PC freezes after a few CD's ripped

By BrianB ยท 28 replies
Mar 21, 2011
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  1. I have an XP machine (Dell Precision 490) that freezes every 2 or 3 CD's I rip. It's a pain in the butt becasue I'm in the process of ripping all my CD's to a media server I've created. I've gotta do hundreds of these things. I don't get an error message of any kind. I simply go to burn the next CD and discover my cursor is frozen and I can not Cntl + Alt+ delete my way to the process viewer or to shut down and restart. Have to hard boot.

    I was thinking it might be my CDR drive but before I go buy a new one I thought I'd run this by you fine folks. I have 3 Gig RAM installed on this machine so I don't think it's a memory issue.

    Any advice?

  2. Mark56

    Mark56 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,886

    The two most likely causes of this are the hard drive and the RAM. Run the following tests and look in Event Viewer to see if that reports any errors when the freezes have occured.

    If you are overclocking your RAM return it to default.

    It can also be due to virus infections, the graphics card, defective drivers or software incompatability. Have you made any changes to the system prior to this problem starting.

    If these tests come up clean then run these two anti virus programs to check for Malware.


  3. BrianB

    BrianB TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 39

    Thanks. How do I know if I have an ISO burner? I have Nero. I guess I will just download the one mentioned above anyway.

    In answer to your question, the only thing I have loaded recently (the PC was reloaded with XP recently so it's pretty fresh) was something called Media Monkey. I was looking for something that might be better than Windows Media as far as file organizing. I don't like it so I can uninstall and see if that was the problem to begin with. I will try that first when I get home.
  4. BrianB

    BrianB TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 39

    I took out all the memory and cleaned the contact points off and put back in. Still freezes.

    I sat down to do the first part of your instructions but I have to admit I'm confused as to what I need to do here. I see if I have one stick of memory that I need to download memtest. But I have four sticks. What exactly do I need to do?
  5. Mark56

    Mark56 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,886

    You should do exactly as described in the instructions, it is time consuming but the best test you can do.

  6. BrianB

    BrianB TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 39

    I believe you and will do just that but I've tried one more thing before I spend 24 hrs on each of the four RAM sticks. I have another Dell 490 that I took all the memory sticks from and replaced the existing ones. After two CD's the same problem came back. Not doubting you or being difficult but trying to save time. Does this rule out memory?
  7. Mark56

    Mark56 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,886

    If you are confident that the other memory sticks are 100% then memory can be taken out of the equation. I should add that does not rule out a possible fault in the RAM slots which can happen, although rare.

    Before running the hard drive test look in Event Viewer. This keeps a log of all events on the system including errors, look for errors that happened when you had the last problem. Look under Applications and Services.

  8. Mark56

    Mark56 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,886

    A couple more ideas to add, ripping uses a lot of CPU, have a look in Task Manager to see what the CPU usage is running at, if up to 100% or near it may be getting too hot, install this software and make it display the temps in the task bar so you can keep an eye on it. You may need to give your cooler a good blast of compressed air or replace the thermal paste.


    Also, do you have any other burning software installed, if so try uninstalling them and see if the problem continues.

    Are you using Nero for the ripping and what version? Have you ever used it for constant ripping before, without problems?
  9. BrianB

    BrianB TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 39

    Thanks Mark I will look in the logs tonight.

    I am using Itunes to rip. At first I used Media Monkey but when it started freezing I uninstalled that. Then I used Windows Media Player to rip and gave up on that for itunes after it too was making PC freeze. I configured itunes to rip as MP3 as i have an Mp3 player. That idea seemed to last longer as It took about 10 cd's before it froze. Not sure that gives you any hints as to what is going on but that's what happened. I am willing to install a new CD/DVD drive as the one that's installed is not a burner. I got the PC for free so I have no problem putting a little money into it. I would install a new hard drive too but I'm unsure how to transfer everything over cleanly. I don't want to go through installing all the apps individually again.
  10. Mark56

    Mark56 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,886

    OK, post back with any error reports from the Event Viewer and check the temps when ripping.
  11. BrianB

    BrianB TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 39

    OK just tried to rip CD's and got through two but on the third it froze up. I kept the process manager open and it never got higher than 32%. Mostly between 19% - 21%. The temp was 33c - 42c on processor 0 and 37c - 43c on processor 1. Will look at the event logs next.
  12. BrianB

    BrianB TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 39

    Ok the event viewer showed a lot of "side by side" error approximately at the time of these freeze ups in the Event Viewer system category. Nothing really in the application area as far as errors go. I tried to copy and paste one of them but it wouldn't let me. I also noticed I have XP Professional by the way. Not just XP, If that makes a difference.
  13. Mark56

    Mark56 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,886

    OK, I would now suggest running the Memtest86+. Follow the instruction to download and burn this to CD and then run it overnight. This should also pick up on any faults in the ram slots, you can leave all the sticks in. And also do the hard drive diagnostics.

    If those tests come up clean run these two anti virus programs. Download them and let them up date, then run a full system scan with each one.



    You could also check on the manufacturers site for the correct voltage setting for your memory sticks then check in the Bios to make sure they are correct.

    What anti virus do you have running and any third party firewall?

    Just one last idea for today, disconnect your PC from the internet and see if that helps. And run this file cleaner:


    Do not be tempted to use Registry Reviver.
  14. BrianB

    BrianB TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 39

    That the app I download from the memtest link in post #2? Because it looked like that was the app to download if you only have one stick. I guess they are one and the same?

    I have Norton AV and firewall/ internet security.

    Thanks I will try all this when I get home.
  15. BrianB

    BrianB TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 39

    Actually I see it. I download this right?:

    Download - Pre-Compiled Bootable ISO (.zip)
  16. Mark56

    Mark56 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,886


    Your Norton AV should not be causing a problem but it may be a worthwhile experiment to disable it while ripping, along with your internet connection (as suggested earlier), the less you have running the more resources are available for the ripping process.
  17. BrianB

    BrianB TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 39

    Ok I ran the memtest overnight.

    When I went down this morning I saw blue screen with much information so I wrote down what I thought were the important bits:

    At the bottom it said Pass Complete, No errors.

    At the upper right it said Pass -80%
    Test 12%
    Test #7

    I guess it was on it's 7th time running the tests? I don't know.

    I hit escape and rebooted but did not have time to test if it's freezing.

    What next boss?

    Oh, I can say that after I burned the ISO image for memtest to disk (using a USB external dvd burner) I popped the disk in the internal drive and went to reboot and found that the pc had froze. Could the drive itself be going or maybe the drivers?
  18. Mark56

    Mark56 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,886

    I think that confirms your memory is OK, you have read the results correctly.

    What next indeed, intermittent faults are the hardest to track down.

    This freeze up with the internal CD drive should have created a report in the Event Viewer, so have a look in there again.

    You could try to uninstall the CD drive in Device Manager and then reboot so windows loads the driver again. It might just be worth looking for any firmware update for the drive on the manufacturers site. You will have to remove the drive to get the model number off the case.

    There may be a chance that your original thoughts are correct in post 1, and that this has all been down to the CD drive.

    Have you tried ripping from the external drive?

    Could you borrow another internal CD drive to test with?

    Have you followed all the suggestions in post 13?
  19. BrianB

    BrianB TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 39

    Ripping from the external is something I've not tried actually. Good one. I will try that tonight.

    I will check event viewer again.

    Is there somewhere a site that can search my Dell for any missing or updated drivers? I've seen some driver apps but I didn't know if I could trust them.

    I'm going to pick up a burnable internal dvd drive today as I want one anyway. The external one is slow. I may just install it first and see it this whole thing goes away. I will let you know. Thank you so much for your help thus far!
  20. Mark56

    Mark56 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,886

    I've tried automatic driver scanners before and froze the system. I may have just picked the wrong one but don't know any that I could recommend.

    This link has all your drivers listed, most of them are fairly old but some have been updated. Dell do have there own online scanner for drivers but only for certain models, unfortunately your model is not included. They only way is to search through the list of drivers and compare them with what you have, a laborious task.

    http://support.dell.com/support/dow...UDE PRECISION 490&os=WW1&osl=en&catid=&impid=

    I'll be interested to hear how the new drive goes, hopefully without errors when ripping.
  21. BrianB

    BrianB TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 39

    Well I satayed up all night and added a new DVD burner and new hard drive. Those went well and I started burning and got through 7 disks with no problem. THen it froze. I hard booted and it froze on the first disk. I wanted to upgrade the hard drive and get a burnable DVD dirve anyway so I don't consider it a waste. I look in the event logs and don't see much. I did the temp file cleanup up you posted above. I disabled my firewall. What the hell?
  22. Mark56

    Mark56 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,886

    Was this a clean install of XP on the new drive or was this done from a back up so that all your original software was put straight onto the drive?

    My only remaining thought is that this is being caused by a System Service or some Software that is running in the background causing a conflict.

    Follow this which explains how to switch off the System Services and software that runs at startup. I would turn everything off and then try a few rips, if this works then we are on the right track. It may also be worth a try doing some rips in safe mode which uses the minimum drivers ans services.

  23. BrianB

    BrianB TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 39

    Hi Mark,

    I used the Easeus hard drive clone software to make an exact copy of the old drive.

    I also took the new drive and installed it in that spare Dell Precision 490 I have around and it happned there too. I was thinking at one point it might be a hardware issue in the PC like the mother board or something. I then reloaded a fresh install of XP from disk and it still happened. Yeah I basically worked on this all weekend. LOL.

    I will do your latest suggestion when I get home. It's gotta be a conflict with something else running like you say.

    The only thing I have that is a little out of the orrdinary from maybe the usual home pc setup is a network storage drive. UPnp device, DLNA thing. Perhaps having it on my network does something? It plugs right into my Cisco E3000 wireless router and all PC's have access to it. As does the PS3.

    Well let me try the services shut off idea and get back to you.
  24. BrianB

    BrianB TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 39

    Ok I shut down all start up programs and it still freezes.

    Perhaps we are looking at a viral/spyware issue?

    When I installed the new DVD drive I changed from IDE to SATA. So I can't even say it is a motherboard port issue.

    And when I changed hard drives I did the full sector by sector clone. I could have passed the virus that way, no?

    I don't know but I'm all ears as this is so weird.
  25. BrianB

    BrianB TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 39

    Actually I forgot I had done a clean install on the new drive after the sector by sector clone still froze. So would this rule out a virus? Can a virus survive a fresh install like that?

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