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Computer Abruptly Freezes and Crashes

By Klendenjenski
Jun 26, 2008
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  1. Hello,

    So, I recently installed Windows Vista on my system, and it worked fine for a week until two days ago, when it started freezing, restarting and shutting down abruptly at random intervals, without any BSODs. This is what I have done so far to try to ascertain the problem:

    First guess was PSU. Okay, so I went ahead and replaced that with a new 350 Watt PSU, even tried several PSUs I had lying around, and it still crashes.

    Second guess was memory. So, went ahead and ran several memory tests on multiple memory diagnosis tools (GoldMemory, Memtest86+, and Windows Memory Diagnosis) overnight. All pass, no errors.

    Third guess was driver issues. Updated all the drivers I could update, even updated video card drivers to the latest ForceWare release for GeForce FX5500 for Windows Vista. I ran into a problem with that, as after I updated, it started spitting out video hardware errors, and a VIDEO_TDR_TIMEOUT_DETECTED(117) error. Decided to roll back to previous drivers, stopped spitting said errors, but still crashes.

    Fourth guess was overheating. Went ahead and checked temperatures for everything, and not even all that hot either. 40 C for CPU, 18,26,33 C for all three harddisks respectively. Heat sink isn't even flaming hot, nor is the video card. Although, pulling the case off mysteriously lessened the crashes, but they still occur.

    Fifth guess was USB devices. So I pulled out the USB devices I can pull out (graphics tablet, scanner, USB hubs). Still crashing.

    Sixth guess was harddisks. Ran a check using Windows' repair, no problems were found. Swapped harddisks, same result - still crashing.

    Seventh guess was software problem - I'm not really sure if it's that, considering the same crashing occurs on my Kubuntu partition, which is on a different harddisk. So, I think that also eliminates the possibility of Vista being the issue.

    The crashes take the form of a complete freeze, abrupt restarts and shutdowns at random intervals - which sometimes occur on boot up on any section, and other times right at start up. Though it baffles me a lot when I leave my system running idly, without any programs that connect to the internet running (save for browser), since it happens to behave and doesn't crash at all...

    Sometimes it does shutdown completely, but with mouse/keyboard and USB ports lighting up. Sometimes turning it on spits out a black screen with the system still running. Sometimes shuts down and only way to turn it back on is to turn it off them back on, and on occasion, slapping it around literally (as weird as that might sound.)

    Any ideas on what the problem could possibly be? Granted I'm not in a position to buy a completely different CPU and motherboard. My specs are as follows:

    Operating Systems: Windows Vista Utimate SP1, Kubuntu Gutsy 7.10
    Motherboard: Intel D865GBF
    CPU: Intel Pentium 4 2.80 GHz
    RAM: Two 512 MB DDR (both Kingston)
    Video Card: NVidia GeForce FX 5500 256 MB

    Help?:-(
  2. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 20,759   +157

    Simply, your present setup is not compatible with Vista. Stick with XP or buy a Vista compatible motherboard and video card
  3. Klendenjenski

    Klendenjenski Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    I'd like to note that the same exact deal happened on my copy of Windows XP, before I installed Vista. This is been an on going problem for months with my computer, doesn't matter what OS, it still crashes.
  4. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 20,759   +157

    Well that makes a difference... First, reset your CMOS. Replace or test your memory. Install XP or Vista fresh after doing this. Update Vista to SP1, and then mess with drivers if you have to
  5. Klendenjenski

    Klendenjenski Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Okay, so I reset the CMOS and all that, that fixed the crashing perfectly, but now I'm running into another problem - It keeps freezing now 10 minutes into Windows startup.
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