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Do I have a virus or hardware problem with my Gateway PC, Vista, slow, freezes, shutsdown?

Posted on 2009-05-06
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Last Modified: 2012-05-06
I have a 2007 Gateway PC, Intel Pentium Dual-Core 64bit processor. The computer starts and runs extremely slowly. After approx 5 min of use  the computer shuts down. The following message then appears; "a problem with the hard drive has been detected. Press the enter key to continue".
  At one point  I was prompted to check the disk for consistency - Window checked the disk through a three stage process. There were no problems found with the file system. One line indicated '0 files in bad sectors', whatever that means.
  Is there a way for me to determine whether this is a virus problem or hardware? Are there any solutions I can pursue myself?

The computer was steadily getting slower and in the weeks leading up to this.
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Question by:sospat
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7 Comments
 
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Accepted Solution

by:
blohrer earned 500 total points
ID: 24320299
It sounds like your system has SMART turned on to monitor your hard drives.  
http://support.gateway.com/s/HARDDRV/Shared/SMART.shtml
Gateway has a utility that can report the status of your drive
http://support.gateway.com/support/drivers/getFile.asp?id=21280&dscr=GWSCAN%205.12&uid=231761347
You might want to download and install that and see what it says.
If there is a hard drive problem, slowness can definately be a symptom,  and I would definately recommend that you start backing up any data you have
 
Bill
 
 
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LVL 49

Assisted Solution

by:dbrunton
dbrunton earned 500 total points
ID: 24320358
Get the UBCD http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/

Download links are the icons at the top of the page above Overview.  Browse the page and see what utils are there for you.  Check the memory and hard disk utils especially.

Make the CD and boot from it.  

Then test the hard disk with the correct manufacturer's util for your hard disk.  Do the long test.  That will most likely tell you if your disk is corrupt.


You can also obtain the hard disk utils from the hard disk manufacturer.
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LVL 16

Assisted Solution

by:warturtle
warturtle earned 500 total points
ID: 24320925
It is also possible that you're getting these notifications from a malware. I suggest downloading a Dr Web Cure It Live CD ISO from: http://www.freedrweb.com/livecd/ and burning it as an image on a blank CD. Then boot your PC from this CD and run the Dr Web Scanner.

After the scanning is done, if any infections are found then you can click on 'select all' and click 'Cure'. Everything that can be cured will be, otherwise deleted.
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LVL 69

Assisted Solution

by:Callandor
Callandor earned 500 total points
ID: 24328615
>The computer starts and runs extremely slowly. After approx 5 min of use  the computer shuts down.

This is an indication of possible overheating.  Open up the machine and blow out any dust around the cpu heatsink; you may need to clean off the old thermal paste with a clean rag and alcohol and reapply a small drop of new paste.

The overheating may have caused the sudden shutdown, which in turn would cause disk errors because Windows did not close normally.  Letting it go through a chkdsk should fix that problem, unless you have a real hard disk problem.
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Expert Comment

by:rop12770
ID: 24481449
The computer may work slowly if the disk has problems and it can't get data from it. I suggest you to check the disk for bad sectors end replace the disk if any problem found.
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Expert Comment

by:camaroman09
ID: 24639118
You can check the event viewer (right click on my computer, choose manage, event viewer, then system). Sometimes you are lucky and can get errors or warnings about a failing drive by looking here.

Also, in case it is a failing drive, I would back up everything. Plus, it nevers hurts to have a recent back up.
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