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PC stops responding after being on for 2-15 minutes.


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#1 Aljaud

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Posted 25 July 2010 - 01:46 AM

A few months ago, (4-6?) my dad's work PC started to freeze after being turned on for a few minutes. It wasn't like a program stopped responding, or Windows stopped responding, and it didn't happen instantly. After a few minutes, everything would gradually stop processing; if files were being transferred, it would just stop transferring the files, and it would look like it was stuck on a file. Then after a bit, that window would stop responding, with the hourglass icon. The mouse would still be responsive, and other graphical elements would work, such as the "hidden icons" button on the bottom right of the taskbar, it would get the border if you placed the mouse over the icon, but it would get stuck, and soon the mouse would stop responding. Within about 20-45 seconds of the first window that stopped responding, everything else will have gradually stopped. It's like the computer is working, but nothing is being processed anymore, such as keystrokes/input, or data transfer.

I don't know what fixed it, but it went away after about a week.

Starting today, the exact same thing is happening. I would start windows, log in, open firefox, and by the time it was open, or opening, the PC would freeze. When I restarted, it would stay stuck at the Motherboard logo screen for minutes, or indefinitely. I would have to restart it a few times and get lucky for it to move on, or leave the PC unplugged for a minute or so, etc. But it would soon happen again once I got into Windows.

I burnt the Western Digital Diagnostics iso to a disk from a different PC, and tried to test the hard drive, but it would either time out half way through the 5 minute test, or give an error saying that there isn't an HD installed. I went to Best Buy for an SATA cable to test the cable before I resulted to getting another HD (I figured it was the HD that was going out, after some google research). They had no SATA cables for sale, so I ended up just getting a new HD. I plugged that in, and was able to completely install Windows XP and get that running for about 20-30 minutes when it happened again. I plugged in the original hard drive after Windows was installed to see if I could access it, which I could, so I figured I could copy what I needed from it before it went out. I thought it was fixed since it hadn't froze for all the time it took to install Windows, but about 20 minutes after I had copied what I needed from the original hard drive, it froze again. This was very upsetting, as I thought I fixed it =(, and now I'm stumped!

Here are my specs:
OS: Windows XP Pro - SP2
CPU: AMD Athlon 3800+ X2 (Socket AM2?)
RAM: Corsair DDR2-800 RAM (not sure model)
Orig. HD: Western Digital 640gb Caviar Blue SATA HD
New HD: Seagate 1tb Barracuda SATA HD
Mobo: KN3-SLI2 Extreme

Steps Taken:
-Ran WD Diagnostic on original hard drive (multiple times, all timed out or couldn't read HD)
-Installed new SATA drive, with new SATA cable and new power cable.
-Installed Windows XP Pro - SP2 (without internet connectivity)

If at all possible, I need to have this PC running by Monday for my dad to be able to work, so hopefully it's not major hardware going out. Thanks in advance, and thanks for taking the time to read!

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#2 Aljaud

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Posted 25 July 2010 - 01:49 AM

Update: I'm about to run Memtest+ as we speak, will post results.

Update2: Memtest running without error so far. I also noticed the fan on the chipset is not spinning; if I'm not mistaken, the chipset handles the SATA ports?

Theres 5 Orange ports and 2 red ports for SATA on the board, and I think the red ones are controlled by a JMicron chip, while the orange ones are controlled by chipset. I'll try plugging the Hard Drives into the red ports for now, and get a fan going on the chipset.

Update3: I'll have to order a new fan for the chipset, but for now I'm gonna leave the PC off to cool off a bit; the chipset is burning hot to the touch. I can't get to anywhere where it shows chipset temps right now though, but I'm pretty sure it shouldn't burn me to touch it, almost instantly after touching it.

Edited by Aljaud, 25 July 2010 - 02:44 AM.


#3 hamluis

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Posted 25 July 2010 - 11:29 AM

Anytime a fan which is installed...is not running properly...there is an obvious chance that heat problems can either make the system malperform or damage components...or both.

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#4 MrBruce1959

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Posted 25 July 2010 - 11:46 AM

Hello and welcome to Bleepingcomputer.

I want to warn you that you are going to permanently fry this motherboard beyond reasonable repair if you continue operating it with a failed cooling fan!

Before you attempt to power up this motherboard again, you should find a replacement fan or have the fan replaced by a reasonable priced repair shop immediately!

The cooling fan is there to remove heat from the North Bridge chip, failure to replace this much needed piece of hardware, will cause the chip to burn open and permanently fail, requiring chip replacement by a technician or total motherboard replacement.

Chances are the fans coil or barrings have failed or seized up.

Making changes to firmware or BIOS settings will not correct this problem.

Bruce.
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#5 Aljaud

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Posted 25 July 2010 - 12:09 PM

I've left it off, because that is exactly what I don't want.

It could be the bearing, since I did get the fan to spin slowly, but when I spun the fan with my finger when it was off, it just stopped immediately, instead of spinning freely at all.

Too bad it's sunday, Pc shops closed =(.

Edited by Aljaud, 25 July 2010 - 12:11 PM.


#6 MrBruce1959

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Posted 25 July 2010 - 01:04 PM

It is truly worth the wait, believe me!

Please DO NOT be tempted to start the system up again until that fan has been replaced, NOT EVEN for any length of time!

Bruce.
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#7 Aljaud

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Posted 25 July 2010 - 04:35 PM

Tried Radioshack, and Best Buy, assuming they probably wouldn't have the chipset fan, and I was right :/.

I'll have to wait til tomorrow and go to the PC parts shop. I'll post back after I've installed the new fan.

#8 Aljaud

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Posted 25 July 2010 - 07:28 PM

So, I found a fan that fit the chipset on an old motherboard, so I installed the new fan and tried to boot into windows.

When I was booting, it said said it needed to chkdsk, so I let that run, and it gave some error in the second step. I rebooted and tried to skip it, but it wouldn't do anything when I pressed a key (the keyboard works for BIOS/etc before windows boots). I finally got it to start booting Windows, then it gave an instant BSOD while loading windows (during Windows splash loading screen).

=(. Could it be the chipset? I'd like to avoid big purchases (Mobo/CPU) until I know for sure that's what it is, so if anyone can offer any help it would be much appreciated!

#9 DaChew

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Posted 25 July 2010 - 07:58 PM

Well a fan on a southbridge?

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Chewy

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#10 Aljaud

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Posted 25 July 2010 - 08:52 PM

It's the round one, I get north/southbridge confused.

Update:
I reset the BIOS to default and it booted into Windows without BSOD, let's see if the chipset overheating was the problem!

The chipset isn't even that warm to the touch with the fan on it, compared to it burning me when I found the fan wasn't working.

Edited by Aljaud, 25 July 2010 - 09:20 PM.


#11 MrBruce1959

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Posted 25 July 2010 - 10:02 PM

I believe he was correcting me, I said North Bridge.

In the photo Chewy posted the fan appears to be on your South Bridge chip and only a heat sink is on your north bridge chip.

My bad..... I did not check out the motherboard's stats, I only wanted to post a warning to you before you caused any permanent damage to your motherboard.

Bruce.
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#12 Aljaud

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Posted 25 July 2010 - 10:04 PM

Ah, I see haha. Well anyways, thanks for your help! I'll see how it runs with the fan on there.

#13 MrBruce1959

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Posted 25 July 2010 - 10:08 PM

By the way...good luck, hope all works out well with the cooling fan keeping the computer from any futher damage.

Bruce.
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