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XP Freeze-ups help - Can induce it!

Last response: in Windows XP
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Anonymous
June 13, 2005 7:51:05 AM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.general,microsoft.public.windowsxp.hardware (More info?)

Hello all. I'm trying to troubleshoot freeze-up problems in an XP
configuration.

I'm able to reproduce the error everytime I want, which should
facilitate the resolution, but so far, I haven't been able to find out
what's causing it.

When I open a folder containing a bunch of files, all I have to do to
induce the freeze is click a few times on the any column, in "details"
mode, in order to sort the files. After 4-5 times the system will freeze
up completely.

What I tried:
- Checking the disk for errors (chkdsk /F);
- Defragmenting the disk;
- Checking RAM for errors (memtest86'ed up to 100%, no errors)
- Changing video adapter (the motherboard has an integraded sis651, I
installed an nvidia ti4200 I had);
- Disabling UltraDMA on all IDE channels;
- Disabling Audio / USB Controllers;
- Upgrading the BIOS;
- Checking the temperature readout of the CPU for abnormal values.

ECS L4S5MG3 2.2 Revision
Celeron 2Ghz
2 x 256 333Mhz DDR DIMMs
40Gb Maxtor Hard-Disk (80 conductor cable)
Creative CD-RW, LG CD (Master / Slave 40 conductor cable)
Floppy drive
Integraded audio and video (respectively ac97 and sis651)
XP + SP2 + All recent windows and driver updates

I'm totally at a loss. The problem can occur anytime, sometimes
manifesting itself as a BSOD (IRQ_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL or
MACHINE_CHECK_EXCEPTION), but I can induce a freeze with the above
method anytime.

ANY ideas are welcome!

Sergio Pozzetti - sergio@pozzetti.com

More about : freeze ups induce

Anonymous
June 13, 2005 10:49:20 AM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.hardware (More info?)

Sergio Pozzetti Wrote:
> Hello all. I'm trying to troubleshoot freeze-up problems in an XP
> configuration.
>
> I'm able to reproduce the error everytime I want, which should
> facilitate the resolution, but so far, I haven't been able to find out
> what's causing it.
>
> When I open a folder containing a bunch of files, all I have to do to
> induce the freeze is click a few times on the any column, in "details"
> mode, in order to sort the files. After 4-5 times the system will
> freeze
> up completely.
>
> What I tried:
> - Checking the disk for errors (chkdsk /F);
> - Defragmenting the disk;
> - Checking RAM for errors (memtest86'ed up to 100%, no errors)
> - Changing video adapter (the motherboard has an integraded sis651, I
> installed an nvidia ti4200 I had);
> - Disabling UltraDMA on all IDE channels;
> - Disabling Audio / USB Controllers;
> - Upgrading the BIOS;
> - Checking the temperature readout of the CPU for abnormal values.
>
> ECS L4S5MG3 2.2 Revision
> Celeron 2Ghz
> 2 x 256 333Mhz DDR DIMMs
> 40Gb Maxtor Hard-Disk (80 conductor cable)
> Creative CD-RW, LG CD (Master / Slave 40 conductor cable)
> Floppy drive
> Integraded audio and video (respectively ac97 and sis651)
> XP + SP2 + All recent windows and driver updates
>
> I'm totally at a loss. The problem can occur anytime, sometimes
> manifesting itself as a BSOD (IRQ_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL or
> MACHINE_CHECK_EXCEPTION), but I can induce a freeze with the above
> method anytime.
>
> ANY ideas are welcome!
>
> Sergio Pozzetti - sergio@pozzetti.com

It sounds like an irq conflict. Onboard video can cause this on some
mother boards and from what iv'e read, figure out which device is
causing this and reassign the device to a different irq.


--
PCDaddyPosted from http://www.pcreview.co.uk/ newsgroup access
Anonymous
June 14, 2005 6:27:22 PM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.general,microsoft.public.windowsxp.hardware (More info?)

On Mon, 13 Jun 2005 03:51:05 +0100, Sergio Pozzetti

>Hello all. I'm trying to troubleshoot freeze-up problems in an XP
>configuration. I'm able to reproduce the error everytime I want,

That suggests a static failure pattern (as in, unchanging/constant,
not "static electricity") such as corrupted files due to bad exits or
secondary damage from (previous?) bad RAM, or failing HD, or some sort
of software (d)effect such as version soup, duelling avs, active
malware, compatibility issues, or just plain bad coding.

It points away from bad motherboard caps, bad PSU, or bad RAM - though
these can corrupt files and thus cause secondary damage that is static
in pattern, there will generally be variability and progression.

>When I open a folder containing a bunch of files, all I have to do to
>induce the freeze is click a few times on the any column, in "details"
>mode, in order to sort the files. After 4-5 times the system will freeze
>up completely.

Sounds like bad persistent handling.

One of the new internal risks that we will have to manage in future,
is extra code that runs when files are listed. In addition to the
performance aspect, there's malware risk, as this code is processing
the contents of files that the user has indicated NO intention to
"open". All it takes is one unchecked buffer within this large
internal risk surface, and you can have malware that can't be listed,
selected or deleted through the GUI withour running it.

The risk is unbounded, because 3rd-party code can integrate into the
GUI as persistent handlers. So an exploit may be found within such
3rd-party code (e.g. WinZip, MS Office etc.), or malware may integrate
itself to function *as* a persistent handler.

When it comes to the perfomance impact, there are two aspects; things
that slow down the enumeration of the namespace heirarchy, such as
slow network drive mappings, drive devices or pseudo-devices, and then
the classic file-orientated persistent handlers described above.

On the latter, consider antivirus software, and "fun" utilities that
show graphic file icons as extracts of the graphic itself.

>What I tried:
>- Checking the disk for errors (chkdsk /F);

OK, but that doesn't check for physical defects. You can't really
trust Windows on this, what with ChkDsk's poor reporting and NTFS
driver code's attempt to "fix" such defects on the fly, so download
and use your HD vendor's diagnostic tools. Handle with care!

>- Defragmenting the disk;

OK - if the PC's otherwise healthy and stable

>- Checking RAM for errors (memtest86'ed up to 100%, no errors)

Irrelevant - bad RAM crashes at full speed! Even when there's error
detection, it will halt the system when errors are found, not retry.

>- Changing video adapter (the motherboard has an integraded sis651, I
>installed an nvidia ti4200 I had);

OK

>- Disabling UltraDMA on all IDE channels;

OK, That would usually slow things down, and a spontaneous retreat
from a faster UDMA mode to a slower one, or to CPU-hogging PIO, may
have initiated the slowdown. This would affect all HD activity,
though, not just listing of files in the GUI.

>- Disabling Audio / USB Controllers;

OK, good spot; not as irrelevant as it sounds, as slow USB items in
the namespace could be a factor

>- Upgrading the BIOS;

Brave

>- Checking the temperature readout of the CPU for abnormal values.

Good

>ECS L4S5MG3 2.2 Revision
>Celeron 2Ghz
>2 x 256 333Mhz DDR DIMMs
>40Gb Maxtor Hard-Disk (80 conductor cable)

No fireworks there, especially when it fills up :-(

>Creative CD-RW, LG CD (Master / Slave 40 conductor cable)
>Floppy drive
>Integraded audio and video (respectively ac97 and sis651)
>XP + SP2 + All recent windows and driver updates

>I'm totally at a loss. The problem can occur anytime, sometimes
>manifesting itself as a BSOD (IRQ_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL or
>MACHINE_CHECK_EXCEPTION), but I can induce a freeze with the above
>method anytime.

I'd start by doing "the prelim", as per this dated Win9x description:

http://cquirke.mvps.org/9x/bthink.htm

Update that for XP, in that it's a LOT more difficult to formally
exclude traditional malware on NTFS (start with Bart's PE and run
SysClean, Stinger etc. from there, then repeat these in so-called
"Safe" Mode Command Prompt Only) - and then go on to exclude
commercial malware from "Safe" Mode Comamnd Prompt Only, using AdAware
SE 1.06, Spybot 1.4 and Microsoft AntiSpyware Beta.

You can then go manual, classically starting with HiJackThis, but in
your case I might go directly to Shell Extension Viewer, as that's
where I think you'll hit gold. All of the tools I've mentioned are
free downloads, and the av and anti-cm stuff has to be updated.

Finally, download and prepare your tools (especially the Bart's PE
bootable CDR) from a known-clean PC, not yours!






>------------------------ ---- --- -- - - - -
Forget http://cquirke.blogspot.com and check out a
better one at http://topicdrift.blogspot.com instead!
>------------------------ ---- --- -- - - - -
Anonymous
July 5, 2005 3:34:47 AM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.general,microsoft.public.windowsxp.hardware (More info?)

It turns out that even though hardware-level tests such as memtest86 and
checkit did not detect any RAM errors, even after several passes,
switching to new modules completely solved the problem. I wonder what
sort of test could manifest the error.

I did try to install Linux, but all I got in the kernel messages where
hard-disk I/O errors. No spontaneous restarts nor freezes.

Oh well.

Problem solved. Thanks guys.

Sergio Pozzetti - sergio@pozzetti.com
!