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is this a hardware problem? or windows problem?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by triandrew2001, Oct 8, 2003.

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  1. triandrew2001

    triandrew2001 Thread Starter

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    So, many know now that I run an internet radio station from a studio in my home... as with any internet radio stations now, computers are involved. I'm having problems w/ my main broadcast PC locking up, but at unusal intervals. Let me give you the basics I know on this PC's op System and more details on how/when it's locking up, and I'm open to some suggestions on what I can do to remedy the situation.

    HP Pavilion Desktop bought in late 2000
    Pentium III
    well over 256mg of memory installed [memory is brand new]
    Presently running Win-2000 Professional Edition.. was previously running Win98 se
    10g hard drive, not even 20% full
    SiS graphics monitor card [brand new]

    Long before I began running my internet station, THIS machine was my only machine. Since late 2001, I've had problems w/ oit locking up for what appeared to be no specific reason. This began back when I was still on Win98se. In early 2002, it was suggested that I upgrade the machine to Win2000 Professional Edition, in hopes this might clear up the locking problems. I was noticing that most lock ups would happen either during a page change or major graphics change, or when my mouse was moving quickly across the screen. It was suggested that perhaps the internal graphics card that came with it was having memory problems, and to get a new graphics card, so in mid 2002, I got the SiS graphics card, thus keeping the graphics memory usage to the card and not off the main motherboard. for a good period of time from after I installed Win2000 and the new graphics card, it seemed to be running smoother and fewer lockups were happening. A few weeks later, the lockups became again more frequent. I managed to put up with it until this summer when I finally got a 2nd PC for all my work use and had plans on using this original Pavilion machine for my webcast.
    Before setting it up for running the webcast only, I did MAJOR cleaning. Took off all the software that I was no longer going to use on that machine, just keeping it to the bare bones minimum it needed to run this webcast. Upon doing so, I defrag'ed, did scandisk, ran virus software, in general, doing anything you'd do in a normal situation if you were cleaning up a system, just short of wiping everything out and reformatting from the start. [Which, by the way, has been done a number of times on this machine, in hopes to clear up this problem.]
    What I've noticed about when it locks up.. is that it will go 2, 3 or sometimes 4-5 days without a single problem.. not locking at all, and happy as can be. Then somewhere from 3-5 days into a good stretch, I'll have my first lockup, which will in turn be followed by up to 5-6 lockups, within the next 24-48 hours, for NO apparent reason. There are no major changes in graphics or pages, and usually the mouse isn't even bing used. I don't feel this is a memory issue, as I've run the exact same software setup, on a laptop, that is a good 3-4 years older than this desktop, with considerably less memory in it.
    I've run countless diagnostic programs designed to check any machine and determine any hardware or software problems/conflicts/etc., and not one of these could find any technical problems w/the machine. Yet the lockups contine.... every 3-5 days, for several lockups, spanned over a few days, then I'll go a 3-5 days again filled w/ lockups.
    There are no scheduled events on the machine, so it's not connected with anything it has scheduled to run. I'm at my wits end. I'm not asking much of this machine except for it to work.. reliably for more than 3-5 days at a time.
    I'm looking for a solution other than "go buy a new machine." When this machine IS working, it works GREAT.. but when it's not, I'm tempted to throw it out a window.

    Anyone wanna take a crack at this and give me some suggestions? I need my new machine for all my production work, and want to use this Pavilion for my webcast.

    Your thoughts and suggestions are greatly appreciated. I can be reached via:
    [email protected]

    Thanks!
    DJ Andrew Cannon
     
  2. PCfixer

    PCfixer

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    This could be a heat problem, is the PC well ventalated, there are utilities for checking CPU temprature, may be worth sticking one on just to make sure your not burning up
     
  3. A Hawk

    A Hawk

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    I agree PCfixer sounds like heat. You can download motherboard moniter, and it will give you a temp reading on the tool bar and tell you if its getting hot.
     
  4. triandrew2001

    triandrew2001 Thread Starter

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    Okay.. here's a bit more info on the machine, and what I've found out at this time.
    HP Pavilion 8655c
    Pentium III 533mHz
    well over 256m of intalled ram
    PhoenixBIOS Core v.4.06
    BIOS v1.09 (2/14/00)

    Okay... there are no temperature sensors in this unit, at least that's what the setup for Motherboard Monitor said. There are voltage monitors though, but I'm 99% sure this is not a temperature issue.... all the fans are working, the room is airconditioned very well. So in tentatively ruling out the heat issue, what else might this be?
    I had a suggestion that because I had upgraded this machine from Win98se to Win2000, that there may be a BIOS issue and that I may need an updated BIOS. Upon checking w/ HP Pavilion, I find out NOW that, although Win2000 should have no problems on the machine, and that it's technically the same as Win98se with some new sharing abilities, HP does not support Win2000. Good thing to know now that I no longer have a way to install Win98se again. There is a newer version of BIOS available, but the only new things about it are for the video card built into the machine and I do not use that video card.

    What else might you suggest? Is there any other info on this system that might be helpful for you in making a diagnosis?

    thanks!

    Andrew
    [email protected]
     
  5. StillLearnin'

    StillLearnin'

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    Messages:
    1,742
    "Win2000 should have no problems on the machine, and that it's technically the same as Win98se with some new sharing abilities, HP does not support Win2000."

    Win2k is NOT technically the same as W98 versions as it is based on the NT kernel. I haven't seen an HP yet that wouldn't run W2k(starting with the PIIs with 128minMB RAM but 256MB recommended). Did you do a FRESH install of W2k(Retail Version) or just W2k Upgrade Version? And what does:"well over 256m of intalled ram" mean? How much exactly?
     
  6. triandrew2001

    triandrew2001 Thread Starter

    Joined:
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    It was a fresh install of Win2K. Not an upgrade package.
    As for memory: I have a 256meg and a 128meg memory stick in the machine. According to the SYSTEM INFO: I'm showing a total physical memory of 392,176 KB
    Processor is a x86 Family 6 Model 8 Stepping 3 GEnuineIntel ~535MHz
     
  7. Whitestar

    Whitestar

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    Have tried reseating all of the cables inside?
     
  8. triandrew2001

    triandrew2001 Thread Starter

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    Yup... all cables and cards seem to be well seated.
     
  9. Whitestar

    Whitestar

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    It might be ur hard drive. Have u got another you could put windows on?
     
  10. triandrew2001

    triandrew2001 Thread Starter

    Joined:
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    Same results.... this is the 2nd drive I've tried in it... previously had a bigger drive [30g] in it... now using a 10g drive. All diagnostics run on the drives, [scan disks, defrags, virus scans, etc] all show the drives being clean.
     
  11. StillLearnin'

    StillLearnin'

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    Go to Control Panel, Administrative Tools,Component Services, Event Viewer, Application and System. What ERROR or WARNINGS are you getting in the logs?
     
  12. triandrew2001

    triandrew2001 Thread Starter

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    I've attached what comes up for the past few days for each of those logs. Coincidentally, none of the errors match up with the times that I've also kept where the system locks.
     

    Attached Files:

  13. StillLearnin'

    StillLearnin'

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  14. triandrew2001

    triandrew2001 Thread Starter

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    I was having the exact same problems long before I even began using Zone Alarm, so that can be ruled out.
     
  15. PCfixer

    PCfixer

    Joined:
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    Tricky one this, you seem to have covered a lot of bases, however, make sure the PC is not close to a magnetic source (HiFi speakers, TV etc). Do you have any sort of regulated power input device, or just surge protection even? Also what size PSU have you got? Could be time for a power upgrade, I just got a 350watt for £35 (about $24)


    Just read your post again, just a thought here, you say its when you move your mouse around, could it be Stach memory allocation, I've only ever done this once before and that was 6 years ago, I don't know much about it but it was (I think) divided memory for functions like the mouse....Somebody else will know in forum I'm sure.
     
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