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USB problems/ system crashes

Hello,I am running an hp pavillion 513g with the intention of using it solely for basic internet/netflix on my living room tv. It was running slowly so I reformatted the hard drive and reinstalled Windows XP-sp1 and followed windows updates all the way into sp3. Since the reinstall, my system will not boot if any external media/storage is usb-connected. I've checked the boot order, and it's set for A:\, C:\ with A:\ being 3.5floppy and C:\ being my main hard disk. Also, the system will crash at random, leading to a loss of all USB ports and extreme display distortion. Windows is not recognizing any software or hardware conflicts, and DriverChecker says everything is kosher. Any help will be appreciated.
8 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about problems system crashes
  1. Two problems that I can see is that:
    1. you are not the only one who cannot boot with an external USB drive connected. This happens on several systems. It's not really anything wrong with your system.

    2. disconnect the USB storage, start the computer and run it, does the random crash stop?
    If the random crash continues, you may need a different CPU heatsink / fan.
    Some of the pavilions as I recall, do not have a CPU fan, and the problem was solved by installing one.
    Also check to see that the heatsink is not clogged by dirt / dust.
  2. I cleaned the heatsink, CPU fan, and exhaust fan prior to doing any other work on the system yesterday. after the last crash, I checked the heatsink temp with my finger and it was almost cold. When I pulled the fan and heatsink to clean them, I did NOT put more of that gray goo between the CPU and heatsink prior to putting it all back together, but I was also very careful not to wipe any of it off during cleaning. I was also very careful not to touch any part of the CPU itself, not knowing whether or not oil from my fingers would cause a problem. All fans are working properly as I type this, and the covers are off of the tower. The external hard drive, card reader, and my phone were all connected previously with no problems. Now if I plug any of the three in, it's crash city. I think this thing hates the fact that I tried to be nice and clean it up. Thanks for responding.
  3. Set the hard drive as the first boot device. There is usually an option to disable booting from other devices. If your BIOS has that option, set it.
  4. Best answer
    yes, the C drive, not the A drive as the first boot device.
    but at this point, I would repair install XP (see directions in this forum, fourth post from the top). The system seems corrupted. Leave all these devices plugged in when repair install is running, so that they will be discovered.
  5. Just checked BIOS and I was mistaken. Boot order was c>a>e>network. A has been disabled. is there any chance that a corrupted install would be causing the catastrophic system failure that I previously described? Is it necessary to put more of that grey stuff between the heatsink and the CPU to facilitate heat transfer, and could the cpu be overheating even though the heatsink is cool to the touch?
  6. The thermal paste and heat wouldn't have any effect on your issue.
  7. Best answer selected by sublimemindstate.
  8. This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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