PC keeps crashing. What next?

  WGW 22:01 11 Dec 04
Locked

My father's PC has started crashing quite a lot. At first it will run for about 30 mins then it will freeze up. Sometimes he gets the blue screen with a message saying something like "Error writing to main drive C", other times it just freezes. After the initial crash it then crashes more regularly and sometimes he can't even get the thing to start at all. We both think it must be the overheating of something but neither of us know how to go about fault finding this if indeed this is the problem. I've tried another memory card and that made no difference.
His OS is Windows ME and his PC is made by Time.
Can anyone offer some much needed advice on this?

  VoG II 22:33 11 Dec 04

Do you know what temperature it is running at? If not try MBM Monitor click here then post the results here, together with details of the CPU (if you don't know that click here ).

  WGW 22:02 13 Dec 04

Thanks VoG. Sorry about the slight delay in getting back.
I installed both applications that you suggested. They and the PC worked fine for at least an hour, which was unusual I have to say. I got the following information, which remained the same until it crashed:

Current Low High
Case Temp: 32C 31C 32C
CPU Temp: 43C 40C 43C
Sensor 3 Temp: 0C 0C 0C
Core 0: 1.67V 1.67v 1.67v
Core 1: 0.28V 0.28V 0.28V
+3.3: 3.37V 3.36V 3.37V
+5.0: 5.10V 5.8V 5.10V
+12.0: 11.89V 11.89V 11.95V
-12.0: 0V 0V 0V
-5.0: 0V 0V 0V
Fan 1: 7031rpm 6750rpm 7031rpm
Fan 2: 0 0 0
Fan 3: 0 0 0

CPU Speed: 801 MHz
CPU Type: 800 MHz AMD Duron
128 kilobyte Primary Memory cache
64 kilobyte secondary Memory cache


I then went to install a blank CD and the screen immediately froze with the error message:

"Settings caused an invalid page fault in module
KRNL386.EXE at 0002.00002b87"

The PC eventually shut down altogether and failed on self restart.

I hope the info means something to you or anybody else and you can perhaps advise further.
Cheers.

  WGW 12:28 14 Dec 04

BTT

The results don't appear as I typed them in so just to confirm, each item is followed by the current value then the low value and finally the high value.

Must admit, it didn't look so much like an overheating problem there.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 12:48 14 Dec 04

Temperatures look fine,

There is a virus that can cause this problem W32/kriz. Run an uptodate anivirus prog or do an online scan. Antivirus on line checks:-
Panda click here
Trend Online Check click here

  WGW 00:59 15 Dec 04

Thanks Fruit Bat.
The PC has been particularly difficult to work with tonight, constantly crashing. I haven't got it set up to go online yet but did try to install the latest version of AVG, as the original appears to have become corrupt for some reason. Anyway at the time of writing the PC freezes up on me when trying to install that and basically anything else.

  WGW 01:30 15 Dec 04

Managed to load AVG, well an older version anyway. Ran the scan but PC froze up midway, following a click coming from the direction of the HDD. A blue screen shortly followed with the message:

"Disk Write Error
Unable to write to disk in drive C:
Data or files may be lost.
Press any key to continue"

Did this and following another click it started again. Heard more clicks during the scan and what can only be described as the sound of the drive stopping spinning until the PC crashed again as per previous blue screen. This time nothing happened when pressing any key but the screen eventually blacked out.

Help!!!

  oldal 10:16 15 Dec 04

Try re-plugging the power and data cables to the hard drive. (replug the data cable at both ends)

  carper 13:15 15 Dec 04

I'm no expert but the symptons are very similar to the problems I had 12 months ago. I am NOT an expert but I did a complete reinstall and added extra memory and it has never crashed since (touch wood)

  WGW 20:19 15 Dec 04

Thanks folks.
Oldal, I’ve checked and re-seated all the ribbon cable plugs and power cables without any difference in the end result. I also had a look to see if there was any damage to the pins and cables in general but found nothing.

Carper, I would go ahead with the re-format, but for some strange reason Time never supplied a system disk with my father’s PC. Knowing what we know now, we would have insisted upon them providing one when we ordered it in the shop. I phoned Time about this and they said they would provide one for £45. I feel this is a bit pricey and basically out of order so would therefore prefer not to give them any more hard earned cash, especially as it may not guarantee success.

I tried adding another memory card from my old PC but this didn’t seem to make any difference.

I've considered removing all applications that have been installed so the PC is back to it's original condition (Are there any programs that do this?)but then considered that the problem also happens in safe mode and therefore that wouldn't make any difference. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

I don't even know if this is a hardware or software problem for sure, but I suspect it is probably hardware.

  Ivor_Monkey 23:36 15 Dec 04

Could it be that the hard disk is:
a)full
b) on its way out?

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