computer freezing on start up

Posted on 2006-05-08
Last Modified: 2010-04-26
My friend has an "old" computer that has starting freezing on start up  so that she has to  hard re-boot two or three times. And on occassion the screen is blank upon start up and it needs to be rebooted. Is there any software or hardware options that would correct these problem? The system is running windows XP.
Question by:hsmith061297
    LVL 6

    Expert Comment

    First thing I would do is check ram.  If it is "old" it may not have enough memory to function smoothly.  I like to have at least 512MB for Windows XP, 256 is the minimum in my opinion.
    Also check for virus' and malware:
    those are free
    LVL 69

    Expert Comment

    I would say if it runs ok after a few reboots, it's your power supply that needs replacing, or you have bad capcitors on your motherboard.  See if any of them look like the ones in
    LVL 32

    Expert Comment

    First thing I'd do is swap out power supply.  Use one from another PC if available.

    Then flash BIOS.

    If neither of these help, could be a flaky memory or motherboard problem.

    Note:  I'm assuming that problems occur prior to Windows loading.
    LVL 22

    Expert Comment

    callandor has it--check the power supply first.

    Expert Comment

    Please check the CMOS cell. In old computers generally due to Failure in CMOS cell system hungs and dosn't take boot. Hopefully this will solve your problem.
    LVL 14

    Expert Comment

    when you boot your pc & it comes to a blank desktop, hold control + shift & hit esc to bring up the task manager
    see what processes are running in the backgroung on the processes tab - look for wierd things that my be spyware or viruses
    on the application tab hit new task & type in explorer.exe - post results
    LVL 14

    Expert Comment

    hey ,hsmith what's the status?

    Author Comment

    Here is the status:

    The computer is check for virus (norton) and ad-ware (ad aware) on a regular basis. This is a recent problem with no change in ram. It could be the power supply, but I am not ready to just replace that and see what happens until all else fails or there is possitive proof that that is the probelm. Flash Bios ?  I have no idea on how to check CMOS. I have heard of the term, but that is all. It has not come up as blank lately so I can not do that check.

    Please note that as far as what goes on "under the covers" in software and hardware you are dealing with a dummy here. So I need instruction or references to a site that has instructions.

    Thanks for trying to help - Henry
    LVL 32

    Accepted Solution

    In my opinion, the most likely causes of your problem are, in order:

    Failing motherboard
    Power supply
    BIOS (CMOS, CMOS battery, corrupt BIOS)

    You already have recommendations regarding testing to determine if problem is likely not motherboard related.

    "Borrow" a power supply from another PC for testing - no purchase required.

    A CMOS battery (usually CR2032 coin cell) is a couple of bucks.

    BIOS flash is done from a boot diskette.  Need to know specific PC or motherbaord model to provide any details.


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