Save My Desktop - If You Can!

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fine-tune
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Save My Desktop - If You Can!

Post by fine-tune » Sat Aug 13, 2016 9:42 pm

With powerful laptops and AIO (All-In-One) computers the traditional tower style desktop is fading.
I've built many desktops over the years, and I'm thinking about going in that direction too.

I still have a really nice desktop in my home office and I've got a serious problem! After replacing
the CMOS battery my Pioneer CD/DVD drive vanished from the system.

Operating System: XP Pro_SP3
Motherboard Manufacturer: Gigabyte
BIOS Type and Version: Award Modular BIOS v6.00PG

I'm almost 100% certain this is a problem with XP. This Microsoft blog has a long list of attached
comments (many from IT professionals) who have tried dozens of "fixes" with no solution.

https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/fix ... -or-vista/


All I can do is list what I've done, observed, and discovered:

1. All tower hardware is SATA except the floppy disk drive. I don't know if this matters, but I use
two eSATA hard drives. Obviously, USB 3.0 quickly dethroned eSATA.

2. Before replacing the CMOS battery I created a backup of all CMOS settings to a text file. The
settings were simple to restore.

3. The Pioneer CD/DVD drive is listed clearly on the monitor during bootup. If I switch the SATA
cable to a different port on the mobo, that number is reflected on the monitor during bootup.
A simple but effective test for the cable and mobo.

4. I always keep a new PSU as a spare. I removed the old PSU and tested it with a load box. The
new and old PSUs passed a six hour load test with no problems. I also removed the Pioneer optical
drive and tested it on another computer. It works fine.

5. That Microsoft blog mentions Knowlegde Base or "KB" articles with possible solutions for this
problem. Like many of the people who commented, I tried every System and Registry hack I could
find while googling. Nothing worked.

7. The Gigabyte mobo and Pioneer burner have the latest firmware updates. The installers won't let
you flash again with the same versions.

8. When I say my Pioneer burner "vanished" I mean it's not listed in Explorer, My Computer, Device
Manager, and Disk Manager. There are dozens of Registry Keys and Values for the Pioneer CD/DVD
drive. They all look normal to me.

9. Booted into "Safe Mode." No change.


With some fear that I might damage the Pioneer burner, I tried something a little unorthodox:


Shutdown the computer and pulled the power plug to the CD/DVD drive. After XP finished loading
I reconnected the power plug. Almost instantly, the optical drive was restored to Device Manager,
Disk Manager, Explorer, etc! I tried disconnecting and reconnecting the power plug while XP is
running several more times. It always works! What the heck is going on here?

Unfortunately, if you reboot or shutdown and startup normally the Pioneer burner is gone. Why would
replacing a 25 cent coin cell battery cause this huge problem?

I know XP Pro is considered "too old," but it's the only Windows system I really like. I do use a couple
of Linux distros.

Without doing a fresh install of XP Pro, is there any chance of resolving this problem?

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Janitor Tzap
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Re: Save My Desktop - If You Can!

Post by Janitor Tzap » Sun Aug 14, 2016 9:16 am

Ahhh..........

A classic case of a corrupted driver.

1st.
Find your latest drivers for your Pioneer CD/DVD drive.

2nd.
Uninstall the current Driver in the "Device Manager".

3rd.
Restart system.

Windows will auto detect the Pioneer CD/DVD drive, and will try installing the old driver.
Stop it from doing this.

When asked if you want to use the old Driver, or replace it.
Click on replace it.
Then where ever you have the latest drivers for your Pioneer CD/DVD drive.
Direct windows to that spot, and install that new driver.

If all went well, the Pioneer CD/DVD drive will be now seen every time.

If the issue continues.........

There is the possibility of Malware or some sort of Infection.
If you don't have a good Malware\Virus scanner.
I suggest Malwarebytes Anti-Malware https://www.malwarebytes.com/mwb-download/
You can download the free version, and check your system.


Signed: Janitor Tzap

fine-tune
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Re: Save My Desktop - If You Can!

Post by fine-tune » Sun Aug 14, 2016 11:42 pm

Janitor Tzap, the operating system I'm using right now doesn't exist! I can download and upload files
which are scanned by dozens of virus and malware detectors in the cloud, or by several of my own apps.

The system I use at home when I'm online is mounted as a virtual image. I go offline and the image
vanishes into oblivion, except for any clean downloaded files. I never allow any app to "auto update"
itself. In effect, I keep a "vault" of XP Pro images that are never online.


Now, about the drivers.

As you know, most (not all) CD/DVD drives use Microsoft's native drivers. A few optical drive manufacturers
still provide drivers for Windows 95 & 98.

Here is the info about my Pioneer burner and the latest firmware:

http://www.pioneerelectronics.com/PUSA/ ... /DVR-2920Q
http://www.pioneerelectronics.com/PUSA/ ... b=firmware

The burner has already been flashed with version 1.06.

Look at this. A french site with version 1.09. Maybe there is a slight difference between versions in Europe
and the USA. Not sure.

http://www.touslesdrivers.com/index.php ... _langue=en


I posted about this on a "top ten" computer forum. The brightest moderator at the forum replied. We went
back and forth about this nightmare for a few days. The thread just kept growing! I thought my head was
going to explode.

This problem occured right after I replaced that CMOS battery. In fact, several hours before replacing the
battery I had burned a CD. Everything looked and behaved normally, until the battery was replaced. As you
can imagine, that "super genius moderator" had a million suggestions, but he never mentioned the possibility
of corrupt drivers.

Well, I can use the System File Checker (SFC):

Go to Start, then to Run, and type in SFC.EXE /SCANNOW

If it finds any corrupt files fresh copies can be extracted from the CD or the i386 folder. Also, there are very
safe sites where you can download copies of almost any Windows file.

Usually, SFC doesn't find anything.

I prefer to use the "Expand" command which allows you to replace any file from the CD:

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/888017

Please remember, I can't "see" the CD/DVD drive in XP unless I disconnect and reconnect the power plug.
Most external USB devices are hot swappable, but it doesn't feel right disconnecting and reconnecting an
internal device while the computer is powered up. So far, no harm done.

I guess if the native drivers really are corrupt replacing them with clean copies is the solution.

I'll return to this thread with the results.

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Janitor Tzap
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Re: Save My Desktop - If You Can!

Post by Janitor Tzap » Mon Aug 15, 2016 10:31 am

:lol: I'm still using XP Home 32bit SP3 with all the patches! :lol:

I mite not be up on the latest Operating Systems {Windows 8, 8.1,10}.
But I cut my teeth on DOS 3.0, and moved up the Microsoft line of OS's to Win 7.
I'm still using older devices that are not compatible with any of the newer OS's.
Which sucks, because the newer devices are crap.
They last 2 - 3 years, and then you have to replace them, instead of fixing them.

But seriously......
If you still have the Windows XP Disc.
You can pull the Driver off of it.

Or...

I have run SpinRite on Hard Drives, that were having issues with data corrupted files on them.
https://www.grc.com/sr/spinrite.htm

That really helped improve the drives performance, and solved some of the data corruption that was happening.
Only it can take a day or two for it to completely go through the entire Hard drive.
So, be prepared too have to wait, while SpinRite works on the Hard Drive.


Signed: Janitor Tzap

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haklesup
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Re: Save My Desktop - If You Can!

Post by haklesup » Mon Aug 15, 2016 12:00 pm

When I say my Pioneer burner "vanished" I mean it's not listed in Explorer, My Computer, Device
Manager, and Disk Manager. There are dozens of Registry Keys and Values for the Pioneer CD/DVD
drive. They all look normal to me.


Does POST see the burner? Is it detected by BIOS? If the hardware is not on the list of hardware detected by POST then the OS won't ever have a chance to load its driver. It may be that the burner burned out coincidentally but More likely there is a conflict in BIOS and some other device took priority. Given that BIOS would have been reset when you replaced the battery, some essential setting was reverted and you need to rediscover it. Check your IDE settings, don't assume all settings were restored properly from the backup file.

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gunter
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Re: Save My Desktop - If You Can!

Post by gunter » Mon Aug 15, 2016 1:19 pm

This is a pretty common problem in win xp, Go into the registry and delete the upper and lower filters:

Windows XP

Click Start, and then click Run.
In the Open box, type regedit, and then click OK.
In the navigation pane, locate and then click the following registry subkey:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Class\{4D36E965-E325-11CE-BFC1-08002BE10318}
In the right pane, click UpperFilters.

Note You may also see an UpperFilters.bak registry entry. You do not have to remove that entry. Click UpperFilters only. If you do not see the UpperFilters registry entry, you still might have to remove the LowerFilters registry entry. To do this, go to step 7.
On the Edit menu, click Delete.
When you are prompted to confirm the deletion, click Yes.
In the right pane, click LowerFilters.

Note If you do not see the LowerFilters registry entry, unfortunately this content cannot help you any further. Go to the "Next Steps" section for information about how you can find more solutions or more help on the Microsoft Web site.
On the Edit menu, click Delete.
When you are prompted to confirm the deletion, click Yes.
Exit Registry Editor.
Restart the computer.
Always treat every repair as if it was your own.

fine-tune
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Re: Save My Desktop - If You Can!

Post by fine-tune » Tue Aug 16, 2016 2:18 am

haklesup, please read my original message. The Pioneer burner is most definitely listed during POST. It's also listed
in the Boot Menu and in the BIOS (or CMOS) setup. I just loaded a BartPE boot disk from the Boot Menu. Obviously,
the burner is fine.

gunter, I tried EVERY SYSTEM and REGISTRY HACK! The very first thing I tried was deleting the upper and lower
filters from the Registry. Again, please read my original message. All of these "system tricks" failed to work.
You must read the comments from this blog. All these folks tried everything and nothing worked.

https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/fix ... -or-vista/


Janitor Tzap, here are the results:

I ran the System File Checker and replaced all the driver files. No good. It didn't work.

These are the drivers:

1. Silicon Image - C:\WINDOWS\system32\drivers\SiRemFil.sys - Version 1.1.8.0

Properties for Silicon Image Driver

Description: Filter driver for Silicon Image SATALink controllers.
Comments: Filter driver that can mark drives attached to Silicon Image SATA controllers
as removable devices.

2. Microsoft - C:\WINDOWS\system32\drivers\cdrom.sys - Version 5.1.2600.5512

3. Microsoft - C:\WINDOWS\system32\drivers\imapi.sys - Version 5.1.2600.5512

4. Microsoft - C:\WINDOWS\system32\drivers\redbook.sys - Version 5.1.2600.5512

5. Microsoft - C:\WINDOWS\system32\drivers\storprop.dll - Version 5.1.2600.5512

I'm kind of puzzled about SiRemFil.sys. This driver only exists because of my eSATA hard drives. When I was
building the tower I purchased an internal adapter that fits in a card slot for the eSATA hard drives. There was
no USB 3.0 back then, that's why I'm using eSATA. The vast majority of people who purchased this optical drive
are not using eSATA. That means Pioneer model DVR-2920Q should function normally without SiRemFil.sys.
If the native Microsoft drivers do the job, why is XP listing this Silicon Image driver (for eSATA) with an internal
CD/DVD drive that is not removable?

I've been building and repairing mechanical and electrical devices for several decades. I was one of those kids
who dismantled the TV, without knowing anything about high voltage! All my technical instincts tell me this is a
firmware or hardware problem. I always use an antistatic wrist strap, so I don't think static discharge from my
body damaged the computer.

Unless you can think of something else, I might buy a new CD/DVD drive. It's possible replacing that CMOS
battery damaged the mobo. The money for a new optical drive is miniscule. The thing is, I would rather give
money to a charity, then buy something on speculation. If I can't figure out what's wrong, I may be forced to
retire this desktop.

By the way, I want to thank all you guys. If I can't fix this desktop, I'm still very grateful for your suggestions.

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Janitor Tzap
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Re: Save My Desktop - If You Can!

Post by Janitor Tzap » Tue Aug 16, 2016 8:45 pm

I ran the System File Checker and replaced all the driver files. No good. It didn't work.

These are the drivers:

1. Silicon Image - C:\WINDOWS\system32\drivers\SiRemFil.sys - Version 1.1.8.0

Properties for Silicon Image Driver

Description: Filter driver for Silicon Image SATALink controllers.
Comments: Filter driver that can mark drives attached to Silicon Image SATA controllers
as removable devices.

2. Microsoft - C:\WINDOWS\system32\drivers\cdrom.sys - Version 5.1.2600.5512

3. Microsoft - C:\WINDOWS\system32\drivers\imapi.sys - Version 5.1.2600.5512

4. Microsoft - C:\WINDOWS\system32\drivers\redbook.sys - Version 5.1.2600.5512

5. Microsoft - C:\WINDOWS\system32\drivers\storprop.dll - Version 5.1.2600.5512

I'm kind of puzzled about SiRemFil.sys. This driver only exists because of my eSATA hard drives. When I was
building the tower I purchased an internal adapter that fits in a card slot for the eSATA hard drives. There was
no USB 3.0 back then, that's why I'm using eSATA. The vast majority of people who purchased this optical drive
are not using eSATA. That means Pioneer model DVR-2920Q should function normally without SiRemFil.sys.
If the native Microsoft drivers do the job, why is XP listing this Silicon Image driver (for eSATA) with an internal
CD/DVD drive that is not removable?
Go ahead and disable SiRemFil.sys and see what happens.

BUT BEFORE YOU DO THAT......

Print Out the CMOS settings of the text file you made.

Then shut down the computer.
Remove the AC Power Cable.

Next
Open the Case and find the CMOS Jumper.
Move the Jumper from the RUN Mode to RESET.

Next
Disconnect the 20 -24 Pin Power Connector to the Mother Board,
And the 12V CPU Connector.

Next
Press the Power ON Button and hold it for 20 seconds.
What we are doing is completely removing all power from the Mother Board.
With no charge in the capacitors, any corrupt settings that the chipsets were holding, will be wiped out.


Next
Put the CMOS Jumper back into RUN Mode.
Reconnect the 20 -24 Pin Power Connector to the Mother Board,
And the 12V CPU Connector.
Then connect the AC Power Cable.

Next
With your Print out of the CMOS settings at the ready.
Power on the computer, and go into the BIO's CMO's settings and put the settings back in.

Once you finish getting the settings back in.
Check and see if Windows is seeing the drive now.

I found this technique works when a Mother Board is acting strangely after a voltage spike, brown out, or got scramble by a static discharge.


Signed: Janitor Tzap

fine-tune
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Re: Save My Desktop - If You Can!

Post by fine-tune » Tue Aug 16, 2016 11:02 pm

Janitor Tzap, that's a really great idea!!

I immediately removed the side panel from the tower. I can see the CMOS jumper pins. They are called CLR_CMOS.
There is another way to reset the CMOS. Pull the battery and connect a jumper wire to the negative and positive
battery terminals. Most mobo user manuals list both ways of clearing the CMOS settings back to factory defaults.

I've got a print out of all CMOS settings. Most of them are default values, except for the changes I made in the CMOS
to create a RAID 0 setup.

Any file with the "SYS" extension is considered a critical system file. The operating system "thinks" this is a native
Microsoft driver. We know it's from Silicon Image, but XP Pro doesn't know that.

You can disable hardware, but a system file can only be "registered or unregistered." If you "unregister" a file it is no
longer associated with Windows. It's the same thing as disabling, but the procedure is very different.

Here is a document describing how to register or unregister a file:

https://community.sophos.com/kb/zh-cn/14343

I'll temporarily unregister SiRemFil.sys. I doubt if it will resolve the problem with the Pioneer burner, but it's worth a
try. Assuming unregistering SiRemFil.sys doesn't work, I'll procede with resetting the CMOS to factory defaults and
discharging the mobo.

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gunter
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Re: Save My Desktop - If You Can!

Post by gunter » Tue Aug 16, 2016 11:36 pm

edited for content,
Always treat every repair as if it was your own.

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CeaSaR
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Re: Save My Desktop - If You Can!

Post by CeaSaR » Wed Aug 17, 2016 9:17 pm

Janitor Tzap, I've been using the "full removal and drain of power" trick since Win98. Reasons why you need to do this vary widely, but the base reason why it works is the same. Major errors creep up in temporary stored memory and RAM. In order to clear these errors, you must remove all power to reset. With the configuration of power schemes since Windows became the major OS, shutting down the system doesn't turn it off, rather, it unloads lots of the OS and puts it into a deep sleep. There is always a small current going to the mobo keeping the caps charged up and supplying some power to RAM. Long story short, doing this completely clears the problem.

Fine-Tune,
Now, for your problem try everything you can, but save this one for last. Since you can find it after Windows is running by connecting power, you could do:
1. Build a small delay circuit for the power line to the burner - a couple minutes so Windows has a chance to fully load.
2. Install a NC momentary switch in the burner's power line. After Windows loads, push and release the button. You should be visible.

Good luck, and I hope you find the culprit.
CeaSaR
Hey, what do I know?

fine-tune
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Re: Save My Desktop - If You Can!

Post by fine-tune » Thu Aug 18, 2016 1:14 am

TRIED THE SIMPLE FIX FIRST

This is the command to unregister a file:

regsvr32 -u <path>\<filename>

The document from the Sophos Community says this:

"As a workaround to a problem you may need to register, or unregister, a .DLL (or other) file."

Notice the words "or other file." XP Pro will only unregister a DLL file. I remember seeing applets that can register or
unregister any file. I'll search for one.


CLEAR CMOS & DISCHARGE of MOBO ELECTROLYTICS

I carefully followed all the steps to clear the CMOS and discharge the mobo capacitors. In fact, I held the power switch
for 4 minutes, not 20 seconds. Sadly, nothing changed.

I wish the Pioneer CD/DVD drive was defective! The fact is, I can load and run a BartPE boot disk from the CMOS Boot
Menu. Isn't that conclusive proof that XP Pro is the problem, not the chipset on the mobo or the optical drive itself?

I can't remember another computer problem that was so intractable.


Hello CeaSar!

A day or two after discovering I could restore the CD/DVD drive by disconnecting and reconnecting the power plug, I
thought about adding a delay circuit. Now that I've tried every possible software and hardware fix, it seems like a delay
is the way to go! Did you read the February (2016) edition of Nuts & Volts? The most popular timer IC ever has been
updated. CSS555 is a micropower (and very accurate) version of the original 555. Add a small relay and power the circuit
from a spare PSU connector.

Just one question. The four pin connector provides 5vdc and 12vdc. I assume the 12vdc is for optical or hard drive motors
and 5vdc powers the control board in each device. To protect the optical drive from damage, you must switch the 12vdc and
5vdc at the same time. A DPST relay would be the logical choice. Correct?

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Janitor Tzap
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Re: Save My Desktop - If You Can!

Post by Janitor Tzap » Thu Aug 18, 2016 2:54 pm

CeaSaR wrote:Janitor Tzap, I've been using the "full removal and drain of power" trick since Win98. Reasons why you need to do this vary widely, but the base reason why it works is the same. Major errors creep up in temporary stored memory and RAM. In order to clear these errors, you must remove all power to reset. With the configuration of power schemes since Windows became the major OS, shutting down the system doesn't turn it off, rather, it unloads lots of the OS and puts it into a deep sleep. There is always a small current going to the mobo keeping the caps charged up and supplying some power to RAM. Long story short, doing this completely clears the problem.
I learned this technique when I was building, and servicing systems for customers. During the days of DOS/Windows 3.11 and 8088 to 486 Processors.

The guy I was working with had a knack for zapping boards.
Thus, I was pulling the power connector, disabling the battery from these boards, and letting them set for a hour.
Or, I went over the board with a 470k resistor, discharging all the capacitors.
Then putting the boards back in to the computer, and reconnecting the battery, and power connections.
It sometimes saved me the hassle of having to replace a board. :roll:
CeaSaR wrote:Fine-Tune,
Now, for your problem try everything you can, but save this one for last. Since you can find it after Windows is running by connecting power, you could do:
1. Build a small delay circuit for the power line to the burner - a couple minutes so Windows has a chance to fully load.
2. Install a NC momentary switch in the burner's power line. After Windows loads, push and release the button. You should be visible.
That kinda defeats what he is trying to do.

Fine-Tune,
Have you tried disconnecting the second Hard Drive{Pulling The power & SATA Cable},
and tried booting the system that way?

Now with the 2nd Hard Drive out of the Device Chain.
The Drive lettering will change as well.
Example:
C:\ Hard Drive {2nd Boot Device}
D:\ CD/DVD Drive {1st Boot Device}

If Windows sees the CD/DVD Drive.
Try doing a few shut downs, and start ups in this configuration to see if the CD/DVD Drive is seen every time.
If that works, reconnect the 2nd Hard Drive back up.
Now check if Windows sees the CD/DVD Drive still, after several restarts.

It does?
Great!
Now run a Chkdsk /f on your C:\ Hard Disk.
To fix any issues with the drive.

Hopefully by doing this the old drive tables will have been over written by the new settings.


Signed: Janitor Tzap

fine-tune
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Re: Save My Desktop - If You Can!

Post by fine-tune » Thu Aug 18, 2016 10:12 pm

Janitor Tzap, are you trying to say the procedure I followed was not enough? You mentioned completely removing the mobo
and shorting all the electrolytics with a 470K resistor. Before I disconnect everything and pull the mobo from the tower I
must know the odds of success. Is there at least a 50/50 chance this will fix the problem I'm having with my Pioneer burner?

I've mentioned several times already, there is no 1st or 2nd drive. Please read any of my previous replies. I have several
external hard drives, but the tower is configured as a RAID 0. XP Pro "sees" those two internal drives as one. They were
combined as RAID 0 in the CMOS setup, and the data entered in the MBR created a single hard drive from two identical
hard drives.

Please read about RAID 0 Disk Striping:

http://searchstorage.techtarget.com/def ... k-striping

Obviously, I can't disconnect the "2nd" hard drive because with RAID 0 it doesn't exist! The only thing I can do is run
Chkdsk /f which is a good idea.

As I mentioned to CeaSaR, I started thinking about adding a delay circuit several days ago. There are many sites that
provide typical power consumption estimates for computer components. The absolute maximum for an optical drive
is 30 watts. At 12vdc that would be 2.5 amps. During idle it drops to almost nothing.

http://www.buildcomputers.net/power-con ... nents.html

A miniature 4 or 5 amp relay would be more than adequate for a delay circuit.

At this point, I've got two choices. Build a delay circuit that will permanently fix this problem with my "vanishing" optical
drive, or completely remove the mobo so I can fully discharge the capacitors. The former option will definitely work. The
latter is a complete gamble. What would you do?

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gunter
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Re: Save My Desktop - If You Can!

Post by gunter » Thu Aug 18, 2016 11:46 pm

Fine tune, take all the components out of your case and test them out of the tower. you are running some wacky doodoo there. These guys giving you advice are at the top of the game. Perhaps the case/tower is the source of the problem. I have only run across one or two issues where the case was the issue but it is worth a try.
Always treat every repair as if it was your own.

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