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Computer Locking Up Randomly

By tomas_cubero ยท 21 replies
Sep 7, 2004
  1. Hi All,

    I have this really frustrating problem, I just bought a new Pentium 4 2.8GHZ HT. The problem is that every now and then it will lock up, sometimes auto restaring sometimes just locked up. What is really annoying is that in my previous CPU, an AMD Athlon XP 2.1Ghz, it would do the same thing. Its running also a brand new AGP card but the other one is working too. So, my system is left with a firewire card, a tv tuner card, ram, case, hard drive, 2 dvd drives and the rest of the outer peripherals. Whats new is CPU, Motherboard, AGP, 5.1 Sound Card, power supply. My best guess is that the ram is no good because the rest of the things are not very likely to produce this problem. I am going to run Memtest86 after I finsh writing this and I will post the results. This also gives me the BSOD sometimes and I cant read it because it dissapears inmediately and restarts. Please tell me what could be the problem. Also, all drivers onboard are the newest available.

    Many Thanks,
    Tomas Cubero M.
    San Jose, Costa Rica
    Central America
  2. tomas_cubero

    tomas_cubero TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Additional Note

    I have a brand new 300W power supply, have read that this could cause the problem. I will get a 550W if this is the problem.
  3. therealdeal329

    therealdeal329 TS Rookie Posts: 41

    yeah i would say try another power supply 550 watts should be more than enough for what you are running... how did the results with memtest come out?
  4. tomas_cubero

    tomas_cubero TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Hi All,

    Did Memtest for 1hr and a half, no errors but it didn't finsih, I needed the computer, its right now 12:04am here in Costa Rica, as soon as I leave the PC, I am leaving memtest86 overnigh to see if any errors come out. Also, the 550W power supplies are not available to Costa Rica yet, so the best I could get was 400W. Is that enough for my system?

    Many Thanks,
  5. howard_hopkinso

    howard_hopkinso TS Rookie Posts: 24,177   +19

    I had the same problem with my system for ages tried everything but nothing worked then one morning the ps went bang so I got a new ps same as the old one 350w still did the same thing. I spoke to a friend of mine who suggested that I may have a dirty mains I.E power surges so I bought an antisurge protector cost me just over 20 pounds I have to say that I haven`t had any problems since. In fact my system has never been so stable. Apparently you can also get surges from cable broadband fortunately my anti surge lets you plug your broadband in as well. I`m not saying that this is what`s happening to your system but getting antisurge would definitely help to protect your system and stop any surges getting to your power supply. Regards Howard:grinthumb
  6. howard_hopkinso

    howard_hopkinso TS Rookie Posts: 24,177   +19

    P.S If you are interested in antisurge protection then please checkout www.belkin.com Regards Howard :grinthumb
  7. howard_hopkinso

    howard_hopkinso TS Rookie Posts: 24,177   +19


    checkout the picture
  8. tomas_cubero

    tomas_cubero TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Hi All,

    Well, the power suppply thing was been taken care of about 1 year ago, I currently own an APC 500VA Backup ES 500. Wondeful, I got this because I rembr about 3 years ago, a whole pc frying, it was a Pentium 3 800MHz, a tru pity in that time. So, I checked the mains cable, I had that problem before, dirty one, would cut on me lots of time, got a new one and is secure in place, also cut out. I really don't know what the problem is, more suggestions would be really helpful, thanks.

  9. tomas_cubero

    tomas_cubero TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Hi All,

    Well Ive come to this, memtest86 gave 100% passed all tests with the ram, thats fine. AGP Card, tried tow diferent ones, ATi 9600SE and Geforce FX5200, still the same sthing. Motherboard and CPU, tried with AMD Athlon XP 2.1Ghz and Chaintech 7VJL motherboard, supporing DDR and AGP8X, did the same thing. Ran Maxtor's utility on the Hard Drive, no problems found. Whats left, Genius Sound Card, don't thnk so since its new and still without it, did the same thing. Then, ATi TV Wonder VE, had it for a couple of years, never gave me any problems but who knows, could be this. Firewire card, same thing without it. DVD-RW and DVD-ROM had them with 3 diferent systems, worked perfectly and never gave problems, doubt it that a CD type drive will give this problem. Outer peripherals like monitor, mouse keyboard, cable modem, printer, speakers don't cause this problem. CPU and Motherboard dont give this problem, since it did the same with an AMD VIA Chipest, my P4 is SIS Chipset. So whats left? Well the test of the mains cable, working on my monitor right now, no problem. So, Whats left now? You guessed it, 300W Power Supply. My sort of high end system cant work with such a low 300W ps, this probably overheats of giving so much power, additionaly, ive burnt one with the P4, and why is it that just when I start using agps and good cpus that my system is unstable, with integrated video among other not so high end parts, never had a problem. So, conclusion is, Power Supply=Too Low. What about a 400W one guys, I can get one here for 7k colones, about $16-$17. Will this be enough, if not, ill get a 550W one from ebay but I rather buy the 400W here, much easier. Ohh, the TV Tuner is the other one which could be giving the problem but I doubt.

    Many Thanks,
  10. Shiney

    Shiney TS Booster Posts: 160

    Silly question i know :) but have you done a fresh install of whatever operating system you use ?
  11. tomas_cubero

    tomas_cubero TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Hi Shiny,

    Yes, have done a fresh install with the Penitum 4, and believe it or not, 8 times with the Athlon XP, still did the same problem. I need to know if the 400W power supply will be enough for my system, please respond this question, thanks.

  12. therealdeal329

    therealdeal329 TS Rookie Posts: 41

    well u currently have a 300 watt PS, so an extra 100 watts should help some i would assume.. just make sure you dont go with a generic powersupply, try and stick with something with better quality, check around the site i'm aware of many threads that deal with power supplies/brands, and results.. anyways good luck with your pc.. hope everything turns out well..
  13. howard_hopkinso

    howard_hopkinso TS Rookie Posts: 24,177   +19

    by all means Tomas upgrade your ps but if you do and you continue to have the same problems then post back. I still think that anti surge would be a good investment especialy if your ps is running on the ragged edge. I can`t stress enough how important anti surge is. Not only does it protect your system but it also stops unexpected lock ups and restarts due to dirty mains power supplys. Regards Howard:grinthumb
  14. InsaneMonkeyBoy

    InsaneMonkeyBoy TS Rookie Posts: 163


    I'm witnessing similiar lockups to this and have been for the past years. Tried everything BUT anti-surge kits. Where abouts do you put these kits and how much space do they take?

    Thanks in advance.

    Good luck with solving your prob tomas. :grinthumb
  15. tomas_cubero

    tomas_cubero TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Hi All,

    I not going to buy a new PS, have a friend even with a higer en system and with the same 300W PS. So, well all hardware is out. It has to be a specific type of software. And, I do own a Anti-Surge, an American Power Conversion 500VA. But there has to be something that is making my pc not function properly. InsaneMonkeyBoy, i think that we both have the same problem, has to be a specific software. If you want, we can compare softwares on our machines but I really doubt that they cause the problems. Could it be Windows XP? XP is know to be buggy and this could be a problem. So, all hardware out, whats next? Has to be software.

  16. Shiney

    Shiney TS Booster Posts: 160

    All i can suggest is that you do a barebones fresh installation, set the bios to default settings then run the pc for a while, then add a piece of hardware one at a time, run pc for a while until the problem starts.
  17. howard_hopkinso

    howard_hopkinso TS Rookie Posts: 24,177   +19

    Hiya Insane Monkey Boy. Antisurge is not a kit it`s a trailing socket well actually bank of sockets that has anti surge protection built in the cost around 20 pounds for a decent one. If you look at my earlier posts on this thread you will see the link as well as a picture of the one that I use. It can be easily purchased from any branch or Argos. Regards Howard:grinthumb
  18. deckerchevy

    deckerchevy TS Rookie

    System lock up??

    I am running an AMD Athelon XP2.2G with 40G seagate and a 160G seagate with an Asus A7V8X motherboard. I have 512M ram with a DVD burner, DVD rom, Floppy drive, a Radeon AGC, and a Turtlebeach Catalina 7.1 surround sound card. I have been running windows XP and the system runs really well when I install my other Soundblaster live sound card but as soon as I install my Turtle beach card it will lock up every so often. I can't figure it out. I need the turtle beach because it is part of my media stack and that is what I need to send my digital audio out to an external A/V processor. I don't understand the problem. I have switched the PCI slots, I have reformated my drives, I have done an virus check, I have downloaded all new drivers for everything I own, and nothing works. It will run fine even allowing me to watch movies but as soon as I try to multitask, it locks up. It even locks up when I tried to reformat my drives. I had to uninstall my second hard drive and the sound card for it to format. I have singled it down to the sound card because it only locks up when it is installed. Is there any suggestions because I don't want to spend anymore money on another sound card. Plus this sound card works great unless I want to multitask of course. I am desperate and am open to anything. This problem has been kicking my butt for about a month now. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  19. Robenc

    Robenc TS Rookie

    APC Backups

    I dont think the power supply is the issue its a design flaw in the APC Backup
    UPS if you disconnect the Serial or the USB connector the machine will post normally for some reason the Back UPS is feeding a voltage back to the computer... Has been test on 6 machines 350w to 550w power supply

    Robenc Tech Guru
  20. Cristofori

    Cristofori TS Rookie

    Okay, I am also having a similar problem. Computer locking up every once in awhile, tried a lot of things to fix it.

    One thing I did notice is that when I tried disabling my soundcard, the problem stopped, what could this mean? I think that you should try the same, just disable your soundcard driver in the control panel. Obviously you wont be getting any sound anymore until you reenable the driver, but I dont know what to do from here.

    I know this thread is outdated but hopefully someone will view it, or at least this information will benefit someone in the future
  21. InsaneMonkeyBoy

    InsaneMonkeyBoy TS Rookie Posts: 163


    Cheers dude. I might try that later.
  22. skelmen4201

    skelmen4201 TS Rookie

    On the soundcard problem, is it onboard?

    If it isn't check device manager, to see if there are conflicts.

    Also this could bee your RAM, MoBo, CPU, PSU, even dust.
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