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My computer keeps freezing, and I think it's a Hardware Issue.

By Naiok
Sep 4, 2005
  1. Why does my computer keep freezing?

    Ok guys I have tried everything and my computer keeps freezing, usually 5-10 minutes after startup, sometimes before windows loads.
    My PC:
    Athlon XP 3200+
    Win XP Pro
    512 Pc3200 DDR Ram
    Geforce 5500 256 MB 8x AGP
    n-Force 2 Mobo
    Maxtor 160 GB HD
    Maker: E-machine
    Model #: T3256

    Ok, it first started about a month ago. It would freeze and I would power down(by pressing the power button). When it would restart it would let me send Microsoft an Error report. So I finally sent one and it told me I had a Graphics Driver stuck in an Infinite loop and to update my graphics drivers or get a new graphics card,(At the time using the integraded Geforce 128mb Card). I updated my drivers multiple times, but would continue freezing. I ordered and installed my new Geforce 5500. It seemed ok, only freezing about twice the day it was installed. The next day it was just as bad or worse than before the new graphics card. After a restart now I don't get the option to send the error report to Microsoft, so I don't think it is the graphics card.Finally after running every virus/spyware check known to man, I decided to reformat my HD. I put Windows XP Pro on and it is still freezing. Thus leading me to the conclusion that it must be Hardware. I looked on badcaps.net, and it doesn't seem like that's the problem. So I "think" I have narrowed it down to RAM, HD, Processor, MoBo, or Power Supply. Anyone know any ways to check these components for errors (software or a physical test.) PLEASE HELP! I am currently going for my A+ certification, and I still can't figure it out. I tested the temperature with SpeedFan 4.25, usual range is between 30-40C. Any help?
     
  2. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,404

    I always start with the cheapest parts first, in hopes that I will be lucky ;

    run memtest for a couple hours and see if any errors come up.

    www.memtest86.com
     
  3. Naiok

    Naiok TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Will do, Thanks!
     
  4. Didou

    Didou Bowtie extraordinair! Posts: 4,274

  5. Naiok

    Naiok TS Rookie Topic Starter

    ok guys I need help running Memtest. I made the boot disc and after starting up it brings me to a command prompt giving me options. I tried the options but it says that they are not commands. Any help? :confused:
     
  6. Naiok

    Naiok TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Ok Guys I have rules out the following:
    Video Card (Just Replaced)
    RAM ( Ran Memtest & Passed)
    HD( Ran a HD Diagnostic from Maxtor)

    Anyone else!? I really need some help!
     
  7. Naiok

    Naiok TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Someone else had mentioned the power supply, but it is a 300W. The 5500 says it needs a 300 or better. -_-
    My CPU fan is working correctly, and my heatsink is cool. Don't want to tear my heatsink off because I don't have any thermal cream. Anyone know where I can get some? (BB?)
    Here is my Speed Fan report:http://img361.imageshack.us/my.php?image=speedfan3ku.png

    Thanks for the help
     
  8. patio

    patio TS Maniac Posts: 482

    I would not rule out any component even though it may be brand new... i have been doing this long enough to see hardware failures occur at any time.
    If the memory tested fine and the HDD passed diagnostics tests my next suspect would be the vid card...after that in regards to the symptoms it could be the power supply.
    Borrow another vid card and see if the problems remain if they do i would invest in a new PSu. P.S. Don't buy the cheap ones, they are a waste of time.

    patio. :cool:
     
  9. Naiok

    Naiok TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Ok guys, thanks for the help. This is what I have tried so far:
    Reformatted HD, Installed Windows XP Pro, DLed SP1a & SP2
    Memtest86- Memory Checked out fine(only ran one test)
    Hitachi HD Diagnostics Test- Ran both advanced and Basic test, no problems
    Speed Fan 4.25- Heat only ranges between 30-40C
    Updated all my drivers (Graphics & MoBo) from nVidia.com
    Many people have said that I need a stronger PSU, and I don't have any friends with one bigger than mine.
    I don't want to pull the cpu out if I can help it because I don't have any more thermal compound yet, probably won't be able to buy anything till Friday ($$)

    Still can't find any problems... So Looks like I am down to PSU,MoBo, and CPU?

    I drive my desktop around every once in a while, and was wondering if something inside the PSU could have a connection problem... I unplugged almost everything from the MoBo, and replugged it in for good connection, still freezing.

    Thanks a ton guys
     
  10. Naiok

    Naiok TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Any other Ideas?
     
  11. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,404

    I think patio's comment above is on track...

    The only thing I would ad, is to try updating your bios and chipset drivers to see if that fixes the problem first (if you haven't already).
     
  12. Naiok

    Naiok TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Ok guys, I think I figured it out. I went to a friends and hooked up his PSU(350w). Never froze. Opened up my PSU, and there is a bunch of gunk inside of it. It looks like maybe one of the caps inside it broke? The gunk looks a lot like glue. Well anyway I will be picking up a new powersupply. Anyone have any suggestions?
     
  13. patio

    patio TS Maniac Posts: 482

  14. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,404

  15. Naiok

    Naiok TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Omg guys! My computer likes playing tricks on me. Well I had originally thought that by replacing my Video Card had fixed my comp, but later that night it started freezing again. So I went to my local computer shop and bought a new PSU(450W) and it seemed ok. I went to work, and returned home (Leaving my computer on) and it started freezing again! I Have tried everything!
    Memtest86+, Passed 7 tests
    Bought a new Graphics Card, and DL'd all the new drivers
    Reformatted my HD, and reloaded Windows XP Pro, DL'd SP2
    Bought and Replaced my 300W PSU with a 450W PSU.
    Ran the Hitachi Diagnostic Check on my HD, Passed (the advanced and basic tests)
    Dowloaded my MOBO drivers as well.

    What else could it be!?!
    Mobo- Any way of "checking" this?
    Processor- Any way of "checking" this?

    I don't know what else could be freezing it! Any more Ideas at all!?!

    Just to let everyone know, it runs "better" in safe mode, but still freezes. It usually takes a lot longer to freeze in Safe mode. Any suggestions?
     
  16. patio

    patio TS Maniac Posts: 482

    The only other issue we haven't discussed other than the MBoard and or the CPU is heat...
    Find a small to medium size desk fan at any bargain store. Remove the side panels on the box and set the fan beside the case blowing on the lowest setting.

    Run it through it's paces and see if it stops freezing. If so then you need to add some additional cooling solutions to that case.

    patio. :cool:
     
  17. kirock

    kirock TS Rookie Posts: 1,221

    just a thought

    It might be the 3200+ CPU is an overclocked unit.
    With age, specs are drifting. Try increasing your Vcore voltage in your BIOS menu. Maybe try 0.05V increase, then maybe go to 0.1V increase.
     
  18. Naiok

    Naiok TS Rookie Topic Starter

    even if it is one of these problems why wouldn't they have surfaced sooner after I bought the computer?
     
  19. patio

    patio TS Maniac Posts: 482

    Fans are mechanical devices. Mechanical devices wear out. It's worth a try instead of buying a new CPU and or MBoard to find out.

    patio. :cool:
     
  20. Naiok

    Naiok TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Ummm don't quote me but I think this did the trick. What exactly did this do? Does it affect my PC? I.e. Performance? Thanks sooo much, I'll let you know if it decides to freeze again!
     
  21. Naiok

    Naiok TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I wanted to thank everyone who helped me through this. All i ended up having to do was change my FSB to .05 in my BIOS. No Problems have occurred since!
     
  22. quietcowboy

    quietcowboy TS Rookie

    Hey all,

    I am having the same issue as the first guy. I have replaced or upgraded everything but my motherboard and CPU.

    My question is that the last guy said he "All i ended up having to do was change my FSB to .05 in my BIOS." Not sure what this means. Can someone help explain this one to me. Maybe all I have to do also is make this change.
     
  23. kirock

    kirock TS Rookie Posts: 1,221

    That must be a typo! The FSB is the mobo bus frequency, usually in the range of 200MHz. The CPU using a multiplier of this frequency, say X10, so the CPU would then run at 200X10=2GHz.

    I can only guess that he meant CHANGED by 0.05MHz, pretty slight adjustment though! Don't change stuff in your BIOS unless you understand what you're doing. There are alot of good articles found on google (BIOS settings) which can explain things in greater detail.

    Edit: For some reason I couldn't see the original post, so I forgot what this was about. 0.05 is the increase of Vcore voltage I had suggested.
     
  24. kirock

    kirock TS Rookie Posts: 1,221

    Sorry I missed your last post. Glad to hear that might have helped. Vcore is the CPU voltage. A higher CPU clock frequency requires a slightly higher CPU voltage. In basic electronics, the faster the signal, the more power it required, Power=Current X voltage, hence increase voltage increase power to the CPU.
     
  25. quietcowboy

    quietcowboy TS Rookie

    Thanks for the explaination. I had a feeling of what he was talking about but just wanted to clearify it. I did do a search on the net for BIOS setting and all and found the one for my board. I do have a tolerance setting that I had set at .25% and I could change that to .5% but didn't want to do that until someone said that is what he was talking about.
     
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