computer freezing

Discussion in 'OT Technology' started by mixwell, Feb 17, 2007.

  1. mixwell

    mixwell weakkutz

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    I am almost 100% sure this isn't an overheating problem, as I monitor my CPU temp and have fixed it about a month ago when it was overheating.

    I've been gaming tonight and what will happen is 5 mins in my computer will freeze. So I reboot, except it doesn't even load to the point where I can get into BIOS. All I see is a black/blank screen and my computer (through speakers) telling me something along the lines of "hooked and failed CPU tag". I'm sure that is not what it is saying, but the word "CPU" is kind of clear. Everything else isn't as it's hard to make out what it keeps repeating over and over.

    How do I fix this? I turn off my computer and turn the power switch off for a few minutes. I then turn it back on and it would load up. This is what I did in the past and it has always worked and my comp wouldn't freeze up again.


    This time however it loaded and said that I failed to Overclock my CPU. Keep in mind I have never even attempted to OC my computer before, so this was strange. 2nd reboot asked me if I wanted to load windows in safe mode. 3rd time just went straight to windows.

    Can anyone please PLEASE :bowdown: :bowdown: :bowdown: help me trouble shoot this? I have no idea what is wrong as I'm not the greatest with computers.

    Thank you in advance to anyone who can provide any type of helpful advice!
     
  2. Doc Brown

    Doc Brown Don't make me make you my hobby

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    Basic steps would be to unplug the optical drive(s) -
    floppy -
    if you have more than one stick of ram, pull one then the other in successive reboots -
    unplug a backup drive, if any.

    If that makes your pc boot properly, then plug each item back in one at a time to see if it is a hardware malfunction.

    Also, if you unplug all your peripherals like that and it boots up, it may
    be a sign of a failing power supply.

    You might have a bad video card, so if you happen to have onboard video,
    or a spare video card, swap out the one you are running to see if that makes a difference.
     
  3. mixwell

    mixwell weakkutz

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    heh that's a lot of testing involved... what my brother thought it said was "system down CPU fan" possibly?

    I'm not too great with terms. What are Optical drives exactly? and backup drives?

    Just wondering if there are any other ways of testing this out. It's just so strange that my computer was working perfectly fine last night with no problems. then tonight all of a sudden it just keeps crashing when I'm gaming. It seems fine when I'm just online surfing the web though.
     
  4. Doc Brown

    Doc Brown Don't make me make you my hobby

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    Optical drives are your cd rom drives and dvd burners. It's easier to say optical and include them all.
    Backup drives would be extra hard drives that might be on your system - probably none though.

    You need to do some troubleshooting to get to the bottom of this, and typically you start with stuff like I mentioned.
    You just take the side off of the case, and unplug the extra stuff.
    But if you don't know which stuff is which, you may need someone to do it for you.
     
  5. mixwell

    mixwell weakkutz

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    okay so I unhooked all optical drives and even took out all my RAM and tried booting.

    Not sure if that was a mistake as it kept making this beeping noise with a blank screen.

    I then put in one stick of RAM. Booted and nothing. Then hooked up my DVD drive, booted, nothing. Then the last stick of RAM and again nothing.

    My screen stays black but the computer turns on. Please help! :( I'm hoping I didn't break anything
     
  6. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    Yeah, you can't take ALL the memory out -- at least not all at once. Put half of it back in, run the computer, then shut it off and swap in the other half of the RAM, and run the computer again. Basically you want to test the RAM to make sure each stick works fine individually, then together in pairs, then...well you get the idea.
     
  7. mixwell

    mixwell weakkutz

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    Problem is I've done each stick individually and none of them will boot the computer. I've tried both and they won't boot up my comp. It was working find before I removed them and tey're not working now. Not sure what to do next :wtc:
     
  8. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    The fact that the computer works when you disconnect the power for a few minutes suggests that the BIOS settings are getting corrupted, then getting reset when you remove power. This can happen if the BIOS battery is worn out and the voltage is too low to maintain the settings in memory properly. Try removing the lithium battery on the motherboard and see if that makes a difference.
     
  9. mixwell

    mixwell weakkutz

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    BIOS battery? hehe I honestly don't even know what BIOS stands for. Just know it's the blue screen that allows you to config setting for your computer. Lithium battery on the motherboard? what does it look like and how can I locate it? I didn't even know mobos have batteries to them
     
  10. mixwell

    mixwell weakkutz

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    located the battery. Took it out and booted up the computer. I still get the same response. It starts up by the screen is blank
     
  11. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    Unplug and replug the video card? Disconnect any USB devices?

    BIOS = Basic Input/Output System = a very simple OS that has the job of detecting hardware and then loading Windows/Linux/whatever.
    CMOS = Complementary Metal-Oxide Semiconductor = the chip that stores the BIOS
     
  12. mixwell

    mixwell weakkutz

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    going to try getting these done tomorrow night. Have long day at work tomorrow =|
     
  13. LANshark

    LANshark This is America. My president is black and my Lamb

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    I know you said that you monitor the CPU heat. But, those are the exact symptoms and fix for a overheating.

    The CPU locks or shutdown -> won't reboot -> You leave it for a few minutes and boom it works like nothing was wrong
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2007
  14. Stilgar1973

    Stilgar1973 New Member

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    You should definetly try to isolate the problem.
    But if you want to cut to the chase I think it is your motherboard. Those problems you are describing sound like stereotypical motherboard problems.
     
  15. mixwell

    mixwell weakkutz

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    Yeah I know those are the symptoms. My CPU monitor use to actually go 70-80 C before it would shut off and allowing it to cool down for a short amount of time would fix it. That is why I'm sure it's not the CPU overheating this time, because the temp would never go above 45C.

    No idea how much Mobos are these days, but having to take it out and replace it seems like a bit of a hassel. Going to try unplugging my vid card as well later tonight when I get a chance and checking other things people here have mentioned.
     
  16. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    Since the concensus seems to be that it's still a heat problem, you should take a walk around your motherboard and touch every IC and transistor with your finger to see if any of them are really screaming hot. If they are, attaching a heatsink can help stabilize it enough to work without crashing. www.performance-pcs.com sells a good selection of cheap aluminum heatsinks designed to be attached to MOSFET transistors and various types of ICs.
     
  17. mixwell

    mixwell weakkutz

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    Would you be able to tell me what ICs and transistors look like? Haven't heard of them before and not sure what I should be looking for.

    Well this is an update since the last time. Friend recommend me looking in my mobo manual and the POST that I was getting was "System Failed CPU test". So I called my mobo company today (ASUS) and they told me it could be a number of things :squint:

    They said it could be a grounding issue. I don't think that is the issue because unless those copper nut looking things that seperate your mobo from you case somehow broke off and their no longer there, I don't think my mobo got fried in any way. My mobo isn't loose from the case, so I doubt it's not screwed in tightly still.

    Other issue was it could be my RAM. But like I have said before, I have taken both out and tried testing each one individually. Each time I did that, the computer still wouldn't boot up to either BIOS or straight to windows.

    Power supply. Possible I guess? I'm not sure how to tell if it would be my power supply or not, since my computer does at least turn on? I am going to be borrowing an extra power supply from a friend tonight, so I can test to see if my power supply is bad. What would cause it to go bad anyways?

    CPU. This is what I'm thinking might be wrong. Reason? I have had it overheat in the past for an extended amount of time. I didn't know what was wrong for a while, so I kept letting my computer cool off for a while before turning it back on and using it again. Also, my friend who took a look at my computer said I did not have thermal grease on the entire CPU, which could lead to hot spots. I did not know you had to have your entire processor with the thermal grease on it, as I was instructed to just put a small amount of thermal grease in the middle of the CPU, before attaching the heatsink/fan ontop of it.

    Any other comments and suggestiong are appreciated. Going to try testing my power supply tonight. Bought myself another AMD 64 3000 CPU as well tonight at Fry's just incase it isn't my power supply. At least I can return it within 15 days if it really is neither? :wtc:
     
  18. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    You've never heard of a transistor before? Hooboy...

    A transistor is a little black ceramic thing with three wires coming out of it. An IC (integrated circuit) is a bunch of transistors in a single ceramic case with a bunch of wires coming out of the sides. The CPU is the most complex IC on your motherboard, which is also why it has the biggest heatsink. Most of the rest of the ICs and the transistors don't make enough heat to make themselves malfunction, but sometimes a particularly poorly-made one can cause problems under normal conditions. That's where the little heatsinks I mentioned come in handy.

    Anyway, it sounds like you've got the situation in hand. Whether or not the replacement CPU works, keep what I said before in mind.
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2007
  19. LANshark

    LANshark This is America. My president is black and my Lamb

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    I wouldn't worry about the amount of thermal grease. The CPU doesn't have to be completely covered to avoid overheat. The problem is too much thermal will cause heating issues.

    Have you checked your video card to make sure the fan is still spinning on it? I'm sure the card could handle windows desktop and normal applications without the fan, but, once it starts to be taxes by 3D graphics and such. The GPU would start producing some serious heat. Also, the beep alarm for CPU and no video are pretty similar on most mobos.
     
  20. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    No, you do need to have a thin layer of heat goop across the entire surface of the silicon or the metal protector (depending on which kind of CPU you have), because you have no way of seeing or knowing where there are microscopic hollow spots that need to be filled with goop. Covering the entire surface is the only way to ensure maximum heat dissipation.
     
  21. LANshark

    LANshark This is America. My president is black and my Lamb

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    I agree with your statement when dealing with an exposed silicon processor. The ones with metal shields...not so much. But, I have seen too many people put too much thermal paste on either processor and kill it. That's the only reason I said what I said above.
     
  22. mixwell

    mixwell weakkutz

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    Thank you for everyone's help here. So I tested my CPU and that was it. I even tried pulling out my vid card and yes the fan was spining. I finally got a new motherboard and that solved the problem. I guess somehow it went bad. I guess everything in my computer is old technology now, which I guess I shouldn't be so surprised about. My computer was top of the line 2-3 years ago when I put it together. Went to Fry's today and there was only one mobo that would support my AMD 64 3000+. I guess 754 pin is now old news?

    So everything seems to be running nearly the way it was before. The motherboard isn't as great as my ASUS K8V SE one that I orinally had. I have some ECS K8M800-M2 mobo now which doesn't support all the features my old mobo did. Small things like having the lights on my case for power on. Biggest thing that annoys me is I have 1gig Kingston RAM that are dual sided? My friend who has been helping me install and repair my computer thinks that my mobo only allows single sided RAM, which is why I'm getting this very choppy feel even when I'm scrolling up and down these forums right now. When I'm play WoW, the game would freeze after only a few minutes of gameplay as well. So he thinks I need to get some single sided RAM =\

    It's just really frustrating how the manual doesn't mention anything like that. But it's kind of what my friend kept saying... "If everyone knew how to solve computer problems, there would be no use of computer technicians."
     
  23. mixwell

    mixwell weakkutz

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    got some single channel ram from the same friend. It is still freezing when I'm playing WoW or just randomly sometimes when I'm online. Getting to the point I want to throw my PC out the window.

    Going to try reformatting later today when I wake up. I'm hoping that will solve the problem.
     
  24. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    I think it's time to cut your losses and build a whole new machine.
     
  25. mixwell

    mixwell weakkutz

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    That's what my friend was telling me as well, but I don't want to do that until there really is absolutely nothing I can do. Thing is, I can surf the web fine for an extended period of time. I just had some blips where my computer would freeze. It's mainly when I'm playing world of warcraft where it goes all crazy and freezes. Sometimes the screen gets all scrambled up as well.

    I'd hate for my parts to go to waste as well. Was told the only things I could probably keep inside my computer are my RAMs and possible DVD rom.
     

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