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My XP box just freezes every day!

Posted on 2004-10-22
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Last Modified: 2010-04-26
Ok. it's five years old Celeron beast and has only 128 Mb of memory, which is not optimal.

Where do I start trying to find out what ails it?

Many thanks.
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Question by:Peborgh
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28 Comments
 
LVL 2

Expert Comment

by:jimmyndvdr
ID: 12381584
Hi Peborgh,
Have you checked event viewer for the time it freezes?
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LVL 69

Expert Comment

by:Callandor
ID: 12381669
Without any more specific info, here are some causes for freezes:

- overheating cpu
- overheating video card
- faulty PCI card (especially network cards)
- bad RAM
- faulty power or inadequate power supply
- faulty motherboard

Some more information on when it happens would help, as well as a listing of manufacturer and model of motherboard, video card, type and size of hard drives and free space, and what is typically running, including startup programs.

Otherwise, you will have to strip it down and try to isolate where the problem is.
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LVL 5

Expert Comment

by:georgecooldude
ID: 12381775
Leave the side panel of the case off.

Do what you normally do and see if it freezes. If it doesnt its a heat issue.

Come back with the results of your testing! =)
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Expert Comment

by:crazijoe
ID: 12381839
5 year old celeron with 128MbB memory. This is kind of old technology for WinXP.
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Expert Comment

by:georgecooldude
ID: 12381882
http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/pro/evaluation/sysreqs.mspx

You system is fine for XP. It will only be slow. it shouldnt be freezing
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LVL 69

Expert Comment

by:Callandor
ID: 12382126
I think 128MB is inadequate.  My XP system starts up using 160MB, and goes up from there.  256MB is the minimum I would recommend, and 512MB is desirable.
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Author Comment

by:Peborgh
ID: 12382439
Callandor,

OK so it may be running out something memory-related. Event viewer shows nothing untoward.

Any ideas before I go buy more memory?

thanks,

peter
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Expert Comment

by:crazijoe
ID: 12382494
I think everybody knows that MS system requirements are vastly unrealistic.
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Accepted Solution

by:
DoTheDEW335 earned 750 total points
ID: 12382530
If you have a spare HD , connect it and setup windows and see if it happens then. It might just need to be cleaned out.

Do whats above (checking fans and stuff for heat issues) and if you want to test some hardware try this
3 checks you can do for HD testing:

Test the HD, use the correct link for the brand u have:
Drive Diagnostics:

Maxtor/Quantum:
http://www.maxtor.com/en/support/products/index.htm
Fujitsu:
http://www.fcpa.fujitsu.com/download/hard-drives/#diagnostic
Samsung:
http://www.samsungelectronics.com/hdd/support/utilities/utilities_index.html
Seagate:
http://www.seagate.com/support/seatools/index.html
Western Digital:
http://support.wdc.com/download/
IBM and Hitachi:
http://www.hgst.com/hdd/support/download.htm#DFT


CPU tester/burnin:
http://www.7byte.com/index.php?page=download

Memory Test:
http://www.memtest86.com/#download1

I think the burnin test might do the memory also but I forget I havn't done it in ages.

Hope this helps.
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LVL 8

Expert Comment

by:MarkDozier
ID: 12385083
64 meg is all that is "REQUIRED" for XP. Believe it or not!!
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Expert Comment

by:Greddy91
ID: 12385105
Does it freeze while you use it or when it's inactive? Check the power settings... make sure the hard drive is set to spin down : NEVER... Need more details as to the circumstance of it freezing...

128MB memory will be fine as long as it's a reliable stick... you're not gonna be getting any kills in DOOM3, but you should be able to browse your www.tinyasiangirlsinleotards.com all day long.  

My motto: NEVER BUY PARTS UNLESS IT IS A 100% FIX... (or you can sell them to your neighbors at 150%)
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LVL 4

Expert Comment

by:Diane258
ID: 12387330
Might i suggest that you check your Hard drive( or one of your hard drives)

I have a machine do exactly the same thing with me recently, the problem was that one of the hard drives were failing and it would "stop" while windows was going.. so windows froze.
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LVL 3

Expert Comment

by:bradje
ID: 12387846
Try swapping RAM from another PC and see what happens.
JB
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Author Comment

by:Peborgh
ID: 12387913
I am overwhelmed by the amount of response from you guys!

News bulletin!

Nothing wrong with memory as far as the memory test can find out.

My D: drive, however, is failing according to the diagnostics. Could this bring down Windows when this drive is not in use as far as I can tell? All the important bits including WinXP lives on the C: drive.

Thanks,

Peter
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LVL 69

Expert Comment

by:Callandor
ID: 12388801
If it's connected and the electronics is failing, yes, it can cause Windows to crash or hang.  Pull it out and see if the problems persist.
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Expert Comment

by:Diane258
ID: 12388976
Heheh Score!
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LVL 14

Expert Comment

by:mysticaldan
ID: 12391981
A Hard Disk failure will result on the system freezing completely and the HArd Disk light coming on permanently. Given enuf time it might resolve to a blue screen saying that Windows was unable to write to disk or something similar. This shud usually not crash your system unless ur using either the Indexing service or the Microsoft Office component that monitors disks for Office doscuments. Turning that off shud help to see if the computer freezes less often. Just for a further check change your Hard Disk cable and then try running the disgnostics again. You might see something more interesting.

Dan
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LVL 18

Expert Comment

by:Sham Haque
ID: 12434768
i had a problem with memory on my old machine - i had plenty of it, it was new and it worked.
took me a while to solve but i now live by RTFM - i had bought memory with unsupported configuration of chips (and I thought all PC133 DIMMS were the same)

after replacing with supported memory, everything was fine :-)
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Expert Comment

by:DoTheDEW335
ID: 12443726
I don't understand why my comment wasn't accepted? I was the one who suggested you test the hardware and gave you the links.  Diane posted to check the hd's without any supportive links. Why didn't I get the accept? Did I leave something out?
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Author Comment

by:Peborgh
ID: 12444384
DoTheDEW335 ,

You are perfectly correct. I have revised the scoring. Apologies.
Your links will be useful in the future too.
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Expert Comment

by:DoTheDEW335
ID: 12446984
Thanks for the revise, but I still don't get why Diane gets an accept or anything for that matter since she just repeated the same thing that I did.
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Author Comment

by:Peborgh
ID: 12447024
The matter is closed.
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Expert Comment

by:DoTheDEW335
ID: 12447231
I understand that, I just was looking for an explanation of why a duplicate comment gets the accept. Did I miss something in mine?
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Author Comment

by:Peborgh
ID: 12447946
I hope this does close the matter.

Diane258, apologies for messing you around. Your answer is the one that finally persuaded me after others' comments.

DoTheDEW335, thank you for your help. The links will be useful in future when similar situations arise, as they did here.

I value EE, it has generally been very useful to my work.

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LVL 11

Expert Comment

by:DoTheDEW335
ID: 12447972
Thank you Peborgh, I just wanted to know if I missed anything and thats why I didn't get the accept. I love helping people out and have never seen this happen.
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Author Comment

by:Peborgh
ID: 12448615
No, your contribution was useful not only for the present but also had wider application.

No hard feelings on either side I trust.
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