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Old 01-09-2008, 01:31 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default What Am I?

I'd appreciate a little help determining the source of the problem I'm having with my rig and some possible solutions.

I have a relatively recent rebuild (with used parts) that keeps freezing up randomly whenever I use moderate video applications. Specifically I notice it when I play online flash games, watch online videos, or play PC games saved on hard drive. Itís not specific to any 1 browser (I tried 3 different ones). It doesnít happen on simple games like solitaire, minesweeper, etc. It doesnít happen when Iím only browsing the internet (no videos). It doesnít happen when I use my memory intensive work software.

When it does happen and Iím playing flash content on-line, maybe 1 out of 5 times the browser will suddenly quit and everything else will continue working fine, in which case Iím able to re-open the browser and continue what Iím doing. During most of the time, the whole system freezes up within 20 Ė 40 minutes of moderate video use. When it happens, the mouse and keyboard wonít work and I need to do a hard reset. Once in a great while, like maybe 5% of the time, the system will freeze up during reboot, however will boot up just fine once I do a hard reset again.

Iím not sure if itís a hardware or software problem, but leaning toward the hardware because of the freeze-up during the reboot. I can probably safely rule out the video card as it seems to work fine and I have a spare card that works but the same problem is exhibited.

I bought this computer from a local guy who claims to recondition and resell computers for a living from his garageÖ.kinda creepy guy who I have no wish to deal with ever again, even regarding this problem. It worked fine when I bought it, he had it running, but of course I didnít test it for this particular problem. I swapped in my new power supply, added a stick of 512 PC333 DDR Ram to the 1 he already had on there, added a second internal HD and added my DVD burner, then swapped in my marginally better Graphics card.

All I know about the motherboard is that itís an ABITÖ.full ATX size
The chip is an AMD Athalon XP 2400
Dynex ATX 400 Watt Power Supply
2 sticks of 512MB PC333 DDR RAM (probably diff manufactures)
N Vidia GeForce 3 V8200 T2 64MP Video Card (thatís the better of the 2, lol)
Samsung SyncMaster 950P CRT Monitor; Diagonal Size: 19 in; Max Resolution: 1920 x 1440 / 64 Hz; Dot pitch: 0.26 mm

Runs Win XP Pro edition updated (including SP2)
Not sure if this makes a diff but I noticed a couple of utility programs designed to tweak the OS that came loaded with the computer, one is XP Smoker Pro, the other is Tweak UI, a power toy for Windows XP. These programs lead me to think that maybe the OS is not stable and thus the cause of the freeze ups?

Iíd appreciate any help, as Iím kinda a noob to all this. BTW you guys have a great forum here. Just found it today and spent a good portion of it (time that I shouldíve spent working! Lol) perusing through. Sure does a good job of ďcreating a need for wanting more!Ē


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Old 01-09-2008, 01:47 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: What Am I?

Was reading another thread and came across link for the CPU-Z utility which gives info on mobo, cpu, ram, etc so here is more info:

maker: Abit
model: KV7 (VIA KT600-8237)
Chipset: VIA KT600

RAM Slot 1: DDR 512 MB PC2700 (166 MHz) by Nanya Technology
RAM Slot 2: DDR 512 MB PC2700 (166 MHz) by Transend Information

Guess I misquoted the RAM info on the previous post!

1 more thing: I have a pair of Corsair CMX512 XMS3200C2 memory sticks, 512MB ea rated at 400 MHz. According to the online reviews I've been reading about this motherboard, the Corsair memory I have should work, but when I try the memory, it doesn't work at all....as in the computer doesn't even post. Any ideas or possible explanations why?

Thanks again,

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Old 01-09-2008, 09:14 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: What Am I?

after digging around and looking for posts of others with similar problem, I found out and decided to check on my temperature and voltage settings.

From BIOS on Startup this is what I get:

PMW Temp...................53C/127F
CPU Temp....................45C/113F
CPU Fan Speet .............4166/4218 RPM (fluctuates)
CPU Core Voltage..........1.61/1.63 V (again fluctuates)
ATX +3.3V...................3.34V
ATX +5V......................4.99V
ATX +12V....................12.03V
AGP VDDQ Voltage.........1.53V
DDR Voltage..................2.67V
Battery Voltage (+3V).....2.96V
Standby Voltage (+5V)....4.96V

I also downloaded and ran Everest and have been monitoring that throughout the day in different scenarios, intentionally trying to get the system to freeze up, which of course I succeeded in, several times. The values I get from Everest are very similar and only vary by a 1-3 degrees/volts, even when I'm running several applications, many tabs open in several browsers and running flash content/ pc video games.

The only difference was there is no PMW Temp in Everest, but there is a Mobo temp and that was consistently at 50C/122F and a Maxtor Temp (1 of my 2 HDDs) and that was consistently at 49-50C/120F

In regards to system cooling, I have a heatsink and fan on CPU as well as the stock mobo fan on one of the FSB; 1 exhaust fan on my case, 2 if you count the PSU which is positioned so that it sucks air from case into PSU and out rear of case. I also currently have one of the side panels to the case open and the case sits below the desk on a small wooden platform with wheels. The Desk is located in the Den/enclosed patio addition of the home with no heating vents nearby and an ambient room temperature a little above 70F. I keep the heat low throughout the day anyway and just wear a sweater. The only possible red flag I can tell is that the 2 hdds are position adjacent to each other and feel pretty warm to the touch....bordering on hot....maybe I can separate them with a slot in between?

From the Temperature guide on this forum, my cpu is apparently on the high side of the range in both temp and voltage, but still within the "safe zone". The fact that both the temperature and voltage is on the high side and apparently very stable leads me to believe that the chip has been overclocked, but I'm not sure about that.

If it is overclocked then could that be the issue I'm dealing with? Especially if the RAM is not overclocked to match?

Also I took a look at the Drivers, used a driver scan called DriverAgent.com that of course proptly told me that many of my drivers were out of date and that they had more up to date ones that they'd be happy to give me in return for some money. Well I went to the respective websites for some of those and updated them myself. Hoever there are a few listed on the scan, which I have no idea on how to find the right driver for.

These are:
VIA Bus Master IDE Controller
VIA Compatable Fast Ethernet Adapter
RAID Controller

I'm not sure how to get any more specific info than that on any of these hardware devices and when I google for drivers of said hardware devices
I get matches for more specific models, etc. Any help here?

I did successfully updat the Video card driver (for the old card I'm using right now, the driver for the slightly newer card has already been updated.....could that be a problem if the older video card is a Radon and the slightly newer one is NVidia?)

I also updated sound card and printer driver (although I had already dowloaded most recent driver for printer when I installed it on this new OS a couple of weeks ago....or so I thought).

Despite the driver updates, I still get the same problem.

I also plan to use MemTest to test my RAM tonight.

So many things to consider......and this has eaten up a good portion of my day, but I am learning lots!

As mentioned before any and all help is appreciated!
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Old 01-09-2008, 10:06 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: What Am I?

The voltages and temp are fine, my guess its one of the stick of RAM has died, use the Memtest Utility under my sig and run it off boot to see if 1's dead or not
P3 Setup- Intel 1.0ghz , 512Mb SDRAM , ATI 9200 128MB, 2x 40GB HD, Asus CUSL-LV

.....:::::POST Troubleshooting Steps.___.My Rig.___.Memory Test:::::.....
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Old 01-09-2008, 10:49 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: What Am I?

see if there is anything in your system event logs.
control panel
admin tools
event viewer
then system
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Old 01-10-2008, 11:15 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: What Am I?


Memtest/Mem Diagnostic:
Floppy doesn't work properly...doesn't read any disk I put in it, thus unable to create boot disk.

Alternatively I created a boot CD, put the iso file into the CD directory window then click on the button to write file to CD. Did that for both Memtest and Windows Memory Diagnostic....separate CD's for each. Bios settings are such that it will boot from CD first so I restart 'puter and when it comes time to boot from CD, I hear the CD Drive running, but nothing happens on the screen. Any Ideas on what's going on?

System Event log.........loooooooooong list. No errors so far today, Only 36 Errors for yesturday, but there were hundreds, if not over a thousand from 2 days ago

All say the same thing aside from difference in date and time, the source states DCOM, category: none, Event: 10009

What does that mean?

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