3 year old Dell.
Windows XP SP2
Intel Pentium 2.8 Ghz (dual-core)
2 gb ram
ATI Radeon X1300 256mb video card
250 gb HD
This computer is about 3 years old, worked fine until last week. The computer has been a bit sluggish for about a year, but it worked well enough. Now, the computer will work for a while (anywhere between 10 minutes to an hour).
The computer starts fine. At some point, the computer will completely freeze. At this point, I cannot bring up the "clrl+alt+dlt" menu. However, the keyboard is still getting function (I can turn on and off the caps lock key), and the mouse functions. The computer will not recover from this. If I continue to click around, or push keys, the computer will completely freeze, and I will hear a continuous beep from the CPU. Just one beep. My only alternative is to hit my power supply switch and restart.
Attempted remedies -
I have ran multiple virus checking programs (combofix, AVG, malware bytes, spybot)
I have ran "tune-up" programs (ccleaner, tuneup utilities), and have defragmented the harddrive, cleaned the registry, uninstalled various programs, and updated a few drivers.
I cleaned the inside of my computer case with canned air, removed the ram, cleaned it, and reinserted it into different slots. My computer case was clean prior (I clean it about once a month with canned air).
I used a "system restore", restoring it to a point about a month ago.
Additionally, I have ran prime95 for about 10 minutes with no errors. I also ran a RAM testing program and let it run about 10 minutes as well.
At this point, I am fairly sure I do not have a virus. Also, I am pretty sure I didn't download or install anything during the period when the computer started having problems. I am starting to think my problem may be a physical problem.
What should I try now? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Gonna bump this, because I am having the exact same (and very specific symptoms)
Acer Aspire E650
XP Media Center SP3
Onboard Video (Intel 945G)
Scanned very deeply for virus issues with multiple methods=good
stress test (orthos)=good
cpu temp (speedfan)=good (Idles a little high (50C) but only gets up to 54C under full load (before freeze - so perhaps it's spiking there - no way I can know at this point))
No errors of note showing up in event list
system restore ineffective (no restore point prior to problem - though I'm not convinced it's a software problem yet, anyway.)
I've pared down my start folder, have no conflicting security software running, etc.
And notably I have the exact same machine (though with possible MINOR differences in loaded software) running fine right next to it (this is at work, and when we bought these, we bought 2 at the same time - same date of manufacture and very close serial numbers).