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Machine Locks Up

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by visaggio, Jul 30, 2006.

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  1. visaggio

    visaggio Thread Starter

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    I'm having issues with my computer locking up, apparently at random. How could i go about isolating what the problem might be?

    When i say "lock up" i mean it locks up completely, the only way to restart it is the power switch on the back of the power supply.
     
  2. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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  3. onsite

    onsite

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    some more info please
    is this a home built or retail pc
    make and model
    what OS
    Can you perdict when the pc will lock up
    have you tried starting in safe mode, will the pc still lock up
    when the pc does run, is it sluggish
     
  4. Rich-M

    Rich-M

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    Yes we really need hardware and age of hardware to even guess at this problem.
    Of the top of my head it's psu or motherboard with what you have told us (which is nothing).
     
  5. visaggio

    visaggio Thread Starter

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    It's a homebuilt machine (about 3 years old)

    AMD athlon XP 1052 MHZ
    (motherboard) ECS K7SEM
    (chipset) SiS 730s
    (hardrive) Fujitsu MPG3409AT 40GB Ultra ATA/100
    I'm running windows XP pro (installed over win98)

    It locks up randomly, i've timed it to see if that let to a pattern, it doesn't. Just now it locked up while reading AIDA 32 from cdrom. 99% of my computing is videogames, so it seems that 2 out of 3 times i try to run a computer game the machine locks up. It doesn't lock up so often when doing things in IE. (the two games i run the most don't need a cd, so i don't think it's the cd rom, plus i've got two cd roms, and i've tried using both of them individually without any noticeable difference)

    Any thing else i need to provide?
     
  6. onsite

    onsite

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    Hmmm, So I could say that the pc only freezes up when you are playing a game ?
    does your video card have a fan. if so make sure fan turns freely and the heatsink is not clogged with dust.
     
  7. visaggio

    visaggio Thread Starter

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    just checked, the video card is clean and the fan is running, the heat sink doesn't feel hot either..
     
  8. Rich-M

    Rich-M

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    How about inside look to see if there is caked on "crud" inside the heat synch.
     
  9. onsite

    onsite

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    With out power does the fan spin freely or does it feel like it is binding, when pushed with a finger. Did you do any mods or overclocking.
    also look at the caps ( capacitors) on the mainboard are the puffed out or leaking electrolyte ?
    you may want to check through your bios settings for overly agressive ram / processor settings
     
  10. visaggio

    visaggio Thread Starter

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    the fan seems to turn freely and the heatsink is free of dust etc. I've not done any mods or overclocking. I'll have to look at the mainboard later (i'm at work presently), but i don't recall anything like you describe.

    I wonder, would these symptoms be indicative of a bad hard drive? Would a hard drive work intermittently. Sometimes the computer wont start at all, the cpu fan starts, the cd-rom light blinks, but i hear nothing from the HD and the monitor doesn't wake up from sleep mode. Just a thought...
     
  11. kuipo

    kuipo

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    As you're saying, maybe is the disk the problem, don't know though, but i think at this point, is highly recommended to backup, you're saying you have games on your HD, and i guess you don't wan't to loose them, since you're saying maybe the hard drive may be failing.
     
  12. onsite

    onsite

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    If you think it is the HD go to your HDs manufacturers web site and DL their free diag tools.
    you also may want to clear the cmos
     
  13. onsite

    onsite

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    Could also be the power supply, kind of doubt it since you said it only happens durring games.
     
  14. visaggio

    visaggio Thread Starter

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    OK, i've puchased a new HD and installed XP etc. I've downloaded SP2 (i think) and IE 6.0. Where should i go from here, could you point me to a step by step guide as to drivers etc that i need to update?

    I say (i think) because microsoft has some new update program that i installed while looking for SP2, how can i determine if SP2 was downloaded and installed? This new update program looks nothing like i remember from the last time i downloaded sp2.
     
  15. crjdriver

    crjdriver Moderator

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    Have you tested the memory as John posted? Just buying a hd and installing without checking the old one is just throwing money at a problem with just a chance of fixing it.

    Test in a systematic way.
    1 Test your memory
    2 Test your hd
    3 Check for overheating by checking temps in the bios
    4 Examine the motherboard with a bright light. Look for bulging / leaking caps.
    5 What brand and wattage of power supply do you have?
     
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