I was in the middle of watching a movie on Netflix, then suddenly everything started crashing. First, explorer.exe closed down, then Google chrome. I had multiple things running in the background (Steam, Raptr, etc.). Individuality, each of those apps closed down also. When they did, a small dialog box popped up for each of them, one at a time, saying that it was missing a file, it couldn't run anymore, or something similar to that. It also had some jumbled up "code" with numbers and letters that I couldn't read.

Ever since then, everytime I turn my computer on, it will run for a few seconds and give this error "Reboot and select proper boot device or insert boot media in selected boot device and press a key_". No matter how many times I try to reboot it, it always gives me the same error. A day later after this happened I was able to start the computer, but before it booted, it told me that I didn't shut down the computer properly and asked how I wanted to run the OS (Run Windows in Safety Mode, Run Windows Normally, etc.). Once I logged, everything went SUPER slow and everything crashed almost instantly. The only thing I opened was Microsoft Security Essentials and only got in about two clicks before it was "Not Responding". Then, after that the whole computer froze and I had to restart it. Now, it's back to saying what it originally said, "Reboot and select proper boot device or insert boot media in selected boot device and press a key_".

I built this PC back in February 2012. Here are the specs:
OS: Windows 7 Ultimate
CPU: AMD 8-core
GPU: Nvidia GTX Force 560 Ti
Hard Drive: Hitachi Deskstar 750GB

I'm usually very good taking care of my PC. I don't download anything that's not from a trusted site or source. I don't open up any spam email or such or go to any harmful websites like porn or stream movies. I am very clean with the things I do with my PC and don't do many DIFFERENT things with it. I use it pretty often especially for video games and doing homework in Eclipse. Also, good to note that I don't have any Norton or antisoftware installed. I have Microsoft Security Essentials installed but never did a scan.

  • The OS will never hurt itself by itself. Something might have attacked your OS and destroyed your boot sector. Try restoring your boot sector and see sevenforums.com/tutorials/… – GETah Jun 24 '12 at 20:53

The most likely possibility is failing hardware, the question becomes, which hardware. Quite a few of these can be diagnosed either through the BIOS, or with a tool like UBCD

In order of ease of diagnosis:

  1. Power supply issue: Go into the BIOS, there should be some sort of monitoring tool there for the various voltages and fan RPMs (really depends on motherboard make and model. Check the manual that came with it, or get the manual from the manufacturer's site). Most of the voltages will have their nominal values listed, along with their current ones. Look for any disparities of more than a few percent of the nominal value. The downside here, is that a failing power supply might have damaged other hardware in the process.
  2. Hard drive failure: Use the diagnostic tool from your hard drive manufacturer (Either downloaded from them, or on the UBCD). Run it, and see what it says. In most cases, you'll either get an all clear, a failure code, or a prompt to run a longer test, which itself might end in all clear or a failure code. If it's this, RMA the drive.
  3. Failing RAM: Run Memtest86+, available on UBCD. More than likely, this will take several hours. Keep an eye out for any listed errors. If so, replace the RAM.
  4. Other random hardware failure. These are next to impossible to diagnose without specialized hardware. If you've run through the list of above items, that only really leaves the video card, CPU or the motherboard itself. You can attempt an RMA on the parts and see if you have any luck.

Good luck.

More info on the UBCD: It's a bootable CD you can burn (I assume that you have access to a computer, since you're posting here, and that there is also a CD burner available. If a burner is unavilable, you can download the UBCD iso image, along with YUMI and make a bootable thumb drive). It contains many useful utilities for troubleshooting various computer issues, and taking care of some low level tasks (partitioning drives, low level formats/wipes/etc).

Pretty much, get it to bootable media one of the ways I just mentioned, boot the non-functioning computer, and get into the boot menu (how exactly you do this is up to the exact model of motherboard. Often it's either F8 during the boot process, or for newer UFEI BIOSs, you can pick from a menu within the BIOS menu, typically by pressing DEL during boot, check your motherboard manual).

If booting from a CD, pick the CD from the menu, and you'll be presented with the UBCD menu. If booting off of USB with YUMI, you'll get the YUMI menu first, and it should be under System Tools or something similar, select that, then you'll be taken to the UBCD menu)

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  • How do I install UBCD if it won't even boot? – Rob Avery IV Jun 24 '12 at 22:15
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    @RobAveryIV once you know and understand what UBCD is, you will understand what is wrong with that question. Follow the link to it. It stands for Ultimate Boot CD – Bon Gart Jun 24 '12 at 22:45
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    Saying that other than HDD, PSU or RAM issues being next to impossible to diagnose without specialized hardware is not entirely true, it may not be that easy but it's definitely not nearly impossible. Anyway good guide for basic hw testing deserves +1 – Sampo Sarrala - codidact.org Jun 24 '12 at 23:28

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