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Thread: Please Advise: Strange Computer Crash

  1. Please Advise: Strange Computer Crash

    I got home and turned on the PC. There are two profiles on there, one password protected and one not. I looked away for less than a minute while Windows booted and when I looked back, the PC was already in the non-protected account, on the Start screen (Windows 8). I thought that was a little odd but figured maybe the computer was put into hibernate instead of being fully shut down, so I logged off and then logged into the password-protected account. I played a game on Steam for a few minutes when suddenly the system said it needed to restart because there was a problem.

    Crash, restart, right into a Windows repair screen that said winloader.exe was missing and I would need the installation disc. I don't have a disc because I neglected to burn one when installing Windows last month, so I tried going into safe mode, to no avail. I restarted the computer a few times and I had the system restore screen come up once but go nowhere (it seemed to freeze, but I admit I might have terminated it too soon), then I had a couple of instances where there was a DOS-like screen saying there was a BIOS error and no keyboard was found (so no way into the BIOS by pressing F10). I also had a few instances where the fan was running at full speed and there was an almost murmuring continual beep until I shut down the PC.

    My PC is more than four years old, but Windows is on an SSD I bought last year. Could it be a BIOS issue, something I need to replace on the motherboard, a Windows issue, or an SSD issue? What's most likely and what would you check first? I eventually got into Windows just fine, but it was at least five minutes of hassle and now I feel there's a sword of Damocles hanging over my beloved and faithful friend.

    Any help is welcome. Thanks.

  2. ghosts

    what was the name of the unpassworded account, and was it an administrator? also what kind of ssd because I hear the ocz ones are garbage and the crucial m4's need some sort of firmware update to avoid losing data

    e: back your shit up and reinstall windows clean too if you're paranoid

  3. The account with no password is under my girlfriend's name. (EDIT: She used to have a password on there, but didn't set one up after we went to Windows 8.) It is not an administrator account (I'm no fool). My disk drive is a Crucial M4.

    My data is backed up all right and there is nothing but system and program files on the C drive, so I'm not super worried about it crashing. I was wondering if it might be the battery on the motherboard, since some errors happened before Windows even loaded and a couple of non-starts were accompanied by that vibrato beeping. Maybe it was just a glitch that took a few tries/minutes to clear up.


    use CrystalDiskInfo to see what version you have

    e: the 000F firmware is apparently the most stable, and should result in your computer not throwing fits

  5. Thanks, cka. I think I may have found another clue. I turned on the PC today and it again logged in to the other account automatically. I gave it a password and logged into my account. After about thirty seconds, I checked the Task Manager and found that my Western Digital external drive software (to manage back-ups) was using up 94% of the CPU resources and more than 44MB of RAM. It took another twenty seconds for it to wrap up what it was doing.

    Going into my Steam game right away and running around the in-game environment while the disk drive manager was pushing the CPU over 90% must have crashed the system last time.

  6. Final update on this: the hard drive died. It was an SSD I bought in late April. Less than seven months of reliability. Today, my PC doesn't even recognize it.

    One bright spot is Windows 8. The refresh function works amazingly well. It brought the OS back to virgin condition in minutes without affecting my personal files or any programs I had installed from the Windows store.

    I just bought a small and fast Western Digital drive to replace the SSD. Even if I can get the latter replaced under warranty, I'm sticking to traditional drives for now.

  7. Most SSDs use NAND cells that are only good for 1000 write cycles, which is pretty terrible for a conventional OS that shuffles data around constantly.
    I'm holding out for the technology to improve and PCI-E to become the standard interface. Running a flash drive on an HDD interface is just gross.


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