System freezes/resets during bootup - getting progressively worse!


About 3-4 months ago my computer started freezing occasionally during startup. The system would hang on the black Windows XP startup screen (with blue scrolling bar) or on the light blue 'welcome' screen. Occasionally it would get a little further and the desktop would appear but thats about it. This would happen about once a week and after I hit reset it would boot up and be fine. Then this started to increase in frequency until I could pretty much count on it happening with every startup (freeze requiring a reset and then be fine). Then I would need to reset 2-3 times until it would boot completely. Eventually I was having to reset 10+ times before it would boot and so it was obviously extremely aggravating. Then I booted once and was sent to the bios settings with an odd error message about a problem with my CPU frequency. I decided to turn the CPU frequency down to ~1466MHz from 1833MHz and then the system started working fine. This lasted for about 2 weeks and then it started freezing again or would just reset on its own when it got to the black windows XP screen. This progressed until it was pretty much unuseable so I clocked it down again to 1100MHz and now it is working fine again.

Unfortunately I can't live with 1100MHz so does anyone have any ideas about what is causing this?

My system is about 4 years old I think and I put it together myself.

AMD 2500+
ATI Radeon 9200
300W PSU

Thanks in advance for any help!

P.S. I apologize if this is the wrong section but I have no idea where the problem is!
9 answers Last reply
More about system freezes resets bootup progressively worse
  1. First i would look at PSU... then i would look at RAM

    If the PSU is 4 years old the wear will slowly bring that 300w rating down. Now by decreasing clock speed you are using less power and therefore it works untill the PSU isnt strong enough to sustain that any more, youve underclocked again and now its good again.

    RAM maybe dodgey, when lowering the CPU you will also lower frequency and higher strain on the RAM and again with PSU you are using it and using it when its bad in the first place so its only gunna get worse.

    Try a difference PSU and/or test RAM with memtest86+ cd bootable.
  2. Yep good answer... start with the psu then maybe relax your timmings for the ram..... Also a good long bios reset wouldnt hurt. about 30sec
    would do it....
  3. More likely to be overheating isn't it? what re the temps like? if high, make sure HS and fan properly mounted and running, and try new thermal paste - it might be cooked.
  4. yep - sounds more like a thermal problem. MIght be time to replace that aging HS/FAN.....
  5. Thanks for the advice!

    My chip has always run hot but it was my understanding that all of these AMD chips did. It ran around 70º for 3+ years with no problems. Since I have lowered the clock it is now running around 56º. Does CPU overheating make sense since it freezes when booting from cold?... and will boot all the way through and then run fine if I reset it enough times?

    Unfortunately I dont have any extra PSUs hanging around so I will have to check the RAM first and if that checks out I will have to purchase a new PSU.
  6. 70 at rest is far too hot for an XP proc. should be about 50 at rest and 60s, maybe 70 only when under full load. i'd bet my new PSU that's your problem. Mine run about 50 in windows desktop.

    what HS and fan are you using? the oem one with the thermal pad is sh*t and likely to be a cause of problems by now.
  7. nah lol - i ran one for months at 72-74 lol - die was black..... but i had a really old one (thunderbird at first).

    Max operating temps on some xp's is 90C - but obviously thats just stoopid lol...
  8. RAM checked out fine so I bought a new PSU and now I am back up and running at full speed.

    Looking good so far. Thanks for the advice.
  9. See you fixed the problem so I deleated what I had posted .
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