Random computer freeze-ups


J

JKevorkian

My PC freezes randomly, seemingly unrelated to any process or task at the time.
I've googled this problem on the web, but I hadn't noticed any instance of my
particular case.
The particulars: ASUS P4P800E-Deluxe MB, Intel 3.0GHz Prescott, 2GB Patriot
RAM, Quadro FX 1300 video card, WD 250 GB HDD, & COOLMAX CR-550B power supply.
There's a 120mm fan in front blowing over the HDs, 2- 80mm fans in back
exhausting the air out of the case, and the PS carries a 140mm fan set on high.
The CPU sports a TR2TT TR2-M12 copper heat-sink with an 80mm fan.
The machine will stop dead at any time, i.e. shortly after bootup, accessing a
drive through Explorer, downloading, just sitting there staring back ot me, etc.
Downloads will stop, the cursor freezes, the Numlock key will not work on the
keyboard, and of course the 3-finger restart doesn't work. This requires a hard
shutdown via the power switch. After I shut the machine down, the Numlock light
on the keyboard remains on, and generally the machine won't restart immediately.
After perhaps an hour, it MAY start, sometimes halting during the POST. If I
let the machine sit overnight, it usually will start up again.
What has worked for me at this time is throwing the switch on the back of the
power supply off for a minute or so, turning it back on, and then restarting via
the power button.
So, what can this be? I hate to think that this is a heat-related problem
with all the sucking and blowing going on in there.
 
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J

John Doe

(your indentation makes rewrapping your post difficult,
if that matters)
My PC freezes randomly, seemingly unrelated to any process or task
at the time. I've googled this problem on the web, but I hadn't
noticed any instance of my particular case.
The particulars: ASUS P4P800E-Deluxe MB, Intel 3.0GHz Prescott,
2GB Patriot
RAM, Quadro FX 1300 video card, WD 250 GB HDD, & COOLMAX CR-550B
power supply.

Operating system?
There's a 120mm fan in front blowing over the HDs, 2- 80mm fans in
back exhausting the air out of the case, and the PS carries a 140mm
fan set on high. The CPU sports a TR2TT TR2-M12 copper heat-sink
with an 80mm fan.
The machine will stop dead at any time, i.e. shortly after bootup,
accessing a
drive through Explorer, downloading, just sitting there staring back
ot me, etc. Downloads will stop, the cursor freezes, the Numlock key
will not work on the keyboard, and of course the 3-finger restart
doesn't work. This requires a hard shutdown via the power switch.
After I shut the machine down, the Numlock light on the keyboard
remains on, and generally the machine won't restart immediately.
After perhaps an hour, it MAY start, sometimes halting during the
POST. If I let the machine sit overnight, it usually will start up
again.
What has worked for me at this time is throwing the switch on the
back of the
power supply off for a minute or so, turning it back on, and then
restarting via the power button.
So, what can this be? I hate to think that this is a heat-related
problem
with all the sucking and blowing going on in there.

What appears to me to be words of wisdom recently expressed in this
group, don't have negative air pressure in your case, most importantly
because it will work against your power supply exhaust fan. It might
not matter, but I would need a good solid reason to go against that
advice.

Do you have a decent power supply?

You didn't say how often the problem occurs. If it's frequent, you can
remove unnecessary components, like when you first build the computer,
and see if removing a particular device helps.

Good luck.
 
J

jaster

My PC freezes randomly, seemingly unrelated to any process or task at
the time. I've googled this problem on the web, but I hadn't noticed any
instance of my particular case.
The particulars: ASUS P4P800E-Deluxe MB, Intel 3.0GHz Prescott, 2GB
Patriot
RAM, Quadro FX 1300 video card, WD 250 GB HDD, & COOLMAX CR-550B power
supply. There's a 120mm fan in front blowing over the HDs, 2- 80mm fans
in back exhausting the air out of the case, and the PS carries a 140mm
fan set on high. The CPU sports a TR2TT TR2-M12 copper heat-sink with an
80mm fan.
The machine will stop dead at any time, i.e. shortly after bootup,
accessing a
drive through Explorer, downloading, just sitting there staring back ot
me, etc. Downloads will stop, the cursor freezes, the Numlock key will
not work on the keyboard, and of course the 3-finger restart doesn't
work. This requires a hard shutdown via the power switch. After I shut
the machine down, the Numlock light on the keyboard remains on, and
generally the machine won't restart immediately. After perhaps an hour,
it MAY start, sometimes halting during the POST. If I let the machine
sit overnight, it usually will start up again.
What has worked for me at this time is throwing the switch on the back
of the
power supply off for a minute or so, turning it back on, and then
restarting via the power button.
So, what can this be? I hate to think that this is a heat-related
problem
with all the sucking and blowing going on in there.

IMO, if it stops during post then the problem is most likely hardware,
PSU, memory or video the most common culprits.

Memory is easier to diagnose running some of the standard free memory
testers.
Video card failure a bit harder though the delay may be the time needed
for the video to cool down.
Check memory, video card, M/b for failed and leaking capacitors, video
for failed gpu fan, not sure how to test psu without electronics
equipment.
 
W

w_tom

My PC freezes randomly, seemingly unrelated to any process or task at the time.
I've googled this problem on the web, but I hadn't noticed any instance of my
particular case. ...

Your facts tell us the problem can be everything. Heat is not a
reason for failure. You have too many chassis fans. One chassis fan
was more than sufficient. The second fan lowered chassis temperature
by single digit degrees. Third lowered temperature by not even one
degree.

Meanwhile, the computer must work just fine even in a 100 degree F
room. If heat causes your failure, then hardware is 100% defective.
We heat hardware in a 100 degrree F room to find defective hardware.
Those without technical knowledge will recommend only what they
understand - more fans.

Do as recommended in CSI. Follow the evidence. The one component
that can cause everything in jaster's list to look defective is power
supply 'system'. Two minutes with a multimeter will provide
definitive answers AND will make possible replies from those with
superior knowledge. Replies to your first post that provides little
useful facts can only be from those who speculate - "it could be this
or that or the other thing". You want answers that report what has
failed or how to follow the evidence. Fix it the first time. That
means following the evidence.

Two minutes with the meter is described in "When your computer dies
without warning....." starting 6 Feb 2007 in the newsgroup
alt.windows-xp at:
http://tinyurl.com/yvf9vh

Only after a power supply system is known (good or bad) are you
ready to move on to other suspects. Without numbers and diagnostic
reports, only other solution is to keep swapping parts until something
works - also called shotgunning.
 
P

petko.guglev

My PC freezes randomly, seemingly unrelated to any process or task at the time.
I've googled this problem on the web, but I hadn't noticed any instance of my
particular case.
The particulars: ASUS P4P800E-Deluxe MB, Intel 3.0GHz Prescott, 2GB Patriot
RAM, Quadro FX 1300 video card, WD 250 GB HDD, & COOLMAX CR-550B power supply.
There's a 120mm fan in front blowing over the HDs, 2- 80mm fans in back
exhausting the air out of the case, and the PS carries a 140mm fan set on high.
The CPU sports a TR2TT TR2-M12 copper heat-sink with an 80mm fan.
The machine will stop dead at any time, i.e. shortly after bootup, accessing a
drive through Explorer, downloading, just sitting there staring back ot me, etc.
Downloads will stop, the cursor freezes, the Numlock key will not work on the
keyboard, and of course the 3-finger restart doesn't work. This requires a hard
shutdown via the power switch. After I shut the machine down, the Numlock light
on the keyboard remains on, and generally the machine won't restart immediately.
After perhaps an hour, it MAY start, sometimes halting during the POST. If I
let the machine sit overnight, it usually will start up again.
What has worked for me at this time is throwing the switch on the back of the
power supply off for a minute or so, turning it back on, and then restarting via
the power button.
So, what can this be? I hate to think that this is a heat-related problem
with all the sucking and blowing going on in there.

Hi guys,

I have the exact same problem for quite a long time. The PC just
freezes, the cursor doesn't move and the Ctrl Alt Del combination does
nothing. My system is:

ASRock 775Dual-880Pro;
Intel P4 3GHz 531 Prescott;
2x512 DDR2 Nanya modules;
GeForce FX 5200 128 RAM;
SAMSUNG SP1614N 160 GB;
550W brand-new power supply;
Windows XP SP2;


At the first occurence of the problem I thought it was either a virus
or as my XP installation was very old it needs re-install. After
reinstalling XP however the problem reappeared after some time. Then I
started getting worried about the temperature values inside the case
and the CPU temp. I opened the CPU, cleaned the fan, reapplied new
conductive paste on the CPU and reattached it. This has significantly
lowered the CPU temp to the 45-55 Cels. range (before it used to be
around 65-75). After some more time working flawlessly it started
crashing again. Then I replaced the Power supply with my current one,
thinking that must be it and it came quite as a shock to me that
yesterday and twice today I had the problem again. I usually run the
info and benchmark program Everest Ultimate 2006 to monitor the temp.
and other values inside the Pc and everything seems very normal:

Voltage / CPU core - 1.33 V
Cooling fans CPU - 2312 rpm
Temp. Motherboard - 36 C
Temp. CPU - 45 C
Temp. HDD - 37 C

Also, it seemed to me that this crash happens most often when my
torrent client is on and actively downloading or if the HDD access is
very intensive. Of course this might not be the reason. I actually
replaced my bit comet torrent client with another one and there was a
crash afterwards so BitComet must not be the one to blame for sure. :)

I have absolutely no idea what to do next. I guess I could reinstall
the VGA drivers cause my card is quite old but I doubt it will solve
the mystery.
Could anyone help me, please? Any hints and suggestions would be
highly appreciated. Thank you guys in advance!


Regards:

Petko
 
P

Paul

Hi guys,

I have the exact same problem for quite a long time. The PC just
freezes, the cursor doesn't move and the Ctrl Alt Del combination does
nothing. My system is:

ASRock 775Dual-880Pro;
Intel P4 3GHz 531 Prescott;
2x512 DDR2 Nanya modules;
GeForce FX 5200 128 RAM;
SAMSUNG SP1614N 160 GB;
550W brand-new power supply;
Windows XP SP2;


At the first occurence of the problem I thought it was either a virus
or as my XP installation was very old it needs re-install. After
reinstalling XP however the problem reappeared after some time. Then I
started getting worried about the temperature values inside the case
and the CPU temp. I opened the CPU, cleaned the fan, reapplied new
conductive paste on the CPU and reattached it. This has significantly
lowered the CPU temp to the 45-55 Cels. range (before it used to be
around 65-75). After some more time working flawlessly it started
crashing again. Then I replaced the Power supply with my current one,
thinking that must be it and it came quite as a shock to me that
yesterday and twice today I had the problem again. I usually run the
info and benchmark program Everest Ultimate 2006 to monitor the temp.
and other values inside the Pc and everything seems very normal:

Voltage / CPU core - 1.33 V
Cooling fans CPU - 2312 rpm
Temp. Motherboard - 36 C
Temp. CPU - 45 C
Temp. HDD - 37 C

Also, it seemed to me that this crash happens most often when my
torrent client is on and actively downloading or if the HDD access is
very intensive. Of course this might not be the reason. I actually
replaced my bit comet torrent client with another one and there was a
crash afterwards so BitComet must not be the one to blame for sure. :)

I have absolutely no idea what to do next. I guess I could reinstall
the VGA drivers cause my card is quite old but I doubt it will solve
the mystery.
Could anyone help me, please? Any hints and suggestions would be
highly appreciated. Thank you guys in advance!


Regards:

Petko

If you have access to a Knoppix (knopper.net) or Ubuntu (ubuntu.com)
Linux Live CD, you can boot the computer with one of those two, and
see if the computer freezes with that OS loaded. If it does, then
you know the problem is not software related or a WinXP problem.

A Linux Live CD does not need a hard drive to work. It uses the CD
as a source of executables. And RAM for temporary file space.
The download is 700MB and you'd need a CD burner to make the bootable
CD.

You can also try memtest86+ from memtest.org if you want. That can be
loaded on a floppy or a CD, and the program is used to boot the computer.
(So Windows is not running when this is used.)

http://www.memtest.org

Orthos is something you can run from Windows. It is also a good test
and should be error free if the hardware is OK. On a stable computer,
this should run for hours without a problem. Watch your CPU temperature
while this is running.

http://sp2004.fre3.com/beta/beta2.htm

Do a few more tests and report your results. If you have freezing
in Linux, the next suspect would be the motherboard, unless memtest86+
shows some bad RAM.

Paul
 
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P

petko.guglev

If you have access to a Knoppix (knopper.net) or Ubuntu (ubuntu.com)
Linux Live CD, you can boot the computer with one of those two, and
see if the computer freezes with that OS loaded. If it does, then
you know the problem is not software related or a WinXP problem.

A Linux Live CD does not need a hard drive to work. It uses the CD
as a source of executables. And RAM for temporary file space.
The download is 700MB and you'd need a CD burner to make the bootable
CD.

You can also try memtest86+ from memtest.org if you want. That can be
loaded on a floppy or a CD, and the program is used to boot the computer.
(So Windows is not running when this is used.)

http://www.memtest.org

Orthos is something you can run from Windows. It is also a good test
and should be error free if the hardware is OK. On a stable computer,
this should run for hours without a problem. Watch your CPU temperature
while this is running.

http://sp2004.fre3.com/beta/beta2.htm

Do a few more tests and report your results. If you have freezing
in Linux, the next suspect would be the motherboard, unless memtest86+
shows some bad RAM.

Paul

Hello,

sorry for the late reply, I was trying things out. Well, amazingly, it
seems that the problem was caused by, you won't believe it, the WLAN
network. Apparently my wireless USB adapter (Level 1) and my router
(sinus 1054 from Deutsche Telekom) don't get along particularly good
and, moreover, I had the problem that if my BitTorrent is downloading
very intensively the WLAN network would crash and need restart,
because of its CPU overloading. I didn't find these problems myself -
it was TOO IMPLAUSIBLE for me that the reason for the whole system to
freeze could be a WLAN issue. I read about the Wireless network
crashing in a forum, and in another one I found out that a guy was
having the same trouble with the freezing and after trying everything
else he just disconnected his Wi-Fi Adapter from the USB. Total
Mystery! Actually it's been only 1,5 days since I replaced my router
with another one and the old problem with my system freezing dead
could still appear. I'll wait for a couple of weeks and post here if
the problem persists. For the time being I am happy.
 

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