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View Full Version : PC Freezes Solid @ random Intervals



flying_green_leprachaun
27-09-2005, 03:07 PM
Over the past week, my PC has been Freezing randomly. The behaviour is all of a sudden, it simply wont respond anymore. If music was playing, the buffer (a tenth of a second maybe) keeps looping. Mouse wont respond. Keyboard wont respond. Monitor continues to display the last thing it was doing.

I've reformatted c:/ & reinstalled windows after running the seagate disc utility boot disc (all scans ran to completion no errors detected)
I've run MEMtest for about 90 mins, it said that 7 scans passed, no errors detected.

But when I reboot & run windows, at some point it will freeze & require a hard reboot to get going again.

Ideas? It "seems" hardware... but the MOBO, CPU, RAM & PSU are less than a year old after a previous catastrophic failure necessitated an upgrade.

drcspy
27-09-2005, 04:24 PM
could be overheating have you taken a look under the fan on the cpu heatsink to see if theres a buildup of dust.......?

flying_green_leprachaun
27-09-2005, 06:19 PM
Noted, I'll be pulling off the side & checking the internals tonight.

Battleneter
27-09-2005, 07:10 PM
Well MIGHT be anything. As you have re-installed it seems likely it is a hardware issue, the following can cause locking.

Bad Ram
Bad Sectors (usually where the swap file is)
Overheating CPU (fan failure)
Overheating Video card (fan failure)
Unstable power supply.( low power or faled fan)
Failing motherboard (blown capacitors or failing regulators etc)
Dead mouse bleeding over components

Just to name a few

Unfortunately, logical process of elimination is the only way to nail it down, anything else is just random guessing.

Agent_24
28-09-2005, 01:00 AM
I've never experienced the dead & bleeding mouse error :eek:

but I did have the same problems which I finally traced down to the CPU (Slotted) being slightly loose. I'm surprised it didn't get fried :waughh:

But then your problem could be anything, loose or faulty... not a fun problem to contemplate.

Mike_SA
28-09-2005, 01:43 AM
could be overheating have you taken a look under the fan on the cpu heatsink to see if theres a buildup of dust.......?

Something that might help is to check if there is enough Thermal Paste between the CPU and the Heatsink, could even be dry. If you are running an Intel CPU, scrape off the thermal putty they stick on and try and get yourself some "Thermal Take Silver Thermal Paste" The best on the market as far as I know , it even reduces your CPU heat by between 3 & 10 Degrees Celcius.

Otherwise it might be chip creek, Reaseat the cpu and test again.

Also if you are running a 90ns CPU you might have to invest in or mod your case to a thermaly vented case with a vent and fan directly over the cpu, some 90ns cpu's include P4 Hyper-Threading & Celeron D Processors

Hope this helps :)

Agent_24
28-09-2005, 08:20 AM
I thought Arctic silver 5 was the best?

Battleneter
28-09-2005, 11:36 AM
Something that might help is to check if there is enough Thermal Paste between the CPU and the Heatsink, could even be dry. If you are running an Intel CPU, scrape off the thermal putty they stick on and try and get yourself some "Thermal Take Silver Thermal Paste" The best on the market as far as I know , it even reduces your CPU heat by between 3 & 10 Degrees Celsius.

Otherwise it might be chip creek, Rea-seat the CPU and test again.

Also if you are running a 90ns CPU you might have to invest in or mod your case to a thermally vented case with a vent and fan directly over the cpu, some 90ns cpu's include P4 Hyper-Threading & Celeron D Processors

Hope this helps :)


Umm, overheating is jumping to conclusions, keep in mind its also Spring and temperatures in most parts of NZ aren't even averaging 20C yet.

If the CPU fan is working chances are you can eliminate this issue, you certainly don't need to go changing CPU compound, talk about leading people down the long wrong path.

NOT ALL P4 lock up on standard Intel cooling, In fact you are forgetting P4 have throttling technology THAT PREVENTS total freezing. The P4 3.6-3.8 will often throttle with standard Intel cooling with high ambient temperatures, P4's below 3.6 don't "commonly" suffer from overheating unless overclocking, and when they do they throttle. :rolleyes:

Wrong path!

Battleneter
28-09-2005, 11:41 AM
I've never experienced the dead & bleeding mouse error :eek:

but I did have the same problems which I finally traced down to the CPU (Slotted) being slightly loose. I'm surprised it didn't get fried :waughh:

But then your problem could be anything, loose or faulty... not a fun problem to contemplate.


Hehe na neither have I, but I have seen a few machine come in where cat have sprayed into the power supply (and lived). Also plenty of spiders Moths etc.

Just pointing out many things can cause freezing, people in these forums often advise others around 1/10 possible issues which I find a tad frustrating to read. Many problems can be put down to a few potential issues but random Freezing is a symptom that can be caused by many things.

flying_green_leprachaun
28-09-2005, 12:47 PM
I'd prefer to be overinformed than underinformed...
Having pulled off the side, the PC fans all rotate as expected & there don't seem to be any dust bunnies breeding merrily... leaving the side off it still froze twice last night. But was still running this morning. Seems to only happen under load.

There arent many more things Im equiped to test, so I might have to take it in for a checkup :-/

Battleneter
28-09-2005, 01:53 PM
I'd prefer to be overinformed than underinformed...
Having pulled off the side, the PC fans all rotate as expected & there don't seem to be any dust bunnies breeding merrily... leaving the side off it still froze twice last night. But was still running this morning. Seems to only happen under load.

There arent many more things Im equiped to test, so I might have to take it in for a checkup :-/


Think your missing the point a bit but anyway.


What actually is the specs of your PC. P4, Athlon AMD 64 etc?

1. Have you eliminated voltages from your PSU?, you can do this either in "Hardware Monitor" section of your bios and/or motherboard monitor software in Windows. 5volt rail should read 4.8 - 5.2 ish for example. Multimeter is better but may not be possible.

2. How many Dims do you have, I see you ram memtest which is great, but not entirely 100% trust-able, if you have 2 dims you may be able to run on one for a day?. Swapping ram, is more desirable but may not be possible.

3. Visual inspection of motherboard? swollen capacitors at the tops (round stand up things, incase you don't know). Regulaters with brown burn ish marks around them on motherboard?, common on motherboard failures (not saying it is).

4. All fans working PSU, Video, CPU etc?

5. When you have reinstalled have you installed the latest Video and motherboard drivers, not high on the suspect list, but have had older VIA motherboard drivers cause issues in the past for example, I am assuming you are using virus protection?

Trev
28-09-2005, 01:59 PM
Get a household fan to blow air into it with side panel off.

Trevor :)

Battleneter
28-09-2005, 02:02 PM
Get a household fan to blow air into it with side panel off.

Trevor :)

Yes waste more time testing for heat issues, which it is proably not, great idea.

drcspy
28-09-2005, 03:40 PM
granted that the user havning looked into the system physically and seen no dust build up or failing fans then overheating is unlikely to be an issue....probably more like failing ram or hdd however I'd suggest that the following statement is not correct,.

If the CPU fan is working chances are you can eliminate this issue,

because sure i've seen many systems where the cpu fan was working BUT there was considerable dust under the fan and enough to virtually totally block all airflow into the heatsink........so it's always worth a look eh

Battleneter
28-09-2005, 03:59 PM
granted that the user havning looked into the system physically and seen no dust build up or failing fans then overheating is unlikely to be an issue....probably more like failing ram or hdd however I'd suggest that the following statement is not correct,.

If the CPU fan is working chances are you can eliminate this issue,

because sure i've seen many systems where the cpu fan was working BUT there was considerable dust under the fan and enough to virtually totally block all airflow into the heatsink........so it's always worth a look eh


Yes Yes, I was assuming he was smart enough to notice huge amounts of caked on dust through the heatsink. It was also mentioned to check for dust if you read back.

It was not necessary to re-mention it, so its a mute point.

flying_green_leprachaun
29-09-2005, 05:48 PM
Calm & considered people. Calm & considered.
I do appreciate the feedback. & Yes, I didnt notice much dust. More than I'd have liked, but not nearly enough for me to be concerned about. I'll be getting some canned air just as an aesthetic solution if nothing else ;-)

My next is removing one of the DIMMS & running under load for awhile.
Then swapping out as & if needed.

As for the faulty HDD. The System drive was recently replaced under warrenty after failing a few weeks out of the box, I did a Seagate Boot disc wizard thing (the proper name escapes me at this point, but I think you get the point) & all came back green there... (the recently replaced drive was riddled with faults :-p)

flying_green_leprachaun
10-10-2005, 09:16 AM
In case anyone will find this useful in the future, I've tracked down the PC Lock issue to my Woosh Modem drivers with USB connection.
What it came down to was on a P4 with hyperthreading enabled with a USB connection the Woosh modem drivers cause a full system lock. Rebbot required to set things square.
After disabling hyperthreading the lock issues dissappeared.

So, there you have it. No Overheating, no PSU fluctuations, RAM A-OK

Personally thats the final straw for Woosh & I. Having been with them since Walker Wireless days, I can't recommend them anymore. I'll be going with a 2mb connection through Orcon. So long & thanks for all the fish.