Computer freezing and crashing.

By riverwind ยท 13 replies
Jul 18, 2006
  1. Hello, .. could somebody please help.. I just recently reformatted my comouter to rid some nasty viruses/trojans, but since have had some serious probs with my computer freezing and crashing. Everything was working great after the format for a week or so and then I opened the case to check one one of my memory sticks (old school Rambus type) to see about upgrading and ever since putting it back my computer crashes. At least, it seems that is when it started. I'm pretty sure I seated it correctly (I did it a couple of times) and I used air to blow everything out.

    THE PROBLEM:( I boot up my computer and most of the time it will work fine for about 10-15 mins. and then all of the sudden everything just freezes!! sometimes the screen distorts/slurs to the side. I then have to unplug it then plug it back in just to get it restarted!.. I've tried reinstalling the Windows XP Service Pack 2 and as soon as it gets to the "checking configuration" step, it will freeze up there..
    --I've ran several test, and it is clear of any viruses, etc...

    my guess is it is a hardware issue, but I can't figure out what??? (RAM??)

    a couple of general specs about my system (I know it's old, working on a new one):

    Pentium III 800 MHz
    Memory: 256MB
    Windows XP Pro
    ATI Rage 128 GL AGP graphics card

    I would savior anyone that could please help out!! Thanks
  2. KingCody

    KingCody TS Evangelist Posts: 992   +8

    Hi Riverwind and welcome to TechSpot :)

    is the computer just freezing "as-is" or do you get a blue screen (BSOD)?

    since you have a unplug it to allow it to start again would suggest a dying power supply.

    it also may be an overheating issue (either the PSU or the CPU). is the power supply fan working? is the CPU fan working? did you accidentally "bump" the heatsink when you removed/reinstalled your RAM?
  3. nickslick74

    nickslick74 TS Booster Posts: 575

    When you removed your memory did you ground yourself? If not you may have damaged either the memory module or the mobo if they were hit with static discharge. Another possibility is an overheating problem. Can you monitor your temps (CPU, Mobo, etc...) in the BIOS and report them back? You will want to watch them over time to see if they slowly creep up.
  4. riverwind

    riverwind TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 25

    I had tried leaving the side of the case off and blowing a fan into the side providing an abundance of air,,nothing feels warm to the touch..

    -it is just freezing as-is, no blue screens

    -I'm pretty sure I did ground my self

    -all fans are working properly
  5. riverwind

    riverwind TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 25


    Also Thank you for the kind welcome!!
  6. nickslick74

    nickslick74 TS Booster Posts: 575

    Could be the PSU is going bad then, like KingCody mentioned. Also, heatsink could have only minimal contact with cpu if it was bumped. You wouldn't notice any temp change then. Check your BIOS temps.
  7. riverwind

    riverwind TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 25

    i'm a little unsure on...

    I'm not sure how to monitor the temps..??

    Is there a way to check/scan my RAM??

    anyway of checking the power supply before swapping it out???

    Thanks again all!!!
  8. nickslick74

    nickslick74 TS Booster Posts: 575

    You should be able to monitor temps in your BIOS. Go here for a program to test your RAM:
    Not sure if you can run this on your machine in question since it doesn't have Windows loaded. Do you have another computer you can test the mem modules on?
  9. KingCody

    KingCody TS Evangelist Posts: 992   +8

    before you buy any new hardware

    you should remove, clean, and re-seat all your components.

    at the very least you should blow all the dust from the CPU's heatsink fins with your compressed air. but to ensure that it's not overheating then a full heatsink removal, cleaning (with isopropyl alcohol), and applying new thermal compound would be much better.

  10. riverwind

    riverwind TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 25

    OK great thanks guyz, I won't get a chance until this evening to do everything. I am going to go ahead and:

    -monitor temps
    -check RAM using memtest (i did get Windows installed)
    -blow out and re-seat everything
    -clean the heatsink

    Thanks to both of you, KingCody & nickslick74!!! I'll repost after I do everything for a follow up.
  11. riverwind

    riverwind TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 25

    Something I did forget to mention is that my clock doesn't keep time anymore and it seems it stopped when all this started. I tried resetting it a few times. I'm not sure if it has any relevance to anything
  12. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,002   +15

    if your clock doesn't keep time, your CMOS battery needs replacement.
  13. riverwind

    riverwind TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 25

    Seem to have got the fix

    It looks like it was the power supply, everything running pretty smoothly now... thanx for everybody's help!!!
  14. KingCody

    KingCody TS Evangelist Posts: 992   +8

    glad you fixed it :D

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