w2k freezes

My problem is that W2K Pro freezes, in no particular pattern, and the only way to resume activity is to reboot.
I have a SOYO 6BA+ IV motherboard (latest bios).  2 Seagate ata/66 hard drives (C: 18 Gb, D: 30 Gb), both are FAT32.  Running 128 Mb DIMM, 100 Mhz.  Intel P3 650 Mhz CPU.  Have Creative Labs Sound Blaster AWE64, HP CD-Writer 8200i (internal) and a Creative Labs DVD 6 kit.  Video card is Voodoo 3 2000.
I've tried removing the 2nd hdd, dvd decoder card & sound card, leaving only the video card.  No help, it still freezes on occasion.
Sometimes, PC is fine for hours and never freezes.  Other times, it freezes a few minutes after I start.  No particular pattern to what software I'm running.  Sometime it crashes will on the internet or using some other software.  Other times, it freezes even if I haven't started ANY programs.
I originally had W98 SE running & upgrade to W2K, maintaining all my programs.
I tried safe mode but I cant run most of my programs so I really cant test.  Leaving it running in Safe mode (without running any software) hasn't caused a crash yet.
No errors in event viewer.
Any help appreciated!
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SysExpertConnect With a Mentor Commented:
If it works OK in safe mode, then it is probably a program.
I am not positive, but I think that you should
Download the Startup COP a free pcmag utility from

 Run it and it will show you everything that is listed in all the possible startup
places, and allow you to disable things one at a time until the problem is eliminated.
You may have some programs starting up that are not fully win2k compatible. Since there are a number of different places you can do an autostartup, Startup cop will help.
Another option is msconfig, but I am not sure it is available on win2k.
try Start run , msconfig and go to the startup Tab.
If neither of these work, we will have to dig into the registry.

I hope this helps.

Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
This is generally caused by heat or faulty memory.  Does your motherboard have temporature sensors (I use SuperMicro motherboards with temp sensors and found that when my system's internal temp stayed consistently at around 105 degrees (F), it would randomly lock up.  I bought a fan and am considering removing the case cover and since I bought the fan, the temperature has remained around 97 and no freezes.  If you're SURE heat isn't an issue, try replacing the memory and/or lowering the clock-multiplier (if you have a 650, set the motherboard to a 6x (instead of 6.5) multiplier - this should reduce the heat of the chip a bit and see how long that lasts)...
drodeyAuthor Commented:
I have a temp monitor.  I'll check what my temp is.  I currently have 2 fans in the tower case and the case is open on one side (while I am troubleshooting).

Previously, I was running 128 Mb DIMM at 66 Mhz, which was a problem.  I am now running a 128 Mb DIMM at 100 Mhz.  The memory issue has been corrected but the problem still exists.

Also, the multiplier is set to 6.5. I'll see about lowering it to 6.0.

Also, I'll try the startup program utility.

Finally, I believe my Safe Mode tests were inconclusive since I couldn't actually run the same programs I normally run, thus I couldn't put the same load and see if it freezes.

I'll post results from your suggestions tomorrow.
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
DIMMs should all work at 66MHz, but not all at 100.  If you were having a problem with that DIMM before, it's probably bad.  Get a new one that's 100 MHz.
1. The clock multiplyer is LOCKED in all Intel's processors after the early 300A and 333A Celerons. Do not switch to 6.0 X 100 for nothing.
2. You may have some registry malfunctions which can not be traced.
3. No matter what Microsoft says, it's much prefferable to install from scratch than upgrade the operating system. Finally, make a detailed and secure backup, format your Win2k partition and start over again...
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
Really?  Then how come everyone, including myself, successfully overclock celerons?
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
Further gus999, check out this web site:

almost 250 people have submitted their system specs for overclocked Pentium III chips.  Including newer chips running on 133 MHz Bus.
Dear leew, the answer is simple. The clock frequency of the processor is depended of the System speed and the multiplier. The system speed which all Celerons use is 66MHz, meaning that the processor communicates with the RAM at this speed. As for the AGP port, the frequency is the same (AGP 2X), while the frequency of the PCI bus is the half of it (33MHz). In newer boards, which support AGP 4X, this port can operate at 133MHz (4 X 33MHz). In Pentium II and Pentium III the system speed is 100 MHz. In these cases the speed of the AGP and the PCI speed is achieved by the bios automatically (or manualy), to have these devices set at 66 and 33 MHz respectively, (100 X 2/3, 100 X 1/2). Recently, iNTEL released new series PIII's (series B), which operate at a system bus of 133 MHz. These pentiums achieve the AGP 2X frequency by deviding the system bus by 2, (PCI dividing by 4).

In all cases, the overclocking posibilities are based ONLY in increasing the system bus frequency. For example, the Celeron 400MHz has a multiplier of 400 / 66 = 6. It could be overclocked at 450MHz by setting the system bus frequency at 75 MHz (6 X 75 = 450). A Pentium III 500 has a multiplier of 500 / 100 = 5 . It could be overclocked at 560 MHz by setting the system bus frequency at 112 MHz (5 X 112 = 560). A PIII600B has a multiplier of 600 / 133 = 4.5 . It could be overclocked at 640MHz by setting the system bus frequency at 143 MHz (4.5 X 143 = 642). As you see, the multiplier remains stable, because it's locked and the system bus is increased.
Please, keep a serious note that this kind of efforts for higher speed voids any warranty and can cause thermal problems to the processor, the hard disks and the display adaptor. Thus, extra air cooling must be established in the computer case. Everyone who sets the computing machine overclocked, must know well what is he/she doing...
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:

I don't see how your explanation solves drodey's problem.  Further, I don't quite understand your point.  How would you overclock a chip if not by adjusting the bus frequency and clock multiplier?  That's how my Pentium 233 is overclocked to 266.  I'm not actually suggesting he overclock his system.  I am suggesting he underclock it to reduce heat on the CPU and determine if that might be a cause of the problem.  For those who may see this dicussion you make a good point about voiding the warranty, but the way you reacted to adjusting clock speed made it seem as if you believed it was impossible to do with new Intel chips.  I believe the web sites I provided prove otherwise.  I would say that HOW you overclock it really isn't relavent - if it's overclocked, it's going to run hotter than the chip is certified to run at unless you have very good cooling.  If it's underclocked, nothing's hurt.
Dear leew, once again, the iNTEL processors of today, Celerons and Pentium III's can be overclocked by increasing the system bus only. Obtain one and you' ll see...
Ok, now, focus on Drodey's problem! It is well frequently reported that problems occur when a Windows OS is upgraded. All I say, is that the best and cleanest way to install a Windows operating system is a clean setup in a recently formatted drive. I do not feel so comfortable by saying this, I know this solution is time consuming. But it's the best one.

Also, dear Drodey, consider to take a look at your bios power management settings. Try to disable it over there, and also disable all power management features in the screen saver properties. See what happens.
drodeyAuthor Commented:
Here's an update.  I checked the system temp, right after one of the freezes.  I rebooted & went into the BIOS.  Both the System & CPU temps were in the 85-88 degree F range.  Overheating doesn't seem to be the problem here.  As I mentioned, I have 2 fans and one side of the case has been open for the past 2 weeks now...

I've yet to try the Startup COP program.  I will do that this weekend.

I have not changed the clock multiplier.  I dont think that's the problem.  My MB is at 100 Mhz Bus speed, same as my RAM.

I know I can nuke & re-install but I wanted to avoid that if possible seeing as how I'd have to spend a good amount of time re-configuring my system back the way it was.
I am very interested in this problem because the same thing is happening to me!  I just built a new machine because my old one was getting too slow for me.

I propose it is hardware since I did a clean install and have very few programs running and they all happen to be Microsoft as well! (Money, Office 2k, etc)

Here is what I have on my new machine:

Asus P3C-LS motherboard with built-in Intel 10/100 ethernet card and Adaptec 7892 Ultra 160 SCSI controller

Intel 733mhz EB flip-chip on a generic slocket

1x128mb 800mhz RIMM (shows up as 400mhz for some reason though)

Seagate Cheetah 10k rpm Ultra 160 9.2gb HDD

Elsa Erazor X2 Video Card (NVidea chipset)

SB Live! Platinum Card

LS-120 Superdisk (2x)

Plextor SCSI-2 8x burner (20x read)

Umax Astra 1200S Flatbed SCSI-2 Scanner

Nokia 445Pro 21" Flat Monitor

Wireless Keyboard and Mouse (Both Logitech)

Any common items that might be the issue?
this would sometimes happen to me im not sure if this can help but try moving all of your dirves to ATA/33 win2k sometimes has a problem with the ata/66 also what is the rating of your power supply?
check your CAS memory timing setting change to all to 3 or auto.
Adam LeinssCommented:
Some of what I have been reading from my lurking around microsoft.public.win2000.* is that drivers are causing a lot of these problems.  Some of the the things I've seen suggested:  turn AGP from 4X or 2X down to 1X.  Turn down the video acceleration to bare minimum in the display settings.  And of course, make sure you have the latest drivers for everything.
your lockup problem could be being caused by a faulty AGP driver from microsoft... i had a brand new Gigabyte GA5AX machine and the supplied Microsoft Win2K ALI AGP driver caused a similar program to yours... about a week later when i checked the ALI site they had a driver for it...
drodeyAuthor Commented:
So, I used the Startup COP program, which was helpful since it showed me one prg that I had running that wasnt showing up as an icon in Sys Tray.  It's the 3dfx tools (btw, my Voodoo 3 2000 video card is PCI, not AGP).  So, I disabled it on Friday night.  All weekend, there were no problems.  Then, last night, after several hours of use, the PC froze again and I had to reboot. This time, however, W2K didn't come back up properly. It started and kept saying Explorer ran into some problems and that it was shutting it down.  It finnally left me at a blank screen (with my background picture), mouse control but no desktop icons or task bar.  All I could do was hit Ctrl-Alt-Del. I tried using Task Mgr to run Explorer but then TM would shut down.  Eventually, after trying several things, I could only reboot.  After several cold & warm reboots, the problem never went away!  
So, I popped in the W2K CD & tried repairing...that didn't work either.
Eventually, I installed W2K again in another dir.  It came up fine.  So far, I've got MS Office installed - nothing else.  I'll continue to add software throughout the week.  
I'll keep you posted.
BTW, after closing my case, my CPU temp is still only 95 deg F and system is 89 Deg F.  No heating problems.
I would suggest making a seperate Emergency repair disk ( ERD ) after each new software install and labeling them so that you can go back to any stage After you discover the problem.
See the online help for ERD - it should say how to make one.
 Good Luck !
drodeyAuthor Commented:
Good idea, SysExpert.  I'll do that & keep everyone posted.
drodeyAuthor Commented:
So far, I've reinstalled most applications and there has not been any problems except one -

When I do Shutdown, it restarts.
When I do Shutdown & Restart, it restarts.
It never actually shuts down.  It just reboots the PC and starts up again; regardless of the option I choose.

I also have W98 installed and when I do shutdown in there, it properly shuts down so it looks like a W2K issue, not a hardware or BIOS issue.

Any ideas?
drodeyAuthor Commented:
Comment accepted as answer
drodeyAuthor Commented:
Final update: Reinstalled W2K & applications, restored data, upgraded drivers, etc...no crashes or freezes.  Apparently, it was some software problem that I couldn't exactly pinpoint but re-installing (even though it was the last option) did the trick.

It wasn't a hardware problem - i.e. overclocking, overheating, wrong RAM, etc.

Thanks to all who submitted their comments.  Unfortunately, I can't divide the points so I must award them to one person and I think SysExpert's Start Cop suggestion best fit the problem resolution.

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