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Almost Random Freezes

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February 20, 2007 10:28:47 PM

*sigh* I finally have to make my own thread, this issue has really got me stuck.

Ok, here's the system I'm working on:link

And here's the problem. I was having almost completely random freezes back when I was running windows xp. I figured that maybe it was a software issue, and Vista has just come out, so I decided to upgrade to Vista and do a reformat of my main hard drive at the same time. I did so, and it fixed nothing. I have done all the updates as of a week ago and had gotten the newest drivers for eveything that had 64 bit Vista drivers as well. Which makes me think it's probably a hardware issue. Here's what I've tried to no avail:

1. Memtest86 overnight. No errors.
2. Unplugged and replugged every cord.
3. Unplugged everything unnecessary externally, and my sound card.
4. Swapped Vid Cards with my brother's.
5. Popped off heatsink and CPU, cleaned thermal grease, reapplied.
6. Reset CMOS. Reset BIOS settings to default. To the best of my knowledge, they're all good.
7. Popped RAM out, popped RAM back in.
8. Swapped Surge Protector bar with my brother's. Why? I don't know, I was getting desperate.
9. Posted on Tom's Hardware Forumz.

It just started happening randomly and infrequently, so I didn't pay it too much attention. It's been over a month now though, and I'm starting to die a little inside. I should point out that the PSU is new, 530 Watts, by Antec, and the Motherboard is decently new as well. Doesn't mean they're not broken, just means it's not all that likely. According to my Mobo H/W monitor, my cpu is running at about 60 degrees celsius, which seems hot, but I donno if that's the issue. If you believe it might be, what could I do to cool it down? The heatsink fan is spinning, and the thermal grease is good.
Oh, I should also point out that it only seems to happen either when I'm using it, not necessarily for anything intensive, or just after I use it. If it succesfully stays from freezing up until about half an hour after I'm done with it, it will generally stay not frozen till when I get back. Not always, but usually.

Umm... Any ideas? Please?

More about : random freezes

February 20, 2007 11:26:41 PM

WE've seen this same thing happen sometimes on our customers' pcs: freeze ups.

We usually fix them by replacing the Hard drive.

the the usual reason is one or more bad sectors on the HDD.

---causes of bad sectors are many: to name a few: physically dropping the pc or hdd during install or transport.

Sometimes they are also caused by poor manufacturing of the pc or manufacturing of the hdd itself.

I would go with a new hdd, and if that doesnt do it then it's the mobo.

u can find a decent one here for around 50 bucks: http://www.pricewatch.com/hard_drives/eide_160gb.htm
February 21, 2007 5:33:50 PM

I did used to go to LAN parties fairly often with this machine, so I moved it quite a bit. I have 4 200 gig HDDs, 2 IDE and 2 SATA. I started up UBCD so that I was solely running off of RAM and a DVD, and ran some HDD checks. My System drive with the OS on it is coming up fine, no errors. I'll check the other ones when I get back from work today, but since they aren't being accessed, I can't see it being them. I'll check 'em out anyways. If they check out, you're thinking Mobo problems, eh? Crap, I hate taking out the motherboard :p  Heh, thanks though, much appreciated.
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February 22, 2007 2:28:02 AM

Ok, so I finished scanning the rest of the HDD's, they all checked out. Well, except one of them which I use for storage had a single bad block on it, but that's fairly negligible, I believe. I'm really stuck on this one... But I realized one thing while doing the scnas, I scanned with UBCD for windows, and it didn't freeze up at all. Which makes me think it would be the HDD, cuz that's what using UBDC skips. That, and all the software. But it can't be the software, I reformatted and got rid of everything on my C: drive!... plus, it froze two times doing the POST today too, right after it said "1024 MB"...

Gah!

I can almost feel my hair going grey as we speak... Any more advice? Please? Anything at all would be so appreciated...
February 22, 2007 6:02:14 AM

Ok, so I'm running Prime95 off of the UBCD now, gonna see how that pans out, I guess. None of you guys think it's the CPU running at 60 degrees Celsius that's doing it?
February 22, 2007 7:19:17 AM

Please list all your system components' model numbers, including things like the power supply. It's hard to tell much without that info.
February 22, 2007 7:31:01 AM

Ah, I see how some of that info was not posted in that system analysis report. Ok, I'll just list everything, it's easier that way anyways.

Motherboard: ASRock 939Dual-VSTA
Video Card: ATI Radeon X850 XT Platinum AGP
Sound Card: Creative Audigy 2 ZS
Power Supply: Antec Neo HE550
Processor: DualCore AMD Opteron 165, 1800 MHz
Ram: 1024 MB (PC3200 DDR SDRAM) (2x512)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate 64bit

I think that's everything, it's 2:30 am and it's been an extremely rough day (had to kick a friend out of living at my house... almost got stabbed), so I may have missed something here or there. Let me know if there's anything else I can let you know that might help, and thank you.
February 22, 2007 7:58:04 AM

The only thing that jumps out at me is that you're using an el cheapo MB with a third-tier chipset. What exactly happens during a "freeze"?
February 22, 2007 8:56:32 PM

Ah yes, the mobo. The reason I chose that motherboard is because it had both AGP and PCIe on it, I could not find another one at that time that had that feature. I've got quite a good AGP card, especially for that time when I bought the mobo, but I know my next vid card upgrade will be PCIe.

What happens during a freeze is that the mouse stops moving, nothing continues happening. Ctrl+alt+delete does not work, my numlock will not turn on or off, my music stops playing, although it generally jitters for a second before freezing. I have to do a hard reboot to get it to go again.

Today I brought it to my workplace, and as per Brad's (Our Technician here at London Drugs) suggestion (He wanted some credit, so I had to put his name in somewhere :p  ) We swapped some RAM out, even though I had run memtest86 overnight and come upon no errors. Oddly enough, I've been running it for an hour and it seems to have fixed it. I'll reopen the thread if that turns out not to be the case, but in the meantime, I declare this problem solved. Memtest failed me. You guys did not, thank you very much.
February 23, 2007 8:54:47 AM

Ok, so apparently it decided to not freeze during the entire day yesterday while I had the people I work with looking at it, then about 20 minutes after they left, it did it again. I had not even opened the case since they left. It was still the new stick of RAM in there, in a different slot than the old two RAM sticks were, so it's not the RAM, and it's not the DIMM slot... Gah, now the people I work with think I'm completely insane, heh.

I brought it home, hoping it was just a random fluke. It's doing it as commonly as it did it before, again.

Help! Any other ideas? Please?
!