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Complete freeze even after reformat

Last response: in Windows Vista
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August 18, 2012 4:31:45 PM

Acer Aspire x1700 low profile desktop
Windows 7 Home Premium x64
Intel Core 2 Duo 2.66
4g RAM
500g harddrive, 251g free
onboard Realtek HD audio soundcard
Nvidia Gforce G210 GPU
All other parts are factory shipped stock for that tower.

Hello all. My wife's computer (Acer Aspire X1700) recently began locking up (complete screen freeze,no mouse movement, no keyboard response, ((not even num lock/caps lock/etc toggling on or off)) no error message.) Ctrl-Alt-Del will not respond. Takes a hard Power-off (Power helt 5+ seconds) to get it to turn off.

Up until the freeze, the computer runs fine, no slowdown, or stuttering. Sound and graphics have no problems, and everything runs as normal.

I reformatted her computer (complete reformat, deleted all partitions, and made 1 new one) via the Acer's installed Factory Recovery partition, and still, it will lock up.

The lockup itself is random it seems. Sometimes while in a game, sometimes when browsing forums, and it will even freeze while in Safe Mode with networking. (Never got around to try to see if it will lock up in basic Safe Mode) Also the time from boot to freeze is random. It may take an hour or two, it may freeze within minutes of the OS coming up.

So, after the reformat, I'm thinking it's either the RAM, the harddrive, or something on the motherboard. I've ran Memtest 86 for 12 good passes, and all give 0 errors. The computer never locked up once while running Memtest.

Would replacing the harddrive with a known working one (or new one) fix this problem? I've never ran into a freeze that persisted through a complete reformat. WOULD a problem like this come from a bad harddrive?

If not, what else could cause this after all the fixes i've already tried?

August 18, 2012 6:40:36 PM

Also I clean the towers out of dust every 2 weeks, and the teps were around 80-90c for the CPU and GPU, even when it began freezing, so I don't think any parts were overheating.
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August 18, 2012 8:20:40 PM

Woah, 90c is almost 200F, I think I might be remembering that number wrong, I'll double check the numbers when I get home...
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August 18, 2012 8:44:57 PM

Ok called the wife, and the CPU sits at 28, even up to when it freezes. (took 15 minutes from the OS posting, till freeze) and the GPU was at 38-45 (39 at the time of freeze) I don't know WHERE I got those numbers, I'm sorry.
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August 18, 2012 8:47:52 PM

Run chkdsk to see the health of your drive.
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August 18, 2012 8:48:11 PM

It's been off for most of the day, so I'm sure the idle and gaming temps are a little higher, but even at cool levels, the lockup happened.

WOULD a bad harddrive ever cause this issue? A freezing that persists even past a reformat?
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August 18, 2012 8:50:26 PM

SR-71 Blackbird said:
Have you run chkdsk ?


I do not think so. I've ran the check that you can select as an option when the machine shuts down irregularly, but I believe chkdsk is something different, correct?
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August 18, 2012 8:56:13 PM

Alright, that seems like excellent advice. Soon as I get home I'll run it. I used to know about that too, but seems I completely forgot about it, thank you.

Do you advise having it "scan for and attempt to fix errors and recovery of bad sectors", or just scan it for now, and post the results?
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August 20, 2012 7:39:00 PM

Well I thought CHKDSK fixed it, but it still froze up after a few hours. However I found the culprit I think. After a complete dissassemble to check the wires, I noticed 2 capacitors were bulged on the top, and a third was dried, but had leaked from the top. They were all from the line that sits next to the RAM slots. Bought a new motherboard (And after noticing the case I had did not have changable holes for the plugs in the back! Hello Dremel steel saw...) the problem has not returned for 24+ hours.
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