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freezing up with anything

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November 29, 2004 7:37:26 PM

Basically I've had this problem for a year or so. I do a lot of things on my computer, i.e. video editing, 3d programs, gaming, etc. and I think it's about to crack. But I only got it a little over a year ago. So I no understandy, :) 

It will freeze or lock-up, ( i dunno if theres a difference,) for anywhere from a couple of seconds to a couple of minutes when I'm in ANY program, or no program at all. I've reformatted once, and the problem was fixed for a little bit, but then continued to crop up once I started playing Counter-Strike: Source again.

The other thing that is letting me know something is deeply wrong is that when I turn on my computer, it makes a harsh whirring noise that lasts for about 5 seconds, and the computer will take anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes where it's doing literally nothing it seems like, and THEN boot up very slowly, and when it's finished, my computer runs everything very slowly. I have to restart windows and it's fine. But I freeze every once in a while then, MAINLY while i'm playing games, or running other high-intensity software.

I guess what I'm asking is, are there any hardware fixes that I can do to resolve this problem, or is there any piece of hardware that is central to this problem.

I have a p4 3.2 w/ HT, 1 gig of ram, an ati radeon 9800 pro with 128 mb running omega drivers, a 120 gb hd, don't know the manufacturer for it. i have service pack 1.

More about : freezing

November 29, 2004 9:47:04 PM

Have you cracked it open and watched the inside when it boots? Make sure all the fans are spinning and that the heatsinks are not clogged. If that is the sound I'm thinking of it is probably the northbridge fan or a simmilar small fan. With the side of the case off you should be able to determine where the noise is comming from fairly easily.
This sounds like a heat problem so make sure all your fans are ok :) 

<A HREF="http://www.folken.net/myrig.htm" target="_new">My precious...</A>
November 30, 2004 12:03:12 AM

Okay, so I opened up my computer and checked my fan. Nothing wrong there. Turned on my comp and it wasn't making the noise i had described earlier. I heard something very faintly when I turned it off again, but it wasn't nearly as strong.

Then when I shut the case back up, it started making a crazy noise when I turned it on, not unlike the noise I described earlier. (gave me the same damn no boot up nonsense as well.) I looked to see where it was coming from, and it was coming from the grey metallic box above my fan, (my processor I'm guessing.) Now I'm STILL waiting for the damn thing to boot up. It has ceased making the noise however. Weird, huh? It's a Dell btw, with one of those weird, hinged opening up systems installed in the case. Annoying, to say the least. Should I just call them tomorrow and ask for a new processor? Or is there a way to open up the grey box and fix this myself.

And the help is appreciated, thankyou. This has moved out of the WinXP realm, maybe a moderator should move this to processors?
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November 30, 2004 12:25:33 AM

Hmm... grey box above the fan... Is it a heatsink you are talking about? A grey thing with a bunch of fins/ridges? or does it have a bunch of wires coming out of it, hence being the powersupply? Which fan exactly are you talking about? Is it in the front of the case, back of the case, top back, mid back, on motherboard, on video card, etc?
I can't see a processor making any sound. Unless it is on fire of course then it would make a sizzling/poping sound :) 

<A HREF="http://www.folken.net/myrig.htm" target="_new">My precious...</A>
November 30, 2004 12:39:15 AM

Hmm, yea, probably not the processor, too big, (i'm a noob, :p ) Anyways, it's a grey box with power cords comin out of it, so i guess it is the power supply.

The fan is in mid back of the case, and is the rather large fan mounted on the case itself blowing out the back.
November 30, 2004 12:32:35 PM

I'm guessing that your 'big gray box' is the power supply and the sound you hear is the sound of a dying power supply fan. Since they are nearly always sealed units, I'd recommend getting a new brand name power supply of at least 350 watts (for that CPU). Go for a brand name, since you're much more likely to get a power supply that actually delivers the watts on the label.

It's a very easy job to replace one, fortunately. You'll find that the power supply usually has more than one device connected to one 'lead' (colored wires with white connectors on them). Open the case and make a list of what items are connected to the same power supply leads. You'll find that several drives may connect to one lead.

Then make a note of what direction the motherboard power connectors are inserted. Normally, you can only insert them one way, but there's no point in taking chances.

Now disconnect the supply from the motherboard, drives, and fans. Then go back to the outside of the case. You'll find that there are four screws holding in the power supply. Take them out and the power supply should just pull right out. SLide the new one in, screw it in place, and connect all the leads.

<font color=green>****</font color=green> Never Assume <font color=red>ANYTHING</font color=red> <font color=green>****</font color=green>
November 30, 2004 1:01:08 PM

And some Dells use propietary connectors, so check into whether or not you need to get a Dell PS or connector adapters to fit you mobo connection.

<font color=red><pre>\\//__________________________________
And the sign says "You got to have a membership card to get inside" Huh
So I got me a pen and paper And I made up my own little sign</pre><p></font color=red>
November 30, 2004 3:31:34 PM

:o  Thanks for the advice! I've got too much class to do this today, so I will run over to CompUSA tomorrow and get the power supply. Any brands you guys suggest?
November 30, 2004 4:33:17 PM

Antec TruePower 480 or 550 or Fortron 530

<font color=red><pre>\\//__________________________________
And the sign says "You got to have a membership card to get inside" Huh
So I got me a pen and paper And I made up my own little sign</pre><p></font color=red>
December 1, 2004 2:25:24 PM

Or Thermaltake, or PC Power and Cooling, or...

There are lots of good hardware out there. My first stop is usually looking through the Tom's Hardware reviews for suggestions or starting points.

<font color=green>****</font color=green> Never Assume <font color=red>ANYTHING</font color=red> <font color=green>****</font color=green>
December 1, 2004 4:16:46 PM

If it's off warranty, taking the power supply out and replacing the fan is very easy. Most are soldered to the circuit board while some actually use a plug. I've replaced both types with success.

I'd rather put out a little money for a fan rather than a lot for a new power supply... especially if the fan is the only problem.

<font color=red> If you design software that is fool-proof, only a fool will want to use it. </font color=red>
December 1, 2004 6:21:06 PM

My concern is that if the fan was that crappy to begin with, the rest of the thing can't be too far behind. Safer to replace an inexpensive item than to have it go up in a cloud of smoke along with the rest of the system!

<font color=green>****</font color=green> Never Assume <font color=red>ANYTHING</font color=red> <font color=green>****</font color=green>
December 2, 2004 12:24:58 AM

Okay, it wasn't the power supply that was shot, (though that looked like it was going to BE shot,) I figured out where the noises at startup were coming from. It was the video card. It vibrates intensely and makes a harsh whirring noise almost like a dry cleaner machine.

Is it gone to [-peep-] or should I just get tips from you guys on how to repair it..
December 2, 2004 11:22:45 AM

Ah. Well, the cause is the same- a fan gone bad. I don't know if you can repair it or not. That will depend on how the fan is held onto the graphics processor chip.

The first thing to try, of course, is cleaning the heat spreader and fan area of the card. A natural bristle paint brush of about 1" size works pretty well. Then blow it out with canned air, if possible. Just blowing on it gives you the danger of spitting on the card, which is not good for cards or anything else.

Oh, and before you ask, just cutting the wires to kill the fan is NOT going to do your system or the card any good. I suspect the freezeups are due to card overheating.

<font color=green>****</font color=green> Never Assume <font color=red>ANYTHING</font color=red> <font color=green>****</font color=green>
December 2, 2004 2:54:36 PM

When ever a fan dies on a video card I just zip tie/screw a new larger fan on. If there is a large heatsink on the thing just get an 80mm fan and 1" woodscrews, that usually does the trick. If the heatsink is smaller just take an 80mm fan (or smaller fan) and zip tie it to the card (use small zip ties and go all the way around the card). I've done this to MANY cards and they all are much better now then they ever were :) 

<A HREF="http://www.folken.net/myrig.htm" target="_new">My precious...</A>
December 2, 2004 3:46:39 PM

Okay, cool, so it's the fan. Well, not cool, but still, now I know what it is. I have a couple of questions.

This is my only doubt of your guys thinking. When it vibrates and does all that crazy stuff, it doesn't seem like it comes from the fan itself, but rather the connection to the mobo. If it is indeed the fan, then how does it make the vid card do this?

I did what you suggested and got all the dust out of there, and the comp has started up normally, (i haven't had to restart because of a slow boot-up) but by the same token, it still vibrates and comes up with the harsh whirring noise.

About the zip tie solution; do I place the new fan on top of the old fan, or somewhere next to it?

Again, thanks for all the help guys, :D 
December 2, 2004 8:55:34 PM

The fan is the only moving part of the video card so it is the only logical thing to cause vibration :) 
You could tell really quick by stopping it with your finger for a sec when it makes the sound, if the sound stops then the fan was causing it.
For attaching a new fan just remove the old one (they are usually screwed in with very small screws) and then attach the new one in as close to the same position as you can. A new fan is going to move a lot more air so as long as it is pointed at the card it should be fine.

<A HREF="http://www.folken.net/myrig.htm" target="_new">My precious...</A>
December 5, 2004 6:14:29 PM

Okay, so, I was able to run my computer for a while without any trouble. It was indeed the fan, I touched it and the sound stopped.

Now my computer is freezing up for short periods of time, and sometimes not even booting properly becaure of the card. I'm going to go get a new fan now, hopefully this will work, :\
December 5, 2004 7:30:12 PM

If that fan isn't operating properly your video card is going to overheat. All the things you are experiencing are due to excessive heat. Just get a new fan on there and you should be good to go.

<A HREF="http://www.folken.net/myrig.htm" target="_new">My precious...</A>
December 5, 2004 11:27:09 PM

Okay, got two fans, one 80 mm and one bfg gfx card fan, have both pointed at the card and strapped to it, (i have tried both independently of eachother as well.) but it heats up intensly as soon as i turn on the comp. the heatsink is even MORE hot. i couldnt fit a fan into the old heatsink, so its burning up, i have afeeling the heat isn't able to leave the card correctly.

i can't take the heatsink out it seems, it's like its soldered to these two springcoil tabs that go through and out the back of the card. help? :-P btw i really appreciate all of said help, :) 

UPDATE: okay, tried both fans over and over in different positions, same nonsense. the card is burning up regardless of where or how i put a fan(s). the heatsink in particular was burning to touch.

then tried rescrewing the old fan back in, and it has stopped the vibrating nonsense, must have been a weird connection to the card that happened over time. but the card is still heating up like a mofo, though not as hot as before. got a delayed boot-up as well. :\

<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by itachi on 12/05/04 10:48 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
December 6, 2004 4:08:07 AM

Hm... Did you have the fan right up against the heatsink? The dell 9800pro 128mb should be an ati oem card and is fairly similar in layout to the 256mb version. I have had an 80mm zip tied to my 9800pro 256mb in the past and it performed fairly well. The last thing I had on it before going to liquid cooling was a 60mm fan. You can see a pic of what it looked like <A HREF="http://www.folken.net/pics/mymachine/newcomp1/slides/IM..." target="_new">here</A>. I'll try to dig up a pic of my 9800 w/ an 80mm fan on it.

<A HREF="http://www.folken.net/myrig.htm" target="_new">My precious...</A>
December 9, 2004 1:36:02 PM

Buy antec the trueness of the powersupply world, and sorry but I cant help laughing at the description, big grey box with power cords coming out of it roflmao
!