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Computer freezes and strange program program behavior


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#1 FutureGuru

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Posted 23 July 2005 - 04:07 PM

First of all, please forgive this long post. I want to give details of my dilema, in hopes of getting an accurate response from someone who might be able to help.

I use normal and fairly decent surfing habbits, using Firefox as my browser, along with AdAware and Spybot for for spyware, and Norton Corporate for virus protection. I also update the definition files almost daily. My freezing problem hit right away. I left my PC on, and came home from work about a week ago to find it locked up. Upon reboot, things were behaving very strangely. The clock was set back to a 2004 date, certain programs wouldn't run, and even when I tried to uninstall them for a fresh install, I would get an error box with "error X file could not be found" or "fatal error durring uninstallation". This made me think that somehow there was a virus infection that slipped by, maybe hitting some serious .dll or registry files. I figured the best thing to do for such a serious problem is to do a fresh XP install and start from scratch.

So today I went out and bought a new hard drive, and proceeded with a new install. Only to find that even with my old drive disconnected completely, the freezes still occur. Not only that, but they happened durring the XP install and even in the BIOS config screen. This really makes me think there is a hardware problem. Could it be possible that a power spike or surge could have fried a motherboard component? Being stupid, I didn't have my system hooked up to any type of surge protection. Even stranger, is that everything works fine for about 45 minutes to an hour and a half, then the freezes happen and keep occuring along with the BIOS warning beeps until I power everything down and let it rest for a while.

I'm completely out of ideas as to what the problem can be. I know hardly anything when it comes to hardware malfunction, and if anyone has anything to imput or any ideas to point me in the right direction, I'd really appreciate it.

Sorry for the long story, and thanks in advance!



~FutureGuru

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#2 junkdk

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Posted 24 July 2005 - 12:37 AM

Dear future,

OK. Did you format all of your drives when you started over? And what did you use to format the drives.

I use "Wipe Drive" to format my drives. Are you using a firewall?

Norton sucks! This is what I use to protect my computer: Zone Alarm Suite, Lavasoft's Ad-Aware SE, and Islo's System Mechanic 5.0.

Firefox is cool but does not block anything. Never drop your firewall!

Also, invest in a Linksys router with firewall. You will be almost invisible.

Let us know,

junkdk :thumbsup:
Your Hardware Guide.

#3 MartyGeek

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Posted 24 July 2005 - 03:53 AM

Sounds like overheating to me of either a motherboard component, your graphics card, memory, or your CPU, or one of those units breaking down.

I have also witnessed this behaviour on computers where the power supply unit is breaking down.

:thumbsup: Please note with the steps below, if you are unsure at all about how to do them, please do not, and remember, as always, static is a computer's enemy. If you haven't got a static strap, at least touch the metal of the case before touching any component.

Steps I would follow (after each step see if problem still occurs):

1. Open computer, and ensure all cooling fans are running and that dust has not collected en masse on any of the internal components. Also smell PSU and other components for the "burnt component" smell.
2. Inspect all components closely to ensure capacitors on the components have not "popped" (On bad Caps, you'll see the top of the capacitor swelled or broken, with yellow or orange ooze coming out). With other components, look for scorching.
3. Swap out graphics card
4. Swap out the memory (or try modules one by one)
5. Swap out PSU
6. Swap out CPU
7. Swap out motherboard

All of these are much easier to do if you have a second computer that is similair, or have a mate with a similair rig.

:flowers: Please supply type of CPU, type of graphics card running, type of PSU and type of motherboard to more clearly isolate the error.

If you are running an external graphics card such as an NVidia or ATI and have an onboard graphics card as well, remove the graphics card and run on onboard graphics to see if this fixes the problem.

Finally, buy yourself a good on line surge unit such as an APC unit or similair (with battery backup, those non-battery units do little). These do greatly improve a computer's life, and provide less problems in the mean time.

Cheers

M




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