PC Freezing ... but not overheating or PSU

By RB38531
Aug 15, 2006
  1. Hi folks
    One of my PCs is freezing during games, but it doesn't seem to be CPU or Video card Overheating or PSU.

    The system set up was Win XP Home, Gigabyte 8IEXP Mobo, P4 2.4GHz 533 socket 478 CPU, 512Mb RAM, ATI 9800 Pro, 240GB WD JB system drive, Promise Raid with 2x 80GB WD JB HDDs, SB Audigy Sound Card, Canopus ADVC50, 300W no name PSU. This set up worked fine.

    Sequence of events

    1) upgraded BIOS in anticipation of a CPU upgrade. System still OK
    2) about a week later replaced CPU with a used P4 3.06GHz 533 Northwood, retaining original Intel heatsink and fan from the 2.4GHz. System seemed OK but CPU ran hot and some games (eg NFS Most Wanted, Sims 2) would freeze and completely lock up the PC after a few minutes. Less demanding games and other software seemed OK. Video card temperature OK
    3) enabled and disabled hyperthreading in BIOS with no effect
    4) replaced the CPU Heatsink and fan with Zelman CPNS 7000. Temperatures now run much lower but lock ups continue as before
    5) memtest86+ didn't show any memory problems
    6) replaced PSU with Antec 480w TrueBlue2.0. No change in system performance.

    I tried to reinstall the original CPU but found it had been damaged - it had been stuck to the heatsink and some pins seem to have been damaged when it was pulled from the socket.

    I'm no expert here but it seems to me that the possibilities are that
    a) the 3.06 was compromised when I bought it - maybe been excessively overheated or overclocked?
    b) the 3.06 may have been damaged through overheating in my PC before I installed the Zelman. During intensive questioning, the kids told me that while they were playing Sims 2 there had been a beeping from the case that was "really annoying and kept going for about 20 minutes until the computer froze" (BIOS is set for audible alarm when CPU exceeds 60C)
    c) the socket may have been damaged when the original CPU was removed (but why only kick in on the higher spec games?)
    d) HDD issues (but why now?)
    e) operating system issues - (but windows found new hardware - the cpu - ok and reports 2 CPUs)

    I'm thinking a) or b) are the most likely but I'd welcome any thoughts on other possibilities or how I can narrow the problem down further. Preferabbly without too much more speculative expenditure 'cause I'm already getting that frown from the missus :)

    Cheers and TIA
    Rob B
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