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Computer Crashes


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#1
Bobinleeds

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Hi,

I put my computer in storage and have just recently taken it out and started using it again.

It was working fine when I put it away about a year ago.

It started up fine and was extremely quick, even though its quite old. (From turning it on to getting on the internet takes about 1 min).

A few days later, just randomly it crashed. The screen froze and the only way to turn it off was by hitting the switch. It keeps on crashing/freezing on a regular basis and I don't know what to do to stop it. Sometimes it lasts an hour before crashing, other times it crashes after a few seconds.

On task manager, the CPU usage is quite low but every now and then it shoots up to 100% and this might be when it crashes.

I have an XP with only 256MB of SD RAM. The harddrive is 40GB and has more than half the memory free.

Can someone please help me!
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#2
The Skeptic

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Could you tell us, by looking at task manager, which is the process that suddenly cause CPU usage to go so high? (please ignore system idle processes).

Download memtest86 from my list of links below. Follow the instructions and create a bootable CD. Boot with the CD and let the test run for about an hour. Please report if there are any errors.
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#3
Bobinleeds

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Sorry I took so long - had no programs to make a bootable cd and couldnt download one as pc kept freezing.

I ran Memtest from a bootable cd.

Every time it runs, it seems to stop after around 15 - 20 minutes. It then freezes.

Seems like running it as a boot cd has the same result as when th epc is running in windows. After a small time it just freezes.

What should I do next?
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#4
The Skeptic

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This tells us that the problem is with hardware and not with software.

When the computer is freezing while running memtest, does it show any errors or just freezes off.

The first thing that I would do is to open the box and check that all fans are spinning freely (most important: the one that cools the cpu). Make sure that the heatsink is not blocked by dust. If it is, clean it carefully with a soft brush. Even better, use a can of compressed air that you can buy in any computer store.

Disconnect the power cord and double check every cable connection.

Remove all add-on cards and memory modules. Wipe the contacts clean (carefully) and brush the slots with a soft brush before reconnecting.

Download Everest from my links below. Install and run it. Click Computer and then click Sensor. Wait for data to show up and report temperatures of the CPU, motherboard and hard disk.
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#5
Bobinleeds

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I cleaned up the inside of the cumputer as much as I could - there was loads of dust but all clean now.



I ran Everest and the temperatures were:

CPU : 97 - 100 degrees (keeps increasing the longer the pc is on)
Motherboard: 52 degrees

Im guessing that the CPU is overheating.

There is fan inside the pc that has some contacts with dust on that I cannot get to as they are behind the bit of the fan that spins round. Is there any way of getting to these? Would I have to dismantle the fan?

What would you suggest?
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#6
123Runner

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You might be describing the heat sink for the CPU. The fan is on top of the heat sink. You will need to use the canned air to blow out the buildup in the heat sink.

If the 97-100 id centigrade (I suspect it is), then it is quite hot.
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