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Old 07-11-2005, 01:35 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Angry Random computer freezes

Hello,
I am new to the boards and have been reading some posts and thought I might be able to get help here. I am pretty sure this issue has been covered one too many times but I wanted to start a thread so I could focus on this issue alone and see if anything has progressed since the last time issues were handled.

About half a month ago my computer began to randomly freeze. When I say freeze, nothing on the screen moves (not the mouse, clock) my keyboard does nothing (tried ctrl-alt-del several times and any other combination to get windows to pop up) and the hard drive light stops blinking.

I first noticed this problem when I bought my new sound card (Sound Blaster Audigy 2, I believe). This led me to believe that it was driver issue or what have you so I checked for new drivers, I had the most recent. I checked in the hardware profiles and it was running fine, did the sound tests and everything turned out fine. From some posts I have been reading, there is a chance it could be sharing the same IRQ. Is it possible to encounter freezes when devices share the same IRQ? (I would imagine so).

I thought it might have been a hard drive problem so I rid myself of my old hard drive and upgraded to a Seagate 160gig HDD. Everything seemed to be running fine until I played a game. The game decided to freeze while starting up so I hit the restart button on my case (as usual) and the computer booted fine. I finally was able to get into the game and play but about 5 minutes in, it froze again.

Before when I would get these freezes, the sound would emit a constant noise as if it stuck on the tone it was on just as it froze. Now when it freezes, I get no sound at all. Just a click and then silence. Suffice it to say I have had about enough of this issue.

I completely wiped my system and upgraded. Specs are as follows (from what I can remember):

Processor: 3.06P4 533Mhz FSB
Motherboard: Asrock P4S55FX+
Video card: eVGA Geforce FX 6800 GT
Sound card: Sound Blaster Audigy 2 Value
Power Supply: 500Watt
RAM: 512mb Corsair PC2700 (It should be noted that I put in another 512 stick of PC2100 which could be a lead to the issue.)

I have a heatsink and fan on the processor (of course) and a fan at the front and back of the case. There is a fan on the bottom side of the power supply for extra air flow. The graphics card has it's own heatsink and fan as well.

I can not think of any other cause to this issue other than:

A) The RAM is conflicting with each other
B) The sound card is sharing an IRQ with something else

I do not believe this is a heat issue but it is possible. I have made sure to have enough fans blowing to keep air flow. I monitored my grpahics card and the threshold is around 120* C. It runs at around 70-75* C at max.

If anyone has any wisdom they might be able to share, please do. I am not sure what else to do now and am getting desperate enough to contact the Geek Squad *shudders at the thought*

THANKS!
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Old 07-11-2005, 04:30 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Check the event logs and see what error comes up around when it froze.
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Old 07-11-2005, 04:32 PM   #3 (permalink)
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It most definitely might be your RAM, get them to be compatible and it should run fine.
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Old 07-11-2005, 05:03 PM   #4 (permalink)
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What does your BIOS say your CPU temp is?

Test your ram b4 assuming its the cause...
-take out a ram stick and leave only 1 in the computer at a time when testing.

www.memtest.org
-download the pre-compiled package for floppy... then just extract to floppy. leave floppy in and reboot. it auto runs forever... run it fora few Hrs. then hit escape to end it after it completes multiple passes.
-------------------------------------------

i dont have much experience with Graphics card temps(GPU). but the 6800 agp (Not GT) that i tested, ran at about 58c full load. so 75 might be normal for the GT but i dont know, it might be to hot...

test it by putting the comp in the coolest room in the house if posible and run it with the side pannel OFF, and a fan blowing tward it if nesseccary... then loaded up the vid by running the game on high settings.
---------------------------------------------

someone else will have to answer the IRQ question, i dont know much about dealing with those. all i know is you can check the IRQ # in defice manager, under the 'properyes' of the device in 'resources' tab.

i never encountered a IRQ conflict, but if there is one. perhaps the Device might just not function, not freeze the system?

if no one responds with IRQ advice, i guess you could always remove the sound card, and boot up and run without it. and see if the issue diapears without the card, that would narrow it down.
---------------------------------------

what brand and specifiactions is the 500watt psu that you use?
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Old 07-11-2005, 06:13 PM   #5 (permalink)
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My PSU is an Allied ATX500 Watt PS. Not sure what else you would want/need to know.

I should have mentioned, this entire issue seems to have popped up when I installed the sound card. Because of this, I uninstalled the sound card drivers, reinstalled them and then checked for updates (no updates present). Still, it had issues. Up until today, a little after my first post, I realized I never disabled the on board audio. Could this have affected the computer THAT much? I would imagine there would be some issues and I thought this could be it as the two devices may have issues with each other. I'm waiting to see if the computer locks up at all this time around.

At the moment my CPU is running 47* C. It continues to aternate between 47 and 44*. My GPU is 62* C at the moment. It seems to be between 60 and 70 for the GPU is normal.

I will see how the computer works with the on-board sound being disabled. If it locks up again, I will continue to look into other things. If anyone has any other advice, please let me know. AND, if anyone believe that the On-Board could have been the issue, please confirm my suspicions (you can bet I will feel like an idiot if it is)
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Old 07-11-2005, 07:57 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I should note, I downloaded a temp monitored and it fluxuates between 48-52* C while just being onlines and running AIM and other background processes.

I started up FarCry, was on full settings, it went up to about 70* C. Somehow I set a temp warning as my computer began beeping with a warning. Not sure where I set this as I can not find anything on BIOS about this. I'm not sure I set it in the program I downloaded either.

Can anyone tell me what the max temp for a Northwood 3.06Ghz P4 with HTT and 533 Mhz FSB would be? I most likely new Heat Sink as well as Heat Sink Fan. The one from my 2.7Ghz Celeron is on there now (it's the stock one) So I would imagine it's not fit for the job.

At any rate, is there a mx I should watch out for? It would be nice to be able to play my games until I can get the new supplies.
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Old 07-11-2005, 08:06 PM   #7 (permalink)
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http://www.helpwithpcs.com/upgrading...q-settings.htm

Try this if you are having troulbe with the IRQ. This will help you check if you actually have conflicting IRQs.
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Old 07-11-2005, 08:09 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Thanks Hacp. That was the site I actually looked at while doing it. Turns out there is not IRQ conflict so thats one thing I can rule out. Thanks for the suggestion though. Good to know there are still helpful people out there (I've read other posts with alot of smart *** comments, but so far I'm pleased with the people that have responded)
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Old 07-11-2005, 08:14 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Question, does it do this with your new system also? Is the pc2100 in the first slot and the pc2700 in the 2nd slot?

Also, 70 degrees celcius is DEF not normal. Did you apply the thermal pad/paste when you installed the heatsink/fan?
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Old 07-11-2005, 08:22 PM   #10 (permalink)
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The motherboard has Dual Channel RAM slots. So basically the way it's set up now is A 256 stick (PC2700) in slots 1 and 3 and the 512 stick (PC2100) in slot 2. As far as I'm concerned this is how it should be. The 1 and 3 work together for Dual Channel and the 2 and 4 work together. Because I am running the extra 512, it's reading the RAM as Single Channel at the moment.

I do have thermal paste applied. Copper based to be exact. I'm honestly thinking that because I'm using the stock for the 2.7 Celeron and the new processor is a 3.06 Pentium 4, there is a huge difference in how well it would cool.
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