Windows XP

  sean-278262 16:57 11 Sep 2008

I have a windows XP tower which is planned for a home file server as well as being planned to be used to automate some tasks such as video encoding etc. However the PC can be turned on and run tasks and about 3 hours later will become completely unresponsive. The system is an AMD 2400+, 256mb ram, 20gb and 120gb HDD, ATI 9550.

I have tried on a number of occasions to see if it happens at the same time. it lasts anything from about 2 hours to 6 hours of uptime before the entire system freezes, but seems to stop most often around 3 hours after booting up. I have tried swapping the ram, running only one of the hdds and also checked all the wires and cabling.

Before anyone says I know it is a slower powered system but the point of it is mainly for hard disk back up storage so power is not important, plus I paid nothing for it so I am keep to reuse it for this new purpose but I cant use it for more than 3 hours or so before I have to go up and reboot it.

By freeze I mean the screen stops responding to keyboard, mouse or power button on the tower to shut down. The time is completely not updating and stuck showing the time at which the system decided to freeze.

On a by the way note, I have tried 2 different sticks of 256mb ram but that does not seem to solve it. Completely stumped as to the reason why it wont just work.

  Pamy 17:03 11 Sep 2008

When it becomes unresponsive, try control,Alt, del to bring up task manager, and see if this kicks it back into life. I have had this happen in the passed and this has worked, but do not know what the real problem is.

  sean-278262 17:09 11 Sep 2008

Cheers for the suggestion. Completely forgot to list some of the other things I have tried.

ctrl alt del, CTRL esc, windows key - all do nothing.

Even the towers own power key which usually works as a shutdown key on this system does not respond when pressed. Only way to get the system to come back is to pull the plug or hold the power button in.

  skidzy 17:12 11 Sep 2008

I think your problem is not enough ram,xp needs more than 256Mb to run effectively.

If your ram cache is full,your going to get freezing of the system.
If you have tried two sticks of 256,why not install both modules bringing you up to 512Mb.

If this fails,i would say a higher powered psu is needed.

  sean-278262 17:15 11 Sep 2008

Tried your suggestion also skidzy, however no such luck. I will consider getting 512mb ram but for now it will have to live with 256mb until I can afford to get some extra. It isnt temp freezing it completely stops functioning. Just showing whatever the sytem was showing before it froze up. No amount of time unfreezes it and nothing seems to work but a hard reset.

  sean-278262 17:18 11 Sep 2008

Also with 512mb it doesnt make a difference to the system as it still is unresponsive once a few hours elapse.

  skidzy 17:20 11 Sep 2008

Goto click here and use there scanner,this will tell you the amount of ram your motherboard can take,it will also give you some options of the amount you would like to buy,ie 512Mb / 1GB etc.
If you can afford it,go for a 1GB.

  skidzy 17:22 11 Sep 2008

Sorry crossposted you.If 512 makes no difference,try running CHKDSK on your problem here

  sean-278262 17:47 11 Sep 2008

I have run chkdsk and it finds no errors. It is annoying because other than the freezing issue there are no other problems or symptoms showing on the system to make it any easier to diagnose.

I shall look into more ram in the near future but with car insurance, tax and an MOT due this month there isnt a lot of cash spare for upgrading this system at the moment so it will have to do with only 256 for now as the 256 I stole from the other system is needed at the moment.

However it is planned to spend some money making the system a bit better than it is currently.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 21:44 11 Sep 2008

Temperature related?

May be time for a good clean out and check the motherboard and drive temperatures.

  sean-278262 21:50 11 Sep 2008

Strangely I cant find any reason it would be temp related. I have cleaned the entire system as I suspected it being in storage would be a problem before I set it all up so took a good deal of time to clean it all up.

Just finished testing it by booting up and doing nothing with it at all but turning the screent off and after about 3hrs 20mins it froze again. It doesn't seem to be related to anything obvious at all.

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