Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

This is going to be long story. I'm trying to figure out what the hardware problem with my desktop is.

It started with my Windows XP's very slow response and later even a BSOD, when shutting down. When I viewed the logbook, it first had something like the following (can't recall exactly anymore):

controller error \Devices\Harddisk0\D disk

So, I thought it might be harddisk failure. Therefore I let Windows check the two partitions, C: and D:, with CHKDSK. It had to do quite a few repairs in the filesystem's indexes and descriptors (?) I believe, but I don't recall there being actual hardware damage (bad sectors, etc.).

For a short while everything seemed normal again, but eventually it BSOD'ed again. This time around the logbook also had two entries similar like:

\Interrupt\Int8 failure
An error was detected on device \Device\Harddisk0\D during a paging operation

So now I decided to check the HDD again, this time with a tool from Western Digital (see hardware list below) itself. However, the full test didn't come up with any errors.

I also wiped the disk, checked it again, put back a backup, and checked again: no errors. But still the problem remained. What's more, now the system would boot up extremely slow as well. And once logged on into XP, it would respond extremely slow as well.

Furthermore, the weird thing also was, that sometimes when I rebooted the system and I wanted to enter the BIOS boot menu by pressing the key, it would randomly reboot the system on pressing the key, instead of showing the bootmenu.

I have checked both RAM modules extensively and it came up with nothing. Both seemed fine.

All this, combined with the logbook entries (I read that a HDD controller error could actually be due to a motherboard failure), led to me to believe my motherboard might actually be the problem here. Therefore, I decided to try my luck with replacing my motherboard (see hardware list below). I ditched one DIMM, as I haven't figured out how to combine 2GB and 1GB DIMM's on this motherboard yet.

But now, this motherboard also gives seemingly random reboots when I press keys on the keyboard to bring up particular BIOS menu's or even when I was already booted into UBCD (Ultimate Boot CD). Furthermore it eventually also gave me the same log off problems again. What's more, sometimes it even actually gave me a boot disk failure message on screen.

So I checked the disk again with the WD tool: and what do you know, all of a sudden it gave a message that there where too many hardware errors on the disk.

I still try booting up sometimes again. Sometimes it wouldn't do anything at all, sometimes it gives me the message 'disk error' again, and sometimes when I checked the disk again with the WD tool, it reports no errors. :-/

So, long story short: my hardware seems to respond very incoherent and erratic. Can't quite pinpoint where the problem lies. HDD seems to be the problem, after all and I am going to bring back my HDD to the store tomorrow and ask for a replacement, but I'm not really confident that this is where the actual problem lies.

Do you have any other suggestions in the meanwhile? Do these problems ring a familiar bell somehow?

My hardware:

                  initially:                                currently:
Mainboard:        MSI MS-7346                               ASUS P5B
Videocard:        XFX GeForce 8800GT
CPU:              Intel Core 2 Quad 2.4 GHz 1066 MHz
RAM:              3GB DDR2                                  2GB DDR2
HDD:              WD WD5001ABYS 500GB SATA/300
WIFI:             Edimax EW-7128G
Keyboard / Mouse: Logitech cordless desktop S 510


Windows XP SP3, fully updated

Windows responding slow and sometimes BSOD'ed when logging off. Windows reported HDD controller errors and paging errors. Checked HDD numerous times with varying tools; apart from filesystem inconsistency, no hardware errors. Motherboard also started responding erratic to keypresses when booting up (randomly rebooting). So replaced motherboard. Still strange response to keypresses and finally HDD tool reported errors. I'm unsure what to make of all this.

share|improve this question
Since you have eliminated the MB and HD as problems I would suggest next looking at the power supply. – Brian Apr 30 '12 at 14:57
I would be checking the RAM first thing. Had you let the BIOS to complete a full memory test on startup? Had you tried only using the 1GB module? – amotzg Apr 30 '12 at 15:01
What is the HD controller? I had a JMicron HD controller that had random interupts in performance untill I got the updated driver (entire system would hang, and occasional BSOD). It may also be worth your time to run your system on a Live-CD with Ubuntu or Knoppix for a while to see if the OS/Drivers are not a problem. – hydroparadise Apr 30 '12 at 15:11
My vote is for a bad hard drive data cable or it is routed to close to a source of interference inside the case. – Moab Apr 30 '12 at 15:44
I've edited the question to add your quote about testing the RAM modules. – amotzg Apr 30 '12 at 15:54

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.