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Windows 7: Computer locks up randomly

08 Oct 2009   #21
cp2k

Windows XP/Soon to be 7
 
 

nope, temperatures have stayed roughly the same. It has been cooling down here, but that has been the case for about a week now. It hasn't been in any extreme temps one way or another either. I'm clueless, its a relatively new battery (though two have been tried, both of which operate fine) I've tried multiple adapters. The system board was replaced a few weeks before it started for another issue, so all of that is relatively new. I first wanted to blame the new board, but again its worked flawlessly for weeks.

When it started freezing bad previously I ran the MemTest all night (about 8 hours, then posted the results on here) and magically it worked perfect the next day and had up until today. I know there is no logically correlation between that program and it starting to work fine, but its the only difference that occurred.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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08 Oct 2009   #22
SquonkSC

Win7 Build 7600 x86
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by cp2k View Post
nope, temperatures have stayed roughly the same. It has been cooling down here, but that has been the case for about a week now. It hasn't been in any extreme temps one way or another either. I'm clueless, its a relatively new battery (though two have been tried, both of which operate fine) I've tried multiple adapters. The system board was replaced a few weeks before it started for another issue, so all of that is relatively new. I first wanted to blame the new board, but again its worked flawlessly for weeks.

When it started freezing bad previously I ran the MemTest all night (about 8 hours, then posted the results on here) and magically it worked perfect the next day and had up until today. I know there is no logically correlation between that program and it starting to work fine, but its the only difference that occurred.
Well, the mainboard could well be the thing that introduced this problem,
since that is what was replaced just before it started.
Mainboards do fail sometimes.

Another thing.
Have you measured the temp of your graphics card?
You can use Everest to read the graphics temp.

Good luck.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Oct 2009   #23
Antman

 

Dell laptop.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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08 Oct 2009   #24
SquonkSC

Win7 Build 7600 x86
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Antman View Post
Dell laptop.
Yes, me too.

Everest can see the temp of the internal graphics too.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Oct 2009   #25
H2SO4

Win7x64
 
 

Despite having been called a tool, I'll try to help. A few questions first:

1) Is the laptop on XP or win 7 currently?
2) During periods where it's being difficult, do the hangs happen in safe mode too?
3) Have you ever reinstalled the OS from scratch while troubleshooting this issue?
4) If so, has the hang manifested itself before you installed apps and updates?
5) Have you tried uninstalling all anti-virus and security utilities and testing what happens without them?
6) Are you quite sure it happens exclusively while idling - never while the user is around?
7) Has the new RAM altered the nature or frequency of the problem in any discernible way?
8) Is the BIOS up to date?
9) How much do you like this particular friend? Are you willing to spend a couple of hours following some esoteric instructions and doing some testing if necessary?

Now for some rambling.

The fact that your mouse pointer moves indicates that at least parts of the OS are still alive and functional. It is possible for the type of symptom you describe to have both software and hardware causes (though not both concurrently!). Hence, the main focus right now ought to be to rule out one or the other. If it never happens in safe mode, that stongly suggests a software link. Otherwise, if it happens under a fresh spanking new OS install - hardware.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Oct 2009   #26
Antman

 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by H2SO4 View Post
Despite having been called a tool, I'll try to help...


Guilty, as charged.

I guess I did say that.

I meant to say power tool?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Oct 2009   #27
cp2k

Windows XP/Soon to be 7
 
 

Thanks for taking a look at it, here is what I can tell you:

1) Is the laptop on XP or win 7 currently? Currently XP, has been for about 3 weeks (before it started working right again, during the entire time it was working OK, and now that it has quit working right again)

2) During periods where it's being difficult, do the hangs happen in safe mode too?

I haven't tried in safe mode, I have however noticed that unplugging the AC adapter seems to be a sure fire solution. I have never had it freeze while running on Battery power, and after I ran an 8+ hour MemTest (again I know this should have no bearing) it magically worked fine for the two week period, and had worked fine until tonight. It ran for hours fine all day, then magically froze 3 times within 2 hours or so. It always is plugged into a surge protector, and I've seen it happen at multiple places so I don't think the current coming in is an issue. I've also tried multiple adapters/batteries.


3) Have you ever reinstalled the OS from scratch while troubleshooting this issue?

Not yet, that was going to be one of my next troubleshooting steps.

4) If so, has the hang manifested itself before you installed apps and updates?

5) Have you tried uninstalling all anti-virus and security utilities and testing what happens without them?

Haven't tried that, I was just going to make the OS move before trying that.

6) Are you quite sure it happens exclusively while idling - never while the user is around?

I've personally seen it happen about 20+ times, and in all cases the laptop was just sitting on its own. Sometimes it would sit 20 minutes and freeze, sometimes 5 minutes. There is little rhyme or reason to it. Power management is set for everything to ALWAYS stay on regardless of Adapter or Battery, and the screen saver is set on 20 minutes (standard Windows XP logo screensaver). Usually when this happens it freezes before it makes it to that stage though.


7) Has the new RAM altered the nature or frequency of the problem in any discernible way?

I installed it to see if it would make a difference since the MemTest produced massive #'s of errors, but no it seems to freeze as frequently after as before but no worse.

8) Is the BIOS up to date? Yes

9) How much do you like this particular friend? Are you willing to spend a couple of hours following some esoteric instructions and doing some testing if necessary?

Sure, we don't get a chance to look at it much because he's busy with school and work lately but whenever we can get in the same place I try to work on it and would be willing to try anything else. I've talked to Dell, they are clueless

Some background on the system: Its a Dell 1525, purchased a year and a half ago. Since that time Dell replaced the board once because a USB Port broke, but had to replace that board because the battery refused to charge. The new board was installed well before the problem began, and the battery charges fine now with it. I've considered the board, adapter and battery to all be part of the blame but it doesn't make sense for it to be the board because it works perfectly for long stretches and then will resurface. I've tried multiple adapters, two batteries (since I have the same model laptop).

Could the board switch (if anything was different on it, even slightly) have created some issues with the OS possibly? It wasn't reinstalled after the board swap.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Oct 2009   #28
H2SO4

Win7x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Antman View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by H2SO4 View Post
Despite having been called a tool, I'll try to help...


Guilty, as charged.

I guess I did say that.

I meant to say power tool?
It's just my little attempt at humour. I know full well what you meant and I'm sincerely thankful for the implied compliment.

I prefer "poser".
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Oct 2009   #29
H2SO4

Win7x64
 
 

OK. The link to the battery and the fact that it only seems to happen while idling suggests some sort of power transition SNAFU, despite the "always on" power plan. There are power management factors which cannot be directly controlled through the Windows power plans, such as processor "C-states" and the like.

Ordinarily, I'd suggest that you focus on (separately) testing what happens in safe mode and with all AV/security utilities completely uninstalled.

However, in this instance there's something even more important which needs doing first. The old adage was "new motherboard = new install", and that's what I think you should do. While Win7 (and Vista) are a lot more tolerant of having the motherboard swapped out from underneath an OS install than older versions of Windows, the nature of your symptom means it would be better to be sure - and to reinstall.

Once you reinstall the OS from scratch, I suggest keeping it away from the internet and from all updates or apps/games/whatever. If the lockup still occurs, and the thing is on the latest BIOS, it is obviously a hardware fault.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Oct 2009   #30
cp2k

Windows XP/Soon to be 7
 
 

Thanks, as I say that was going to be my next plan. My only concern with carrying it out is the laptop does function now (but with the freezes), I was almost afraid to try the OS reinstall because if it starts freezing during the installs it'll no longer function at all compared to now. But I guess I have to take a gamble & go for it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Computer locks up randomly




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