Thread: Diagnosing Freeze Problem...
January 6th, 2004, 01:19 AM #1
Diagnosing Freeze Problem...
My grandmothers computer freezes after 3-5 minutes of operation. She lives 2 states away from me so I don't have detailed information on the computer. I need to know, what are some common causes of this kind of thing?
The computer has windows 98, and when the freeze happens there is no indications of anything happening. No beeps or anything. Just freezes right where it is.
She has already paid some bum $380 to come and fix it and he has made no difference at all and now he can't be reached.
Where should I start when trying to diagnose the problem here?
January 6th, 2004, 03:04 AM #2
please post your grandma's computer specs here so we can at least know what we are dealing here. how olld is the pc? what has been done so far with that $380 expenses?E7300 | Gigabyte Volar | Asus P5QL PRO | 4 x 1GB Team Extreem Dark DDR2 800 | Palit 9600GT Sonic 1GB DDR3 | HEC Raptor 500W | 120GB, 320GB, 200GB SATA HDD | 20x LiteOn DVDWR | Viewsonic 19" Wide
January 6th, 2004, 03:10 AM #3
That is pretty hard to determine what is wrong when numerous things can cause a pc to do that.
There are ways to fix it but it would take some skill to get someone by your grandma to fix it.
While reinstalling isn't always the best answer, it still should fix the problem.
However it boots into windows correct and is operational for a few moments?
Then going into safe mode and putting rem's in front of any start program starting up wouldn't be effective.
It could be a driver or possibly a program starting up that has messed up or even windows is botched.* ¨ )
(¸.·´ (¸.·´ ,.·´
January 6th, 2004, 03:17 AM #4
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- Oct 2003
I would start with the basics that can cause that kind of effect:
Cooling: is the cpu fan turning,
is it coated with dust, how about case cooling?
Ram: what kind, how much, replaced? Tested?
Power: Lets assume that grandma got a e-machine or one of those bookshelf model hp/compac/ you name it, the ones with the 80-125 watt power supplys.............
Those would be the areas I would target, then look at software only after i was convinced that none of the above were the problem.....
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January 6th, 2004, 08:31 AM #5
I would post the specs if I could. She doesn't even know what kind of computer it is...
I'm going to give her my old e-machine, that is functional, to use for a little while so I can try to figure out what is wrong with her computer. I can't just let her keep spending money for this guy to come out and not fix the problem.
Knowing my grandmother I would guess that she picked up one of the wal-mart computers.
The case fan does make some noise. It used to make a lot of noise, but my uncle cleaned the crud off of it and it got a little better. My uncle asked the guy about replacing the fan and the guy told him that they don't make fans for that tower anymore..."it's a rare part to come by". I personally believe that is BS.
The computer is functional for the first 5 minutes... give or take. Then just freezes up.
January 6th, 2004, 01:19 PM #6
- Join Date
- Oct 2001
Some of the anomalies that have caused freezes here that I was able to prove were...bad stick of ram...some Windows operating file went corrupt...a bad ribbon cable to the hard drive.
RAM: need to run Memtest86 overnight. (you could download Memtest, make a disk and mail that to her with instructions to run overnight).
Corrupt file: Go to start>run and type in SFC (system file checker) and see if that Windows utility finds a bad file...if it does, she would need the Win98 install disk to replace the file.
Funky Ribbon cable No way to test this..but they do fail. I have one here right now that I believe is failing..it is less than a year old..a new rounded set of IDE and floppy cable. These cables are not made the best way, and can just simply loose contact with the devices. The best thing is to renew the cable.
All of the above will require the help of someone with technical ability...maybe she could get someone to box up and ship the machine to you?..but would probably be as cheap to find a good shop and bite the bullet to have it tested/repaired.
January 6th, 2004, 03:24 PM #7
My uncle is going to meet me half way and we are going to exchange machines. She has lung and liver cancer and needs a machine to keep in touch with everyone via email. I'll run Memtest86 and check the windows files like you suggested.
I never thought about a failing IDE cable. I was going to replace the cpu fan and case fan if needed, and probably upgrade the power supply if lower than 300 watts.
(If anyone else has suggestions please post them, thanks)
January 6th, 2004, 03:54 PM #8
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- Oct 2003
I would start by running Spybot/Adaware and a good antivirus before getting too involved in hardware(start with the easy stuff first, right?) When you have the system specs, please post them.
Also, when you have the machine in front of you, check BIOS to make sure the HDD and any peripherals are being seen correctly. If it's a newer motherboard, it may have "hardware health" feature in BIOS that will give you current CPU and case temps.4200+x2,a8n-sli premium,2gig pc3500,7800gt,7x sata hdds (160gig-320gig),2x dvdrw,630w psu,gigabyte aurora
January 6th, 2004, 05:07 PM #9
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- Oct 2001
Sound files/drivers can also be a problem area. If nothing else seems to help, go into Device Manager in safe mode, highlight all of the sound entries and click remove (one at a time). shut down and pull the sound card. If it is built in sound, disable in BIOS and Device Manager. Try the machine a few days to see what happens.
On bootup, hit the pause key on the keyboard..this will stop the booting process while still in DOS. If after ??20 minutes, and the machine is not frozen (hit the enter key to resume booting), you can be reasonably assured the problem is somewhere in the OS..
Find out what applications may have been installed...just prior to this freezing began. How long has she had this machine?..did she buy it new?...where?...
You should also have her mouse and keyboard to test with..each (in very rare cases) can cause problems.
Last edited by Bovon; January 6th, 2004 at 05:10 PM.
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