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Computer freezing

By ziggy1969 ·
Hi there,

My pc is freezing up. The mouse pointer will freeze on the screen for about 30-40 seconds and then its ok again.

I have been troubleshooting for a few days now. I check the task manager performance screen to watch the CPUgraph. It looks fine. It's display also freezes up when the PC freezes.

Sometimes when I power it up, everything is 100% and never a hiccup. But sometimes it powers up really slowly, and I can tell it is in trouble because the intro music for the windows logo is choppy and the mouse moves very choppy.

When it loads clean, it runs great, games are clean, Far Cry, Call of Duty, etc.

Wierd: at times when it was a clean powerup, I could actually put into trouble by adjusting the screen resolution on the desktop.

Interesting: the hdd led would blink almost in a rythem. 1 sec on/1 sec off for minutes....so I thought it was the hard drive or windows OS

I tried different CPU, no change
Reloaded OS, same problem
changed HD and loaded OS, same problem
Suspected RAM, so i pulled out one stick ran with 512MB and it did it again, but not as often.

I checked the power supply voltage. 12.05-11.70 and 4.73-4.62

specs:
P4 2.8GHz (1MB L2 Cache, 800 MHz FSB)
Asus P4P800SE motherboard
Radeon 9800 Pro 128MB
2 sticks of Corsair Twinx (XMS3200) CMX512-3200C2
running in dual channel
CDRW
DVD Burner
floppy etc
350 Watt PS (came with the TurboX case)
ambient temp OK
cpu temp 33c
mob temp 30c
ambient temp 27c


any ideas
ps, allready ran memtest86 on the ram..passed

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by ziggy1969 In reply to Computer freezing

Point value changed by question poster.

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by willcomp In reply to Computer freezing

Well, you've already done a fairly decent job of troubleshooting the problem. It's almost certainly a hardware issue at this point.

The 2 components left to consider are power supply and video card. I would start with the power supply since it was a likely suspect at the beginning and has not been addressed.

I'm not familiar with TurboX cases, so can't pass judgement on quality of current power supply. With your configuration, I would recommend a 400 watt or better power supply. Some good, reasonably priced brands are Antec, Enermax, CoolerMaster, and ThermalTake.

Dalton

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by ziggy1969 In reply to

Thanks Dalton,

I wasn't quite prepared to buy a new power supply, even though it quite probably was the culprit. This case with PS is only 6 months old and still under warranty. So I decided to do some more digging with the volt meter to prove that it is hurting. I found a demo that shows off the video card from ATI (chimp demo).

http://www.ati.com/developer/demos/r9800.html

This really tasked the system, but wouldn't freeze it up. So I dug around with the voltmeter at many places to see if the voltage varied. Then it crashed...it was a flakey connection in the 4 wire (12v/5v)feeding the harddrive and peripherals. The female/male coupler was in all the way, but had to take it apart and sqeeze the female end of the 5 volt lead just a bit.
I guess it was only causing interuptions when tasked......WOW I am I glad I didn't pay someone $50.00 an hour for that fix :)
Been working GREAT since.
After checking all connections the 5 volt feed is stable between 4.96 - 4.88 vdc (when video is tasked)
...THANKS For Your help
A new power supply is definetly on the next list of things to buy....if anything else it would make a good trouble shooting tool.

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by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to Computer freezing

Well I'd be suspecting a Power Supply problem as well and a 380 W is really too small for the configuration that you already have. Actually Dalton has given you some very good advice about Power Supplies but I really would be looking at a 450 W or bigger and not a 400 W PS.

There is also the possibility of a mains power problem as well if you are near the end of the power line it is possible that you are receiving a low voltage so things don't work quite right and and power spike can turn the system on while you are away from it so something like a fridge motor starting can turn on the computer or at least start it running. As well as a power supply I would be looking at fitting some type of surge protection as well and look for one that has a reaction time in the less than 1 nanosecond time frame the cheap ones can take as long as 5 nanoseconds to clip any spikes which is way too long. The other option would be to use a UPS in between the mains and computer and do not rely on a cheap 30 VA one but look for one in the 750VA range or bigger the 1100 VA ones work very nicely and smooth out almost every spike that comes down the mains and have the ability to run the computer for a decent length of time if you suffer a power outage. The better ones will auto close any running programs saving the work and then shut down the computer after a predefined time without power.

There is another possibility and that is a Software Load issue where there are some cross linked files or Registry errors on a clean install so I would try running System Mechanic over the system. You can download a 30 day trial version of it at

http://www.iolo.com/sm/download.cfm

But do not download the Pro version just the System Mechanic 5 version so you can check for load errors.

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by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to

These are quite common even on a clean install of Windows as every program that you install tends to install what it thinks it needs and can cause errors to crop up with different programs that are already installed or create cross linked files or links to places that just do not exist which chews up clock cycles of the CPU and appears to slow things down considerably. But as you have already said that the CPU usage seems to remain acceptable it could be the problem. Although if the whole unit is stopping for a short period and becoming non responsive you will not be getting the full story about what is actually happening.

Also have you checked for non responsive programs running in the Task Manager? It could be that something is not responding for a short time and then pickup where it should be. I would also run the Defrag Utility that can be found in the System Tools section of the start menu just to get the HDD files organized properly.

Lets know if that was of any help.

Col

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by dmiles In reply to Computer freezing

Sounds as though you have prrograms at startup that could be illiminated from the start menu.

Check the display resoluting by adjusting till it hangs then adjust backward until it does nto hang

Download all hardware device drivers,especially the video card and mouse.

Have the same system configuration wtih a few differences,yet when I built system I upgraded the PS to 400w

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by ziggy1969 In reply to Computer freezing

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