machine freezes, even in set up

  unclepauly 19:02 20 Sep 2006


i was given a laptop, and was told it was 'broke'. i deduced that it needed a new hard drive, so i bought a brand new one, and replaced the old one with this. then, i installed windows xp pro on it. it ran fine for a while, then all of a sudden it kept freezing, normally within a few minutes (not even Ctrl-Alt-Del did anything).

i have searced the forums, but similar problems relate only to windows when it is running. i can reproduce my problem in setup (ie when you press F2 during bootup), so i do not think this is a windows/virus problem, i think it may be hardware.

in setup, one page displays the time. i can tell the system is freezing because the time just stops, and i cant Alt-P to switch pages, or do anything for that mater. In addition, after a few minutes of freezing, the machine switches off by itself.

i am interested to know what people think could be the cause of this. like i say, the hard drive is brand new so it cannot be a fault with this.

  STREETWORK 19:07 20 Sep 2006

Not likely to be the hard drive. It could be several problems or just one. Possibly heat from your thread. But try these first.

Can you boot into the BIOS?

Can you boot into safe mode?

Do you get the system beeps at start up?

Also please provide some more system info..

  Diodorus Siculus 19:07 20 Sep 2006

*Could* be overheating; are all vents clear? Are the fans working ok?

  jimv7 19:07 20 Sep 2006


  Diodorus Siculus 19:07 20 Sep 2006

When you say "setup" do you mean the BIOS as STREETWORK suggests?

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 19:08 20 Sep 2006

FReeezing PC

1. Overheat due to faulty / blocked fans

2. PSU voltages

3. Household power surges fridge etc switching on/off

4. faulty memory stick try memtest click here

5. virus or spyware scan for both especially if shutting down with in a few minutes of switch on or internet use

6. driver conflicts especially grahics cards get the latest drivers for your equipment

not likely to be 5 in your case.

  unclepauly 23:21 20 Sep 2006

thanks to all who replied.

looks like heating out of all the things mentioned.

STREETWORK - i get no beeps at start up. i can boot into BIOS, safe mode, and Windows (i meant this when i said 'setup'). System info: Dell C600 Latitude Laptop. Pentium 3. CPU Speed 700MHz. Memory 512MB. Video Controler ATI M3. Video Memory 8MB. Hard Drive 40GB.

Fruitbat - no memory sticks involved here. yes, unlikely virus as the hard drive is new and i have hardly used the net on it. graphics card driver i did actually download, but this was from Dell's web site, i chose the right one definately.

Diodorus Siculus - After it switches off, cannot switch it on again straight away and if i wait a bit, or even over night, then i can power it up again until the problem happens again. No, i cannot hear the fan, but the bottom does not get hot or even warm. the problem happens after 5 minutes or so - could it really get hot enough in this time to cause it to switch off?

A test at this stage might be to hold a fan to it whilst it is on to see if this makes a difference. i will do this and post back if unsuccessful.

thanks again,

  Diodorus Siculus 08:30 21 Sep 2006

"After it switches off, cannot switch it on again straight away and if i wait a bit, or even over night, then i can power it up again until the problem happens again"

That certainly sounds symptomatic of overheating to me.

  unclepauly 11:41 21 Sep 2006

ill flag this as 'resolved', as it will be a while before i test this.

thanks everyone.

  DieSse 11:48 21 Sep 2006

You can look at the temperatures readily with the Everest program (free) click here

Look under Computer - Sensor

This will normally give you a reading of several temperatures in the system, which might point to what is going on.

  unclepauly 18:27 21 Sep 2006

well the weirest thing happened. I installed Everest (cool tool), and inspected all the settings, but when i click on 'Sensor',the screen goes crazy, i get thick stripes down the screen, flickering different colours every second. all the other options work no problem, its just sensor...

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