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Need help with computer freezing.


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#1 jericho21

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Posted 17 January 2012 - 07:22 PM

My computer has been freezing up on me randomly the past two days. I don't know what is causing it because there doesn't seem to be anything in particular that triggers it. The only thing I can do when this happens is manually restart it. I took a picture of my screen the last time it happened so you could see what it does.

Posted Image

I'd like to figure out what's going on since this has happened at least four times today. Normally what happens is I click on a link, computer freezes, picture goes fuzzy, and if any sound is playing it skips the last part of what it played over and over. But there was one time that it happened while I was just moving my cursor across the screen.

Any help is much appreciated. Thanks.

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#2 LucheLibre

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Posted 17 January 2012 - 07:31 PM

Can you think of anything that you or the computer did before this started happening? (Hardware, software, install, uninstall, update, malware, etc.)

Use Speccy to provide details of your computer's configuration.

  • Download, install, and run.
  • After Speccy has finished gathering information, click File > Publish Snapshot.
  • In the Publish Snapshot dialog box, click Yes to enable Speccy to proceed.
  • A web address will be displayed. Click Copy to Clipboard and paste it in your next post.
=========================================

Edited by LucheLibre, 17 January 2012 - 07:32 PM.

If it looks like I know what I'm doing, there's a pretty good chance the only reason for that is because
I once asked someone to run chkdsk /r and a BC Advisor smacked me in the back of the head.

~ LL ~


#3 jericho21

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Posted 17 January 2012 - 07:47 PM

Definitely no hardware and no software comes to mind. However, I did notice that when I restart my computer something that claims to be from Microsoft called Malicious Software Remover(or something of the sort) asks to run. I know I didn't download this so I assume it's some sort of virus.

Also, a few weeks before this started my breaker frequently started getting kicked off, shutting off the computer. I'm not sure if this would affect it in any way.

Here's the link: Speccy

I just noticed that I posted this in Windows 7. It's actually Windows Vista, sorry.

Edited by jericho21, 17 January 2012 - 07:47 PM.


#4 LucheLibre

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Posted 17 January 2012 - 08:05 PM

Your graphics card is dangerously overheating. If you have onboard graphics, switch to it immediately.

Check your graphic card's fan and heatsink. Make sure they are operating and not clogged. If you have to keep using it, keep the side panel off of the computer and let the card breathe. Put a fan on the desk and point it at the card.

If you are comfortable working on computer parts, you can disassemble the heatsink and fan from the card and make sure that there is a proper layer of thermal paste between the heatsink and the GPU.

Despite this, however, its possible that your GPU has broken down and generates abnormal amounts of heat. You may need to replace it.

Edit: Given what you said about the breakers, I would be suspicious of the PSU. Breakers kicking a lot means you've got too much on the circuit. Voltage drops and, because of that, electrical things try to pull more power to compensate. That means heat and computers are sensitive to it. The PSU takes the first hit of any power fluctuations and can only absorb so much. If it is putting out faulty power, it can shorten the lifespan of the parts it is connected to.

Edited by LucheLibre, 17 January 2012 - 08:20 PM.

If it looks like I know what I'm doing, there's a pretty good chance the only reason for that is because
I once asked someone to run chkdsk /r and a BC Advisor smacked me in the back of the head.

~ LL ~


#5 jericho21

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Posted 17 January 2012 - 08:33 PM

I'm not home anymore but luckily I shut my computer off before leaving. Could you give me a brief explanation on how to check my graphics card?

I'm also going to unplug a number of things to solve the breaker issue.

Thanks, I really appreciate the help.

#6 LucheLibre

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Posted 17 January 2012 - 08:38 PM

What is the manufacturer and model of your computer? Hopefully it will have a service manual online and I can give you specific instructions.

If it looks like I know what I'm doing, there's a pretty good chance the only reason for that is because
I once asked someone to run chkdsk /r and a BC Advisor smacked me in the back of the head.

~ LL ~


#7 jericho21

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Posted 17 January 2012 - 10:47 PM

Somebody ripped half of the sticker off but there's another that says "HP Windows Vista Home Premium CEMAct and the product number. Does that help?


Edit: I've located my heatsink. Turns out it's the part that has been making strange sounds lately(I cleaned it out and it stopped making them). Where on it should I look for the thermal paste?

The fan on the heatsink is running fine. I unscrewed it and I've never seen thermal paste before but it appears that there's nothing on it.

Another thing, this computer is almost a decade old and I'm positive the thermal paste has never been re-applied. I'm not sure what the lifespan is on thermal paste but I hope this helps.

Edited by jericho21, 17 January 2012 - 11:14 PM.


#8 LucheLibre

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Posted 17 January 2012 - 11:49 PM

Thermal paste sits between the heatsink and the GPU in a very thin layer.

If you wish to have a go at it, cleaning and reapplying thermal paste is a great first step into the nitty-gritty of computer hackery.

Go to newegg and do a search for thermal paste. Arctic Silver is the standard, IMO.



The fellow in that video does a good job keeping things simple. Obviously, your heatsink will be built differently, but the rest of the video applies to you. Just take your time and be careful.

Update: I've reread my post and I have to grin a little lop-sidedly. I've let my inner geek get the better of me and didn't think that you may, in fact, NOT want to fiddle away at your computer parts. If that is the case, I apologize for the oversight.

If you wish (and if the heatsink really didn't have any paste on it to begin with), just clean the fan and heatsink well, reattach everything snugly (do not overtighten!), and plug the card back in. Post another Speccy log after you've used the computer for a little bit.

Edited by LucheLibre, 18 January 2012 - 12:17 AM.

If it looks like I know what I'm doing, there's a pretty good chance the only reason for that is because
I once asked someone to run chkdsk /r and a BC Advisor smacked me in the back of the head.

~ LL ~


#9 jericho21

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Posted 18 January 2012 - 12:03 AM

Alright, great. Thanks.

One last question: What do you think would most likely be the fix? I'd rather go for a new computer than to start buying hundreds of dollars in parts trying to fix the problem.

Again, I appreciate the help.

#10 LucheLibre

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Posted 18 January 2012 - 12:48 AM

There really is no good way to answer that. I have to be methodical in my testing suggestions, or else I'd be to BC more of a liability than an asset.

You say you've got video problems. Speccy says your video card is way too hot. So I must start there and eliminate that problem first and then retest.

The good news is that the potential elimination of this particular problem only costs a little compressed air, paste, and muscle.

Edited by LucheLibre, 18 January 2012 - 12:53 AM.

If it looks like I know what I'm doing, there's a pretty good chance the only reason for that is because
I once asked someone to run chkdsk /r and a BC Advisor smacked me in the back of the head.

~ LL ~


#11 jericho21

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Posted 18 January 2012 - 09:53 AM

Okay, I understand. I'll try the paste since I already have some compressed air and it's so cheap.

After I do this, will rerunning speccy say whether it worked or not?

Edit: Great news, I think I found the problem. Turns out I was wrong about multiple things.

The fan on my video card is the one that has been making strange noises as of late. It tries to start up but then stops. I think it might be clogged with dust so I'm going to try to clean it up and see if that works.


Alright, I removed the video card and cleaned the fan. However, the fan sticks really bad. Is there anything I can put on it to make it spin smoother? It also looks as if there's two small cracks near the center of the fan.

Edited by jericho21, 18 January 2012 - 11:11 AM.





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