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PC hangs during voice chat

by a_srilekha / September 14, 2006 7:18 PM PDT


I use a PIII - 500MHz/128RAM PC with Win XP installed on it. My system drive (C:\ ) has a decent 500MB free space. I have my voice chat applications installed on other drives . Every time I start to voice chat (Y!M, GTalk, Skype) my PC hangs after about 2 minutes. With GTalk it happens in about 1 minute.

I have no clue why this happens, the system just gets frozen and I cannot even move my mouse. The situation continues for I dont know how long, but I waited for about an hour once and I always have to reboot my machine.

FYI, I am doing voice chat on this PC for the first time

Can any one please help me?

Thanks in advance

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My immediate thoughts
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / September 14, 2006 7:30 PM PDT

My immediate thoughts are that your computer specifications are very low for WIndows XP.

You have a 500 MHz processor, and 128MB RAM. Also you have 500MB free space on the C drive.

500 MHz processor is very slow nowadays. Intel processors on the market today are running at 3.0 GHz, 6 times faster than your processor.

Although Microsoft say that only 64MB or RAM is needed, many people find that at least 512MB of RAM is required, and many have even more. I have 2GB of RAM.

Your free space on the C drive is minimal. With today's XP programs taking up 200-300MB routinely, a lot more space is needed. Also, because XP needs more physical RAM, it also uses more Virtual RAM, (or the paging file). A minimum of 1? times physical RAM.

You may be able to set the paging file to run off other drives where you may have more space, but I don't see that will help as your processor and physical RAM will be needed to manage it, and the processor is very slow, making access times slow as well.

Sorry. But I think that those things may be the main cause of your problem.


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PC hangs during voice chat
by a_srilekha / September 14, 2006 10:38 PM PDT
In reply to: My immediate thoughts

Thnx Mark
Firstly, I can free up the memory, but cannot do much with the processing speed. It is a buddy-gifted computer which, I, in any case am not supposed to re-configure the HW (speed/RAM) for some reasons.

But considering my vir mem paging file being on other drives and I have no other applications running on my PC during voice chat, I think the processing power/mem can be sufficient.

You are talking about XP & PC configuration. My other applications work perfect on the PC (I even play light version of some games). Why not voice chat in that case? Is that heavy? Is there any other light version of voice chat available?

Is there anything as a workaround that you can suggest.


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What sound card?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 14, 2006 10:43 PM PDT

You didn't tell enough details but in those days we found that we couldn't have the sound card next to the video card. Even then we found some machines would work proper if we moved the card to another slot.

You are also in the era that the machines CPU HEATSINK could be clogged. How long has it been since it was cleaned and a dab of heatsink compound put in it's proper place?

The reason I ask is that it seems many think PCs are zero maintenance items.


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CPU Heatsink / sound card - CPU stuck during voice chat
by a_srilekha / October 31, 2006 3:28 PM PST
In reply to: What sound card?


Apologies for not being able to reply before. I have recently got a new sound card because my earlier one wasnt working. I can check by changing it to a different slot.

Also, though I do not consider my PC zero maintenance machine, I have no idea Sad where or how to clean the heat sink. Could you throw some light?

One more interesting observation is that the voice message works okay. The other day I left a 20 minutes (2 slots, GTalk does not allow more than 10 min voice message) VM, without a glitch. Does this give any hints?


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by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / October 31, 2006 10:30 PM PST
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So a P3 you say?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / October 31, 2006 10:04 PM PST

How long has it been since you cleaned it's heatsinks and checked those cooling fans?

With so little RAM it's also possible that other gremlins are going to pop in. Outside of the age and cleaning issue it's possible the sound/other drivers are buggy, outdated or there is a support issue in that the drivers were never fixed.

Many are nonplused that old machines tend to be unloved.


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