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Random freezing

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by frenat, Jan 14, 2006.

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  1. frenat

    frenat Thread Starter

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    Today I applied some Arctic Silver to my processor (Athlon 2800 XP). I had cleaned off the original thermal grease according to the manufacturers directions and applied a small amount as directed. I put everything back together and the CPU is running about 8 degrees Celcius cooler than before. However the problem now is the computer randomly freezes requiring a hard reboot. At first glance it would appear to be heat related as it will go for a while after a cold start and once rebooted due to a freeze it takes less time until the next freeze but as I said the CPU is much cooler than it was before. I tried a system restore (Windows XP Pro) but that has never worked for me and didn't this time no matter what date I tried. The next thing I tried is a reinstall of windows over the current installation. The installer has frozen quite a few times and has required hard reboots which of course makes the setup take even longer. I don't know what to try next and I'm not really sure what the problem might be. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. microwally

    microwally

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    Did you check the capacitors near the CPU for bulging while you were in there? I just had a one year old Athlon board die with just one bulger. It would run fine for about 20 to 60 minutes then just freeze.
     
  3. frenat

    frenat Thread Starter

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    No, but I had no problems before I had the case opened up. It was just running hotter than I would have liked. Still ran fine though.
     
  4. buddhafabio

    buddhafabio

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    are you running at correct fsb speeds for processor and ram?
     
  5. frenat

    frenat Thread Starter

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    Yes I am definitely running everything at the correct speeds.
     
  6. frenat

    frenat Thread Starter

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    Now I've got another problem. The reinstall of XP finished and I've downloaded all the security updates again. The freezing is still happening but I'm working around it for now. I need to install my video card driver. It is an ATI Radeon 9200. I have the latest drivers as well as some old ones. No matter which I try I get an error that says this
    "Setup was unable to complete the installation. Try to set up your display adapter with a standard VGA driver before running setup."
    When I look at the device manager, there is no display adapter listed there. In display properties it does not list any adapter either not even a generic standard one. I have tried to install using add new hardware but can not install a standard driver from there either.
     
  7. microwally

    microwally

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    Do you have onboard video you can try? Maybe all your issues are in the video card. A slight possibility that you had a tiny trace of that artic silver on your hands and you touched the vid card, or a tiny bit may have dripped out from under the heatsink right onto your vid card. It's a very strange prob you're having, sorry if I am grasping at straws. I had an old pci soundblaster card go bad on me a while back, and I about replaced the motherboard trying to find my stability issues. I finally ended up pulling that sound card and the computer has literally been running for months straight without shutting down. (It's my poor mans file server)
     
  8. frenat

    frenat Thread Starter

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    No onboard video but I fixed the video problem anyway. It was unrelated. I just needed to install the VIA 4in1 driver.
     
  9. frenat

    frenat Thread Starter

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    The weirdest thing is the freezing doesn't seem to be related to anything in particular. Sometimes the computer is idle, somtimes its busy.
    It is not related to windows or the programs that were installed as it froze outside of windows during the windows setup.
    It doesn't look like a heat problem as the CPU is much cooler than before and the temperature is different each time it freezes. I could buy another processor to replace the one I've got but I don't really want to spend $140 and that might not be the problem anyway. Same thing goes for the motherboard.
    It doesn't appear to be a memory problem. I've had those before (not on this current setup) and they have always manifested themselves differently (although I guess it is still possible.) Right now I am thinking of two things. First I could try underclocking the CPU and see if that helps. If so then the CPU is most likely the problem. Second I need to look into the voltage output from the power supply. I can't really think of anything else.
     
  10. frenat

    frenat Thread Starter

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    the voltage outputs from the power supply look ok. i tried underclocking the processor and still got a freeze after about a half an hour. I'm going to try checking the ram next but it doesn't look good. I have been looking at prices for new processors and motherboards. I don't have very much to spend and it wouldn't happen right away but that is the direction I think this will end up going. How do the AMD Semprons fare? While not top of the line, I could get a new cpu and motherboard better than what I've got for less than $150 and add SATA at the same time. Any other idea about my current system would be most appreciated.
     
  11. frenat

    frenat Thread Starter

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    After doing some reading on bad capacitors, some of the symptoms sound familiar but not a single cap on my board looks even slightly bad. I have a DFI AD77 bought in February 2004. That still does not rule it out as a problem but does not single it out either. I have now checked the memory individually (I have two sticks and removed one at a time) and the problem still exists. Both hard drives have been run through the extended diagnostics on Western Digital's Data lifeguard (They are both WD drives) and they both check out fine. I have underclocked the processor and no change. I tried overclocking (long story, mainly just something else to try) and no change. The next thing for me to try and the only thing left I can think of is to try a new power supply. If it doesn't help then at least I will have a brand new PSU to go along with a new board and CPU. The only other thought I had was that perhaps, (and this may sound a little crazy) the pathways of the CPU had gotten used to running at the hotter temperature. (Average temp was 49 to 50 degrees Celcius) Now that the CPU is running cooler, the CPU doesn't run the same anymore. It is only running 8 or 9 degrees Celcius cooler but that's the best I could come up with. sounds crazy right?
     
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