Guh! Win2k has started locking up frequently. Any ideas?

drsuds used Ask the Experts™
Ok.. my machine used to run solid. I'm a power user. So I can't put my finger on where it all went wrong. First off I run an 900mhz amd athalon, asus a7v mb, with a 32 bit asus geefore video card, and 256 megs of micron ram. I have win2k. I THINK I started getting the lock ups when I installed directX 8.1b So I mannaged to uninstall it and go back to directx7. Still I have lock ups. I tend to get the lock ups more when I use win amp and when I use internet exploorer. So I got the latest version of each. Still no change. I've done everything. I've killed all my processes down to the bare minum. Still lock ups. I've installed service pack 3.. didn't do anything accept slow my machine down. I even went as far as to find "registery cleaning" software.. that doesn't do much.

I really NEEED these lock ups to stop. I'm rebooting about 25 times a day. I really DON'T want to reinstall the OS again. Any ideas? HELP!

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Sorry, but it looks like you may need to reinstall your OS or spend a lot of time tring to fix something that may not be fixed.
It only takes a couple of hours to reinstall your OS and all of your Apps and drivers. It could take a life time to solve a problem like the one you are experiencing.
Falco Bethkeperformance engineering

check your hardware!
anything overclocked??
In my experience lockups are almost always associated with HARDWARE or DEVICE DRIVERS.

1) Check your RAM.  Be 100% sure that it's good and the proper type/speed for your machine.  Swap it out for some known good modules.

2) Check your cooling.  If the CPU is getting too hot it may become unstable.

3) Check your hardware devices.  Remove EVERYTHING and put them back one at a time until you find what device is causing the problem.
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1. Save some web pages to a folder on your hard drive.
2. If you have not already done so, download some mp3 files to your hard drive.
3.Physically disconnect your PC from your ISP connection.
View those web pages.  Use winamp.  Does the problem occur?
If yes:
4. Boot to safe mode.  Repeat step 3.  Does the problem occur?  If yes, you have:  virus, hardware, corrupt OS, corrupt registry.
5. If the problem does not occur in safe mode, see:

Do you have a spare hard drive?  As a test, install the OS to the spare HD.  Do the problems persist?  Yes, you have a hardware issue?
As ihance suggests, it might be a device driver.  You could try updating all your drivers.

Did your Asus board come with monitoring software? If so, install it and watch the CPU and motherboard temp. If not, locate a program called "Speedfan" and run it.

I believe the 900Mhz Athlon was the t-bird chip; these were notorious for running hot. The random lockups you describe fit the description of an overheating chip.


Ahh ha! Yes It maybe my prossor running hot. I have to open my box. Some times I hear my fan running funny. Maybe it's not running at all.

I am checking this right now..


ouch. I just stuck my finger on my cpu fan. Running quite fast actualy. However it was quite warm in there. I'm going to proform an experment by hooking up my box fan and cooling the inside of my computer down to see if it's heat related. I have base bord heating and there's a heater right by my computer so that might be it. But I don't know if heat is the answer. It all started to happen when I made the mistake of downloading files from

well that's what I think anyway.


okay, there's hardware montering built in to my bios. Here's what I had after I opened my case.. I assume it was hotter before I did.

Mother board temp: 102 F
CPU 152.5 F

Fan spinning @ 1500RPM

After I hooked up my box fan,

Mother board temp droped to 89.5 F
and cpu temp went down to 145 F

Win amp is locking my machine perticularly. I also have two sound cards in my machine.. but that never upset anything. I even went as far as to turn the hardware acelleration down for both sound cards. Guhhh! So many things to fiddle with. I'm going to try safe mode next time it freezes. Let's hope it's just a heat probelm then all I have to do is instal a diesel fan, I've been wanting to mod my case anyway :p




Well here I am in safe mode with networking suppot,
this tells me that it's not a network problem. I also read that microsoft artical to some extent. My video card driver is not digitaly signed. And this brings some thing I did to the top. When I installed directx 8 (probably in the same hour I accidently uninstalled my video card's driver) there was a button on my asus pannel that sits in my start bar for uninstall driver. I clicked it hoping that it would be to just get it out of memory. I'm not sure why I wanted to do this.. I'm thinking that maybe it was because my computer was freezing. So I don't know if this is the answer :o/ Maybe it's because.. guhh this is anoying.. direct x 8 didn't like my unsigned driver. I'm not sure. I'm going to test this by disabling my video card and then my sound card in a normal boot. Sorry to share this hell with you guys. But I wanted some one to suffer with :)

Any more ideas are welcome


Well I disabled my video card. It's not digitaly signed. I'm listening to winamp and using IE. And I haven't had a lock up yet. Knock on wood. I'm going to give the question to jhance, for pointing my in the right direction.

But all REALLY good answers that I never thought of. Thank you everyone. :)

Now what the hell do I do about getting a signed driver.. or one that works? It has worked before.. I'm going to go ask another question in a diferent section.

Thanks again.


You pointed me in the right direction.. Disabled video card. No lockup so far. Knock on wood.


Try using the driver, even though it is unsigned.  If the problem returns, go to or, or directly to the video card manufacturer's web site for the latest drivers.
You can also try the microsoft windows update site.

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