seperate thread... or something...
  3. jada_marnew Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 22, 2003
    star 5
    having had first hand experience with your box

    [face_shocked]
  4. DarkSiderSteve Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 11, 2003
    star 2
    having had first hand experience with your box

    LOL! [face_laugh] Glad you pointed that out Jada. Its a keeper and I would have missed it.
  5. jada_marnew Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 22, 2003
    star 5
    Anything to make the sexy Maul laugh ;)

  6. Idiots Array Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 3, 2000
    star 5
    I have at least a half-dozen comments I could make, but I won't. Let's get back on topic, please...

    Am I correct in remembering that your computer is a Gateway? Have you updated any of your hardware BIOS/firmware lately? This is something most people do very rarely if at all but most manufacturers release updates every so often fixing known bugs. Something to try anyway and it's usually pretty easy.
  7. jada_marnew Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 22, 2003
    star 5
    I have at least a half-dozen comments I could make, but I won't. Let's get back on topic, please...

    Sorry for being a gutter mind monkey, IA. [face_blush]
  8. Jedi_Webb Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 15, 2002
    star 3
    Hi Queenie,
    A few questions:
    - When it "freezes", is the hard drive going crazy? Or is it just catatonic?
    - How log has it been "ok", since it was last having the problems?
    - Where do you put your PC? Is it in the open able to get fresh air, or is it locked in a sealed cabinet?

    Pending those answers here are my preliminary thoughts..
    - Get some electronic-grade compressed air, take your PC outside and clean out all the dust!
    - With the cover off, plug in the PC and turn it on. Look to make sure all fans power up and are spinning.

    Heat and dust can cause very unusual problems in a PC. Although this may not be the problem in your case, cleaning out the dust will most definately help.

    Good luck!

  9. Mobius Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 3, 2002
    star 4
    I was thinking the same thing. It sounds like it may be heat related issues.

    And I'm with Choad, Western Digital hard drives are the way to go. Especially those new SATA 74GB Raptor 10,000RPM drives with the 5 year warranty... [face_devil]
  10. kreleia Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 14, 2000
    star 5
    Lemme try to address everything here...

    jada, you're not the only one who thought that. [face_laugh] My facial expressions looked something like this... :eek: ?[face_plain] And all I could think was "excuse me!?" Then I realized he was talking about the computer. ;)

    IA - yes, 'tis a Gateway. No, we haven't done any upgrades to the rest of the hardware. The only thing we've replaced was the harddrive last year while it was still under warranty (which is what dear Choad is referring to). And, I'm very likely mistaken, but wouldn't replacing the harddrive also replace the drive controller? Or is that actually a mother-board/program thing?

    Webb - good idea on cleaning out the dust. I'll admit, that hasn't been done since last year, and it's probably needing it again. And, we like our computer to be able to breathe, so it's actually standing next to the desk in an open corner. Not a lot of stuff around it that would enclose it, unless you want to count the wire-nest in the back. ;)

    Also, it's been about a year-n-change (maybe 14 months) since we replaced the old harddrive, which was doing the same thing and eventually ended up killing itself. It's been running pretty smoothly since then.

    And, I noticed last night that when it freezes, it seems to be trying to access all of the drives at once - the DVD, the CD-RW, floppy-drive and zip-drive - all of the "accessing/writing" lights come on. Occassionally, if I've kept typing during the freeze, it will beep (a sound from the tower, not the speakers) when it un-sticks.

    Mrph. Next time we get a new computer, I'm gonna commission ye olde PFF computer experts to build us one. I've had it with brands. [face_plain]
  11. Commander_Choad Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 11, 2002
    star 4
    You!!!!.... :mad: :mad:

    But........ :mad:

    I.... :mad:

    She... :mad:

    waitaminnit....

    HEY!!!! :mad:

    Bad ol PFF'ers...

    Then again, I probably would have done the same thing... so... no worries... :p

    So far as your computer goes...

    I'm thinking more and more that it's a problem with the onboard controller, because I had no idea about all the drives accessing...

    The good news is that replacement controller cards are inexpensive, and easy to put in...

    We'll see you straight.

    No worries.
  12. MexChewie Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 19, 2002
    star 4
  13. jada_marnew Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 22, 2003
    star 5
    Opps! I did it again, derailed the thread . . . I'm not so innocent ;) [face_devil]
  14. kreleia Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 14, 2000
    star 5
    Update time...

    I just restarted the computer, since that seems to temporarily help the "stickiness," and I got a very odd message before it began booting.

    CD/DVD not found. Press any key to continue without CD/DVD.

    What!?!? Both drives are there, plain as day, and I haven't touched them - or even the tower itself for that matter.

    Could this be the problem? Is there some kind of drive conflict going on?? Would this be the "drive controller" issue that was mentioned earlier?
  15. Commander_Choad Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 11, 2002
    star 4
    Sounds like it to me.

    You may want to have a new controller card installed - you should expect to pay approx $30 or so for a decent one.

    Check Fry's or something.
  16. Jedi_Webb Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 15, 2002
    star 3
    I'm beginning to agree with Choad here. Your latest CD/DVD issues along with "all the drives being access at once" is leading me to believe it's a controller problem. (or a really pesky and destructive virus) What you're looking to buy is an IDE controller. Heck, I think I have one sitting around here somewhere. I know I got one with my last hard drive which I never used. Let me know if you want it.
  17. kreleia Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 14, 2000
    star 5
    Ah hah! Good, well, at least it won't cost a limb, or Jacob for that matter.

    And, yeah Webb, if you have a spare one lying around, I'd be more than happy to clear that extra space for you. :D

    I really really hope this fixes the problem.
  18. jupitertronic Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Feb 10, 2002
    star 3
    huh, weird. i have a gateway and that happens to me sometimes too. i've never had to replace anything on it, though. *knocks on wood* usually it just seems to go away by the next day.

    i've still got plenty of problems with my computer though. i switched to xp and i *still* can't get my dvd-rom drive to play dvds. grr. :( i swear, as soon as i get some money, i'm buying a mac. :p

    *awaits flames* ;)
  19. Mobius Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 3, 2002
    star 4
    Jupiter, do you have the DVD Codec and/or a DVD player software installed? Something like Something like Cyberlink's Power DVD, or similar. Windows (even XP) doesn't have the codec (AKA compatability software) to play DVDs, so you need something extra. I think you can find it for about $5 - $10 at www.newegg.com
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