cafe 11:27 17 Jan 2006

I am using Windows XP Pro SP2 and am on ADSL.

I re-formatted recently because I had been getting numerous crashes. It is all happening again.
The programmes that end abruptly are Internet Explorer; Firefox; Windows Messenger voice and Skype.

I have no virus etc and run Spybot, a-squared, ewido and AVG.

I have followed links to m'soft knowledge base articles but have found no solution.

Everything can be fine for a day and then I get all the above programmes crashing again - the last time it happened it also took the computer into a re-boot.

Could anyone throw light on the problem please?

  ade.h 11:44 17 Jan 2006

When you re-formatted, you should really have run Windows in its bare state with no net connection for a couple of days, then installed trusted security software (stuff that we know to be stable) and updated the OS, left it for a couple more days, and then installed your other software.

You see where I'm going with that? By immediately restoring your installation to its previous config by bunging on all your software, you had little chance of ascertaining the root cause.

It could even be a hardware problem; PSU, motherboard, hard-disks, etc. All potential culprits.

  cafe 11:51 17 Jan 2006

Thank you but it was not possible to be off the Net for several days. I have nothing on the computer that is not trusted nor any software I have not used for years.

I do wonder about hardware as there seems to be little else possible but, again, I have not changed anything for over a year and it was all ok before the last couple of months. It might be significant that all the programmes mentioned are communication progammes. I am a little hazy on this subject but wonder whether there might be an ADSL issue?

  dms05 11:56 17 Jan 2006

Or even an outdated BIOS

  dms05 12:02 17 Jan 2006

yes but ade.h suggestion of gradually returning to your original set up would have allowed you to see at what point the problem occurs. If it's there after the basic OS installation then I'd look at hardware issues. Could be the Power Supply failing with age, could be RAM that's developed a fault recently, could be ..... almost anything!

  rmcqua 12:11 17 Jan 2006

RAM problem is definitely one possibility that I would try to rule out as soon as possible. The symptoms sound very similar to those I have experienced that turned out to be RAM related.

  cafe 12:21 17 Jan 2006

I did run the pc without installing software for a day or two but, considering the problems referred to require an internet connection to manifest themselves - for good or ill - it would have been no help running without it.

Regarding RAM - I am not quite sure what is meant by a 'RAM problem' - in what way please? I have two slots of 512 meg which have been there for the last three years.

  ade.h 13:50 17 Jan 2006

ALL electronic components have a limited lifespan. Even something as simple as a DiMM module.

Many of us on this forum will at some point have experienced a particular program that starts generating frequent errors. These can be simple crahses, freezes or error reports. Or sometimes they can be memory address errors, which are usually serious enough to trigger a blue-screen reboot. Such address errors can be down to faulty RAM or they can be triggered by the way in which a certain program addresses the banks. A particular bank gets addressed, and you're up Crash creek.

  Big Elf 13:55 17 Jan 2006

Run Memtest86 to check for RAM problems click here

  rmcqua 13:56 17 Jan 2006

Sometimes, even after a long period of satisfactory operation, the RAM can develop continuity problems with its socket (dust build up within the PC, repeated heating and cooling, etc.) If you feel up to it, remove the RAM modules, clean their contacts with a pencil eraser and replace them. It's an easy operation and will at least rule out one of the possible fault causes. It won't, of course, highlight any functional problems with the RAM itself. There are s/w utilities that can do this - perhaps someone else can point you towards one.

  CLONNEN 13:59 17 Jan 2006

Are you running one program at a time when the crashes occur? Or do you have all or some of them running when the problems occur?

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