How do I diagnose a possible hardware problem?

By Piano_Man ยท 6 replies
Jul 2, 2005
  1. I'm helping an elderly friend with her computer but she is having some problems that I haven't been able to answer as of yet. Her computer is randomly freezing and it doesn't matter what she's doing, whether she's online or offline, or anything else. I thought maybe it might be caused by too many temp files etc. and other Window's bugs, so I reinstalled her operating system from the beginning again. Even after that it keeps freezing. This makes me think that some peice of hardware is going bad but I don't know how to find which one. Her computer completely locks up and the only way to get out is to hold down on the power button for 5+ seconds. Does anyone have any suggestions?

    Thank you.
  2. A_DOG73

    A_DOG73 TS Rookie Posts: 170

    Did she recently install any hardware or software? How old is her power supply? Are the fans working Properly? A little more info please!
  3. Piano_Man

    Piano_Man TS Rookie Topic Starter

    No, she hasn't installed anything new (hardware or software) recently. As far as I know, the fans are working properly and her computer is 3-4 years old. I'm pretty sure it's not a software problem because it happens after I reinstalled and reformatted the hard drive. Does this give you more info to go on?

    Thanks again.
  4. A_DOG73

    A_DOG73 TS Rookie Posts: 170

    It could be a problem with the power supply. Also she could have a dying cmos battery. Im sure you dont have a voltometer but if you do you can check to see if the power supply is dying. If the cmos battery is dying you need to replace it. Its just like a watch battery. You just take it out and replace it with a new one. Its located on the motherboard. A new power supply runs around 30 bucks. Hope that helps.
  5. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff TS Rookie Posts: 6,503

    Check that all fans are working (incl. the powersupply) and that the PC and/or the fans are not full of dust. Clean OUTSIDE with a can of compressed air, NOT with a vacuum cleaner!
  6. patio

    patio TS Guru Posts: 482

    A 30 dollar PSU will get you hundreds of dollars of headaches...

    But the CMOS battery is a good idea to replace. I've seen them last more than 4 years but not often.

    As this will be a process of elimination take the steps suggested so far and post back.

    patio. :cool:
  7. Piano_Man

    Piano_Man TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I will try those suggestions when I have time to meet with her again. Thanks for all your help. I will keep posting.

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