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XP freezes temporarily and repeated


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#1 prsubway

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Posted 28 September 2009 - 11:10 PM

I have reformatted my computer 3 times in the past 2 weeks, and this problem has been a feature of every reformat:

On seemingly random occasions (although I can remember that more often than not its when I try to run iTunes 9 for the first time after install, not convinced thats the problem) my whole screen will freeze up for 10-15 second intervals, then unfreeze for less than a second, then repeat indefinitely.

This is coupled with a seemingly unrelated problem, but one that has been occurring since the start of this freezing problem: I produce music with Cubase SX3, and use a M-Audio Fast Track Pro as my external sound card. This combination has worked for about a year, but recently when I open projects that used to play fine, they now can't play without crackling and popping, as if latency is a huge issue. The ASIO meter is through the roof as well, but no matter how I set the latency on the Fast Track Pro, the projects can't play smoothly. Again, this setup used to work fine.

The only thing I can think of that changed to start all these problems is moving my desktop from my house to my college dorm room. Is there something I could've damaged that would cause these issues?

The only programs that are installed on the entire computer right now, besides regular XP setup, are Cubase SX3, Reason 4, AVer MediaCenter (to watch TV on my computer with a cable hookup via USB card)

Here is my setup:

GIGABYTE GA-EP45-UD3R
Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600
OCZ Reaper HPC 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500)
NVidia GeForce 8400gs
SoundBlaster Audigy 2 value

I need to solve this problem soon cause I've got a remix due in a couple weeks that I haven't been able to start!!! please help!

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#2 hamluis

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Posted 29 September 2009 - 09:07 AM

Hi :thumbsup:.

Freezing can be the result of various things, with overheating of the system being one of the more common causes.

Cases, How to Avoid Overheating - http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/142

Cleaning the Interior of your PC - http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/tutorials/cleaning-the-inside-of-your-pc/

Core Temp - http://www.alcpu.com/CoreTemp/

If you haven't done so already, you should also make the following change in your system: How To Disable Automatic Restarts When Windows Crashes - http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/74644/how-to-disable-automatic-restarts-when-windows-crashes/ . This is a step to try to ensure that an error message is generated whenever the system incurs a serious error needing immediate attention.

Another step which I suggest...run a hard drive manufacturer's diagnostic on your hard drive.

Hard Drive Installation and Diagnostic Tools - http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/28744/hard-drive-installation-and-diagnostic-tools/

Taking a look at the suggested compatible RAM modules for that board, http://www.gigabyte.us/FileList/MemorySupp...a-ep45-ud3r.pdf, I don't see any OCZ DDR2 1066 2GB modules listed. My experience is that some boards are picky about what RAM they will embrace, but I can't say if this is a problem or not...only that with some boards, it's best to go with recommended/suggested RAM modules.

http://www.ocztechnology.com/products/memo...hpc_4gb_edition

In any case you can run Memtest86+ - Advanced Memory Diagnostic Tool - http://www.memtest.org/#downiso to check and see if there are any problems between the RAM and the motherboard.

Have you checked Event Viewer for possible clues to system problems needing attention?

How To Use Event Viewer - http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/40108/how-to-use-event-viewer/

No STOP error messages of any type during system operation?

Louis

#3 prsubway

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Posted 29 September 2009 - 10:48 AM

Thanks for the reply Louis.

no stop messages in event viewer...

I'm running Core Temp and it is telling giving me the following temperatures on average when running no other programs:
core #0: 75 C
core #1: 70 C
core #2: 73 C
core #3: 70 C

HOWEVER, when I run Cubase SX3 and Reason 4 simultaneously (necessary for my production) the temperatures spike and seem to go over 100 C until I get what looks like erroneous readings:

core #0: -19 C (!)(?)
core #1: -23 C (!)(?)
core #2: -19 C (!)(?)
core #3: -23 C (!)(?)

I'm assuming thats not supposed to happen...

I'm running memtest now to see if that helps with anything. I will then do the hard drive diagnostic.

a bit of info about my case/fans:

I have this case: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16811144055
its listed as a "server" case because its so large, (18.6" x 8" x 20.5")
I have two 80mm fans. one at the bottom side sucking air in, and one at the top pushing air out. The air coming out the top seems pretty cool to me. Could my heatsink be the issue? It is functioning and the air its blowing out seems like a normal temperature.

#4 hamluis

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Posted 29 September 2009 - 11:14 AM

Hmm...Core Temp is an application that I've used (just to check it out on my system) but I would supplement those temp readings with a look in the BIOS (for CPU temperature).

You may want to take a look at the section on thermal profiles, http://download.intel.com/design/processor...ts/31559205.pdf

FWIW: The temp of the air being expelled by the power supply fans...is no test of whether the CPU is adequately protected.

Louis

#5 prsubway

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Posted 29 September 2009 - 12:48 PM

Alright so I'm thinking processor temp is definitely the problem.

first off, that thermal profile page says I should have temperatures around 60 C max.

also, the memory test gave no errors.

I downloaded a program called RealTemp (http://www.techpowerup.com/realtemp/) and ran the sensor test, which got halfway through the initial "heating up" phase before my computer overheated and clicked off. I saw temperatures getting as high as 120 C!

I've had this computer set up for about a year and never had this problem until the past month, like I said, when I moved my gear from my room at home to my dorm room. My thinking is the processor itself is the issue. Any reason I shouldn't assume this?

I just bought some compressed air and I'm gonna go clean off all the fans and everything and hope that helps.

#6 hamluis

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Posted 29 September 2009 - 01:24 PM

With temps like that...I think I'd take off the heatsink/fan...and either get a new one and properly put it on...or replace the thermal paste and put the heatsink/fan back on.

I would tend to go with a newer one...cheap investment for a crucial component. Some would say just reapply thermal compound and ensure all is secure.

The heatsink/fan could have been jarred loose, I suppose. I've moved systems via my car before and I've never seen such happen...

Louis

#7 prsubway

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Posted 29 September 2009 - 02:04 PM

wow. problem found. after opening everything up and really getting light on it so i could dust it off, i noticed 2 of the 4 points where the heatsink connects to the motherboard were disconnected, meaning the heatsink wasn't making full contact with the processor.

is there any way to tell how much damage i've done to the processor by heating it to temperatures like 120 C!?!?

*edit* also, thanks louis for all your help. might not've noticed this otherwise.

Edited by prsubway, 29 September 2009 - 02:05 PM.


#8 hamluis

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Posted 29 September 2009 - 03:04 PM

I had a CPU overheat on me one time...my test was a functional one.

If the system booted after I had replaced the heatsink/fan...the CPU was good...at least, until I perceived evidence otherwise.

I would try the CPU with a fresh application of thermal compound and a new heatsink/fan.

Louis

#9 prsubway

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Posted 30 September 2009 - 10:21 AM

yeah i bought a substance made for cleaning off old thermal paste and new paste to replace it. The heatsink isn't broken, it was just unlatched in two places, so I think i can stick with it.

hope the processor isn't fried!




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