I built a new machine back in November:
AMD Athlon 64 FX-57
ASUS A8N-E Socket 939 NVIDIA nForce4 Ultra
ENERMAX EG651P-VE FM(24P) ATX 550W Power Supply
Kingston ValueRAM 2GB (2 x 1GB) 184-Pin DDR SDRAM DDR 400 (PC 3200)
Western Digital Caviar SE WD1600JS 160GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive
Old: BFG Tech GeForce 7900GS 256MB GDDR3 PCI Express x16
RMA replacement: BFG Tech GeForce 7900GT
The problem I'm having is that I'll get a hard lock at seemingly random times, but usually right after closing an application such as IE or realplayer. Before the application can be cleared from the screen, the mouse will freeze and keyboard becomes unresponsive. After some unsuccessful typing I'll get a single beep from the motherboard, then nothing. I can't do anything but do a hard reset. What is strange to me is that the computer is still alive in the sense that I can view my harddrives from another computer via LAN. The freezing always occurs after the computer has been on for quite a while. It's not like it happens within minutes of a fresh reboot.
The machine has never done this unattended. It always happens while I'm using it. I'm not sure whether this is a software or hardware issue, although I'm leaning towards hardware. I've only seen Windows 2000 hard-lock once with no error messages and nothing in the logs. Only thing that responds on the keyboard is numlock. Optical mouse is powered during the freeze, but if I remove and reinsert it, it's dead.
I have 2 gigs of RAM in there using dual channel. I've moved the modules around (haven't exhausted all possibilities) trying different combinations of sticks and slots. Problem still occurs. I'm running memtest86 which has been going for 7 hrs so far, and after 12 passes there are no errors. Not sure a problem with RAM would cause this though. I'm more trying to see if I can get a hard-lock outside of Windows, which would really help isolate the problem.
I had a graphical problem that was fixed by replacing the gfx card. I believe, however, that I saw this problem happen once before that switch was made. Didn't think much of it during the time, but I bet it was the same issue I'm seeing now. As such, I'm leaning away from the gfx card.
The problem is extremely intermittent which is making troubleshooting difficult. Last week it went 8 days with no problems, but lately only lasted 3 or so before this came up again. There's absolutely no problems with high-end applications like games running for hours straight.
Any ideas on this? Would a bad motherboard or processor lock the OS and peripherals, but still allow LAN to function fine? Any clue on what that single beep means?
I'm pretty much out of ideas here.:confused: Anyone have something I could try next time this happens to try to isolate to a component or perhaps software?