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Neil the Eagle
04-03-2003, 10:48 AM
My main PC keeps freezing up.

By this I mean it just locks up completely showing whatever was on the screen at the time. no blue screen, Norton Crashguard doesn't kick in, none of the keys or mouse work (thus I can't ctrl-alt-del)

The only way is to hit the reboot button although sometimes it has to be turned off at the mains.

It was a rare, intermittant thing, but now its happening every 10-15 minutes.

Any thoughts anyone?

David Murray
04-03-2003, 11:20 AM
I tend to get these symptoms every so often, what I normally do is open up the box, get a soft paint brush and brush the dust off of all the components, make sure the memory chips are sitting properly, reseat the cards and it normally goes away.
Once up and running I also run McAfee to be sure, then get the housekeeping done on the machine, getting rid of temp files and other rubbish. Normally helps.

David Murray
04-03-2003, 11:20 AM
Mine you, sometimes I just switch it off and go fishing !

DANGERMOUSE
04-03-2003, 11:23 AM
I thought this was going to be a thread about Naomi Mills...

Benzhiyi
04-03-2003, 11:26 AM
Mine did that, got really annoying.

Solution? Brand new dog's bollocks PC built by my girlfriend's brother (who does it for a living) for a rather tasy 819.

Sorry Neil but it's probably knackered... :(

Kevin T
04-03-2003, 12:01 PM
Probably memory

Psychokiller
04-03-2003, 12:01 PM
I know what it is.

Pat Mustard
04-03-2003, 12:02 PM
Originally posted by DANGERMOUSE
I thought this was going to be a thread about Naomi Mills...

That's funny! :p :D

Brett
04-03-2003, 03:36 PM
Again, like Kev, it's more than likely to be your RAM (the amount of RAM problems I've dealt with lately :sob: ).

Neil, have you installed any new hardware at all - say a graphics card?

What O/S are you running?

Neil the Eagle
04-03-2003, 04:07 PM
Installed nothing new since its been freezing regularly, the last thing was a graphics tablet (which I subsequently couldn't use with Quark :grr: anyway).

Other info (which I have no idea whther its helpful of not):
It had a new hard drive (under warranty) about a year ago. Whenever I run defrag, the thing gets half way through and produces a bad sector error message, which Scandisk can't seem to find/fix.

O/S = Windows ME

Really appreciate all the help guys...

Brett
04-03-2003, 04:14 PM
HHMM, interesting you should mention the bad sector. Thats something I didnt think of.

Although it may frustrate the tits off you Neil, I'm glad you've got an NT based O/S. I've certainly noticed that bar the occassional freezes and shutdowns that happen from time to time, any O/S from Win2000 which is consistently erring is usually the result of a hardware failure.

How many HDD's are in your machine?
Do you know how many RAM modules you have in there?

Jaffa
04-03-2003, 04:17 PM
Since when has ME been an NT based OS.

ME is just 98SE version 2.

Brett
04-03-2003, 04:28 PM
Originally posted by Jaffa
Since when has ME been an NT based OS.

ME is just 98SE version 2.

It's not a totally NT based O/S, but it was the first Windows O/S which started the integration of NT onto user based platforms.

Rob Fox
04-03-2003, 10:14 PM
[i]

Really appreciate all the help guys... [/B]

Has a wire come out the plug?

sorry!!!!

My PC kept crashing, I just in gave it a couple of driving lessons and she's fine now!!!

'...start the car!!'

Dave
04-03-2003, 10:16 PM
Originally posted by Jaffa
Since when has ME been an NT based OS.

ME is just 98SE version 2.

Top marks young Jedi

PT109
04-03-2003, 10:27 PM
Young Brett, you disappoint me.
You're not the sysadmin I thought you were.
Have a word with yourself!

I.Flyer
04-03-2003, 10:31 PM
Neil,

I am having similar problems to you. I also have Windows ME. If I remember correctly, you have an Evesham like me.

I was given to understand that you should uninstall and reload Windows about once a year. Is this true? and do I have to reinstall everything else? My PC is about 20 months old.

Also what advice about squirting a can of air through the back to remove dust - is there such as thing as a can of air :eek:

A Wooden Fish On Wheels
04-03-2003, 10:38 PM
Get rid of ME for a start - it's a really messy 'stop gap' offering that loses all the stability of late win98 with none of the realiability enhancements of 2000 or xp. There.

Dave
04-03-2003, 10:40 PM
Originally posted by A Wooden Fish On Wheels
Get rid of ME for a start

If onlyh we could H, if only we could

boom boom

A Wooden Fish On Wheels
04-03-2003, 10:42 PM
oops soz I edited coz I thought my curt reply was a bit harsh :)

Brett
04-03-2003, 10:42 PM
D'oh, thank you for highlighting the error of my way guys. It appears I was talking about a completely different O/S (I've been doing that a lot lately :bash: ).

Note to Neil - ignore the shihit about NT but the validity of the hardware analysis thereafter still stands.

Yours, Brett of embaressedville. :o

A Wooden Fish On Wheels
04-03-2003, 10:42 PM
did you get the bit about 'realiability of late 98' hehe ;)

Neil the Eagle
05-03-2003, 12:00 AM
Well I'm pretty stuck with ME :( as there is no way in gods earth I'm upgrading to XP. I use this at a number of worksites. In my experience its as unstable as three legged elephant, always prone to rogue error messages and booting me out of the program I'm working in.

Will go away and find the answers to Brett's other questions now.

Brett
05-03-2003, 12:02 AM
Were you reffering to XP being unstable Neil?

Neil the Eagle
05-03-2003, 12:03 AM
One hdd drive, but not sure how many RAM modules. Can I run summat to find out without taking the back off (Its in an inaccesible place right noo)?

Also is their a self test program which will check the RAM modules performance.

Neil the Eagle
05-03-2003, 12:03 AM
Originally posted by Brett
Were you reffering to XP being unstable Neil?

Yup had endless trub with Home and Pro at two different worksites. Its really put me off.

Brett
05-03-2003, 12:07 AM
Originally posted by Neil the Eagle
One hdd drive, but not sure how many RAM modules.

Can I run summat to find out without taking the back off (Its in an inaccesible place right noo)?

Also is their a self test program which will check the RAM modules performance.

You might be able to see this in the BIOS screen Neil, I'm assuming you know how to get this screen up? Should say how many RAM modules you have.

I'd recommend downloading Burn-It from TUCOWS - I'll post the URL if I can find it. This test will be able to identify any hardware problems and possibly memory leaks (which sounds to me like your problem).

David Murray
05-03-2003, 12:08 AM
Neil go into DOS and type > mem /c
or /d
or /f or
/m or
/p

Should give you all the memory info you need mate

Brett
05-03-2003, 12:10 AM
http://tucows.blueyonder.co.uk/system/diag95_default.html

scroll down to Burn-In tests.

Shame about XP, I've run Home and Pro editions on many machines without any hiccups (bar hardware failures). Havent tried running them on older machines however. I sold someone a re-conditioned Celeron 333 the other day and I installed Win98SE on it because I couldnt trust it to work with XP. ;)

David Murray
05-03-2003, 12:26 AM
Excellent test that Burn-In one - just downloaded it and running it - superb :p Niceone .

Neil the Eagle
05-03-2003, 12:28 AM
So did I, but its crashed twice halfway through :( ... try try again.

Brett
05-03-2003, 12:30 AM
Originally posted by Neil the Eagle
So did I, but its crashed twice halfway through :( ... try try again.

Because of the test or because of the problem Neil?

Keep your eye on the RAM test - if its this causing your problem then it should fail the test quite quickly.

Neil the Eagle
05-03-2003, 12:34 AM
"BIT has caused a problem in BIT.EXE" Error msg

Third time PC froze! :grrr:

Brett
05-03-2003, 12:41 AM
I cant remember if this downloads as a zip file or not Neil. Does it and if so, is this message before, during or after unzipping? If its not a zip file - ignore my ramblings.

David Murray
05-03-2003, 12:46 AM
Take a read of this Neil, hope it is not the problem but worth a read anyway just to make sure.
http://www.pspl.com/download/cleancih.htm

David Murray
05-03-2003, 12:47 AM
Burn- In isn't a zip file Brett

I would have thought error message would have come up with either a 16 or 32 in front of it.

David Murray
05-03-2003, 12:49 AM
Sorry Neil, you are running ME so that previous virus post isn't valid.
Apologies.

Neil the Eagle
05-03-2003, 12:52 AM
Its a straight exe file Brett and it won't run past 7100000 ops on C drive (always quits there or thereabouts)

Not having it cleancih either that scan program keeps crashing too.

Brett
05-03-2003, 01:03 AM
You mean its failing the HDD test at 7.1M ops?

A Wooden Fish On Wheels
05-03-2003, 01:05 AM
So perhaps if your system tries to cache out memory to disk and comes across bad hard disk it will hang?

Brett
05-03-2003, 01:06 AM
Originally posted by A Wooden Fish On Wheels
So perhaps if your system tries to cache out to memory and comes across bad hard disk it will hang?

Dont confuse things, we're trying clarity (the state of mind and the narcotic as seen in Minority Report). ;)

A Wooden Fish On Wheels
05-03-2003, 01:09 AM
Much as I spend most of my time dealing with proper operating systems... XP is the best so far out of a bad bunch. At least in so much as it crashes something (quite often) and offers you to send the crap to microsoft but it doesn't hang the whole shooting match.

Neil the Eagle
05-03-2003, 01:12 AM
Yes I think what I mean Brett, I tried to take a screenshot of the test results after it hung, but it wasn't having any of it :(

Agreed Wheels, XP doesn't hang everything when one program dies but then neither did any other windows version until this frezzing nonsense started in earnest...

Will have a look in the BIOS now Breet

Brett
05-03-2003, 01:22 AM
Originally posted by A Wooden Fish On Wheels
Much as I spend most of my time dealing with proper operating systems... XP is the best so far out of a bad bunch. At least in so much as it crashes something (quite often) and offers you to send the crap to microsoft but it doesn't hang the whole shooting match.

I cant understand all of these problems with XP crashing.

I've found it to be a massive leap forward from the older MS O/S in terms of stability and the only crashes I've encountered have been caused by RAM failure (is it just me, or is this happening more frequently?) and dodgy software (Kazaa to name but one).

Touch wood (knocks head) I havent heard of any problems with XP PC's which I've built and shipped.

Not sure how much these error reports will affect things in the future, MS say they are being dealt with according to number of similar reports, but this is dependant on people being arsed enough to send the report in the first place.

I've found that program freezes are due to the third party software and blue death screens are down to hardware failure. In fact the blue death screen has been an excellent hardware diagnostic tool. The older O/S seemed to be able to soldier on through (all the time unstabling the system) and the error reports - certainly for a layman - couldnt really define a reason/problem.

Anyway Neil, its Brett not Breet. :p

The Vicar
05-03-2003, 01:22 AM
Originally posted by I.Flyer
Neil,

I was given to understand that you should uninstall and reload Windows about once a year. Is this true? and do I have to reinstall everything else? My PC is about 20 months old.



Unfortunately, while this may not be necessary so frequently, I've come the conclusion that even when doing regular defrags and other maintenance, it is best to reinstall the OS and all your applications every 18 months or so. That way, it's clean and your speed will also increase. The simple way of putting it: the software gets gunked up over time, with too much stuff you don't need.

Another suggestion: Windows 98 and its successor, ME, just crash too often. I've had much better luck with Windows 2000 professional, and am planning on installing XP on my older computer which currently has ME.

Brett
05-03-2003, 01:25 AM
Will say, if you can confirm that the Burn In is failing on the HDD test, then it may well be time to replace it. You can hook the faulty HDD up as a secondary drive* and try and save your work that way as it should stabilise a little bit by not having to run the O/S.

*Your new drive being the primary master.

Neil the Eagle
05-03-2003, 01:32 AM
Cheers for your help guys...

I can't confirm that it is definately the hard disk from Burn It because it hangs completely without updating the test results.

Its all getting too techinical for me, I think its time I took it to the menders...

A Wooden Fish On Wheels
05-03-2003, 01:57 AM
Originally posted by Brett
I cant understand all of these problems with XP crashing.... Noooo I'm saying it doesn't - programs will crash but not bring down XP when in the past under 98 and NT etc. they would.

A Wooden Fish On Wheels
05-03-2003, 02:00 AM
Originally posted by Neil the Eagle
Cheers for your help guys...

I can't confirm that it is definately the hard disk from Burn It because it hangs completely without updating the test results.

Its all getting too techinical for me, I think its time I took it to the menders... Just copy from the duff one onto a new one using Ghost or similar. Hard drives are pence these days.

I.Flyer
05-03-2003, 09:02 AM
My thanks too - now just want the advice translated into data my brain can compute. :)

Neil the Eagle
07-03-2003, 12:03 AM
Me too, Pat!

Its an odd thing, but since I typed the word "menders" it hasn't crashed once...

SE20
07-03-2003, 12:07 AM
This thread is PC gone mad.

Brett
07-03-2003, 12:08 AM
Originally posted by Neil the Eagle
Me too, Pat!

Its an odd thing, but since I typed the word "menders" it hasn't crashed once...

Is it sorted Neil, or do you want me to take a look?

Neil the Eagle
07-03-2003, 12:18 AM
I don't think for one minute its sorted... will wait 'til it starts misbeahving regularly again before calling in the fire brigade (right in the middle of an Echo deadline knowing my bloody luck).

Thanks for your efforts thus far...