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Frequent Freezes, Reboots - Help!

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September 29, 2006 3:50:04 PM

Looking for some assistance.

My homebuilt PC has started freezing frequently (requiring hard restart) and also occaisonally rebooting itself in the middle of working.

I haven't added any new hardware or software to the machine.

Some other strange things it's done:

1) It tries to read the floppy drive at random times when I don't tell it to (i.e. the light comes on and you hear the grinding sound)

2) It rebooted and decided to run CHKDSK all by itself

3) For a brief period, The DVD/RW drive would not open

I have run a full scan with Norton AV with no viruses, and I have also run SpyBot S&D with no spy/malware detected. I did a full CHKDSK via Windows with no errors.

The system is only about 2 years old.

My CPU temps are at about 50C under normal load (not the greatest, but hardly dangerous).

I'm thinking it's either the PSU going bad or that Windows somehow became corrupt. I guess it could also be that the MOBO is fried.

ANY IDEAS? THANKS!!!

Sytem Specs:
MOBO: Gigabyte GA-K8VNXP Socket 754 VIA K8T800
Athlon 64 3000 Newcastle
Ultra X-Connect PSU, 500W
1GB Crucial Ram
ATi All in Wonder 9600 AGP
2 Hitachi Deskstar SATA 160GB
Soundblaster Live
NEC DVD/RW
Shuttle Media Card reader
September 29, 2006 5:08:30 PM

I agree. I would say RAM, but with the DVD drive not opening it could be the PSU. Check both.
September 29, 2006 5:14:26 PM

PRIME95 is another useful program for stressing and testing the CPU/memory combination.
Related resources
September 29, 2006 5:24:24 PM

Are you overclocked at all? Reason I am asking is because I have my (AM2) 3000+ at 2.3 and under load, I barely hit 40*C. I suspect RAM too, especially if you are overclocked.
September 29, 2006 8:08:06 PM

Thanks for the info, guys!

I am not overclocking, but I have my CPU cooler running at low RPM to reduce noise. I also have the case in a cabinet in a room that's not the coolest in the house.

I will try the memtest stuff and/or Prime95 to see if i can come up with anything.

I'll let you know. THANKS!!!!!!!!
September 30, 2006 12:11:22 AM

Well, I haven't been able to run MemTest without it freezing.

The first time it froze after about 9 minutes, then on the second attempt it froze after about 30 minutes . .. had to hard restart.

Any thoughts?
September 30, 2006 12:55:45 PM

The system is clean - I blow it out regularly - including inside the PSU (thru the fans, of course).

About the rails and amps . .

In the PSU documentation, I see a chart that shows a +12v and a -12v.
The "max load" on the + is 34A, min load is 2A.
The "max load" on the - is 0.8A, min load is 0A.

My 12v reading (via my monitoring tool) is 12.72.

Back to the MemTest . . it never listed any errors. it just hung.

THANKS!!!!!
September 30, 2006 3:38:32 PM

Thanks for the info.

Well, I just replaced the PSU with an Antec SmartPower 2.0 500W.

And to my surprise . .

When I first powered it on, it froze up after the Windows XP screen and before the Welcome screen.
So I rebooted. (restart button on case)

Then I got a "CMOS Checksum Error. Defaults loaded"

I chose to enter BIOS and I fixed the basic settings back to where they need to be, then exited and saved.

On the subsequent reboot, it froze at the Welcome screen.
I hit restart again, and it finally made it all the way up.

Windows said it recognized new hardware (Multimedia Audio Controller and RAID controller). I guess this is due to CMOS getting wiped out.

So apparently the PSU didn't solve the problem. Any ideas now?

P.S. My 12v is now at 12.530.

THANKS!
September 30, 2006 4:13:37 PM

i want you to reinstall windows, reformat your hard drive, save all of your data first, i use a lot of hard drives i removed from copier after they fail there, your problem is most likely the hard drive starting to die a very slow death, so try that first, disconnect one of your hard drives and run it all buy it self, with a fresh install of windows, i believe its your hard drive but it could be others components so start there. and good luck.
September 30, 2006 11:54:48 PM

I respect your opinions, but what makes you think it's the HDD?

I ran a full CHKDSK with no apparent errors. . . not sure if there's another test . .seems like HDD failure would be easier to detect with diagnostics . .are there other tools?

I didn't mention that I have 2 drives in a RAID 0.

I was going to say that the MOBO was fried since the whole CMOS checksum thing and the random attempts to read the floppy drive, etc.

Just seems like HDD is the least likely culprit at this point, but I'm no expert . ...
October 1, 2006 12:50:59 AM

fdgfdgfj
October 1, 2006 4:57:17 PM

any thoughts?
October 1, 2006 8:40:46 PM

Something's clearly unstable, so you definitely do NOT want to try reinstalling windows until you figure out what the problem is. If you haven't already done the standard "unplug all power and signal cables, cards, memory, etc and re-plug them back in", do that first.
Then, download and burn an "Ultimate Boot CD" so you can boot off it and run memtest86+ and other tests without having to go into Win or having to use the hard drives. Use that to test the memory.
Heat is another possibility. What brand and model number case are you using? What case fans and/or other cooling? What brand and model number CPU heatsink/fan are you using? What are the other temps besides CPU temp (system temp? pwm temp?)?
October 1, 2006 10:00:20 PM

You have a lot of good advice here but it’s hard to diagnose problems over the internet.
Your psu issue is solved but your windows registry is most likely corrupt from lockups and reboots.
If system restore is still functional I would go back to a time where you had no issues (system restore).
Your graphics drivers may have suffered from lockups and could be why you’re hanging at the welcome screen during post.
You could reinstall your video drivers after a clean uninstall using a driver cleaner (Google).
Symantec can also cause problems.
If you still have problems with random drive searches use the system configuration utility by typing msconfig in the run menu disabling Norton’s to see if that speeds things up and solves some of your problems.
Your cd or DVD drive can also cause system hangs if it starts to fail.
I’m assuming you’re using Xp SP2 so this of course only applies to that operating system.
If all else fails try throwing the pc out of a second story window. (Worked for me) :lol: 

Good luck
October 1, 2006 11:18:16 PM

i run into a lot of hard drives problems, i have build almost a hundred systems, so far, and the system I'm using to type this is a system running with a hard drive about to croak, but there is not any important data on it except I'm running vista rc1 on it right now, so i don't care if it pass away. and you are using hitachi hard drives, most of the hard drives in the copier i work on use hitachi, so guess which one crash the most, its a long story, i don't like Hitachi and quantum hard drives, i go with western digital, Seagate and max tor , not in that order, Hitachi and quantum i stay away from, I'm not sure you can find quantum drives any more, i think some one else bought them. i don't think its the mother board, when i a mother board go bad you will know right away, most symptoms will show up at start up. what is the temperature of your processor, monitor your temperatures of your devices.
October 2, 2006 2:54:09 PM

Thanks for the additional info guys.

I am using a Gigabyte rocket cooler (dont have exact model handy) at about 3000 rpm on my CPU. i have a thermaltake Tsunami Dream case with 1 front and 1 rear 12cm fan. My CPU temps, now that the ambient temps are coming down due to autumn, are around 45 degrees.

i don't have any tools that tell me any other system temps.

I also have gotten some additional error messages. I disabled "automatic restart" in the Sysyem Recovery settings, so I have gotten a few BSOD's.

1) PAGE_FAULT_IN_NONPAGED_AREA
2) STOP: c000021a {Fatal System Error} The windows logon process system process terminated unexpectedly with a status of 0xc0000005. The system has been shut down.

haven't found much useful info on these errors yet. the first seems to point to bad RAM, which I could try replacing.

Also . . . if I ran MemTest85 from a bootable CD, and it froze during the test (see earlier posts), how would this point to HDD probs? I wouldn't think memtest would be utilizing my HDDs . . . .
October 2, 2006 3:19:02 PM

Quote:
I also have gotten some additional error messages. I disabled "automatic restart" in the Sysyem Recovery settings, so I have gotten a few BSOD's.

1) PAGE_FAULT_IN_NONPAGED_AREA
2) STOP: c000021a {Fatal System Error} The windows logon process system process terminated unexpectedly with a status of 0xc0000005. The system has been shut down.


Yep, RAM yo. I would try replacing the RAM and see what happens then. I do IT for HP and I have come accross this numerous times. Every single time I had that 1st error listed it was bad RAM. The faulty part may be in a register that's always reserved for the system or kernel so it me not be able to test it.
October 2, 2006 10:49:20 PM

Well, you were right . . it was the RAM.

However, in an interesting way . . . For some reason I can't remember, when I built this system I had 2 512MB sticks in positions 1 and 3 (only 3 slots on the board).

I took out the stick in slot 3 and fired up the system . . runs like a charm.

I swapped the sticks out . . basically the system runs fine with either stick, but only 1 stick, in position 1.

As soon as I add a second stick or RAM in either position 2 or 3, it stops working.

Any ideas? I guess I'll have to live with half the RAM unless someone has a suggestion.
Thanks!!!
October 2, 2006 11:00:13 PM

Could be time for a new MB. Components like capacitors can fail, especially under extended high temps such as you seem to have.
!