Grumbling about my computer

So, my computer started eating itself again last night.

I was copying files from a (badly scuffed) CD to my 640GB drive, while watching Star Trek Voyager (files saved on the same drive), and also downloading things to three different hard drives, and cruising about a dozen tabs in Firefox, when all of a sudden my computer froze, then rebooted.  Considering my spread of activities, I didn’t think of this as particularly bizarre; unfortunate, yes, but when I pile up activities of that sort, an occasional crash (especially since I hadn’t rebooted in several days) is always a possibility.

So the system comes back up, and first thing  I start doing is moving the files off the CD again to the same directory, before I move to restart Firefox and etc. when suddenly I find a bluescreen.  Oh, yay.  Oddly (at least in my experience), the screen stays up, so I take a few notes and restart the system, noting that I should not do that again.

At this point, I let it reboot into Fedora, which immediately upon starting up informs me that one or more of my hard drives may be failing.  Quiet swearing begins.  I open up the notice, and it tells me that in fact, my shiny new OS-bearing drive is one of the two that may be failing.  Shit.  The other is my oldest drive (apparently having put in 912 days of operational time for me  already), which is where I store all my games and many of my other regularly-accessed files.  Neither of these is the 640GB drive I was copying to.

I start up the scans in Fedora, and let them take a look, and overall, the drives pass.  They’re running a bit hot, but aside from that, everything checks out, aside from a few bad sectors.  Okay…  In the meantime, I’ve run the codes I got from the bluescreen (which basically amounted to a STOP 0x00000050 Page_Fault_In_Non-Paged_Area Error), and it suggests that either there’s some sort of hardware conflict with the hardware, the HaxDoor virus on my system, or some sort of Kernel error.  I’ve made no hardware changes lately, which means unless something’s breaking down, I’m going to write that off for the moment.  Kernel error isn’t necessarily something I want to see.  Ugh.

So I go back into Windows, check for the HaxDoor virus (find a questionable file which I have removed just for the hell of it, but it’s unrelated to HaxDoor) and get a clean bill of health.  Okay.  I run CheckDisk on both the drives that Fedora said might be failing, which requires a reboot so it can make the check before loading Windows.  There goes the next two hours of my night.  But looking into it, they repaired some damaged files, and patched a small number of bad sectors, but otherwise find no problems.

So I take the files off the CD, copy them to a different drive than the one I had been sending them to, and it works fine.  I delete the files that had been copied prior to the crash.  No problems there.  I’m left wondering what to do next, or even whether anything needs doing.

Oh, for what it’s worth, the sudden reset did not register in my System Logs, but the bluescreen did.  When I get home, if anyone’s interested, I can get more detailed info up.

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  1. #1 by Joshua on April 27, 2010 - 9:47 AM

    Ick. That doesn’t sound like fun. Possibly-failing drives are never a pleasant thing. I’ve got a drive in my server that keeps reporting SMART errors but hasn’t ever caused a problem. I bought a spare drive in case that one dies but more than 5 months after it started reporting errors, it’s still humming along nicely so I don’t know what gives.

  2. #2 by Joshua on April 27, 2010 - 9:50 AM

    Although it’s pretty normal for some drives (especially consumer-grade drives) to fail out of the box. It’s called infant mortality and it happens because the drives only undergo a self-check at the factory, not an extended burn-in period like enterprise-grade drives do.

  3. #3 by Phillip on April 27, 2010 - 9:59 AM

    One of my HDDs will, every couple weeks, give me a “Back me up! I’m failing!” warning..but it will eventually subside.

    Whenever I’ve gotten that stop though, I’ve updated my drivers and they stop. One time it happened to by because my soundcard drivers went wacko, another time it was because my graphics card. I don’t really change my hardware once it’s in either, so that could be a possibility.

  4. #4 by Amber on April 28, 2010 - 10:54 AM

    W00t StarTrek Voyager!

  5. #6 by Chadwick on April 28, 2010 - 12:44 PM

    Did a CHKDSK on three drives, and this is the only one that gave any indication there’d been problems of any sort. The fact that corrections and such have been made seem to indicate that this helped. I hope.

    Event Type: Information
    Event Source: Winlogon
    Event Category: None
    Event ID: 1001
    Date: 4/28/2010
    Time: 7:54:24 AM
    User: N/A
    Computer: BLACKDRAGON
    Description:
    Checking file system on I:
    The type of the file system is NTFS.

    One of your disks needs to be checked for consistency. You
    may cancel the disk check, but it is strongly recommended
    that you continue.
    Windows will now check the disk.
    Cleaning up 22 unused index entries from index $SII of file 0x9.
    Cleaning up 22 unused index entries from index $SDH of file 0x9.
    Cleaning up 22 unused security descriptors.
    CHKDSK is verifying file data (stage 4 of 5)…
    File data verification completed.
    CHKDSK is verifying free space (stage 5 of 5)…
    Free space verification is complete.
    Correcting errors in the master file table’s (MFT) BITMAP attribute.
    Windows has made corrections to the file system.

    625121248 KB total disk space.
    447259472 KB in 8467 files.
    3932 KB in 519 indexes.
    0 KB in bad sectors.
    95828 KB in use by the system.
    65536 KB occupied by the log file.
    177762016 KB available on disk.

    4096 bytes in each allocation unit.
    156280312 total allocation units on disk.
    44440504 allocation units available on disk.

    Internal Info:
    30 2a 00 00 25 23 00 00 15 43 00 00 00 00 00 00 0*..%#…C……
    a1 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 21 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 ……..!…….
    ac 42 06 01 00 00 00 00 40 d2 df 03 00 00 00 00 .B……@…….
    b2 ba dd 00 00 00 00 00 da aa ea 98 0b 00 00 00 …………….
    7a 73 e4 83 04 00 00 00 b4 e7 c5 29 10 00 00 00 zs………)….
    10 30 ee 9e 00 00 00 00 c0 3b 07 00 13 21 00 00 .0…….;…!..
    00 00 00 00 00 40 8d a2 6a 00 00 00 07 02 00 00 …..@..j…….

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