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InSiDeR
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: Oblivion
Insane since: Sep 2001

posted posted 06-01-2004 21:05

For some very strange and annoying reason, my computer will last running for maybe 5-15 minutes before freezing up completely. Sounds stay in one tone, mouse won't move, CTRL+ALT+DEL won't work, and my hard drive makes this really faint noise. And then I have to kill the power! Sometimes it won't even start for 20 seconds before it freezes in the user menu, or even before that loads it will freeze, too!

If anyone can think of any reason this may have happened or any way I can fix it I would REALLY appriciate it.

tomeaglescz
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Czech Republic via Bristol UK
Insane since: Feb 2002

posted posted 06-01-2004 21:26

Insider ,

do yaself a quick favour, pop open the case when the pc is on, check the cpu fan is still working, this is a classic symptom of overheating usually a fan has failed somewhere, normally ontop of the cpu..

if thats the situation, DONT USE IT AGAIN UNTILL ya replace it.

if thats not the problem catch hold of me in q, you should still have my number

tom

axleclarkeuk
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Swansea, Wales, UK
Insane since: Aug 2001

posted posted 06-01-2004 21:37

Hello there,
There are many things that can cause this to happen, from viruses to hardware.

My advice is to remove ALL components from your PC, and start by putting together a skeleton PC ( enough hardware to get the PC to run), basically adding and testing each component one by one, As you fit each component boot up the PC and see if it happens again, if all runs well until you install something, then thats the defective component.

If you install all the componets and everything still runs well, it could have been an incorrectly seated device.

If running a skeleton system, this stil happens, then software could be to blame, try removing programs in order that you installed them in, this may pinpoint a problem.

You state that this happens every 5 - 15 mins, could you be a bit more specific ? If this is happening at a regular interval, then perhaps something is triggering an event that is causing your system to hang, do you have any programs running in the background that might trigger an event ?

What OS do you have ? If you have Win 2000 or XP Pro try having a look in the event log ( might be advisable to try this first before dismantling your system ) START \ CONTROL PANEL\ ADMINISTRATIVE TOOLS \ EVENT VIEWER click on SYSTEM this will list system errors that occured and give time and date stamps, this is very handy for trouble shooting these type of problems.

Make sure you have run a complete virus check, also run STINGER this is a great application to detect trojans.

Memory can also caused unpredictable problems, try taking out any memory one by one and swapping the slots over.

If all else fails and you are still stumped, you could also try to reinstall your OS, but be careful, you dont want to loose any data so make sure it is backed up.

Sorry for the sloppiness of this post, but i was typing as i was thinking, good luck and let us know how you get on.

One thing you did mention that i recognise is the high pitched monotone, this is mainly caused by your system overheating, it would also account for why your system locks up between 5 -15 mins, the time it takes the CPU to heat up will vary depending on how you use your PC. Check the fan is still running, but be carefull, because if the fan has stopped, then under no circumstance should you sttempt to run it again without fitting a new one, you can most certainly fry your motherboard and CPU, and the cost of fixing that will be more considerable than the price of a fan.




(Edited by axleclarkeuk on 06-01-2004 21:42)

tomeaglescz
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Czech Republic via Bristol UK
Insane since: Feb 2002

posted posted 06-01-2004 22:19

looks up at my previous post

axleclarkeuk
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Swansea, Wales, UK
Insane since: Aug 2001

posted posted 06-01-2004 23:53

Oh well, great minds too quick for me

InSiDeR
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: Oblivion
Insane since: Sep 2001

posted posted 06-02-2004 03:12

How do I check to see if my fan is still working?

bitdamaged
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: 100101010011 <-- right about here
Insane since: Mar 2000

posted posted 06-02-2004 03:35

take off your case cover and turn on your computer. It's right there on top of the CPU you should be able to see it.

There's also fan's in the Power Supply but you need to worry about the one over your CPU .



.:[ Never resist a perfect moment ]:.

InSiDeR
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: Oblivion
Insane since: Sep 2001

posted posted 06-02-2004 03:55

Well I mean, how am I supposed to tell if it's not spinning fast enough or something?

Bugimus
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: New California
Insane since: Mar 2000

posted posted 06-02-2004 04:14

No, see if it's spinning at all.

: . . DHTML Slice Puzzle : . . . : Justice 4 Pat Richard : . .

Skaarjj
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: :morF
Insane since: May 2000

posted posted 06-02-2004 04:18

CPU fans have a set speed, the ones that run at more than one tend to do so by interrupting power flow to the fan several times a second, so, this is indeed more a case of 'is the fan going at all'. The fan/heatsink assembly is not expensive ot rpelace, most times, although I suggest that if you have an intel CPU you get an intel fan/heatsink, becuase intel works best with intel.


Justice 4 Pat Richard

tj333
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Manitoba, Canada
Insane since: Oct 2001

posted posted 06-02-2004 04:44

If the computer is overheating due to a dead fan the cost for replace ment shold be between $5(Case PSU fan) and $30(CPU heatsink + fan). Make sure to get a fan for the type of CPU you have as Intel/AMD fans have different mounting brackets and heat requirments.

A fan can usualy be considered working if it appears to spin about as fast as the average fan in most any other heating/cooling appliance in the house.

Might also try just putting your hand against the side of the case and feeling all around it for a hot spot. A hot spot will be very noticable over the regular temperature of the case. The area the hot spot is over is likely the cause of the problem

Maby try cleaning dust from the heatsink and the PSU. An overheating PSU will supply less voltage causing random crashes. Also an old PSU (2+ years at least) may be giving out on you or it is just faulty.

I am focusing on the power supply unit (PSU) here since most of the other spots have been noted above.

__________________________
"Show me a sane person and I will cure him for you."-Carl Jung
Eagles may fly high, but beavers don't get sucked into jet engines.
tj333- the semi-Christ

InSiDeR
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: Oblivion
Insane since: Sep 2001

posted posted 06-02-2004 05:25

Well, now that you all have mentioned it. About a week ago I installed 3 firewire ports manually by opening my tower. I did notice a lot of dust, but like I said it was a week ago and this just started yesterday.

bitdamaged
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: 100101010011 <-- right about here
Insane since: Mar 2000

posted posted 06-02-2004 05:43

Well if the fan isn't going make sure you didn't dislodge the power cable for the fan while mucking around in there.

Also you can check download.com for a CPU Monitor which will show you how hot your CPU is getting



.:[ Never resist a perfect moment ]:.

White Hawk
Bipolar (III) Inmate

From: the other side...
Insane since: May 2004

posted posted 06-02-2004 13:08

STOP!

Before you do anything else (and there are some excellent suggestions here)...

Having checked that your CPU is not overheating, reset your BIOS to its defaults and try again.

Your problem sounds like either a mainboard crash (which isn't necessarily a serious problem) or a RAM error (which may be).

I only mention this because some idiot decided to 'tweak' my already optimized BIOS by enabling 'memory termination'. By all accounts, this setting has its uses, but with my configuration things went awry.

The symptom? Pc froze completely a few minutes (randomly) after booting. Sometimes with a continuous tone from the mainboard speaker, sometimes without. The image remained frozen on screen, Ctrl+Alt+Del didn't work, my 'force BSoD' hotkey didn't work, and if I left the PC on, it remained unchanged. The only option was to cycle the power.

It took me ages to find the problem as I hadn't realised my friend had been playing with the BIOS. At the time, funnily enough, I had just installed a USB2.0 PCI card - which I was sure was the problem!

I've now passworded my BIOS.

I say "check the BIOS" first - it only takes a setting out of place to crash the mainboard or RAM.

NEXT: check that your RAM is seated properly. If you have more than one stick, try alternating between them and running the PC for a while again. If one of them is dodgy, you'll soon find out which.
If you have only one stick, see if you can get hold of another to test with.

_______________________________

Seek not truth with deceitful intent...
...for that way lies the seed of dissent.
_______________________________

InSiDeR
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: Oblivion
Insane since: Sep 2001

posted posted 06-02-2004 20:45

I'm sorry, what are BIOS again?

White Hawk
Bipolar (III) Inmate

From: the other side...
Insane since: May 2004

posted posted 06-02-2004 22:58

If you don't know what the BIOS is, then you probably haven't actually ever changed anything in it, so don't worry too much about that.

All that remains is to make sure your memory is seated properly (plugged-in right) and not on its way out (FUBAR .

The RAM modules are long, slim circuit-board like components with even rows of flat chips on one or both sides. These are mounted perpendicular to the main board (ie: at right angles, so sticking out vertically), usually in two to four parallel slots at right angles to the PCI slots (where all your peripheral cards are plugged in, e.g: your firewire card).

BEFORE touching anything inside your PC, make sure that the power is off. To avoid static-discharge damage to components, it is a good idea to use a grounded wrist-strap - but even I don't have one of these at home! You can achieve the same result by keeping the PC plugged-in (with the wall-socket OFF) and maintaining skin contact with any exposed metal parts of the PC's frame.

(Edited by White Hawk on 06-03-2004 02:07)

White Hawk
Bipolar (III) Inmate

From: the other side...
Insane since: May 2004

posted posted 06-03-2004 00:22

Have you tried everything that axleclarkeuk, tj333, and tomeaglescz suggested?

You could also try just unplugging then re-plugging all your PCI cards and RAM modules, checking the slots are free from dust and that they are all plugged back in securely. You should also make sure that all PCI retaining screws are in place - a loose card (graphics card for e.g) in a PCI or an AGP slot can cause a fatal crash with the same sort of symptoms as you described.

If you are competent enough to install your firewire card and confident enough to do more, I think you may have fun learning as you go along. The others have suggested a good course of action for either a willing learner or a competent troubleshooter.

How about giving us a more detailed idea of what you have?
Do you know your PC's specs? What make/model is it?

Do you have a problem when you try to use the Firewire ports?
Did you purchase any new hardware for Firewire/usb before the problem?
Does the problem persist with the Firewire card removed?
What have you tried since the problem began?

There are few problems that can't be solved.

(Edited by White Hawk on 06-03-2004 02:08)

InSiDeR
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: Oblivion
Insane since: Sep 2001

posted posted 06-03-2004 01:45

I have a custom Dell I got almost 2 1/2 years ago. Pentium 4, 1.8 GHZ, 256 RAM.

My firewire ports are fine when I use them,
It was the only piece of hardware I've ever had to reinstall,
Haven't removed it yet,
...

I opened my PC when it froze, and I heard this little buzzing sound, kind of like a bee. My fan works just fine.

White Hawk
Bipolar (III) Inmate

From: London
Insane since: May 2004

posted posted 06-03-2004 02:11

Let's know how you get on. ;)

InSiDeR
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: Oblivion
Insane since: Sep 2001

posted posted 06-03-2004 02:13

Huh?

synax
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: Cell 666
Insane since: Mar 2002

posted posted 06-03-2004 02:29

Chances are if you don't know what you're doing, you'll just fuck something up and either a) explode your computer or b) explode yourself. Don't worry about it, we've all been there.

So unless you're willing to pay a ton of cash for a new computer in the odd chance that you do blow something up, I'd take it to a shop. It's not wise to go screwing around with stuff when you don't know what you're doing, but then again, that's how you learn.

It's your decision. Personally, I'd recommend the latter (get it looked at by a professional) as it'll be cheaper in the long run.

Sounds like you may have knocked something loose or possibly nudged something, which was on the verge of dying on its own, into a faster death.

If you do take it to get looked at, make sure you tell the guy(s)/gal(s) exactly what you were doing before it started acting funny.

"Nothin' like a pro-stabbin' from a pro." -Weadah

Wes
Paranoid (IV) Mad Scientist

From: Inside THE BOX
Insane since: May 2000

posted posted 06-03-2004 14:07

And back up your data. They aren't responsible for it.

Xpirex
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Damned if I know... (thanks Suho)
Insane since: Mar 2003

posted posted 06-05-2004 02:24

er.. how are you engaging in this dialigue if your computer is not working?

QUOTATION: I hate people who take drugs... Customs men for example...

InSiDeR
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: Oblivion
Insane since: Sep 2001

posted posted 06-17-2004 21:58

Ok, so I got it working for about a week and a half and then BAM! It comes back... I solved it last time by taking out my new walmart firewire card, and then by taking out my ram and reinserting it. Now it's back, and the taking out/reinsertion of my ram isn't helping. I've probably got about 20 more seconds before it dies, so....

Help?

White Hawk
Bipolar (III) Inmate

From: London
Insane since: May 2004

posted posted 06-18-2004 21:43

Really starting to sound like a RAM or mainboard prob' to me. I am not sure that it could be attributed to the CPU. Definitely not overheating, as this generally causes a complete power-out on mainboards manufactured since the advent of Pentium (safety feature, don't you know).

Addendum: Yup, Wes is right - if you do take it somewhere to get fixed, back up your data first. If they manage to screw up your data, you have little or no recourse for compensation.

(Edited by White Hawk on 06-18-2004 22:20)

ninmonkeys
Nervous Wreck (II) Inmate

From:
Insane since: May 2004

posted posted 06-18-2004 22:52

Clean the RAM with one of those aircans. If the RAM gets dirty it can cause some really wierd and nasty problems with just about everthing.

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