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Okay. Here's what's been happening to me over the past few weeks:

At first, Windows would randomly crash while trying to run the game Empire Total War. it's been known to cause problems on windows 7 so I wasn't too surprised.

Then, it began BSODing on me, which is more odd.

Then, it began to BSOD on me about once every day or two days, weather or not I was running Empire Total War, but more frequently if I was.

Very recently, windows began crashing several times a day, but worse, it wouldn't always boot up at first. BIOS would post and the BIOS logo would show up, it would read the RAID, but instead of booting windows I get the No Boot Media screen

Time and Time alone seems to get past that. I could reset and at first it would reboot instantly, but now more and more it does not work, or only works after a certain amount of time has passed.

Also, strangely, now BIOS will only recognise the RAID about one fourth of the tries on the attempt, and generally not immediately after a BSOD.

I'm stumped as are my technically inclined friends. it's getting less consistant in it's behavior and has gotten to the point the system is completely unreiable, but not in any reliable way other than now I can't reboot and expect to get back on within half an hour.

Any ideas?

EDIT TO ANSWER COMMENTS

Video card is nVidia 9600GT. I sometimes monitor my CPU temp, I can't monitor the rest. I thought it might be heat, so I took a can of compressed air and blew out a LOT of dust, and some of the fans looked a bit jammed with dust bunnies, but it's clear now.

It's a RAID 0 array set up with 3 320 GB SATA harddrives of different manufactuers--I don't remember them offhand, and the build in intel RAID controller in a p5b delux wi-fi edition Motherboard.

The computer was built peicemeal from parts ordered from NewEgg.com, which have been upgraded over the years. The Motherboard is as listed, as are the harddrives. the Processor is a 2.93 Intel Core 2 processor (about a year old), 4 GB Corsair DDR2 RAM (2 GB RAM sticks). the video Card is about 3-4 years old, the motherboard and harddrives are about 5 years old. This configuration has worked fine for the past year or so, and I made no major hardware changes sinse installing the new processor.

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what is your video card (total model and manufacture) do you monitor your cpu, gpu and system temps at all, and what are they? What is the type of "raid" how is it set up, what hardware? –  Psycogeek Oct 4 '11 at 0:57
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My first thoughts are an issue with the RAID controller or the motherboard itself. –  MaQleod Oct 4 '11 at 0:58
    
How old is the system?, what make and model? –  Moab Oct 4 '11 at 1:24

2 Answers 2

I suspect Empire Total War has nothing to do with your issue and is just a coincidence.

Just a quick one that may solve your issue. Open the computer, pull out all of each of the hard drive cabels and plug them back in, one-by-one. Sometimes they get loose and need reseating.

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Not full answer yet.

Get "speedfan" from the source, not to adjust the fans yet, but it will get you the temps data off the sencors. trim it down to the ones you can read. It will also show some of the voltages and RPM of fans and all. not the best but not any effort needed.

"system" temps will tell you your chipset temps.

The Sata Raid chip down lower right hand corner of the board, I thermal probed it once long ago, IMO is does not have enough cooling (when working). and for longevity I put a huge passive sync on it, tiny fans are a waste. that chip gets pocketed back in a heat hole in some cases. A cheap test would be to stuff a loose fan blowing on that.

The voltage Of the Sata and chipset can make big differances, depending on other settings. Down just as much as up when not being cooled correct. You have those voltages available to adjust in the bios. speaking of bios, has it been updated to the last one.

Bios, disable junk you do not use, to get it out of the way, parellel, serial, floppy, unused lan, unused controller like jmicron (pos). If you ever installed jmicon on the system, remove it, on XP it went in as a filter to the intel, and causes the intel side problems.

In the boot order area, disable ALL the other things in there you do not boot to. with nothing to fallback to , it is either going to go to the ONE device you have set, or fail altogether, as opposed to jumping to the next device.

To test the cpu, get Intel Burn Test, it is wicked, it will not only hard test, but STOP and start in the test, testing another aspect of the CPU and Voltage regulations stuff. Failing does not mean the hardware is bad, just that it might need help. Use that to find out if your temsp seem a bit high under load, and if it is 150% stable as set.

To test the ram, get the Memtest86 kit, make a USB boot for it, and run it overnight some night, Again a fail doesnt mean the ram is dead, just that some tweaking of it might be needed.

Because the hard drive operations go to and from ram, a barly noticable ram problem, can be corrupting data that is moved on the disks (even OS items). Getting the ram perfectally timed and tuned and passing 100% could stop that. even though it is to late for any tiny corruptions that might now exist.

Raid "redundant array of inexpencive disks", but it should never be "Some disks I had laying around that are slow and old and small, and they might be usefull as a team" ;-) I suspect that one of your drives might be getting a bit old, acting up the smallest ammount. If you have not, make sure you get a backup of the data.

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Okay, while doing what the first responce said and Tightening the Harddrive cabels, I found that the harddrive fan was completely unplugged and in fact may have been that way for quite some time. Think this might have caused the problems, and if so, was permanent damage done? –  Nekira Sudacne Oct 4 '11 at 13:06
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Also, I downloaded Speedfan, the results it gives me are: GPU: 53C, System: 38C, CPU: 40C, AUX: 127C, CPU: 154C, MB; 154C, Core0: 37C, Core1: 37C. Fan speeds now are: CPU0 fan: 2464 RPM, CPU: 1538 RPM, Chassis: 1539RPM, Power: 1540 RPM. Hope this helps. –  Nekira Sudacne Oct 4 '11 at 13:12
    
yes, if hard drive controller gets to hot, on the hard drive. Just depends, on the flow that would exist without the fan, like I do not have a special fan for my hard drives, but I have a flow from font to back. Cool thing about speedfan , is After I shut off the motherboard control, I was able to make an "advanced" fan graph and added the hard drive temps to that flow. if they get to hot, the back fan increases in speed. . . .. You can check the Max temperature a drive got to, in S.M.A.R.T , but I have not been able to get smart with raided drives, so I check the spare temp in same place –  Psycogeek Oct 4 '11 at 13:13
    
The temps on those items are fine. the 154 ones are inactive. –  Psycogeek Oct 4 '11 at 13:16
    
It has to do with the way my case stores it's harddrives, wherein they are stacked in a small rack with only a few centimeters between them. air flow is critical or it creates it's own heat pocket in there, and the fan is the only way to provide it. –  Nekira Sudacne Oct 4 '11 at 13:22

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