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PC freezing and I've ran out of ideas !

1163 Views 8 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  brite750
I have an increasingly frustrating problem with my PC in that it regularly freezes. I've tried all of the suggestions that I've been able to find for similar problems in this forum – further ideas would be greatly appreciated!

The PC freezes regularly, but with no obvious pattern of application, time lapsed etc. It can freeze during normal gameplay, browsing or office applications; it can freeze when the PC is idle (there are no screensavers or power-save options) and it has once froze during start-up before Windows XP has loaded.
There are other occasions where the PC can run for 4+ hours without a crash.

I’ve tried:
 Removing and re-seating the RAM.
 Swapping over the RAM cards
 Running Memtest86+ (no reported problems)
 Ran downloaded temperature monitoring software, with no indications of overheating
 Making sure that the hard-drive has more than 20% free space
 I have up-to-date Sophos anti-virus running
 I run Ad-aware and Spybot regularly
 I have all of the Windows XP patches and updates.

I’ve got as far as I can – can anybody suggest anything else to try ?
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When your CPU overheats, it will usually cause your computer to reboot. Video card overheating causes artifacts to appear on your screen, and usually wont cause reboots.


Enter BIOS upon powering on your computer. Most BIOs have a hardware monitor. Use this to check your temperatures and fan speeds.

There is also hardware monitoring software that can check your temperatures from Windows. Your hardware monitoring software should have come with your motherboard. If you have no monitoring software, you can go to and get PC Wizard. PC Wizard is an easy to use program that will let you know what kind of temperatures you have, and what your fan speeds are at.


CPU overheating is usually caused by a failing CPU fan or improperly applied thermal paste. Fortunately, these 2 causes are easy to fix. If the CPU fan is dead, buy a new one and install it. If the thermal paste is improperly applied, remove the old paste off and apply new paste.

Another method is to take a house fan and open the case blowing the fan on high into the case.
if this helps we know its heat.
Goto radio shack buy a can of PCB cleaner (printed circuit board) unplug computer for an hour, open case spray everything starting from top working down to the bottom make sure you get the cpu heatsink and video card really goods.

Power Supply (PSU) Problems


It is important to have a functioning, proper size of PSU for your computer. Having an underpowered or failing PSU is often the cause for random reboots. To get an estimate of how powerful a PSU, use this PSU calculator and add about 50W to the minimum power the calculator gives you.


The easiest and best way to diagnose a faulty PSU is to swap it with another one that you know is in good working order.

Flowchart for ATX Power Supply Repair

PSUs just die after a while.



Faulty RAM and RAM slots can cause random errors/reboots.


The best way to determine if RAM is your problem is to run your computer with one stick at a time, and see if the problem occurs for either stick. This obviously doesn't apply if you only have one stick to begin with Also, try the RAM in different slots. The actual slots might be causing RAM-failing like problems. The next step is to run memtest86 to determine if you have faulty RAM.

Visit the manufactures website and download the latest drivers for your hardware.


Ad-Aware SE Personal

SpywareBlaster 3.5.1

Spybot - Search & Destroy


AVG Anti-Spyware
Download all ,update boot into safe mode

With some computers if you press and hold a key as the computer is booting you will get a stuck key message. If this occurs, instead of pressing and holding the "F8 key", tap the "F8 key" continuously until you get the startup menu.

Scan the computer,

Boot backup into Normal mode, download
CodeStuff Starter manage your startup programs

Disable all startup programs that you "do not" need running at startup.

A guide to hep keep a smooth system.
Maintain your system with Windows XP

[WEBQUOTE=]" following is from G4 forum

There are hundreds of new spyware cases opened each day - Many people will get missed and overlooked. To assist in cleaning up your system perform the following steps:

Please go to the Control Panel > to Folder Options > to view and select show hidden and system files;
Also uncheck hide file extensions of known file types. THIS IS IMPORTANT!

1~ Download and use CW Shredder
which will help remove a CWS infection on your computer. Make sure you close all programs and windows before running it and be sure to click on the "Fix" button.
CW Shredder tutorial

2 ~ Download and UPDATE: Spybot Search & Destroy
Follow this to run it: Tutorial for Spybot S & D and AdAware SE from Tom Coyote forum

3 ~ Then download and UPDATE AdAware SE from Lavasoft.
Follow this to run it: Tutorial for Spybot S & D and AdAware SE from Tom Coyote forum

4 ~ Step 1 Download, install, and update AVG Anti-Spyware (previously ewido >> Note: This runs on Windows 2000 and XP only <<
There is NOT an option for Resident Shield in the new version as was in previous versions.
*After the download is complete, double-click on the AVG Anti-Spyware install file to launch the installation process.
*Follow the prompts and be sure that Launch AVG Anti-Spyware is checked.
*Once the AVG Anti-Spyware main program screen has opened, click on Update now.
*You will see an update progress bar, followed by an Update Succesful message when updating is complete.
*Only if the Update now option is grayed out, you will have to download updates manually
*Under Full database, click the Download now button and save the update to your desktop
*Close the AVG Anti-Spyware program
*Double-Click the desktop database icon to install the full database.
*After the database is installed, Click Scanner | Settings | Recommended actions | Quarantine
*Under the "Reports" section:
*Select Automatically generate report after every scan
*De-select Only if threats were found

Once updating is 100% complete close AVG Anti-Spyware, so you can perform the scan in safe mode as described in Step 2. Safe mode is preferable because often malware programs which run in normal Windows mode will not be running in safe mode. This makes it easier to safely quarantine these threats because they will not be "in use". Some rootkits may not run in safe mode, and if this is the case, AVG Anti-Spyware will be able to detect them and the malware they are hiding. If you have trouble starting your computer in safe mode, just perform the scan in normal Windows mode as outlined in Step 2.

Step 2 - Perform AVG A-S scan in safe mode and save the scan report
Boot into Safe Mode
How to Start Windows in Safe Mode
*Restart the computer
*Watch the screen while it is black. After the BIOS memory check is done, start tapping the F8 key
*If done correctly, the Windows Advanced Options Menu will appear.
*Select Safe Mode from the options menu. Starting Windows in Safe Mode may take several minutes
*Logon on using your usual account name

Perform the AVG A-S scan
*Select the Scanner icon at the top
*Click the Scan tab
*Select Complete System Scan.
*If a threat is found, make sure Quarantine is set as the action to apply, and then click Apply all actions
*Allow the scan to complete

Save the scan report
*Select the Reports icon at the top.
*Select the Save report as button in the lower left hand corner of the screen
*Save the report to a location which you will remember, so it is readily available, as we may request it later. By default, the scan report is saved to a report sub-folder within the AVG Anti-Spyware 7.5 folder: C:\Program Files\AVG Anti-Spyware 7.5\Reports\
*Close AVG A-S and reboot your system back into Normal Mode

Here is a tutorial on AVG A-S from CastleCops

5 ~ You need to run one of these online scanners to see if it can remove anymore Internet rubbish.
Panda Active Scan OR
Trend Micro OR
Bit DefenderOnline Scanner

6 ~ Empty the Recycle Bin and reboot your computer.

7 ~ Then AND ONLY THEN download HijackThis.
If you have downloaded it some time ago, please GET THE LATEST VERSION (As of 8/29/06 is currently at version: 1.99.1)
HijackThis 1.99 from
Tom Coyote HijackThis Quick Start Guide

You should create a folder for HijackThis. To create one in Program files; right click on C drive and choose explore. Locate program files folder C:\Program Files . Right click on it and choose: New / Folder.
Name this folder HijackThis. Unzip your Hijackthis download and extract it"s contents to:
C:\Program Files\HijackThis
Any of these other options is also acceptable. The key point is that HijackThis should have a permanent folder of its own.
C:\Program Files\HijackThis\HijackThis.exe --is good
C:\My Documents\HijackThis\HijackThis.exe -- Is Good
C:HijackThis\HijackThis.exe -- is Good.
The reason for doing this is when you fix something in HJT, it creates back-ups, so you want the back-up files to be in a folder.

Go there and right click on HJT.exe and choose send to desktop/ create a shortcut..
Make sure all browser windows and other programs are closed.

If you have disabled anything in msconfig or with a startup utility, please re-enable everything now.

Make sure all browsers and other windows are closed before running HijackThis.

RUN HIJACKTHIS , choose scan"Do a system scan and save a logfile", it will automatically open the HJT log after the scan.


PS Mods your web quotes are not working correct. you have to put a ] at the end of [WEBQUOTE= in order to make it look like this [WEBQUOTE=]" so it will work,.
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