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Random freezing up

Trish's Escape from Hardware Hell Help Board » Hardware » ...All the Rest » Random freezing up « Previous Next »

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nicholas breedlove
Posted on Saturday, September 7, 2002 - 1:15 pm:   

hello i built my own computer. i use a asus a7v266e mobo and an amd xp 2100 cpu. i have had a problem for a while where at completely random times the system freezes. mouse won't move or anything. these freezes are pretty random but occur more often when i am playing a video game or watching video files. I had the problem at first on a 300w power supply, i upgraded to a 420w and now the problem simply occurs less often. i would like to fix the problem alltogether. i use an ati radeon 8500 128mb video card and a hercules game theater xp sound card. other than that and modem i have no other pci. my cpu is pretty new so i don't think thats the problem. i have had my mobo for a while and it might have taken some bumps or slight scratches or something. please help if you can.

Posted on Sunday, September 8, 2002 - 7:08 am:   

well, first, i'd make sure you have the latest bios, then, the drivers that are up to date for the motherboard. as well as video card. then, try reinstalling directx. the latest version. other than that, i'd say try altering your bios settings. depending on the game. cpu to memory timing. try a less aggresive setting, see if the problem goes away. i'm having that problem too, only with one game. actually blew a memory stick with the bios's default settings a day ago. i went back a step, to slew rate 2, but no go yet, after a few hours, it freaks. it may be that the memory needs dumped for the graphics every once in awhile. pretty complex graphics on this one, but a challenge to try to fix.

oh, using a a7m266 motherboard here. with 512 megs 2100ddr ram. and an msi 64meg ddr ram g-force 2. i have the recommended specs to run the game. possibly go to a g-force 3 or 4? don't know if that'll help me. but i'd need to upgrade the bios to do it.
Posted on Monday, September 9, 2002 - 6:34 am:   

Since you mentioned you build this system, I ask this. Did you use heatsink compound, heatpad, or any paste between the cpu and fan? Also, did you remove the protective covering of the paste before install if not from a tube? Next, you don't really need alot of paste to do the job but it should be covered. Are any of the cooling fans getting power from the mtrbd. directly? If so, reconnect them to run from the p/s power harness instead or replace them to use that power source. This removes some weird problems that the mtrbd. doesn't get all reliable pwoer it needs .

good luck -----Willy
Posted on Monday, September 9, 2002 - 1:30 pm:   

ok, just to add. i got my issue fixed. i think. i went and bought the same brand memory as i had with the original stick. then set the agp mem appeture to 256. after reflashing the bios. reinstalling from backup, i got it to work. was the memory. some incompatibility with the current stick. btw, i have one of those new adjustable speed fans for the cpu. huge heat sink too. as well as extra fans. clean all the dust out before i put it back together. rockin' now..........
nick breedlove
Posted on Wednesday, September 11, 2002 - 11:35 am:   

i reinstalled all the latest drivers for my video card/directx/winxp etc. and i successfully flashed my bios to the most recent one. Every once in a while it will still randomly freeze but it is MUCH less often. last night it didn't freeze at all matter of fact and i was playing anarchy online for a good 4-5 hours. i don't think the problem is gone altogether but it is significantly decreased. you say your problem had to do with the memory? that's interesting, i assumed it wouldn't boot up if there was a problem with the memory. As for the suggestion about fans plugged into the mobo itself i have one case fan that is plugged into the mobo itself and i have the cpu/heatsink plugged into the mobo itself. i can plug the case fan into the psu directly, but is that necessary for the heatsink too? just wondering, thanks for your help, i think flashing the bios and reinstalling the drivers helped. The problem seems to have gone away but i am still weary of it's presence. thank you. So my only conclusion if the problem does happen again is that there is a problem with the motherboard. i don't think the problem is with the ram because i have never gotten an error of that nature and the comp boots fine, it never freezes during or soon after boot. as for the heatsink i used one from coolermaster and it had that weird putty stuff already on the bottom, there was no protective plastic or anything. thank you for your help, any/all suggestions are appreciated.

-nick breedlove
nick breedlove
Posted on Saturday, September 14, 2002 - 1:40 pm:   

well the problem does still happen, usually when there is a significant strain on the computer. Upgrading everything just made it happen less often. I think i am going to replace the motherboard. If anybody has any suggestions i'd like to hear them. thank you.

Posted on Saturday, September 14, 2002 - 8:22 pm:   

some brands of ram, recommended by the manufacturer, will work better than others, i always had problems mixing brands, as what happened to me a week or so ago. the other thing. the video card. is it compatible, try a gforce, it may work better than the ati. drivers. there are some guys, with web sites out there that customize the drivers, so they work better in certain environments, such as games, where the stock driver won't handle it, even upgrading to the latest one may not be enough. ah, the only other thing i can suggest is to try a different video card, see if it improves, if the motherboard can handle it. oh, heat, if the cpu, hard drive, or the video card chips get hot, that may be a culprit. what you talked about with me, with the ram issue, it will boot up and run properly, but just not under a heavy load, ergo, the updated drivers, or customized ones, however, you may lose some functionality, a tradeoff, with normal operating. that's what i mean by the ram incompatibility. could be 1, or a number of bios settings pertaining either, or both, video, and memory, that need to be tweaked to. just have to play with it a bit, and see what it's comfortable with.

if that doesn't help, you can try getting a new motherboard, and see what affect it has. i'd re-install the os, just to be sure if you do.
nick breedlove
Posted on Thursday, September 19, 2002 - 12:27 pm:   

i don't think i'll be getting a new motherboard. what you suggested about the ram sounds like a good idea. i have 2 512mb chips that are the same brand and then i have one 256mb chip thats a different brand. it may be that mixing brands is causing that problem. i am also in the market for another graphics card soon, seeing as my radeon 8500 is becoming rapidly outdated. thank you for your input, you have been a lot of help already with the bios update suggestion.

-nick breedlove
nick breedlove
Posted on Wednesday, October 9, 2002 - 1:29 pm:   

i finally solved my problem. it was the video card. i purchased and installed a gainward ti4200 and all the problems went away. i don't know what or why my radeon 8500 stopped working properly but it did. thank you all for your help and input. ironically the suggestion to update my bios and all my other drivers made my system run faster.

-nick breedlove

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