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Windows 7: Computer freezes at client house but works seamless on my workbench!

02 Feb 2017   #1
yankleber

Windows 7 Professional 64bit
 
 
Computer freezes at client house but works seamless on my workbench!

OK, I am having a small nightmare with this Dell computer of a client. It's an old PC (6 years) with a Pentium dual core CPU and 4 GB of RAM. His computer was freezing and getting BSOD and then started to say that his Windows wasn't genuine (it wasn't indeed). Also it has warned him several times about updating because it was a very earlier version with no SP.

Then the client asked me to perform a fresh install, so I put on Win 7 Ultimate BR SP1, Office 2007, AV, FW, K-Lite and Java. Just in case I ran checkdisk and Memtest86 in two exhaustive test sessions (total of 16 hours) and no RAM problem or bad sectors found.

After the install it is too slow for my taste but it is expected for such an old computer and also the client installed a proprietary internet browser for his Internet banking that uses a stupid module that bites a lot of CPU and RAM at the startup but after a few minutes it calms down and the computer becomes usable.

OK, but this is not the problem. The issue is that the computer works smoothly on my workbench but whenever it is brought to the client house it starts to freeze and behave like crazy. No BSOD just plain freezing. He told me that the last time it beeped.

I already brought it back and forth three times and it's always the same thing. I am pretty sure that there is nothing wrong with the computer or with the software installed and now I am trying to figure out what is going on. So what is the different in my place (beside my charm)?

1) At the client house he uses a horrendous $15 cheapo voltage stabilizer while in my workbench I plug the computer directly to the AC outlet. I vote on it as the culprit.

2) The client connects the computer to the Internet through a blue LAN cable while in my bench I use a USB wifi adapter. Nonetheless we use the same Internet service (radio) because we are in the same neighborhood and there is only this service around. It's possible that the computer may freeze with his network but not with mine? Hmmm... never heard of it but...

Anyway, there is over 2 hours that I brought his computer back to my office (again!) and it's running seamless over my workbench since then...

Ideas?



EDIT: Actually I remembered about another thing that is different in both places: the monitor. I use a small 15" Dell screen in my workbench while the client uses a 22" wide one. I am not using the latest Dell drivers but the ones that comes with Windows and that installed automatically.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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02 Feb 2017   #2
Ranger4

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit sp1
 
 

The first thing to eliminate would be that $15 voltage stabiliser that may be causing a severe voltage drop, or causing frequency surges that are upsetting the computer. This would be easily checked by just plugging directly into the wall at your clients premises, the same as you do on your work bench.

Try running the computer at the clients without the blue LAN cable connected & if that works then either the cable or the modem is causing the problem.

The only way to fix irritating problems like this is through a process of elimination.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Feb 2017   #3
ICIT2LOL

Desk1 7 Home Prem / Desk2 10 Pro / Main lap Asus ROG 10 Pro 2 laptop Toshiba 7 Pro Asus P2520 7 & 10
 
 

Hmm no expert my friend but obviously something to do with his home setup. Now I don't know what you mean by a voltage stabiliser as I only use a UPS and surge boards or away from home just a straight plug in the mains.

The next thing is the broadband connection and I am wondering what sort of set up he has regarding a modem -and router?? Plus are these device/s as old as the machine? I always use CAT 6e Ethernet cable and again wondering if the cable was renewed with something like what I use because it is as you will know good at suppressing interference and quality of the signal that much better.

I was also wondering if there is any software that goes with that modem? Not that it is the cause but a possibility - my TP-Link set up which has software CD's that come with the device has never been any problem and I have never had to install software for it. As a matter of fact I have just changed my old modem for a dual band TP-Link - 2.4 and 5Ghz waveband. Now it also crossed my mind is his network adaptor (LAN) up to date?

Another thing I would try is to plug in a surge board at his place and bypass the voltage stabilser as I am guessing the stabilser is for something to do with his power supply?? It would be worth a try and the surge board would give you a bit of protection as long as it isn't one of those el cheapo ones that hasn't got a filtered outlets supply.

Edit: I meant to mention is he willing to go wifi?? if push comes to shove?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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02 Feb 2017   #4
MeOnMine

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1 OEM
 
 

Hi, I would also be replacing the keyboard as they can also create headaches of this nature.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Feb 2017   #5
RolandJS

Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
 
 

I thought I made suggestions for this very same thread in another forum -- just slightly differently typed. A previous poster's very thorough set of ideas covered everything quite nicely! I think your client's old voltage stabilizer is also known as an AVR?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Feb 2017   #6
yankleber

Windows 7 Professional 64bit
 
 

Thanks for all advice!

This morning the computer was still running nicely what makes me believe that the issue is really the power feed. I am going to install an SSD in the computer to enhance the performance and will use the late Dell driver for LAN (I am considering it as a culprit too). When my client comes back in a couple days (he is traveling) I will tell him to test the computer for a couple days by using it plugged directly to the AC outlet. If the problem still persists I will lend him one of my UPS. Let's see.

I will keep you posted about the progresses!

My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Feb 2017   #7
yankleber

Windows 7 Professional 64bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by RolandJS View Post
I thought I made suggestions for this very same thread in another forum -- just slightly differently typed. A previous poster's very thorough set of ideas covered everything quite nicely! I think your client's old voltage stabilizer is also known as an AVR?
I don't know what is an AVR. What is broadly sold here as 'voltage stabilizer' is an electronic circuit with a small transformer with several outputs each one with a different voltage and one or more relays to switch among them. The working principle is that the relay switch to the alternative voltages as the input changes to "compensate" the variation. The main problem is that when the relay switches off and back to the regular input voltage it generates a transient that punches hard the computer PS (Lenz Law if I am not wrong). After years suffering this torture the computer PS ends being damaged and start to fail making the computer to freeze. Not being an electronic engineer this is how I see things.



Anyway, today I installed an SSD in the computer and everything worked seamlessly. Now beside the stability (no crashes, no freezes) it is like a rocket. It was taking over 2 minutes before to completely load Windows and now this time reduced to around 30 seconds. Also the application load is flash speed.

I also updated the LAN and screen drivers directly in the Dell site but I am totally convinced that the problem is really a tired PS after years being beat by an horrible stabilizer. I am about to deliver the computer to the client and ask him to use it for a couple days plugged into the outlet. If everything works fine I will suggest him to buy an UPS or if he will be dumb enough to not understand it and want to keep using the nasty thing I will recommend to replace the computer PS by a brand new one.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Feb 2017   #8
ICIT2LOL

Desk1 7 Home Prem / Desk2 10 Pro / Main lap Asus ROG 10 Pro 2 laptop Toshiba 7 Pro Asus P2520 7 & 10
 
 

Yes well I am thinking that voltage stabliser is really just an ordinary filtered and regulated multi - voltage supply. Personally I think he would be better off with one of the better brands of surge board.

The good ones as you will know will give him the protection needed for over and under voltage plus filtering of the supply at the outlet sockets.

Mind you the UPS is a good idea though - I use one myself in the computer room at home.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Feb 2017   #9
yankleber

Windows 7 Professional 64bit
 
 

OK, seems that the problem is solved (so far). This morning I stayed at the client's house to help him to install a couple security modules for Internet banking and he confirmed me that the computer never froze again since I delivered it 4 days ago and asked him to plug it directly to the AC outlet.

Everything signs that the problem was really being caused by a strained PS semi-damaged by the cursed voltage relay switcher. Now I am going to prescript him a good surge board or a no-break.

He also got very happy with the new SSD as the computer is way faster than before!

My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Feb 2017   #10
Ranger4

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit sp1
 
 

That's good news & glad to hear all is well now. Thanks for letting us know.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Computer freezes at client house but works seamless on my workbench!




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