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Last resort asking for help ;-)


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#81 Elise

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 02:22 AM

I'd like you to follow the instructions given at Ubuntu Windows Installer to allow you to run Ubuntu alongside your current system.

Now boot your machine into Ubuntu:
  • Once the Ubuntu desktop is loaded, click the top icon in the left panel.
  • Type terminal in the search box.
  • Click on the frirst Terminal icon that is displayed - this will open a command prompt window
  • Type the following line and press enter
sudo dd if=/dev/sda of=mbr.txt bs=512 count=1
  • Now open Home Folder (click the third icon from the top in the left panel)
  • Right click on mbr.txt and select copy
  • Next select File System from the left side of the Home Folder
  • Now double click on host folder
  • Move mouse into space, right click and select paste
  • Now reboot your machine into Windows
  • Attach c:\mbr.txt to your next reply

regards, Elise

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#82 highlevel

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 02:22 AM

So... trying to determine if the above is an entry point for a " remote user" into the system for my problems. I could not uninstall it and I could not re-install without the computer crashing. Just reaching for some answers... LOL

I am about ready to try the "restore to factory" button. I just don't think that will actually solve the problem(s) since everything will still be on the machine somewhere.

#83 highlevel

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 02:30 AM

OK... got your message I will work on that tomorrow.

FYI... during the .Net Framework 1.1 re-install there is a message that comes up stating that a "folder that you are trying to use is on a network resource that is unavailable".

The folder is netfx.msi when I tried to run a search for this folder the system crashed.

#84 Elise

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 04:01 AM

Lets first get the MBR dump and work from there.
regards, Elise

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#85 highlevel

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 03:13 PM

No... negative. Another failed attempt! UGH!

While ubuntu was attempting to laod the system crashed. Tried several times with no joy.

One of my orinigal thoughts about the problems with this computer was that maybe the cd drive was failing, especially since I kept seeing that driver error. So, just to make sure that wasn't the issue I pulled my cd drive out of my other machine and tried to run ubuntu again. Exact same scenario. ubuntu wouldn't make it to the language/setup screen. So... to check and make sure the disk wasn't corrupted I ran it on the good machine and it got right into ubuntu setup.

Any other suggestion on this one?

#86 Elise

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 01:19 AM

Have you tested your RAM at any point (you mentioned you ran several diagnostics)?
regards, Elise

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#87 highlevel

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 01:48 AM

Do you have a certain test that you like for RAM? Maybe I could try a different utility than the one I used.

Dell has a utility program on the machine that is accessible through start up (actually it is a utility partition). It "supposedly" tests all the hardware that is installed on the machine. The memory test seemed pretty substantial and took a while to run. I had the utility run through every test possible. Then, I did the Hard Drive test again (specifically) because that is what I thought the problem was. I also wondered about the mother board failing.

I had a ghost on a machine about 11 years ago. The thing would just shut down at random times. All the company techs thought (or were told to think) it was software related. Their answer was always restore the system back to original condition. I finally took it to a local person who diagnosed the problem as the mother board. That was discovered 4 days after warranty expired. Do you think the company helped out? LOL. That was when I decided to start working on computers myself. I don't know much, but I know a lot more about computers than everyone else I know. :)

So you're thinking RAM because what else would cause the machine to fail loading ubuntu or GETxPUD from a disk? I think I have an older program like memtest on my NI machine. I could try that and see if anything shows up.

#88 Elise

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 02:27 AM

Yes, live CDs like xPUD/Ubuntu need RAM because that is what they load in. Besides RAM failure the only other thing that often interferes with a live CD boot is the video card. xPUD has limited video support, so its not uncommon for that to load, but Ubuntu supports quite a range. Can you try to boot again from the Ubuntu disk and see if it crashes at the same point?

This can indeed also be a motherboard issue, depending a bit on how technical you are, you could open the case and look for leaking/blown capacitors.
regards, Elise

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#89 highlevel

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 02:44 AM

Yes... I actually just did that with ubuntu. Pretty much the same spot where it crashed the system before the past 3 times.

No, no leaking capacitors that I can see. There is a small heat sink in the middle of the mother board that gets extremely hot to the touch.

Oh yeah... One other thing I did early on was change the PSU with another one and since there was no change ins symptoms I put the original back in.

I am not sure how I will be able to test the RAM with another utility unless I can put it in another machine seeing as how the RAM utilities seem to need access from a floppy drive or the CD drive. The Ram from the Dell might work in my NI machine. I could try that.


Edited:

So I downloaded memtest86 and loaded it onto a USB drive and was able to boot into that. We shall see how far it gets..........

Thanks again for the help. I will check back in about 8 hours. :)

One last thing... I reread your instructions on ubuntu and I did not follow them using the windows installer... I loaded it onto a CD then tried to get that to load I will see if I can get it to load from windows. Now that would be something.

#90 highlevel

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 03:09 AM

As I anticipated... memtest could not complete. The test ran less than 10 minutes and the machine rebooted.

#91 Elise

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 05:33 AM

Memtest crashing is definitely a hardware problem. You could still try to create a CD instead of USB (in case somehow something is wrong with the MOBO/connectors).

You can try to swap out RAM sticks and clean the interior of your computer. There is no guarantee it will have a result, but it is worth a try. :)
regards, Elise

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#92 highlevel

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 11:40 AM

Hey... my insides are clean... :D

Swapped out the RAM no change in behavior.

Honestly I don't think a CD will make a difference. If ubuntu wouldn't even complete from that I don't see how memtest would be able to run for hours. I suppose it can't hurt to try it.

IYA... don't know what to do now..............................

#93 highlevel

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 12:59 PM

I pulled the heatsink and retreated it with arctic silver. CPU fan checks out OK. The HD passed another set of tests. It does seem to be a little louder when writing... but no errors have been detected. At least with Dells utility (Read Test, Seek Test, SMART Test, Start unit, Stop unit, Verify Test). I don't see a write test listed there. I wonder if what is happening could be precursor to HD failure. If not, I think I may be down to the main board.

Maybe I'll try a new hard drive and load windows from one of my other disks to see if I could run that?

#94 Elise

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 02:04 PM

The best you could probably do at this point is having the hardware checked out by a repairshop or similar. That way you can hopefully determine what is wrong before purchasing new hardware (in case that would be necessary).

Memtest crashing has nothing to do with HD though, as it runs independent from that.

Please let me know if you have any additional question, if not I will request this topic to be closed. I am sorry I haven't been able to help you resolve this issue.
regards, Elise

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#95 highlevel

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 02:11 PM

That's OK... you have given me a lot of help and information. I really appreciate all of your time.

I am not convinced it is hardware related. I was reading that there are instances where memtest failures are not because of hardware. I think your direction of the MBR is correct.

Here's why. Today after I did all the hardware and hd scans I ran aswMBR again. This time it made it through a little further in the scan process. A red file showed up on the list and within seconds the computer shut down. Makes me wonder...

Any way, thank you so much.

#96 Elise

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 02:42 PM

Once again, neither Ubuntu nor xPUD nor membtest when booting are even using the HD. I've dealt a lot with MBR problems and I can assure you that what you experience is not malware. AswMBR will try to read what is running in memory. If it cannot do this as it should, it will crash/cause conflicts resulting in crash.

As there is nothing else we can do here to resolve this problem I will request this topic to be closed.

I hope you'll get this problem fixed ASAP! :)
regards, Elise

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#97 LDTate

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 06:36 AM

Glad we could help. :)

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