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Computer randomly hangs

Last response: in Systems
January 7, 2008 1:43:30 PM

Hi guys, I need some help. I am used to a computer hanging on me from time to time but recently my computer hangs after about 10-30mins of use. Today it hung while I was in the BIOS, never seen that before. Is this due to the chip, motherboard or RAM? I do not know how to test the RAM to see if it is good or not. The mobo posts so I don't know if the mobo is the issue or not. My cpu also hung on me while I was in the windows 2000 interface trying to repair the installation (it was sitting on a screen for a little while I looked for my raid card drivers).

I have made a few observations and would like to know if these are symptoms of a hardware or software failure.

1. When the machine hangs, it just hangs and does not create a crash or dump file
2. When I work on my machine, I place it on its side. For some odd reason, this makes the computer run without crashes. I am thinking that maybe gravity is playing a part in my problem. reason is I have a raid card which is a few years old. when the tower is upright, the weight of the cables (IDE raid card), though not much, might be pulling the card slightly causing it to lose contact and perform well.

If a piece of hardware is not functioning properly, will this cause the BIOS to hang?

System Specs are as follows:
Asus m2n-sli motherboard
2gb corsair ddr2 pc26400 ram
windows 2000 pro
3ware 7506 raid card with 3x 200gb maxtor drives in raid 5.
audigy se card (newly installed but crashes were happening before i installed the card because I thought the old sound card was the cause of the crashes due to audio distortions during the crashes while I was gaming).
evga 7900gt 256mb graphics card.

Thanks much for your help.
January 8, 2008 11:19:34 AM

I would suspect 2 things: memory & overheating.

Does the pc come back out of the hang? Or does it hang until power off/reset?

Unplug the power cord, open up the case, keep a vaccum running, blow the dust out with a hair dryer on low or better yet an air duster available at walmart.

While you're at it, reseat everything but the cpu cooler. Unplug & plug cables back in. Clear cmos, referring to the manual.

Burn this on floppy/cd/dvd:

Boot it up & wait for 5 passes. If there's an error, note the test # & the amount of errors. Post back.

If it passes 5 times, go to windows & google speedfan & monitor your cpu idle & load temps.
January 8, 2008 2:19:08 PM

Hey akhilles, thanks for the help. I had run memtest previously because I thought it was memory as well but it went on for 3+ passes and no errors. I ran speedfan and the picture below shows what it reads. I have no clue as to what fan is what when displayed on this. Funny thing is that the computer runs fine on its side. I had removed the side panel and then replaced it to test to see if it was heating up. the computer runs fine with the side panel and when it is on its side. If you can help me with speedfan i would appreciate it.


Update: I just finished playing 2142 with no problems for over an hour. typically the computer would crash if it was upright and playing 2142. On its side however it is stable which makes me think that there is a slack port or something that is causing the problem. Team Fortress 2 however crashes my machine still so I am clueless about that one. I will be formatting my machine and removing the raid card from my system, I suspect I can try moving it to another port but I have not nuked my computer in a while so that might help also.
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January 9, 2008 10:22:23 AM

Ok, ASUS mobo comes with a cd. Find it & install ASUS PROBE. Compare their readouts against Speedfan's. You'll find what they are. In Speedfan, click configure, under Temp tab, highlight a temp name, hit F2, rename it to match ASUS PROBE's.

Not all the temps are relevant. You should be looking at cpu temp. For details, go to:

What's your case? Is there a drive space between hard drives? They're pretty hot. I'm guessing it's Temp1-3. My old Maxtor is 37C right now.

BTW, your mobo has RAID & SATA. Use that instead unless your hard disks are PATA.
January 9, 2008 11:12:40 AM

No offense but "windows 2000 pro" serious?
January 10, 2008 2:13:38 AM

hey akhilles thanks for the response. I had asus probe installed and ran it and i figured out which is which. The CPU is at 58-60 degrees but I think that might be a bit buggy. I remember when I first installed this board, the cpu temps were around 30-45 degrees. Then one day my bro was using the computer and somehow a hex binary or something got corrupted and I had to repair windows 2000 and reinstall the drivers for the motherboard and thats when I started getting weird readings for the CPU. in any case I called AMD and found that even though the temps are reading high, its within the max. temp set for the cpu. The rest of the readings seem to be ok. the case fan, the power and the mobo are all pretty low. I run 2142 and the temp of the CPU doesnt budge at all which makes me think that the CPU reading is off. The computer doesnt hang at all on its side or even while running 2142.

More and more I am convinced that the RAID card is slipping slightly when I turn the tower right side up. for now I have the cpu on its side and I will upgrade the cpu in the upcoming weeks.

And yes seriously I have 2k pro. I have another machine with xp pro with me but I have always loved 2k pro. Its a great OS even though it is old. It certainly beats vista in my book but I will upgrade to xp pro as support for 2k is slipping.
January 10, 2008 11:19:08 AM

If you suspect your bro's hacking screwed up your OS, you can do a repair install that will keeps your apps & data.

Some tower cases have only intake from the bottom front. If it stands on a carpet floor, the intake will be blocked. It will contribute to overheating.

I don't know how old your build is, but I would reseat the cpu cooler & wipe it clean with q-tips. If you don't have extra thermal paste around, lift cooler up & take a quick look to make sure the paste hasn't dried up & it's spread across the cpu die/IHS evenly, then put it back on.

2K is the leanest OS. You can have only about a dozen services running.
January 11, 2008 11:29:15 AM

hi again! the hacking screwed up the OS for sure but I repaired it etc. and its been fine for a few months. I have ordered upgrades and will just clean install xp pro and work with that. Going to remove the raid card and just go to a simpler setup. Thing is that the computer continues to work fine on its side. Its quite amazing.

Usually when the computer gives trouble I reseat all the connections, paying special attention to the raid card, and it works fine. this time the computer doesn't like being right side up and just hangs even though I reseat the connections on the raid card etc. Just one of those things I guess. I dont have carpet or anything that would block the intake of the CPU. I guess the cables pulling on the card, (when it is right side up) will cause the raid card to be pulled slightly messing with a contact or something. can't imagine what else it would be.

thanks again for your help! take care.
January 16, 2008 1:12:47 AM


Computer now only powers up for 2-3 seconds mostly and then powers down. I am wondering if this is a faulty power switch or if it is a power supply failure.

any advice would be helpful
June 22, 2009 1:22:27 PM

hello; i had similar problems like yours, the random hangs, all i did was try another working power supply and my problem was solved, your problem now(powers up for 2-3 seconds then dies) is a faulty power supply. you could try a cmos reset first just to be sure.. :D 

July 24, 2009 1:33:12 PM

Yeah, sagging power rails will cause the problems described. Give us the power supply spec details. If your supply has less than 8A on the 12V rails, get a new supply.