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Barry Kilian Jul 03, 2014, 07:55am EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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I didn't know in which category to post this so Other Hardware seemed appropriate...

A friend of mine has a problem we cant figure out

EVERYthing thing he tries to install gives some checksum error or corrupt files error. Games installs... even when he tries to install games on Steam, and even when I tried to install nVidia drivers it gave an error, and even when i tried to install service pack 1 for windows 7 it gave an error

He says he tried another hard drive in the machine and it was doing the same thing, so I don't think it is hard drive related

Do u have any idea what it might be?


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john albrich Jul 04, 2014, 01:10pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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Edited: Jul 10, 2014, 05:40pm EDT

 
>> Re: Checksum Error
.
A few of the more basic things one can check or rule-out relatively quickly or relatively cheaply. Some checks involve using alternative parts and may not be possible off-hand and your friend may be unable to look at all of them.

1) Cable.
A cheap data or power cable could inject considerable noise into the system either to or from the HDD. Same for a data cable that is too long. There are a lot of ultra-cheap crappy cables out there. Try different cables and sockets, and try rerouting the data cables. Keep them away from power cables as much as possible.

If possible, try connecting the same drives to a USB2SATA/IDE (as appropriate) adapter and it's own power brick and provided cable, and see if the problem continues. If the problem goes away then the problem is most likely in the motherboard/PSU/cables.

In the case of SCSI drives, using the EXACTLY specified terminator is required or undetectable data corruption can, and likely will happen.

2) Hard drive mounted PROPERLY per SATA specifications/standards
Mount drive by all the screws possible (e.g. if it has 4 screw holes, use 4 screws. Make sure paint doesn't prevent proper contact. Use of "star" lock washers preferred. This applies ESPECIALLY to SATA. (note: even though "screwless" mounting systems are used all over the place, the SATA standards actually require extremely good frame grounding and good cables to comply with operational signal noise reduction requirements. In most systems, it probably doesn't make much of a difference, but in some systems it can be the difference between proper and improper operation.)

3) Power Supply.
If possible, try a different PSU (or if the PSU has multiple electrically isolated rails, try different rails). An electrically "noisy" power supply can cause unpredictable problems in many areas, including data integrity. A cheap "go/no-go" PSU tester will likely not show anything wrong with the PSU. One generally needs a high-bandwidth oscilloscope to see such issues as ripple and voltage transients (spikes and droops).

Similarly, improper voltages (too high/too low) can cause unpredictable operation, including checksum errors. Again, a "go/no-go" tester may not disclose such problems and a good quality DVM would be needed. The voltages (and temperatures BTW) reported by some motherboards are NOT necessarily reliable (anyone believing these are consistently accurate to even 2 decimals is kidding themselves, and sometimes the errors are much higher, esp for temperatures).

4) Motherboard.
Look for broken or "missing" capacitors, inductors, and resistors on the motherboard around the I/O for the drives. Sometimes it's really obvious (e.g. a surface-mount part hanging on by a single solder-point, or the part is clearly broken or discolored/burnt looking)...other times one needs a bit more experience to check out this kind of problem.



Since you didn't indicate precisely where in the process the checksum errors were being reported...

5) Source media drive?
If all the attempts are from specific optical drive try a different drive. Also, same issues regarding cables and power as for an HDD.

6) Optical Media?
If the checksum errors continue and they occur while it's trying to read the optical discs, then it's possible that all the media have been damaged or corrupted over time (esp if user-writable media). I once had a batch of backup DVDs from a particular manufacturer that became corrupted after just a few months in storage...every single disc had at least one corrupted file. Within a few more weeks every disc exhibited massive corruption.



CAUTION:
Practice proper power-off (mains and PSU switch) and ESD protocols while handling any computer electronics. Failure to do so can cause catastrophic or latent damage to electronic components.


edit 20140710
fixed formatting typo


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