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How to resolve my XP machine's tendency to randomly freeze up

Last response: in Components
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May 16, 2013 3:28:25 PM

Please forgive me if I'm not following protocol. I'm a n00b (I can take the commentary :) ). I did perform a search but I'm really looking for advice on how to start troubleshooting what's causing my machine to lock up as it does. If it's component or drivers or whatever.

Currently, I could be doing just about anything non-processor-intense like web surfing and it will just hang up. Sometimes it will actually hang up over night or during the day when not in use. Ultimately, I have to reboot.

I did have issues with a HD a few months back which I replaced then reformatted and re-purposed in the same machine. I recently thought it might be the problem and I disconnected it from the machine to see if there would be any further issues. Alas, it froze up on me again. I'm not getting the BSOD, or anything.

So, where can I start to troubleshoot this and get my machine back to working order? Any advice is greatly appreciated.
May 17, 2013 7:55:09 AM

Just to be sure, you didn't unplug anything while it was running right? On startup when you get the command prompts against a black screen try to get to boot menu and test some of the components. What processor do you have? And how long have you used this computer?
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May 17, 2013 5:36:49 PM

No, I didn't unplug it. That's something I usually check, anyway.

I can get the boot menu, I'm just not sure how to test the components. Not very knowledgeable about much of this.

Computer has some years on it, it was built in 2007.

Processor is an AMD Athlon 64x2 Dual Core Processor 5200+
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May 17, 2013 6:31:02 PM

What browser are you running, how many tabs opene at any one time? Best not to have more than 7 tabs or, if not tabs, web windows.

Please specify your Ram, PSU, motherboard Graphics card, make model etc. how many other OSes installed, more than one hdd? Partitons?
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May 18, 2013 11:42:19 AM

TenPc said:
What browser are you running, how many tabs opene at any one time? Best not to have more than 7 tabs or, if not tabs, web windows.

Please specify your Ram, PSU, motherboard Graphics card, make model etc. how many other OSes installed, more than one hdd? Partitons?


I really only use Chrome or Firefox. Sometimes Safari but only because i do web design/dev and need it for testing.

RAM: G.SKILL 2GB 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM

PSU: Corsair CMPSU-500CX

MB: ASUS M2A-VM HDMI AM2 AMD 690G HDMI Micro ATX AMD

GFX: GeForce 8800 GTS 640MB 320-bit GDDR3 PCI Express

Two HDDs

1TB drive - partitioned to three drives, including OS on primary.

500GB drive - partitioned to four drives. Primary partition is named Otherswap with 6GB of space (FAT32) and I think it was supposed to be as backup or something but I've never used it.

Let me know if there's more info I can provide
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May 18, 2013 1:17:57 PM

Safari browser is for Apple Macs and iphones, however there is a version for Windows but you'd need the one suited for XP.
version to 3.2.2 is for XP, version 5.7.1 is for Windows 7. Not real sure if Safari 5 is good for XP as it supports HTML5 to which XP may not recognise even though the browser has its own browser extension.

If you are not using the 500gb hdd, you should remove the cables for it so as it does not impact on the system. Extra drives slows down your boot up, OS has to iniate the hdd each time as well as each partition. It also takes away valuable resources and power from the PSU.

Web design in XP environment, you'd need Service Pack 3.
Not real sure it is a good environment for use with the latest Flash media content, web source coding, etc.
Your video card is only 640 mb, good enough for browsing but flash movies takes a lot of video vram.
The primary hdd, 3 partitions, are they even in size?
Check the free space reminaing on the Os partition.

Your whole rig is good enough for XP but am dubious to the actual use of it especially for web design, and whether it would perform well with only 2gb of ram.

Is this PC using dual boot system with Windows 7 as the other OS, (apart from Windows XP)?
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May 18, 2013 6:37:56 PM

I'm just using XP on the machine. It's worked out fine for the six years I've had it and even does a decent job of running Adobe's creative suite, even Photoshop and Flash run well, but because it's a 32 bit version of XP, I can't go up to the next version of CS. Either way, it's done pretty well, considering.

Primary HDD..not even in size. The primary is set to 100GB, It has about 20GB free. I imagine I could purge applications I'm not using and free up some space. But I'm not sure if that will help with my current issue.

Just for clarification on the HDD, I had two 500GB drives..one got replaced with a 1TB drive which I re-installed XP on and then transferred important files over to it. I re-formatted the "goofy" drive and re-purposed it in the system.

The last thing I replaced was the power-supply

Are there any tests I can run to help determine what's causing the freezes?
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May 18, 2013 7:19:47 PM

20gb is more than enough, you could run XP with a 2gb hdd.

I think it's that you have too many high volume drives/partitions. The only thing you could do to help the situation is to disable indexing to all partitions and drives EXCEPT the OS partition. Do a Defrag for all drives but do the OS drive first. Defragging high volumes as such with XP could take anything up to 6 hours so perhaps just do one drive/partition at a time. Shut down between each defrag session, allow a minute or two before booting up for the next defrag session.

Defragging requires you to disable screensaver otherwise you may get a message during the process that "Windows Defrag has restarted 10 times"
Close all apps, don't use the Pc while it is defragging.
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May 23, 2013 7:52:47 PM

TenPc said:
20gb is more than enough, you could run XP with a 2gb hdd.

I think it's that you have too many high volume drives/partitions. The only thing you could do to help the situation is to disable indexing to all partitions and drives EXCEPT the OS partition. Do a Defrag for all drives but do the OS drive first. Defragging high volumes as such with XP could take anything up to 6 hours so perhaps just do one drive/partition at a time. Shut down between each defrag session, allow a minute or two before booting up for the next defrag session.

Defragging requires you to disable screensaver otherwise you may get a message during the process that "Windows Defrag has restarted 10 times"
Close all apps, don't use the Pc while it is defragging.


So, I went ahead and defragged the HDs. I started with the C drive then worked my way through the others. It seemed to work out okay but I haven't really had any time to put the machine to use to be able to be certain.

However, the computer HAS been freezing up, usually when I leave it running on its own for a period of time, like overnight or during the course of the day, like when I ran SUPERAntiSpyware the other day. I'm thinking that logging out would remedy that, but it's still kind of inconvenient and IMHO, that freeze up shouldn't even happen then.

So, what's my next option? Are there any tests or applications that I run to help me troubleshoot what's causing the problems I'm having?
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May 23, 2013 11:30:23 PM

Do you use RealPlayer version 11? it has some issues with Flash video, you'd need RealPlayer 12 to fix it.
Do you use Skype? Exit it then start it again, it may appear to be re-installing itself but it is just re-configuring the ports.
Try just shutting the Pc down for an hour, it might need some time alone to cool down a bit.

Basically, don't have more than 5 internet windows (or tabs) opened at any one time, don't have other browsers also opened and don't multi-task with media player, browser, photoshop all at the same time. 2gb of ram is not going to give you a lot of speed, many apps opened will also bog down the system....

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