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Computer Spec (A custom computer)

AMD Athlon 1700+
512Mb RAM
GeForce 2 Graphics Card
SonicFury sound card (with latest drivers)
40GB Harddrive
Windows 98 (normally XP)

Hi,

My computer kept having random freezes when loading the desktop (whilst running windows XP). Also it happened when playing games, after about 5 mins or so, give or take, it would freeze and if there was a sound playing it would repeat itself really quickly, and i would have 2 restart. i thought it was a virus, and my computer was full of junk anyway so i reformatted it. I have windows 98, and an XP upgrade so i firstly installed 98. However, during Installation afew times it crashed and i had to restart the whole process. I fianlly got that in and went straight into trying 2 install XP, then i can only get so far and the computer freezes, and i can get no more than 10% of XP installed. So now im stuck with windows 98.

I installed 2 games, Raven Shield and Commandos 2, and during gameplay, after afew minutes the game would freeze, like before, with the sound repeating itself. However my computer runs windows fine.

I thought it was overheating, but im not sure. After my computer froze abit ago, i qucikly restarted it and looked at the CPU temp on loadup and its at 76degrees Celcius, which I dont no if that is normal or not. It also says CPUFAN is running at 5000RPM and the SYSFAN at 0 RPM, but it has been like that for ages

Heres a picture of the inside of my computer which may help (sorry about the angle i was in a rush to take it, i can get a better one if needed)

[EMAIL=http://upl.silentwhisper.net/uplfolders/upload0/P8150022.JPG]Picture[/EMAIL]

if theres any more information you need please ask and i'll help out

Thankyou for your time!

Dave

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it might be a memory problem you should try taking out the memory then putting it back in. i also had a problem like that and it was because my powersupply ran out so i would get your computer it person or if you know how to do t yourself check the powersupply.
And if your computer stays on long enough i would clean it up do a spyware and virus scan, defrag your hard drive, remove any obselete programs.

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I'd suggest starting over again, and using the Windows XP CD to perform a clean install, rather than loading Windows 98 first. The install process will only need the Windows 98 CD to perform a 'check' for eligibility. You'll be asked to pop it in the drive at the appropriate point, and then replace the Windows XP CD when the check has been performed.

See this article of mine for detailed instructions about installing. Make sure you remove the existing partition, and then create a new one in its place, as mentioned in the article. You'll get a much cleaner install doing things that way.

As mikeandike22 mentioned, you might be having RAM problems as well. If that 512Mb is two x 256Mb modules, of different brands, then I'd suggest you first do the install with only one module in place, in Slot 1. If the install goes through cleanly and the system runs stable, add the other module afterwards and check that the system still remains stable.

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After my computer froze abit ago, i qucikly restarted it and looked at the CPU temp on loadup and its at 76degrees Celcius

From what I've read, that is too hot. Clean your system out with compressed air, and add fans.

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Oh hell! I missed that!

That's certainly too hot for a processor to be running. I'd suggest removing the heatsink, thoroughly cleaning heatsink and processor core, and then refitting it using Arctic Silver paste.

Have you changed heatsinks at some stage, and not cleaned and replaced the thermal compound?

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And if your computer stays on long enough i would clean it up do a spyware and virus scan, defrag your hard drive, remove any obselete programs.

Well I totally reformated the computer, then reinstalled windows 98 (and it crashed during install) so therefore im guessing it has to be a hardware problem

As mikeandike22 mentioned, you might be having RAM problems as well. If that 512Mb is two x 256Mb modules, of different brands, then I'd suggest you first do the install with only one module in place, in Slot 1. If the install goes through cleanly and the system runs stable, add the other module afterwards and check that the system still remains stable.

I think ill try that now aswell then install XP. It is made up of 2 modules which are, as u said, different brands


Oh hell! I missed that!

That's certainly too hot for a processor to be running. I'd suggest removing the heatsink, thoroughly cleaning heatsink and processor core, and then refitting it using Arctic Silver paste.

Have you changed heatsinks at some stage, and not cleaned and replaced the thermal compound?

From when building the computer about a year ago I havent changed anything inside, except I think puttings a TV card in.


I dont think the picture uploaded correctly either

http://upl.silentwhisper.net/uplfolders/upload0/P8150022.JPG

Someone has also suggested to me using a RAM tester but im not sure if that will help. Ill try that windows XP install now (which 256MB RAM in) and see what happens, and get back to you

Thankyou for your help!

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Man! That's a dirty dusty PC. Blow it out to get rid of the dust, eh, and then tidy up those cables!

lol well it does look abit of the dirty side, Ill do that then, but the cables thing i may struggle with abit :confused:

After ive finished running the RAM tester program im gonna go do the reinstalling using Catweazles guides and Ill get back to you.

I think im also gonna remove my TV card because theres no point in it being there lol.

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At the very least, fold those drive cables concertina fashion and secure the folds in place with rubber bands. Preferably, replace them with 'rounded IDE cables' which are an inexpensive purchase at a PC store.

[img]http://images.gfx.no/0/16/round-ide-cable-3.jpg[/img]

A few judiciously placed 'wraps' of electrical insulation tape to hold the various bundles of wiring together, rather than flopping all over the place, and you're well on the way.

Perrhaps a few cable ties to hold things out of the way, and pretty soon you've improved the airflow inside your case tenfold.

Then fit an 80mm exhaust fan to that mounting point at back of your case, and for a smal and reasonable outlay, you've got a system that actually has a chance of staying cool.

If, that is, you ever decide that being covered in mud is bad for it! :D

Read this!

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Do u mean an 8cm exhaust fan? Will one of these 2 do?

http://www.dabs.com/uk/Search2/results.htm?searchPhrase=Exhaust+fan


Ok so now, ive opened the case, got the RAM and video card out and given it a quick clean of dust (ill do a better job when i have time to get some compressed air). I was wrong about my ram, i have a 128 and a 256, its the computer im no now which has the 512. Neway, they are differnet makes, the following picture shows then both

http://upl.silentwhisper.net/uplfolders/upload0/P8160024.JPG


and the next picture shows a better view of the computer at a differnet angle, with the ram cards out. I havent done the cables yet.

http://upl.silentwhisper.net/uplfolders/upload0/P8160023.JPG


Ive got another problem now, I changed my BIOS thing to read the CDROM as the primary drive (im following the guide) and the computer loads up, reads the CD, but then goes into windows 98, not the XP installation. Ive got an XP upgrade, not the whole thing, and a windows 98 CD. So what do I do here?

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Ok i couldnt do much else so I started the computer with 256MB RAM in and started playing Raven Shield, and the same thing happened, freezing with sound playing really fast. I immediatly pressed restart and the temp was 79 degress C. Also when it loaded up windows, the resoltion was but back to 640x480 for some reason, down from 1024. It could be related but i dont know, and its looking more and more likley that the problem is more heating related than the RAM idea.

Also, i have no idea how to view the temperature when I want to, as in, i can only see it for afew seconds on load up, anyone know how?

Thanks again

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heh heh......

Edited that typo. Yes, of course its an 80 mm fan that's needed. Avoid the really cheap ones with sleeve bearings. Ball bearing fans are still rather inexpensive, and they last longer.

But I really think that heatsink should be removed from your processor, and either cleaned and refitted using a decent thermal paste like Arctic Silver, or discarded and replaced with a good quality aftermarket heatsink/fan. Those operating temperatures are alarmingly high.

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Well Mr catweazle, and the rest of you, ive been busy today after reading your advice in the morning, and I went out and bought the following

An Exhaust
A Case Fan
2 round IDE cables
Silicon paste
256MB RAM card , identical to the other

So, ive installed the exhaust, case fan, and the IDE cables, and the image below shows them installed (and i no the power lead is unplugged for th CPUFAN, im trying to get it out lol

http://upl.silentwhisper.net/uplfolders/upload0/P8160025.JPG


So, as i said, im trying to get the bloody heatsink off so i can apply the paste, but im finding it really hard 2 do so, so im struggling with that now. One thing after the other.........


Thanks for your help again


Oh and catweazle, or anyone, can I still install windows XP from startup? cus its only a startup

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Well, well Made in England, you certainly are a disciple :D

You're doing quite well so far, and I bet you're pleased with the results to date.


I firmly believe that processor heatsinks should be removed and replaced with the motherboard out of the case! That way you can sit it on a firm flat surface, cushioned by a thin sheet of foam rubber such as you get in motherboard packaging, or a folded bedsheet or similar. With the board out of the case, you avoid the chance of flexing and cracking the motherboard when you apply pressure to the retaining clip of the heatsink. You want to be able to replace the various connectors EXACTLY as they came off, of course.

If you choose to leave the motherboard in the case, then at least remove to power supply unit, so you have room to move in there. But taking the board out is by far the best way!


Before you take it out, take very careful notice of how the various leads are attached, their postioning and the way they face etc. Draw diagrams for yourself, and make numbered tags for the leads from sticky tape and paper if you wish. You want to be able to replace the various connectors EXACTLY as they came off, of course.

This guide from AMD shows how to remove and refit the heatsink. Use a solvent like methylated spirits to completely clean the central core of the processor and the underneath surface of the heatsink of all traces of previous thermal interface material. Be careful not to moisten the felt pads on the processor, dissolving the adhesive on them. I use a small pad made from a scrap of old bedsheet, moistened with metho, for the job! With things disassembled, give everything a goog brush over with a clean, soft paintbrush to remove the 'clingy' dust and give it a good blowover. (I use an airbed pump for that job ;))

When it's clean, cover only the central processor core with an even layer of your new thermal paste, and refit the heatsink.

Get that done, and the board replaced in the system, and you might like to have another look at that bundle of wires and connectors near your hard drive, to finish the job off with a bit of style ;)

I can see a 6 pin connector there which is unused and unnecessary. That entire lead and plug could be routed down behind the motherboard tray, to get it out of the road. (Pull the other side panel off, and stick it in place with a bit of strong tape or even some wads of Bluetac.)

Finally, tuck excess lengths of wiring away in nooks and crannies rather than having it bundled together as it is now, and use a few cable ties to hold them aside and secured in place.

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Oh hell! I missed that!

That's certainly too hot for a processor to be running. I'd suggest removing the heatsink, thoroughly cleaning heatsink and processor core, and then refitting it using Arctic Silver paste.

Have you changed heatsinks at some stage, and not cleaned and replaced the thermal compound?

yeah cpu's should be at idle around 90-105 ºF I think (not sure celcius)

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