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Random lock ups

Last response: in Systems
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May 5, 2007 9:03:27 PM

My computer is randomly locking up and it's driving me nuts!

Symptoms:

The screen freezes, I cannot control the mouse, mashing ctrl+alt+del does nothing, I can only hard reset the machine to get it working again. I have had this system for about a year and this didnt start happening until about two months ago and gradually getting worse. It usually happens 1-4+ times a day now. I dont play games it happens at random while chatting, surfing or watching anime. The only recent changes are the video card and PSU. It still randomly crashes when going back to the previous card and the PSU change was an effort to remedy the problem.

What I've done:

I did a fresh install of Windows with all windows updates, reset CMOS, opened the case and blew a house fan into the machine to make sure it's not overheating, memtest 1.7 over night with no errors, upgraded the PSU, and reapplied TIC to the cpu cooler.

Specs:

AMD Athlon 64 3500+
Asrock 939Dual-Sata2
Seagate Barracuda 120gb SATA x2 in a RAID 0 config
Maxtor 120gb PATA
MSI GeForce 7100GS PCI-E
Corsair Value Select DDR400 512mb x2
Xclio Greatpower 600W PSU
Linksys WUSB54G wireless adapter
Windows XP Pro running on the raid array

P.S. the reason I mentioned the wireless adapter is because when this first started occuring I would lose the connection to my router and it would immediately lock after that but now after changing the USB port it still locks up w/o losing my connection. I wish this wasnt such a long post...

More about : random lock ups

May 5, 2007 10:44:46 PM

Quote:
My computer is randomly locking up and it's driving me nuts!

Symptoms:

The screen freezes, I cannot control the mouse, mashing ctrl+alt+del does nothing, I can only hard reset the machine to get it working again. I have had this system for about a year and this didnt start happening until about two months ago and gradually getting worse. It usually happens 1-4+ times a day now. I dont play games it happens at random while chatting, surfing or watching anime. The only recent changes are the video card and PSU. It still randomly crashes when going back to the previous card and the PSU change was an effort to remedy the problem.

What I've done:

I did a fresh install of Windows with all windows updates, reset CMOS, opened the case and blew a house fan into the machine to make sure it's not overheating, memtest 1.7 over night with no errors, upgraded the PSU, and reapplied TIC to the cpu cooler.

Specs:

AMD Athlon 64 3500+
Asrock 939Dual-Sata2
Seagate Barracuda 120gb SATA x2 in a RAID 0 config
Maxtor 120gb PATA
MSI GeForce 7100GS PCI-E
Corsair Value Select DDR400 512mb x2
Xclio Greatpower 600W PSU
Linksys WUSB54G wireless adapter
Windows XP Pro running on the raid array

P.S. the reason I mentioned the wireless adapter is because when this first started occuring I would lose the connection to my router and it would immediately lock after that but now after changing the USB port it still locks up w/o losing my connection. I wish this wasnt such a long post...


I would substitute a different video card and see if the freeze ups stop. An overheated or slowly dieing video card can definately be the cause of the freeze ups. I would also look at the HD as a suspect. One other thing would be to swap out the RAM even though you did test it and it tested good. HTH.
May 6, 2007 1:10:38 AM

This kind of thing was happening to me with the same router. Turn off the wireless or set the SSID, someone is stealing your bandwidth. There are program that show you the usage on your network, you can google them. Also dslroports.com is a great resource for all things connected to hooking up to the net.
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May 10, 2007 12:25:03 AM

Thanks for the replies. I figured out the problem and I couldnt have done it w/o a little hint from you guys.

The problem is indeed the wireless network. When I disconnect my adapter my computer can take anything I throw at it but when it is connected it's a gamble.

About when this started my landlord's mother moved in and she brought in a cordless phone and I believe that is the source of the problems. I'm surprised that it actually causes my computer to hang when I lose connection to the network though. I'm currently trying different settings with my ancient router from Verizon but I think I will be switching to a PCI card in the near future.

Thanks again :) 
May 12, 2007 6:48:09 PM

I has the same exact problem with my HTPC and had tried everything for weeks eliminating Windows, the CPU, The memory, GPU,HD and PSU as the culprit.

When I read your post I immediately unplugged my NetGear USB wireless adapter and shazam! That was it. no more freeze or lock ups.

Boy! It was the last thing I would have tought of...I was ready to build a whole new system. Few!!!

Now I think I know what's causing the USB NIC to lock Windows XP. After all my testing and after reading some post to that effect, it looks like if there is no traffic and the connection is idle for many hours the lock ups occur.

My solution before I buy a pci wifi NIC will be to install a little "keep alive" utility to kee traffic on the adapter. I read a post where this solved the problem completely.
!