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Minicase keeps crashing


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#1
ministryofmind

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I've got a small form factor dohickey purchased from a very badly researched company called Northgate Innovations who recently decided to disappear off the face of the Earth. Their support now links to a site that charges forty bucks per "incident" which is many incidents indeed, because my system came defective and I've read forum posts that complained about their defective mail-order products.

It's a Pentium 4 3.0 GHz that my boyfriend bought for himself under my protest because I always thought a minicase overheats easily and I asked him to research the company he'd buy it from. Now it's crashing constantly, many times while he was playing counter strike, and now it crashes randomly. I at first thought it was just overheating but I'm no so sure anymore. I've opened the case and opened a window on the side of it to no avail.

Can someone help me and tell me what this most likely indicates? The cooling system in there sounds a little funky too so I'm thinking maybe the heatsink do hickey is failing but I'm just pulling stuff out of my arse. It whirls up and sounds funny not smooth-running like before. Here are specs:

Pentium 4 Processor 3.0 GHz 1.55V max.
System Bus 800MHz, 512 KB L2-Cache, PGA-478 Pkg
1Gig Ram, Radeon 9800Pro Video Card
Creative Audigy LS Sound Blaster
Small Form Factor System 200T

I'm a bit of a noob when it comes to hardware but I'd like to get this fixed for the beau so we can get back to gaming. If you need more specs please let me know... I have a lot of them I just don't know what to do with them. I beseech you all to help me as I know I won't be getting technical support from Northgate.

Geek-help the little girl who grew up without a father and tries to fix everything by taking it a part. It would be a great learning experience if someone could walk me through this.

- Bunny
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#2
Doby

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Hi Bunny,

I love taking things apart to its getting them to work thats a problem :tazz:

Explain to us a little more about these crashes, does it do it only when playing a game?
Does it crash to the desktop? or BSOD (blue screen of death)
Does it ever reboot?

Can you tell us what the cpu temp is either in bios or using monitoring software?

The opening the case was a good idea leave it that way for now.

Rick
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#3
ministryofmind

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Hi Bunny,

I love taking things apart to its getting them to work thats a problem :tazz:

Explain to us a little more about these crashes, does it do it only when playing a game?
Does it crash to the desktop? or BSOD (blue screen of death)
Does it ever reboot?

Can you tell us what the cpu temp is either in bios or using monitoring software?

The opening the case was a good idea leave it that way for now.

Rick

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Oh but I have a knack for putting them back together and fixed to boot!

It usually in to a "no signal" from our LCD monitor. The monitor receives no information from the CPU and there are no signs of life from the computer as if it was in a sleeping state. However, there have been instances where it just freezes completely--a total system lockdown. Whatever UI from whatever application just sits there on the screen with the mouse where ever it was and nothing you do provokes a response. The CPU and its lights also indicate a sleeping state when that happens.

It used to only happen during counter strike, but then in moved right on in to regular activities such as reading email, surfing the web. It happens erradically and frequently, it has gotten to be a nuisance not to mention very alarming.

It also has a tendency to crash again if right after another crash. If the computer restarts five minutes after a crash it will crash five minutes in to counterstrike. If normal activities resume after a crash and restart such as reading e-mails it takes about ten to 20 minutes to make it crash again and sometimes it just does it without the aide of counterstrike.

When the computer starts up the whriling from the fans sounds different and a little troublesome so I've checked the one big heatsink thing that I think is for the processor chip. The fan itself seems to be fine, I've dusted it off and it doesn't seem to spin when I push it with too much resistance.

All this leads me to think I have some sort of overheating problem. For temperature information: do I go in the setup screen pre-boot to check it? I've forgotten or not sure where to get that information. Do you believe it could be the graphics card or a combination of everything? How do I check the fans to see if they are working properly?

- Bunny
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#4
caspdown

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to see temps boot up in the bios and then go to hardware monitor, also try this, put a fan right next to the case blowing in and see if it still does it, if it does then its not a heat problem =)
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#5
ministryofmind

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Will do. I'll comeback and ask about the fan that spins up weird later. I'm thinking I might have to replace it.

- Bunny
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