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computer freezing up

Posted on 2004-03-31
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Last Modified: 2010-04-25
I have a problem with my computer freezing up.  It seems to be only when im playing ghost recon, but im not 100% sure on that.  I can't control alt delete I have to hit the reset button in order to be able to boot back up.  i had the computer built, so i first thought it was my video card so i went out and bought another one and that didnt work.  i have updated sound card drivers and video card drivers.  i am using xp pro with a Intel pent 4, 2.4 hyper threading processor with radeon 9000 video card which has been replaced now with a geforce 5200 video card. There is three fans in my tower plus the video card has a fan on it.  i also opened up the tower and put the fan blowing in the tower, thinking it might be a heat issue.  
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Question by:sassssylady
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by:MePhantom
ID: 10729448
Hi sassssylady,

Are you overclocking? If so try backing it off some.
Other than that memory, MB and cpu are most likely causes.
Also check the Bios power monitor screen to see if the power supply is in tolerance (both cold and after running a while). Replace if not.

Last time it was my MB that caused this, but have had all 4 reasons at one time or other.
Video and sound cards tend to die without causing a lockup.

Good luck.
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by:Callandor
ID: 10729469
Neither one of those cards are great performers when it comes to 3D games.  It sounds like it might be a driver issue - with the Radeon, did you use Catalyst 4.3 drivers?  If it's a heat issue, run Prime95 and see if the system locks up, because that is a very cpu intensive application and will generate heat.  Otherwise, if you can get a hold of a better card like a Radeon 9600, you may get better results.
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by:sassssylady
ID: 10729478
yes i was using the catalyst 4.3 driver.  i will do a search and see if i can find prime95 and try that.  
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by:sassssylady
ID: 10729490
A friend built my computer and i am not overclocking that i know of and as far as power supply its a new 300 watt power supply.  I am running 3200 ddr memory. but i will check in the bois for the tolerance cold and after running.  Is there a way i can tell if it has been over clocked tho?  i know my friend overclock his but i would hope he didnt mine.
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by:Callandor
ID: 10729502
Install and run Aida and it will tell you your specs: http://www.aida32.hu/aida32.php
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by:Callandor
ID: 10729517
Prime95 can be found here: http://www.mersenne.org/freesoft.htm
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by:sassssylady
ID: 10729519
CPU Properties      
CPU Type      Intel Pentium 4HT, 2400 MHz (3 x 800)
CPU Alias      Northwood HyperThreading
CPU Stepping      D1
Original Clock      2400 MHz
L1 Trace Cache      12K Instructions
L1 Data Cache      8 KB
L2 Cache      512 KB (On-Die, ATC, Full-Speed)
      
Multi CPU      
CPU #0      Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 CPU 2.40GHz, 2400 MHz
CPU #1      Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 CPU 2.40GHz, 2400 MHz
      
CPU Physical Info      
Package Type      478 Pin uPGA
Package Size      3.50 cm x 3.50 cm
Transistors      55 million
Process Technology      6M, 0.13 um, CMOS, Cu, Low-K
Die Size      131 mm2
Core Voltage      1.475 - 1.55 V
I/O Voltage      1.475 - 1.55 V
Typical Power      38.7 - 81.9 W  (depending on clock speed)
Maximum Power      49 - 100 W  (depending on clock speed)
      
CPU Manufacturer      
Company Name      Intel Corporation
Product Information      http://www.intel.com/products/browse/processor.htm
      
CPU Utilization      
CPU #1      5 %
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by:compfixer101
ID: 10731847
it maybe that the game is causing an error on the system try running it when it is minized  and keep on checking on the cpu usage it XP home you can hit control alt delete to see how much of the cpu is beening used it might needed a faster cpu than the one you have check out the system requirements of the game
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by:Callandor
ID: 10731871
Your cpu is not being overclocked, so run Prime95 and see if that causes a lockup.
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by:MePhantom
ID: 10732032
sassssylady,
> Is there a way i can tell if it has been over clocked tho?

You would have to look on the Bios pages for that.
Which page is MB dependent and some MBs don't allow this, so the page may not exist.

Memory, FSB and CPU can be overclocked.
The keyword you would be looking for is "Manual" relateted to above settings.
"Default" or "Automatic" would say that it is not being overclocked.

Might be easier to ask the friend if they did or didn't.
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by:Callandor
ID: 10732436
MePhantom, I appreciate your willingness to help, but look at the output from Aida that sassssylady posted - it says the cpu, which is a P4 2.4, is running at 2400MHz, so there is no need to investigate that line of thought.
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by:sassssylady
ID: 10736146
>>Also check the Bios power monitor screen to see if the power supply is in tolerance (both cold and after running a while). Replace if not.

I hope i am giving the right infor out of the bios for this
mb temp             87.5F          31C
cpu temp            115.5F        46.5C
cpu fan speed     2445 RPM
v core voltage     1.56V
+3.3 voltage       3.31V
+5 voltage          5.13V
+12 voltage       11.96V
Thank you for taking the time to help me it is greatly apprected.  
And i am running XP PRO if i didnt mention that before.
Ok off to check the cpu usage.
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by:sassssylady
ID: 10736599
My cpu usage is running about 65%
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by:MePhantom
ID: 10737212
Callandor,
> MePhantom, I appreciate your willingness to help, but look at the output
> from Aida that sassssylady posted - it says the cpu, which is a P4 2.4,
> is running at 2400MHz, so there is no need to investigate that line of thought.

Really? I don't see any data in that Adia dump for voltages, memory or bus timings.
Could be this particular cpu wouldn't tolerate an overclock.
Why use third party when the bios is more complete?

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by:MePhantom
ID: 10737329
sassssylady,
> I hope i am giving the right infor out of the bios for this

Power supply looks fine.
The v-core voltage looks to be toward the high side.
This is MB though and NOT power supply. It may be adjustable.
Temps look good, so its probably not a problem.

Unfortunately there is no easy way to track down lockups.
Might want to see if you can locate some memory testing software.
I'd just substitute, but that is an expensive option if you don't have the stuff laying around.

Good luck.
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by:sassssylady
ID: 10738486
You have any suggestions on any memory testing software by chance?  
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by:MePhantom
ID: 10738557
sassssylady,
>You have any suggestions on any memory testing software by chance?

Sorry. No. I just throw new chips in.
Maybe Callandor does.
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by:compfixer101
ID: 10741702
callandor does for sure she said it like a billion times and she will tell however i might later today give you a site because i think she is on vaction
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by:Callandor
ID: 10743805
That would be the diagnostic program on www.memtest86.com - let it run for a few hours.  If it fails, you definitely have bad RAM, but if it passes, it could be a false positive.  Only a swap with RAM that you know works would tell you for sure.
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by:sassssylady
ID: 10745149
i did the mem test and it passed.  so i guess ill break down and buy new ram and see if thats the problem.   i have a asus p4pe-x motherboard.  i believe what i have now is pc3200. might it be the slot that the memory is in verses being bad memory?
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by:Callandor
ID: 10745920
Before you go out and buy memory, I looked up your board and it says running at 800FSB is considered overclocked: http://usa.asus.com/products/mb/socket478/p4pe-x/overview.htm.  Can you try bringing the FSB down to 166 from 200 in the BIOS and try running the game that way?  I had a P4G8X that was supposed to run at 800 FSB also, but I could not get it to run stable at 200 - it would only do so at 190.

Of course, if this works, then you have a slower cpu that is only 2.0GHz, and I owe an apology to MePhantom for saying it wasn't overclocked.
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by:sassssylady
ID: 10746370
I havent been able to play a game that intense yet but will be able to shortly to see if i freeze up.  But when i change fsb to 166 i lose all audio when i change it back to 200 i get my audio back.  Is it suppose to do that?
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by:Callandor
ID: 10746477
No, it's not.  If it's a PCI card, you might want to look in the BIOS for a setting that locks the PCI to 33.
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by:sassssylady
ID: 10746483
no its a AGP slot.  
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by:Callandor
ID: 10746497
Your audio is AGP?  You must mean video, right?  While you're in the BIOS, make sure the AGP is set to 66, when you find the PCI setting and set that to 33.
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by:sassssylady
ID: 10746499
omg yes i meant video...im sorry this is just getting frustrating trying to figure it out.
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by:sassssylady
ID: 10746503
I have on board sound.
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by:Callandor
ID: 10746519
So you still lose audio?  I'll have to mull this one over.
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by:sassssylady
ID: 10746526
im need to set the bois to the settings you specified.  to see if that affects my audio still.  
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by:sassssylady
ID: 10748253
OK, I have changed the AGP/PCI setting in the bios from AUTO to 66.66/33.33.  As soon as i get a few people on today to change the FSB setting from 200 to 166 ill try that out.
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by:Callandor
ID: 10748716
Ok, I'll wait for your findings.
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by:sassssylady
ID: 10751982
ok i did change the AGP/PCI settings like you asked but not the fsb i kept it at 200.  I got to play some real intense Ghost recon games yesterday and it ran fine like nothing was wrong with it at all.  It ran fine until the power went out.  So of course im having boot up problems that im fixing from that.  We had a transformer go out and catch a van on fire in front of my house last night.  Everyone got out of the van unharmed tho.  So is it possible that just changing the AGP/PCI setting in the bios from manual to 66.66/33.33 fixed my problem without having to change the fsb setting?
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Callandor earned 125 total points
ID: 10753220
Yes, if it ran for a long time without lockup, I'd say that was the answer.  Unfortunately, you have a new variable in the mix now, as in, what did the power outage do to your machine.  APC UPS units on ebay are pretty cheap.
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by:sassssylady
ID: 10755075
I dont think any harm was done to my system now.  i had a lot of trouble last night getting xp to load up.  but this morning when i booted up my system it put me in the bios for some reason i just saved them and its been running fine since.  ive been two days running Ghost Recon with no lock ups.  So i guess its safe to say its fixed at least for now anyways.  Thank so much for you help it is greatly appreciated.
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by:Callandor
ID: 10756429
I'm glad I could help.
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by:sassssylady
ID: 10759546
This is crazy, just when I thought it was fixed it is still doing the freezing up thing.  I give up cuz I don't know what else to do here.  If i change the FSB like you said I lose audio.  It seems like I am never going to get this problem fixed anytime soon.  
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by:Callandor
ID: 10759961
Check to make sure this is not a heat-related thing, because if you're able to play longer, heat can become a factor.  MotherboardMonitor or HMonitor can help show you what the temperatures are.
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by:MePhantom
ID: 10761930
sassssylady,

>If i change the FSB like you said I lose audio.

That is odd. It shouldn't do that.

From something else odd I ran acrost. Do you have a lot of USB stuff pluged in?
Try unpluging it all and see if that helps.
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by:sassssylady
ID: 10762008
I don't have nothing plugged into my usb ports.  The only thing outside of my tower that I am running is my DSL modem. Other then my mouse and keyboard that is.
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by:Callandor
ID: 10767782
Check if it's getting too warm - does this happen right away, or after extended play?
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by:sassssylady
ID: 10769437
i can be online for half an hour or an hour or like this weekend all night...it doesnt seem to have any time frame to when its going to do it.  
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by:Callandor
ID: 10770635
Leave the case open and see if it happens.  You can also check if the cpu heatsink is getting hot.
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by:sassssylady
ID: 10771139
i did download a program from asus called probe...it test the temp of your cpu and motherboard.  when im in ghost recon playing my motherboard tempt dont change.  but my cpu temp went all the way up to 126F.  To me that seems to be running hot especially when it only gets to 102F when im not in ghost recon.  I just wonder if its possible for it to be a heat issue.  
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by:Callandor
ID: 10771402
Prime95 will heat up your cpu, too.  126F should not lock your system, because P4's can handle 170F.
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by:MePhantom
ID: 10772435
You did mention you know how to replace a video card.
So you could try removing and reinserting the memory, add on boards, cpu and power connectors.
A bit of lint in a connector can cause all sorts of problems.

When you were checking the Asus site did they have any bios updates for your MB?

Has it ever locked up when you were doing something besides ghost recon? Your initial post isn't clear on this point.
Anybody else using this game complaining of lockup problems?
It might be worthwhile checking a user group site, if you haven't allready done this.
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by:Callandor
ID: 10776087
I actually have this game, but I haven't installed it yet - maybe it's a good time to do so now.
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by:sassssylady
ID: 10778247
ok at first it only did it while playing ghost recon until monday.  I froze up about 10 times in two hours and i wasnt doing anything other then check my email.  so no it dont just do it during ghost recon.  yes there is updates to the bois.  oh boy ive done that once and crashed the bois.  you can say i am paranoid when it comes to bois big time.  
i have taken out the memory and video card and made sure no dust was in them already.  
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by:Callandor
ID: 10780166
It might be time to look at new memory, then.  Locking up when doing nothing is a problem associated with bad RAM or bad power supplies.
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by:MePhantom
ID: 10780890
>you can say i am paranoid when it comes to bois big time.  

Don't really blame you for that :-)

If your pc was working fine for some period of time then the bios is not likely to be the direct cause. So updating it at this point would not be a good idea.

Did you reseat the power connectors and cpu as well.
Or just the memory and video.
When you did reseat did it get better for a while(or worse).
If so then the probability that the MB is bad increased quite a bit.
Last one I had that did this had a bad power connector internal to MB.
Unfortunately the equipment needed to make that kind of determination costs quite a bit more than a new MB.
Is the board still under warrentee.

One way to test memory is to increment or decrement the default CAS strobe setting by a point or so. Incrementing might make it better. Decrementing might make it worse. No change indicates that memory is likely to be ok.
Of course there are worse things than ending up with a meg of memory.
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by:sassssylady
ID: 10787212
well i went the cheaper route on this and replaced the power supply...went with a 400 watt instead of the 300 watt i had.  it seems to be running great at the present time.  im going to give it a couple of days and if this dont work im replacing the memory.  
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by:sassssylady
ID: 10787882
i had taken out the memory and the video card last week and made sure they was dust free.  i had just replaced the power supplys so i did all the connectors at that point as well.  i have not done the cpu.  and yes my  mother board is still under warrentee for the time being ill have to check to see how much longer it is covered tho.  

im not sure what you mean by increment or decrement the default cas strobe settings.  if you could explain alittle bit mroe on that i would greatly appreciate it.
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by:MePhantom
ID: 10788558
>im going to give it a couple of days and if this dont work im replacing the memory.
Changing the power supply would not affect a memory problem at all.
So you either fixed it or the problem is most likely MB.

If it starts acting up again. Try repluging the power supply connectors first.
If this gives you another reprieve then it is amost certain a MB problem.


CAS is the memory refresh pulse.
If it doesn't get one for a while the memory dischages and you loose the contents. You can not access memory while it is being refeshed.
So they pick a value that minimizes your access delay while still guarenteeing that it actually gets refreshed.
It is a favorite trick of overclockers to reduce this, effectively getting faster memory.

The setting would be in the bios memory section.
You probably want to know where your bios reset jumper is if you do this.

 
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by:sassssylady
ID: 10788596
ahh well let me try the power supply for a few days.  ive ran some really intense maps and mods on ubi with some people from europe and netherlands.  and it seems to run fine with no problems.  maybe my 300 watt power supply wasnt enough
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by:Callandor
ID: 10788667
As I said before, the lockup problem could be the power supply or bad RAM, so hopefully, you have found the source.  It isn't just the power rating of the supply that's important, but the amount of current being delivered on the different rails.  Poor power supplies don't deliver enough current, so when the demand goes up, they can't deliver.
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by:sassssylady
ID: 10794565
Ok well the power supply don't seem to be my problem.  Now its going to get new memory.  Is there any suggestions on brand or 512 or 256?
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by:Callandor
ID: 10795513
The reliable brands are Kingston, Crucial, Corsair, OCZ, Geil, Mushkin, and Samsung.  Might as well get 512.
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