Question

Diagnosing crashes in Win XP (For a newbie)

Apr 16, 2019 9:04AM PDT

I have XP and have been using it a long time, it's been very reliable.

I have been experiencing frequent and sudden crashes (with reboots) when I am browsing.

-) I have done numerous virus scans
-) I have spybot and super-antispyware scans
-) Tried numerous browsers, and have been using Chromium v. 54.20.6530.0
-) tried to turn off most un-needed "services"
-) Run chkdsk

I have seen forums where people post some kind of a crash log, and others can see why it crashed and how to resolve it.

I would like to get a little more life out of this computer before I buy the next one.

I would appreciate your help!

Thanks!

Doodle

Can anyone help this newbie discover why

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Answer
The problem may not be software.
Apr 16, 2019 9:13AM PDT

I've seen such machines and for proof we loaned them a HDD to load a clean install and the problems did not go away. As PCs age they can go unstable which is nothing but a time sink to those that feel they can find what is wrong.

As you get past a decade on PCs you know to avoid those time traps.

Most forums I know of will not investigate crashes on old PCs. However if you want to get more time on this PC and since you use it for Chrome (you didn't reveal what else) then Linux is the next stop. It has Chrome, a very nice Office alternative and a lot more going for it.

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A note about hardware maintenance.
Apr 16, 2019 9:21AM PDT

One of the areas I work a lot is hardware maintenance. I find folk tend to ignore the PC until it has issues.

That said, canned air cleaning is not optional on most PCs. What is canned air and how to use is on many YouTubes and articles so I don't write much about it except that it's a thing we must do.

After the cleaning we leave the case cover off and start it up so we can check that all the fans works as new. Dead fans or slow fans must be replaced.

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Diagnosing crashes in Win XP
Apr 18, 2019 9:56AM PDT

**Most forums I know of will not investigate crashes on old PCs.**

I would imagine some would enjoy the challenge. Can you point me to any forums where this would be more likely?

Thanks!

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Can you test it my way?
Apr 18, 2019 10:33AM PDT

Pop in a blank drive, install the minimal OS, SP3, Drivers and see if it's fixed or not?

As to diagnosing XP crashes, that's what I do today since there's so much on the web today. That is, I'm encountering folk that won't do the research. They want folk to do this for them.

-> And just because we know only what you told, did you try the old "disable hardware acceleration" in Chrome/chromium?

I am not being dismissive here. You can figure it out but you have to do the test to see if it's hardware or software. And at this age a PC you know to not spend too long chasing dead ends. And yes, some love to chase dead ends. Me? I have ways to figure it out and have to quickly at the shop since there are dozens of PCs to get through.

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PS. Why shops reload the OS.
Apr 18, 2019 11:02AM PDT

A reload of XP takes about 20 minutes or less here. Diagnosing can take days if you are trying to save an installed Windows OS. Hardware diagnosis is still done pretty much the same way as before so I would be guessing here what you know. Here we might run MEMTEST for overnight but know that older PCs (over 5 years) can pass and still get a memory/CPU/GPU/other error because the Electrolytic caps are old. This part does not age well so you know to swap parts on what you suspect.

The real trouble is the value of the PC in question. Since you can get a replacement fully function Core2Duo or better refurb for less than the shop minimum counter charge, you know to not over invest either in time or money in cranky 5+ year old PCs. You pop in the blank drive, reload and test as quick as you can. The owner almost always wants to save their installed OS which is fine and all but if the hardware is old, you know what's going on.

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