Please help: Computer running Windows XP freezes

By Smash122 ยท 10 replies
Jan 3, 2009
  1. I have a Dell Dimension 2400 running Windows XP Home edition. Recently, it's been freezing when it's booting, and if it does successfully boot, it freezes shortly afterwards when I'm trying to use the computer (the problem doesn't seem to be associated with any particular program; it doesn't matter what I do before it freezes). I've tried running scans for viruses / spyware, but the only one I've successfully been able to run without the computer freezing before it's completed was Spybot Search and Destroy, and SSD didn't pick up any problems.

    Diagnostic tests (I've run it several times) revealed no problems apart from a recurring "keyboard load error". I've tried repairing the OS, reinstalling the OS, booting from the CD, restoring it to the last settings that worked, physically taking the box apart and cleaning it, reseating the memory, and none of it helps to stop the freezing problem.

    I'm really not sure what to do next. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
  2. Ididmyc600

    Ididmyc600 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,415

  3. Smash122

    Smash122 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks Ididmyc600, but I've found now that it just takes a suspiciously long amount of time to get past this step; It will eventually boot in safe mode, but still is freezing shortly afterwards, though longer than it would take to freeze in normal mode it seems. I suppose I should edit my OP... thanks again for the response.
  4. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,431   +77

    How old is the PC, how long ago did this start, how long after boot-time does it start, what is the service pack status of XP ? Does anything show up in your error log?

    There are an absolute multitude of possibe causes of freezing, although probably more than half are hardware-related.

    You could be looking at hard drive, motherboard, memory, power supply, video card (if any), overheating, power-trips in attached devices such as DVD, sound etc.

    If you dont know where the error log is, open a command prompt (run), type eventvwr and look at the system log. Anything with a big red X is worth checking, let us know.
  5. Bobbye

    Bobbye Helper on the Fringe Posts: 16,334   +36

    Dell Dimension 2400 for Home (Celeron 2.40GHz, 512MB, 80GB)

    Did you get the SP3 update?
    If so, did problem start after that?

    The Event Viewer: here is some more on that:[/B]
    Check the computer clock on the next freeeze, then go to the Event Viewer and see if there is an Error that corresponds to that time. Paste it here.
    Ignore Warnings and you do not have to include the lines of code-if any-in the box below the Description.

    If there is an Error, the ID#, the Source and the Description will help us troubleshoot and possibly find the cause.

    The "keyboard load error" is a coding/mapping problem- hardware isn't my specialty, but from what I read, it looks like the entire keyboard has to be redone.

    All we know about your systm is that you use Windows XP:

    Need to know:
    Make and model of the computer
    Type of processor> Intel or AMD
    Amount of Installed RAM>> very important
    Do you have SP3? Can you relate the problem to beginning after that download and install?
  6. Smash122

    Smash122 TS Rookie Topic Starter


    Hey everyone, thanks for the responses:

    I'm on a laptop now tampering with my problematic desktop as we speak...

    What bobbye wanted to know:

    Make and model of the computer: Dell Dimension 2400
    Type of processor> Intel or AMD: Intel Pentium 4
    Amount of Installed RAM>> 512 mb.
    Do you have SP3? Can you relate the problem to beginning after that download and install? No; still using service pack 2.

    The computer is older, I think 4-5 years old :eek: , it started 3-4 days ago, the freezing doesn't seem to occur after a set amount of time, but it seems to be freezing sooner and sooner. Last I had about 1 minute in safe mode, and it was frozen as soon as it loaded the desktop in normal mode. I'm using SP2, and yes, in the error log there is a lot of information. I'm trying to get to it, but it freezes too quickly...

    Recent Problems:
    -I've noticed that the freezing seems to be connected with mouse movement, though it locks up eventually even when not using the mouse.
    -When I attempted to start the computer in safe mode just now, it came up with a message: Alert! System shutdown due to thermal event!
    I smell a virus or spyware, but like I said, I've been unable to run a virus scan program or a spyware removal program except for Spybot Search and Destroy which found nothing. I had run Avast! only a few days before this, and the comp. was clean.
    -While looking at errors, computer restarted on its own. Another sign this is a virus?

    Though I'm thinking since I can't run a virus scan or spyware, I'm going to have to wipe my /C/ drive... =(

    Several of them. Error source is a DCOM, as well as some service control manager (but they only come after DCOM errors) but that's all I can get before it freezes =(

    Not corresponding with time of freezing. Though got a DCOM error at time of viewing the error logs.

    I will update this post when I have more information on the errors.

    Edit:This time I tried correcting the boot via CD, which bought me some more time in normal mode. I was able to view the error logs again, and found there was also a side by side error. I was also able to get some details from one error before it froze again:

    Details on a Service Control Manager Error:
    Source: Service Control Manager
    Id = 7026
    Category: None
    Description: The following boot start or system start drivers failed to load: FIPS, INTELPPM

    Again, I'll keep this updated.
  7. MetalX

    MetalX TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,388

    It *might* be a failing power supply. Power supplies lose efficiency over time, and the power supplies provided by Dell with their PCs are often barely powerful enough to run the system. Over all these years, the PSU has probably degraded somewhat, and maybe it is incapable of running the system stably. If you can find an alternate power supply to test with, that would be great.

    It could be overheating, but seeing as it's only lasting about 2-3 minutes, and idle at that, I don't think that's the case.
  8. Bobbye

    Bobbye Helper on the Fringe Posts: 16,334   +36

    To check:
    Shutdown due to thermal event:

    Boot drivers failed to load:
    AMD PowerNow! Functionality May Require a Driver for AMD Mobile Athlon 4 and Duron Processors with Windows XP:

    Also consider this for INTELPPM:
    KB 953356 - Post SP3 fix for XP for Intelppm.sys STOP problem on AMD systems:
  9. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,431   +77

  10. Smash122

    Smash122 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Well, I'm now fairly certain it's a hardware problem. What's wrong, I don't know, but I tried taking out my hardrive and placing a new harddrive in there. The drive didn't have an OS on it, and the comp froze operating purely on the motherboard's memory while I was trying to instal a new harddrive. Also, I was able to run a virus-scan using AVG yesterday; it found no viruses.

    Bobbye: The links may have been helpful, but I can't get on the internet to download anything on my desktop due to the freezing =( ... thanks anyway!

    gbhall: Will definitely check that out, thank you.

    I suppose that since this isn't a problem with the OS, a mod could move it to a hardware section if he/she wanted to.

    Thanks everyone for your help!
  11. Bobbye

    Bobbye Helper on the Fringe Posts: 16,334   +36

    Sorry about that 'need to know'! I meant to delete that after I saw you had given the info.

    I'm not a hardware person, but it seems to me we've 'guessed' just about everything but the motherboard!
    Sounds like it, ya think? If you do post on the hardware section, make a reference to:

    then you won't have to go through everything again.
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