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Netbook freezes after 10-15 minutes


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#1 some call me tim

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Posted 17 May 2010 - 12:22 PM

Hi all, I have an issue with my netbook and hopefully someone can be of help. I have an Asus EEE PC 1000HA with Windows XP Home SP3 installed. I haven't used the computer for much of anything since I bought it, mostly just as something to take with me on trips and occasionally use out and about. I'd been impressed with its functionality, up until several months ago. I originally thought it was a software problem, but now I'm thinking it may be a hardware issue--if the mods think this topic belongs elsewhere, feel free to move this.

For some reason, my netbook now freezes after being on for 15 minutes or so. When it freezes, I still am able to move the mouse cursor around the screen, but the buttons and the keyboard both become unresponsive. The only way I can shut down is with a cold power down. When it first happened, it was shortly after a Firefox update. Thinking it might be related to that, I tried using an older version of FF, as well as Chrome and Explorer. No dice. I also had a trojan at one point, and was able to remove it with Malwarebytes (it was one of those that deleted mbam.exe though and I had to get a renamed .exe in order to run Malwarebytes, so I wouldn't be surprised if the trojan is still hanging out somewhere). Through some probably misguided Google searching, I saw suggestions to try reinstalling the wireless drivers. I tried this, and ended up screwing up the wireless somehow so that there was NO wireless capability. I did a system restore to the earliest date I could, before the issues started happening which is from January. I was hoping this would solve the problem, but to no avail.

I should mention that this is my first non-desktop PC, so I'm not altogether familiar with the quirks of laptops/netbooks. I know heat can be an issue for portables, but I try to make sure I always use mine on a nice flat surface for easy ventilation. I did, however, notice on the bottom of the computer, that one of the plastic panels was popped out a little bit, kind of like if someone tried to take it off without taking out the screws first. I don't know how that happened, but I popped it back in.

I've mostly used this computer for surfing the net, but also a bit of word processing (Open Office), movie watching (VLC), and a few simple games through Steam.

TIA for any help, if there's pertinent info I've left out, please let me know and I'll answer as best I can.

Edited by some call me tim, 17 May 2010 - 01:43 PM.


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#2 MrBruce1959

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Posted 17 May 2010 - 02:40 PM

Hi and welcome to Bleepingcomputer.com. :thumbsup:

I have read your description of what you are experiencing and what you have tried.

I want you to use a screw driver and correctly remove the panel you say was bulging out and once it is properly removed, check to see if anything is out of place. Also if you could, please describe to us what is under this panel.

As for Trojans or viruses, yes those pesky little programs do have a habit of destroying the files we need most, they can also hide on us and re-birth themselves at a later date if the code includes a date sensitive code.

It is possible your are still infected, but you won't know unless you run scanners that are updated with the latest anti-virus definitions.

I realize you ran malwarebytes, this is a very good program to use, but it alone is not enough to fight off intrusions.

I believe you said you can no longer gain access to the INTERNET, I am not sure if you mean by wireless or by hard wired via the Ethernet card built in.

You could check this by going to cmd.exe and typing ipconfig /all into the command prompt window to see what your status is with your network adapter.

Your HOSTS file could also be corrupted to block the INTERNET, but is not as likely as other issues.

Post back for starters what your results are for ipconfig /all in the command prompt.

Once we can get your device back on line, we can now get something fresh onto the laptop to start cleaning and repairing it.

Best regards.
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#3 some call me tim

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Posted 17 May 2010 - 03:16 PM

Thanks for the advice, MrBruce. I should have added that when I did the system restore, I was able to get online again (wirelessly). But since everything still locks up after a little bit of time, I haven't messed with the computer much. I should note that the computer ran the system restore flawlessly, which seemed to take longer than the typical freeze-up time, which makes me wonder if it is a hardware issue after all. As far as anti-virus/malware stuff, I have AVG and Malwarebytes, as well as Ad-Aware and Spybot (I haven't used the latter ones as much since using Malwarebytes though).

I'll take a look at that panel tonight when I get home (at work now) and see if anything looks weird.

Edited by some call me tim, 17 May 2010 - 03:19 PM.


#4 MrBruce1959

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Posted 17 May 2010 - 03:23 PM

Okay, I'll watch for your next reply. :thumbsup:
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#5 some call me tim

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Posted 17 May 2010 - 07:14 PM

OK, I came home and pried off the panel on the bottom, and it's the access for the HDD and RAM, and some other thing that I didn't want to mess with. Everything looked as it should, as far as I know.

I fiddled around on the computer for a while until it locked up on me to see if there was any cause. First of all, FF wouldn't open, I didn't spend too much time with that and trying to figure out why, I just opened up Chrome instead. I was browsing on the net for a while, when all of the sudden, the touchpad button didn't work anymore. Still, the pointer worked, and the keyboard was still working. I was able to alt + tab between windows, and alt +f4 to close a window. But then a few seconds later, the keyboard stopped responding as well, and the only thing I was able to do was move the pointer around. So I just did a cold power down like usual.

Edited by some call me tim, 17 May 2010 - 07:15 PM.


#6 MrBruce1959

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Posted 17 May 2010 - 07:32 PM

OK here is the next set of things were are going to try.

No 1. Memory testing. Please down load memtest at this link http://majorgeeks.com/Memtest86_d4226.html

Please create a bootable disk you can use a Floppy disk or a cdrom disk, the cdrom disk has to be created as a bootable disk.
Please once you create this disk make sure if you use a cdrom you choose the cdrom as first bootable drive.
Please follow any instructions for creating a bootable disk and how to use it. This will test your RAM for possible errors.

No 2. Download and run this non-installable program called HWMonitor this will monitor your system temperatures please observe your CPU and GPU temps
HWMonitors web site http://www.cpuid.com/hwmonitor.php

Please post back any results.

Edited by MrBruce1959, 17 May 2010 - 07:33 PM.

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#7 some call me tim

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Posted 31 May 2010 - 11:34 AM

Sorry for the delay in getting back to this, but since it's a netbook, I need to boot from USB. I finally got a thumbdrive to use, but not sure how to make it bootable just yet. The tutorials I see on the web seem to be about booting an OS, not necessarily a separate program. Are there any tutorials I should read, or am I making this more difficult than it needs to be?

#8 MrBruce1959

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Posted 31 May 2010 - 12:32 PM

I have also searched the web for a good tutorial for you to follow.

So far I have found this one at this link, I want to empathize that it appears you need to use a floppy disk first. Does your netbook have a floppy drive?

If not, you can create this type of disk and transfer the files to a USB flash drive on another computer, once the required boot files are transfered to the flash drives root directory, adding the required programs you are trying to run from the flash drive can be added later.

http://www.weethet.nl/english/hardware_bootfromusbstick.php
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