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Is my CPU-problem related to faulty hardware?

Posted on 2011-10-28
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Is my CPU-problem related to faulty hardware?

I have done four reinstallations because of my old harddrive that had bad sectors on it. Each time I reinstall my Windows XP Pro SP2 (which I update to SP3 after I've installed the drivers and security updates for SP2) there arise new problems, all imaginable, even before I hardly have been on internet and even before I have connected any of my two external harddrives. The problems arise almost immediately when I have installed the fresh XP!

The last pattern is CPU running up and down: 0 to 100 %, causing slowness. Before that, windows freeze when changing to new window, can't visit websites like Windows Update and Windows Live, etc.

My laptop is a HP Compaq nx7300 with Intel Celeron M.
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Question by:hermesalpha
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by:bright12
bright12 earned 400 total points
ID: 37043827
You said that your hard drive had bad sectors. Did you replaced this hard drive for a new one?
If not, replace the hard drive and install windows again.

You can also check if your CPU heat sink and fan are dust free. If this is not the case remove the dust. This will prevent the CPU for overheating.
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Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 37043841
First of all, after installing XP you can go ahead and install SP3 directly, and not first wait for the SP2 updates. The previous updates are included in SP3. After that connect it to the LAN and install an AV software. I use Panda's free CloudAntivirus tool, as it uses very little resources and is very good. Then install the rest of the Windowsupdates.
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Author Comment

by:hermesalpha
ID: 37043846
Yes, I replaced the faulty harddrive with a new one (exactly the same brand and model as the old).
And have reinstalled Windows four times on this new harddrive (has no bad sectors, have already checked that).

About three months ago, HP Service Center in Hong Kong vacuum cleaned my laptop but it was a quick vacuum cleaning for free (about 10 minutes) without charge, not very thorough. If that's the problem that CPU heat sink and fan are dusty, do you think that HP:s quick vacuum cleaning didn't do any good for that, that dust in CPU heat sink and fan must be removed with a more thorough vacuum cleaning?

By the way, how can I check that CPU heat sink and fan are dust free?
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by:Neil Russell
ID: 37043899
A 10 minute vacuum inside a laptop is VERY thorough!
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by:bright12
bright12 earned 400 total points
ID: 37043901
I think that HP's quick vacuum cleaning should be sufficient enough to remove any dust.
If you want to know for sure that there is no any dust on the heat sink you should open the laptop completely, which I wouldn't recommend unless you have experience with repairing HP laptops.

You can check if your memory is good. You can do that by downloading UBCD for windows http://www.ubcd4win.com/ 
Burn the iso to a cd and boot from CD.

Now you can test the memory of your system.
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Author Comment

by:hermesalpha
ID: 37043976
My AV should be ok, it's ESET Smart Security version 3 (can't use their latest version 5 because it interferes with password.exe for my external harddrives).
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Assisted Solution

by:Sushant Gulati
Sushant Gulati earned 300 total points
ID: 37044045
Download the tool called Perfiz on your machine because its hard to identify if its caused by the hardware. Although, the HDD on your machine could be faulty too..

http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?id=24832

Run the wizard > Source and Destination will be your own machine> Select Advanced > Select Interval time and logs location as per the issue frequency > Select Performance Counters ( Select ALL but De-Select the Threads Counter ).

Run the chkdsk C: and if it says cannot dismount the volume then press Yes to run it at the time of next boot. Do the same for all the Volumes.

Download the PageDefrag tool and run the defragmentation on the listed fragemented files.
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb897426  -->> It has to set on the next boot.

See if that helps.. Good Luck..!!
~SG~
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by:flubbster
flubbster earned 600 total points
ID: 37044617
Could you have a bad CPU?? Sure!

Could that vacuuming have damaged the CPU or some other component in the system?
Absolutely!

There is a very good possibility that something got damaged from the cleaning if proper procedures and safetys were not follow. A component does not have to fail completely from damage, it can also simply become marginal.
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Assisted Solution

by:beersy
beersy earned 300 total points
ID: 37044705
Have you ran Memtest86+?
RAM is faulty to a much higher degree than a CPU.
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Author Comment

by:hermesalpha
ID: 37044773
Internet is extremely slow on my new harddrive so this is definitely not related to only the bad blocks on the old harddrive. CPU runs up and down 0-100 %. What you say flubbster seems very probable, because it's never failing completely but a lot of small, different issues all the time, regardless of whether I have a harddisk with bad blocks on or a completely new harddisk, regardless of whether OS is freshly installed or not.

I have almost no software installed either, no software compatibility issues could cause this.

Just one thing I'm thinking of now in order to save my translation job on 4,000 words (takes about two days to complete): I can hardly do any searches on internet now on my new harddrive.

Oddly, the old harddrive seems to work better than the new one, especially with internet. Could it be possible that the configuration somehow in the old harddrive for some reason don't put so much strain on the damaged CPU-related parts as the current configuration on my new harddrive?

I don't have time now to search anymore for the cause to this, which hardware is damaged, and it's of little use for me as I need to buy a new laptop next week anyway so I can continue to accept translation jobs without interruption. So I wonder if there is any emergency solution to this, except for swapping harddrives again and try the old one?
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Assisted Solution

by:flubbster
flubbster earned 600 total points
ID: 37044910
It could be that your old hard drive is slower, putting less strain on the system. Because it also has bad blocks, which I assume have been marked, there is less actual hard drive capacity.
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Accepted Solution

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Callandor earned 400 total points
ID: 37045920
If you want to know if you have a hardware problem or a software problem, boot and run a Knoppix CD: http://www.knopper.net/knoppix/index-en.html - if it runs fine, your software is likely at fault, though you might have a bad hard drive, since Knoppix doesn't run off it.  Test the hard drive with utilities from UBCD mentioned previously.
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 37049140
i would do a lot of testing :
download ubcd - and run ram and disk test, to be sure about the basics : http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/      

note that the"bad disk sectors" may be caused by a bad disk controller  -on the mobo..so you may STILL have disk problems

post results - then we can proceed
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Expert Comment

by:Sushant Gulati
ID: 37062251
If that would have been a CPU then you should be getting the prompts on screen for Invalid Address and or a bad memory references. Or a contiguous bugchecks due to bad memory allocations transferred by the CPU.

I would still test the disk instead troubleshooting the CPU. The machine will remain up if running with some bad sectors and running the machine with faulty CPU, difficult to get the machine stabilized.

As suggested above the HDD could be reason for the slowness. As you have said the new HDD is performing slower than the older one then possibly the new HDD is gone bad too..

Test your HDD and change the cables which attached to the HDD controller and see if that helps.

Good Luck..!!
~SG~
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