Sorry to repost:SLUGGISH Inspriron 8100 pad/stick not working

Discussion in 'Dell' started by news.rcn.com, Feb 12, 2006.

  1. news.rcn.com

    news.rcn.com Guest

    Sorry to repost about my Inspiron 8100 pad/stick not working which was cured
    as set out elsewhere.

    I did report that the whole computer was sluggish as hell and that this
    re-plugging in of the touch pad/stick cured this completely.

    Unfortunately it only lasted a day or so and then the whole computer got
    progressively slower on all counts.

    Now it isn't quite as bad as it was but the sluggishness has returned. If
    Windows Update, Adaware, Spybot, a/v, SFC /scannow, and the hardware
    diagnostic test didn't work, does anyone else have any ideas what can be
    causing this? I wanted to start to use it as my main computer and try to
    transfer all my data and settings over to it but am getting a bit reluctant
    to do this now. Not sure if I can use PC100 memory in an 8100 but I could
    put 256 meg more in it but I cant help but feel that the problem lies
    elsewhere.

    As I mentioned in the earlier thread, the sluggishness is there when there
    aren't any programs loaded and loading some doesn't seem to affect it so it
    IS unlikely to be the fact that I 'only' have 128 mg of RAM to run XP.
    Norton WinDoctor is installed but this (surprise surprise) doesn't reveal
    anything besides the usual plethora of completely innocuous supposedly
    faulty InProcServer settings in the registry. I did just accidentally buy
    System Mechanic 4 on line and will be receiving it soon. I wonder if it
    will reveal anything (does anyone have any experience of this or of later
    versions? The reviews all seem to heap praise on the earlier versions and
    less on the later ones, whatever that means)
     
    news.rcn.com, Feb 12, 2006
    #1
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  2. news.rcn.com

    news.rcn.com Guest

    Again I apologise if this is a slightly difficult one but does this assist:
    Overnight and with no programs running, the computer BSOD'd on
    Kernel_Data_Inpage_Error, citing atapi.sys at address FC418130 base and a
    datestamp I had never seen before, 41107b4d

    Does this mean that there is something wrong with the hard drive controller
    on the motherboard? How on earth do you update a hard drive controller
    driver on a laptop when there is no patch on the Dell site for this (and/or
    when Dell's own people cant interpret this sluggishness)?

    The normal Kernel_Data_Inpage_Error meaning is that related kernel traps
    that are caused when the operating system tries to load a page into memory
    from the paging file on the hard disk, but cannot access the page because of
    either a software or hardware failure

    If it is a boot sector virus, which I doubt as I often run updated virus
    utilities (plural) and don't use email on this computer yet, is there an
    easy tell-tale way of checking on this such as by looking somewhere for the
    unit running in DOS compatibility mode like in the old Win98 days? I
    suppose that could account for the sluggishness but not the no-sluggishness
    in Safe Mode (if it is still doing that)

    Haven't tried reseating the RAM yet but I did run ramtest and everything
    SEEMED ok. (clutching at straws here with these last two)

    Still clutching at straws, would the event viewer show anything? Should
    there be a dump or minidump anywhere and is this created AFTER a bsod on
    restart or when the BS occurs?


    I did report that the whole computer was sluggish as hell and that this
    re-plugging in of the touch pad/stick cured this completely.

    Unfortunately it only lasted a day or so and then the whole computer got
    progressively slower on all counts.

    Now it isn't quite as bad as it was but the sluggishness has returned. If
    Windows Update, Adaware, Spybot, a/v, SFC /scannow, and the hardware
    diagnostic test didn't work, does anyone else have any ideas what can be
    causing this? I wanted to start to use it as my main computer and try to
    transfer all my data and settings over to it but am getting a bit reluctant
    to do this now. Not sure if I can use PC100 memory in an 8100 but I could
    put 256 meg more in it but I cant help but feel that the problem lies
    elsewhere.

    As I mentioned in the earlier thread, the sluggishness is there when there
    aren't any programs loaded and loading some doesn't seem to affect it so it
    IS unlikely to be the fact that I 'only' have 128 mg of RAM to run XP.
    Norton WinDoctor is installed but this (surprise surprise) doesn't reveal
    anything besides the usual plethora of completely innocuous supposedly
    faulty InProcServer settings in the registry. I did just accidentally buy
    System Mechanic 4 on line and will be receiving it soon. I wonder if it
    will reveal anything (does anyone have any experience of this or of later
    versions? The reviews all seem to heap praise on the earlier versions and
    less on the later ones, whatever that means)
     
    news.rcn.com, Feb 14, 2006
    #2
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  3. news.rcn.com

    Ha Ha Guest

    After reading through it would seem that the controller board for the IDE
    channels has an intermittent fault related to a soldered joints/connectors.
    This is often triggered from heat (expansion/contraction). As to 128MB RAM
    with XP this will cause slowness but not as much as having a slow HD and if
    the HD is intermittent in its response then this will compound probs. The
    opening/removal of the keyboard always can move the cables which can begin
    the cause of these errors.

    Solution would be go for a clean build of XP (ensuring on latest BIOS) then
    load a defrag tool and run cyclically for 14 hours with monitors on to check
    performance.
     
    Ha Ha, Feb 14, 2006
    #3
  4. news.rcn.com

    news.rcn.com Guest

    Sorry to post too soon but as reported elsewhere (different thread,
    different user and year, same OS & symptoms) the hard drive started clicking
    on reboot.

    I don't think there is much room for doubt on what that means and that no
    utility is going to fix it!
     
    news.rcn.com, Feb 14, 2006
    #4
  5. news.rcn.com

    news.rcn.com Guest

    Correct that last message: despite clicking, the system reports no hdd or
    CD: Powermax does then run and test and the drive passes most tests and
    then it reports that the drive is failing. Powermax doesn't identify the
    manufacturer beyond some arcane serial number without a HIT or a TO or a FUJ
    start.

    THEN when you reboot, the drive doesn't click but rather it hisses a bit and
    the unit does go into windows. I wonder what info I should copy off the
    drive which I can use to reinstall Windows onto a new drive and look as if I
    have legal copies of Windows and Office? (assuming nothing will resuscitate
    this drive)

    And/or what is the best way to do this? With an Ethernet Crossover cable to
    a desktop while I get a drive and possibly an updated BIOS? Mine is dated
    sometime in 2002 but there is nothing newer on the Dell site)
     
    news.rcn.com, Feb 14, 2006
    #5
  6. news.rcn.com

    Rod Speed Guest

    What does Everest say about the drive manufacturer ?
    Thats an odd question. If you have legal copys of Win and Office,
    you can validate the clean install on a replacement hard drive.
    Thats what I would have done when you first had problems,
    image the drive over a cable using True Image. You need
    quite a bit of space on the desktop system tho.
     
    Rod Speed, Feb 14, 2006
    #6
  7. news.rcn.com

    news.rcn.com Guest

    I will czech
    It is not odd if you have an valid copy on the drive and no restore or
    reinstallation discs anywhere to be found (but can possibly borrow some? IF
    I can put my legitimate keys in)
     
    news.rcn.com, Feb 15, 2006
    #7
  8. news.rcn.com

    Rod Speed Guest

    Yes you can.
     
    Rod Speed, Feb 15, 2006
    #8
  9. news.rcn.com

    news.rcn.com Guest

    Everest isn't installed on this computer and I am reluctant to install
    anything on it at all at the moment; What I do know is that I put a Hitachi
    Drive Fitness Test disc in it and it reported a drive ID number which was a
    Travelstar number. so I ran the dft and it reported bad sectors and said
    would I like them cleaned up? It said that it could recover data from
    corrupted sectors and presumably mark them bad so that they arent accessed
    later for any purpose. Does anyone know if it actually does this to any
    significant extent?

    The trouble is that this didnt really improve the computer's performance in
    any significant way: it still takes between fifteen and 50 seconds for any
    instruction to execute, even pressing START! spybot, adaware, sfc still
    shows no improvement assuming something on the os had become corrupted but
    now resides on a good sector.

    Needless to say, booting off a knoppix cd and running the os from the cd
    shows that there is nothing whatsoever wrong with any of the other hardware
    at all
    I can do this except that I only have a ghost 2001 floppy to do this with
    (and no ghost installed on the computer itself) and that reports that it
    cant start because there is a problem with the MFT. I wonder if there is
    any way of booting the computer into knoppix and imaging the c drive over to
    a desktop computer? (or if this problem with the mft can either be cured or
    is real?)
     
    news.rcn.com, Feb 23, 2006
    #9
  10. news.rcn.com

    Ben Myers Guest

    Drive Fitness Test, like all manufacturer diagnostic software, makes its best
    effort to replace defective sectors with spare ones, and to copy the data from
    defective to good sector. "BEST EFFORT." If the data on a bad sector is
    trashed too badly, DFT cannot work miracles. Undoubtedly, a now-good sector
    contains corrupted data.

    Reload the operating system and your application software on a new drive, and
    salvage whatever data you can from the Hitachi/IBM one. A drive with bad
    sectors, even if "corrected", is not to be trusted. Not with my data, anyway.

    .... Ben Myers

    <SNIP>
     
    Ben Myers, Feb 23, 2006
    #10
  11. news.rcn.com

    Rod Speed Guest

    Its on one of the universal boot CDs for Win, so you can use it that way.
    OK, thats near enough.
    I dont recall it ever says it as absolutely as that.
    Yes, its technically possible to get the data out of
    sectors that can be read on multiple retrys and
    then reallocate that sector to the bad sector list.
    Do you see disk activity during that pause ?
    Unlikely to produce a symptom like that.
    Then its possible that the OS install on the hard drive
    has got rather comprehensively screwed somehow.

    I'd try an install in place over the top of the current install
    and see if that fixes the problem and if it doesnt, do a clean
    install on a freshly formatted drive after imaging the drive
    and see if that fixes the problem. It it does, I'd restore the
    image, use the Files and Settings Transfer Wizard to get
    the data and setting across to the new clean install.

    If even a clean install still shows the problem, you have
    a hardware problem that affects XP but not Linux.
    Yes, there's an imager on the knoppix CD.
    chkdsk should fix it if that is the problem.
     
    Rod Speed, Feb 23, 2006
    #11
  12. Everest doesn't need to be installed. I run it directly from a CD on
    my customers' PCs. It doesn't change any settings and leaves no
    debris behind AFAIK.
     
    Frazer Jolly Goodfellow, Feb 23, 2006
    #12
  13. Nope, best effort has nothing to do with it.
    Doesn't even do/try that.
    Doesn't even try that.
    Nope, you just pulled that from your ass.
    What's not to be trusted is YOU. You obviously make things up.
    Your problem.
    [snip]
     
    Folkert Rienstra, Feb 23, 2006
    #13
  14. news.rcn.com

    Ben Myers Guest

    What? Preposterous! I've used DFT time and again. I think I have a very good
    idea as to what it does.

    It DOES copy data from a bad sector to a replacement. The problem is, as I
    stated, that if the data is badly corrupted, then the replacement sector is
    equally corrupted.

    DFT also makes a best effort to replace a sector with a spare, but cannot always
    do so if it determines that a drive has failed beyond repair. An extreme
    example of this would be a drive with all of its spare sectors already in use.

    You have extremely large testicles. Mind them... Ben Myers

     
    Ben Myers, Feb 24, 2006
    #14
  15. Nice show, troll.
    So what, so you have an "idea". So you don't have a clue.
    Obviously you are totally clueless.
    Nope. If it did you would have provided the proof already.

    That's what drives do themselfs if retries succeed. DFT has nothing
    to do with it whatsoever except for just reading the drive and provi-
    ding the opportunity, just like any other reading of the drive would do.

    What DFT can do is offer to overwrite unrecoverable read error bad
    sectors with pattern data so that the formerly bad sector will be read-
    able again but the data in it will be lost.

    "Write operations will ONLY be performed if you select the options to
    erase disk, erase MBR or perform *sector repair operation* from the
    Utility Menu or by selecting these options when offered after a media
    error has been detected."

    "NOTE – *Sector repair* and Erase Disk WILL result in data being
    deleted from your disk drive"

    No drive will copy bad data into a good sector and make that sector ap-
    pear good (neither will DFT) . Such a drive would be highly unreliable.
    As you 'pulled an "idea" from your ass'.
    Doesn't happen. Says so in every harddrive manual.
    Says so for DFT for what sector repair does.
    You pulled that out of your ass too.
    There are literally millions of them.
    Have fun showing us one drive with millions of reallocated sectors, troll.
    Right, thanks for reminding us that you are indeed a troll.
     
    Folkert Rienstra, Feb 24, 2006
    #15
  16. news.rcn.com

    Ben Myers Guest

    My gosh, did I stumble across the response of some world class expert who has
    designed disk drives and worked in a clean room? Methinks YOU are the troll.
    I've been responding to and asking questions of people in the Dell newsgroup for
    years. Most people have the common decency to be somewhat polite in responding
    to usenet groups. Decency and class are certainly lacking in your responses.
    Well tempered responses usually engender more respect than screeds and
    name-calling. Frankly, I could not restrain myself from making a somewhat
    vulgar response to your first screed. I should have known better. I have
    nothing further to say to you... Ben Myers

    <SNIP THE SCREEDS>
     
    Ben Myers, Feb 24, 2006
    #16
  17. news.rcn.com

    Joep Guest

    troll.

    Well, he is, but he is also right in this matter.

    Joep
     
    Joep, Feb 24, 2006
    #17
  18. news.rcn.com

    J. Clarke Guest

    (1) I've never figured out whether Folkert is a troll or just an obnoxious
    pest in dire need of a blanket party--neither of those conditions however
    keeps him from being a smart guy who often knows what he is about and whose
    advice you disregard at your peril.

    (2) He's just telling you what is well known about the characteristics of
    modern drives. Drive Fitness Test and the like won't try to pull data off
    a bad sector and write it to a good one--sparing is automatic and is
    handled by the drive at the first attempted write to the bad sector.

    There is a utility called Spinrite that will attempt to extract data from a
    marginal sector, whether it succeeds or not I have no idea, I've never
    trusted it far enough to actually attempt to use it.
     
    J. Clarke, Feb 25, 2006
    #18
  19. news.rcn.com

    news.rcn.com Guest

    Sorry for all the controversy, guys, all I wanted was to know whether and
    how to get my OS working again having identified what may be major or may be
    minor problems with the drive: I am of course fully aware that I can easily
    spend myself out of any trouble by replacing any part which any utility ever
    tells me is in any way corrupted: Whether a brand new drive would eliminate
    all conceivable possibility that I ever get a bad sector again on a drive is
    questionable: as I see it, there seems to be provision on all drives for
    there to be spare sectors to be used if some go bad. Not sure if that
    means that my drive must be useless and replaced if Hitachi DFT ever tells
    me that I have bad sectors and do I want them repaired? Don't get me wrong,
    I can see the logic in extremis, I am just not sure I have got there yet
    with this drive which has NO data on it, just software and an OS which it
    would take me an age to reinstall and configure (and see below)

    What I have is an endemically slow system. I would imagine this means some
    major problem with a whole host of DLLs or some very minor problem with some
    kernel file which is having major consequences although not killing the OS
    completely
    During that pause, there is often no activity whatsoever. Sometimes at the
    end, I see some threshing around but if it was all threshing around I would
    have just enlarged the pagefile.sys cache or in extreme cases added memory.
    Nut as I said, the same pause is there if nothing is running or if five
    programs are multitasking
    I suspect that is the problem which SHOULD be repaired by sfc /scannow.
    I am reasonably sure that it would but my problem is that I have firstly
    lost the lousy Dell recovery discs for this system and Secondly I only have
    a XP Pro install disc with which to do a repair on what is an XP Home setup.
    Precisely how inadvisable is this? Or is there any way of doing an in place
    install over the present system with this disc?
    Sounds like an interesting idea IF there is some way of repairing XP Home
    with Pro.

    Thus far all I have dared to do was to run SFC with the Pro install disc in
    the CD tray which has always worked for me before: Given what might well be
    corrupted on the drive because of those bad sectors, may be I should try sfc
    /purgecache before sfc /scannow?

    Or will something like SpinWrite actually tell me if this drive is about to
    fail completely?
    (that possibility hadn't occurred to me at all!!!)Seems to be a bit too late to do this
    OK then that is the way if all else fails
    No, Ghost tells you to run Chkdsk AND I had obviously already tried that
    before all else (as well as NDD which also reported no problems as usual
    with NDD)

    I was wrong about that: The BIOS on my system is numbered A08. I downloaded
    the latest version from Dell, whatever it was (a month ago before I even
    started asking on these NGs and after I had tried various diagnostics
    myself) and followed some cockamamie procedure which I have NEVER seen work
    before which they advise which involved updating the BIOS while in Windows!
    Needless to say, on further checking, I discover that I am still using A08
    when there is a properly installable A15 out there which I can install from
    floppy

    And that alone has reduced the pause while nothing happens on (for example:
    pressing START down to five seconds with MY COMPUTER taking only 14 seconds
    to show after that so i guess I am getting somewhere? And starting Firefox
    takes 19 seconds with the page opening within 4 seconds thereafter)

    Oh and one other thing to expand on the "what does DFT do in practice"
    controversy: I dunno about absolutely having to replace the drive but after
    repair of the sectors with spares and marking them as bad and unusable,
    running DFT again shows NO PROBLEMS. No bad sectors, no mechanical faults
    etc

    Make of that what you will.

    Does anyone know what the effect would be of installing PC100 memory in this
    PC133 machine? I have a few 128s lying around which would improve the memory
    SIZE though obviously reducing the speed of the internal bus. Has anyone
    ever run any tests on this?
     
    news.rcn.com, Feb 25, 2006
    #19
  20. news.rcn.com

    Rod Speed Guest

    Dont worry about it, Fucknert need something to rant about.

    Its all his pathetic excuse for an existence has.
    It is indeed. Worth working out if the drive is faulty before doing
    that unless you dont care about the cost of that gung ho approach.
    No, drives are conservative about replacing what look like
    bad sectors, basically to maximise the chance of getting
    the data out of sectors that look like they are going bad.

    DFT is used when you have decided that you arent
    going to get the data out of the bad sectors and
    want to add them to the bad sector list anyway.
    One approach is to let DFT have its way with the drive,
    adding all bad sectors to the bad sector list and then
    do an install in place of XP over the existing install and
    see if the system works fine after that. That wont
    necessarily work that well if the bad sectors are
    in stuff installed by the non OS software tho.
    Very unlikely indeed to involve more than one.
    Not likely to get that effect that way.

    It could just be a comprehensively screwed OS install tho.
    It might just be the hard drive subsystem timing out.

    Bit hard to test that possibility tho you can do that by imaging
    the drive, do a completely clean install of the OS on a formatted
    partition and seeing if you still get those symptoms. That basically
    distinguishes between a screwed OS install and a hardware problem.
    Easy to try.
    Yeah, thats a problem.
    I havent tried it, likely it would cause more problems.

    You could download a pirate copy of XP
    Home and do the install in place with that.
    Not that I am aware of.
    See above.
    I wouldnt without the correct version of XP CD.
    Nope. Even the SMART data doesnt do that.
    Then the problem is unlikely to be the mft.
    Thats interesting, that its had an effect at all.
    It basically means its added all the potential bads to the bad sector list.

    They're probably visible in the SMART stats, the
    ones its added should show as reallocated sectors.
    That wont be the problem. If that was the problem you'd
    be seeing disk activity in the pauses as it swaps stuff out
    to the swap file. You dont, so it cant be that.
    How successful it is really depends on how the bios checks the spd
    on the dimms and adjusts to the speed specified there. Some bios
    handle that pretty well and other make a complete hash of it.

     
    Rod Speed, Feb 25, 2006
    #20
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