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Newly Restored Laptop Freezes Within Minutes


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#1 blackberet

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Posted 02 July 2006 - 10:36 PM

First off, here are the specs to the system I'm using:

Model: Gateway 7322 GZ Laptop
Intel Pentium 4 w/HT 2.8 GHz
512 MB RAM
Running Windows XP Home Edition with SP2

I've owned this computer for a bit over a year, and recently my CD/DVD player stopped recognizing any discs, so I thought for the heck of it I might try restoring the hard drive from the partition that had been installed when I purchased the computer. Aside from the optical drive acting up, everything else was running pretty much perfectly.

In the middle of the restore process, however, when Windows XP was being reinstalled, the process froze. After waiting a good while, I restarted the computer and tried to restart the restore process. The same thing happened...freezing in the exact same place. I ended up having to take it to the IT department at my university, where they ultimately ended up having to take out my hard drive and reinstall everything from a separate hard drive, at which point it booted up just fine.

They hadn't noticed until I came to pick the computer up, however, that the CPU would freeze unexpectedly after a few minutes. I told them I would just try to mess with it myself a bit and return it later if I was unsuccessful (I didn't want to spend any more money of course!). This was several weeks ago, and I still haven't the slightest idea what's going on with it. The fans are running fine, and when it freezes there don't appear to be any processes hogging an inordinate amount of memory. In Safe Mode, the laptop doesn't freeze... so I'm assuming there's an additional process running in Normal mode that is clogging things up. But that's just a guess from someone who is pretty clueless at this point!

I don't know if this would be pertinent, but here's a list of the processes running in Safe Mode, followed by a list of those running in Normal mode when it freezes...

Safe Mode Processes
taskmgr.exe
explorer.exe
svchost.exe
svchost.exe
svchost.exe
lsass.exe
services.exe
winlogon.exe
csrss.exe
smss.exe
System
System Idle Process

Normal Mode Processes
wuauclt.exe
spoolsv.exe
SPBBCSvc.exe
ccEvtMgr.exe
explorer.exe (5% CPU usage upon freezing)
BigFix.exe
hkcmd.exe
ccSetMgr.exe
taskmgr.exe (2% CPU usage upon freezing)
alg.exe
svchost.exe
svchost.exe
svchost.exe
svchost.exe
svchost.exe
lsass.exe
services.exe
winlogon.exe
csrss.exe (1% CPU usage upon freezing)
msmsgs.exe
wdfmgr.exe
igfxtray.exe
Rtvscan.exe
VPtray.exe
ccApp.exe
shwicon2k.exe
SavRoam.exe
PRISMXL.SYS
SynTPLpr.exe
smss.exe
ewidoctrl.exe
DefWatch.exe
SynTPEnh.exe
System
System Idle Process

Thanks in advance for any offered help!

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#2 Herk

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Posted 02 July 2006 - 10:44 PM

First of all, how did they do on the drivers? In your Device Manager, do you see any question marks or exclamation points? (Windows key + Pause key to open System Properties, Hardware tab, Device Manager button)

You might try going to the Gateway site and seeing if you can find any drivers you need, perhaps even updated versions.

Did anyone ever determine why the original install failed?

You can run a memory checker such as Memtest 86 or Microsoft Memory Test to see if there's anything wrong with memory, a common cause of freezing.

#3 blackberet

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Posted 03 July 2006 - 09:48 AM

The display driver was the only driver that wasn't installed when I came to pick up the computer, so I went online and found the appropriate one when I took it back home. I don't recall them giving me a reason as to why the initial restore froze...that would be good to know, eh!

I'll try those memory programs you mentioned. Will they run effectively in Safe Mode? If not, I wonder to myself if the computer will have enough time to tell me anything before it freezes? Most likely no...

Any additional suggestions would be appreciated, I'll repost after trying yours.
Thanks!

#4 blackberet

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Posted 03 July 2006 - 09:57 AM

Hmmm... looks like both of those utilities require a CD or floppy disk to be pulled at the initial boot. As I mentioned, my optical drive doesn't work, and the laptop didn't come with a floppy drive. Can I somehow tell the computer to look somewhere on my hard drive during the boot process?

#5 Herk

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Posted 03 July 2006 - 07:24 PM

Those programs run completely outside of the operating system. They need some kind of disk to boot from. Have you checked in the BIOS to see if the optical is recognized? Since it won't be using any operating system drivers or depend in any way on the operating system, it will work unless the drive itself is broken. But you need to set up the optical as the first boot in the BIOS.

#6 blackberet

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Posted 06 July 2006 - 09:59 PM

Well my computer is up and running now, after I finally decided to call Gateway up for help. I'll post the solution that I was given since the woman I spoke with said it's a pretty common problem with the 7000 series of Gateway laptops. I simply went into the BIOS (F2 on boot) and under the Advanced menu, disabled "Intel SpeedStep." When I saved the changes and exited the BIOS, my restore didn't freeze where it had zillions of times before! The remainder of the restore ran without a hitch and now I'm flyin' high!




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