Windows XP Pro freezes, no obvious cause
by fradleybox - 1/3/06 9:19 AM
Basically, my machine will freeze eventually no matter what I do. If I play a game or run a lot of programs, it will happen inside of half an hour. If I even just leave it running a disk defragmenter or virus scan, it will usually freeze during the scan. However it will even freeze doing nothing at all if left on long enough. The freeze is the same every time: complete hard-lock, mouse won't move, keyboard won't respond, and the system time freezes. Before I go on to what I have tried, here are my specs:
CPU Intel pentium 4 3.0 GHx 800FBUS HT 1MB PRESCOTT
MBD Jetway PM9MS (VIAPM800, 2DDR, AGP 8x, SATA, 478)
CAS Raidmax Elite 208 BLACK mid-tower 350w, USB
MEM DDR 1024 MB 400 MHz PC2300 RAM (2 x 512)
VID nVidia 256MB GeForce FX 5700 8x TV DVI
SYS-D High Quality Stereo Sound Intergrated
SYS-D NIC Intergrated 10/100T Realtech LAN
2x Seagate 160GB Ultra ATA 100 hard drives
A brief side note before I continue...when I first got this box, it came with a bad stick of RAM and I couldn't get windows to install without crashing to a blue screen stop code error. That thread is here: http://www.pcguide.com/vb/showthrea...84&page=1&pp=25
The reason I mention it is because I have reason to believe that bad ram may once again be causing some, if not all of my problems. On to what I've tried:
1. Virus Scan - I finally got a virus scan to complete, and it removed one possible trojan on my non-bootable drive. Removing it did not improve the problem.
2 Spyware Scan - Spyware Doctor and McAffee spyware killer found and removed tons of stuff and it improved overall performance, but did not solve the pronlem.
3 video driver - I've tried two different video drivers, 71.89 and the most recent one. 71.89 is needed to play Civilization 4 on Nvidia machines with a crash-to-desktop error, and thats why I had it. Updating did not help.
3.5 - video settings - I've tried altering page file settings and hardware accelleration to see if there's a video problem causing this, but nothing helped. I also ran dxdiag and direct x is working fine (v 9.0c)
4 driver updates: I updated drivers for my LAN and audio in case old drivers were causing a conflict, but it did not help.
5 disk defragment - the bootable drive was badly fragmented. after three freezes during defragmentation, I got one to complete, though it froze during the night after it was done. Runs better, but still freezes.
6 errant programs - I play a lot of games, and I use a lot of hacks and cheats and user-supplied files, like for the sims 2 nightlife. These games crash frequently, because, in my personal opinion, maxis can't program games for ****. Uninstalling my games and removing the downloaded files did not help.
7 is it a hacker? - I unplugged my LAN and left it running a virus scan. still froze. Items in my event viewer (specifically, something about overloaded incoming tcp/ip connections) led me to believe that my machine may have been hijacked for its resources and that it was causing it to freeze, but it did not help. I will post the event viewer log and the mcaffee firewall details of the most recent intrusion, because I do not understand these things very well.
8 - is it windows? Since windows is ****, one of the first things I always try is just reinstalling windows. My system crashed to a blue screen stop code exactly like those in the thread I posted above immediately upon entering windows install text mode setup. This is what led me to believe it may once again be bad ram. I have not yet tested all sticks to see if I have one bad one, but I booted it successfully with one stick and it still froze, so if the ram is bad, it's not bad enough to prevent the computer from booting up, so short of trying to reinstall windows four times to test each stick and slot, i'm not sure how to proceed...
9 - I know it's not overheating, my cpu temp is low.
10 motherboard bios - I'm using VA2 for the jetway pm9ms board, and there is an update, version A3. I can't find it on the jetway site, I found it somwhere else, and it mentions a fix for incompatiblity between the jetway board and DRAM...the kind of ram I use! However, I do not know how to safely update the bios. Also, if this has been the problem, aside from game-specific crashes, why haven't I had a problem before now?
my computer knowledge is very spotty, everything I do know is self-taught, so please bear with me if I don't understand a suggestion you make.
Anyway that's as far as I've gotten. HELP!