Random Lockups in XP

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Postposted on Thu Jan 31, 2002 6:21 pm

Ok. Here's the strange story. I've got a Duron 1.0 ghz running on a PCChips 810LMR with 256 mbs of PC133 SDRAM. The computer, when being used in an everyday manner (browsing the web, for an example) will lock up completely and without warning. The strange thing is that I can run SANDRA's burnin wizard for hours at a time without a hint of instability. Any ideas what could be causing this? I know that the HDD is good, and SANDRA tests the CPU, Memory and HDD.

Thanks and Peace,
Will
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Postposted on Fri Feb 01, 2002 2:48 am

Do the event logs say anything?
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Postposted on Fri Feb 01, 2002 5:38 pm

Check your power managment settings.
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Postposted on Fri Feb 01, 2002 6:23 pm

Ok, I'm fairly new to trouble shooting XP, so could you point me in the direction of the proper logs to check? Thanks. Also, what powermanagement settings should I be cautious of? Thanks.

Will
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Postposted on Fri Feb 01, 2002 6:58 pm

To see the event logs in 2k/XP you need to right click on the "My computer" Icon on your desktop and select "Manage". When the management console appears, go to on the left hand side and look for event viewer, from there you can see the 3 different event logs. There are three, Application, Security, and System. I'd look into applications, and System first, there may or may not be any entries in there, depending on the time of the lockup.

If you have the stock XP setup you will want to go to administrative tools in the Control Panel to get to the event viewer or computer management.

Basically we need to find out what's causing your computer to lockup, is the problem repeatable? Does it happen when you do something every time? If it's random, and no apparent cause to it, it's gonna be very very difficult trying to determine what it is. There are some methods for doing that, but it's a time consuming job, and frustrating as well.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: DiMaestro on 2002-02-01 18:05 ]</font>
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Postposted on Fri Feb 01, 2002 8:55 pm

Its random. At first I thought it was the hdd because the freezes generally came after the computer hit the hard drive. After replacing that, the problem remains the same. It is not repeatable. Oft causes of lockups:
Watching DVD Movie (many times during)
Browsing the web (with IE)
openeing my computer
using winrar to unzip a file
opening Word.

My current guess is that the motherboard is bad, I intend to RMA it on monday. Any insights you have that would save me that hassle would be greatly appreciated. Also, after I reinstall XP again, I'll get it to lockup and then go and look at the logs.
Thanks and Peace,
Will
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Postposted on Fri Feb 01, 2002 9:09 pm

Hmm, the only really common thing that I'm seeing is it's locking up during IDE activity.

What kind of soundcard do you have in the box?

Have you installed the VIA 4 in 1's yet?
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Postposted on Sat Feb 02, 2002 12:01 am

Its just integrated sound. The PCChips 810LMR is a Sis635 chipset, so no 4-in-1s for me. The ide activity was more of a feeling than anything else, the computer wasn't hitting the disk hard before crashing, it just seemed that it was hitting the disk. Thanks.

Peace,
Will
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Postposted on Sat Feb 02, 2002 7:09 am

That's what I get for only checking one web page for stats, said it was a VIA board. :smile:

Now, I'm kind of at a loss. Is your ram one stick or two? If it's two, swap them out, see if it's related to ram.
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Postposted on Sun Feb 03, 2002 8:38 pm

I now know this: The problem is either the powersupply or the motherboard. I don't know which it is, so I believe I will RMA both on monday, as I am out of spair parts with which to test. Thanks for the help.

Peace,
will
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Postposted on Sun Feb 03, 2002 10:25 pm

Have you updated your installation through Windows Update? I was experiencing random lockups myself on a previously perfect machine, and read somewhere that some of the updates could foul you up. I looked at my installation history and uninstalled all the ones on and after the date when my problems started. (I think the culprit was some kind of multimedia enhancement for Windows Messenger.) Now everything is fine.
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Postposted on Mon Feb 04, 2002 12:09 am

The situation degraded to the point where XP will not install. Its bad enought that the XP installer will only intermitantly finish formating the harddrive before a hard lock. We're not yet back to the point where windows update could be causeing problems. Thanks for the idea though.

Peace,
Will
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Postposted on Mon Feb 04, 2002 3:36 am

My suspicion is a bad IDE controller or bad RAM, though i would rule out the power supply before replacing the board. Good luck!
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Postposted on Wed Feb 06, 2002 12:04 pm

Are you overclocking that Duron? It's been my experience that if your PCI bus is out of spec due to overclocking that you can have all kinds of IDE troubles. My last board didn't like any PCI bus speed over 37 mhz.
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