Seeking an Explanation for a Hardware Prob

vbimport

#1

Let me start by saying I’ve been building, fixing, and programming computers (professionally) for nearly thirty years, so I’m no rookie. However, every once in a while, I encounter something that baffles the crap out of me. I will also add that the solution to this prob is to replace the PC: working on that. Maybe someone can explain the problem, bec it’s got me baffled…

I recently installed a new LG GSA-H54L DVD burner. The host is XP SP2, a 1GHz Duron w/ 512MB RAM (yeah, I know it’s old, but it still does almost everything I want well !) Worked fine initially, then in a few weeks, started to blue-screen for every burn under XP. Most of the time, I use BurnCDCC, a very straight-fwd ISO burning util, which doesn’t even need to be installed. Even that caused a BSOD. Nero 7 Ultra, ImgBurn, doesn’t matter, they all crash mid-way thru a CD/DVD burn.

I also use Linux, Slax and Knoppix (two live CD distros), mostly. Eventually, even K3B started SIGSEGVing w/ every burn. However, K3B will at least finish the burn, bef (gracefully) blowing up. That is, the OS is still fully useable, while the burner app has failed.

To make this story more perplexing, I happened to notice that if I burn (CD or DVD) ISOs, up to two copies, I can burn successfully w/ read-after-write verification (that is, using K3B.) OTOH, if I try and create a fresh CD or DVD project and burn it directly to media, K3B will SIGSEGV w/o fail !

Ah, RAM probs did you say ? My 1st thought, but I have a rec edition of Memtest86 and used it (let it run for 30 mins), w/o incident. Moreover, I do some pretty RAM-intensive stuf under Windows, w/o BSODs. The only thing that consistently crashes are the burner apps.

I repeat, this isn’t a distress call. I’m merely trying to satisfy my curiosity about a mystery. I hate the idea dismantling this PC, as it’s served long and faithfully, but when ya gotta go, ya gotta go.

Any ideas ? Later…Jet


#2

At least in Windoz, this type behavior can be seen as a result of using something other than the default MS IDE controller driver. Such as Nvidia or VIA drivers.


#3

For me there could be the followed problems, CPU heat problems. Since you PC seems to be not the newsest anymore it could help to clean the heat sink and change the thermal paste.
As you said RAM problems, for me a 30 minute RAM test does not say for me that the RAM is really working. I’d do it for a few hours…
The IDE controller could be broken and produce this problem. Unfortunately you did tell us the contents of the bluescreen.
The probability is low, but is could also the video card. I had this issue. When accessing the IDE port (read CD/DVD or read/write HDD) I had sometimes a freezing PC. I changed everything, except mainboard and video board. At least I was thinking it is a mainmoard problem. But I changed the vide board only “just for fun” and the problem was gone. After a few weeks I changed the viedeo board back and had a freezing PC a few hours later… I’m also not a PC rookie and I’m not able to explain how a video card can cause problems accessing the IDE port…


#4

Have you tried replacing your IDE cable[s]? I had a similar problem a few months back with a CDROM and CD-Burner. Once I swapped the IDE cable for a new one my computer quit crashing/locking up and doing rather ‘strange’ things with the drives.

Just a thought, but I doubt that anybody ever writes an application with the expectancy that it could lose contact with your drive mid-write. I highly doubt the underlying drivers were never intended to deal with such situations either.


#5

[QUOTE=CDan;2018611]At least in Windoz, this type behavior can be seen as a result of using something other than the default MS IDE controller driver. Such as Nvidia or VIA drivers.[/QUOTE]

Actually, I’d been operating w/o the VIA Chipset driver, but installing it didn’t change the outcome. I’d disagree that the VIA (mfr’s) drivers make the system less stable. I have no indications of that after hundreds of VIA builds across diff mboard mfrs…


#6

[QUOTE=TM;2018924]For me there could be the followed problems, CPU heat problems. Since you PC seems to be not the newsest anymore it could help to clean the heat sink and change the thermal paste.
As you said RAM problems, for me a 30 minute RAM test does not say for me that the RAM is really working. I’d do it for a few hours…
The IDE controller could be broken and produce this problem. Unfortunately you did tell us the contents of the bluescreen.
The probability is low, but is could also the video card. I had this issue. When accessing the IDE port (read CD/DVD or read/write HDD) I had sometimes a freezing PC. I changed everything, except mainboard and video board. At least I was thinking it is a mainmoard problem. But I changed the vide board only “just for fun” and the problem was gone. After a few weeks I changed the viedeo board back and had a freezing PC a few hours later… I’m also not a PC rookie and I’m not able to explain how a video card can cause problems accessing the IDE port…[/QUOTE]

  1. In theory, the CPU temp could be spiking over 85C. According to the BIOS, the chip is operating well below max (65C.)

  2. You’re correct, a 30-min RAM test isn’t exhaustive, but I was really looking for a simple hard bit failure. That’s more than enuf time and tests to reveal the loss of a bit.

  3. The IDE controller has to considered suspect, but the hdrive doesn’t show [B]any[/B] signs of corruption, so why would the DVD burner be problematic ? Had to reinstall Windows from scratch last week, so will try burning under Windows again and will post BSOD codes.

  4. The video is also integrated, so can’t be removed and replaced. This hilites a problem I’ve [B]always[/B] had w/ PC mboards: no mfr-supplied mboard diagnostics. It would be great if the mfrs would provide a util which could test the major mboard subsystems and give them a pass/fail.

Thanx.

:-- MR --: