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Error Message driving me mad

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Anonymous
June 24, 2005 2:10:02 PM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.basics (More info?)

Can't play videos using WMP or Quicktime or view photos, the screen goes
black then appears again. The other day I saw little blue squares dotted
around on the screen.

In the last couple of hours it has switched itself off and on twice, after
the first time when I rebooted it took me into the bios and displayed this
message, it's not the first time this has happened. It was set at 333MHz

Caution, According to CPU external frequency setting, system memory can only
operate at frequency higher than or equal to 333MHz, please make sure the
DRAM maximum frequency is not less than 333 MHz

I've no knowledge on these things what so ever, what can I do to make my PC
better again ?

Lau
June 24, 2005 9:02:23 PM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.basics (More info?)

Lau wrote:

> Can't play videos using WMP or Quicktime or view photos, the screen
> goes black then appears again. The other day I saw little blue squares
> dotted around on the screen.
>
> In the last couple of hours it has switched itself off and on twice,
> after the first time when I rebooted it took me into the bios and
> displayed this message, it's not the first time this has happened. It
> was set at 333MHz
>
> Caution, According to CPU external frequency setting, system memory
> can only operate at frequency higher than or equal to 333MHz, please
> make sure the DRAM maximum frequency is not less than 333 MHz
>
> I've no knowledge on these things what so ever, what can I do to make
> my PC better again ?
>
> Lau

I don't think you want to be messing around in the BIOS at all. From
your description, it does sound like you are having hardware problems.
It could be general overheating and/or the video card could be dying.
Here are general hardware troubleshooting steps:

1) Open the computer and run it open, cleaning out all dust bunnies and
observing all fans (overheating will cause system freezing). Obviously
you can't do this with a laptop, but you can hear if the fan is running
and feel if the laptop is getting too hot.

2) Test the RAM - I like Memtest86+ from www.memtest.org. Obviously, you
have to get the program from a working machine. You will either
download the precompiled Windows binary to make a bootable floppy or
the .iso to make a bootable cd. If you want to use the latter, you'll
need to have third-party burning software on the machine where you
download the file - XP's built-in burning capability won't do the job.
In either case, boot with the media you made. The test will run
immediately. Let the test run for an extended period of time - unless
errors are seen immediately. If you get any errors, replace the RAM.

3) Test the hard drive with a diagnostic utility from the mftr. Usually
you will download the file and make a bootable floppy with it. Boot
with the media and do a thorough test. If the drive has physical
errors, replace it.

4) The power supply may be going bad or be inadequate for the devices
you have in the system. The adequacy issue doesn't really apply to a
laptop, although of course the power
supply can be faulty.

5) Test the motherboard with something like TuffTest from
www.tufftest.com. Sometimes this is useful, and sometimes it isn't.

Testing hardware failures often involves swapping out suspected parts
with known-good parts. If you can't do the testing yourself and/or are
uncomfortable opening your computer, take the machine to a professional
computer repair shop (not your local equivalent of BigStoreUSA).

Malke
--
Elephant Boy Computers
www.elephantboycomputers.com
"Don't Panic!"
MS-MVP Windows - Shell/User
Anonymous
June 25, 2005 12:06:20 PM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.basics (More info?)

Whether he wants to, or should be, messing around in the bios may not be
under his control. Many M/B's, all of my Asus boards included, will take you
there against your will under certain failure conditions. If this happens,
and the person does NOT know what they are supposed to do, it is best to set
the bios to the default settings - save - and exit!

With Asus M/B's, you will likely NOT be operating at the maximum FSB speed
your CPU and RAM are capable of, if you do this. The FSB speed will default
to the lower, and slower, setting! This will likely slow down the CPU
(horribly slow) as well as the RAM operation.

It is best to allow someone with bios knowledge (not a "friend" - please, or
Best Buy) find out the system specs and then reset the bios accordingly (FSB
speed, cache settings, boot settings, legacy settings etc.). A competent
technician can do this!


--
Regards,

Richard Urban

aka Crusty (-: Old B@stard :-)

If you knew as much as you thought you know,
You would realize that you don't know what you thought you knew!


"Malke" <invalid@not-real.com> wrote in message
news:o Jh3qkReFHA.540@TK2MSFTNGP12.phx.gbl...
> Lau wrote:
>
>> Can't play videos using WMP or Quicktime or view photos, the screen
>> goes black then appears again. The other day I saw little blue squares
>> dotted around on the screen.
>>
>> In the last couple of hours it has switched itself off and on twice,
>> after the first time when I rebooted it took me into the bios and
>> displayed this message, it's not the first time this has happened. It
>> was set at 333MHz
>>
>> Caution, According to CPU external frequency setting, system memory
>> can only operate at frequency higher than or equal to 333MHz, please
>> make sure the DRAM maximum frequency is not less than 333 MHz
>>
>> I've no knowledge on these things what so ever, what can I do to make
>> my PC better again ?
>>
>> Lau
>
> I don't think you want to be messing around in the BIOS at all. From
> your description, it does sound like you are having hardware problems.
> It could be general overheating and/or the video card could be dying.
> Here are general hardware troubleshooting steps:
>
> 1) Open the computer and run it open, cleaning out all dust bunnies and
> observing all fans (overheating will cause system freezing). Obviously
> you can't do this with a laptop, but you can hear if the fan is running
> and feel if the laptop is getting too hot.
>
> 2) Test the RAM - I like Memtest86+ from www.memtest.org. Obviously, you
> have to get the program from a working machine. You will either
> download the precompiled Windows binary to make a bootable floppy or
> the .iso to make a bootable cd. If you want to use the latter, you'll
> need to have third-party burning software on the machine where you
> download the file - XP's built-in burning capability won't do the job.
> In either case, boot with the media you made. The test will run
> immediately. Let the test run for an extended period of time - unless
> errors are seen immediately. If you get any errors, replace the RAM.
>
> 3) Test the hard drive with a diagnostic utility from the mftr. Usually
> you will download the file and make a bootable floppy with it. Boot
> with the media and do a thorough test. If the drive has physical
> errors, replace it.
>
> 4) The power supply may be going bad or be inadequate for the devices
> you have in the system. The adequacy issue doesn't really apply to a
> laptop, although of course the power
> supply can be faulty.
>
> 5) Test the motherboard with something like TuffTest from
> www.tufftest.com. Sometimes this is useful, and sometimes it isn't.
>
> Testing hardware failures often involves swapping out suspected parts
> with known-good parts. If you can't do the testing yourself and/or are
> uncomfortable opening your computer, take the machine to a professional
> computer repair shop (not your local equivalent of BigStoreUSA).
>
> Malke
> --
> Elephant Boy Computers
> www.elephantboycomputers.com
> "Don't Panic!"
> MS-MVP Windows - Shell/User
June 25, 2005 12:06:21 PM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.basics (More info?)

Richard Urban wrote:

> Whether he wants to, or should be, messing around in the bios may not
> be under his control. Many M/B's, all of my Asus boards included, will
> take you there against your will under certain failure conditions. If
> this happens, and the person does NOT know what they are supposed to
> do, it is best to set the bios to the default settings - save - and
> exit!
>
> With Asus M/B's, you will likely NOT be operating at the maximum FSB
> speed your CPU and RAM are capable of, if you do this. The FSB speed
> will default to the lower, and slower, setting! This will likely slow
> down the CPU (horribly slow) as well as the RAM operation.
>
> It is best to allow someone with bios knowledge (not a "friend" -
> please, or Best Buy) find out the system specs and then reset the bios
> accordingly (FSB speed, cache settings, boot settings, legacy settings
> etc.). A competent technician can do this!
>
>
Thanks for the info about Asus boards, Richard. I completely agree with
your conclusion that the OP should take the machine to a shop.

Malke
--
Elephant Boy Computers
www.elephantboycomputers.com
"Don't Panic!"
MS-MVP Windows - Shell/User
!