XP SP3 hanging

By sdhuk
May 15, 2010
  1. Hi there, I'd really appreciate some advice on tracking down the source of a friend's PC hanging. It occurs intermittently. On some occasions Windows Explorer just seems to freeze, but the mouse will move and the system is otherwise unresponsive. I can't even get Task Manager to come up by pressing CTRL-ALT-DEL. The system has to be powered off completely. At other times it crashes with 'smearing' of graphics across the screen. There have been no recent upgrades to the system and this occurs despite a clean installation of windows. At no point has there been a BSOD or any minidump files logged by windows. There don't seem to be any significant events in the Event Viewer.

    I've included details of the system and a log of what I've tried so far below.

    Any help you can offer is very much appreciated.

    Many thanks in advance.


    CPU: AMD Athlon 64 3200+
    Motherboard: Asus M2NS-NVM (Boston)
    DIMM1: 256MB DDR 2 PC2-4300 (266MHz) Manufacturer: MOSEL
    DIMM2: 256MB DDR 2 PC2-4300 (266MHz) Manufacturer: MOSEL
    DIMM3: 1024MB DDR2 PC2-4300 (266MHz) Manufacturer: MOSEL
    GPU: Integrated nVIDIA nForce 6100-405
    PSU: FSP Group Inc. Model No: FSP250-60HEN
    OS: Win XP SP3 Home OEM

    Manufacturer Website:

    No BSOD at any point
    No minidump logs produced by windows at any point
    No significant events logged in Event Viewer

    Format and clean install of Windows XP SP3 with all updates
    Latest drivers from manufacturer website installed
    Latest Nvidia graphics driver installed
    Latest BIOS update installed from manufacturer website
    Run chkdsk /f /r - no errors
    Defragment drive - completed with no errors
    Run Prime95 Stress Test - crashed after 40 minutes, max CPU temp 43 degrees
    Cleaned heatsinks and fans
    Reseated memory and cleaned contacts
    Reseated CPU Heatsink/Fan - new thermal grease applied
    PSU & CPU fans both checked and working
    Check Psu voltages within reasonable tolerances: vCore = 1.40v, 3.3v = 3.28v (0.6%), 5v = 4.86v (2.8%), 12v = 12.28v (2.3%)
    Run Windows Memory Diagnostic - no errors (run for 10 hours)
    Run Memcheck86+ - no errors (run for 12 hours)
    Swapped in known good memory from another machine, run Prime 95 Stress Test for 10 hours, max CPU temp 44 degrees, no crash
    Subsequently crashed with 'smearing' of graphics across screen after ~ 4 hrs normal use
    Run Video Card Stability Test ( - run for 1 hour, no crash
    Swapped original memory back in
  2. webscaper

    webscaper TS Rookie Posts: 51

    I wonder if your hard drive is failing. Type res in the search area of start menu. Then select resource monitor from the list above. Keep it open on the desktop until the freezing occurs. Keep an eye on the response time column. If the times are excessive then your hard drive is failing.

    You could also do a hard drive diagnostic from the manufacturer of the hard drive:

    Attached Files:

  3. sdhuk

    sdhuk TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks, it's actually a new drive, installed after the hangs started to occur. There were unrepairable bad sectors on the previous drive. I've done a SMART check on it too and it seems to pass it all with top marks. I don't think Resource Monitor is available on XP unfortunately.
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