New Hardware consistently Locks-Up after 15-30 seconds

Posted on 2003-03-15
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-05-04
I recently bought an Intel Celeron 2-gigahertz processor as well as a new mainboard (with built-in video card) and a new power-supply (500 watts). The computer consistently locks up after roughly 15-30 seconds from being powered up. This happens whether I let the system start loading Windows, or if I spend time in the BIOS screen; no matter what I do, the computer freezes after running for maybe a half-minute. Sometimes I get far enough along for Windows to begin detecting-and-installing the new hardware; other times the computer locks up more quickly. I've tried various different BIOS settings, but the computer still freezes up if I'm in the BIOS screen for more than 15-30 seconds.

I am using my old RAM (192 megs in 2 DIMMS from a Gateway 400-megahertz system). The documentation for my mainboard says it will support DIMMS, provided I have the proper jumper-settings (which I'm 99% certain I've done). Also, the built-in video card uses this RAM, and my mainboard documentation suggests I wouldn't get any video if the RAM weren't working. I have no video problems ... just the system hangs.

I also have a CD-ROM, floppy drive, and three hard-drives (40-gig, 30-gig, and 10-gig) plugged into the system -- none of which are new. Because of the constant system freezes, Windows now routinely begins scanning for "improper shutdown" errors on my hard-drives ... and subsequently locks-up again during this process.
Question by:boypretzel
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Accepted Solution

iclarius earned 225 total points
ID: 8142459

Here are some thoughts.

1. If your RAM is PC66 or PC100 MHZ (not unusual for a PII-400 CPU) as opposed to PC133, you'll get odd things happening due to the inability of the RAM to keep up with the bus access. See if you can try faster RAM in the system to see if that helps.

2. If you are using the old motherboard drivers, video, etc, then you might have lockups and such while trying to get into Windows. Do you have a plain vanilla boot floppy that you can boot off and see if you can reinstalll Windows?

3. If the mb is that new, the motherboard might not be compatible with the older version of Windows.

4. Have you been to the mb maker's web site to see if there are any updated BIOS or compatibilities issues?


Expert Comment

ID: 8144218
Well, the fact that it locks up just sitting in the BIOS configuration screen says that it's not a windows issue.

More likely it's one of the following:

1) Is the fan spinning on the CPU?  Sounds like maybe it's overheating.... I know you're saying "What, in 15 seconds?" but at 2 GHZ, if there's no cooling going on, they get hot FAST.  Your heat sinc actually holds heat in unless it's vented off by the fan.

2) Could be the memory, although once again sitting in the BIOS setup and it locks up really points more toward a thermal problem (solution 1)


Expert Comment

ID: 8144749
Intel processors will slow themselves down when they get overheated.  www.tomshardware.com did an article on this and they have a video that shows it in action.  So, although I would not say that it is 100% certain, I would say that the problem most likely is not an overheating problem, at least not with the processor.

The most likely culprit is the ram.  The guy that said pc100 (or pc66) is too slow is correct.  I'm just amazed you were able to boot at all.

PC133 is what you'll need.

Author Comment

ID: 8145620
Thanks everybody ... I bought some new memory today, and it worked like a charm (well still a few bugs in the system to work out, but it's 100% better with faster RAM) ... appreciate all the help!!

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