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Thread: XP Freezes

  1. #1
    New Lounger
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    I have a Sony laptop that has been running extremely well for the past 6 years and I don't want to buy a new one. However, for the past 2-months I have been struggling with XP freezing up and eating 100% of my CPU time. The only way I can free up the computer is to perform a hard boot. I have been running Norton 360 for the past couple of years, and feel that it has kept my system running well and virus free, but I performed a few other scans for a virus/malware/etc... and everything comes up clean. I have plenty of free disk space (60GB free) and RAM (2GB), and I generally only have MS Outlook 2003, a WORD/EXCEL document open, and Firefox running; so not too many open programs. I could perform a complete OS re-installation, but not only it is time consuming, but I fear the problem may be hardware related. Any ideas or suggestions out there on how to better isolate the problem for me?

    Thank you,

    Shark

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    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    I hate to say it but I have heard some horror stories of Norton 360. The newer Norton 2011 seems to have gotten much better reviews of late. I would also consider something else such as MSE, a free offering from MS. Check it out.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


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    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Hi and welcome

    Check the logs in your event viewer by typing "eventvwr.msc" into the run box.
    Run a thorough checkdisk with the r switch enabled from a boot disk and pay close attention to the screen.
    To Access checkdisk logs: type: "eventvwr.msc /s" When Event Viewer opens, click on "Application", then scroll
    down to "Winlogon" and double-click on it.

    If you suspect memory, get and run a series of diagnostics with Memtest86.
    Take note of temperatures, does your laptop feel unusually warm after a period of use? You may access temps from the
    hardware section of the BIOS.
    Take note of any dust build up near the intake and outflow areas and clean with a can of compressed air as needed.

    As Ted suggests, consider temporarily uninstalling specific and potentially known software culprits to rule them them out.
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

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    Start Task Manager as soon as the system is booted. Then look at the Processes when you have the problem to see what is using the CPU.

    Joe
    Joe

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    New Lounger
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    I removed 360 and replaced it with MS Security essentials and the problem remained; I re-installed 360. I captured all of the processes running on a clean boot, but when the system freezes, it will allow me to see that the CPU is 100% in use, but I cannot see the other processes running that could be causing the problem. The problem happens randomly and I cannot associate it to any particular program or action. I have gone for 2-days without a lock-up and sometimes only for 20 minutes! Lastly, I did replace one of the two memory modules (other one is built into the motherboard) to see if there was a bad memory chip and I am now half convinced that it is OK!
    One last observation is that it only seems to happen at work and never when on the road or at home, and the only difference would be the additional wired Ethernet connection so that I can access local drives and printers, and the MS exchange server.
    Hopefully this additional information sparks a memory cell from someone that could offer additional troubleshooting steps.

    Thank you,

    Shark

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    Make sure you have Task Manager running and on the Processes tab. Click on "CPU" twice to sort descending by CPU usage. Make sure Task Manager is not minimized. That should display the processes that are consuming the CPU when the system locks up.

    Joe
    Joe

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    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Check the logs in your event viewer by typing "eventvwr.msc" into the run box.
    They may point to an application or process at the time the freeze up occurs.

    In light of what is going on, If you've installed new memory recently I would still run a thorough memory test.
    Consider doing a clean install of XP if it's been a few years, irregardless of whether you fix this or not.
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

    Build your own system; get everything you want and nothing you don't.
    Latest Build:
    ASUS X99 Deluxe, Core i7-5960X, Corsair Hydro H100i, Plextor M6e 256GB M.2 SSD, Corsair DOMINATOR Platinum 32GB DDR4@2666, W8.1 64 bit,
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  8. #8
    New Lounger
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    AVG Free Version or MS Essentials are both excellent replacements for the Norton ... which may very well be the culprit ... and Try SpybotSD, Spywareblaster, MalwareBytes, and ZoneAlarm Ver.7.0.483.000 to round out the ALL free PC defenses. AND, don't forget, you can always do Fred's XP reinstall without have to format the drive: http://www.informationweek.com/news/...leID=189400897

    Cheers!

  9. #9
    New Lounger
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    Well... I may be premature, but things have been looking very good for the past 24hrs! Thanks to JoeP's recommendation of having the task bar open and running in the foreground, I was able to see that there were two culprits eating the CPU when the problem happened; wmiprvse (part of MS systems management server client) and ccsvchst (part of Norton's 360). For the wmiprvse, MS had a download fix for this, which I downloaded and ran; it stated that I wasn't running the client, but also removed the process from running anymore! As for ccsvchst, there was a fix listed on Norton's website that didn't work, soi I did it manually and also removed the add-on for Outlook and the firefox toolbars from Norton. So for 24hrs, the system has not froze; not the longest time in recent weeks, but I feel hopeful!
    Thanks to everyone for your help!

  10. #10
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    Nice detective work!! Hope it remains solved. Thanks for posting back.

    Joe
    Joe

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