System crashes/freezes after period standing idle

  Dioxynucleic 18:49 15 Jun 05

My dad's computer regularly crashes/freezes after standing idle for any length of time. The usual Ctrl + Alt + Del doesn't work so the machine has to be turned off at the mains. Occasionally, the system freezes on start-up. There are no error messages, or anything like that. Don't know whether this is significant or not, but the fault is sometimes accompanied by the light on the CD-RW drive shining red, as if it's engaged. (The drive itself appears to be faulty, but that's a whole other story, I think).

The computer is five, maybe six years old. A Gateway (Pentium III, iirc, 256Mb RAM), running Windows ME (4.9 ote).

Please bear in mind neither my dad nor myself are particularly technical (well, my dad isn't technical at all).


  DieSse 21:45 15 Jun 05

A common cause is a clash between a screen saver and a monitor automatic standby setting.

Old motherboards with intel 810 graphics on board were particularly prone to this. The latest driver for the chipset, from the intel site may help.

Or it may be easier not to let the monitor go into standby - see the power settings.

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