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PC hangs when idle, sometimes during use

Discussion in 'Windows XP' started by Beeblebrox, Dec 18, 2011.

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  1. Beeblebrox

    Beeblebrox Thread Starter

    Jun 4, 2003
    I have the strangest problem. Whenever I leave my XP PC on for a while and then come back to it, say, half an hour later, it's frozen. Not completely frozen, though. If there is a screensaver, it will be running and it turns off when I move the mouse. I can see either the welcome screen or my wallpaper. If I haven't locked the computer, then I will see my wallpaper with all icons and the taskbar. The mouse moves, but I can't click on anything and there is no HDD activity whatsoever. The only way out is a hard reboot. Normally there's no trouble when I'm using the computer, but in semi-rare cases it also freezes during use.

    The problem started about 2 weeks ago. I don't remember doing anything out of the ordinary except installing GTA IV on Steam. It also installed Games for Windows Live and tried to install some SecuROM activation thingie, but the installation always got stuck there. I later removed the Steam game files, but it didn't remove Games for WIndows and I couldn't uninstall it because it was asking for some .msi file it couldn't find (perhaps the file was removed when I removed Steam's local content of GTA IV.)

    What I've tried so far that didn't work:
    1) Google the problem
    2) Disabled all power saving features, incl. network card (thought to be the culprit for a similar-ish problem in a thread I found when googling)
    3) Uninstalled BOINC and F-Secure
    4) Changed to an older GPU (HD5770 -> HD3450)
    5) Unplugged and reseated all cables
    6) Uninstalled GFWL with the Windows Installer Cleanup Utility (or something like that)
    7) Changed SATA cable of XP HDD
    8) Ran Prime95 for an hour without problems (surfing the web at the same time).
    9) Event Viewer shows nothing at freeze time
    10) Disabled / Enabled paging file.
    11) Ran CCleaner

    Computer specs:
    Asus M2N-E AM2 motherboard
    Athlon II X2 240e AM3 CPU (upgraded from Athlon 64 X2 5200+ 2 months ago, BIOS update was required too)
    2 GB DDR2 800 memory
    HD3450 graphics
    Samsung 1 TB HDD, 2 500 GB partitions. XP installed.
    Seagate 500 GB HDD, Win7 and Ubuntu 11.04 installed (Ubuntu is a Wubi-install)
    Zalman 600W PSU

    Help is MUCH appreciated. This is a family computer and in constant use (if it worked).
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