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Hardlocking Computer... Please Help!!!


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#1 moselyt

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Posted 02 December 2012 - 04:46 PM

I have had issues with this computer freezing since I got it a few years back. Recently the computer has been hardlocking very frequently requiring me to unplug it to get it to work again. It used to freeze occasionally but this frequent hardlocking is happening very often. The first time it hardlocked was about 3 weeks ago and seems to be hapening more often every day. It seems to happen when I am not doing anything (never happened while playing a game or anything like that) and sometimes it happens just while I am reading something. It never seems to happen while I am actively doing something but is extremely frustrating when trying to do some homework where frequent breaks are inevitable. Any help would be highly appreciated.

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#2 dc3

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 02:57 PM

It would help if you were to post the make and model of this computer, and the operating system you are running.

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#3 moselyt

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 03:32 PM

It is a Dell XPS 630i running windows 7 64-bit. I have tried to run Speccy but it keeps crashing. Thanks for the help.

#4 dc3

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 03:41 PM

Do you have Service Pack 1 installed?

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#5 moselyt

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 03:56 PM

Ya sorry I am running Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit SP1.

#6 dc3

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 04:01 PM

Are you getting any errors when it freezes?

Have you looked in the Event Viewer to see if there are any critical events or errors?

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#7 moselyt

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 04:45 PM

The only error I get after freezing is upon booting back up (however it also happens when I restart or turn off the computer). Upon rebooting I recieve this error message:
Setting has failed to POST.
System is using default settings for this POST attempt.
Press F1 to continue, F2 to enter SETUP to adjust OC/OV settings.

Pressing F1 boots the computer normally, I have not tried F2. I have not looked in the Event Viewer after freezing but will be sure to do so next freeze.

#8 dc3

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 06:35 PM

The POST (Power On Self Test) looks at the peripheral devices, if one of these is not working properly the POST will fail.

With a POST failure I would usually ask if you have changed anything in your computer, added hardware or software, but since this has been going on for a couple of years that's a little late.

There are tests which can determine the health of some hardware, such as RAM, hdd, PSU. Unfortunately when it comes to the motherboard and the CPU the only means of testing these is to change them out.

This link will take you to a website which has steps for troubleshooting the POST. Try going through the suggestions except removing and removing and reinstalling the CPU. Their instructions are aimed at those that would know that if it is removed the thermal compound between the heat sink and the CPU will need to be cleaned off and reapplied.

They do address ESDs (Electrostatic Discharges), these can damage or kill some board components. Before touching anything inside the computer you should discharge yourself by touching the metal of the case.

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#9 Nanobyte

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 07:23 PM

I would look inside the case to see if there is a build-up of dust on the CPU heatsink. Increasing frequency of lockups is often due to this (it's getting more and more blocked). High CPU temperature is one of the few things that may require the power to be recycled to reset the system. Power supply going off-spec may also cause the same.

#10 dc3

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 08:03 PM

I would look inside the case to see if there is a build-up of dust on the CPU heatsink. Increasing frequency of lockups is often due to this (it's getting more and more blocked). High CPU temperature is one of the few things that may require the power to be recycled to reset the system. Power supply going off-spec may also cause the same.


Dust causing a overheating issue could be a contributing factor, but this problem has been going on since they got this computer. Let's see if we can get a clearer picture with some voltage and temperature readings.

Please download and open SIW, scroll down to the Hardware section ins the menu in the left pane, scroll down from there to Sensors and click on it. When this page opens you will see a screen similar to the one below. Please post the voltages and temperatures seen there.

Posted Image





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#11 Nanobyte

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 08:18 PM

Dust causing a overheating issue could be a contributing factor, but this problem has been going on since they got this computer.....


Agreed, but it only takes a few seconds to get the side off your computer (except my last computer where considerable swearing was involved). Stick a computer on a carpet (or in a mud room as I have witnessed) and the heat sink can bung up within a month of new.

#12 moselyt

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 11:13 PM

The link to the website for the POST troubleshooting seems to just go back to this page. However I ran SIW and have attached an image of the results. SIW never seemed to stop "working" so I just took a screenshot.Attached File  SIW.PNG   37.45KB   7 downloads I will try to check the inside for dust as soon as possible.

#13 Nanobyte

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 02:19 AM

Is the 6000rpm speed correct? That must be a-buzzin' if it's true!

The 3.3V is low (minimum allowable 3.1, actual 2.99) and the -5V is low (minimum allowable -4.5V, actual 4.35). That does not necessarily mean that they are the cause but the PS is way off the ATX spec.

#14 moselyt

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 08:23 AM

I can hear the fan but it is not that loud. The fan really revs up when I turn on the computer but is fairly quiet when it is on and when those stats were taken. I forgot to mention that SIW gave me an error message twice saying that the "SIW dirver is not loaded (20 seconds)! Continue to wait?" Also gives that message at 40 seconds and then works. What can I do about the low voltage?

#15 dc3

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 09:09 AM

This must be an older computer, form factor ATX doesn't even require the -5V rail any more since it is no longer needed. PCI has replace the older AT bus which is pretty much all the -5V rail was used for.

The 3.3V rail is a different matter, it powers some motherboard chipsets, RAM modules, graphics card onboard control circuitry, and some PCI cards.


Unfortunately there isn't anything you can do about your PSU except to replace it.


The reason that the fan is loud when it first starts is because the drivers for fan speed don't load until after the POST, so there is a brief period where it will run fast.

If SIW is being buggy I would suggest uninstalling it and reinstall it, if you wish to use it.







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