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I posted this as a reply to another post, but I figured I would make a new thread just in case it may be usefull to people who are having this issue. I modified it a bit to be generalized, please feel free to add comments/revisions to help those who may be in need of a resolution:

For anyone who may have a problem with their computer locking up or 'freezing':

This may be faulty memory. Try running a memory test program, or trying new memory to see if that is the issue.

If your memory is fine, or if new memory works fine, then run a full scandisk (fdisk) on the hard drive to see if there are bad sectors.

Try another video card, if you have a cheap old reliable one laying around, to see if video is the issue.

If all three are fine, reinstall the OS - assuming you are running Windows, and that you have already troubleshooted the OS itself withour resolution (i.e. Driver updates, OS updates, etc etc.). If Linux, then run the appropriate hardware tests and software tests and you should not have to reinstall the OS.

If you go through all the above steps and the issue is still prevelant, try a new motherboard or power supply. But do those lastly, as most likely the problem (and cheapest to resolve) is the memory.

Make sure you have the appropriate power supply. Take note, the cheaper the motherboard, sometimes equals to power consumption issues which require higher-than-normal standard power supplies.

-- Ross

For anyone who may have a problem with their computer locking up or 'freezing':

You left out an important one. There has been a spate of problems with bad CPU filter electrolytic capacitors across all brands and types of motherboards in the last couple of years, so watch out for that, as well. The capacitors are near the CPU and visibly bad; Bulged tops, raised off the motherboard, or leaking goo. I've been able to repair them as I find them, though most end-users would have trouble with it. I have a tuorial on how to do it yourself that I am working on.

For those not familiar with the issue:

Quote from http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,4149,939887,00.asp:

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Apparently because of industrial espionagethe facts are murkya defective formulation for capacitor electrolyte, possibly stolen from a Japanese capacitor maker, was used over the past year or two to manufacture millions of cheap capacitors, mostly by Taiwan-based component makers. The flawed electrolyte forms hydrogen, then the capacitors leak, bulge, or pop like firecrackers. These caps are now blowing up motherboards left and right.

Only Abit Computer Corp. and IBM have had the guts to admit the problem. No computer vendor is immune to this situation as far as I can tell, but most are playing dumb, threatening to sue if their names are mentioned or hiding behind NDAs. They are hoping the problem will blow over.

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The problem has not blown over completely. Although I would assume it is less of a problem as there are less systems with the issue (due to replacements and repairs), it may be an issue for quite a few people. Actually, in all the systems I have come across I have not seen the problem at all, usually memory is the culprit for the servers I have had to deal with. This is only from personal experience though, and Michael is correct, it (mobo capacitor) is most definitly an issue.

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