As far as my problem goes, it's been a week since it has started to act up in this manner (topic description) and I'm starting to get worried. As a full time sophomore college student with finals coming up I really don't have the time or resources to fully tackle this issue.
My computer is about 3 years old now (specs at the bottom) and after a few freezes, this is what I've noticed:
The freeze itself
The freeze itself first started occurring while I was watching a show series in .mkv format in Windows Media Player with the CCCP and ACE mega codec programs installed. The first freeze happened towards the end of the file and I noticed a signature repeating sound loop from the corresponding visual frame. The video would stop, along with the computer clock at the bottom, and after attempting to ctrl+alt+del and/or closing out of the media player, my mouse cursor is the last thing to cease. There is no blue screen or error message that pops up. When this freeze occurred, the only option I had after giving it a minute in hopes of seeing improvement, I would have to shut off the power and start it back up.
After acknowledging the player, codec, and video file, I've changed media players around with integrated codecs and video file types (VLC player and DivX player with mp4, .avi, .wmv, .mpg to name a few) to see if it was the file extension or media player that caused the issue, but eventually the same freeze would happen. After accepting the fact I couldn't watch videos, I stopped running them entirely. I have a large library of music I like to listen to while I work on class work and this also causes this freeze. I tried the same method I did with the video files, seeing if it had to do with file type or media player, but inevitably it would all eventually freeze.
So by this point I thought that I couldn't run any music/movie with any media player. I discovered I can't stream and watch videos or use Pandora on the internet either, both through mozilla and internet explorer. At this point I also saw if I could run games, and with each of them (WoW, FEAR, Bioshock, Fallout 3, L4D2, and others) they all inevitably met the same fate.
The time frame in which it would occur would change depending on how much was running (5 minutes with a large processing load to about an hour absolute maximum).
What I noticed wouldn't (at least so far) cause a freeze would be general uses of the computer (internet browsing, microsoft office, messaging service programs) and that's why I'm able to type this out on here.
What I've done
Besides stop using video/audio files so that I can browse or message:
1. Virus/spyware/malware scans (AVG, malwarebytes, McAfee, counterspy), all coming out relatively clean (after the first scan)
2. Ran Uniblue's RegistryBooster, SpeedUpMyPC, and I'm in the process of doing DriverScanner.
3. Observed the temperature of the inside of my tower (not even remotely hot, exhaust air is lukewarm at worst)
4. Defragged, disk cleanup, deleted excess files (could clear more space if I needed/wanted)
5. Performed a system restore to a point before this started happening (I actually performed this one first before #1)
My thoughts and inquiries
So after doing all of this, the problem still occurs (will update after I completely finish the driver scanner). I recently downloaded HijackThis (that's how I found this site) and I'm not sure if there's a process that's running that could be interfering with everything, but I wanted to make sure it wasn't something else first before uploading the scan for analysis. I've thought about upgrading to Windows 7 after backing up all my media and programs, but I'm not sure if that'd do anything to resolve the issue. I've also thought that maybe because I'm running this PC through a 32 inch HDTV that it might be having some internal conflicts with the sound card/video card (at start up the computer recognizes new hardware referring to the sound component of the TV). If you need any clarification on any of this feel more than free to ask.
Motherboard - P5N-E SLI
BIOS: Phoenix - AwardBIOS v6.00PG
OS: Windows XP Home Edition (5.1, Build 2600)
Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo CPU E6850 @ 3.00GHz (2 CPUs)
Memory: 2046MB RAM
Graphics Card: NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GTS with 640 MB
Sound Card: SB X-Fi Audio
UPDATE: Computer froze shortly after posting this message so it doesn't only occur during the processes I listed before.
Edited by Lithgon, 20 February 2010 - 02:21 AM.