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Windows XP Pro Computer Freezes after 20 minutes.


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#16
Digerati

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I would go a step beyond Artellos' suggestion and say to toss that 25 cent Ethernet cord and try another - they can only stand being yanked on and tripped over so many times. Also try another port on the router - or disable DHCP and go with a static IP address.

I would also try another power supply, and while inside, inspect the motherboard for bulging or leaking electrolytic capacitors. These failed or failing capacitors are a common cause of sudden, but seemingly random system lock ups and reboots. The capacitors look like tall soda cans, many of which surround the CPU socket.

All older motherboards, and many of today's less expensive motherboards use electrolytic capacitors containing a liquid electrolyte. Failing (including flawed and/or abused/over-heated) capacitors literally bulge at the seams due to excessive internal pressures. Extreme (and very rare) cases result in a firecracker type explosion that can really stink up a room. Typically, electrolyte just oozes from the pressure relief point, which appears as a symbol or letter stamped in the top of the capacitor casing. The electrolyte can be caustic to motherboards and flesh. Look for white to dark-brown, dried liquid or foam on the tops or bottoms of the capacitors. Bulging capacitors are a sign leakage is about to occur.

A motherboard with bulging or leaky capacitors can be repaired, but often it is more cost effective in the long run to replace the motherboard.

Be sure to first power down, unplug the computer, and keep yourself discharged by touching the bare metal of the case before reaching in.
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#17
docgoblin

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Still froze even without the internet connection. I'm including the latest event log. It froze at 3:33 PM. it shows that DCOM error which seems to be associated with some HP related svc.

I thought it was hardware related at first so I took all the innards out and cleaned them up. I put a new video card in as well as new memory. At this point I feel it is more likely a system problem since, after I disabled that HP CUE svc startup, the system went from freezing within 5 minutes to where it will stay on for 2 or 3 hours now.

Thanks again for all your help!

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Edited by docgoblin, 24 June 2009 - 04:49 PM.

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#18
Artellos

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I believe we can find this in either the startup or the services.
Ok, so lets see if we can find the culprit!
Note: This process might take a while and requires multiple reboots.
  • Go to start and type msconfig
  • Open msconfig.exe
  • A window will pop up, go to the Startup Tab.
  • In the bottom right, select Disable All
  • Please reboot the computer.
  • Follow steps 1 to 3 again.
  • Now turn on 1 or 2 startups and reboot again.
  • Keep doing this until your problem comes back.
  • Once the problem comes back it should be the program you turned on Last.
  • Please tell me which program this was and how the whole process went.
(It is also possible of course that it still keeps giving the problem. Report back and we'll move on to the services.)

Regards,
Olrik
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#19
docgoblin

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Thanks Artellos. I will try the startup services elimination. I'll report back in a bit. I'm also doing a clean up of my Son's computer (normal spyware/malware crap). I've got a few balls in the air at the moment.
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#20
happyrock

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do what Artellos asked you to do...I would add that you should use the computer for several hours to see if it is going to crash before enabling any of the start up options though...

while your waiting go here and get everest home...install and launch it...click the + by computer...click on sensor...get a screenshot and post it so I can check your temps and voltages...

if your looking for leaking caps like Digerati advised see screenshots for what they look like...

Edited by happyrock, 24 June 2009 - 07:03 PM.

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#21
docgoblin

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There's absolutely no signs of leakage around or on the caps. I disabled all startup items and I downloaded the Everest tool. It wouldn't show me anything when clicking the sensor tab. Now the system seems to freeze up immediately after it boots to windows. I was able to save another Event log before it froze the last time. Oddly there doesn't seem to be any errors during the last few boot/freezing episodes. At this point I'd like to eliminate any possibility of this being hardware related. I'm including the last Event log as well as the Everest report.

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#22
Artellos

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I was going to post a follow-up to my previous post:
Ok, on to digging in services then.
Note: This process might take a while and requires multiple reboots.
  • Go to start and hit run
  • In the white box type msconfig
  • A window will pop up, go to the Services Tab.
  • In the bottom tick the box Hide Microsoft Services then select Disable All
  • Please reboot the computer.
  • Follow steps 1 to 3 again.
  • Now turn on 1 or 2 Services (While Hiding Microsoft Services) and reboot again.
  • Keep doing this until your problem comes back.
  • Once the problem comes back it should be the service you turned on Last.
  • Please tell me which service this was and how the whole process went.
Please keep your startups Disabled while doing this.

Regards,
Olrik
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#23
diabillic

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Cap leaks are especially notorious for those older Compaq machines. Good call Bill. Good name btw :)

Anyway, have we seen what temperatures the BIOS is reporting? Also, I see that you are located on Long Island, as am I. If needed, I can meet you and take a first hand look at the PC.
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#24
happyrock

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you are mixing ram...you can sometimes do this and it will work (at the slowest speed)
but it is generally considered a no-no...
1st stick Size 256 MB
Speed 100 MHz
2nd stick Size 256 MB
Speed 133 MHz
3rd stick Size 128 MB
Speed 133 MHz

you can try removing the 1 stick of 100 MHz and see if the problem goes away...while your in there look and make sure the ram is made by the same manufacture...mixing brands is also considered a no-no...
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#25
sari

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diabilic, we don't make house calls.
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#26
diabillic

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diabilic, we don't make house calls.


Understandable, just trying to be helpful :)
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#27
docgoblin

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you are mixing ram...you can sometimes do this and it will work (at the slowest speed)
but it is generally considered a no-no...
1st stick Size 256 MB
Speed 100 MHz
2nd stick Size 256 MB
Speed 133 MHz
3rd stick Size 128 MB
Speed 133 MHz

you can try removing the 1 stick of 100 MHz and see if the problem goes away...while your in there look and make sure the ram is made by the same manufacture...mixing brands is also considered a no-no...


I didn't even notice that on the report. Interestingly, all three sticks are labeled PC 133. Why would that be? The only reason I added the extra 256MB from sticks I had laying around was because I didn't think 384MB was enough to run XP SP3 on. If I got their system running properly I was going to order 3 X 256MB of new RAM for them.
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#28
docgoblin

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I corrected the memory situation. I put in two 128MB sticks and one 256MB stick. All are PC100. They are not the same brand but I'm workin' with what I got. I turned off all svcs and startup items. So far it hasn't frozen in a few hours. I will start turning services back on 1 or 2 at a time. Are there certain services I should start with? Is there a particular order in which I should begin restarting services?

Thanks again for all your help! You've all been terrific!
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#29
Artellos

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Are there certain services I should start with? Is there a particular order in which I should begin restarting services?

Nope, You can pick completely random ones. It might be a tedious job, but after enabling 1 service make sure that you give it time to hang so you are sure it's not that one.
Once you've found A service that hangs the PC, write it down on a paper or something and disable it again. Then continue to turn on all the other services.
It is possible that more then 1 service causes your PC to hang, so keep that in account when activating services.

Regards,
Olrik
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#30
docgoblin

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No good. All Services stopped and all start up items disabled. Still froze after about 1 hour. I pulled all memory out but one stick. Still froze. Tried each memory stick individually. Same result: Froze after about 1 hour. I am going to replace the power supply with a new 400W that I have. I am also going to disconnect all unnecessary hardware. I'll report back later.

Edited by docgoblin, 27 June 2009 - 08:48 AM.

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