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Mysterious Screen Freeze Ups

Trish's Escape from Hardware Hell Help Board » Software » Windows 3.1, 95, 98 and ME » Mysterious Screen Freeze Ups « Previous Next »

Author Message
Chris Fearon
Posted on Saturday, December 8, 2001 - 7:43 am:   

I have an Abit KT7 Motherboard and AMD 800 mhtz processor, 256 megs of RAM and a 40 gig hard drive. Plenty of room there.

I am running Windows 98 SE

All was working fine until I installed an Epson USB printer (Stylus Photo 785).

Problem now is that when browsing with Netscape 4.75 or IE 5.5 I get screen/mouse freezes lasting about 2 minutes and then unfreezes for a while and then freezes again, until I can back out. Seems to happen mostly when I visit Yahoo email site, although it will happen with other sites.

Also of note is that boot-up sometimes gets to Windows splash screen and mouse is frozen or sometimes I don't even get though the DOS boot screens when it hangs. Computer never recovers from those hang ups and I have to hit the reset button.

Now, I am using WordPerfect and cruising right along without difficulty.

I also have a Epson USB scanner attached and a SanDisk card reader. The printer and scanner USB ports are side by side and the ScanDisk is on another USB card with an additional empty port.

Also I have Norton System Works running.

I have tried purging the Netscape disk and memory cache. I have used Norton the defragment and examine for registry errors. I have looked to see if I need to flash the BIOS but have not seen where there is a requirement for that.

Any thoughts here on where to focus attention?
V (Vera)
Posted on Saturday, December 8, 2001 - 12:58 pm:   

have you checked your irq assignments? is there any sharing?
Chris Fearon
Posted on Saturday, December 8, 2001 - 5:30 pm:   

Do I ever have IRQ sharing! How do I choose what to change?

0 System timer
1 Standard 101/102-Key or Microsoft Natural Keyboard
2 Programmable interrupt controller
3 Communications Port (COM2)
4 Communications Port (COM1)
5 (free)
6 Standard Floppy Disk Controller
7 Printer Port (LPT1)
8 System CMOS/real time clock
9 VIA VT83C572/VT82C586 PCI to USB Universal Host Controller
9 VIA VT83C572/VT82C586 PCI to USB Universal Host Controller
9 ACPI IRQ Holder for PCI IRQ Steering
10 Creative PCI Modem Enumerator
10 ACPI IRQ Holder for PCI IRQ Steering
11 Creative Sound Blaster PCI128
11 Diamond Stealth III S540 for Windows 98
11 ACPI IRQ Holder for PCI IRQ Steering
11 SCI IRQ used by ACPI bus
12 Microsoft PS/2 Mouse (IntelliPoint)
13 Numeric data processor
14 Primary IDE controller (dual fifo)
14 VIA Bus Master PCI IDE Controller
15 Secondary IDE controller (dual fifo)
15 VIA Bus Master PCI IDE Controller
V (Vera)
Posted on Saturday, December 8, 2001 - 9:14 pm:   

here is a link that may help

looking at your configuration, your system has a few irq's that you may be able to utilize.

you have a ps/2 mouse (irq 12) and a pci modem using irq 10. looks like that frees up your com ports irq 3&4. Is your modem on com 3 or 4? using resources irq 10?
irq 5 is already free
you have a usb printer, so you don't need the lpt port (irq 7) reserved unless you are using a parallel device of some kind.

in bios (power management) or similar for your bios:
1. make sure irq 12 is reserved for the ps/2 mouse
2. if you don't use a parallel device on lpt 1 then irq 7(lpt1) can be disabled, freeing it up for use by another device.
3. irq 5 (lpt2)can be disabled ..... That's for a second parallel port.(unless you use one)
4. irq 3 (com 2) can be disabled.....usually used for modem
5. irq 4 (com 1) can be disabled........usually used for serial mouse.

on my own system ,win 98, I don't let my video share irq 11 with anything else. If you choose to shift your sound card around find out the irq range it will work on. usually irq 5, 7, 10 but others are not uncommon. mine works with 9 and 5.

another link that may help

Chris Fearon
Posted on Sunday, December 9, 2001 - 4:42 am:   

I went to the BIOS and disabled Serial Port 1 (IRQ 4) and Serial Port 2 (IRQ 3).

When Windows rebooted and I checked the system info, all three items previously at IRQ 9 moved to IRQ 3, freeing up IRQ 9.

"SCI IRQ used by ACPI bus" previously used at IRQ 11, then moved to IRQ 4.

I couldn't find where LPT1 (IRQ 7) could be disabled.

I couldn't find where LPT2 (IRQ 5) could be disabled and it remains "free".

In the BIOS set-up there was Modem Use IRQ that was set to NA, and I changed it to IRQ 3. However, that didn't change where Windows put it. It remains at IRQ 10 and remains COM3.

Indivdual IRQ assignments in the BIOS had two choices: Legacy or PCI. There was no "Disable" option. I left them on PCI.

When I went to control panel/system/device manager/hardware profiles/sound card/Creative Sound Blaster PCI128 and tried to change the IRQ from automatic setting at IRQ 11, it said "This resource setting cannot be modified". Is there a way around that? I also tried that with the modem, and it too said "This resource setting cannot be modified".

Although the system didn't hang after any of these changes, I don't know if I am lucky for the moment (which seems to be the past history) or whether these few changes have been permanently successful.

I do appreciate your expertise on this!
V (Vera)
Posted on Sunday, December 9, 2001 - 3:17 pm:   

If things are going ok it may be good to wait and see. but if the same thing starts up again:

Do you have award bios? My machines use award and find the irq adjustments in "Power managment" in the right pane.

The "modem use irq" setting:-- this setting doesn't assign the modems irq.
taken from this link

Modem Use IRQ: if you want to restart the computer after a modem call, this option allows you to specify the IRQ modem so that it can be monitored while waiting for the call.

and from this link

MODEM Use IRQ: Name the interrupt request (IRQ) line assigned to the modem (if any) on your system. Activity of the selected IRQ always awakens the system.

There, I learned something new. I knew it didn't assign the irq for the modem but wasn't sure how it was used.

your modem is a pci modem and if you didn't install it yourself, they can be ornery to get setup correctly. If it's working I would leave it there. installing pci modems is something I need to educate myself on more.

If you have a free pci slot you could try removing the soundcard from device manager and it's software from add/remove programs. Move the soundcard to a different pci slot and re-install it.The agp slot and pci slot one share the same irq so if your video card is agp and your audio is on pci one then that could be the problem in getting it to shift.

some more ideas

Chris Fearon
Posted on Sunday, December 9, 2001 - 4:41 pm:   

I did find the printer IRQ (it was on the only BIOS screen that had a slider bar and it was below the initial viewable screen content. I still can't get the video card and modem to come up on separate IRQ's. The BIOS allows for slots to have dedicated IRQ's and I tried that and no difference. I changed IRQ 11 to Legacy and then both the video and modem shifted to IRQ 10. I uninstalled the printer and still got hung while browsing. I am beginning to wonder if the modem may be dying. If the video card were dying, I'd expect freezes when I am using other programs. Can Java cause freezes? Sometimes it seems that the pop-up messages or screens with other dancing animation bring on the freeze. But all this used to not happen before I started adding USB devices (printer and scanner). Might have to uninstall scanner and delete all USB hubs, etc. and see if normalcy returns. Very puzzling.

I got through this typing session without a freeze, and earlier before I uninstalled the printer I couldn't even get a reply to my ISP email done without a freeze up. Strange!

V (Vera)
Posted on Sunday, December 9, 2001 - 5:00 pm:   

don't set to legacy.
legacy is pre plug & play
leave "resources controlled by " auto
Posted on Monday, December 10, 2001 - 2:56 am:   

I noticed netscape causing a 5 second screen lock up, every two minutes. This was on a 233 mhz pentium II machine with 64 Mbytes of ram running Win95.

Deleting the history file fixed it.

Seems like netscape was doing some kind of scan, every two minutes of the 10 mbyte history file I had.

hint: create a new netscape profile with no history file to test this, or save your old history before you delete it.

Chris Fearon
Posted on Friday, December 14, 2001 - 1:26 pm:   

After four days I believe my system has stabliized. I downloaded Netscape 4.79 to replace 4.75 in hopes that it would do better. It seemed to for a day and then the freezes occured again. Now, it's entirely possible that the 4.79 download didn't alter an existing, corrupted file by the same name. I don't know if I should have uninstalled 4.75 before loading 4.79. Be that as it may, I have used version 6.2 for four straight days without a lock up. I am strongly convinced that the original 4.xx version problems had something to do with Java. Also of note is since freeing up IRQ 3, 4, and 7 through the BIOS settings, I have not had a single boot lock up. Must be a combination of the two moves.

V (Vera)
Posted on Friday, December 14, 2001 - 2:15 pm:   

keepin' my fingers crossed for ya.

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