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Gateway Desktop Freezes up

I have a Gateway DX-210X desktop, 5 yrs. old, XP SP3, P4 3.0GHz, 2GB RAM.

Since I've had this system, I've chosen to do a complete/destructive system reload probably 3 times. I used the Gateway system and driver discs, and when I did that, it always produced great results. Not this time. A few months ago, I started getting a lot of application errors, which was unusual. I also saw 1 or 2 BSOD's, which were unprecedented on my system. Antivirus, firewall, etc. were all up to date and running, and I'm always careful to keep track of start-up items; but nothing made any difference. That's when I decided to do another reload.

The wipeout did solve the problems I was having, but they were replaced with an entirely new set: now Windows freezes up whenever it feels like it. And it's completely random. It began as soon as the first Windows screen appeared after the reload. I can be typing or moving the mouse or whatever (or nothing), and suddenly the screen freezes: no movement possible anywhere. Any video playing is frozen, screen savers as well, and any sounds that happen to be playing are halted in "mid-play". One of the interesting things about this is that while it's frozen, I can't see the mouse cursor moving, but if I move the physical mouse around, then when the screen becomes "live" again, I can see where I "moved" it while frozen. (I hope that makes sense) However, no such thing if I try striking keys. Down time can range anywhere from a few seconds to 45 minutes (approx.). Since I was having so much difficulty, I did the reload a 2nd time, just for kicks. No change.

Since every other reload in the past worked perfectly, I'm thinking that this is probably a hardware problem. The only hardware change has been when I added RAM, upgraded from 512MB to 2GB. I did test the old ram in it again. No problem. So if this is a hardware problem, does it sound like the motherboard or could it possibly be the power supply fluctuating? There is one error in Dev. Mgr.: "VIA OHCI Compliant IEEE 1394 Host Controller". That has been around for a long time. I talked to Gateway about it when it 1st appeared (and was still under warranty), but they chose to ignore it, and unfortunately, I didn't pursue it with them. I can disable it with no apparent effects on the rest of the system.

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Given the age

In reply to: Gateway Desktop Freezes up

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Thanks for the tip

In reply to: Given the age

However, I have ALWAYS kept my PC's in excellent repair - including reseating cards & cables, and getting rid of "dust bunnies". I guess I should have mentioned that before. Thanks again.

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Try a little deeper then.

In reply to: Thanks for the tip

When I don't see dust I check two more things.

1. BAD CAPS (see google for this issue.)

2. Fresh heatsink compound. I've lost count how many times I've pulled off the CPU heatsink and found little, none or voids in the compound. When I read the above story I'll pull it, wipe off the old, drop on some new compound and reassemble it. At about one buck, cheap work.

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Worth a try

In reply to: Try a little deeper then.

OK, those sound like good possibilities. I'm going to try to get into that in the next few days, but unfortunately I may not actualy have the time for about a week. I found a list of CPU max operating temps at a site called HardwareSecrets.com . My BIOS does monitor the temp, but doesn't indicate what is "normal". I'll check into the state of the heatsink compound as well.

As far as the badcaps, this sounds like something that will require a visit to a local friendly neighborhood PC shop, correct? I know the basics of soldering, and I do have an iron and solder, but I think this is probably out of my league.

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Here's the deal.

In reply to: Worth a try

After awhile you learn to dismiss any "CPU temps" software or such and when you hear "this complaint" you know to do the work and inspect for BAD CAPS.

Of course if the owner doesn't want to spend the dollar then let them keep crashing. It softens them up to let you get the work done later.

Hope that helps.

More about BAD CAPS. It's a simple inspection and there are plenty of articles about it and how many deal with it when found. I never suggest a trip to a repair counter for the inspection unless I hear "what's Goggle?"

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Great info!

In reply to: Here's the deal.

OK, I definitely get the message! I do have brain cells, and they do communicate with one another. I'll definitely try to set aside some extra time in the next few days to do some searching and hopefully implement something that works.

I'll post again when I know something, but I'll keep track of this thread so in case you need to send some other info, I'll catch it.

Thanks again.

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I've tracked this thread.

In reply to: Great info!

Thanks for the kind reply. I sometimes push a little on this since it's a recurring issue with a sometimes one dollar solution. The inspection is free if we do it ourselves.

Just like car repair, not all of us will do much more than gas and air so let each owner decide how much they will tackle.


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Very Good

In reply to: I've tracked this thread.

Interesting analogy, I like that. I've been around computers since 1982-3, and worked as a computer operator on PDP1170's while I was going to school. Minored in CS, but I didn't go very far with it - not because I didn't like it, but I had other interests too (like getting married!). I "ran" a Data Doctors store about 10 yrs. ago, and I've kept a slightly more than cursory handle on what's going on in the industry - I know how to handle most of the inside of a PC and keep it running well, and help friends with their PC's. I don't plan to take any other classes right now, but I'm not ruling it out. I guess that I said all that to say that I know when to ask for help! I don't know if you've had the same experience, but it seems that it's usually not too difficult to figure out who knows what they're talking about in these posts. These forums are good.

So thanks again, and I'll be letting you know what happens.


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(NT) Yep

In reply to: Given the age

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In reply to: Yep

Why do you keep saying "Yep"?

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Gateway all in one Freezes up Lockes up Freeze Solution

In reply to: Gateway Desktop Freezes up

Gateway all in one PC
This is an over heating problem with a simple solution.

Step One
Go to your Bios set up by rebooting and tap the Delete Key
Step Two
use arrow key to Advance tab
Step Three
Use arrow down key to the bottom of the list to >PC Health Status then press enter
Step four
Use arrow down key to Smart Fan and press enter change it to disable
Step Five
press F10 to save and quite.

Your computer will reboot and you will here your PC fans turn on.
It should be very loud.(that's a good thing.)

Your welcome

Note: This post was edited by a forum moderator to remove promotional link on 02/07/2014 at 6:30 PM PT

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