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Computer Still Freezes Randomly


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#1 suedenym

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Posted 15 October 2010 - 09:08 AM

Hello,

I am starting this new post after having explored the possibility of malware in [topic="351567&hl"]Computer Freezes Randomly[/topic]

Further to that, I have cleaned the tower, fans and the inside, reseated all cables. Yet the computer freezes at times like before:

Ever since I replaced the CMOS battery, my computer keeps freezing randomly and I am forced to soft boot it to get back in. Some common features that I notice are:

1) Taskmanager usually shows 100% CPU utilisation (though at times it freezes even at 88%)
2) ALWAYS freezes when I'm using skype (even without video) after about 2-10 minutes of OK usage
3) Freezes quite often on specific webpages which have flash videos or fancy graphics, even though I haven't started the video
4) Upon rebooting, freezes sometimes even when I haven't opened any application
5) Always freezes when I do a deep spyware scan using HouseCall or Spyware Terminator, even when in Safe Mode. A standard quick scan shows no problems. I use Avast Antivirus which ran the deep scan properly and found no problems. Installing Office 2007 also froze the computer during installation.


I have updated my system information in my profile.

Will be very grateful for some urgent help.

Thanks in anticipation. :thumbsup:

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#2 DaChew

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Posted 15 October 2010 - 09:43 AM

Let's look a little deeper at your system

http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/topic323892.html

Also, did you access your bios setup before or after replacing the motherboard battery?
Chewy

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#3 ThunderZ

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Posted 15 October 2010 - 09:51 AM

Looking at you PC specs. my first suggestion would be to increase your RAM.

512 which you are running is a minimum for running XP. Once you have add`d AV, AS, plus other programs which start with Windows 512, IMO, is not enough.

From what I have read, your motherboard will support up to 2Gigs. This would effectively quadruple your current amount. If money does not permit then I would at least look into purchasing a single 1 Gig stick. This would double your RAM and leave room for a future upgrade to 2 Gigs.

We can also go through your start-up list to trim down anything that does not need to run with Windows start-up.

edit; I see Chewy beat me to it. And included an item I forgot. After replacing the CMOS battery did you reset the date\time in BIOS?

Edited by ThunderZ, 15 October 2010 - 09:52 AM.


#4 suedenym

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Posted 15 October 2010 - 10:14 AM

Thanks Folks. That was quick!!!

Here are the posted specs.

http://speccy.piriform.com/results/5mvYkg1M9YvFNuDB6h7BAGO

After changing the CMOS Battery, I reset the date/time from the system tray in Windows. When I tried doing that in the BIOS, I couldn't find a way to edit i.e. it would allow me to select the field but not to change it.

The RAM option is there which I am keeping for later because this PC is to be used for very limited purposes viz. email, microsoft word, general internet surfing, skype with video and Audacity.

I have trimmed down my startup list. How can I post what's on it? Can you see it in the logs I posted in the previous topic [topic="351567&hl"]Computer Freezes Randomly[/topic]

Thanks,

#5 DaChew

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Posted 15 October 2010 - 10:22 AM

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinte...s/bb896653.aspx

After processexplorer loads select file and save as .......

Copy into a reply please
Chewy

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#6 ThunderZ

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Posted 15 October 2010 - 10:30 AM

Video is very resource intensive. I do know what Skype is but never having used it am unsure how resource hungry it may be. If you multi-task at all then 512 is really a minimum.

Before we really go digging into your start-up list lets have a quick look. Press Ctrl + Alt + Delete to bring up Task Manager. Making sure the box Show processes for all users is checked. In the bottom left hand corner of Task Manager, how many processes are shown?

Regarding the time\date in BIOS. There is a way to change it. I`m sorry I can not give you the exact method as it tends to differ from BIOS type and version to another. The manner usually involves using the + or - key.
At the bottom of the screen it should say something like "To change values" then give the key or key combination to strike.

Edited by ThunderZ, 15 October 2010 - 11:36 AM.


#7 DaChew

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Posted 15 October 2010 - 10:31 AM

http://majorgeeks.com/download4181.html

We need to load this program and see if we can capture some other temperature readings like cpu and motherboard?

You can create a quick report under sensor under computer?

Temperatures:
Motherboard 21 C (70 F)
CPU 27 C (81 F)
GPU 40 C (104 F)
GPU Ambient 30 C (86 F)
Seagate ST3250823AS 33 C (91 F)
DW CDW63G0-D00NF0A 32 C (90 F)


Your hard drive is running too hot?

I suspect my room temp is quite a bit cooler here than where you are?

Edited by DaChew, 15 October 2010 - 10:33 AM.

Chewy

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#8 suedenym

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Posted 15 October 2010 - 11:12 AM

1) Here's the Process Explorer log:

Process PID CPU Private Bytes Working Set Description Company Name
System Idle Process 0 96.08 0 K 16 K
Interrupts n/a 0.98 0 K 0 K Hardware Interrupts
DPCs n/a 0 K 0 K Deferred Procedure Calls
System 4 0 K 88 K
smss.exe 428 176 K 64 K Windows NT Session Manager Microsoft Corporation
csrss.exe 652 1,564 K 2,060 K Client Server Runtime Process Microsoft Corporation
winlogon.exe 676 7,872 K 1,284 K Windows NT Logon Application Microsoft Corporation
services.exe 720 0.98 1,840 K 1,880 K Services and Controller app Microsoft Corporation
svchost.exe 888 3,080 K 1,848 K Generic Host Process for Win32 Services Microsoft Corporation
svchost.exe 984 1,868 K 1,880 K Generic Host Process for Win32 Services Microsoft Corporation
svchost.exe 1100 13,876 K 14,688 K Generic Host Process for Win32 Services Microsoft Corporation
svchost.exe 1196 1,724 K 1,904 K Generic Host Process for Win32 Services Microsoft Corporation
svchost.exe 1328 1,628 K 1,696 K Generic Host Process for Win32 Services Microsoft Corporation
AvastSvc.exe 1560 14,120 K 28,632 K avast! Service AVAST Software
spoolsv.exe 300 3,948 K 1,772 K Spooler SubSystem App Microsoft Corporation
svchost.exe 1288 1,404 K 1,284 K Generic Host Process for Win32 Services Microsoft Corporation
jqs.exe 1340 2,364 K 1,396 K Java™ Quick Starter Service Sun Microsystems, Inc.
svchost.exe 1668 2,632 K 2,216 K Generic Host Process for Win32 Services Microsoft Corporation
alg.exe 2452 1,264 K 1,036 K Application Layer Gateway Service Microsoft Corporation
lsass.exe 732 3,848 K 540 K LSA Shell (Export Version) Microsoft Corporation
explorer.exe 1492 0.98 27,384 K 20,740 K Windows Explorer Microsoft Corporation
ctfmon.exe 1568 1,132 K 864 K CTF Loader Microsoft Corporation
AvastUI.exe 1732 5,988 K 6,420 K avast! Antivirus AVAST Software
CDAuto.exe 1752 2,224 K 908 K
soundman.exe 1760 2,132 K 1,656 K Realtek Sound Manager Realtek Semiconductor Corp.
Skype.exe 1768 26,248 K 18,928 K Skype Skype Technologies S.A.
skypePM.exe 608 16,280 K 4,796 K Skype Extras Manager Skype Technologies
firefox.exe 1640 151,612 K 146,724 K Firefox Mozilla Corporation
plugin-container.exe 232 18,084 K 11,556 K Plugin Container for Firefox Mozilla Corporation
explorer.exe 2968 14,260 K 21,824 K Windows Explorer Microsoft Corporation
WINZIP32.EXE 1368 3,088 K 7,584 K WinZip Executable Nico Mak Computing, Inc.
procexp.exe 1748 0.98 8,648 K 13,800 K Sysinternals Process Explorer Sysinternals - www.sysinternals.com


2) Taskmanager shows 29 processes from all users.

3) I did try using the + or [b]-[/] key in BIOS but all it did was move the cursor up/down or sideways. Nevertheless, since I've set the date/time from system tray, should that not be enough?

4) The EVEREST Report shows only the following:

Sensor Properties:
Sensor Type HDD

Temperatures:
CPU 21 C (70 F)
Seagate ST380215A 50 C (122 F)


Are you telling me or asking if the HDD is running hot. I have no idea what temperature is OK. I'm located in Mumbai, India where the temperature is about 34C. Having said that, two days ago there was a sudden cool wave and skype ran happily for over 45 minutes and did not freeze. But also consider that this issue started after I changed the CMOS battery. Around the same time I also updated Windows XP from SP2 to SP3 (not sure if that's related).

I will be online for the next hour. So I'll reply only tomorrow.

Thanks once more.

#9 ThunderZ

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Posted 15 October 2010 - 11:53 AM

The hard drive is running to hot.

Since we are dealing with a clean, un-infected machine and 29 processes is well with in an acceptable amount, IMO, then the heat issue is most likely due to a procedure called swapping. When Windows loads it initially loads into memory. When you start other programs they also try to do the same. When the memory becomes to full then the programs\data in use swaps over to the hard drive. Then back into memory as needed. With to little RAM\memory this causes a lot of hard drive activity which can lead to the overheat condition we seem to be seeing.

This can eventually lead to a hard drive failure and loss of your data.

Regarding the time setting. The BIOS is different and separate from Windows. They are actually contained on a chip on the motherboard not on the hard drive with the Windows installation.

Another possible way to reset the BIOS clock.
After entering the BIOS;
Using your arrow keys, navigate to the date and change the date. Once highlighted on the month, day, or year, press your arrow keys or your page up / page down keys to change the date.

#10 DaChew

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Posted 15 October 2010 - 11:56 AM

Take the side off your case and point a small room fan towards the inside, test to see if the lockups go away.

Does your bios show any voltages or temperatures?

Attached Files


Chewy

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#11 suedenym

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Posted 15 October 2010 - 12:05 PM

OK, before I sign off for the night:

1) If file-swapping is causing the HDD to run hot, will adding a RAM stick resolve the problem?
2) I can't be running the Computer with case open and fan beside, because this problem occurs randomly and it could take a couple of days for it to recur.
3) I will check the BIOS for volt/temp when I reboot tomorrow. Incidentally, the BIOS clock does show the correct date/time after I changed it through windows. Nevertheless will confirm it in the next post.

Cheers

#12 DaChew

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Posted 15 October 2010 - 12:35 PM

Would you post a screenshot of this please or just report these values from task manager?

Here's a power user setup with 512 megs of ram and no issues.

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#13 cryptodan

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Posted 15 October 2010 - 01:05 PM

Can you by any chance take a picture of the insides of your case and where its located in your room?

#14 suedenym

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Posted 15 October 2010 - 09:55 PM

Can't seem to be able to paste the screenshot in this reply but the required details are as follows:
PF Usage: 340 MB
Physical Memory (K): Total 515568; Available 148692; System Cache 140000

Unfortunately, I can't photograph the room and inside tower and post the pictures (various reasons... lack of equipment and transfer to PC capability). It's a small but airy 4 metre X 4 meter room. The tower is in a pigeonhole cabinet open from the back with average ventilation. I'm only visiting here and will be leaving in two weeks.

A few thoughts:

1) Will reloading Windows help? I'm keeping that as a last resort.
2) If and when I upgrade RAM, what specs should I look for? I know that the current one is DDR, but from the prices I have checked out, a 1GB DDR stick is twice the cost of a 1GB DDR2. From my system specs that I have posted earlier can you advise me?

Thanks

#15 DaChew

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Posted 15 October 2010 - 10:20 PM

PF Usage: 340 MB
Physical Memory (K): Total 515568; Available 148692; System Cache 140000


Those figures would not indicate excessive paging, that is as long as you didn't leave too many apps open and multitask.

The tower is in a pigeonhole cabinet


This probably aggrevates the temperature problem

http://www.crucial.com/uk/store/partspecs....DULE=CT6464Z40B

http://www.crucial.com/store/partspecs.asp...DULE=CT6464Z40B
Chewy

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