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Computer crashing randomly

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Shine, Jan 13, 2003.

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  1. Shine

    Shine Thread Starter

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    I originally posted a thread about this on the games forum, as i thought it was GTA3 that was causing my PC to crash.
    However, it's now been happening randomly while I'm just doing work on it.
    What's happened is that I upgraded my mobo and CPU about 2-3 months ago. Everything has been running fine until Friday, when my PC had its first momentous crash.
    While I'm using the 'puter, it will suddenly freeze totally. Nothing works, not Ctrl-Alt-Del, nothing. The only thing I can do is hit the reset button.
    I work from home and this has happenned four times today alone.
    What's confusing me is that I have changed nothing about my PC for this to suddenly start happening. I'm not suddenly running any more demanding software, and I'm not expecting it to burn CDs, run Unreal Tourney and juggle firesticks all at once. Most of the time, I'm just trying to run Dreamweaver, Excel and Word at the same time. I've given up trying to play games at all.
    I've checked my CPU temperature on start-up, which seems fine (about 116F). Because I originally thought the problem was just with games, I've also installed the latest graphics card drivers and instaled DirectX 9. None of this has helped.
    I'm running an Athlon 1800+ XP CPU on an ECS mobo, with 320MB of RAM and a GeForce 4 MX420 card (64MB RAM). I've got a 10gig HD, which is less than half-full.
    I seriously need some help on this. It doesn't take much to get me stumped when it comes to computers - so this is driving me crazy!! :mad:
     
  2. plschwartz

    plschwartz

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    First two possibilities:
    1. Power supply problem w new chip
    2. MB shutting down because of overheating.

    1. Could you give us a run down of your system including make and size of power supply
    2.Most modern boards have a heat sensor, the read-out you can see somewhere in set-up. After your system is up and running get a reading of the temperature ( c or F)
     
  3. Shine

    Shine Thread Starter

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    D'oh. Sorry for abandoning this thread. Anyway, hope you can still help me out.

    The power supply is 300W - will post the make later when I get a chance to get into the box.

    As for the temp of PC, how do I go about checking the temperature once the system is running? I know how to check it on start-up - do I need to do a restart and check it then?

    BTW, I've added two new case fans, one at the front and one at the back. This seems to have reduced the problem somewhat, although it's not eliminated it completely. And it's still impossible to play graphics intensive games such as GTA3.
     
  4. gotrootdude

    gotrootdude

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    Have you gotten a can of compressed air and blown out the dust bunnies hiding in the fins of the heak sink.
     
  5. Shine

    Shine Thread Starter

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    Nope, not tried that yet. Can I get that stuff from the local computer store?

    I was wondering if maybe the graphics card was overheating, as the problem is worse when I'm playing games etc. I've seen specialised graphics card fans - are these worth buying?
     
  6. pronute

    pronute

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  7. Shine

    Shine Thread Starter

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    Cheers for the link mate.

    Just got the prog up and running, and have a temp readout of 45 celsius. Tried running GTA 3, and had an almost immediate crash. Checked the temp again after a reboot, and it had only gone up to 49.
     
  8. pronute

    pronute

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  9. Shine

    Shine Thread Starter

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    Cheers for the link mate. Dug out loads of stuff, but am still getting the crashes.
    Am thoroughly bemused. :(
     
  10. pronute

    pronute

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    What OS are you using if I may ask, if it's Windows XP you may have to reregister even though you upgraded your system 3 month ago XP gives unregistered systems about that long to register than bang unusable system ( thatÂ’s Bills idea makes him richer that way)
     
  11. Shine

    Shine Thread Starter

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    I'm still using Windows 98 at the moment. The system is still usable - the crashes only really occur when I'm pushing it, e.g. working with a lot of open programs or using it for gaming.
    But when it does crash, it crashes in a big way. It's basically like everything shuts down, cos the screen just freezes and nothing will work.
    This is why I thought it may be a temperature issue at first. Since I put the two new fans in, things seem to have improved somewhat, and it seems the temperature is at a decent level. But I'm still getting the crashes... :confused:
     
  12. pronute

    pronute

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    ok first is the new mainboard have a VIA chipset?
    and second is this a clean install of Windows 98?
    I am only asking this because with a VIA chipset you must install the AGP controller driver first then install the video card drivers. and infact you have to do this with any other chipset also but it realy makes a big diference with VIA and 98.
     
  13. Shine

    Shine Thread Starter

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    OK, the chipset is SiS. Also, Win98 was already installed before the new mobo, CPU and graphics card were added, so I had no need to reinstall it. The HD is the same one I ever had.
    There weren't any problems for the first couple of months after this new hardware was added, but then these insane crashes started.

    Something else that is happening that may/may not be related. About once a week, when I start up the PC, the resolution settings have reset themselves to 800x600 (I normally have 1040x768). Other settings have also reset themselves randomly in the past. For instance, on start-up, the CPU will sometimes come up as a much lower speed than it is (800MHZ or something), when in fact it's more like 1.5gig. When this happens, I have to go into settings to correct it. These resets happen randomly, and without me making any changes.

    It's all seriously doing my head in...
     
  14. Rusty1952

    Rusty1952

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    Hi, Dont know if you hav cheked; but you may want to chek the board manufacturers website for a Bios update. You may be surprised to find there that if there are any updates--some maybe remotely applicable to some of the problems you are havin. It's worth a chek if you havn't done so.
     
  15. MaDKiWi

    MaDKiWi

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    this may sound completely off the wall, but what virus scanner are you running and are you up to date? Just teh comment about changing res's rang a bell in my mind.. passibly a virus not being detected?
     
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