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Thread: XP freezing

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    XP freezing

    During the past couple of weeks or so my XP desktop has frozen on about a dozen occasions, the only solution being to switch off and re-boot. I have run checkdisk and a virus check but nothing found. Generally it happens when there has been no activity for a couple of minutes but the last time I was actively watching a YouTube streaming video. The problem could be associated with new Windows updates or installing the latest version of MSE. Using a restore point about 4 weeks old I could maybe get rid of the problem but what troubles would it bring in its wake - the instructions indicate that nothing is lost but is that the whole story. I could use an Acronis image made about a month ago, but that would certainly bring problems, even with a newly backed up MyDocs and emails.

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    Have you let the system sit for 5 - 10 minutes to see if it clears up on its own?

    Is there any disk activity?

    Have added or changed any hardware recently?

    Have you updated any drivers recently?

    Joe

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    XP Freezing

    Quote Originally Posted by JoeP517 View Post
    Have you let the system sit for 5 - 10 minutes to see if it clears up on its own?

    Is there any disk activity?

    Have added or changed any hardware recently?

    Have you updated any drivers recently?

    Joe
    None of those, and although it very occasionally hangs on shutting down that is not a problem.

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    I took the plunge and used Restore, using a point about a month ago - the computer locked after a couple of minutes, so that did not solve the issue so I "reverted" back - again the computer froze after a few minutes use. What is of concern is that I was asked to insert my SP3 disk to correct some files - I had installed SP3 using a download and do not have a disk so had to click cancel, so things maybe in a worse state than before I started - I could download SP3 again and try to run it once more. When the system freezes the image of the mouse pointer remains statically on the screen and internet activity ceases - the only solution each time is to switch off and on again. Apart from installing Windows updates there have been no changes to the computer. If the problem persists (has not frozen for ten minutes) I intend to use a 4 week old Acronis image.

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    Folks, it looks like we've got two separate threads intertwined. They may be the same issue, but more than likely they are not. Its just confusing to read is all.

    Quote Originally Posted by mike21 View Post
    I took the plunge and used Restore, using a point about a month ago - the computer locked after a couple of minutes, so that did not solve the issue so I "reverted" back - again the computer froze after a few minutes use. What is of concern is that I was asked to insert my SP3 disk to correct some files - I had installed SP3 using a download and do not have a disk so had to click cancel, so things maybe in a worse state than before I started - I could download SP3 again and try to run it once more. When the system freezes the image of the mouse pointer remains statically on the screen and internet activity ceases - the only solution each time is to switch off and on again. Apart from installing Windows updates there have been no changes to the computer. If the problem persists (has not frozen for ten minutes) I intend to use a 4 week old Acronis image.
    I'm very curious to see if a re-image fixes the issue. If not, I'd be thinking hardware. I had exactly the same issue on a 10 year old Compaq. Finally it just did and will no longer boot.
    Chuck

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    @Doc

    I think you are correct about there being separate problems. So, I moved the conflicting posts to their own thread.

    Joe

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    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    In the future, consider moving your email's storage folder, and possibly your "Documents" folder to a partition or internal drive separate from the operating systems.
    This way if you need to restore an image, those folers will be independant of that restore and all data accumulations will remain untouched.

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    I had the same problem for the past two weeks. Checked with the maker of my computer and after talking it over he thinks it might be a driver conflict. Long story short, I upgraded my BIOS, installed new drivers for my printer, video card and sound card and it's been running great for 3 days now. Very seldom do I shut it down. I downloaded my MB updated drivers but haven't installed them. Since it's running ok I'll leave things alone. Try updating and good luck.

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    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    If it's a motherboard chipset ini you have downloaded I would highly recommend installing that too.
    They are small files that seldom create problems, but they can potentially offer great performance and stabilty gains.

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    Just a thought: My computer started to "hang" a couple of weeks after installing a wireless mouse. Actually, the computer wasn't hanging, it was the mouse. The 'new' batteries were actually quite old which would cause the mouse to suddenly stop working. On reboot it would work for awhile and then "hang" again. Had me fooled for awhile.

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    It could be bad capacitors on the motherboard, open your case and check to see if any of the caps on the board are bulged out, swollen or leaking. This is a known issue with some brand of mobos. See badcaps.net to recognize what the bad caps look like.

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    Another possibility is a bad power supply as this just happened to me this month! I replaced the power supply and no more crashes.
    At first, my computer was crashing while performing A/V scans. Then it crashed randomly. Check in the bios to see if any parameters are in red, I.E. fan speed, voltages, temps, etc. My 3.3v spec was 2.9v and showing red. If there any specs in red (or flucuating) it indicates a bad power supply. You might check all connections to the motherboard first...with the power cord unplugged. Carefully unplug and replug each power connector to the motherboard. Then start the computer and go into the bios to check the specs. It's worth a shot, Good luck.

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    Bronze Lounger DrWho's Avatar
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    When troubleshooting that kind of thing, I open up the case and first check the CMOS battery, with a digital volt meter.
    If it's less than 3.0 volts, change it.


    Then look for bulging and leaking capacitors on the motherboard.
    Then look for dirt buildup on the side of the ram sticks closest to the CPU
    Then look at the label on the side of the power supply....if it says Bestec or any rating under 300 watts
    it should be replaced.

    Then with all power OFF, pull the RAM sticks and clean their edge connector with a clean rag, dampened with alcohol.
    If there's dirt on the ram sticks, clean it off. I use an old toothbrush.
    Reinstall the RAM.
    Pull each plug in card and clean their edge connectors, as above.
    Reseat all drive connectors, both data and power.

    Boot up with a DOS disk and run Memtest to check the ram.

    All these checks cost nothing and take only a few minutes.

    * Shut down every program on the PC that's not 100% required to run the computer. (Dump the junk)

    I fix computers like this every week, and there's no set cause for the problems. But it takes years of experience to know just what to look for on each PC. But I've never fixed any PC with new drivers or a bios upgrade.


    good luck,
    Experience is truly the best teacher.

    Backup! Backup! Backup! GHOST Rocks!

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    Super Moderator jwitalka's Avatar
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    Another very common problem I find with PCs exhibiting random crashes is dust buildup on the CPU and Video card heatsink/fan and power supply assemblies. A good cleaning with compressed while holding down the fan blades to prevent them from over spinning and ruining the bearings works wonders.

    By the way, I have fixed computers by updating old drivers but also have never run into an issue that required a BIOS update even though I tend to keep my personal PCs updated with the latest BIOS.

    Jerry
    Last edited by jwitalka; 2011-08-02 at 13:14.

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