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It seems my computer has crashed but not sure what the problem is. I have an HP Pavillion p6310f with Windows 7 home edition. I bought it less than 2 years ago. 6GB RAM, 1TB Western Digital (green version) hard drive, AMD Athlon II X4 630 Quadcore.

I was just working like normal on my computer, didn't even have a browser open, when all of a sudden a message pops up that an error occurred and that for the safety of the computer it would shutdown.

After it shut off, I tried starting it back up. There weren't any boot loaders detected so I went into the BIOS to point them. No drives were detected at all. I had no option to boot from.

So I gave it a good power cycle. After that I was able to detect the right boot driver and get started up. I chose to start Windows in safe mode. Once the computer is started up its really slow, unresponsive, completely freezes up and sometimes just shuts right back off.

Seems to me like its a hard drive but I don't want to go buying a new one if its sounds like its something else. Just thought I'd check with you guys before taking it into the computer store where they will probably charge me just to look at it.

Ideas? Advice?


In the end its the hard drive. I was able to run diagnostics on the CPU, RAM, Power Supply and they came back fine. When it tried to run the diag on the hard drive, it froze and wouldn't run. So, safe enough to say, its the hard drive.

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I'd agree it sounds like the hard drive. Do you have a spare drive or another machine you can check this drive in? – ChrisF Sep 17 '11 at 15:55
Nope, I have other XP systems at home, but nothing I think I could just pop my hard drive in to test. – UpHelix Sep 17 '11 at 15:57
Just for the sake of it, try booting from a live cd (ubuntu). If that works fine, check the HDD SMART data from Ubuntu and also, try running memtest . Just taking Ubuntu as an example, if you are familiar with some other Live booting OS, use that – Akash Sep 17 '11 at 16:13
The turning off on its own could be a Power supply or motherboard issue as well. A liveCD would rule out those – Akash Sep 17 '11 at 16:14
Great idea! Thanks, will do. – UpHelix Sep 17 '11 at 16:16
up vote 2 down vote accepted

If you have no solid ideas, and no spare parts/computers to test with, then perhaps it's worth paying someone who knows what they're doing to tell you what's wrong?

Having said that, then based on your description and experience, it sounds like your harddrive is dying.

Head over to Western Digital's site and grab their diagnostics utility.

You can test your memory using Windows built in memory test, or something like Memtest86+.

Otherwise, you're going to have to go try and few things and then come back with more specific questions, so that we're not guessing at what's wrong. :)

Also check out these other SU questions (plus I'm sure there are MANY more) for some ideas on what/how to test:

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Wow, you didn't read my question very well. I said I do have an idea what is wrong, I already gave the HDD manufacturer, and gave all my findings explained in every detail I knew. Regardless, thanks for your suggestions on diagnostic tools. However, I can't get my PC to stay on long enough to run anything. Thanks for the other SU questions. I'll try the CD boot diagnostics one. I do appreciate your help. Thanks! – UpHelix Sep 17 '11 at 16:07
Oops, I missed the HDD manufacturer in the list of hardware, I even re-read it.. too many questions today, sorry about that. :) I'll edit my answer a little to reflect the WDDiag. Also, when you say that it "won't stay on long enough" is that only if you boot from Windows?" – Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Sep 17 '11 at 16:14
yeah, the problems only happen after I boot into windows. Also, on the WD diags page it says to use a floppy diskette to boot from. I only have a CD/DVD drive. Will that work fine too, to put it on a CD? – UpHelix Sep 17 '11 at 16:21
Ah, I see the CD option now. – UpHelix Sep 17 '11 at 16:25
On that page, near the picture of the HDD, are different versions listed. There's DOS/CD image version. Direct link here – Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Sep 17 '11 at 16:26

If you suspect a PSU issue, HP has a nice doc on troubleshooting, there is a diagnostic light of sorts on the PSU.

Other Startup troubleshooters here

. enter image description here

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