Using Process Explorer I discovered that the lock ups/freezes were caused by a hardware interrupt that hogged the CPU - effectively halting the computer for around 10 seconds. When it released control other processes could run again and the system continued as normal.
I have only had this problem since migrating to XP from Windows ME (quite possibly the most bug ridden OS in existence) and initially manged to cure it by uninstalling and disabling my mobo's onboard LAN support.
However, since then I have upgraded my RAM from DDR 266 512 MB (Kingston + generic) to some DDR 400 1 GB Corsair XMS.
As soon as I did this the lock ups returned, occuring exactly as they had before. Needless to say this did not make me very happy. At a loss as to what to do (the LAN controller was still disabled and re-enabling it then disabling it again had no effect), I stumbled across an article explaining the horrors of IRQs.
As a result of reading the article I disabled everthing unnecessary in the BIOS in order to free up IRQs and disabled a USB port through Windows in order to prevent IRQ sharing between the sound and USB systems, both of which were sharing IRQ 22.
None of this solved my problems and I am now at my wits end as it is the only glitch on what is otherwise a flawless PC. I'm tempted to just ignore the problem but as it was somehow solved before and the PC is used by my family (there's nothing more annoying then suddenly hearing music in a looped stutter for 10 seconds) im reluctant to just let it go.
If anyone out there has any suggestions, I'll be more than happy to hear them.
Edited by orangeandblack, 15 September 2005 - 07:02 PM.