must be hardware ? - lock up

  pcdr 00:17 05 Aug 2005
Locked

This is baffling me...WinXPpro - a few days ago, PC locked up after booting. No response from mouse or keyboard. Thought it might be OS or driver problem etc BUT, it only happens when first booted from cold (may lock once, maybe 2 or 3 times) - once system is up & running, things are fine...PC will stay OK all day if necessary. Also don't think its OS because the lock up may be at any point after power up...has happened before POST beep, during startup screen, or after logon. Also run W2Kpro on same disk....same problem exactly if booting to that.
Any ideas please?

  DieSse 00:35 05 Aug 2005

IMO most likely a RAM or Hard drive problem. Either the RAM needs to warm up a little, or the hard drive needs longer to spin up to speed.

RAM - try taking it out - clean edge connectors GENTLY with a soft eraser. If two modules, try with each in turn.

HDD - Change the BIOS setting Quick Test to Disabled - this gives a longer RAM test (which may even show up a cold RAM problem) - but also takes longer, so allows more time for the drive to get up to speed.

  pcdr 00:45 05 Aug 2005

would this still apply if lock up can be after a few secs or after 4-5 mins following succesful boot?....both have happened. Also, if speakers are on when lock up happens, you get an awful loud buzzing from them.
Will try RAM 1st, cheers

  DieSse 00:53 05 Aug 2005

If it happens after 4-5 mins - then the hard driveis not, I agree, a likely culprit.

There are other possibilities - bad connections on the processor or graphics card are another source.

You can't clean the pins on a processor in the same way - but you can unplug/plug it a couple of tmes - they use sliding contacts, so that will clean them up a bit.

The reason that it's most likely a connection issue, is that as the system warms up a little, the contacts shift around a bit, and can overcome a poor connection.

It could also, of course, be a PSU thats slow to stabilise it's voltages, or an internal problem in a component just about anywhere.

Try one thing at a time - so you know what did the trick - if ahything does!!

Happy hunting.

  Tony 20:31 12 Dec 2005

under very similar circumstances. Are hter any further ideas?

  Tony 20:47 12 Dec 2005

the one thing that always freezes everything is a restart, by clicking restart, using "r" is fine. All other lock ups are totally random.

Sometimes it will work hard for hours.

Any advice greatly appreciated.

  pcdr 22:35 12 Dec 2005

I was all ready to buy a new motherboard when I thought, what the hell, start with a psu for £10 or so. Know what....? with the new psu, everything is perfect again - no lock ups at all since fitting, and that was over 2 weeks ago.
Cheers

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