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Random Lock Ups


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#1
blingin67

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System Specs:
Pentium 4, 2.41 GHz
512 MB of RAM
80 GB Hard Drive
Windows XP Pro w/ Service Pack 2

Recently, my computer has begun to randomly lock up. When it locks up, the mouse stops moving, using the keyboard produces no response, and the only way to get it to work again is by using the restart button (CTRL + ALT + DEL doesn't even work). It's hard for me to try to reproduce the lock up since I have no idea what is causing it; it just occurs randomly. My computer turns off the monitor after an hour, and I often find it stuck like this in the morning. Lately (namely tonight), I've noticed it likes to lock up a lot about five to ten minutes after opening Trillian. However, it has also locked up when Trillian is not even in use, such as overnight when the computer is basically idle. Trillian was on my computer when it was at college, so I doubt Trillian is causing it, especially since the computer locks up even when Trillian is closed.

In March of 2005, I had some sort of bug on my computer and ended up having to format the HD, but luckily I was able to save all of my files. After reinstalling everything, it worked great. My computer is a desktop PC, so the moving process to and from college requires me to unplug everything and take it home, then plug it all back together. My computer has started this random restart thing ever since I brought it back home. The only thing I've done to it since bringing it home is installing a game, Need For Speed Underground 2. I had this game on the PC before I formatted the drive in March and it worked fine, and my computer should not be locking up randomly because of NFSU2 if the game isn't even running. In fact, I could play NFSU2 for hours and the computer would never lock up. As I mentioned earlier, it seems to only lock up in Windows when basically idle...

I've been checking my voltage and temperature statistics, and everything seems to be normal. My case/mainboard is running around 28-30 degrees celsius, and the CPU runs about 38 degrees celsius when idle, 48-50 when playing a game or doing something fairly taxing on the system. I also ran a check on the hard drive for errors, defragged the drive, and scanned for viruses; no errors on the drive, no viruses, and the defragging didn't help it.

I think I'm going to look in the case tomorrow to make sure nothing is unplugged. It's strange that my computer seemed to lock up whenever I opened Trillian, but for the most part it's been pretty random. I'll try opening up Trillian to see what it does after I post this.

Basically, if anyone has any ideas why this is happening, I'd love to hear them so I can try to fix this. I'm all out of ideas, and it's confusing me even more by being random sometimes, NEVER locking up when playing a game (even for hours), and sometimes seeming like it's related to a program.
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#2
blingin67

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Closed everything and opened up Trillian...waited for a bit. Nothing. I had three programs running the last time the computer locked up, one of which was Trillian. So, after opening Trillian and waiting, I opened a second program. Still nothing...I opened up the third and final program that was running, and still no lock up.

I'm really confused as to what is causing this. It's evidently not any specific program...I think? I find it odd that it has never locked up when I am playing a full screen game like Battlefield 1942, NFSU2, or anything of that sort.

Again, I'm still thoroughly confused. I'll try a few different things tonight to see if I can get it to lock up again, and tomorrow I'll mess around in the case to make sure hard drive cables or power supply cables aren't loose or something. :tazz:
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#3
blingin67

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Just bumping this topic as well as adding some more info...

Last night, I was about to make a post, and my computer locked up while typing the post. I rebooted, came back to the site, and started posting again, but it locked up once again. It did this about three times before I finally gave up and went to bed. It seems that once it locks up, it will do it several times again in a short amount of time. It hasn't locked up yet today. I opened the case and checked for loose cables, but to no avail...everything seems to be fine inside.

Maybe something was loose and I tightened it when I unplugged and replugged various cables. Hopefully it won't lock up again, but I still haven't found the source of the problem...Again, if anyone has any ideas, I'd be more than happy to hear them.
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#4
blingin67

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Again, bumping this topic and adding more info...

After speaking with another person on the forum who I believe has the same, or at least a similar, problem, I came to the realization that while I may have not changed anything to my setup, there have been Windows Updates downloaded to the computer.

So far, I have removed hotfixes KB893086, KB893066, KB890859, and KB890923, each of them one at a time. The first three I removed had no effect; I still noticed random lockups from time to time. This last one I removed, KB890923, I do not know if it worked or not. I'll have to wait and see if my computer locks up anymore. It was the last hotfix that was installed within the past month.

I saw the advice someone posted about running eventvwr.msc from the Start > Run menu. I ran the program, but the only red X's I saw by any programs were from days ago when IE locked up. I see no red X's from today, yesterday, or any other time in which my computer has been locking up randomly.

Once more, if anyone has any ideas as to what is causing these lock ups, I'd much appreciate it.

UPDATE: My computer just locked up, so that last update, KB890923, was not causing the lock ups either. All other updates seem to have been installed for quite some time, at least since early March, and my computer was working fine back then.

Edited by blingin67, 27 May 2005 - 01:10 AM.

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#5
austin_o

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go to start, my computer, right click, manage, view the event log for events at the time of the lockup. Look for ones with a red x. Right click, properties to view the details. You can also send a message to M$ and view their knowledge base for clues as to what the cause and fix is.
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#6
blingin67

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I saw the advice someone posted about running eventvwr.msc from the Start > Run menu. I ran the program, but the only red X's I saw by any programs were from days ago when IE locked up. I see no red X's from today, yesterday, or any other time in which my computer has been locking up randomly.


Running eventvwr.msc is essentially the same thing as going to the manage section of My Computer. It takes you directly to the logs rather than to the screen with more options.

In any case, as I mentioned, there are no programs with red X's at the times of the lock ups. My computer has locked up at least once every day, and the last red X is on May 23rd, 4 days ago. The other person with a problem very similar to this says the same thing; there are no red X's by any software on any dates in which the computer randomly locked up.

My computer is not slowing down before it locks up, and no programs are acting strange before the lock up...it just suddenly locks up for no apparent reason.
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#7
blingin67

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Ran chkdsk, no errors on the drive. Installed a driver for my modem that is by the modem's company, not a general XP driver. Did the same for the mouse...still no change, computer continues to randomly lock up.

No Alerts under the Performance Logs and Alerts in Computer Management, no errors shown on any drives; all say they are healthy.

:tazz:
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#8
blingin67

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Ran Microsoft's Memory Diagnostic thing-a-ma-bobber...my RAM seems to be fine. Ran the standard tests twice and the extended tests once; no errors.

EDIT: Oh, I also cleaned my registry. Didn't think it would help with the lockup, but what the heck, figured I might as well do it...you never know.

Trying to fix an error that occurs on shutdown that has to do with my modem. My computer does seem to lock up mostly when I am online, but then again, when I am on my computer I am normally online. However, this might explain why it doesn't lock up when I am playing games.

In any case, I contacted US Robotics to see if they can fix the problem. I get an error about Probedis.exe not being able to initialize when I shutdown or restart Windows XP. Waiting on a reply from them...until then, if anyone knows how to fix this problem, as it might be causing my lockups, I'd be happy to know! :tazz:

Edited by blingin67, 29 May 2005 - 10:13 PM.

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#9
admin

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http://www.memtest86.com is a much better RAM tester. I'd recommend trying it.

Do you also have the latest drivers installed for your video card, and motherboard?
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#10
blingin67

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Will run that memory test, though I doubt the results will be different.

EDIT: Ran the suggested memory test and there were no errors.

As far as I know, my video card and motherboard drivers are up to date, at least to the point that they work. I have an ATI Radeon Pro 9000, and on ATI's website, they mention to not download their newer Catalyst drivers unless you have problems with your video card. Seeing as I can play 3D games for long amounts of time with no lockups, I don't see the problem being the video card. In any case, the current drivers I have for both are the same drivers I had installed at college, and my computer worked fine at college.

As I mentioned earlier, the only things that changed on my computer around the time I moved home were the Windows Updates. However, I uninstalled all updates that occurred after and weeks before I moved, but that did not help.

The only thing I can think of that I am doing differently at home is using my modem. At college, I faxed two or three things, but never used the modem to connect to the internet because I was on a network that provided internet. Since the only times I can recall this computer locking up recently is on the internet, I am assuming that this probedis.exe error with my modem on shutdown may have something to do with it. However, as I also mentioned earlier, most of the time when I am on the computer, I am on the internet; so, it locking up while I am connected may be pure chance.

I'm going to try to fix this probedis.exe error first. I can't find anything on the internet yet that helps. I've tried several options to fix it, but none of them worked. I believe the modem is, for some reason, causing the lockups. As far as I know, every piece of hardware on my computer is up to date, or at least as up to date as it was when I was at college and the computer was working fine.

Edited by blingin67, 30 May 2005 - 05:13 PM.

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#11
admin

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Try pulling the modem out and see what happens.

Update the video driver.
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#12
blingin67

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Well...I can upgrade the video card. The whole modem thing though...You see, the modem has always physically been in my computer, even when it was working normally. I did not use the modem extensively until I came home and began using it to connect to the internet.

I never shut my computer down at college, just left it running most of the time. When I moved home, I started shutting it down because it started locking up randomly. I noticed an error that occurs when I shutdown Windows. It involves a program that works with my modem.

So, since the lockups have been occurring after I started using my modem, and seemingly during the use of the modem, I figure I need to fix this modem error first. Even if it's not causing the lockups, I'd like to fix the error.

The physical presence of the modem is not causing the problems, I believe it's the use of the modem and some modem software that is, for some reason, malfunctioning.

First, I need to fix this probedis.exe error. After doing that, if it still locks up, I can try removing the modem and waiting to see if the computer locks up. But first I need to solve this probedis.exe error...?
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#13
admin

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Seems the probedie.exe error is related to your modem. See this link:
http://castlecops.co...738.html#534738
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#14
blingin67

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Umm...ok, I have a request: Can you guys read what I post before replying? I know you guys are busy reading a lot of posts and trying to figure things out, and I'm not helping by replying to my own posts with long responses, but I'm trying to give the most information possible so I can get this solved. I very much appreciate the help that you guys have provided, but it's sort of annoying when I've already mentioned trying something or already solved one part of the problem and I get a response telling me to do what I've already done or something that I already know.

Since the only times I can recall this computer locking up recently is on the internet, I am assuming that this probedis.exe error with my modem on shutdown may have something to do with it.


So, since the lockups have been occurring after I started using my modem, and seemingly during the use of the modem, I figure I need to fix this modem error first. Even if it's not causing the lockups, I'd like to fix the error.


I did a Google search awhile back on probedis.exe and found it was a modem error. I also found that exact forum you sent me to. The driver they suggest installing is the same driver I've already installed. In any case, I did install the driver to see what it would do. I followed the instructions, rebooted my computer, then went to step 2, which involves unchecking that 3compip.exe file, or whatever it was named, in MSConfig's startup tab. I did as the instructions said, unchecked that file, then restarted.

Computer turned back on, I tried to connect to the internet...the modem would not work. So, to determine whether the driver I downloaded was bad or whether the modem needed that file that I unchecked to run, I rechecked that file (3compip.exe) so that it would run on startup, then I rebooted my computer. Sure enough, after my computer restarted, I tried to use the modem and it worked.

So, basically, the driver they suggest does work, but it does not get rid of the error. If I do not run that 3compip.exe file, the error won't come up when I shutdown, but the modem won't work either. That fix does not seem to work for me... :tazz:

Edited by blingin67, 31 May 2005 - 07:37 PM.

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#15
admin

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Try pulling the modem out and see what happens.

Update the video driver.

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Ditto.

Since the modem seems to keep appearing as a likely source of your problems, physically remove it, uninstall any drivers, and see if the lockups continue. At least then you can narrow the source of the problem.
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