BSOD with OS freeze symptoms

This Gateway MD2614 laptop is 13 months old. It gets the BSOD after 1-3 minutes of boot. Sometimes, instead...the system will just freeze (like trying to reinstall, last know good config). HDD test failes for a bad sector. But another drive replaced it and laptop froze on new install, and again w/BSOD. $500 investment...do we replace the Motherboard at $200? How else can this be solved? what is likely the cause and can it be replaced inexpensively?
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SealDesignAsked:
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ClintSwineyCommented:
Have you tested the Memory? BOSDs and random lockups are infamous for happening due to bad memory.
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joefreedomCommented:
Please clarify:

Currently there is no OS installed on the machine as you just installed a new hard-drive, attempted to do a fresh installation of Vista however the machine froze before the install could complete successfully?  Is this correct?

If so, you may consider running a basic test on your hardware using a 'bootable OS' such as Knoppix:
http://www.knoppix.net/get.php

If you can get the BSOD error code we may be able to help further diagnose the issue:
http://www.geekstogo.com/forum/Windows-XP-Blue-Screen-Death-STOP-Codes-t43519.html



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Craig BowmanIT Services ManagerCommented:
try a different OS or different disc of the OS you are currently trying to install.  this could be bad media
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SealDesignAuthor Commented:
I like the idea of trying a "live" boot of Unbuntu. The other ideas are seriously appreciated also. When I switched mem...it didn't start. So, I will re-explore the mem test.

Yes, joefreedom you hit the nail on the head. That is my sitio
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edbedbCommented:
Sounds like it is overheating. You can try blowing compressed air back through the exhaust vent. Just make sure the fan doesn't get jammed up with clumps of debris. In other words make sure the fan still works after you blow it out.
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SealDesignAuthor Commented:
OPH for Vista concluded with "Kernal panic-not syncing: junk in compressed archive."..when booting from live cd.
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Craig BowmanIT Services ManagerCommented:
that particular error message problem is related to a RAM issue
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Craig BowmanIT Services ManagerCommented:
that particular error message problem many times is related to a ram issue*
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SealDesignAuthor Commented:
The solution expressed that the expert had some familiarity with the exact set of sympotoms and its root casue. This is what I asked for and received.
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SealDesignAuthor Commented:
It turned out to be a bad memory stick and memory port. Running on one stick did not work in top slot...until I tried the other stick. Previously, neither by itself workied in the bottom slot. So. I know why this stick is bad and happy to know that one slot is also.

Thanks for all the support on this issue guys. They were all practical hardware mainstays, and a linux.familiarity.
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