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Windows XP freezing up

 
 
plazticsoul
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      02-11-2006
I built a computer for my brother 2 years ago and it's running XP Pro. It
was working fine for a while and but it encountered a serious error where it
would freeze up, even going into safe mode. It's not logging any specific
error. The hard disk is split into 2 partitions, one system and the other
for media files. I tried deleting and re-creating the windows partition,
installed XP with no problems, installed SP2 with no problems. Worked fine
for 6 days and my brother reported that it wouldn't start up again. Not even
in safe mode. He thought it was the hard drive and ordered a new one because
he wanted more space anyway. I told him without physically looking at the PC
I couldn't be certain it was the hard drive but I thought, oh well.

The new drive came in and so I swapped the master/slave settings with the
new one being master. create 2 partitions on the new drive, delete the
windows partition from the slave (old) drive, transfer the files from the
media partition on the slave to that of the master. The first problem I
noticed is that during the copying of files from one drive to the other, the
computer would power off completely. I tried to do this once more and got
the same result. The PC would not power back on until after unplugging the
power cord for a few seconds. So my answer for that is the power supply
needs replacing.... most likely with a higher wattage. Assuming there wasn't
enough juice to handle 2 hd's, I unplugged the old one (slave). Windows
seemed to operate normally. I downloaded SP2 and it asked to restart. When I
did, it froze up again. Even in safe mode.

I got frustrated with it so after reinstalling Windows AGAIN, I powered it
off. Now I ask, since the power supply is already in question, would that
also cause a system to just freeze up? I think it's safe to assume this is
not a hard drive problem.

Jason
A+,Network+


 
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Adam Leinss
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      02-11-2006
"plazticsoul" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in
news:%4nHf.79711$QW2.10060@dukeread08:

> I got frustrated with it so after reinstalling Windows AGAIN, I
> powered it off. Now I ask, since the power supply is already in
> question, would that also cause a system to just freeze up? I
> think it's safe to assume this is not a hard drive problem.


Lots of things...once, a motherboard did it to me. It would freeze up
the whole system where powering it off was the only answer. The cool
that is that it would work for less and less time. It was down to 15
minutes of working before I isolated the problem.

Could be bad power. Throw a APC UPS on there that monitors sags and
spikes and watch the results (my Smart-UPS 700 does this).

Could be over heating. I had a customer once that keep reinstalling
Windows 98 over and over again and it would corrupt through the
install. Turns out the CPU fan was pouched.

Could be flaky power supply. Swap it out with a known good one.

I would take his PC back to your house and try it out. That would
eliminate the bad power issue. If it keeps locking up, try a power
supply. If that doesn't work, start switching out the parts with known
good ones.

Adam
--
Visit my PC Tech blog at www.leinss.com/blog
 
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plazticsoul
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      02-11-2006
I hope to God you're wrong about overheating. This was a past issue and the
processor simply ran hot with no explanation. I replaced the cpu fan with a
really good one thats meant for OCers and it's been just barely hanging on
at a stable temp!!

Power supply sounds like a good diagnosis. I'll try that. It's just that in
my experience I have never had a system FREEZE due to a bad p.s. only
restarts and powering off, you know?


 
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Edward A. Weissbard
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      02-11-2006
Plazticsoul,

Sounds more like a temperature issue, especially the powering off
suddenly........this is a P4 I assume? I had a P3 Slot 1 processor that
would boot up fine, but then suddenly power off, the lack of thermal grease
was the source of this failure. Might be a good idea to reinstall the CPU
with heatsink and fan.

Good Luck,

--
Edward A. Weissbard
El Paso, TX

"Life is easy with eyes closed"
-----------------------------------------------
"plazticsoul" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
newsRnHf.79714$QW2.35324@dukeread08...
> I hope to God you're wrong about overheating. This was a past issue and

the
> processor simply ran hot with no explanation. I replaced the cpu fan with

a
> really good one thats meant for OCers and it's been just barely hanging on
> at a stable temp!!
>
> Power supply sounds like a good diagnosis. I'll try that. It's just that

in
> my experience I have never had a system FREEZE due to a bad p.s. only
> restarts and powering off, you know?
>
>



 
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plazticsoul
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      02-11-2006
Actually, it only powered off after I added a second hard drive and was
copying a lot of files from one drive to the other. But the original problem
was freezing after 2 years of running fine. I will check the temps to make
sure, but I don't think it's overheating. It can be left off for a long
period of time and then when powered on it may freeze even going into safe
mode. However, I can boot to CD and it seems to have no problem while
reinstalling the OS. And the original hard drive has been replaced.

If it's the processor, not much else I can do, besides replace it. There's
some major airflow in there.

"Edward A. Weissbard" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:reoHf.5045$(E-Mail Removed) ...
> Plazticsoul,
>
> Sounds more like a temperature issue, especially the powering off
> suddenly........this is a P4 I assume? I had a P3 Slot 1 processor that
> would boot up fine, but then suddenly power off, the lack of thermal

grease
> was the source of this failure. Might be a good idea to reinstall the CPU
> with heatsink and fan.
>
> Good Luck,
>
> --
> Edward A. Weissbard
> El Paso, TX




 
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plazticsoul
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      02-11-2006
This is got to be some kind of a joke. I didn't buy the new power supply
yet, but I just took the current one out and looked at the wattage. Total
output: 210W. Um.... WTF??? This was for a P4 2.8GHz system. 210W!!! It
amazes me that this computer ran like it did for 2 years. No wonder reading
from an additional HDD was too much. And btw the p.s. came with the case, so
of course, it's generic and it's crap. For some reason I failed to even
check the wattage on it. Guess when I ordered the parts, I put them together
and everything worked at the time, so I didn't bother anymore with it. If it
ain't broke, don't fix it, isn't that right? But I'm getting maybe a 450W
today and see what that does.


"plazticsoul" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:5poHf.79715$QW2.4987@dukeread08...
> Actually, it only powered off after I added a second hard drive and was
> copying a lot of files from one drive to the other. But the original

problem
> was freezing after 2 years of running fine. I will check the temps to make
> sure, but I don't think it's overheating. It can be left off for a long
> period of time and then when powered on it may freeze even going into safe
> mode. However, I can boot to CD and it seems to have no problem while
> reinstalling the OS. And the original hard drive has been replaced.
>
> If it's the processor, not much else I can do, besides replace it. There's
> some major airflow in there.
>
> "Edward A. Weissbard" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
> news:reoHf.5045$(E-Mail Removed) ...
> > Plazticsoul,
> >
> > Sounds more like a temperature issue, especially the powering off
> > suddenly........this is a P4 I assume? I had a P3 Slot 1 processor that
> > would boot up fine, but then suddenly power off, the lack of thermal

> grease
> > was the source of this failure. Might be a good idea to reinstall the

CPU
> > with heatsink and fan.
> >
> > Good Luck,
> >
> > --
> > Edward A. Weissbard
> > El Paso, TX

>
>
>



 
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Edward A. Weissbard
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      02-11-2006
plazticsoul,

wow, that is amazing at only 210W. I'm certain things will run better with
a 450W Power Supply. Looked like you may have solved the problem.

Good Luck,

--
Edward A. Weissbard
El Paso, TX

"Life is easy with eyes closed"
-----------------------------------------------
"plazticsoul" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:2brHf.79733$QW2.73316@dukeread08...
> This is got to be some kind of a joke. I didn't buy the new power supply
> yet, but I just took the current one out and looked at the wattage. Total
> output: 210W. Um.... WTF??? This was for a P4 2.8GHz system. 210W!!! It
> amazes me that this computer ran like it did for 2 years. No wonder

reading
> from an additional HDD was too much. And btw the p.s. came with the case,

so
> of course, it's generic and it's crap. For some reason I failed to even
> check the wattage on it. Guess when I ordered the parts, I put them

together
> and everything worked at the time, so I didn't bother anymore with it. If

it
> ain't broke, don't fix it, isn't that right? But I'm getting maybe a 450W
> today and see what that does.
>
>
> "plazticsoul" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
> news:5poHf.79715$QW2.4987@dukeread08...
> > Actually, it only powered off after I added a second hard drive and was
> > copying a lot of files from one drive to the other. But the original

> problem
> > was freezing after 2 years of running fine. I will check the temps to

make
> > sure, but I don't think it's overheating. It can be left off for a long
> > period of time and then when powered on it may freeze even going into

safe
> > mode. However, I can boot to CD and it seems to have no problem while
> > reinstalling the OS. And the original hard drive has been replaced.
> >
> > If it's the processor, not much else I can do, besides replace it.

There's
> > some major airflow in there.
> >
> > "Edward A. Weissbard" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
> > news:reoHf.5045$(E-Mail Removed) ...
> > > Plazticsoul,
> > >
> > > Sounds more like a temperature issue, especially the powering off
> > > suddenly........this is a P4 I assume? I had a P3 Slot 1 processor

that
> > > would boot up fine, but then suddenly power off, the lack of thermal

> > grease
> > > was the source of this failure. Might be a good idea to reinstall the

> CPU
> > > with heatsink and fan.
> > >
> > > Good Luck,
> > >
> > > --
> > > Edward A. Weissbard
> > > El Paso, TX

> >
> >
> >

>
>



 
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plazticsoul
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      02-12-2006
Well, the original heatsink/fan that came with the CPU, as well as a spare
combo from a dead CPU was mounted and re-mounted, without much noticeable
difference. Then I had bought a special heatsink/fan for overclocking, and
mounted that. A little difference, there, but it's still running higher than
average. And yes, that thermal goop was used

"Barry Watzman" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> In almost all cases of non-overclocked overheating, the heatsink/fan/cpu
> is improperly mounted.
>



 
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plazticsoul
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      02-12-2006
Sorry, but I was reading it wrong. It was a switching power supply, and the
combined was 420W max. The damn thing was still faulty, though, and it fixed
the powering off with the second HD attached.

"Edward A. Weissbard" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:JyuHf.31722$(E-Mail Removed). com...
> plazticsoul,
>
> wow, that is amazing at only 210W. I'm certain things will run better

with
> a 450W Power Supply. Looked like you may have solved the problem.
>
> Good Luck,
>
> --
> Edward A. Weissbard
> El Paso, TX



 
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plazticsoul
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      02-12-2006
I did memtest for several hours and did not detect any errors.

The problem has been solved. The second hard drive attached making the
computer power off WAS due to a bad power supply.

HOWEVER, the XP freezing up was some BIOS problem associated with Prescott
core CPUs. Windows XP needed a critical update for this before applying SP2.
Apparently my brother had installed SP2 and left it on for 2 weeks straight.
So when the system finally froze during a reboot, he didn't remember he put
SP2 on it. This might have been corrected in the recovery console, before it
was wiped out, had I known about it! And of course, each time I reinstalled
XP Pro, I tried to apply SP2 again, hence the recurring problem.

So although the power supply replacement was necessary, it was not the
complete solution nor was it the original (because he hadn't opted for a
second HD at the time). Jee whiz!

So folks, if you're going to install SP2 for XP and you have a Prescott core
CPU, check microsoft.com for that critical update first!!

Jason
A+, Network+

"Barry Watzman" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> Almost any hardware can cause almost any symptom. The power supply is
> always suspect, it COULD cause all of the symptoms that you are seeing,
> that that doesn't mean that it is.
>
> The first step is always a memory test with a stand-alone memory
> diagnostic that does not run under either Windows or DOS, such as
> Memtest or Memtest86.
>



 
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