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Unexplained Lockups

Posted on 2003-12-10
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Hello All,

I have a PIII 733Mhz, 256 MB Ram, 20GB HDD running Win 98.  I have been experiencing problems with this machine inexplicably locking up.  The only application that is being run during the lockup is a Citrix Server based Web App.  The machine locks, blue screens and then reboots itself.  I have ran several spyware detection and elimination programs as well as many AV scans.  I have removed unnecessay startup items using MSConfig.  Also, I think that it is important to note that the hard drive was fdisk'd and formatted and a fresh Windows 98 install was made about 1 month ago.

I have been putting off narrowing down the problem because I am scheduled to upgrade the machine to Windows XP(along with memory upgrades) at the first of the year.  My concern now, is that there is some kind of hardware problem plauging this machine.  I have run the memory tester available from MS and it confirms that the system memory is Ok.  What else should I check?  Should I just attribute this problem to Win 98 sucking, or is there a more insidious hardware problem at play here?
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Question by:knottydrd
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10 Comments
 
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Assisted Solution

by:CrazyOne
CrazyOne earned 400 total points
ID: 9915208
Test the RAM

If you can swap out the RAM with known good modules for testing first if you can't do that then test the machine with one RAM module at a time until you tested every module. Other wise run the the following RAM testers.
--------------------------------------------

NOTE IF THIS DOESN'T FIND ANYTHING WRONG WITH THE RAM THIS DOESN'T MEAN THE RAM IS GOOD you would need to swap out the RAM with known good modules for testing. However if it does find something wrong then chances are the RAM is bad.

DocMemory PC RAM
Diagnostic Software
http://www.simmtester.com/PAGE/products/doc/docinfo.asp

or

http://www.memtest86.com/ 

or

GoldMemory
http://www.goldmemory.cz/
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by:CrazyOne
ID: 9915210
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rayt333 earned 600 total points
ID: 9915391
Check to see if fans are working and that there isn't any dust buildup.
sounds like an overheating issue to me.
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Author Comment

by:knottydrd
ID: 9915453
Great Comments!  I'll try some of these suggestions this evening.
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Expert Comment

by:briancassin
ID: 9917880
It sounds like you are in an office enviroment from your description you are not using any coffee warmers, Space heaters, or other electrical appliances in the same outlet as the pc ?   I know this sounds like a lame question but these sort of things could cause problems.
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by:Stevejones123
ID: 9921485
Does it lock up without the Citrix server app?
W98SE is fairly stable.
What does the error message say?
When does it happen; if it only happens after some time then it may be overheating.
I had the same problem and it came down to the fact that the chips on the motherbaord were chips intended to run at 83Mhz and had been sold cheap and clocked to run at 66, 100, or 133Mhz. This of course meant that the PCI bus was running at 53Mhz instead of 33Mhz, and thus I/O which used it, would crash the system.

Test your machine with Sandra www.3bsoftware.com/sandra
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Author Comment

by:knottydrd
ID: 9921610
hmm, well, the hard drive crashed last night.  I installed a case fan, rebooted and it worked.  Rebooted again, NO HDD found.  I started a thread here for help:  http://www.experts-exchange.com/Hardware/Desktops/Q_20822467.html

Thanks for your comments.

BTW:  Good thought on the heaters, etc, but i have made it a point to remove those type of things from our environment.
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Expert Comment

by:CrazyOne
ID: 9921632
Ah interesting I didn't think of connecting that question to this question. :)
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Author Comment

by:knottydrd
ID: 9924285
Check out this related link.  The plot thickens. . .

http://www.experts-exchange.com/Hardware/Desktops/Q_20823542.html

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Author Comment

by:knottydrd
ID: 9930433
Ray nailed it, after inspecting this machine, the fan was not connected to the motherboard.  This had been going on for about 2 years apparently (I just started to work here).  I swapped the memory with Known good as per CrazyOne and everything seems to be stable now.  I have been running all day without problem. Perhaps the lack of cooling caused the componenets to overheat and damaged them.  This in turn would have caused the intermittant lock up problems.

Thanks to all!!!
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