HDD or Motherboard failing?

phantom16

Senior Member
#1
I have an Acer Aspire V 15 V5-591G-70s6
It has an i7-6700HQ 2.6 GHz, 16GB DDR4 ram, Nvidia GTX 950m, and 2 drives: 128GB SSD that has the OS installed on it and 1TB HDD that just has other things like programs and games.

A while back, the HDD stopped working for a couple days. It just stopped appearing in BIOS and windows explorer and i thought it had just died (even though i could still hear it running). I figured the problem was just with the HDD. I installed a new chipset driver and updates BIOS, and a couple other things including physically reseating it, but it didn't immediately fix anything. After a couple days, though, it just started working again. It worked fine for another month or so.
Then I noticed that my computer kept hanging. Particularly while playing video games, but it would also happen during any other use as well. The computer would just freeze for 4 or so seconds, I could hear my HDD revving up, and then it would all catch up (meaning that if I was typing something, all of it would be immediately typed, and if I was playing a game, it would immediately have my character running all over the place and doing all the things I had been clicking while it was hanging). That proceeded for another couple months—it was annoying but I could live with it.
But, just recently, my computer BSODed (not the first time, but they were infrequent enough that I wasn't too concerned), but this time it said "No Bootable Device" when I restarted. I restarted a few times, and I was trying to get into BIOS but it went to that message too quick. I kept restarting and after maybe 7 or so tries, it worked and I could get in. Then it completely froze (which is quite unusual for this laptop), and I had to hard reset. A few more iterations of that and I got into my OS proper. I backed up anything important that hadn't been backed up already, and now it seems to be working again, but I'm nervous.

Now i'm not sure what to do. I though it was simply my HDD failing, and I had already backed everything up there, waiting for the fated day where I would simply replace my HDD. But now my computer is having troubles booting, so the OS/SSD seems to also be compromised? I don't know what sort of diagnostics I can do to figure out where the problem lies. I have a sneaking feeling that it might be a motherboard issue, which would be most unfortunate, but I really don't know how to properly diagnose the root of my computer's issues.

Any help would be appreciated :)
 


Neemobeer

Windows Forum Team
Staff member
#2
I would download a tool like Seagate SeaTools and test the health of the drive. Often times you can determine if a drive is failing. I've seen failing drives cause a number of issues from not booting, very slow read times (computer runs slow) failing writing. Both the read and write issues can cause BSOD screens.
 


#3
So I did that, and as far as I can see, everything is fine...
I did all tests on both drives (SSD with OS and HDD that I assumed to be having issues) in SeaTools and everything passed. I did some more research and downloaded HD Tune. I don't quite know how to intepret every result, but everything seems fine for my HDD

hd tune.jpg

hd tune error scan.jpg


I also ran chkdsk on my HDD

C:\WINDOWS\system32>chkdsk D:
The type of the file system is NTFS.
Volume label is Data.

WARNING! /F parameter not specified.
Running CHKDSK in read-only mode.

Stage 1: Examining basic file system structure ...
559360 file records processed.
File verification completed.
33 large file records processed.
0 bad file records processed.

Stage 2: Examining file name linkage ...
4389 reparse records processed.
603188 index entries processed.
Index verification completed.
0 unindexed files scanned.
0 unindexed files recovered to lost and found.
4389 reparse records processed.

Stage 3: Examining security descriptors ...
Security descriptor verification completed.
21915 data files processed.
CHKDSK is verifying Usn Journal...
1232964368 USN bytes processed.
Usn Journal verification completed.

Windows has scanned the file system and found no problems.
No further action is required.

976760831 KB total disk space.
396395400 KB in 277576 files.
79300 KB in 21916 indexes.
0 KB in bad sectors.
1859651 KB in use by the system.
65536 KB occupied by the log file.
578426480 KB available on disk.

4096 bytes in each allocation unit.
244190207 total allocation units on disk.
144606620 allocation units available on disk.

It seems that everything is in order. o_O
Like I mentioned, that instance where my drive simply didn't appear was only once and it has since reappeared, and it have only failed to boot once, but the problems have happened. And it still hangs quite frequently. I would guess every 5 or so minutes it hangs for a few seconds.

Any other ideas?
Is there maybe a program that I can run in the background that would collect data to identify the problem? I tried looking in the error logs and at best they are giving messages about how the system failed to shut down properly, but nothing that might indicate why. Could it be something wrong with the SATA Controller? AFAIK, there's not an easy way of troubleshooting that...

Side note: no new drivers have been published for the laptop for quite a while on acer's site, and all mine are updated. Regardless, I'm going to try reinstalling some, just in case.
 


Last edited:

bochane

Extraordinary Member
#4
CPU temperature problem?
 


#5
I meant to post earlier, but I was busy.

There did seem to be a pattern.
I was playing a game (mass effect 3 through origin). It was saving, and then is BSODed. Restart to no bootable device. Had to restart a few times, then I got in. Then it froze. I let it sit a while, then it BSODed again. Then it's working. This happened 3 times or so.

I downloaded BlueScreenView, and after some fiddling with the dump file folder location, it seems to indicate that all the errors it finds is due to an issue with igdkmd64.sys which seems to be an onboard intel graphics card driver issue. As such, I've updated that.

Also tried to run memtest86. This laptop has no disk drive, so I burned it to a spare flash drive I had with the imageUSB provided within the download. It seemed to have been burned correctly, but then I couldn't boot from it. Coming back into windows, I noticed that it didn't show up in explorer anymore. Disk management shows it there, but it says "No Media" and lists 0 storage space. It looks like the flash drive has been bricked, so I'm a little wary of trying this with my other, higher capacity drive.
Instead, I ran Window's internal memory test, and it found no errors.

While trying to boot from the flash drive, I did notice that the boot order in BIOS had my HDD listed before my SSD (where the OS is at), so I swapped those two. While the computer has BSODed while playing games since then, it has at least booted into windows. So maybe that helped with not finding the boot location is if was getting stuck on the HDD sometimes?

I have since updated my graphics card directly from Nvidias site since they had a higher driver version than what acer offered. I did have a long gaming session yesterday and no BSOD, so maybe that fixed it?

CPU temperature problem?
I don't think so. If it overheats, the computer just usually shuts down and doesn't display a BSOD, right? At least, that's what it did to my last computer.
In any case, I downloaded Core Temp, and while playing, the temp didn't get above 82C, usually more in the low to mid 70s, which seems fine?


But so now i'm wondering if my issues are stemming from the same thing or if I'm just having bad luck and getting hit with multiple issues at once? to recap:
1. A few months ago, my HDD just stopped appearing in BIOS and explorer and I couldn't access it. It reappeared a few days later...
2. Computer often hangs. Maybe every 5 or so minutes it hangs for about 4 seconds.
3. Just recently, computer has been BSODing when playing games, and upon restarting it says "No Bootable Device" and I have to restart like 5 times before I can get into windows. Then it freezes, and then I can get back in again... After updating some drivers directly from manufacturers and reworking the boot order, it hasn't happened again yet...


At this point, I am thinking that a reinstallation of windows might be in order because I just don't know what else to do. At least that would help identify if it's a hardware or software issues.
 


bochane

Extraordinary Member
#6
1. .....my HDD just stopped appearing in BIOS...
2. Computer often hangs. Maybe every 5 or so minutes it hangs for about 4 seconds.
3. …. upon restarting it says "No Bootable Device" ....
It looks like contact problems, whether the HDD needs to be reseated or something like that. But opening your Aspire is not without risk and certainly not recommendable. I would consider taking it to a repair shop.
 


#7
That's what I thought after my first issue with the HDD disappearing. I am no stranger to opening up laptops, and reseating the HDD is something I already tried, but that didn't initially solve the issue. I suppose that I could try re-reseating it, though.
 


Last edited:

bochane

Extraordinary Member
#8
....While trying to boot from the flash drive, I did notice that the boot order in BIOS had my HDD listed before my SSD (where the OS is at), so I swapped those two. While the computer has BSODed while playing games since then, it has at least booted into windows. So maybe that helped with not finding the boot location is if was getting stuck on the HDD sometimes?....
If your Aspire has a battery on its MoBo, a bad contact of this battery may also be a cause of the changing order of the (boot) devices and as such a cause of hangs.
If not we are close the conclusion the the MoBo is failing…..
 


#9
Again a delay in responding.

So a while back, I got the yellow screen of death due to a "system service exception"

I had enough so I just reinstalled windows.

Afterwards, I was playing a game, and I got another blue screen, so it seems to be a hardware issue. This was also a different game than the one that I originally got a BSOD with, so I also don't imagine that it was the game specifically that was causing an issues.

Oddly, it seems that my system just refuses to make minidumps anymore, even after reinstalling windows, so I am having trouble looking at them since they don't seem to be there.

In any case, I took apart my laptop and reseated a lot of things: HDD, SSD, RAM, and the BIOS battery. I have played some games since then, and it actually hasn't crashed.

The computer still definitely hangs quite a bit, but at least no crashing. I am not sure if reseating resolved whatever issue there was, but it appears so.

Just to be sure, I also wanted to test the CPU. I ran Prime95 to stress system and it seemed to pass everything. I then ran IntelBurnTest and it came back telling me that everything was great while running a "very high" test (while prime95 was running too, so it was really stressing things).

I don't know what else to try, but like I mentioned, it hasn't BSODed since reseating everything. I suppose that, even though it still hangs, I'll just keep using it as is. If it really starts to act up again, I think I am just going to have to buy buy a new laptop since I can't seem to find out what is exactly causing these issues :/
 


bochane

Extraordinary Member
#10
It would help If any crash dumps are available, they can be analysed.
see this link
 


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