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Could this be a hardware problem?

By reyna · 6 replies
Mar 31, 2008
  1. My original problem was that, one day I came back to my comp from sleep and it had shut itself down. I restarted, and after maybe 10 seconds, mouse and keyboard both would freeze. Same thing in safe mode, VGA and all of the options on F8. Took it to a tech and he reinstalled Windows XP using some disc he had and not the Acer eRecovery. After that it worked in safe mode but still froze on normal bootup. The mouse would skip around, then freeze altogether, and the keyboard wouldn't work. Took it back to the tech, who told me he couldn't get it to freeze.

    When I got it home it worked, but it appeared to have some crappy resolution set on it, and I thought he may have ust put it on some basic resolution to "fix" the problem hoping I wouldn't notice. I got the driver, downloaded it, and it began to freeze up again. Therefore I did a reformat through eRecovery, and it loaded up to the screen that's all "Hey dude you got a new computer, let's set it up" and the MOUSE AND KEYBOARD FROZE AGAIN. You have to hold in the power button to reset it. Won't load at all in safe mode and tells me to "run setup again." I ran the reformat several times with the same result.

    My specs are below, the only difference is that I have twice as much RAM as what's listed because we upgraded it. Thanks for any help anyone can offer.

    Acer Aspire 3000

    AMD Mobile Sempron 3000+ / 1.8 GHz
    Chipset type

    Cache Memory
    L2 cache
    Cache size
    128 KB

    Installed Size
    256 MB / 2 GB (max)
    DDR SDRAM - 333 MHz
    Memory specification compliance

    Storage controller type

    Hard Drive
    40 GB

    Optical Storage

    CD-RW / DVD-ROM combo - Integrated
    CD / DVD read speed
    24x (CD) / 8x (DVD)
    CD / DVD write speed
    CD / DVD rewrite speed

    Display Type
    15 in TFT active matrix
    Max Resolution
    1024 x 768 ( XGA )
    Color Support
    24-bit (16.7 million colors)

    Graphics Processor / Vendor
    SiS Mirage 2
    Video Memory
    Shared video memory (UMA)

    Audio output type
    Sound card
    Audio output compliant standards
    Audio Input

    Input device type
    Keyboard, Touchpad, 4-way scroll button

    Network adapter
    Networking / Wireless LAN Supported
    Wireless NIC
    Acer InviLink 802.11b/g
    Data link protocol
    Ethernet, IEEE 802.11b, IEEE 802.11g, Fast Ethernet
    Networking standards
    IEEE 802.11b, IEEE 802.11g, Wi-Fi CERTIFIED

    Expansion / Connectivity
    Expansion Slots Total (Free)
    2 ( 1 ) x Memory, 1 ( 1 ) x CardBus - Type II
    1 x Modem - Phone line - RJ-11, 1 x Network - Ethernet 10Base-T/100Base-TX - RJ-45, 1 x Audio - Line-in/microphone - Mini-phone mono 3.5 mm, 1 x Audio - Line-out/headphones - Mini-phone mono 3.5 mm, 1 x Display / video - VGA - 15 pin HD D-Sub (HD-15), 3 x Hi-Speed USB - 4 pin USB Type A
  2. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,382

    First thing that jumped out at me was the fact that you upgraded ram. Does this by chance coincide with when the problems started? Take out the new ram for a while and see if that fixes the problem. It may be incompatible (or faulty) ram that is giving you the headaches.

    Also, if you are able to boot your computer up, right click on “my computer”, “manage”, “event viewer” (assuming you are running XP). Here you will find 3 categories and a list of each. Your system reports any errors it encounters here. You want to search in all three categories and look for any details with a red symbol by them. Yellow are also significant, but red ones are the ones to research first.

    To research them, the best way is to look inside the details provided. There is a link in there that tells you to “click for more details”. Do it. It’ll take you to the Microsoft site with some possible causes and solutions.

    If the crashes seem related to a particular piece of hardware in your system, that is your hint. Update the drivers for that hardware and see if that fixes you up. For example, if you are getting constant error reports for your internet connection, try updating your NIC (network interface card) drivers.
  3. pdyckman@comcas

    pdyckman@comcas TS Rookie Posts: 526

    Since you have reformatted so many times, it has to be related to hardware:if not a complete hardware issue. Too bad your so-called "tech" wouldn't refund your money. Most of my tech experiences were bad as well. Usually when a computer shuts itself down, it has experienced some heat issue, usually in the cpu. Why else would a machine shut itself off? There's not very many other issues that cause that. The first thing that I would do is download "core temp" (a free cpu temp on screen readout in real time). After that, download either "PC Wizard" or "Everest Ultimate" for a backup real time temp readout. If you can get it running, watch and make a note of cpu temps, mainboard temps (PC Wizard has that) and see if anything is overheating. If you feel the temps look high, post back with your results. Good Luck. Make sure no fans have stopped.
  4. reyna

    reyna TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 21

    Thanks. The RAM was installed many months ago and it doesn't coincide with that. There were some warnings in the system viewer and I did write them down before reformatting. Will try to figure that out. I don't think I could get to the system viewer since it appears Windows is not fully installed, and since I reformatted I don't know that the details would be there anymore. When starting up it's at an Acer/Windows welcome screen asking me to enter personal details, but the mouse and keyboard freeze before I can do anything.
  5. reyna

    reyna TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 21

    Thanks. I mean, I could have reformatted the computer myself. (I guess I DID reformat it myself, after he did. LOL) I have to say, he did save my data, and that alone was probably worth what I paid, but I probably could have figured out how to get my data off the hard drive. I think I will take it back to him tomorrow and ask him to fix it. I am not skilled in this and it takes me a whole night to research proper tools to try and fix something like this.

    I'm thinking memtest too, to make sure the hard drive is okay? I don't really know how to get something like that to run when Windows doesn't even work. Do you make a CD Rom and try to boot from that?
  6. soulkolektor

    soulkolektor TS Rookie

    i have the same problem with my computer at work. i would be typing and the next thing i know is my keybord is not working. i try to use the mouse; that is not woking either. after that i get a blue screen error message for a splt second and the only thing i was able to recognize is "memmory dump", so i called my computer tech guy that is responsible for the PCs in the squadron, and he said it is the RAM, it was either falthy or it was going bad. solution was lowering the resolution to the minimum supported by that monitor and it worked for a while, but after about a week it started doing the same thing, so he replaced the whole computer.
    in my experience i would say your RAM is the problem, but keep in mind that PCs in my squadron are on 24 hours a day
  7. reyna

    reyna TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 21

    That is EXACTLY what the tech did. I don't know if he thought I was stupid and wouldn't notice that my icons were an inch high each, or what? I must look like an *****. I tried to put the resolution back down after it froze the 2nd time, but it didn't work.
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