Transient freezing - Any ideas?

  [DELETED] 18:01 21 Jan 2006

I have a strange fault on a desktop PC (Pentium 4 running Windows XP Home SE, 512k memory, ATI graphics, broadband connection)that I would appreciate more expert views on.

The PC from new has shown the same problem but I have lived with it for some months but it's now annoying me and I can't find any cause or resolution.

The PC runs fine but every now and then it freezes (all activity on disc and graphics stops even a screen saver)for a few seconds (typically five) then it carries on from where it paused with no errors no crashes. When it was wireless connected to adsl router it would come up with message on task bar saying reconnection made but now its a wired ethernet connection there is no message and it carries on as though nothing happened. Thought initially it was a wireless network problem but not turned out to be.

There is nothing in the Event Log, scans for Virus or Spy Ware have proved negative. Run Mem86 memory check and that's fine so no DRAm problem found. Disk check find nothing, hard disk not fragmented.

Any ideas on likely cause? Anyone had a similar problem? Could it be PSU? Seems more likley Motherboard but I have not found anything reported like it in any forum I have searched.

It is almost like a bus in the processor is being held by some device for a short period which prevents any other activity until it releases it. It doesn't crash and somedays are worse than others. Puzzling!

  rawprawn 19:44 21 Jan 2006


  Stuartli 19:51 21 Jan 2006

I had this problem last night, just before going out, when showing my best mate a 21in monitor which has been donated to me by one of the offspring.

Checking in the Bios revealed that the hard drive was uninstalled...:-)

This morning I pulled out and replaced the round IDE cable at the motherboard and hard drive ends and Voila!

The Bios revealed the Primary Master was now in action again and configuring Auto Detect soon had the system up and running again.

But don't ask me why it happened as both connections were firmly fixeed.....

  [DELETED] 20:16 21 Jan 2006

Thanks Stuartli. I will try opening the box and checking the hard disc connectors but the bios doesn't indicate any obvious problem.

Were you getting the same intermittent freeze, and then carried on without problem until the next freeze? Maybe if the disc connectors are not right it hold the processor up.

Any other ideas guys?

  Wuggy 20:20 21 Jan 2006

Could it be a heat problem. Is the fan on the CPU working properly?

  [DELETED] 21:29 21 Jan 2006

Seems to be fine. I thought it was possible heat problem and ran a check over a period and the cpu temp never got over 60 degrees.

  Stuartli 21:49 21 Jan 2006

No, it just happened completely out of the blue...:-)

Each time I attempted to reboot it couldn't detect the hard drive (after the Boot from CDROM which is the first choice), just providing the message to Wait. That provided the clue which was only followed up earlier today as the Guinness was calling...:-)

  [DELETED] 22:21 21 Jan 2006

Stuartli, Doesn't sound the same symptom but maybe similar cause so will check (again) all connectors. Not sure i checked hard drive when I had box open to ensure everything was plugged in okay. Thought something may have come loose in transit but seemed okay.

  [DELETED] 14:27 22 Jan 2006

Cables checked and connectors seem okay.

Any other ideas? Not a problem I have seen before, it feels like a hardware problem but have any others seen temporary freezes (no crashes)caused by software? Not related to particular programs running (other than Windows XP) Computer seems to run programs fine, reegistry is relatively clean, virus free, spyware free (as far as I, Adaware and Spybot can tell)

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