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Constant Freezing


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#1
Gulp Uh Oh

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Hello,
I have been having an extremely stubborn problem with my computer freezing. Every time, I have to give it a hard reset, and when I turn it back on, it freezes even sooner. This last time, it froze on the windows startup screen. I'm afraid to start it again.
Here's some info to start out with:
My computer is a Dell Dimension 2400. It was working fine two days ago... but then started acting up after I bought a new wireless mouse for it. I don't see how that would be connected to the freezing, but since it was the most recent change, I'll include it just in case. I have recently made several other hardware changes in an attempt to upgrade my computer to be able to run Sims 3. I finally got it to work three days ago. To do this, I upgraded the memory from a 256MB (DDR) card to a 1GB (DDR) card. No problems after that. Then I upgraded my video card from a 64MB built-in Intel Graphics Controller card to a 128MB ATI Radeon 9250. When I realized that card didn't work for the game because it didn't support the right version of pixel shader, I upgraded it again to a 512MB Nvidia GeForce 8400. There were no problems and it ran the game perfectly after these two upgrades. I also switched out my keyboard for a different one that had volume controls built into it. I only got to play the game for a day before my computer started freezing up randomly. Each time I turned the computer back on, it takes less time to freeze.
To try to solve the problem myself, I have done the following things:
Used a different mouse. Removed the new video card and switched it back to using the built-in Intel one. Added more memory (by putting the 256MB card in at the same time as the 1GB, in the other slot I have). Gave the computer plenty more air circulation in case it was overheating. Started up the computer in safe mode with and without networking, but never got past the login screen.
I don't know what else to do... it's hard to work with when I can't even get into windows anymore... and I'm still clueless as to the root of the problem.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks!
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#2
rshaffer61

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Download and install EVEREST
Open it.
1: In left pane expand Computer folder.
2: Click once on Summary
3: In upper menu, go Report
4: And then to Quick Report-Summary
5: Save it in text file, and paste it in your next post.


DO NOT INCLUDE ANYTHING UNDER THE LINE THAT SAYS "DEBUG- PCI"


Download Autoruns from the link in my signature below:

1: Extract the Autoruns Zip file contents to a folder.
2: Double-click the "Autoruns.exe".
3: Click on the "Everything" tab
4: Remove any entries that mention "File Not Found" by right-clicking the entry and select Delete.
5: Go to File then to Export As.
6: Save AutoRuns.txt file to know location.
7: Attach to your next reply.
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#3
Gulp Uh Oh

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Now I can't even start it up to do what you told me to.... It wont even get to the Windows XP loading screen. It won't load in Safe Mode either. Any suggestions? :)

Edited by Gulp Uh Oh, 27 June 2009 - 08:43 AM.

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#4
rshaffer61

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Being that the system is about 5 years old I doubt it is under warranty then.
When you turn it on is the PSU fan in the back of the system turning?
If not under warranty I suggest removing the case cover and powering up the system. Check to see if the following fans are turning at all:
Cpu
Second case cooling fan
PSU...Power Supply Unit


If the last does nothing but move a little then nothing you could have a PSU or MOBO(Motherboard) issue.
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#5
Gulp Uh Oh

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Yep, all the fans are running. I have had the case open for a while to let it have air.
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#6
rshaffer61

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Are you getting any post beeps at all?


Try the following steps then to check the MOBO.


Disconnect everything from the Motherboard except

* keyboard
* mouse
* video output
* 20+4 powercable
* 4/8 pin 12v wire both coming from the powersupply,
* Cpu fan wire
* power and reset button to the case
*case speaker

Now you should have NOTHING connected to the motherboard except what was listed above.

The goal here is just to test the mobo
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#7
Gulp Uh Oh

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Post beeps? It freezes right when it starts to load the XP screen.
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#8
Digerati

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Disconnect everything from the Motherboard except

* keyboard
* mouse
* video output
* 20+4 powercable
* 4/8 pin 12v wire both coming from the powersupply,
* Cpu fan wire
* power and reset button to the case
*case speaker

Now you should have NOTHING connected to the motherboard except what was listed above.


Post beeps? It freezes right when it starts to load the XP screen.

Note rshaffer has no hard drive listed above. That means when you boot, the system will (should, if working normally) stop when it works its way through the boot order listed in the BIOS, then prompt for a boot disk. If it is starting to load XP, you still have a drive attached.

Have you upgraded your PSU to support the increased power requirements of the added RAM and power hungry graphics?
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#9
Gulp Uh Oh

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No... I dont think so... how would I go about that?
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#10
Gulp Uh Oh

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I'm a novice when it comes to the interworking of a computer... Just so everyone knows...
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#11
rshaffer61

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Being almost 5 years old I would dare to say that your PSU is probably a 300 watt at best.
You can find that information usually somewhere on the PSU.

Please go and try PSU Calculator to get a ideal of what wattage PSU you should have to run everything correctly.
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#12
Digerati

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Here's my canned text on determining the right size PSU

Use the eXtreme PSU Calculator Lite to determine your power supply unit (PSU) requirements. Plug in all the hardware you think you might have in 2 or 3 years (extra drives, bigger or 2nd video card, more RAM, etc.). Be sure to read and heed the notes at the bottom of the page. I recommend setting Capacitor Aging to 30%, and if you participate in distributive computing projects (e.g. BOINC or Folding@Home), I recommend setting TDP to 100%. Research your video card and pay particular attention to the power supply requirements for your card listed on your video card maker's website. If not listed, check a comparable card (same graphics engine and RAM) from a different maker. The key specifications, in order of importance are:
  • Current (amperage or amps) on the +12V rail,
  • Efficiency,
  • Total wattage.
Then look for power supply brands listed under the "Good" column of PC Mechanic's PSU Reference List. Ensure the supplied amperage on the +12V rails of your chosen PSU meets the requirements of your video card. Don't try to save a few dollars by getting a cheap supply. Digital electronics, including CPUs, RAM, and today's advanced graphics cards, need clean, stable power. A good, well chosen supply will provide years of service and upgrade wiggle room. I strongly recommend you pick a supply with an efficiency rating equal to, or greater than 80%. Look for the 80 Plus - EnergyStar Compliant label.
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#13
Gulp Uh Oh

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I bought a new PSU... it is now 500 Watts.
Still doesn't work and freezes in the same spot. It runs fine in BIOS. I got it to start once and then it froze a few minutes in.
Help. :)
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#14
Digerati

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Here's the good news. You KNOW you have good power and that is essential. And, since ATX is here to stay, that PSU will likely last for some time, especially if CPU power consumption continues to drop, and you don't over due it on a graphics card.

Then it seems your are back to post #6 above.
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#15
Gulp Uh Oh

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There aren't any beeps... Could there be a problem with my mother board?
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