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Computer Locks up OUT OF NOWHERE

Discussion in 'A+' started by Professor-Falken, Oct 31, 2006.

  1. Professor-Falken

    Professor-Falken Kilobyte Poster

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    Hey my computer locks up out of nowhere. I was watching a movie
    using Windows Media Player and my computer locked up. This happens alot. I dont get any type of error my computer just freezes. I have no idea why. Maybe its my power supply. How can I check?

    Professor Falken
     
    Certifications: Comptia A+
    WIP: Comptia Network +
  2. zebulebu

    zebulebu Terabyte Poster

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    Have you checked the Event Viewer?

    Try disabling background processes

    Disable your AV scanner

    Run Task Manager and see if you can identify a process using loads of reources/memory

    Check for SpyWare

    That'll keep you busy for a while :biggrin
     
    Certifications: A few
    WIP: None - f*** 'em
  3. zimbo
    Honorary Member

    zimbo Petabyte Poster

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    ah does it only happen when to play a movie?

    maybe you graphics card is heating up or one of your fans isnt working so when something graphical puts a strain it heats and it could be causing a lockup
     
    Certifications: B.Sc, MCDST & MCSA
    WIP: M.Sc - Computer Forensics
  4. Professor-Falken

    Professor-Falken Kilobyte Poster

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    Thanks these are not easy solutions but thanks
     
    Certifications: Comptia A+
    WIP: Comptia Network +
  5. Professor-Falken

    Professor-Falken Kilobyte Poster

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    Have you checked the Event Viewer?
    What should I look for in Event Viewer

    Try disabling background processes

    What processes should I disable and why?

    Disable your AV scanner

    If I disable my AV scanner I will be unprotected while my computer is running why wouldI want to do that? My computer locks up not only when I am watching movies but randomly.
    At any time under any circumstance.

    Run Task Manager and see if you can identify a process using loads of reources/memory

    Check for SpyWare
     
    Certifications: Comptia A+
    WIP: Comptia Network +
  6. Bluerinse
    Honorary Member

    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

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    Prof, this is a hard thing to diagnose, all intermittent faults are.

    Look in the Event viewer logs immediately after a crash and see if there are any entries that might give us a clue.

    Often these type of things are related to hardware, video drivers have always been a likely cause of freezing. make sure you have the latest drivers, go to the manufacturers web site and download them.

    RAM can also be the cause, make sure it is seated properly and if you have two or more sticks, try removing one and swapping them around to see if you can find a stable combination.

    As mentioned overheating can also cause this, so make sure your CPU fan is working and not clogged with dust.

    Poorly written applications are also a potential cause, try and trim down the running processes to see if you can pinpoint the culprit. Processes are the applications you see when looking in task manager, it could be Skype, or gmail notifier or any other application. Only you know what you have installed.

    When did this issue start to manifest itself? Have you tried a system restore prior to that point in time?

    If it's only started happening recently, what did you change? Have you installed anything hardware/software that could be related to this?

    It's a matter of trial and error, a process of elimination, you certainly won't find the problem by not doing anything. Try things one step at a time and see if things improve.

    Also, dodgy capacitors on the Motherboard cause this, make sure that they are not bulging or oozing brown gunk, that's a dead giveaway and more common than you would think.

    Remove any unnecessary hardware like internal modems which you don't use anymore. Try and run the system with as little hardware plugged in as possible.
     
    Certifications: C&G Electronics - MCSA (W2K) MCSE (W2K)
  7. Mitzs
    Honorary Member

    Mitzs Ducktape Goddess

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    Prof, how much virtural memory do you have? Is it set to the default? Let windows handle virtual memory? If it is you want to change it to let me set my own virtual memory. If I remember right rule of thumb is 2x the ram you do have installed. (If I'm wrong there, someone please correct me.) The reason you want control of this is by letting windows handle the file swapping it can cause long peroids of activity on your hd and it frezzes up everything else and apps like media player doesn't help because of the resources they use. And yes I do know this first hand. :biggrin

    I would also suggest you do what the other have told you. Look for yellow! in event viewer, swap the memory. you could have a stick going bad, or it could be dirty, touch it up with a pencil eraser gently to clean it.
     
    Certifications: Microcomputers and network specialist.
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  8. Bluerinse
    Honorary Member

    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

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    Mitzs meant to say Device Manager. :)
     
    Certifications: C&G Electronics - MCSA (W2K) MCSE (W2K)
  9. Mitzs
    Honorary Member

    Mitzs Ducktape Goddess

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    No blue, event viewer does give you yellow! they are in a triangle. They are warnings that something isn't right. However I did forget about the red x that are errors.
     
    Certifications: Microcomputers and network specialist.
    WIP: Adobe DW, PS
  10. Bluerinse
    Honorary Member

    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

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    Ah yes sorry Mitzs, I stand corrected - However he should also look in Device Manager for yellow exclamation marks :oops:
     
    Certifications: C&G Electronics - MCSA (W2K) MCSE (W2K)
  11. MrNice

    MrNice Kilobyte Poster

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    Hey Prof,

    I used to have a similar problem when i played certain AVI files using windows media player and there is a definate fix for that, I think you said it happens regularly even without media player though. How do you unlock the machine after this? ctrl alt del or do you need to push the reset switch on case?
    If it was your processor oveheating i would expect the machine would be rebooting also, when your pc first comes on, hold down either f2 or del and enter the bios. You maybe have an area in there called hardware monitor or health etc, check the CPU temp and MOBO temp to make sure they are not high. I agree you should definately remove and relocate all your expansion cards.

    Try the new AVG free anti-spyware, it's pretty thorough,
    In event viewer you are looking for errors in the system log. you will see an event id for each error if you select details, then go online and type error in here

    http://www.eventid.net/

    http://free.grisoft.com/doc/5390/lng/us/tpl/v5#avg-anti-spyware-free
     
  12. Baba O'Riley

    Baba O'Riley Gigabyte Poster

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    Prof, what are the specs of the PC in question?
     
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