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Old 11-03-2006, 01:34 AM   #1
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Default Computer Locking Up

I understand that computers randomly locking up can be a hard issue to resolve, and would usually mean just taking up to the shop to get fixed; but I'm hoping to turn to the community before having to spend a few days living without my computer

My computer, last night, randomly locked up. It has done this around 3-5 times during the year that I have had it, and usually isn't too much of a problem for me. However, when I turned it off for a bit, and turned it back on, it shut straight off after 2 minutes of logging on. So I decided to open up the case, de-dust it, and set it back up. It worked for 2 hours before locking up once again. A few minutes after starting it up again, it locked up once again.

So I decided to take it slowly; do some hard-disk checking, defragment analyzations, and looked up on some tech articles about common issues. I thought it may have been a software conflict; I'd recently installed IE7 and Google Earth (an older version). I uninstalled Google Earth, and the computer seemed to work. Today, I am yet to have a random lockup; HOWEVER, I feel that there is still a problem, as when I started burning a CD, the monitor flickered and started displaying a vertical line pattern, slightly like those colour-test-bars you see on TV when the channel is having technical difficulties, except these lines were 1 pixel wide. The DVD Burner was flashing a green light, usually what it does when it's burning but it was doing it in time, not just flickering.

I've just restarted the computer, and it seems to be working Ok; however i'm starting to worry. If you have any tips for me to check out, I would be much appreciative.

Thankyou in Advance
Regards
Rhys Andrews
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Old 11-03-2006, 02:23 AM   #2
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Default Re: Computer Locking Up

have you done an anti virus scan??
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Old 11-03-2006, 03:41 AM   #3
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Default Re: Computer Locking Up

Hi Rhys

Would you mind providing the specs for your pc please ... without that anything further is conjecture.

At first thought, from your description, it appears to be cpu/memory intensive tasks that are giving you these problems, have you run any diagnostics?

Have you monitored any temps? What is your cpu running at ? (temperature wise)

I'd say run Memtest86 or any other ram stressing app as a first step, it could just be a faulty ram stick.
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Old 11-03-2006, 06:55 AM   #4
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Default Re: Computer Locking Up

CPU: Pentium 4 3.2ghz
RAM: 1GIG DDRII (2X512)
HDD: 250gig Seagate
DVD Burner: LG GSA-5163D DVD+RW Dual Layer (or similar model)
Vid Card: ATI Radeon X700se PCi-E
Sound Card: Creative Audigy 2 ZS 24-bit

I don't believe cpu/memory intensive tasks are freezing the comp. This doesn't explain the computer switching off after the lockup (when I restart the computer) when I first login. One possibility is Windows Media Player 11; it can lag the computer when it runs at first as it checks the library of around 30gb of music... However, I'm not sure about this. The computer's temperature was around 54 degrees C if I can remember correctly; however, feeling the fan etc, it really hasn't been very hot when it locks up. Memtest86 seems like a possibility, is that an application or something included with XP?

@fstrfvo - No, I have done a Windows Defender scan and Ad-Aware scan, I believe Ad-Aware came up some results and it got fixed fine. Defender, i actually think my computer locked up while I was doing a scan. I will do an AVG Free Scan over-night; I can only cross my fingers that the scan won't cause another lockup.

Let me add, i've done a HDD Diagnostic test (error-checking option in the properties of local disk), and a sound-card diagnostic test. The HDD test returned no results, just "the diagnostic test is complete"; so I assume it was fine. The Sound-card test was fine. I'm thinking of doing some directX tests (available in dxdiag from the run menu); but I'm too afraid of the lockup (can't complain, I guess I have to do it to find the problem, will do this when I have spare time).

------
OK, just did the DX-Diag tests; all of them (Direct3D, DirectDraw, DirectSound, DirectMusic, etc); all absolutely fine. If you wish, I have the log text file if it is of any use; I can just upload it up on 'ere. About to go for an AVG Free Test.

Thankyou
-Rhys
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Old 11-03-2006, 07:19 AM   #5
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Default Re: Computer Locking Up

Ive had PSU problems cause this in the past, random shutdowns, and lockups are common. What PSU are ya currently running, how old is it? If ya can borrow one off a friend it will be worthwhile trying it
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Old 11-03-2006, 07:38 AM   #6
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Default Re: Computer Locking Up

hey people. Have you ran a scan disk on the drive to see if the hdd has any problems? When was the last time you did a reimage of your machine? (might be due). Simple test to try- If you have 2 sticks of RAM remove one and just leave the other one plugged in, see if problem keeps up, swap ram and test again. It was a good Idea to clean your PC free of dust becuase over heating can cause restarts. It's some what more worrying when your Monitor starts playing up aswell, might be a mainboard issue. A simple BIOS update couldnt hurt either.
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Old 11-03-2006, 08:12 AM   #7
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Default Re: Computer Locking Up

@Raffaz - What's a PSU, if you don't mind my asking?

@joelbeveridge - I did run a scan-disk; Apparently the "error-checking" option in the properties of local disk is similar to the scan-disk. If i'm wrong, please direct me into manually starting up a scan disk. I haven't imaged my machine since I got it. Sure, might be due, but I have kept my files organised and deleted unwanted stuff all the time, so my computer still feels very new. This seems like a last-resort to me. I will play around with that RAM idea later on. I don't think it was my monitor acting up; It could've been, sure, but it could've also just been the computer sending the wrong stuff to the monitor.

I did an AVG Free Scan; no viruses, besides the "Java/OpenStream" virus that i've had all the time, since I installed Java (looked on the net; it's not exactly a virus). And, besides the Monitor screw-up when burning a CD, I haven't had a lock-up today, which is a good sign. However, I'm really starting to think it is the DVD Burner. My DVD Burner is the oldest part, as I used it with my previous computer too. It's burnt a lot in it's time, and every time my computer locked up, i had recently (or currently) been using the CD drive... First time I was listening to an audio CD at the time; second time I had just installed something off a CD (well, half an hour prior to the lockup); third time was the attempt to burn the CD.

-Rhys
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Old 11-03-2006, 08:20 AM   #8
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Default Re: Computer Locking Up

Ok ill answer your first question- a PSU is your power supply unit.

Now it would be good to see how much Watt your PSU is and can it handle the hardware you have in there at the moment. Have you tired i simple defrag clean? You said you clean your pc up alot by removing old stuff, this can leave gaps in your hard drive which can be fixed by running a defrag. All of these test can be found be right clicking on your hard drive icon and going into properties then tools.
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Old 11-03-2006, 04:45 PM   #9
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Default Re: Computer Locking Up

Mmm, I had previously stated I have done analyzations for a defragment, and my computer returned that my computer does not needed to be defragged. I usually defrag quite a lot, to keep my computer fast and smooth.

Thanks, I'll get my PSU details as soon as possible.
-Rhys
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Old 11-03-2006, 04:57 PM   #10
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Default Re: Computer Locking Up

try doing a virus scan with another application, AVG is good but when it comes to unknown stuff it's not as good as some of the others. You could try a free version of BitDefender or NOD32.

NOD32: www.eset.com

BitDefender free version: http://www.download.com/BitDefender-...ml?tag=lst-0-2
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