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Freezing PC

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by phoenix510, May 17, 2006.

  1. phoenix510

    phoenix510 Byte Poster

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    Not due to the ambient room temp but some other problem.

    PC powers up ok and can be running for maybe 5 minutes or 5 hours before it freezes up, no mouse or keyboard actions. I am also unable to CTL ALT DEL to end any processes. so i have to reboot. My Page file usage is well below 30% and CPU usage is steady at 20-30%.

    Pentium 4 HT processor 650 3.4 GHz.
    1 GIG DDR memory.

    Have a feeling it could be the CPU due to the total lock up
    (could be wrong). Have run AV and nothing found.

    Any Ideas

    Doing my nut in. :x
     
    Certifications: ECDL, MOS WORD & Excel, MCDST
    WIP: A+ & 70-270
  2. Mr.Cheeks

    Mr.Cheeks 1st ever Gold Member! Gold Member

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    ...is it near to a radiator?
     
  3. phoenix510

    phoenix510 Byte Poster

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    No mate, the case doesn't feel excessively hot to touch and the cpu fan isn't really screaming away at mach ten. Have checked all the connections and ensured all cards and ram sticks are seated correct
     
    Certifications: ECDL, MOS WORD & Excel, MCDST
    WIP: A+ & 70-270
  4. Mr.Cheeks

    Mr.Cheeks 1st ever Gold Member! Gold Member

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    have you looked inside? might be full of dirt.
     
  5. zimbo
    Honorary Member

    zimbo Petabyte Poster

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    check the motherboard capacitors - if they swollen? also check the hard drive - use
    Code:
    chkdsk
    to check it at the command prompt. Is your RAM ok? meaning you not mixing pairs or speeds?
     
    Certifications: B.Sc, MCDST & MCSA
    WIP: M.Sc - Computer Forensics
  6. phoenix510

    phoenix510 Byte Poster

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    no havent mixed nothing, basically nothing has been added, taken off or mixed since buying the PC last year. The capacitors look ok and chkdsk finds nothing.
     
    Certifications: ECDL, MOS WORD & Excel, MCDST
    WIP: A+ & 70-270
  7. Lord Deckard

    Lord Deckard Byte Poster

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    Check that all the fans and heatsink are free of dust firstly. This sounds very similar to a problem that was driving me nuts for months. Random lockups, DVD writer that occasionally refused to write, fans spinning down then back up etc. I eventually managed to solve it be rejigging the way everything was connected to the PSU loom. Bloody big quality PSU but for some reason, I'd managed to connect all the equipment most likely to draw a lot of current down the same loom of wire! Balanced it all out and been happy since. No idea why it worked for months before driving me crazy....

    Lord Deckard.
     
    Certifications: A+, MCDST
    WIP: N+ and CCNA
  8. phoenix510

    phoenix510 Byte Poster

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    Thx all, Lord will give that a go tomorrow.Football starting no matter how much I detest the gooners still hope the Champs cup comes to England
     
    Certifications: ECDL, MOS WORD & Excel, MCDST
    WIP: A+ & 70-270
  9. Baba O'Riley

    Baba O'Riley Gigabyte Poster

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    Do you mean this is idle? Even with Firefox open and an mp3 playing my 3.6 GHz P4 is only doing around 10% (and that's with Yahoo! Widget Engine, Anti-Spyware and AV all running in the background as well). I would look at what's eating your CPU cycles, it could be a rogue process or malware causing the PC to lockup.
     
    Certifications: A+, Network+
    WIP: 70-270
  10. phoenix510

    phoenix510 Byte Poster

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    its a bit like the alps, but 9 times out of 10 sitting at about 20%. Have run hotbot, adaware, windows defender with superantispyware to finish off. Gave the inside a good blast with some canned air and so far seems ok. CPU fan had a nice coating of dust but having blown this away seems to have settled it.
    Thx for replies
     
    Certifications: ECDL, MOS WORD & Excel, MCDST
    WIP: A+ & 70-270
  11. Boycie
    Honorary Member

    Boycie Senior Beer Tester

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    Have you added any new hardware lately?
    Are are your drivers approved by Microsoft? (run.....sigverif) XP will then check and report :thumbleft
    I had a simliar problem with a customers which i think i have tracked down to the external USB hard drive. The trick with diagnostics is substitute where possible...
     
    Certifications: MCSA 2003, MCDST, A+, N+, CTT+, MCT
  12. Keimos

    Keimos Byte Poster

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    Hi phoenix510,

    Freezes are normally down to software or driver conflicts. When was it last working OK.

    High temps will slow the your PC down but will not generally freeze your mouse and keyboard. It sounds. like there is a software conflict. You have not mentioned what OS you are using, guesssing XP. Try Sys restore or remove anything that you installed prior to your problem.

    Do your own basic troubleshooting.

    Go back over what has been done to the computer, when was it last working OK! and what have you done since then?

    Also check out your PSU properly

    Keimos
     
    Certifications: Microsoft Office Specialist
  13. ChrisH

    ChrisH Nibble Poster

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    Some causes of random lockups I've seen lately are

    1. Misconfigured BIOS. Someones attempt at overclocking. You don't mention overclocking so probably not an issue.

    2. Intermittent loose connection within a IDE HD ribbon cable connector. The computer locked up everytime the desk moved slightly. Could have sworn it was a virus.

    Unlikely to be the above but you never know.

    HTH
    Chris
     
    WIP: A+
  14. phoenix510

    phoenix510 Byte Poster

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    just when i thought the problem had been cured then it sneaks up on me and cracks me one right in the gonads. Tried restore but it freezes before it can be completed. have checked device manager for any driver conflicts but none showing. .Checked all cables. Could this be a ram problem before i back up and reformat.
     
    Certifications: ECDL, MOS WORD & Excel, MCDST
    WIP: A+ & 70-270
  15. AJ

    AJ Administrator Administrator

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    How many sticks of RAM are in the PC. If it's more than 1 then remove one of them and see if it freezes then. try swapping the sticks over and re-seating them.
     
    Certifications: MCSE, MCSA (messaging), ITIL Foundation v3
    WIP: Looking at doing ..................
  16. phoenix510

    phoenix510 Byte Poster

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    couldn't find a problem with the ram, so have re-formatted and that does seem to have cured the problem, so no doubt was a software conflict, spyware or virus. to that end I use nortons internet security 2005 and have heard that this uses a lot of the system resources are there any utilities , AV, Firewall and spywares out there that would do as good if not better than nortons ( free as well )

    thanks all again for the advice and tips

    Cheers
     
    Certifications: ECDL, MOS WORD & Excel, MCDST
    WIP: A+ & 70-270
  17. Keimos

    Keimos Byte Poster

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    Hi phoenix510,

    Told you so.

    It was probably Norton, you have to read the manual. I like Norton but you have to get to grips with it, i.e. read what to do.

    Mind you , its a pain in the ass but worth it, the freebies come with there own probs, take care out there. Hope alls OK in your PC now.

    Keimos
     
    Certifications: Microsoft Office Specialist
  18. Bluerinse
    Honorary Member

    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

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    I have used AVG's free AV product for years without any problems at all. If you are behind a NAT router, especially if it has packet inspection firewall capabilities, then IMHO the built in Windows XP firewall is sufficient for workstations. If you are sure that your PC is clean from Malware ie a new installation, then I would install Javacool's Spyware Blaster as it is a prevention program rather than a removal program.

    All the above you do not have to pay extra for!
     
    Certifications: C&G Electronics - MCSA (W2K) MCSE (W2K)
  19. ChrisH

    ChrisH Nibble Poster

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    I'll vouch for both AVG and Avast as free A/V solutions. Both are good and are easy on resources. I use Avast but thats just personal preference.

    I was using Sygate Personal Firewall which was good but the free version has been discontinued and updates are no longer available. I now use Kerio which has a time limit on the web blocking features but remains an effective firewall outside of the trial period. Obvioulsy a hardware based firewall would be first choice as mentioned previously.
     
    WIP: A+
  20. Boycie
    Honorary Member

    Boycie Senior Beer Tester

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    i hope you have cured the problem, as faults like you have described can take a lot of time to cure :thumbleft
     
    Certifications: MCSA 2003, MCDST, A+, N+, CTT+, MCT

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