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Computer freezes randomly/repeatedly


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#1
posytoesie

posytoesie

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My apologies in advance for the length of this post(I'll try to be brief), and thanks for any help you can offer.

About a month ago, my computer started freezing (completely non-responsive). It started happening when Windows Media Player was running. I googled, found that USB problems can cause that. Remembered that my Logitech USB webcam had recently updated, and wasn't working properly, so uninstalled it. Did not resolve. Tried to reinstall, get error. Remains uninstalled. Freezing began happening at random, could find no common program running at each freeze. Remebered my USB multi-function printer had been giving me trouble, uninstalled, could not reinstall driver for one function (error shown in Device Manager). IT at brother could not resolve. Blamed problem on Windows. Printer remains uninstalled. Did not resolve.

Googled more, came here, posted HJT log and dss log, look clean, so referred here with the guess that it's hardware; PSU or motherboard.

More about the freezing...some days I have no trouble whatsoever, some days it will freeze dozens of times. Sometimes it freezes even before Windows can finish start up. It seems to freeze the most (repeatedly...12 times in a row) while I'm trying to run a scan (of any sort...McAfee, spybot, AVG...whatever). And it seems (what do I know?) that the longer I leave it off, the longer it will stay on the next time. So that makes sense to me as far as overheating goes. BUT...sometimes I can leave it on all day, do my work, use the internet, yadda yadda, and it won't freeze at all. So I don't really get it.

Again, sorry for the blathering. Any recommendations?

OH...forgot to tell you, I did take it in to a shop, and they could find nothing wrong except that one of my RAM sticks was bad, and that that could be causing it, so we replaced that RAM, and obviously still not resolved.

Thanks!

Edited by posytoesie, 27 January 2008 - 01:53 PM.

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#2
Doby

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The first thing tell us your full computer specs if its a custom build or the name brand and model plus any added hardware since purchase.

You have to get the freezing sorted then move on to the usb problem they may be completely different things. The first thing to look at is taking the side of the case off and looking for dust build up especially on the cpu's heatsink. If the heatsink is clogged clean it with a can of compressed air avalible at electronic stores, be carefull when using, don't lay the can on its side this can cause liquid to come out, keep the can upright.

The next thing would be to look at some power and temps but we should have the specs for that.
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#3
hfcg

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Hello,
Would you please boot in to safe mode and see what happens.
  • When the computer is starting up press F8 (I press the key repeatedly)
  • select safe mode
If this is caused by a driver you should not have the problem in safe mode.
If you still have the problem than it is most likely a hardware issue.
Thank you.
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#4
posytoesie

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Doby,
OK, as far as brand...I have no idea (sorry) specs are:
Windows XP Professional, version 2002, Service Pack 2, Intel Pentium 4 CPU 2.80 GHz, 2.79 GHz, 480 MB of RAM. No added hardware to my knowledge. I've been using this computer (my old boss gave it to me) for about 2 1/2 years. No dust buildup. Everything looks very clean.

hfcg,
And as far as safe mode, yes it still hangs repeatedly even in safe mode.

So...it's hardware?...Now what?
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#5
hfcg

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Now we try to run chkdsk. Do you have an original XP disc?
If not we will have to use another computer, can you do this?
(If you have another computer, and no XP disc I will walk you through this)
Thank you.
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#6
posytoesie

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No, I have no XP disk, and yes, I have another computer.
Thanks!
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#7
hfcg

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With both machines turned off and unplugged
Take the hard drive out of the problem machine
set the jumper to the proper position. (slave)
connect the hard drive as a secondary drive to the working machine
If CHKDSK does not start automatically,
right click the drive
select properties
select check disc for errors
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#8
posytoesie

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Forgive me, but I lost you after 'unplugged.' If you could walk me throught the process using itty bitty baby steps, that would be great...OR I could try to get my hands on an XP disk?
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#9
hfcg

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I am so sorry, I forgot to provide this link.
It would be much simpler with an XP CD so that we could run the recovery console.
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#10
posytoesie

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OK, I'll work on getting the XP CD...it may take a couple days. Thanks!
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#11
Doby

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In addition to hfcd's advice could you enter bios/setup and look around for temps and voltages of the +3.3V, +5V and +12V and post them here.
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#12
posytoesie

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Happy to do that, Doby...could you tell me how? Thanks :)
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#13
Doby

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Watch the screen when the computer first boots, near the bottom it could say "press XX to enter setup" this refers to a key, it is usually the delete key but could be F2,F12 or others depending on the motherboard. If you get into bios don't change anything just look around for hardware monitor or something similar and see if the info I requested is listed.

I could possible give you better directions if you can find any info on the motherboard, Look on the motherboard and see if any brand and model is printed on it.
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#14
Doby

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Another way we can go is if the computer runs well enough to install software is download and install everest, its the free edition

Everest

When installed open computer on the tree on the left then click on sensor, either post a screenshot of what is listed or post the temps and votages of the +3.3,+5 and +12

By doing this we are checking on somethings while waiting for the XP disk but do not forget about the very important steps hfcg has asked you to do
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#15
posytoesie

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OK, I got into BIOS. Here's what I found (sorry if some of this is unnecessary, but I wasn't sure what was what):

V core 1.3112v
Vcc2.5v 2.528v
Vcc3.3v 3.200v
Vcc5v 5.053v
+12v 11.28v
-12v -12.951
SB5v 4.945v
VBAT 3.248
System fan speed 0 RPM
CPU fan speed 2596 RPM
power temp 68c/154f
system temp 42c/107f
CPU temp 65c/149f

and some of these numbers were changing...
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