Freezing comp - all tests done reveal nowt

  dwsolo 19:01 08 Aug 09
Locked

My little Targa computer, "Titch", was purchased at the end of 2007 under a special offer from Lidl, and for several months ran perfectly under its pre-installed OS - Vista 32 bit home basic. Its memory and hard disk capacity has never given cause for concern. However it began to freeze more and more frequently after a few months, with no BSOD, no warning, no checkdisk error reports, no crash dumps.
So, for the time being, I have returned to my big computer with a view to using Titch for emergencies only - but occasionally returning to Titch just in case....

Since then, on Titch, I reinstalled Vista several times - it still froze, if anything more frequently - I partitioned its disk and installed Ubuntu and also Puppy Linux with its "Live CD" in conjunction with separate-partition-based sfs and 2fs.
Ubuntu fares no better than Vista - Titch still freezes.
So far there have been no freezes under Puppy Linux, which initially made me think it was a hard disk error causing it to crash in Vista and Ubuntu...But....

Memory checks have been carried out (memory 86), complete hardware checks have been carried out using Passmark's "burn-in", checkdisk has been run several times, "who crashed?" has been used but has not revealed any information (ie there were no crash dumps to analyse). All of these tests appear to have given "Titch" a clean bill of health.
When it doesn't freeze, it runs very well, I can even claim that it is clear of most registry errors thanks to JV16, but I can't rely on the poor freezing little thing.


I wonder it it is possible to narrow down the possible problem(s), (thus reducing the cost of professional repair - after all the original price was so low that a professional haulover might cost as much as its original price), or even enabling me to fix it myself.

So, I wonder, could there be some (obvious?) thing that I may have overlooked?

Kind regards
David

  Sea Urchin 19:24 08 Aug 09

How much RAM does it have?

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 19:32 08 Aug 09

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 (seems to be OK)

5. virus or spyware scan for both especially if shutting down with in a few minutes of switch on or internet use (unlikely if happening on different op systems)

6. driver conflicts especially grahics cards get the latest drivers for your equipment (again unlikely if using different op systems.)

So looking like PSU or motherboard

  ashdav 21:44 08 Aug 09

download this click here and double click on the file.
select sensors from the lefthand menu and keep an eye on it.
It will refresh every few seconds and give you an indication of the cpu temperatures.
My experience of this fault is overheating of the cpu.
If it gets near 70C then you have problems.
Is the computer being used in a bedroom ? Notorius for fluff !

  ashdav 21:44 08 Aug 09

Notorious even.

  woodchip 21:59 08 Aug 09

Just to had my bit, How much free Disc Space on the Operating System Partition? Could be Faulty PSU. Also Graphics Drive could be a Problem I you tried downloading the Latest Driver, Remove the Old in Safe Mode Before Installing the New Driver, also in Display Properties try turning the Acceleration down a bit at a time with the slider, then test each time you move it down a notch

  dwsolo 05:23 09 Aug 09

Many thanks for all the suggestions. I'll note them all (and any subsequent ones) and try them out in due course.

  sonyboy 10:11 09 Aug 09

All good valid answers above..One of the golden rules of troubleshooting is "try the simplest approach first"
I have seen this "freezing comp" scenario loads of times ...and on lots of occasions(not all)..the simple answer has been a "thermal" issue! Having taken side panels off PC's...I've seen excessive mats of dust that have literally formed a blanket over vital components that need to be cool! Even a small amount of dust causing a "overheat" in the wrong place can cause your machine to "close down"
A can of "compressed air" from "Maplins" used to give the case and components a thorough blast of clean air can work wonders!
Thermal faults on actual printed circuit boards can also cause faults as the PC temperatures rise and fall ...and these "Intermittent" faults can be hard to pin down.
I know this is just generalising...but before having to consider spending a lot of cash..Try the simple cleaning ...and even a gentle test to make sure that components such as RAM and any other connections that are easily accesible are secure in their slots...as this can sometimes pay dividends..Good luck !

  dwsolo 14:10 09 Aug 09

Thanks Sonyboy - I'll try that first :-)
Kind regards
David

(PS to answer some of the other questions - I've temporarily stored it away, until i have time to try out oall the tests but I can confirm there is plenty of memory and the memory chips have been tested with memtest86, there is plenty of disk space for each OS, and there are definitely no viruses or other malwares, especially since, most recently, I reformatted and reinstalled Vista keeping it offline all the time. I'll definitely look at temperature as the first possible culprit (witht help of siw.exe) and then PSU fault as another possible culprit, although I have no idea how to check that, having no multimeter... then the others..)

  ashdav 08:28 10 Aug 09

siw shows the voltages at the same time as temps under the sensors results.

  dwsolo 11:15 10 Aug 09

oh good - thanks ashdav :-)

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