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Computer randomly freezes or resets no error message

Posted on 2004-03-23
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computer freezes usually when access the start menu . can only reset computer to boot back up. No error message displayed

i have XP home no sp1 as computer freezes while trying to download it so i haven't got it yet .

its a clean install on xp home with 120 gb drive brand new and new power supply 400w brand new

256 rd rambus ram  4X64Mb

ms-6385 motherboard bios 1.4 version socket 423 Pentium 4 Willamette 1.3Ghz

http://www.msi.com.tw/program/support/download/dld/spt_dld_detail.php?UID=133&kind=1

msi geforce fx 5200 t128 with 52.16 tried also 56.64 nvidia drivers.

please help. any ideas or solutions welcome.
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Question by:Try_this_one
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by:eccs19
ID: 10658096
If it's actually a clean install of XP, then hopefully this means no viruses. (You may want to check just to make sure), but it could also be that the system is just overheating.  Check for dust bunnies.  Also make sure all your fans are actually working.  I have seen systems where the CPU fan is working, but it's not spinning fast enough.  If you can get into your BIOS, you may be able to check the CPU / Motherboard tempurature in there.  Perhaps you just need an extra case fan to help curculate the air better.  One last thought if these other idea's fail.  If you can get your hands on a power supply, you could try swapping it out.
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by:buckeyes33
ID: 10658428
did you upgrade the chipset drivers.  This is the first thing that needs to be done before you install SP1.

You also could have a bad componet.  If you have some extra RAM or two sticks.  Try swapping them out and see what happens.  
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by:Callandor
ID: 10658625
Here's a memory test program that might help: www.memtest86.com.  Run the diagnostic program and see if it fails.  Even if it passes, that doesn't mean the RAM is good; only a swap with known, good working RAM will tell you that, which buckeyes33 has suggested.
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by:Try_this_one
ID: 10661917
ok the computer is free of virus for certain.
   The computer did reset a few times while putting on xp home in the first place. it took about 3 times to put it on.
    I have PC alert 4 from msi to measure the temperature and the cpu is 40c in a no load situation . ive seen it rise to 60C while downloading.
   The fan speed adjusts faster when temperature rises. It is about 5000 rpm now. the side panel is off the computer and i have a house fan which is also cooling the system. The board system temp is about 30C.
   Ive tried 3 different power supplies and it does the same thing.

Also of note is when i hit the start menu button in the task bar about 5 times quickly it will always freeze. But if i change the start menu to classic view and do the same it wont freezes there.
 I cant load sp1 from windows update as it freezes while downloading but i did download from a web site sp1 and when i ran it the computer reset about half way through.

I have 4 rambus 64Mb . they must be installed in pairs. if left 2 out and tryed with 128mb and swapped memory around in slots and blown all dust out of slots and cpu etc and the same thing happens every time. Strange thing is a can surf the web and install programs on and it does not freeze. if i try games it will freeze at some point normally straight away or it will reset the computer.

 i have memtest and i burned it on a bootable cd. Not sure exactly which settings i should be testing with it. it has a lot of options. How long should i let the test go on for etc.

 The thing is RDram is very expensive so i dont want to rush out and get some if it does not have no difference.

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by:Try_this_one
ID: 10661949
I tryed chipset drivers from MSI for the motherboard page above and one from the live update utility msi. They gave different versions of the chipset with the live update why i dont know.
and I have and the one from intel itself  all result the same.
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by:Callandor
ID: 10662180
Let memtest86 run for hours, since some errors don't show up even after that amount of time.  The memory could still be bad, after all that.
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by:buckeyes33
ID: 10662228
What is happening seems to be more and more a RAM problem.
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by:Try_this_one
ID: 10662610
ran memtest86 v3.1 results are

computer reset at least 4 times in a row after about 2 minutes.
then it ran again for 6 minutes then reset itself again.
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by:buckeyes33
ID: 10662897
Looks like you have a bad RAM.  

Since that is the case.  It might be cheaper to get a new motherboard and DDR RAM.  Just something to think about.
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by:Try_this_one
ID: 10696385
Right ok i have Bought 2 X 128 Mb chips and put them in and guess what same problem computer freezes at menu bar again.

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by:Callandor
ID: 10697162
The faulty RAM may have corrupted some system files while you were using it.  Try a repair install to clear up any corrpted files - your programs and data will be unchanged.

http://www.dougknox.com/xp/tips/xp_repair_install.htm
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by:Try_this_one
ID: 10704108
I thought of that too and i already did a repair install and it rebooted while doing the repair install although i did get the repair install on in the first place . also the memtest program results in the computer rebooted while testing with the new memory. So i think its down to 2 things Motherboard or processor!! what do you thing. Unless the memory i bought is faulty too.
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by:buckeyes33
ID: 10704885
>>memtest program results in the computer rebooted while testing with the new memory
that is not good.  Then i would bet that your motherboard is bad.  Something to do with either the chipset or memory controller.  Can you check your processor in another machine to make sure that is not bad, before you go buy a new motherboard.
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by:Callandor
ID: 10706279
buckeyes33 is on the right track.
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by:Try_this_one
ID: 10853235
Put in shop for repair . Got it back yesterday and it doesnt freeze at menu anymore but now freezes doing games. and also comes back sometimes with this blue screen error report. So i dont know what they done to it but a it still does not work proper.

 
Error Message: STOP: 0x0000009C (0x00000004, 0x00000000, 0xb2000000, 0x00020151) ...
Applies To
This article was previously published under Q329284
For a Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 and Microsoft Windows 2000 version of this article, see 162363.

SYMPTOMS
Your computer may generate the following Stop error message on a blue screen:

STOP: 0x0000009C (0x00000004, 0x00000000, 0xb2000000, 0x00020151)
"MACHINE_CHECK_EXCEPTION"
Note that the four parameters that are inside the parentheses may vary. (yes mine were different)
CAUSE
This behavior occurs because your computer processor detected an unrecoverable hardware error and reported it to Windows XP. To do so, it used the Machine Check Exception (MCE) feature of Pentium processors or the Machine Check Architecture (MCA) feature of some Pentium Pro processors. The error may be a result of any of the following:
System bus errors.
Memory errors that may include parity or Error Correction Code (ECC) problems.
Cache errors in the processor or hardware.
Translation Lookaside Buffers (TLB) errors in the processor.
Other CPU-vendor specific detected hardware problems.
Vendor-specific detected hardware problems.
STATUS
This behavior is by design.
MORE INFORMATION
A machine check exception occurs when Windows XP and your hardware platform cannot recover from some type of hardware error so that the system can continue to run successfully and reliably. More specific diagnosis of machine check exceptions is difficult and there is no general solution. Contact your hardware manufacturer or a computer hardware technician for help with troubleshooting this issue.

Machine check exceptions are frequently caused by one of the following conditions:
Running the processor or mainboard beyond its specifications. For example, overclocking the processor or bus. Microsoft recommends that you run your hardware at the manufacturer-rated speeds.
Noisy power, overstressed power strips, outmatched power supplies and failing power supplies can destabilize your computer. Make sure that you have a stable, reliable power supply to your computer.
Extreme thermal conditions caused by the failure of cooling devices such as fans. Make sure your cooling devices are all working.
Damaged memory, or memory that is not the correct type for your computer. If you recently changed the memory configuration, revert to the previous configuration to determine what is wrong. Make sure that you are using the correct memory for your computer.
NOTE: Your hardware may support additional error logging features that capture the machine check exception and suggest a more specific solution.

The Pentium and Pentium Pro processors provide a mechanism to detect and to report hardware-related problems such as memory parity errors and cache errors. To signal a hardware error, the processor signals the detection of a machine check error by generating a machine check exception (Interrupt 18). Windows XP reports that the error occurred and displays parameters that you can use to decode the exception. Contact your hardware vendor or processor manufacturer for information about the Machine Check Architecture or see the Intel Pentium Pro Family Developer's Manual - Volume 3: Operating System Writer's Manual.
 
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by:Try_this_one
ID: 10853380
aditional infomation. When i got it back from repair they told me they was nothing wrong with it and charged me £25. But as i bought the memory from them i think they said that as the memory maybe was faulty. As when i got home i ran the memory test program again and it ran from 4 hours before resetting as i left it overnight. and i ran it again for 6 hours again no errors from memtest program. So i think it maybe a memory problem again . As i suspect they just changed memory. The 9c error suggests this as before i put it in for repair i never got that.
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by:buckeyes33
ID: 10853700
Are you setting the memory settings to agressive?   This could cause memory errors.
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by:Try_this_one
ID: 10854597
in bios settings there are 3 settings 300 mhz 400mz and auto dectect frequency for the Rambus memory. Its set at auito detect and it picks it auto sets them to 400mhz . these are the rambus 800 mhz speed . so i think they set at 400mhz on the system . the 300mhz setting is for rambus 600 i think. something to do with putting them in pairs i think. they must be installed in pairs. What i did do was change the rambus memory i had bought to the old chips i had in  orginally and they now work like the brand new ones i bought. i.e. they dont freeze at menu bar and they give me the random 0x0000009c blue screen error with same numbers in (  ) .

 While doing so i notice a capacitor which is next to the ram slots seems to have a raised top very slighty buldged at top. i touched this and there is slight leakage of fluid when i touch the top . all the other capacitors metal tops are flat . Its like its raised about half a pea size.    

 I wonder if this is the cause as its near the ram chips. i wonder how they never seen this when i put it in for testing at computer shop.

 
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by:Callandor
ID: 10855103
Capacitors with rounded tops and leaking fluid is definitely bad - they are shot.  At this point, it's a new motherboard or try to find similar rated ones and solder it yourself, but that's the source of your problem, not the memory (well, your memory could be bad, too, but this is definitely a problem).
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by:buckeyes33
ID: 10855536
I think that you have found your problem.  Not the one you were looking for though. :(
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by:Callandor
ID: 10856279
I would question the abilities of a repair place that failed to notice a bad capacitor.  What else do they miss?
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by:buckeyes33
ID: 10856400
>>What else do they miss?
yeah that is one of the things that I would look at first if I had a business.  In fact if I am helping anyone with this type of problem it is one of the first things I look at.  Start at the easy stuff.
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by:Try_this_one
ID: 10862668
The shop told me there was nothing wrong with the system.    
When i told them it freezes they said it never froze and said it was possible that it could have been the keyboard or mouse shorting out. I changed the keyboard and mouse with known working ones.
       Obviously they never checked it very well. But they must not have ran any porgram on it and just left it desktop on and thought its ok. Thing is it was with them for about 2 weeks as well so there is no excuse.
 What im going to do is desolder the capacitor from the board and get another one same spec. i can see the outercasing is ok so i will be able to see the rating of it when i take it out.
 I'll be doing this this weekend as im busy with work at moment.
 If a new capacitor  does no difference im getting a new motherboard. I can get the same model on ebay for very cheap price.
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by:Try_this_one
ID: 10988627
I have replaced capacitor and it is now working a lot better but has froze a few times mainly in games. and sometimes a 9c stop error

i noticed the new memory i got is 800-40 and my old memory was 800-45 .  the 40 , 45 is nanosec access time i think . would this make a difference and cause crash.
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by:buckeyes33
ID: 10989357
The memory timings might need to be changed in the bios.  Try to just reset the bios and have the bios set up the memory timings by itself and see if that helps.  The old memory could probably run more aggresive memory timings then the the new memory can.  Why not just use the old memory?
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by:buckeyes33
ID: 10989385
There is also a chance that having a bad cap has caused more damage to the motherboard and the only way to fix it is to buy a new motherboard.   Chips in the board can be juiced by bad caps at times.  
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by:Callandor
ID: 10992383
It is also possible if you had one bad cap, you might have more lurking that are not visible.
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by:Try_this_one
ID: 11010069
i guess so i be buying a new motherboard then and maybe a new processor too .
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buckeyes33 earned 500 total points
ID: 11011117
looks that way.  
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by:Try_this_one
ID: 11220999
ok bought new motherboard msi 6385  put all components on it booted it up and still same problem So now i guess that just leaves the processor which is the last thing i have left.  At least now i could make 2 computers from the parts i got now
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by:eccs19
ID: 11221410
If your still running XP, and you installed a new motherboard, it could be that you need to do a repair install of XP.  XP's not very nice when it comes to new motherboards.  Something to try at least.

Good Luck
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by:Try_this_one
ID: 11243058
ok did a complete new install of windows xp.  I still getting 9c stop error. i got 6 memory chips and they all result in the 9c error about once a day normally at 100% load  i get the 9c stop error :-  Do i need to reapply the thermal paste when putting the heat sink back on processor?

  Machine check exceptions are frequently caused by one of the following conditions:
Running the processor or mainboard beyond its specifications. For example, overclocking the processor or bus. Microsoft recommends that you run your hardware at the manufacturer-rated speeds.
Noisy power, overstressed power strips, outmatched power supplies and failing power supplies can destabilize your computer. Make sure that you have a stable, reliable power supply to your computer.
Extreme thermal conditions caused by the failure of cooling devices such as fans. Make sure your cooling devices are all working.
Damaged memory, or memory that is not the correct type for your computer. If you recently changed the memory configuration, revert to the previous configuration to determine what is wrong. Make sure that you are using the correct memory for your computergain .
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Author Comment

by:Try_this_one
ID: 11243063
i the bios i got a setting to give a audiable beep when at certain temperatures. if got its set to give a beep when over 50 C. it does that quite a bit.
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by:Callandor
ID: 11244783
You should clean off the old paste and apply a small drop of new stuff when changing heatsinks.  Right now, what's happening could be heat-related, so try it again after cleaning off the old stuff.
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by:Try_this_one
ID: 11354343
got new processor 2.0Ghz and now works perfect nothing wrong with memory what so ever
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by:Try_this_one
ID: 11354353
Cache errors in the processor is what i think caused this as was stated in 9c error i think .
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