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Freezing Computer

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4 replies to this topic

#1 mar5hy


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Posted 19 March 2008 - 08:20 AM

Hi all,

Running WIN XP.

My computer will work fine for a while, then suddenly it will just freeze - not doing anything particular or with large applications open - just randomly, and I have to reboot to go again.

Does the RAM need replacing? Any one got any ideas?

Brighton, UK

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#2 hamluis



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Posted 19 March 2008 - 08:46 AM

How much memory installed? How much free hard drive space?

I'd do two things first:

a. Check to tensure that all fans are working as they should. This calls for removing the side panel and actually watching to see if the CPU, power supply fan, and any others...are actually turning.

b. Go into the BIOS (after one of these shutdowns) and check the CPU temperature registered there.

I would also blow out the dust within the case (after turning the system off).

I would also check Event Viewer errors for possible clues re system problems.

What is the Event Viewer, and Should I Care - Ask Leo! - http://ask-leo.com/what_is_the_event_viewe...uld_i_care.html


#3 DaChew


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Posted 19 March 2008 - 09:10 AM

I would also blow out the dust within the case (after turning the system off).


I would add disconnecting power to that advise(pulling the plug)

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#4 gentisle


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Posted 19 March 2008 - 12:35 PM

Those are good suggestions, but first I would ask you this: Is this a desktop or laptop? If this is a laptop, most of this answer is not going to do you much good. If it's a desktop, is your computer connected to a surge protector or a battery backup or neither. If it's not connected to a battery backup, there are two things you should do. Most people don't ever think about the fact that the resistors, capacitors, transistors, etc. in computers are not the same as the one's in their refrigerator. The one's in your computer simply cannot handle the fluctuations in power that a refrigerator can. Some of those parts in your computer are literally microscopic. Consequently, they need protection.

First, go to your local Office Depot, Best Buy, CompUSA, Frys, or whatever you have and get a power supply tester. These are cheap, less than $20. It is very simple and quick to test your power supply. If the tester says the power supply is ANYTHING EXCEPT GOOD, you replace it. In other words, marginal really means bad. A "marginal" or bad power supply can damage anything or everything in your computer. Windows can take a lot of crap, but slight fluctuations in power can wreak havoc and cause exactly what you are experiencing. It's been my experience that a lot of lock ups, as well as strange intermittent problems are power supply related. This is due to the fact that most people don't have their computers connected to battery backups. If you have a brand named computer, such as HP, Compaq, Dell, etc., then I would suspect the power supply first. Generally, these computers have barely enough power supply power to run the computer. (The manufacturer will argue otherwise for obvious reasons). If you add a device or plug in too many usb devices (that don't have their own power supply), it really drains the computer's power supply and eventually it goes bad. If you need to get a new one, Antec is a good brand that you can find at local stores. I would recommend a 500 watt unit. If you have one of those very small computer cases, you'll probably have to get a replacement from the computer manufacturer. I would ask if they have a higher rated replacement. If you are not accustomed to going inside your computer, you can take the unit to the store and the tech person should be able to tell you if it takes a regular power supply.

Second get a battery backup and plug your computer and monitor into it. I would suggest you plug in ALL of your network devices including, cable/DSL modem, routers/hubs/switches. How do you know how much battery backup you need? Go to www.apcc.com and use their backup/UPS calculator. Don't worry about getting the exact model they suggest, just make a note of the VA rating, and buy one with that rating or higher. They are a good brand to get. The higher priced models will have better software control of the unit which is nice. Tripp Lite is another good brand. These are always on sale at one store or another, so you can usually find a good deal. Make sure the backup has connections for your cable modem (coax), DSL modem (regular ethernet connection) or the phone connection for dial-up. Surge can come in from another device that is not plugged into a battery and zap something. Electricity can do strange things. I've heard of the internal modem of a computer being fried, but the rest of the computer is fine. Do not be concerned that the unit may have only 4 receptacles to plug all your devices into. Pick up some of those three way plug multipliers at Big Lots (in America) or wherever you can elsewhere, and use them with extension cords to multiply the 4 plug in ports. Just don't plug in those cheap surge protectors to the battery backup to give yourself more receptacles. That may actually cause problems. If it is a bad power supply, a battery backup may have prevented it.

Hope this solves your problem or if not, someone else here knows the answer.


#5 garmanma


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Posted 19 March 2008 - 04:56 PM

A power supply tester is worthless. For the same amount of money you can buy a cheap multimeter that you can also use on other things. I won't argue against a battery back up but the machine has to be running for it to do any good
Laptop or desktop, both collect dust and overheat. For a laptop, you direct the nozzle into the vents to dislodge the builup
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