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problem with computer freezing/rebooting

Last response: in Windows XP
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May 1, 2006 1:41:36 AM

I dont know if this is the correct forum to post this but this is my problem:


A computer i built for a friend is starting to freeze and restart (sometimes it freezes and somethimes it just restarts). It is two years old, excpet the PS is three years old. The motherboard is AsRock and the PS is one in an Enlight case (i can get exact models if that helps). I know there is tons of junk on it, spyware, random crap installed that doesnt need to be there. Honestly, I dont understand how some people get so much garbage on their computer. This happens alot on my friends comps and I usually just do a backup and reformat for them, to give them a clean slate. But I have yet to encounter constant restarts and freezes.

I am going to reformat it this weekend, but I was wondering if the issue behind the problem could be either the PS or MB. If I need to buy them, I must do so before I leave (person lives about 3 hours away in a small town, prolly no hardware I can buy there) and they need their computer to work for the next two weeks after this. I was wondering if I should just buy the comps (Im pretty sure if either is going bad it would be the PS) and take them down with me and replace them.

Also, I told them to take off the side of their case to see if the proc fan was running, which it is, so I know its not the proc overheating (has a 80 mm all copper flower by zalman on it), but they said it was very dusty. Im going to clean this out as well, but maybe this is contributing to the cause.

As always, thank you for your time and input in this matter.

Also, one of my friends has the same case/PS and has had it over 4 years and it is still going. This kid constantly plays video games and digital graphix, while the person with this freezing/restarting problem only uses the computer for word proc/internet or other likewise apps.
May 1, 2006 4:00:30 AM

It's really impossible to say without more troubleshooting.

Here is what I do for my less savvy friends:

I have a CD that contains all sorts of freeware: AVGFree, Spybot S&D, AdAware, Firefox, etc.

I encourage people that surf alot to use an alt browser.

Your friends woes could be a ton of junk running on the comp, including malware. It could also be failing PSU, memory, video card, MB, sound card, or something else.

Blow out the case and verify ALL the fans are turning.

Back up ONLY those files needed. Don't back up a bunch of malware that could re-infect the comp.

Before backup, also DL all the newest drivers for the system and save them.

If you do all that, you should be able to rule out software problems in a few hours.

Now as far as hardware: system restarts, by my experience when hardware related, can usually be traced down a bit by when they happen. If they are truly random they are more likely to be PSU/memory/MB, and if they are less random you can possibly link them to video/audio.

Much depends on the system... an old video card can sometimes easily be stressed by just IE. Sometimes updating a driver can apparently fix a piece of hardware, but then it starts failing again.
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