TechSpot

Computer freezing

By bochnak
Apr 2, 2008
  1. I'm working on this PC that keeps freezing.

    I opened the case and blew out massive amount of dust! Also, after I fired it back up, I noticed that none of the PSU fans were runnning. At this point, windows will barely boot, and will freeze on the black screen. Can the PSU overheat this quickly and be my problem? What tells the PSU to turn on it's fans?

    TIA,

    Matt
     
  2. Jesse_hz

    Jesse_hz TS Maniac Posts: 545

    The PSU's fans should spin up immediately when the computer is turned on, if not, then either:

    - the fans all died (would be a huge coincidence)
    - your PSU is using some kind of wierd fan-speed management that apparently goes all the way down to 0 (highly unlikely)
    - PSU died (replace it with another and see if it works)
     
  3. bochnak

    bochnak TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I see your point where it would hard to believe that both fans died at the same time. The machine does boot for a few seconds (maybe 10), and then freezes. So the PSU is working. The CPU fan and HD are receiving power.
     
  4. Malditohon

    Malditohon TS Rookie Posts: 16

    well if your psu fan won't turn then the problem could be your psu, its not supplying enough power or its supplying too much to your components.

    psu can produces heat because its main job is to convert 100-240 volts of your AC voltage to a 12V varrying DC supply. so cleaning your cpu ones in a while could help from not damaging your unit.

    one more thing, only the psu fans aren't running or the psu haven't given power to your motherboard? try changing your psu and around a wattage ranging 500W and above.
     
  5. bochnak

    bochnak TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Both of the PSU fans are not running. The CPU fan runs fine.

    Currently, the PSU is 350W, and was fine for 2+ years. This is my little sister's machine. Mostly for web, downloads, and music.

    Thanks,
    Matt
     
  6. Jesse_hz

    Jesse_hz TS Maniac Posts: 545

    The problem could still be your PSU. Overheated PSUs can act very strange.

    If you're up for it, I'd suggest opening up the PSU (CAREFULLY) and replacing the fans, but not before trying another PSU.
     
  7. Malditohon

    Malditohon TS Rookie Posts: 16

    by they way, whats your system spec. maybe your psu can no longer handle in supplying power to your system.

    best is you buy a new and stronger psu. 500W is minimum if you have a P4. but if you use older pcs but still again, your psu could maybe be a little older.
     
  8. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 5,268   +92

    If you don't know his system's specifications, why are you recommending he spend money on a 500W PSU? If the PC was shipped with a 350W PSU, I'd put my entire bank account (which isn't impressive, but still :D) on the fact that his system isn't in need of anything NEAR a 500W PSU.

    Lol, I wouldn't open the PSU to swap a fan, maybe I'm just a chicken but I've been electrocuted three times too many in the past (not by a PSU mind you) :).

    A PC's PSU relies on airflow from it's integrated fan for heat dissipation. If your PSU's fan is not currently spinning and it's not clogged with dust, it's likely dead. If you've got a set of steel between your legs, go ahead and replace the fan, otherwise just buy a new PSU.
     
  9. bochnak

    bochnak TS Rookie Topic Starter

  10. Malditohon

    Malditohon TS Rookie Posts: 16

    i'm just suggesting. in case he will upgrade at least he won't buy another psu for dual core PC.

    :haha: who says that you open the psu and replace the fan or whatever component or fuse to replace with, it not the right one. when psu components are damaged best decisions are to return to the dealer or buy a new one. well, for me i just buy a new one!
     
  11. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 5,268   +92

    It's not the worst choice possible, but it's certainly not the best. There is no PFC and there are less amps on the 12v rail than you currently have, which, probably isn't a good idea, although it ought to be able to power your PC. I'm not sure if you can beat it for $19.99 unless there is just an amazing MIR deal going on somewhere.
     
  12. bochnak

    bochnak TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I’ll place a box fan on the case/PSU tonight and see if it will boot.
     
  13. Malditohon

    Malditohon TS Rookie Posts: 16

    well, just having my opinion. i greatly respect yours.
    thanks anyways!
     
  14. Malditohon

    Malditohon TS Rookie Posts: 16

    Goodluck! hope you can boot up!
     
  15. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 5,268   +92

    I was commenting on his PSU choice :/.
     
  16. Malditohon

    Malditohon TS Rookie Posts: 16

    sorry.......... i misunderstood..
     
  17. bochnak

    bochnak TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Here is the update:

    With the new PSU installed, I ran memtest and Seatools and both passed. I was still unable to boot windows, even in Safe mode. I did a fresh install of XP and everything was OK until it froze on me during the welcome screen. I can boot into safe mode.

    What can possibly be wrong? It has to be a hardware issue. Please help! Any other diagnostic tools that I can run for mobo or video card?

    Thanks,
    Matt
     
  18. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 5,268   +92

    If you can get into Safe Mode, honestly I would still suspect the RAM (or maybe even the DIMM slots) despite the findings of Memtest86. Perhaps there is a driver conflict preventing Windows from booting entirely and that isn't loaded during Safe Mode. I can't think of anything else that would be different between booting normally and booting into Safe Mode.

    How does your CPU temperature look?
     
  19. bochnak

    bochnak TS Rookie Topic Starter

    How do you check CPU temp in safe mode? My ASUS Aibooster will not run, which records temp.

    I tried a different DIMM slot...did not work.
     
  20. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 5,268   +92

    You ought to be able to check it in the BIOS.

    You may have tried another DIMM slot, but with the same module. Try borrowing a module of RAM that is compatible with your PC from a friend for 10 minutes.
     
  21. bochnak

    bochnak TS Rookie Topic Starter

    The PC I'm using right now is almost identical in components, so tonight I'll start swapping parts.
     
  22. bochnak

    bochnak TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Bad video card. I swapped cards between machines and found the same symptom.

    Off to newegg.com. Might as well upgrade memory.....it never ends.

    Thanks everybody!
     
  23. bochnak

    bochnak TS Rookie Topic Starter

    BTW, what are some good brand names? This is not a gaming machine.
     
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