Random System Freezes -- which hardware would you place first?

By kenwylie
Apr 22, 2007
  1. Anyone's help/thoughts would be appreciated!

    My system randomly freezes and requires a hard shutdown. The mouse stops responding, the keyboard stops responding, the hard drive stops. The screen freezes so that everything is still visible, but nothing moves. Sound either stops or plays the same note continually.

    I have had my system as-is for about 3 years now. Software has not changed much. After about 2 years these problems started. I did a clean reinstall of Windows with just a couple other programs (e.g. antivirus) which had been running fine previously and the problems continued. I have found that it freezes less frequently since I have left the case open (cooler) and run fewer programs in the background. The average cpu temp is 55 degrees C.

    I think I am ready to start replacing hardware components. What would you start with first? Motherboard/cpu? Video card? Memory? And in what order?

    Thank you for your time and thoughts on this.

    My system:
    Windows XP SP2
    Soyo KT400 Dragon Ultra motherboard
    AMD Athlon 2600+ XP cpu
    ATI 8500 Radeon 4x AGP
    512 Mb DDR 400 RAM
    80 Gb Maxtor HD
    400W Vantec Power Supply
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