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HP m1070n Crashes/Freezes Randomly


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#1 phoenixcrash

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Posted 21 December 2009 - 09:17 PM

I have a HP m1070n Desktop PC, MCE 2002 SP2, 1GB RAM. Just recently I've had a problem with it crashing/locking up (actually, it's almost as if it enters Standby). All the comps lights stay on, the monitor goes black (followed by "Monitor Going To Sleep" message), but it still sounds as if the PC is running. The only thing I can do is perform a "hard-shutdown" and reboot. This problem seems to occur randomly, but usually while using AVS Video Converter 6.3, or burning a CD/DVD. Sometimes the fan noise gets louder right as the screen blacks out. As usual, HP Support was not very helpful as they instructed me to run Norton AV scan. This is after I explained that the computer in question is used for "offline" work only, and that any files added to it are scanned with Kaspersky by my other PC. Any advice? Anyone ever had this issue before?

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#2 Sneakycyber

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Posted 22 December 2009 - 01:27 AM

Check for dust build up inside the computer case. Pay attention around fans and the processor Heat sink. How to Clean your PC
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#3 phoenixcrash

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Posted 22 December 2009 - 09:13 PM

THX Sneaky. I followed the PC cleaning tutorial as you mentioned. I thought there was a good chance you were right on, especially because I'm a smoker and I know that cigarette smoke is the worst thing to have around electronics besides an open Rockstar. I cleaned everything, and I mean EVERYTHING! Put it all back together and it looked like everything was great until about an hour ago when it crashed again. Even though it didn't fix the problem, it was still a good idea to clean it up as it was in need of lil polishing. Could it be a problem within the Media Center OS? I've had more compatibility issues with it than I care to count (programs, audio interfaces, etc.). In the mean time, I'll pull the panels off and make sure I didn't miss cleaning anything the first time. Any other ideas would be much appreciated though.

#4 garmanma

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Posted 22 December 2009 - 10:01 PM

Corrupt video driver, maybe?
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#5 Sneakycyber

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Posted 22 December 2009 - 11:02 PM

Checked the specs on the computer good solid machine I am still rocking a P4 my self (counting the days till I get a Phenom II X4) Any specific reason your still running Media Center aside from if it ain't broke don't fix it? I would try upgrading your Radeon drivers to the most current although you may want to make sure that it still supports your OS. Also check your event viewer in the Administrator tools in your start menu (forgive me I cant tell you exactly where I have never ran Media center). What your looking for are RED X's near the time when the computer takes a crap on you. One last thing although probably not related since the computer is in use when the error is occuring check your Power settings in the controll panel and set the HDD to Always on and Put the computer to sleep as NEVER. Earlier versions of windows had problems with the sleep settings on some machines in that they didnt like to wake up.
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#6 phoenixcrash

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Posted 23 December 2009 - 08:52 PM

Would the video drivers cause the entire thing to crash??? I don't know if it'll help, but let me lay out the usual "crash scenario". Let's say I'm converting an AVI file to DVD with AVS Video Converter. It takes roughly a hour and a half to convert said video. Comp crashes when conversion is 75% done (blackout, "monitor going to sleep", and a slightly different noise than usual). The normal size of a converted AVI file is 3.93 gigs, but, if the "blackout" occurs at 75% completion, I reboot to find a 2.84 gig file. I've tried waiting 20-30 minutes after the "blackout" to see if the conversion would finish, but no such luck. This tells me that I'm not just losing the video feed to the monitor, the entire machine is shutting down. The power light remains on (the lights are on, but no one's home). Don't know if that scenario helped much, but at least you get a basic idea of what I'm going through. As for my reason for keeping Media Center? You're right. If it ain't broke....(not 100% sure XP Pro would allow me to retain functionality of the various composite video, tv tuner, and other inputs). Sneaky, the Event Viewer thing was a good idea. I'll jump on that right now. THX for the help. Any additional will be much appreciated.

#7 phoenixcrash

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Posted 06 January 2010 - 07:05 PM

Any ideas guys???? :thumbsup:

#8 hamluis

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Posted 06 January 2010 - 07:20 PM

1GB of RAM may not be sufficient for rendering/converting video.

If the Application tab of Event Viewer reflects "hanging application" errors for the program you use for conversion...it's either insufficient RAM or buggy software.

I have a video-editing app that freezes up sometimes when rendering video. I have had several versions of this program and they all do it, just a bug that pops up on occasion (for me).

I'd try different software if I thought it was a problem.

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#9 phoenixcrash

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Posted 22 March 2010 - 08:27 PM

UPDATE:

I have cleaned the HELL out of everything inside the tower, and the crash still occurs. I had a sudden stroke of genius and decided to clean out the underside of the heatsink. When I removed the heatsink I discovered a small patch of dry, flaky compound on the copper surface. I cleaned off every speck of the dry compound (not knowing at the time what exactly this stuff was) and reinstalled the heatsink. Fired it up and after 5-6 seconds the comp crashed and shutdown. After that I Googled what this pasty substance could be and found out that it's known as "thermal compound/grease" and any problems with it can result in random crashes, resets, freezing, etc. So I strolled on down to RadioShack and picked up some ($2.99). I had read to apply a small pea-sized dot in the center of the heatsink, however I applied slightly more and smoothed it out across the entire copper surface with my finger. Re-installed the heatsink and fired it up. Works fine, except after running it for 10-12 minutes. At this time the heatsink fan kicks into hyperdrive when it should be running at normal speeds. I wanted to know; could I have applied too much thermal grease? Is this just part of the "break-in" period I've heard about? If anyone knows anything about this, feel free to pass on the knowledge. However, I do believe that the old, crusty compound that was on there was my problem all along. BTW, I used the silicone-based compound, not the more expensive Arctic Silver stuff. :thumbsup:

#10 MrBruce1959

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Posted 22 March 2010 - 11:08 PM

It must feel great knowing you finally resolved your problem.

Thank you for coming back and letting us and others know how you resolved this problem, because it helps others who may have the same problem you did.
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#11 hamluis

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Posted 23 March 2010 - 12:05 PM

I would have replaced the heatsink/fan.

I can't tell exactly how old that system is, but a new heatsink/fan would have been a necessity for me in my efforts to extend the life of that system.

I can't say anything about too much thermal grease because I believe in following recommended procedures when using such.

It's probably also time to be looking at a newer PSU for that system, as well as a replacement CMOS battery, IMO.

Louis

#12 phoenixcrash

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Posted 26 March 2010 - 09:27 PM

Heatsink Upgrade

Check that link out. Ya think that would be a sufficient upgrade for the heatsink? What about upgrading the other fan? Think it's worth it? Any other fairly cheap ways to cool the system better? Kinda workin' on a very tight budget here. BTW, what exactly would a new PSU and CMOS battery do for me?

#13 phoenixcrash

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Posted 26 March 2010 - 09:32 PM

Oh, about the thermal grease I mentioned above. Was that too much or just enough? Should I've have spent the extra $6 for the Arctic Silver 5 or is the silicone-based stuff sufficient? If I did apply too much, what would happen?

#14 MrBruce1959

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Posted 26 March 2010 - 11:05 PM

Oh, about the thermal grease I mentioned above. Was that too much or just enough? Should I've have spent the extra $6 for the Arctic Silver 5 or is the silicone-based stuff sufficient? If I did apply too much, what would happen?


As long as your heatsink is making a good solid contact with the processor's head, I don't think you'll run into any problems, except maybe a little run-over onto the chips outer surface, as the heatsinks compression would push it outwards.

The antec silver formula 5 brand is a more expensive grade, I use it on all my processors, however I have not had any problems using standard thermal paste either. So I think you're ok with what you bought.
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