PC Locking up in Windows need Help!!!

By Beardmaster
Jul 9, 2005
  1. Ok wasn't sure where to post this as I'm a total noob and have just about reached the end of my tether with my pc. I would really appreciate any advice (other than hitting my pc with a sledgehammer) that could help fix my problem.

    To cut a long story short my PC locks up during any one of the following activities;

    1. Burning a Long DVD (i.e. more than 2 hour long film)
    2. Playing 3d Accelerated games (i.e. GTA San Andreas)
    3. Playing Visualizations in Winamp

    I have spent a lot of money on various hardware upgrades and still the problem doesn't go away, my spec is as follows;

    Asus A7V880 Mobo
    Athlon XP 3200
    Antec Neopower 480W PSU
    Zalman CNPS7000B CPU cooler
    1 GB 3200 Ram
    HIS ATI Radeon 9800 Pro GFX
    1 x Lite-On DVD RW 16X
    1 x Artec CD RW 52X
    1 x S-ata Seagate 160gb HD
    1 x IDE Western Digital 80gb HD

    I can't actually figure out what the problem is, I've tried re-installing windows in a different directory as well as upgrading the bios and doing virus and adware scans. Still I get the same problem I can play visualisations in Winamp for maybe 10 minutes solidly before the whole thing locks up, pretty much the same thing happens with games such as Half life 2 and GTA SA. The comp also locks up round about the 68% mark when burning a long dvd, maybe there is more than one problem but this is starting to make me lose sleep!

    Any advice because I'm stuck and I've just ran clean outta ideas, you are truly a guru of PC fixing if you can sort this one out, any help is greatly appreciated, thanks.
  2. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff TS Rookie Posts: 6,503

    Looks like either your CPU is overheating, because the Zalman cooler is not properly mounted, there is no thermal paste, or the PC got a kick or whack and the cooler dislocated somehow.
    Or the fan on the Videocard is perhaps full of dust, or not connected properly or not working at all.

    Asus has it's own utility AsusProbe (on the mobo-CD) to display temperatures.
    If you can't find AsusProbe, download it from Asus Website.
    Or get Speedfan from
  3. Beardmaster

    Beardmaster TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I already have asusprobe up, and with the Zalman installed its normally running about 46 degrees going up no higher than 56 when using applications.
  4. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff TS Rookie Posts: 6,503

    Let's try the next step.
    Get Memtest86 from , available in bootable floppy or ISO format for burning a CD.
    Run that with 1 memory stick, 2 sticks, in different slot-combinations or alone.

    Reseat your graphics card, make sure you have the latest drivers installed.
    Check that all fans work.

    Do a CHKDSK /F on your harddisk, then a defrag.
    Do an antivirus- and spyware scan.
  5. Beardmaster

    Beardmaster TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Ok thanks, looks like you might have hit the nail on the head with the memory test. I didn't complete the entire tests but I'm guessing 1748 errors on test 5 is not a good thing.

    So new memory will solve my problems?
  6. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff TS Rookie Posts: 6,503

    Try the faulty stick in another slot, all might not be lost yet. Mark that stick so you know which one is the baddie.
    And good quality replacement should solve the problem. Make sure the specs of the new one match the existing memory.
  7. Beardmaster

    Beardmaster TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Well that would be alright, if it weren't just a 1gb stick instead of 2 512's but I've ordered just a new 512 stick of kingston anyway. My mate reckons that will be enough on its own with the current spec I have for what I use it for.

    Oh yeah and p.s. thanks for the help.
  8. Beardmaster

    Beardmaster TS Rookie Topic Starter


    Right, installed new perfectly fine Kingston RAM and yet I still have the same problems!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I can't help but think that perhaps it has something to do with my DVD burner, every problem I have seems to be associated with it, I noticed that burning DVD's messes up about once in every 2 attempts and now I'm experiencing lock ups when ripping music and also when I'm playing GTA.

    When I run games off the HD I don't encounter the same problems.....I'm going insane over this, gonna try re-installing windows XP with pro edition from Torrentspy but not sure what else to do, HELP PLEEEEEEAASSSEE I'm in desparate need of advice cos this has NEVER happened before!
  9. Liquidlen

    Liquidlen TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,094

    A couple of thoughts;
    -Try increasing your Page file size and making it a Permanent one can help.
    -Confirm you have a lot of free space on your HDD
    -Latest versions of your Burning Software and Firmware for your Burner.
    -Do not have more than one brand of Burning Software on your machine and Disable Windows burning Software.

    If you reduce the amount of Ram you may be exacerbating your problem Games and Burning software need lots of Ram. Consider going bck to 1Gig if money is not an issue.
  10. Beardmaster

    Beardmaster TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Ok sounds interesting BUT;

    I'm not that advanced with PC's so I don't really know what you're going on about with regards to the page file size, is that the temp directory that DVD burner sw uses?

    I have over 90 gig free on my C drive.

    My versions of Clonedvd and Anydvd are not legit, would updating them automatically to the latest version cause problems?

    As for the burning software, I have Nero for CD's and CloneDVD 2 for DVD's, is that likely to cause a problem? I hadn't thought about disabling the windows sw and don't really know how but will look in the tools on media player, thanks for the advice.
  11. Liquidlen

    Liquidlen TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,094

    I am Sorry but I cannot help with unlicensed software , it is against Techspot philosophy.
    You don't state Nero's version but you can cofirm the latest version at their Web site.
    The firmware for the CDRW ,would come from the manufacturers website and directions for updating would be there also. Although it is not hard to update firmware , You must follow directions to the letter.
    Go to Control panel> Device manager>hardware > and right click on the CDRW listing> Properties.
    Check the tabs for "Enable CD recording on this Drive" Uncheck the white box.
    The Page file is an important core system item in Windows and either do some reading on it in Windows Help or Manuals or at Microsoft web, or find a Guru to adjust it hands on. You need to understand what it means to alter the Page file.
    As for the Temp file you can delete the files you have built up already.
    Go to Start>Programs >Accessories>System Tools > Disk Cleanup ; read a little so you can check to delete Temp files /Temp internet files , ETC. Then Defrag you hard drive (Program is in same menu as Disk clean up.This a maintenance you should do especially after Burning and Game playing.
    Good luck Let us know your progress, We csn still help ,but in your case you should attempt these one at a time until you feel more confident.
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