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Bizarre...

Last response: in Components
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July 1, 2003 2:36:08 AM

I have been having the strangest lockups. Here's the story. I own a Sony VAIO. About 2 weeks ago it started randomly locking up. It would take anywhere between 2 minutes to an hour after turning on the computer. Rather than troubleshoot the power supply, video cards and other components, i decided to use it as an excuse to build a new machine, and worry about the Sony later. I ordered all of my parts from newegg.com (great website - great prices and fast shipping). I built the new computer and only brought over a agp vidcard, a pci vid card, a soundblaster and two harddrives from the other computer. I wasn't terribly surprised when the new computer locked up in the same fashion as the old one. I figured bad video card so took them out and replaced the agp with an older one i had sitting. To make this short, as the new computer sits now it has NO components from the old computer... and it still locks up. After racking my brain i decided it was either heat or power related. I've monitored the temp of the CPU using the software that came with the mother board. The highest it has ever read is 38c. It did actually lock up at that time, but it has been known to lock up even at 27c. That pretty much rules out heat. I thought maybe i was having a slight brown-out in my apartment and it was causing the computer to lock up. I've since ruled out that idea for a number of reasons. One, the computer is hooked up to a UPS. And two, I took the computer to the place i work and it locked up there! At this point i do not know what to think. It certainly seems like a hardware problem, but software is the only thing common between the two computers. However, i have the same software running on other computers in my apartment that work just fine. This seems far fetched, but could it be a virus of some sort? When i first hooked up the two HDD from the Sony in the new computer, could they have copied something on the BIOS or Memory, and i am still seeing the effects of it? if this is the case, how could i find the virus? ... or could one of the video cards have actually damaged the mobo and caused it to act the same as the other computer? That is about all i can think of right now. I am going to install win2k instead of XP pro tomorrow, and see what happens, but I would love to hear some other ideas. Feel free to email me at amcintosh_23@yahoo.com. Thanks in advance.

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July 1, 2003 2:50:25 AM

You're going to have to be alot more specific. What *exactly* are you running for hardware? What *software* are you referring to? What do you mean by 'lock-up'? Reboot? BSOD? Or 'lock-up' as in totally freeze?
July 1, 2003 2:59:44 AM

i apologize for being vague. i was trying to type the last post fast before my computer locked-up. =P Anyway, it's a complete mouse/keyboard freeze. The mouse won't move, and the keyboard does nothing. No BSOD. I have to either restart or turn off the machine with the buttons on the case. The new system (as it currently sits) is a P4 2.4c (w/ hyperthreading), 2x 512mb DDR2700 (333mhz - configured as dual channel), ASUS P4P800 Deluxe MB, Gforce2MX agpvid card, 30g 5400rpm Maxtor HDD. The software i am referring to is primarly the OS... WinXP Pro SP1... and, um... office, photoshop, flash... etc. There doesn't seem to be any particular peice of software that cause the machine to lock. It has happened during idle and under a load. Thanks for the quick reply.
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July 1, 2003 7:09:12 AM

Try setting the memory manually to slower timings.

<font color=blue>Watts mean squat if you don't have quality!</font color=blue>
July 1, 2003 5:50:49 PM

Power supply?
July 1, 2003 6:13:07 PM

The power supply is brand new. Antec TruePower 380w.
July 1, 2003 8:15:17 PM

Well, I noticed you have a 2.4C on a P4P800, and this settup often pushes normal memory a little too hard for stability.

Additionally, PC2700, while it works, is the wrong type of memory for this settup. For best performance you need PC3200, and for best stability using PC3200 you would need the highest quality PC3200.

I assume your board automatically set the memory speed to 166MHz (DDR333), using the CPU:RAM bus ratio of 6:5?

<font color=blue>Watts mean squat if you don't have quality!</font color=blue>
July 2, 2003 12:05:32 AM

thanks for the input crashman, i'll take a look at a few of those things tonight when i get home. I am still confused why both computers would do the exact same thing. Coincidence i suppose. I bought some more fans today, and i am going to determine once and for all if the temperature has anything to do with this problem. I am wondering if the vidcard is heating up too much.
!