/ Sign-up
Your question

Weird 20 minute lockups

  • Homebuilt
  • Systems
Last response: in Systems
May 18, 2006 6:20:52 PM

Hope someone can help with this one - my computer freezes (hard lockup) after 20-22 minutes of use. It will do this about 8-10 times in a row, then not freeze for no discernable reason and run fine until I power down, at which point the cycle starts again. My temps are not running too high, I have replaced the CPU cooler and power supply, defragged the hard drive, nothing seems to help. Any ideas? The system is a Shuttle nForce2 board with Athlon 2400+, 768M DDR Ram, Sapphire AGP X800GTO GPU, 80 gig Maxtor HDD.

More about : weird minute lockups

May 18, 2006 6:42:01 PM

Sapphire AGP X800GTO GPU

Did this just start happening? Check out device manager and make sure there are no conflicts with your system.
Try to uninstall these drivers, reboot, then install the neworigninal ones. What was your OS & service pack? Can you log in as an Admin or Guest user to your system? If so check out if the log up hangs under that profile to rule out any corruption for that angle, but I believe there is a driverresourse conflict here.

Does this occurance happen in safe mode as well? It funny that youd wait 22min for the system to unlock, most people would have been on the net looking for new parts by then.
May 18, 2006 7:28:05 PM

Running XP Home SP1 (and have been for some time without issues), and there are no resource conflicts in the Device Manager. The problems did not correspond with any software patch/update, and the hardware has been unchanged for 6 months other than the new cooler and PS, which I installed after the problem started. I haven't tried to see if it will go the full 20 minutes in Safe mode without locking. Logging in on different accounts is not a problem, and does not change the behavior. This is my primary machine, and I am a science teacher, so I'm poor and addicted to solving problems, so I have kept banging away at it - at this point I would love to find the answer just for the sake of knowing what was going on... :wink:
Related resources
May 18, 2006 7:34:49 PM

So the problem is duplicated under the Administrator account?

I think you may have a could be a failing piece of hardware or a driver conflict,

Try a clean install of Xp, then down lead SP2. If you get a copy of gost to run, take a snapshot of your drive and back it up. I think your system has become corrupt. Take a look into the Bios as well and maybe flash it to a new version.
May 19, 2006 12:44:07 PM

Your suspicions duplicate my own - the clean OS install is probably my next step, though I may try to go to SP2 first and see if that resolves the problem. I am concerned about a couple of older pieces of software having difficulty with SP2, which is why I hadn't installed it yet, but I guess I have to update eventually...
May 19, 2006 12:57:45 PM

I won't worrie about your older hardware, SP2 is a heavy application of hotfixes that Micro$oft published to resolve sercurity issues and some universal driver updates, HIPPA componants and what nots. Go ahead and try to install it and see what happens, but I still believe that a fresh install will be the best route.
Download the network version of the driver inorder to avoid lan hicups. Good luck.

One thing that just poped into my head would be any memory leaks or swapfile overloads due to some shotty hardware or maybe some type of malware running on your PC. Either way a reinstall will reveal any issues durring setup. Sometimes window$ resolves its own issues, when in realtiy it just made things worse without the users consent.
May 19, 2006 1:07:59 PM

I had wondered about memory issues - I may try running on 1 DIMM, then switching to see if that is the problem. I did run memory diagnostics, which did not reveal any problems, but I did not run the long-duration type, which might reveal a more subtle problem. The best solution would be to go build a new PC, since this one is 2.5 years old, but I lack the money to make that feasible... :( 
May 19, 2006 1:20:05 PM

Just try the SP2 upgrade, if that craps out still, try a new install. Atleast that will take many possible issues off the table as to what exactly may be worng with the PC, as well as even fix the issue.
May 19, 2006 2:57:15 PM

It may be that particular model (I am at work, can't check and don't remember off the top of my head), and I did have it behave oddly when I added a 2nd stick of RAM a while back - had difficulty recognizing it for some reason, as I recall. I'm only using 2 sticks currently, so that is likely not it.
May 19, 2006 3:00:14 PM

When you get home, check for a bios update. It could reslove some hardware issues.
May 19, 2006 3:41:22 PM

I did run memory diagnostics, which did not reveal any problems, but I did not run the long-duration type, which might reveal a more subtle problem.

That's a good start, there are a couple of things I would try to isolate a HW problem outside of windows, The Ultimate Boot CD Ver 3.4 (Basic) is really handy since it has all the standalone diags like memtest and prime95 (which I would run for at least 8 hours each) and it also has the HDD diagnostics of all the popular HDD vendors, so maybe it would not be a bad idea to give the hdd a non-desctuctive read diagnostic.

Another good test would be in linux, knoppix is a bootable linux distro so if you experience crashes under linux it's definitly HW. To stress it under knoppix, just pop open a terminal and get the static-linked version of prime95 from, like this:

[code:1:bea208bed4]$ mkdir prime
$ cd prime
$ wget
=> `sprime2414.tar.gz'
Connecting to||:21... connected.
Logging in as anonymous ... Logged in!
==> SYST ... done. ==> PWD ... done.
==> TYPE I ... done. ==> CWD /gimps ... done.
==> PASV ... done. ==> RETR sprime2414.tar.gz ... done.

[ <=> ] 885,581 236.07K/s

11:27:57 (226.68 KB/s) - `sprime2414.tar.gz' saved [885581]

$ tar xzf sprime2414.tar.gz
$ ./mprime

Welcome to GIMPS, the hunt for huge prime numbers. You will be asked a
few simple questions and then the program will contact the primenet server
to get some work for your computer. Good luck!

Attention OVERCLOCKERS!! Mprime has gained a reputation as a useful
stress testing tool for people that enjoy pushing their hardware to the
limit. You are more than welcome to use this software for that purpose.
Please select the stress testing choice below to avoid interfering with
the PrimeNet server. Use the Options/Torture Test menu choice for your
stress tests. Also, read the stress.txt file.

If you want to both join GIMPS and run stress tests, then Join GIMPS and
answer the questions. After the server gets some work for you, stop
mprime, then run mprime -m and choose Options/Torture Test.

Join Gimps? (Y=Yes, N=Just stress testing (Y): n
Main Menu

1. Test/Primenet
2. Test/User Information
3. Test/Vacation or Holiday
4. Test/Status
5. Test/Continue
6. Test/Exit
7. Advanced/Test
8. Advanced/Time
9. Advanced/P-1
10. Advanced/ECM
11. Advanced/Priority
12. Advanced/Affinity
13. Advanced/Manual Communication
14. Advanced/Unreserve Exponent
15. Advanced/Quit Gimps
16. Options/CPU
17. Options/Preferences
18. Options/Torture Test
19. Options/Benchmark
20. Help/About
21. Help/About PrimeNet Server
Your choice: 18

Beginning a continuous self-test to check your computer.
Please read stress.txt. Hit ^C to end this test.
Test 1, 400 Lucas-Lehmer iterations of M19922945 using 1024K FFT length.
Test 2, 400 Lucas-Lehmer iterations of M19922943 using 1024K FFT length.
Torture Test ran 2 minutes - 0 errors, 0 warnings.

Hit enter to continue:
Well I killed it after 2 mins but 8 hours is a decent linux/prime test. This is kind of cool, since you can let prime do the burn-in test and you can fire up the old version of firefox and surf or whatever so you are not stuck looking at a stanalone test from the UBCD. You can even click on the hdd icon and it will mount the NTFS partition read-only for you, and you can browse it (great for disaster recovery or hdd testing)

The best solution would be to go build a new PC, since this one is 2.5 years old, but I lack the money to make that feasible... :( 

Hopefully it wil not come to that :wink: if all the memtest / linux / prime tests are good to go, then go w/ the HDD diags and see if a hdd problem is not to blame. Then I would go for the windows patches/fixes or reinstall since your HW is a-ok.
May 19, 2006 4:57:24 PM

Thats a nice post doolittle. I suggest you start a new thread and poll it have a stiky on it.

BTW: good luck guruofchem, keep us posted
May 19, 2006 5:31:03 PM

Thanks you!

It seems everytime I turn around a new thread is started where one of the first things that should be checked in order to isolate the issue is really crunching on the hardware, yet many times this is overlooked (not to belittle PCcashCow's suggestions, as they are the very next logical steps that should follow) when it is vital to make sure that the underlying hardware's not to blame first.

To further doolittle's suggestion, if it does fail the burn-in testing, the afore-mentioned Ultimate Boot CD will provide all the tools necessary to eliminate many of the common points of failure, hardware-wise (multiple memory testers, disk checkers, filesystem checkers (I believe they have added NTFS finally), and system diagnostic tools)

Happy hunting
May 19, 2006 5:56:03 PM

Excellent advice all - my thanks to all of you for your ideas. If I can pinpoint a cause of failure I will be sure and post it to the thread. That Ultimate Boot CD looks great - looking forward to trying that one!
May 22, 2006 1:36:42 PM

The speed and type are matched, but 1 stick is 256 Mb, the other 512 Mb. It had run that way for well over a year before any issues cropped, so unless one of the DIMMs is failing somehow, I think a RAM mismatch is fairly unlikely to be the problem. Thanks for the idea tho - might be worth investigating if more likely causes don't pan out...