Computer Freezing Issues
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Thread: Computer Freezing Issues

  1. #1
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    Computer Freezing Issues

    Hey Hey,

    I'm not one to come here for help, especially hardware help... but I'm stumped... The only thing I can think of is bad hardware, so I'm hoping you all can help out.

    My GF bought a new computer from Best Buy... It's a refurbished compaq (I know, I know.. but the price was right).

    Specs:
    AMD XP 2400+
    128MB Ram
    40GB WD HDD
    4X CD-RW
    Yada yada Yada

    We also purchased 256MB of RAM and an e-GeForce FX 5200 128MB so that she could play The Sims reasonably well. It came with XP Home pre-installed.

    We came home and I installed the new ram and video card (fairly standard stuff.. I prolly do it 100 times a year). I booted it up and started having problems with it crashing.... the times would vary.. Sometimes it'd be as soon as it booted into Windows.. another time it lasted 24 hours.. My GF opened The Sims one time and it crashed at start-up.. another time she played for hours with no problem.

    I first assumed that XP Home didn't like the RAM upgrade, so I grabbed one of my legal copies of XP and installed, booted the machine and installed all the updates.. It seemed to be running fine until we went to install the Sims and it crashed again... Now I figure it's the RAM... I've seen picky Compaqs before.. so I tried changing up the RAM configuration.. 256 then 128... 128 then 256.. So I throw in Hirens BootCD and run PC Memory Test 2000... It runs fine for abotu 50 passes and then crashes with a fatal exception.... So I pull out the 128 and run the test the next night with only the 256. It ran 250+ tests without a problem. So I bought the machine and XP blue screens.. I figure it didn't like the RAM change and go to boot it again, same thing. So I grab my XP CD to reinstall.. but I missed pressing any key to boot from the CD and oddly enough the computer booted. I popped int he password and as XP was booting the computer died. I pulled it apart and popped out the 256 and through in the 128MB original... Now it's got it's original configuration + the Video card... I boot it up and it's good long enough to download and install winamp and listen to a couple mp3s.. then it crashes again... I'm going to try pulling out the video card and running it out of the box, but I'm completely stumped.. I'm not sure what the problem is..

    Anyone have any Ideas or solutions to offer? I plan on bringin it back to best buy in the next few days if I can't solve it.... but I'd prefer to not have to bring it back... They might not replace the parts.. might just offer cash back.. and I couldn't go buy the processor and motherboard for what she paid for the entire PC...

    Thanks in Advance and as always,
    Peace,
    HT
    IT Blog: .:Computer Defense:.
    PnCHd (Pronounced Pinched): Acronym - Point 'n Click Hacked. As in: "That website was pinched" or "The skiddie pinched my computer because I forgot to patch".

  2. #2
    Macht Nicht Aus moxnix's Avatar
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    Almost sounds like a heat problem, with the exception of the failures at bootup.
    Does the new video card have adequet cooling and good airflow?
    You might want to try it a couple of times with the video card out of the system, just to eliminate the possibility of a bad video card.

    [Edit] Just thought of some thing else that could do it......irq (?) conflicts. Now I have got to go research my idea and see if it will hold water. (I'll let you know)
    \"Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, Champagne in one hand - strawberries in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming WOO HOO - What a Ride!\"
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  3. #3
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    Originally posted here by moxnix
    Almost sounds like a heat problem, with the exception of the failures at bootup.
    Does the new video card have adequet cooling and good airflow?
    You might want to try it a couple of times with the video card out of the system, just to eliminate the possibility of a bad video card.
    Hey Hey,

    I originally thought a heat problem also, however it doesn't seem to break 57C... Then again, I dunno what standard is... that's pretty much the same as my PC runs..

    The Video Card is definately the next step.. I'm also going to have to research the motherboard and see if I can find a way to disable the onboard video (it's not in the BIOS)


    Peace,
    HT
    IT Blog: .:Computer Defense:.
    PnCHd (Pronounced Pinched): Acronym - Point 'n Click Hacked. As in: "That website was pinched" or "The skiddie pinched my computer because I forgot to patch".

  4. #4
    Macht Nicht Aus moxnix's Avatar
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    Ok, you posted at the same time I was editing my original post......see edit.
    \"Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, Champagne in one hand - strawberries in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming WOO HOO - What a Ride!\"
    Author Unknown

  5. #5
    Macht Nicht Aus moxnix's Avatar
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    OK, HT, here is a thread that goes into some IRQ conflicts with sound and video cards that might be usefull. http://www.duxcw.com/dcforum/DCForumID3/93.html
    \"Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, Champagne in one hand - strawberries in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming WOO HOO - What a Ride!\"
    Author Unknown

  6. #6
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    Hey Hey,

    I believe the source of the problem to be video related. I installed an e-GeForce FX 5200, yet never disabled the onboard video... However I can't find anywhere to disable it. There's no BIOS option... and there's no apparent jumper to do the job.. anyone have experience with Compaq Presario's (Model: S4020WM.. Motherboard Chipset: VIA VT8375 ProSavageDDR KM266)

    Peace,
    HT
    IT Blog: .:Computer Defense:.
    PnCHd (Pronounced Pinched): Acronym - Point 'n Click Hacked. As in: "That website was pinched" or "The skiddie pinched my computer because I forgot to patch".

  7. #7
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    Hey Hey,

    It's going back, I've given up on it.

    I removed the nVidia card and it booted fine, got further with no error, rebooted to start installing Windows and it came up... loaded the install screen and rebooted itself. I pulled out the RAM I installed, the system was now back at it's original state... Now it won't boot period... I'm wondering if the 128MB of RAM is bad.. it worked with the 256 first, but not withou the 256... I've given up for now.. I may try it with just the 256MB chip but I doubt it.... If anyone has any ideas, I'm still open to them, but in 6 hours the PC is being returned.

    Peace,
    HT
    IT Blog: .:Computer Defense:.
    PnCHd (Pronounced Pinched): Acronym - Point 'n Click Hacked. As in: "That website was pinched" or "The skiddie pinched my computer because I forgot to patch".

  8. #8
    Just a Virtualized Geek MrLinus's Avatar
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    Which Compaq model is it? Have you checked their website for RAM requirements (an oldie requirement was often that certain slots had to have RAM -- pairing concept).
    Goodbye, Mittens (1992-2008). My pillow will be cold without your purring beside my head
    Extra! Extra! Get your FREE copy of Insight Newsletter||MsMittens' HomePage

  9. #9
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    Hey Hey,

    It's the S4020WM.... their site says anything PC2100 is ok.. I bought PC2100/PC2700 compatible ram... but even with it out it won't boot anymore.. I think it had a bad proc or something and it just keeps going down hill.. if I get bored later I may tear it apart completely and rebuild the entire thing... but most likely i'll return it and demand something better.

    Peace,
    HT
    IT Blog: .:Computer Defense:.
    PnCHd (Pronounced Pinched): Acronym - Point 'n Click Hacked. As in: "That website was pinched" or "The skiddie pinched my computer because I forgot to patch".

  10. #10
    Just a Virtualized Geek MrLinus's Avatar
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    I'd return it. Some things aren't worth the time. The risk with refurbished is this kind of stuff, the undetectable problems. Although, I'm surprised that BestBuy sells refurbished. I always thought that was a cheesy computer store product.
    Goodbye, Mittens (1992-2008). My pillow will be cold without your purring beside my head
    Extra! Extra! Get your FREE copy of Insight Newsletter||MsMittens' HomePage

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