View Full Version : XP machine freezs. Obvious fix?

Graham Petrie
20-07-2002, 02:59 PM
Hi guys T.........I..........M..........E no C!

I don't know if your remember (Billy and Graham L?) but my PC was freezing on boot up during the POST. I was recommended to replace the lithium, and did so. Well it fixed the prob for a while. It is now back. I am pretty sure it is not the batt. If I turn the PC off at the master switch at the back for 5secs, and then hit reboot, it boots fine for a few days and then the problem resurfaces. It is almost like a problem in the CMOS that is reset with power loss, and then re-occurs a few days later.

Any ideas. I have an award BIOS, and can post the details if needed.

It always freezes when the following message is displayed "Hit DEL to enter setup, Esc to skip mem test"

Except it only shows the message up to the word "to" and freezes. The Processor details are shown on the screen as normal, but the memory test doesn't start. If I leave the PC like this, it slowly boots in tiny bursts of less than a second. ie, there is a burst of activity, the PC freezes, and then five or ten minutes later another burst. Eventually after almost an hour, I am at the windows XP welcome screen. From this point on there is no noticeable slow down, and the PC works fine until the next boot.

A flick of the mains switch fixes things again for awhile.

Also, and possibly related, XP freezes on the odd occasion (normally while I am away from the machine - I come back and the screen is frozen on the desktop - no mouse activity and CTRL+ALT+DEL does nothing (yep, checked mouse and keyboard plugged in). Forced restart fixes the problem.

Any ideas?

Memory problem??

Memtest.exe runs for 6hours with 20000% checked with no errors (then I stopped it). - Memtest is a freeware utility available on the net. Would pot url, but am downloading a big file on dial-up, so browser is too sluggish to find it. When I find it again I'll post it.

1.GHz Athlon
XP Pro.


Graham Petrie
20-07-2002, 03:03 PM
url is Mem test 1.0 Homepage (http://hcidesign.com/memtest/)

Susan B
20-07-2002, 03:51 PM
> I am pretty sure it is not the batt.

I would be dead sure it isn't the battery. How do you know the replacement isn't a dud?

Try another one, since it's the easiest thing to do.

20-07-2002, 04:22 PM
Sounds like Power Supply to me if your 5 volt rail is unsteady it can cause these sorts of problems has your date & time been ok usually the first sign.

Graham L
20-07-2002, 04:24 PM
I'm inclined to think that it is not the battery. Trouble is, I can't think of anything which will cause a boot up to progress in short spurts over a few hours.

Other trouble is that it "fixed" the problem for a while. That always happens with intermittents. You change one thing. Making any change will conicide with the problem going away for a while. Except --- I'm thinking as I type here (and occasionaly the brain works before the fingers)--- Am I right in thinking that the date and time came right? are they still right when it finally boots? If so, we have a different problem. It can't be the power supply: it would cause the boot process to restart each time the PS gave the Power OK signal. It's as if there's a device which is supposed to respond and it isn't (or at least taking a very long time).

It's curious that once it starts it lets you run a memory test for 6 hours, and you manage to do long downloads...

It's most likely associated with the POST --- I would try setting the Fast Boot option. It won't "fix" the fault, but might avoid it. There's a lot of code being executed in that BIOS. Perhaps also change from Auto detect for your hard drives ... set the actual values (as detected by the Auto).

Ummm. :-(

20-07-2002, 07:20 PM
Did you reflash the BIOS last time to the latest version, or is it the motherboard too old?

Graham Petrie
20-07-2002, 07:45 PM
The latest version is not available on the web, so no.

I will replace the batt again because I initially installed it incorrectly. maybe that's the prob. Date and time are fine. Long periods of computer use do not affect things.


21-07-2002, 12:36 PM
try the latest via 4 in one drivers may have to go to win 2000 or 98 as a last resort

21-07-2002, 12:46 PM
Try removing all but 1 stick of memory. I have seen mobos that act very strangely in post with different combinations of memory, but then run fine once in windows. :|

Graham L
21-07-2002, 04:45 PM
Hey, changing operating systems doesn't fix a fault like this. The one thing that's certain is that it's not MS's fault. :_|

Graham Petrie
21-07-2002, 08:44 PM
Thanks guys - will let you know how I get on.