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Clunk of death

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by kevt, Oct 20, 2003.

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  1. kevt

    kevt Thread Starter

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    Hi,
    I have a rather curious problem that causes my PC to freeze every now and then. I am using it as normal and then I hear the CPU fan speed increase followed by a clunking sound, similar to that made as a CD tray closes shut. Within about 15 seconds or so the PC freezes, not immediately, and the mouse always remains responsive. It will not respond to CTRL+ALT+DEL, and will not recover no matter how long I leave it, although sometimes I get a blue screen saying Windows has become unstable. I can press the reset button and the PC will carry on as normal.

    The PC is dual boot between Win 98SE and Win 2000 Pro and the above symptoms only occur in Win 98SE.

    In Win 2000Pro, after the clunk, Windows complains that I have removed the DVD drive, but eventually stabilises and continues OK.

    Now, I unhooked the DVD, and the problem remained. So it could not have been that. I removed my second hard drive, still the problem persists.
    I performed a scandisk and defrag on C, and ran the manufacturers diag utility. No problems reported. Today, after four consecutive failures I ran Sisoft Sandra burn in wizard and it ran without problems for 2 hours.
    Anybody any Clues as to what might be the cause of this problem?:(
     
  2. wrong_way

    wrong_way

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    IT COULD BE THAT THE IDE CARD IS GOING OUT. CHANGE IT AND SE IF IT STILL DOSE IT
     
  3. GwizJoe

    GwizJoe

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    The fan increases in speed??? Do you have a hardware monitor that allows for rpm changes to the fans,or does this fan just have a life of it's own?
    What happens to the fan after the "clunk"? does it stop?

    I'd take the side off the case and keep an eye on it to see what exactly is happening,it sort of sounds like you are over-heating(fan failing?) and then the system quickly becomes unstable.
     
  4. kevt

    kevt Thread Starter

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    Whenever my CPU is being heavily used the speed of the CPU fan increases, so this just seems to me to indicate that the CPU is in action. In Win 98 it does continue to run at the high rate after the clunk until I press reset. In Win 2k it eventually settles down.

    I tried taking the side of the machine, and the noise seemed to be coming from one of the disk drives, so I removed them until I was left with just the C: drive, and it still happened. It a Maxtor Diamond Max, and their diag utility reported the drive 'Certified error free'.

    The C drive shares IDE1 with my DVD, so perhaps thats why Win2K reports the DVD drive removal?
     
  5. GwizJoe

    GwizJoe

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    What model motherboard is this?
    I want to look at the manual for the BIOS...
     
  6. kevt

    kevt Thread Starter

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    Hi GwizJoe,
    Sorry I didn't get back to you before. The mobo is a FIC AZ11.

    There's one more thing to this story... I have to turn off the power to the machine at the mains when the PC is shutdown. If I dont, then it will not power up until it has been turned off at the mains for about 10 minutes. I think my PSU is on its way out?
     
  7. Stealth3

    Stealth3

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    I had the same problem on shutdown with window 2000 and 98.
    I tried everything but randomly then and now when I was shuting it down it was making a sound similar to the one when you enter a floppy disk. I have found out with time that it was the schedule tasks that were causing the problem. I turned them off and it didnt happen almost at all. It still happened very rare when I was rushing to shut it down, but not as often as when I had the schedule tasks on.
    Try turning the schedule taks off, it might help.
     
  8. kevt

    kevt Thread Starter

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    Its worth a try I guess, although I haven't changed the list of scheduled tasks recently.
     
  9. GwizJoe

    GwizJoe

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    If your power supply is getting weak,I suppose it is possible that devices would drop off line (DVD-ROM,aux hard-drives).That would also explain why it takes so long (10 minutes?) to regain good voltages for a boot.Also once a device (or two) gets dropped,the rest of the system would seem pick up until the voltage drops a bit more then freezes the whole thing.
    Makes sense to me anyway...

    Do you have another PSU to test this theory?

    Also,do you have 'aida32',or some form of voltage monitoring software installed?
    http://www.aida32.hu/aida32.php
    (I suggest the Enterprise version)
    It might be very helpful to see exactly what the voltage levels are before and after the "clunk".

    I'm not too convinced it would be a software issue with scheduled tasks,since the system functioned normally prior to this...
    On the otherhand,I do not use any scheduled tasks,and I disable the monitor 1st thing on every one of my systems.I just hate background stuff waiting to do something and using up resources in the process.I know when to run a scan and defrag,and if I need to run a program I can click the damn icon. LOL!
    (see attached background wallpaper)
    (oh...,yes...,I am the owner/artist of BlueLady Graphics)
     

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  10. WarC

    WarC

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    Yeah, I agree its starting to look like a power supply problem.

    << Crazy Theory Zone >>The loud clunking could be the arm inside the harddrive seizing with these power surges...increased fan speed may be attributed to fluctations in the power. Win2k might handle these 'trips' better than the older Win98.

    I think the DVD being on IDE 1 is more than coincidence...This is also what leads me to believe the 'clunk' is from the hard-drive.


    Now that I think of it, this is starting to look like a motherboard problem...IDE 1 being crazy, combined with the increased fan speeds when its locking up...

    I'm thinking either power supply or motherboard. Thats my two cents.
     
  11. kevt

    kevt Thread Starter

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    Well I turned off the scheduled tasks, and down it went within about 5 seconds. So I started up again, same problem a couple more times. Then I tried Win2k, no problems worked OK for about 20 mins. Back to Win 98, clunked within a few seconds, but this time it would not power up. Pressing reset, or powering off and on had no effect. The video bios did not post, and the monitor said no signal, although the fans were working as usual. Opened up and took off all hard drives, the DVD and 1 stick of memory, to reduce the power load. Started up OK, but obviously complained about no OS. Put it all back, powered up again - CLUNK?!? So this time I just removed the stick of memory. Now its been running OK for about 45mins? Is this a co-incidence, or can memory make a clunk:confused:

    I will have to check out this aida32 cause I don't have a spare PSU. Although its looking like that is the candidate. What I dont understand is how Win2k can work OK?
     
  12. kevt

    kevt Thread Starter

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    OK, I found I have MBM5 on the PC. Voltages from this are:
    CPU ... 3.10V
    +3.1 ... 3.10V
    +3.3 ... 3.28V
    +5.0 ... 6.44V
    +12.0 ... 15.60V
    Don't know what this means.
     
  13. DaveBurnett

    DaveBurnett Account Closed

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    The 6.44 and the 15.60 are out of spec. If you have acces to another power supply, try it.
     
  14. GwizJoe

    GwizJoe

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    Absolutely...,get that PSU out of there before it damages any of your hardware.
     
  15. kevt

    kevt Thread Starter

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    OK so I did that. Found my old PSU was 230W, replaced it with a 300W one (from my kids PC!). Now its been running for about 5 hours, running Sisoft Sandra burn in wizard, not a problem:)

    Howver, MBM5 still reports exactly the same voltages? Including the 6.44 and 15.6. Is the monitor on the mobo screwed?

    Got to say though, I don't think I would have put this down to the PSU without this discussion. I was considering either new HD, new mobo or new memory!

    Now of course the young un wants his PSU back;) Although the old one seems to run OK in his, but its going in the bin.
     
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