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Computer constantly freezing (XP)


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#1 Smiling Hobo

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Posted 22 September 2010 - 10:40 AM

My dad has a computer with Windows XP on it which he runs his business off of and it is constantly freezing on him, let me get into more detail..

You will still be able to move the mouse around and you can maximize programs but once you do that you cant do anything more with them, and everything just eventually stops responding. The problem started out where the computer would freeze after being inactive for about 10 minutes, as long as he was at the computer doing something it would work fine but if he left it alone it would freeze.

Well we tried some things first to try and fix it, ran AVG but of course the computer froze during the scan. I tried to do a simple system restore, problem is the computer freezes during and it does not have time to finish it. So i went on to run a checkdisk (chkdsk /r) and had it run on startup, problem is the computer froze during the checkdisk aswell. After another day it starts freezing even when he is using it, first after about 10 minutes and now its down to 5 minutes tops. So since he has his older HDD in the computer still that he uses as extra disc space now I went ahead and booted off of that, its really bogged down like it was before he got his new computer but atleast it works. That one has a recovery console built into it so i booted off of that and ran chkdsk /r on his C drive (which ofcourse is the one we are trying to get fixed). Some problems found and repaired, great! Booted off of the drive it still freezes.

So lastly we ran some virus scans with his StopZilla from his backup drive on the C: drive, it found critical files (I was not there when he scanned it so i dont know exactly what it found, he said it was 1 below the most critical rating) which it said it got rid of. Of course when booting off of the drive it still freezes.

So now i am running out of ideas on what to do here. If anyone could help us out with this it would be much appreciated. He is going to continue working off of the backup until we can get it fixed, hopefully we don't have to resort to a format of the drive because it would take him a while to get all his stuff set back up for running his business on a newley formatted drive.

Thanks in advance.

Edited by Smiling Hobo, 22 September 2010 - 10:41 AM.


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#2 cryptodan

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Posted 22 September 2010 - 10:42 AM

When was the last time the computer was cleaned out with a can of air?

#3 Smiling Hobo

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Posted 22 September 2010 - 11:29 AM

Well we just got the computer about 3 months ago so we haven't done that at all. Its a custom built case with 4 fans and you can adjust the power of them each seperately. I did take a look inside of it though and i don't believe there was much dust inside. What dust there was i would have blown out though, just not with an air can since i don't have one handy.

Edited by Smiling Hobo, 22 September 2010 - 11:29 AM.


#4 cryptodan

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Posted 22 September 2010 - 11:36 AM

Did you build the machine yourself or did someone else build it? What you are describing sounds like overheating.

#5 Smiling Hobo

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Posted 22 September 2010 - 11:40 AM

We bought it off of craigslist so someone else built the machine, It was working fine for awhile and this problem just started up recently. If it is overheating though I would think the backup HDD would have the same problem wouldn't it? Especially since it is way bogged down compared to his main which is nearly at like-new speed.

#6 cryptodan

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Posted 22 September 2010 - 11:45 AM

Perform the following:

How to Test your RAM



Guide Overview

The purpose of this guide is to teach you how to check whether your system's RAM (Ramdom Access Memory) is working properly. Bad RAM can lead to a whole host of problems, often which do not appear to have a single cause -- appearing as systemwide glitches, blue screens, and other system trouble. MemTest86+ provides a very good detection mechanism for failed RAM, and is about as good a test you get short of actually replacing the module itself.

Tools Needed
Please perform these steps from a separate, working, machine.Perform these steps on the problem machine.
  • Put your CD in the drive and configure your machine to boot to the CD. This is different on all machines, but it's usually by pressing F12 or F10 as your system boots, and selecting either "CDROM" or your cdrom drive. If you are unable to force a CDRom boot, reply with the make and model of your machine and I should be able to get you exact instructions.
  • If you've done it correctly, MemTest86+ will start to run automaticly, as shown below:
    Posted Image
  • If you want to be reasonably your RAM is OK, then allow MemTest to run until you see this message:
    Posted Image

    On the other hand, if you want to be completely sure your RAM is OK, allow MemTest to run overnight. Memtest will run forever until power is pulled on the machine.
  • Check the MemTest screen for any reported errors. Errors will appear as RED warnings at the bottom of the screen, similar to the following screenshot:
    Posted Image
  • Hard-Reset the machine, removing the MemTest disk in the process.
If you didn't get an error screen, Congratulations! :thumbsup:


If you can also do the following:

It may be your video card then. Maybe overheating, since your computer tends to shut down.
When was the last time, you cleaned inside the case?

Download, and install SpeedFan: http://www.almico.com/sfdownload.php
Post your computer temperatures:

Posted Image

Provide processor info (hold Windows logo key, and hit Pause/Break key to find out).

#7 Smiling Hobo

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Posted 22 September 2010 - 01:44 PM

I do not believe that it is the video card since I switched it out with another one which did not make any difference. But I am running the MemTest now so ill give you an update on what it finds if it gets anything. And if it does not find anything ill go with SpeedFan next.

#8 Smiling Hobo

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Posted 22 September 2010 - 02:37 PM

Allright I ran the MemTest which found no errors. So i booted from the problem HDD, ran the SpeedFan, and watched till it froze. Heres what i got...

GPU 43C
Temp1 37C
Temp2 40C
Temp3 25C
HD0 44C
Temp1 40C
Core 25C
Core 43C
Ambient 0C

Heres what it was at by the time the computer froze...

GPU 43C
Temp1 42C
Temp2 40C
Temp3 25C
HD0 44C
Temp1 40C
Core 27C
Core 43C
Ambient 0C

So only 2 numbers changed, but i noticed something while i was watching it. Right before it froze the 1st bar on CPU usage spiked way up and dropped back down. and the 2nd bar on CPU usage went to the halfway point and got stuck as it froze. So I am guessing this definitely has something to do with the freezing.

#9 cryptodan

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Posted 22 September 2010 - 03:03 PM

What kind of hard drive do you have installed?

#10 Smiling Hobo

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Posted 22 September 2010 - 03:34 PM

It's a Western Digital WD1600AAJS

#11 cryptodan

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Posted 22 September 2010 - 03:35 PM

Data Life Guard Tools for your Drive

#12 Smiling Hobo

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Posted 22 September 2010 - 03:43 PM

Allright I assuming that I should run the extended test from this, correct?

EDIT: I ran the quick test and after 5 seconds it found errors on the Hard Drive and suggested the Extended test, he has already backed up what he needed earlier so i went ahead and started the extended test.

Edited by Smiling Hobo, 22 September 2010 - 03:48 PM.


#13 cryptodan

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Posted 22 September 2010 - 03:50 PM

Id get ready to replace that drive.

#14 Smiling Hobo

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Posted 22 September 2010 - 03:59 PM

Uhoh, We got a message saying "Too many errors found, please contact customer support". That is definitely NOT good.

#15 cryptodan

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Posted 22 September 2010 - 04:17 PM

Time to replace it:

Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 ST31500341AS 1.5TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive 84.99




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