What is happening:
- Computer freezes abruptly during memory intense moments like while transferring data from a network location to the computer and while transferring data from DVD to My Documents. The whole PC becomes unresponsive to any key stroke. I force a shut down by holding down power button until it's off.
- 5 to 10 seconds later I repress the power button to begin boot up. The fan begins to spin faster and faster while the screen remains blank. I press the power button and the computer immediately shuts off. If I do try to restart within 5 to 10 seconds later, the same loud fan and blank screen ensues.
- One must wait around 1 minute before restarting the computer. Even if you unplug the power cable and press the button to discharge board, possibly resetting SMU, the PC still does will not boot immediately.
- After waiting, the PC may freeze while loading windows and the whole process must be restarted before finally getting back to the desktop environment although after rebooting the last 3 times, the computer continues to freeze during the Windows XP loading bar screen.
This is all after a full reinstall of Windows. The same problems were happening before with the old installation on XP except instead of just freezing, I would see a BSOD with a physical dump error, with no reference to a system file or driver...
Memtest86 won't load from disc. I've tried having just it on a CD and using UBCD 4.1's disc.
I swapped out memory modules with ones that I know work with the same result.
Spinrite 6 verified good health of the hard drive.
I'm starting to think that it's a heat issue. I was able to reinstall Windows XP after the PC had been sitting there for a couple days untouched. It wasn't until after running Windows Updates and putting the client's data back onto the machine did it begin to lock up. If you look at the picture below, you can see that Sony has crammed the components of a desktop, TV tuner and more into a very tight space.