Hardware help needed
  • 2003/11/25 12:31

  • lykoszine

  • Module Developer

  • Posts: 244

  • Since: 2002/1/2 2

Hi All

Was wondering if there are any hardware experts out there who can give me some helping suggestions.

My pc has recently started freezing unexplicably. It is an Athalon 800, 396 Ram, TNT2 Pro 32 MB graphics running WIN XP.

What happens is that the screen freezes, and won't respond to mouse clicks or keyboard, not even Cntrl+Alt+Del. Reboot is the only option.

I am assuming it is a hardware issue, as I have never seen this happen with Software before.

A friend suggested that it *could* be the graphics card being 'underused' but i am not toally convinced.

Help, please

Re: Hardware help needed
  • 2003/11/25 12:42

  • chapi

  • Theme Designer

  • Posts: 611

  • Since: 2002/1/22

I had the same issue on my old athlon pc. These freezes happenend to me when playing games. In the end the problem came from my RAM. I had 2 RAM modules in my computer which didn't work together. When I removed one of these modules, the computer worked perfect. So I buyed two new samsung modules with the same specifications and selled the old ones.

Re: Hardware help needed
  • 2003/11/25 16:49

  • lykoszine

  • Module Developer

  • Posts: 244

  • Since: 2002/1/2 2


Cheers for the answer. I do indeed have 2 different sticks of memory, so you could be on the right track. But I have had them in for over 6 months, and only recently have the problems started...

Still, I will borrow some memory and do some tests.

Also it does not seem to be when gaming. Lately I have only been playing Diablo LoD, and have no trouble whatsoever there.

It *seems* to be when I open a few different windows, but it has happened when I have only a textpad open.

Re: Hardware help needed

I'm going to jump in here and say that I've experienced the same problems that both of you report. I too use an Athlon cpu with Windows Me. So I suspect it's the Athlon cpu that could be the cause. I don't play games that would tie up my resources and it happens only when I've got more than one program open and on the internet at the same time. I only have one memory stick installed on my motherboard so it's not the ram. (At least I don't think so!)

Re: Hardware help needed
  • 2003/11/25 17:05

  • Anonymous

  • Posts: 0

  • Since:

Its the CPU. It is running too hot. Throw and extra fan in the case and bring down room temperature and it will be just fine ;)


Re: Hardware help needed
  • 2003/11/25 17:09

  • skalpa

  • Quite a regular

  • Posts: 300

  • Since: 2003/4/16

It could come from the RAM, but memory probs generally invoque a blue screen and don't make the puter freeze.

IMO, this one may more probably come from: the gfx card / the mb chipset / cpu probs.
So if you recently updated your detonator drivers or played with your config, try cleaning a little (find a tool somewhere to completely remove the gfx drivers, then reinstall).

Or, if your machine is a bit old, check the cpu fan. It may be malfunctioning, causing the puter to freeze randomly when the cpu overheats.


Re: Hardware help needed
  • 2003/11/25 17:11

  • Per4orm

  • Documentation Writer

  • Posts: 145

  • Since: 2003/11/14

It does sound like an overheat problem to me as well. Rather than just throw an extra fan in though, you might want to take the casing off and give it a good dust. I have to do this every 6 months or so with my PC or it slows down inexplicably, then often freezes in the way you've described. The dust clogs up the fan and it can't rotate fast enough to keep the CPU and graphics card cool.


Re: Hardware help needed
  • 2003/11/25 21:17

  • mvandam

  • Quite a regular

  • Posts: 253

  • Since: 2003/2/7 2

My friend had a similar sounding problem with similar hardware but running a linux setup. She replaced everything (cpu, memory, graphics card, etc) one by one, but the thing that fixed it in the end was a new motherboard. If you have some spare hardware around, I would suggest this approach and hopefully the problem is reproducible enough that you can figure out which component is bad.

About the overheating, there is a nice program "motherboard monitor" that I use which gives me CPU temp. Depending on your motherboard this info may or may not be available (I have an ASUS). My graphics card also has a temp sensor. Most chips can tolerate quite a bit of heat without malfunctioning, but if your temps are running hot then maybe a new fan (or water cooling ) is in order...

Good luck!

Re: Hardware help needed
  • 2003/11/27 10:49

  • lykoszine

  • Module Developer

  • Posts: 244

  • Since: 2002/1/2 2

Nice one guys, Cheers for the input. I'll try a few of these (probably starting with easiest first ) and let you know how it goes.

Re: Hardware help needed
  • 2003/12/1 12:28

  • lykoszine

  • Module Developer

  • Posts: 244

  • Since: 2002/1/2 2

Hmmm, not totally sure, but I *could* have been barking up the wrong tree.

I did a bit of testing, to see what I had open when the beast crashes, and then uninstalled Firebird.

Lo and behold, normality. I have not done enough testing yet, but this seems to fit the bill.

Although why this should crash my whole system beats me.



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