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?

Well one would think Heat but as you say playing games doesn't do it.this is quite an odd problem you got here.I seen where you asked this on other forums with no prevail.but troubleshooting can be tedaous especially this problem.don't know if you have done this but go here and get this version of JAVA and insatll.


Also have you run SFC/Scannow in command prompt?I mean sounds like a hardware issue but points to a software from what you posted.also if your heatsink is dirty clean it and put new thermal compund.run disc clean up and defrag.

You might end up reinstalling the OS.but don't do that till it is actually a last resort.

Thanks for the response. I've been looking for someone to offer a magical answer of something trivial that I've been overlooking, but I don't think it's there. :-|

After messing around with it for part of the weekend, it's definitely stable playing games. I've also been able to crash it every morning (after it has been on for 24 hrs) by opening and closing IE a bunch of times. I'll open, close, open close; Wait a few minutes; then another open close will take it down. I don't think it's a problem specifically related to IE, it just the application I use the most so the problem is coming up there the most. At least I have a way to expedite my troubleshooting by 'helping' the crash happen and allow me to move on to trying something else.

I have an email into AMD to see what they have to say. I read on some old posts elsewhere that some of the AMD 64 processors had problems with Asus 8 motherboards. Perhaps the version of this FX processor is a little older and has this problem.

In the meantime, I'm going to unplug my secondary SATA HDD to see if that could be causing a conflict of some kind. Sounds stupid, but I've resorting to simplistic solutions lately since this has to be something really stupid.

I had the idea yesterday to disable my virus scanner (since I always disable it during games, and it never crashes during games). I was able to crash the system this morning though, so it's not that. I didn't think so since I use the exact same program and config on two other computers in the past.

I doubt removing the HDD or having a look at device IRQs is going to solve anything. My last resort will be to install the NVIDIA chipset drivers again. I've been reluctant to do that since the first time I installed an OS I put them right on and couldn't get them off. Turns out they were not the problem though.

My bag of tricks is getting empty. Can you elaborate on your suggestions? I'm not familar with SFC/Scannow and what it does.

well it sounds more of a hardware issue.

It seems as though when searching around i seen something related to a SATA drive.I don't think the SFC /scannow now will solve your problem you do that to find HDD and OS problems and fix them.You are talking about simplistic and that is probably it something simple you are over looking because you are looking to deep and technical.LOL

I am guilty of that when i got one here in the shop.I am not as bad as i used to be though i look for the obvious and simplest first.