XP stops responding, but doesn't "halt"


G

Guest

I have a computer here that started halting with either a completely dark (no
synch) screen or that last video image frozen. At the same time the last
sound being played continues in immediate loop. The keyboard/mouse stops
responding also. For all practical intents the computer has halted, but
really hasn't.

The computer has run well for over three years on XP Pro SP2 and no faults
at all. The problem most exhibits itself when in a full-screen program (like
FS9 or TRS2006), but can also happen at any time. Full anti-virus scans as
well as numerous Adware and Spybot scans reveal nothing. Booting into Safe
Mode and running the scans does nothing either. The CPU appears to be warm
to the touch, but NOT hot. According to the BIOS/CMOS page on CPU temps and
fan operation it is well under maximums. The video card is an ATI Radeon
9600 (256MB) that has been in operation for the full three years - no
problems.

I am not convinced it is the video card. This started immediately after I
replaced a RAM stick (512Mb) with a 1G RAM chip. The motherboard (Chaintech
7VIF4) can support up to two 1G chips so no problem there. The original
chips were mis-matched as 1 PC2100 and 1 PC2700 which the manual says can
co-exist at a lower FSB speed 133Mhz). The replacement was a new 1G PC2700
chip, bringing the FSB up to 166Mhz instead of the lower 133Mhz required
before.

Reverting to the original RAM sticks does not solve the problem. I still
have "halts" The computer appears to run all day with no demands on it, but
as soon as I start up a video-intensive or memory-intensive program it will
stop - maybe not right away, but it WILL halt.

Every time I re-power the computer and enter XP I have NO indication the
computer was halted for any reason -- no "you didn't shut down right so I
have to run CHKDSK" or any of that. The Event Log shows nothing other than
"Info" entries - no errors or warnings.

Any thoughts?

GP
 
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G

Guest

I should have also added that DXDiag reports no troubles with DirectX (9.0c)
and all the little test wizards and buttons work just fine. This happens
using either DirectX or OpenGL when using Trainz (TRS2004 or TRS2006).

GP
 
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G

Guest

Turned out to be bad RAM --- BUT in the video card, not the general RAM. I
replaced the ATI card 256 with a GeForce 512 and no more troubles.

GP
 

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