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Hello community,
Like some people, I resist asking for help. But this problem is haunting me. So I humbly ask for help. Here are the facts, as I see them.

Machine: Dimension 4100, 1.1 mhz, 512 mb Ram, XP Pro SP2, latest updates/drivers.

Problem: CPU freeze/unfreeze

Specifics: Whenever this starts, it ALWAYS goes this way---5 second freeze, 30 seconds unfreeze (CPU runs normally), then 10 second freeze, then 50 second unfreeze (runs normally); then it returns to the 5-sec, 30-sec, 10-sec, 50-sec cycle and loops. Only way to remove problem is to shutdown; but the very last phase of shutdown does not complete, requiring what we retired IBMers called the BRS solution (Big Red Switch to power off the offending hardware ..ha). Subsequent re-starting computer is normal and problem not present until it decides to manifest (see details below)

History: When this first started (8-10 months ago), I searched MS Knowledge Base and found the identical problem occurs when using Iomega Parallel Port Disk Drive. I immediately removed that hardware and software and never used it again. And the problem disappeared. BUT some months after this, the problem reoccurred! Wow! Went back to MS KB to find the original article…none to be found!?! Continue to live with problem; but decided to seek help on this forum. Thanks to anyone with suggestions.

Details: Seems to start after a long idle period (more than 10-15 minutes), but not always. Probably not related to internet as it does occur when cable modem is disconnected. Not related to Firefox as happens with Firefox uninstalled. Can be connected to internet and doing local processing (no net browsing) and have not noticed freezing. Interesting note: After a CPU start and run for some time without problem, I create a Restore Point. Then later in same startup or a later re-boot, when the problem does manifest, I can execute that previous Restore Point and the problem does go away. (but I can loose some other things that way). Seems that something gets “added to the System Registry and that “something is initiating this freeze problem. I don’t know what else to try, except to ask this very knowledgeable community. THANKS. :cheesy:

PS Forgot to say that I regularly use 5 spyware programs and the antivirus portion of ZoneAlarm Security Suite. Always finding stuff to remove, but doesn't seem related to problem.

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Last Post by wpofnc
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Well 5 antispyware programs are not a good ideea. You need just one good one plus your antivirus and firewall.

Now regarding the problem. If you have a hardware failure or driver failure you usually get a blue screen. This looks like something to do with your security software. Just temporarily disable or uninstall it when the problem occurs to see if that's it.

To rule out any possible drivers issues take a look in your event log and let's see if you see any system errors there.

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Hi Gemini4 and thanks for the comments.

I could agree with you on the multiple anti-spyware programs IF they were RESIDENT, but mine are not...just executed manually or on a timer once every day or so. Many people recommend multiple programs since no program (that I have encountered) is able to "catch" all spyware. I've proved this again and again by serially running AdAware and Spybot. One will catch some and the other will catch more.

I have not had a "blue screen" episode, so maybe no hardware or driver problem, BUT see below.

The problem occurred yesterday, so I disabled ZoneAlarm Security Suite, but had no effect on the problem. Also there are no Security events logged.

Your suggestion to analyze the System Event log turned up the following error events:

"The driver detected a controller error on \Device\CdRom0." occurred once. Event says "source = cdrom". NOTE I was not using the CD-ROM or CD-RW.

"The device, \Device\Ide\IdePort1, is not ready for access yet." occurred many, many times. Event says "source = atapi"
The only atapi hardware I have is 2 hard drives and the below mentioned 2 CD drives.

How would you decifer these messages? :?: These occurrences, to be best of my analysis, occurred during the problem, but I cannot emphatically state that. As for CD-ROM (Samsung), I have one and I also have a CD-RW (TDK), both atapi.

Well 5 antispyware programs are not a good ideea. You need just one good one plus your antivirus and firewall.

Now regarding the problem. If you have a hardware failure or driver failure you usually get a blue screen. This looks like something to do with your security software. Just temporarily disable or uninstall it when the problem occurs to see if that's it.

To rule out any possible drivers issues take a look in your event log and let's see if you see any system errors there.

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This is a tough problem because there's nothing we can put our finger on. Do a clean boot: http://www.myfixes.com/slides/msconfig-32 . Reboot and see if the problem reoccurs. If it doesn't we know there's one of the programs installed on your computer. If it does we know that it's the OS that has the problem.

Problems like this might also happen due to file system errors. Try to perform a check disk (chkdsk /f).

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Done the clean boot. Problem not manifesting after some time. Did the chkdsk /f, unremarkable. Just made a restore point and will continue until.... Thanks for help. wpofnc :)

This is a tough problem because there's nothing we can put our finger on. Do a clean boot: http://www.myfixes.com/slides/msconfig-32 . Reboot and see if the problem reoccurs. If it doesn't we know there's one of the programs installed on your computer. If it does we know that it's the OS that has the problem.

Problems like this might also happen due to file system errors. Try to perform a check disk (chkdsk /f).

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