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Xp Home Crashing

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#1 zombie king

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Posted 18 April 2007 - 11:51 AM


I have a huge computer problem.

#1. When I open a program.. the program will suddenly shut down without warning.

#2. Sometimes I'll get a warning.. then when I click to end the program.. the computer will restart on it's own. When it powers back on the Windows XP logo will appear. Then I'll get the blue screen saying physical memory dump with numbers.

#3. I have reinstalled Windows XP again. As it's copying the setup files from the CD.. the computer will either freeze at any moment saying it can not copy a certain file or allow everything to copy without trouble.

#4. When that didn't work, I put in a brand new hard drive. Installed Windows XP on it, it was working fine then the same problems returned. I have checked the video card drivers. USBs, audio card. With or without all of them. The fans are working as is the one on the heatsink.

I am learning towards that it may be the power supply or a RAM issue. I was able for a short time to max out the Virtual Memory but then the same thing happened. I can not open more than one window. I can not play any video files because it'll crash. Firefox, Internet Explorer, Limewire, iTunes, and even Photoshop CS2. Everything will crash or shut down without notice.

It does have a fresh copy of Windows XP Home SP2. New hard drive and updated drivers. Also changed the IDE cables. I have yet to enter the BIOS but that will be my next adventure. I have also cleaned out the case and fans. All hardware seems to be working. I do not believe it to be a mobo issue. It seems anytime it has to perform any hard task it will shut down. The computer is a AMD Sempron with nearly a 1GB of RAM. If anyone has any ideas about this, please reply. Any and all help is greatly welcomed!

Edited by zombie king, 18 April 2007 - 11:55 AM.

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#2 gavinseabrook


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Posted 18 April 2007 - 12:03 PM

Use MEMtest to test your memory.

Gavin Seabrook


#3 quietman7


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Posted 18 April 2007 - 02:26 PM

The symptoms you describe could be malware related or they could be due to hardware or overheating problems caused by a failed processor fan, bad memory (RAM), failing power supply, underpowered power supply, CPU overheating, motherboard, video card, drivers, dirty hardware, etc.

Check for malware by performing a full system scan with your anti-virus. Also dowload and scan with the following:
MS Malicious Software Removal Tool
SUPERAntiSypware Free for Home Users
Dr.Web CureIt. Follow the instructions here for performing a scan.

If your not finding any malware then its sounds like the latter problem. When was the last time you cleaned the inside of your computer? Dust restricts the airflow and prevents proper cooling. This in turn can cause overheating and faulty processor fans which can result in unexpected shutdowns, random restarts, booting problems, etc. Open your machine and make sure the fans are working and the heat sink on the processor is not blocked with dust or debris. Remove the CPU's cooling unit and clean the fins on the heat sink that sits under the CPU with a can of compressed air. You can also remove the cards, RAM modules, clean the contacts and reseat them. Check your connections and fans to make sure they are working properly and monitor the temperature. If the computer is overheating, it usually begins to restart on a more regular basis. See "Cleaning the Interior of your PC" and the "Illustrated How to Replace an AGP Video Card" (you can also use it as a guide to clean & reseat).

In Windows XP, the default setting is for the computer to reboot automatically when a fatal error occurs. You should be able to see the error by looking in the Event Log. An alternative is to turn off the automatic reboot so you can actually see the error code/STOP Message when it happens - this is also known as the Blue Screen Of Death (BSOD).

To change the recovery settings and Disable Automatic Rebooting, do this:
1. Right-click on My Computer and select Properties > Advanced tab.
2. Under "Startup and Recovery" click on the "Settings" button and go to "System failure".
3. Make sure "Write an event to the system log" is checked and that "Automatically restart" is UNchecked.
4. Click "OK" and reboot for the changes to take effect.

Doing this won't cure your problem but instead of instead of crashing and restarting you will get a blue diagnostic screen with information displayed that will allow you to better trace your problem. See "Extract troubleshooting info from Windows XP BSOD error messages" and How to Find BSOD Error Messages. Also see "Windows XP Error Codes", "Events and Errors Message Center" and "Troubleshooting Windows Stop Messages". If you don't find the error code you have in any of these links, then try doing a Google search of it.

Download and run Motherboard Monitor 5. If Motherboard Monitor's seems to be reporting high temperatures for your CPU check to see what your max CPU temp is from here.

There are suggestions for troubleshooting power supply, video card, CPU, RAM, MB and hard drive here and here.

You can also use BurnInTest to stress test the CPU, hard drives, RAM, CD-ROMs, CD burners, DVDs, sound cards, graphics, network connection, printers, video playback. This utility works on all Windows versions to include Vista (32-bit & 64-bit).

Another option is Microsoft's Online Crash Analysis. The Windows Memory Diagnostic tests the RAM for errors with a comprehensive set of diagnostic memory tests. Also see Memtest86+ and Memtest86.

Check for problem entries in Device Manager.
Check for updates to your drivers with a free Driver Scan.
Check your computer's Disk Health.
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