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

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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sospat
Asked:
sospat
4 Solutions
 
blohrerCommented:
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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dbruntonCommented:
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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warturtleCommented:
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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CallandorCommented:
>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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rop12770Commented:
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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camaroman09Commented:
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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