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freezes randomly


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#1 sartk1

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Posted 27 August 2010 - 06:01 PM

Hi all, first time using a forum. I'll try to get all the pertinent info in.

My pc is freezing randomly, usually within 20 minutes of startup. It freezes randomly in the BIOS, during startup, in Windows and in safemode. No recent software or hardware additions (auto-update disabled). When it freezes, even the task manager freezes. Waiting does not unfreeze. Sometimes runs ok for 30 seconds, sometimes for 30 minutes.

Older history (might be relevant):

Last year, the first IDE slot quit for my DVD burner (HP dvd740 lightscribe, DVD Writable/CD-RW Drive Model GCA-4166B, V/M: HLGCA-4166B, P/N: 5188-2472), so I replaced the burner (New Burner: LG Super Multi Drive Model: GSA-4081B, ROM VER.: A100) and moved the old burner to the second IDE slot as a slave. The original drive works in the second IDE slot. First IDE slot drive does not work for playback, but has power and is recognized in BIOS boot sequence.

Recent, relevant History:

Original hard drive tests OK using Seatools longtest: 200GB Seagate Barracuda 7200.8, Model number ST3200826AS, P/N 9Y7389-020, Firmware 3.03, Date Code 06136, Site code TK, SATA HD.(took a few tries before test completed without freezing)

Because I thought it was the hard drive initially, I bought a replacement 500GB Seagate Barracude 7200.12, Model Number ST3500418AS, P/N 9SL142-302, Firmware CC38, Date code 10402 Site Code SU, HD which beeps when connected, and is not recognized by windows or in BIOS. Tried in other SATA slot. Tried as second drive with original. Same results. Might be a dud. "Hard drive not found, unable to continue." Going to test the new HD in a friend's pc before returning it.

Was running pair of Infineon 512MB,DDR,400,CL3 RAM HYS64D64300HU-5-B B3853616 PC3200U-30330-A0 in first pair sockets and a pair of Infineon 256MB,DDR,133MHz,CL2 HYS64D32000GU-7-A 32MX64 SDRAM a3E23603 PC2100U-20330-B1 in second pair of sockets. I tried running only the 512MB pair of sticks, in first pair of sockets, then in second pair of sockets, then repeated both socket pairs with pair of 256MB sticks. Freezes in all RAM configurations.

It's a desktop, Compaq Presario SR1614X, upgraded processor to AMD Athalon 64 Bit X2 Dual Core 3800+, 1.99GHz about 3 years ago, running winXP home Version 2002 SP3. Don't know what else to list.

I am suspecting it's time for a new motherboard? Any suggestions of what/how to test to pinpoint the problem?

Thanks, everyone!

Update: Checked Motherboard for leaking damaged capacitors as suggested in another topic. Does anyone know if resetting Bios to sytem defaults will affect the additional DVD burner, RAM or Hard drive added aftermarket?

Thanks again!

Edited by sartk1, 27 August 2010 - 06:32 PM.


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#2 dc3

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Posted 27 August 2010 - 07:22 PM

The drivers for the optical drive should be native to the operating system. You can uninstall them in the Device Manager, and once the computer is restarted the Installation Wizard will assign the proper drivers.

Have you opened the case to see if there is a build up of dust inside? Overheating can cause this type of problem, especially with older computers.

Did you install the SATA drivers for that Hdd?

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#3 MrBruce1959

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Posted 27 August 2010 - 07:23 PM

There are a number of reasons why your computer would be freezing like this.

I will try to offer a few suggestions.

I did not see any mention of maintenance being performed on the processor.

This includes checking for dust, have you tried removing the heat sink, cleaning off the old thermal paste and adding new thermal paste.

There is a possibility the PSU has developed some issues, depends on how old the PSU is.

As far as setting defaults in the BIOS setup utilitiy might solve some issues, it's been known to work in a few cases.

Hope this helps.

Bruce.
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#4 sartk1

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Posted 27 August 2010 - 07:33 PM

Thanks for the response dc3!

I'll try the uninstall and reboot for optical drivers once freezing is taken care of. thank you!

Neither dust nor overheating seem to be a problem. BIOS temp guage show normal.

Ignorance is not always bliss: Did you say there was something to install? the HDD didn't come with a disk. I understood it was plug and play. I was trying to use my recovery disks to get started putting the old OS on the new HDD. this is when I get the Hard Drive not found message.

#5 sartk1

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Posted 27 August 2010 - 08:57 PM

There are a number of reasons why your computer would be freezing like this.

I will try to offer a few suggestions.

I did not see any mention of maintenance being performed on the processor.

This includes checking for dust, have you tried removing the heat sink, cleaning off the old thermal paste and adding new thermal paste.

There is a possibility the PSU has developed some issues, depends on how old the PSU is.

As far as setting defaults in the BIOS setup utilitiy might solve some issues, it's been known to work in a few cases.

Hope this helps.

Bruce.



Thank you Bruce for taking the time to answer!

I will try new paste on processor, though overheating doesn't seem to be a problem. The heat sink is kept dust free. The CPU runs about 35C/95F consistently. I am currently leaving it on the temperature screen in the BIOS to see what the temp is at the next time it freezes.

What is a "PSU" and what kinds of issues should I be looking for?

I pulled all of the drives (optical and HDD) and re-connected. It ran for almost an hour before freezing again. Next step is to try resetting to the BIOS defaults.

Aaron

#6 MrBruce1959

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Posted 28 August 2010 - 01:06 AM

The PSU is the most lethal device in a home computer that can cause the person working on it some serious electric shock issues!

I do not advise anyone to play around inside the power supply unless they have a clear understanding that there is dangerous amounts of electricity stored inside the PSU long after it has been powered off.

There are high voltage capacitors built into the PSU that filter out the AC sine-wave ripple (noise) so the DC is clean and free of the noise, also known as AC hum or buzz.
These capacitors store current like a battery, they are charged and discharged over and over gain, but they still hold one hell of a volt if touched and they discharge into you!

If you can use common sense, you can open the PSU to inspect the condition of the electrolytic capacitors for leakage and bulging, these caps dry up the quickest because they are subject to a lot of heat from the bridge rectifiers. A PSU is very difficult to diagnose for an armature and should not be attempted.

So seriously it is difficult for me to give you further details on how to trouble shoot this piece of hardware.

A VOM meter would have to be used as well to take readings on the various stages of the rectifier circuit and its associated voltage regulators and filters.

The easiest remedy for you is to upgrade to a newer PSU and retire this one to an older computer you keep around as a spare.

Now if it was me, I would make the repairs needed on the PSU, because I have experience with units such as power supplies, but suggesting someone do it that does not have knowledge of the circuits is not advisable.

That's the best advice I can offer you.

Bruce.
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#7 dc3

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Posted 29 August 2010 - 12:42 AM

I don't believe that your problem is in the BIOS.

Just curious, how are you monitoring the temperatures in the BIOS while your computer is running the operating system?

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#8 sartk1

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Posted 30 August 2010 - 07:09 PM

The PSU is the most lethal device in a home computer that can cause the person working on it some serious electric shock issues!

I do not advise anyone to play around inside the power supply unless they have a clear understanding that there is dangerous amounts of electricity stored inside the PSU long after it has been powered off.

There are high voltage capacitors built into the PSU that filter out the AC sine-wave ripple (noise) so the DC is clean and free of the noise, also known as AC hum or buzz.
These capacitors store current like a battery, they are charged and discharged over and over gain, but they still hold one hell of a volt if touched and they discharge into you!

If you can use common sense, you can open the PSU to inspect the condition of the electrolytic capacitors for leakage and bulging, these caps dry up the quickest because they are subject to a lot of heat from the bridge rectifiers. A PSU is very difficult to diagnose for an armature and should not be attempted.

So seriously it is difficult for me to give you further details on how to trouble shoot this piece of hardware.

A VOM meter would have to be used as well to take readings on the various stages of the rectifier circuit and its associated voltage regulators and filters.

The easiest remedy for you is to upgrade to a newer PSU and retire this one to an older computer you keep around as a spare.

Now if it was me, I would make the repairs needed on the PSU, because I have experience with units such as power supplies, but suggesting someone do it that does not have knowledge of the circuits is not advisable.

That's the best advice I can offer you.

Bruce.



Wow man, you really are a wealth of knowledge. Thank you again for your help! I took a chance and opened the PSU. Wow! It was extremely dusty! I was blowing it out through the case, but I guess that's not enough. Maybe the PSU was overheating? I am running again to see if it freezes up. Fingers are crossed. I'll try a replacement PSU before I give up on the mother board. While I was in there, I did a visual, with only odd thing being one "slightly" swollen capacitor. otherwise no clues beneath the dust.

Sorry I am a little slow in the trouble shooting and the responses. 3 little kids climbing all over while my wife's at work and now I am back to work from vacation. Car trouble... blah blah blah...No wonder I never get anything done :thumbsup:

Edited by sartk1, 30 August 2010 - 07:28 PM.


#9 sartk1

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Posted 30 August 2010 - 07:22 PM

I don't believe that your problem is in the BIOS.

Just curious, how are you monitoring the temperatures in the BIOS while your computer is running the operating system?


No I don't think it's BIOS either. I think I'm down to PSU and/or motherboard as supects.

I left it in the BIOS overnight on the screen showing temperature, so when it froze the temp would stay onscreen from when it froze. That night, it didn't freeze. I've also been checking the BIOS immediately after it freezes for cpu temperature.

Now I am running "cpu thermometer 1.0" (nice little program). My cpu is usually steady at 40C while in the OS.

Thanks again for your help previously! I'll do a search, but my HDD didnt come with anything for drivers. does it usually come with a CD? I'll start a new thread after this for the HDD and DVD problems. Right now, focussing on freezing issue.

Aaron

Edited by sartk1, 30 August 2010 - 07:26 PM.


#10 dc3

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Posted 31 August 2010 - 10:26 AM

That swollen capacitor could be a problem. If you have some soldering skills you might want to replace it.

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