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another freezing computer

by cjharlin / January 19, 2007 12:18 AM PST

After recently graduating college I decided to format my drive. This I've done several times in the past, but this was the first time in a year or so. So I picked up and moved back home with my computer in tow. I get home and begin the reformatting process which goes extrodinarily smooth.

My computer runs absolutly great after I get all my major previously installed software reinstalled, and then it happens...a total lock-up:

No mouse, no keyboard....
HDD light quits blinking
wireless Linksys USB ethernet controller light shuts off
Monitor continues to display
All fans continue to run(don't think it's heat related)
It hums like it did before the lock up.

All this tends to happen when the computer is idle and unused after an hour or more, but the lock-up has occured while in use and sooner than 1 hours time.

No blue screen of death or weird computer antics its just a total stoppage. No flickering, grinding or anything else out of the ordinary.

What I have done:

I have 2 hard drives about 2 years old each (200Gb Maxtor, 160 Seagate) both ATA100 maybe 133 I can't remember. Anyway, I was sure it was one of my hard drives. So I tested both; unhooking one, resetting jumpers and cables, reformatting, and testing. I did that with both. No luck. Still determined it was my hard drives I went and bought a cheapy 80gb Western Digital and tried it. Again no luck.

So I'm guessing it has nothing to do with the drives.

Next...

I was determined it was the memory (NOTE: I built this computer a few years ago, so don't laugh at how crappy it all is).

I have 3 sticks, mix and match brands, of 256MB random DDR 2100, 256MB random DDR 2700, and 512MB Kingston DDR 3300)...I know I know this isn't the best use of resources but it's what I did at the time and it's worked for me until now. Anyway I tested each stick basically the same way I tested the hard drive and NO LUCK. I have a new stick in the mail, but I can't imagine that all three would be faulty.

So that's what I've done so far and next to check would be the processor or motherboard...

This is what I don't get...

Why would my machine perform a perfect freeze after so much time has passed between start up and freeze time...
This, in my mind, would rule out Software or Driver issues and maybe even processor or motherboard issues. Moving to an older house using an older power strip and possibly a more unstable electrical output I guess could cause my power supply jump and lock up my pc, but I'm thinking that is a little too far fetched.

And yes I've tried disabling all of my screensavers, power shtuff and performed disk checking.

It's not a huge pain in my neck because I can finish most of my work before a lock up and it runs great, but if I try to do a long download or I just want my computer to be on when I get back after an hour or so is when it gets annoying.

any ideas?

Some specs:

AMD 1800+
biostar - can't remember...but it has AGP 8x and USB 2.0 among other standard features.
1GB random memory DDR2100
Nvid Gf fx5200
200gb maxtor
160gb seagate
standard NIC card
Linksys USB wireless receiver 802...g

I'm running the same software I ran before the format.
XP pro
all windows default drivers except for linksys usb receiver

THANKS FOR ALL YOUR HELP and sorry for the long post and horrible spelling.

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Collapse -
Have You Removed All Memory Sticks Except ONE
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / January 19, 2007 11:28 AM PST

Although different types/speeds of memory usually work fine, sometimes there are issues.. A good test would be to remove them all, then test them, one at a time in the # 1 slot..

You also mention nothing about the power supply.. How many watts? Have you thought about swapping in a new one?

Hope this helps.

Grif

Collapse -
Re-Install the OS
by castingRod47 / January 19, 2007 9:36 PM PST

Useing a XP CD you can FORMAT and Re-Install Windows XP..
..
It is best to REMOVE all Peripherals and PCI-expansion Cards for this Process..
..
RAM should be 1-GB tops for a Re-Install..if you have more than 1-GB..remove some..I re-install at 512-MB's(and)place the SECOND MODULE back later..
..
Pressing the F-12 Button will locate your BOOT Drive..this is important..if you INSTALL XP from your Desktop it could be a faulty install..
Useing SYSTEM SET-UP you can CONFIGURE the BOOT DRIVE..
SYSTEM SET-UP is NOT to be taken lightly...............
You could really kill your PC in that Section..
..
The rest is experiance..
I always start in SYSTEM SET-UP..I check my SPECS there..
..SHUT-DOWN..remove PCI-cards...some RAM....the MODEM...everything....
I always use the FULL Format...never the QUICK Format..
and FORMAT in NTFS.....
the rest is automated/you just go with it..
..
If your Product Key does not REGISTER..that you need to CALL on the Phone or something..re-do the Install..you made a mistake..
..
Could be to much RAM...or you messed up in SYSTEM SET UP..
..
Take NOTES....you'll need them.

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