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Mini-freeze each 4 seconds. Help needed!!!

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May 25, 2007 8:48:45 AM

Hello to all forumz members! I usually post here trying to be of any use but now it is I who need a little help.

I recently got a laptop for repair. The problem was that every 4 seconds it would make a half-second freeze. During the freeze keys pressed won't appear, but a mouse movement is registered and the pointer just skips to where it should have been.

So I thought it was temperature, it's at 20 CÂș. Thought it was ram, swapped but that didn't help. Looked for the latest drivers and found none (Already had the latest).

Odd thing is, if I (For example) put a screensaver, it doesn't show any freezing at all. The stars never freeze, they all move ok.

Odd things: There are 5 devices using the IRQ #10. I can't remap IRQs and uninstalling a device won't assign another IRQ upon reinstalling.

Looks like that the keyboard and mouse are the only thing freezing, but I don't know what to do or how to fix it. They are both using MS generic drivers. I can't find any driver suitable for them.

Laptop is an Omnibook 6000 (Hewlett-Packard)

Thanks in advance for your help! And sorry for my english! (I accept corrections)
May 25, 2007 9:46:06 AM

Thanks for the reply! Unfortunately, I can't adjust IRQs from BIOS. And I'm 100 % certain that the keypad isn't making contact with things. Defective... Would that explain the 4 seconds *exact* pause? I mean, if its defective I would think that it can fail more randomly. And the touchpad pauses too.
May 25, 2007 10:03:46 AM

check your hard drive and dvd drive is connected properly, i know when you unplug a pata cable when your computer is running it will either lock up or do that, sometimes though, motherboards are special and you can getaway with plug 'n play pata, not really noted as a feature but you can.. check to make sure all the connections are good, even a quick unplug and plug back in from a subtle bump can cause this, your controller will only see it as a read write error but will cause this problem. i dunno if it happens with sata, i'm damn sure about it with pata though.
Related resources
May 25, 2007 10:14:33 AM

I'll check that then. I already tried it without the CD-rom drive, to no avail. I didn't want to dismantle the damn thing...

Let's see what I find inside.
May 25, 2007 10:52:35 AM

I had the same funky problem recently and fixed it by updating the motherboard drivers.
May 25, 2007 5:14:26 PM

take a look in task manager is the system process pinging at 10% when it freezes? if so you basically have to re-install windows to get it to go. happens to me every 5-10 installs.
May 25, 2007 5:50:54 PM

It's a driver issue. Go the HP and down load and install all drives and the chipsets INF file. Also make sure the correct BIOS is loaded. I have seen where users will go to a different bios trying to get features.

Depending on MB, most use shared graphics. Verify that all of the settings are correct in BIOS on the video.

I tried a different video driver on my NB that did not come from the mfg. It was very unstable. The mfg had 2 for mine and only one worked.
May 25, 2007 6:32:12 PM

Oh my... I looked up the laptop and was surprised. I don't have any experience with notebooks that are that old. Can you post the full specs since the pdf I found had 4 base configs. Also, what OS is it running? If its running XP with one of those base configs it could probably use an upgrade of some sort. However, based on the specs I found it would probably NOT be worth throwing any more money at the thing. Depending on what country you're from (I'm assuming not the US or UK since you apologized for your English although its certainly better than some people who ARE from the US) a brand new and significantly faster laptop can be had for a VERY reasonable sum. Also I'm sure that you could eBay a previous gen laptop for even less that would still run circles around that relic.

Edit: I realize that you said that you were repairing the laptop. Maybe you could suggest that you could find a newer laptop for them...?

-mcg
May 26, 2007 12:56:45 AM

I'm back. I checked the IDE connections inside and they look ok. Also checked Task manager but there are no spikes when the freeze occurs. It may be a driver issue, but I installed all the ones that I found in the HP site. They are really old, and so is the laptop... I'll try reinstalling those.

For the record, I'm running Win XP. The laptop has a Pentium III 600 Mhz and 256 MB of ram.

I appreciate your help. Unfortunately in this country this laptop is still in use so I can't make them change the thing just because it has a driver or maybe IRQ problem.

Just so you know, a compaq with a Sempron 2800 and 256 Ram cost almost 1100 U$S.

Well, while I was typing I reinstalled the drivers again. The IRQs didn't change (As expected) but the problem is still there.
May 26, 2007 1:54:07 AM

Does it have a network adaptor? Try removing it or, if it is integrated, disable it in the device manager.

Go through device manager and disable one unnecessary thing at a time, to see if it makes any difference. Network adaptor, modem, sound hardware, USB, serial or printer ports, anything else that isn't needed to boot the machine and load windows.

Use MSCONFIG to check your startup programs. You may have something running at startup which should not be - badly written software, or even spyware / adware. Disable everything running at startup and see if it helps.

Check the system services list for anything that looks like it may not belong. Hackers use fake services sometimes to take over your system.

See here for some general info about services if you've never messed with them before.

Have you recently installed any system or program updates? Have you used any anti-spyware or antivirus software?
May 26, 2007 2:17:57 AM

You could check the system log to see if there's any errors recorded there: right-click My Computer, click Manage, select Event Viewer, and look for errors in System and maybe Application.

It could maybe be a bad sector on the hard drive
May 26, 2007 2:18:07 AM

I don't think it would be an IRQ problem. Ever since Windows 2000, MS added PCI steering, so your going to have allot of devices sharing IRQ's within windows, not to mention IRQ's with numbers like 22, 23, ect.

It sounds like something is hogging CPU resources, or the hard drive is having a hard time reading/writing.
May 26, 2007 2:37:15 AM

OK, this is not the most elegant or precise method for singling out the problem, but you might try this:
Load up a Knoppix disc. (Knoppix is a small Linux version that can be run off the CD).
If you don't already have one, get it here.

Knoppix download

Reason for doing this? If you still have a problem while running Knoppix, then it is a hardware problem. If Knoppix runs fine and trouble free, then you know it's something with the Windows OS or a driver issue (Linux uses different drivers).

While that would not pinpoint the specific problem, it would narrow the field down a bit.
May 26, 2007 3:15:35 AM

Great suggestion, bsm! After that, tfox made excellent suggestions.
May 26, 2007 3:44:36 AM

No offense but you have got to be one of the few people who still have a working Omnibook 6000. After about 4 or 5 years, those hard drives are toast.

If you haven't done so, back up your data and test your hard drive. And, I can't remember if the bios has a hard drive test. BUT, if it does, DON'T rely on it. Those tests don't catch everything.
May 26, 2007 6:35:07 AM

First of all, thanks to all who contributed with this. I really appreciate it!

Let's see, I removed every single piece of hardware except the hard disk which I don't have a replacement to try. The problem was still there.

Regarding Spyware, Ad-ware or virus don't worry, I deal with those since my first days 10 years ago. There are no starting processes in MSconfig other than NOD 32, which is up to date.
I killed all the unneded services and found no strange services. The event log is a normal one with no errors of any kind. There are no dll's being loaded with Explorer.

So, I'm downloading Knoppix now. It will take a while (640k Inet that runs like 512k...) but I'll check back with you all when I have some results.

And Tom, No offense taken. After all the laptop isn't mine. Here in Argentina you can find a lot of REALLY OLD working pcs and laptops. Some have a little more than 10 years old. Ever installed Win XP on a IBM Thinkpad 600?

I tested the Hard disk but only did a extended S.M.A.R.T. test which passed OK. I used Easy Recovery Pro.
May 26, 2007 7:33:26 AM

If you haven't yet, try Ubuntu (latest release is Feisty Fawn). I think you'll find it compares very favorably with Windows, especially on less powerful (older) hardware. It's free, too.
May 28, 2007 7:47:13 AM

Well, I tried a knoppix disc and got no problems of any kind. I'm no expert in Linux so I don't know if the IRQ's are all in 10. I also don't know if drivers are in the way but the thing works as it should.

So I reinstalled Windows XP, but the problem still remains. The IRQ's are all 10 again. Once again, I deleted everything but this time I installed Win 98 (The original disc that came with the laptop) and there is no problem...

Now, the IRQ's are all separated and the problem isn't there anymore. Do I upgrade to WinXP? mmmmmm.....

This is strange, if the problem is IRQ assignment why XP always assigns 10 to all devices? (Modem, lan, video and USB are all there)

If not, what's the problem?

Once again, thanks to all for the replies.
May 28, 2007 8:36:54 AM

I think you have an ACPI problem, when you install Windows XP, it asks in the very beginning to "press f6 to install mass storage drivers". Press F5 instead. You will have a list to define manually the type of ACPI you want on your comp.
You can try:
- ACPI Uniprocessor PC (would be the best for XP, IRQ's are extended)
- Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI) PC
- Standard PC (you will have to shutdown the PC manually with this type of ACPI)

Hope this helps!
May 28, 2007 9:33:10 AM

A freeze in this regular short time interval is usually a hareware polling issue. Enter the bios and disable any such polling possible, and disable any/all software making such polling including power voltage, utilization, battery level, etc. AFter all are disabled, hopefully the problem is gone and you can re-enable one at a time to find the culprit.
May 28, 2007 4:59:08 PM

You can change this later on too by going to the device manager under "Computer". You can then right-click whatever is there (most cases ACPI Uniprocessor PC), tell it to update the driver. It *should* let you change it but you'll have to select the advanced option because the recommended will just tell you that there is no updated driver. This way you can test this without having to re-install Windows a bunch of times.

-mcg
May 28, 2007 6:00:41 PM

Quote:
I tested the Hard disk but only did a extended S.M.A.R.T. test which passed OK


S.M.A.R.T. is just about 100% usless.
If you think it could be HD related then run SpinRite 6.0 overnight.
It won't fix worn/broken parts but it will repair corrupted,hard to read data and even recover bad sectors makeing them useable again.

If SpinRite shuts down saying the HD is overheating then you will need a new HD ASAP befor the drive motor bearings lock up.

If the problem is a new one and everything as far as the OS/drivers has not changed it sounds like a defective part in the controler (likely a cap going out).
!