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Please help: Computer stops suddenly with no reason


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#1
Andr3w84

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Hi guys, I've been having this problem for the past ~3 weeks. I'm just doing stuff on my PC and the mouse or keyboard stop responding at all. There's no apparent connection with the software or peripheral used at the time this happens; it could be any office software, or Firefox, multimedia player, etc. The screen doesn't show any action either except for Alpha Clock, a small application that's always on one corner and keeps going after everything else froze. Sometimes it also stops after a few minutes, some other times I just reset the PC right away and can't tell what could happen later. Windows' Toolbar does freeze along with all other activity though. Online videos also stop playing.

Please help. I reckon the solution is quite easy I just don't know exactly how to find it. The fans are all good. The PC is a 3+ year old Athlon Dual Core 2.61 GHz, 2GB RAM, Windows XP Home Edition w/Service Pack 3. Thank you very much for any hint that helps me solve this problem.

Cheers
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#2
phillpower2

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:welcome: Andr3w8

Can you provide some additional information for us please, the brand and model name or number of the MB, PSU and add on video card if you have one fitted.
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#3
Andr3w84

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Ok here it is:

System model: FOXCONN MCP61M05 FAB A1; Enclosure Type: Desktop

Display: NVIDIA GeForce 6150SE nForce 430 [Display adapter]; Samsung SyncMaster [Monitor] (19.1"vis, s/n H9NL903860, September 2006)

I will post the PSU data later, although I have to say, almost since I bought this PC (July 2009) the PSU would sometimes make grinding noises in colder days (<20C, or 70F). I've already had to clean up its fan and pour a few drops of oil. Twice (1 year ago and last month). Could the PSU be the real and only culprit?

Thank you again for your help.

Cheers

Edited by Andr3w84, 06 November 2012 - 01:49 PM.

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#4
phillpower2

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Thanks for the additional information :thumbsup:

Common causes of what you describe are a bad PSU, overheating and a HDD that is low on storage space or has issues.
As you have told us of previous concerns about the PSU we should check that first as a bad PSU has the potential to trash the whole system if it pops, please see below;

Download Speedfan and install it. Once it's installed, run the program and post here the information it shows. The information I want you to post is the stuff that is circled in the example picture I have attached.
If you are running on a vista machine, please go to where you installed the program and run the program as administrator.

Posted Image
(this is a screenshot from a vista machine)

Let us know the additional PSU details when you can and whether or not you are ok with providing screenshots.
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#5
Andr3w84

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Thank you very much for your message! Quite fast indeed :thumbsup:

I do have Speedfan; I'm attaching what it shows right now. I'm fine with any other screenshots.

I'll try to get the rest of the PSU details within hours.

Thanks a lot again. :)
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#6
Andr3w84

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Speedfan's screenshot:

Attached Thumbnails

  • speedfan 071112.JPG

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#7
Andr3w84

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This one is just about 15' after the first one. Notice the increased temperature in some of the measures. My PC has been on for about 30 minutes.

Attached Thumbnails

  • speedfan 071112 2.JPG

Edited by Andr3w84, 06 November 2012 - 06:57 PM.

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#8
phillpower2

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Thanks for the screenshots :thumbsup:

The PSU output readings shown are good, the system temps are good.

Is your CPU an AMD Athlon 5000+ Dual Core 2.61 GHz.

If your processor is the 5000+ then the CPU voltage is slightly above what it should be though, VCore1 is reading 1.36V and VCore2 is reading 1.90V however the maximum should not exceed 1.3V / 1.35V with this CPU.

The CPU temps shown are ok at present but they would increase after gaming or prolonged use, again if it is the correct CPU the maximum safe operating temperature is 55°C - 70°C.

Please do the following for us;

Go to Start then to Run/Search
Type in compmgmt.msc and click Enter
On left side click on Disk Management
On right side you will see your hard drive.
Now I need you to take a screenshot and attach it to your next reply.
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#9
Andr3w84

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Thank you so much again for the help. Yes it is the 5000+.

PSU is TT brand, Model BTX-400, ver. 2.2, 400W. The specs on the case are:

Max Input AC: 115/230 V, 10/20 A, 50/60 Hz

Max Output DC: 3.3 V 20 A, 5 V 14 A, 12 V1 14 A, 12 V2 13 A, -12 V 0.3 A, +5 VSB 2.5 A

Peak output: 385 W (first 4 of above), 3.6 W (second last of above), 12.5 W (last)
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#10
Andr3w84

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Screenshot of compmgmt.msc:

Attached Thumbnails

  • compmgmt msc 081112.JPG

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#11
Andr3w84

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What could be done to keep the CPU temperatures within the normal range for hours? Buy a brand new fan for the desktop case or the CPU itself? The PC has started to stop after ~2 hs, which is very very annoying.

Thank you
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#12
phillpower2

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Hello Andr3w84

Sorry for the delayed reply.

From the information that you have provided the CPU temps are not showing to be outside of normal operating parameters, has your computer ever been overclocked.

Couple of things for you to do, go into your BIOS and restore the MB to the factory default settings, run Prime95 to see how your CPU handles the load http://www.playtool....95/prime95.html and to help you keep a check on the CPU in the future use CoreTemp or a similar monitoring software http://www.alcpu.com/CoreTemp/

For effective case cooling where possible there should be a front case fan for induction and a rear case fan to exhaust the warm/hot air, good internal cable management and regular cleaning of the inside of the case and fans are also vital.
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#13
Andr3w84

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Hi, no worries about the timing, it's fine.

I just downloaded, registered and run Prime95, left all options as by default.

Would the PSU that I have be able to handle the extra power of those two fans? If so, I'll buy them right away, although I reckon first I should buy a replacement, brand new PSU given that this one is somewhat faulty (it emits a grinding sound when the PC is turned on in temps below 20C/70F, unless I have poured some oil in the fan in the last months). What would you recommend as to this?

Thanks a lot again for your help, very appreciated.

Cheers


PD: I read in another support site that someone recommended taking out the RAM and cleaning it with some special alcohol (apparently if it's a bit rusty, etc). I did take out mine, didn't seem to have any oxidation going on, nor the slot. What else do you reckon I could do to make sure the PC is not malfunctioning bc of the RAM?

Edited by Andr3w84, 10 November 2012 - 02:24 PM.

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#14
phillpower2

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Hi

left all options as by default.

Can I ask if this refers to restoring the MBs factory default settings in the BIOS as I suggested.

I never suggest replacing parts until all other options and tests have been checked out first, however pouring oil into a PSU to silence the fan is not recommended as the oil may catch fire or the fan could fail altogether causing the PSU to overheat and pop, possibly taking all your other hardware with it.

Having used a PSU calculator I can let you know that your present PC requires a Minimum of 304W of power to run effectively, http://www.superbiiz...e=PS-BP350&c=CJ this will allow you to add additional cooling fans if there is adequate room in your case, the one downside to the Antec is that it does not have a minimum output efficiency rating of 80% which is recommended to have where possible, if your budget will allow the initial extra $20 before you claim the rebate http://www.newegg.co...ID=3938566&SID= has the 80% efficiency rating that I mentioned above.

Two things to check before purchasing a new PSU are the dimensions of the present PSU and how much room there is inside the case as some PSUs are different in size and shape to others.

Removing the Ram, blowing out the slots and reseating the Ram securely is all that should be required, serious oxidization would suggest the presence of moisture at some time which I think you will agree would have blown the MB.
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#15
Andr3w84

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Yes indeed (I restored the MB to BIOS optimised default settings).

This is the third time I apply oil to the fan's core. Sounds reasonable just to buy a new PSU instead, work/study data is worth it.

It's been a week already and, after restoring the BIOS settings, optimising virtual memory to the computer's recommendations, and having also cleaned up both HDs (the external (500GB) one had only about 1% available storage), I haven't had any freezing issues whatsoever. Of course, I've used the PC only for the indispensable (no videos/music/movies/just surfing). I'll let you know guys how this situation develops. Again, thanks so much for your guidance.

I must also say, you are the only online tech support site (out of 5, 6 that I contacted) where I actually got meaningful, fast updated suggestions. :thumbsup:

Cheers

Edited by Andr3w84, 18 November 2012 - 03:22 PM.

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