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Old 08. Jul 2010, 08:17 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I was wondering where you were 26Dolphins, and if things were fine with you. Good to hear back from you.

Sorry, I did not pay enough attention to your post, and missed the part where you mention last free version. Oops on my part .

So, as suspected this does not look like a HDD issue, and that is good . Dying HDDs are nightmares.

26Dolphins, how long its been since you did a system cleaning? I think it might be time for that... if its been a while. Sometimes hardware issues can cause this. Sometime ago, I have had problems with random system freezing. I had not cleaned my CPU since a long time, and had not changed its thermal paste... that was causing high temperatures.

Also, I once had trouble with RAM. Maybe it was not fitted properly. It used to cause system freezing with colored lines on the screen.

So, maybe you should do a spring cleaning sort of thing... cleaning RAM and reseating it, cleaning the CPU and its fan... and see if it makes any difference.

You can check temperatures with SpeedFan.
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Old 08. Jul 2010, 09:44 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Hi Anupam,

Well, life goes on and one has to participate, so it took me a bit longer to report back. Sadly, things have not resolved.

Overheating is sth I thought of, myself - it's sth I keep an eye on.
Current measurements:
Processor: 28 C
Mainboard: 33 C
Hard Disk: 32 C
They're not above normal, average values since trouble started.

System Cleaning: I do this three times a year, before Xmas & Eastern and in mid summer, should be often enough. And always check connections afterwards. Last done ... two days ago - made no difference.

When my system freezes, the mouse works but can't interact with any task bar buttons or desktop shortcuts. Never got what you describe, so I'd like to think it's not a RAM thing.

It seems that we're running out of suspects.

Cheers
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Old 08. Jul 2010, 09:49 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I am beginning to suspect power supply here. In the past 5 years or so, I've had 2 power supplies go out on me. In both cases, I spent hours and hours trying to fix it; not knowing at the time that it was a power supply issue.

My computers behaved much like yours appears to be. At first I was convinced it was a HD issue. Then, I thought it was a registry issue, and then I thought it was a RAM issue. In both cases, it wasn't until I had finally given up and taken it to a "tech shop" and they tested the power supply did I find out.

Personally, I don't know how to test a power supply nor do I have the equipment. I wouldn't rule out the possibility.
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Old 08. Jul 2010, 10:19 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Hi kendall,

Your discription does sound like the route I'm on.
Power supply never crossed my mind and I don't know how to test it either - a quick research says I need a multimeter which I don't have right now.
PC Wizard on the other hand says:
Voltage CPU: 1.63 V
DIMM: 1.70 V
+3.3V Voltage: 3.42 V
+5V Voltage: 5.27 V
+12V Voltage: 12.34 V
So, that looks like working ok.

I hope it's ok, as you got me a bit worried. My Windows installation has gone sour, so I have to fix it one way or the other. But if it is a hardware fault, it won't do much good for long .

I'm trying not to give up - though the whole situation is nerve-wracking, I try to hold on to the experience-gained aspect.

Cheers
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Last edited by 26Dolphins; 08. Jul 2010 at 10:25 PM.
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Old 09. Jul 2010, 02:23 AM   #15 (permalink)
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I am far from an expert on hardware; especially power supplies. But, both of mine had bad rails. (I think that's what they are called.) The bad rails did not show up until they were tested with some type of voltage meter.
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Old 09. Jul 2010, 09:36 AM   #16 (permalink)
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26Dolphins, the temperatures you wrote down are too less. I have a P-IV and the temperature goes really high.. 80 degrees centigrade, and more.

At this point, I think everything will be suspicious, as we have run out of options. I agree with you 26Dolphins, before going for a reinstall of Windows, you should make sure that its not a hardware issue, otherwise the reinstallation will be futile.

You can try cleaning the RAM contacts and reseating the sticks again. Worth a try. I have read, the contacts should be clean with an eraser.

If you still cannot find out the problem, I think it would be better to take the PC to a tech shop. If its a power supply problem, they will be able to tell better. If you can get an extra power supply from somewhere, then you can test it.
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Old 09. Jul 2010, 06:29 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Hi,

@kendall
Voltage values n BIOS read the same as with PC Wizard. The ATX standard stipulates that the 12V rail must be regulated to +/- 5% on idle and +/- 10% under load. So, I think I'm good.

@Anupam
Same goes for temperature values. They're also within the range for normal/ proper operation as given by their specs. I have never seen anything go above 40 C and only on very hot days and after quite some hours.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anupam View Post
... I have a P-IV and the temperature goes really high.. 80 degrees centigrade, and more...
This sounds more like my Fahrenheit values on a really hot day (sorry, couldn't resist)

I spoke with a friend who's in the PC maintenance/ repair business - first thoughts, it's likely only a messed up OS. We'll probably meet tomorrow, so I'll leave the extra RAM check to him.

I will attempt a Repair - things can't get much worse than they already are, can they?

Cheers
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Old 09. Jul 2010, 06:37 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Default PSU tester

A multimeter isn't entirely satisfactory for testing PSUs. You can only use it by back-probing when the machine is running. You need a PSU tester like this:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16899705003

I have one of these which works very well:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16899161001
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Old 12. Jul 2010, 03:32 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Hi,

Latest developments:
1. No hardware issues, tested by my friend and everything works fine.
2. Repair got me locked out of Windows due to some configuration changes that prevented contacting MS for activation.
3. Found out the hard way that if your HDD has more than one partitions, Win XP Installation CD won't boot - you have to delete everything first using a bootacle CD.
4. Did a HDD full format & partitioning, fresh insallation of Win XP SP3 (fortunately had a Setup CD with SP3 slipstreamed) and patching (the part I hate the most after a clean Windows installation).
Encountered a strange issue: was offered patches for .NET framework , so it seems like full formating (from the Setup CD) does not wipe out all .NET remains
5. Still working on configuring OS the way I like and had it before (2nd most hated part).
6. Things to complete the fresh setup: get all my programs back and restore all my backed up data.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mistywindow View Post
...You need a PSU tester ...
I have one of these which works very well...
Too bad you're ... a tad too far away from my location; else I could just drop by and borrow yours

Thanks everyone for the suggestions and responses.
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Old 12. Jul 2010, 05:24 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Default Make an image!

Quote:
Originally Posted by 26Dolphins View Post
..... Did a HDD full format & partitioning, fresh insallation of Win XP SP3.....
Create a backup image. It will save you future pain.
http://www.techsupportalert.com/best...ng-program.htm

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