Comp locks after minute or two

G

Guest

Guest
Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.security_admin (More info?)

A week or so ago my computer froze about a minute after startup (the mouse
cursor wouldn't even move) and I was forced to cold-reboot it. The same thing
happened a few times so I decided to leave it alone until morning. The next
day it was working fine, and had no problems until two days ago. (I'm on a
different computer right now).

So now the computer is doing it again - it will start up Windows XP and then
after a minute or two, (I almost always have Norton and AIM running, but it
doesn't always happen on the same event) the computer completely freezes,
mouse cursor and all, and I have to reboot it from the power button on the
cabinet. Sometimes it freezes before it even finishes booting back up
(including when I tried to start it in Safe Mode).

Everything is plugged in, and because I've barely been able to use it, it
shouldn't be overheating or anything. Is this a hardware issue, or do I have
a virus? And what can I do to tell/fix it?
 

Malke

Distinguished
Apr 6, 2004
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Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.security_admin (More info?)

Vinternet wrote:

> A week or so ago my computer froze about a minute after startup (the
> mouse cursor wouldn't even move) and I was forced to cold-reboot it.
> The same thing happened a few times so I decided to leave it alone
> until morning. The next day it was working fine, and had no problems
> until two days ago. (I'm on a different computer right now).
>
> So now the computer is doing it again - it will start up Windows XP
> and then after a minute or two, (I almost always have Norton and AIM
> running, but it doesn't always happen on the same event) the computer
> completely freezes, mouse cursor and all, and I have to reboot it from
> the power button on the cabinet. Sometimes it freezes before it even
> finishes booting back up (including when I tried to start it in Safe
> Mode).
>
> Everything is plugged in, and because I've barely been able to use it,
> it shouldn't be overheating or anything. Is this a hardware issue, or
> do I have a virus? And what can I do to tell/fix it?

It very much sounds like a hardware issue. Here are general hardware
troubleshooting steps:

1) Open the computer and run it open, cleaning out all dust bunnies and
observing all fans (overheating will cause system freezing). Obviously
you can't do this with a laptop, but you can hear if the fan is running
and feel if the laptop is getting too hot.

2) Test the RAM - I like Memtest86+ from www.memtest.org. Obviously, you
have to get the program from a working machine. You will either
download the precompiled Windows binary to make a bootable floppy or
the .iso to make a bootable cd. If you want to use the latter, you'll
need to have third-party burning software on the machine where you
download the file - XP's built-in burning capability won't do the job.
In either case, boot with the media you made. The test will run
immediately. Let the test run for an hour or two - unless errors are
seen immediately. If you get any errors, replace the RAM.

3) Test the hard drive with a diagnostic utility from the mftr. Download
the file and make a bootable floppy or cd with it. Boot with the media
and do a thorough test. If the drive has physical errors, replace it.

4) The power supply may be going bad or be inadequate for the devices
you have in the system. The adequacy issue doesn't really apply to a
laptop, although of course the power supply can be faulty.

5) Test the motherboard with something like TuffTest from
www.tufftest.com. Sometimes this is useful, and sometimes it isn't.

Testing hardware failures often involves swapping out suspected parts
with known-good parts. If you can't do the testing yourself and/or are
uncomfortable opening your computer, take the machine to a professional
computer repair shop (not your local equivalent of BigStoreUSA).

Malke
--
Elephant Boy Computers
www.elephantboycomputers.com
"Don't Panic!"
MS-MVP Windows - Shell/User
 
G

Guest

Guest
Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.security_admin (More info?)

I am inclined to agree with the previous reply, that you have some hardware
problem.

To help confirm this, download a free copy of the KNOPPIX bootable CD.

http://www.knopper.net/knoppix/index-en.html

This is about 700 Meg and is an ISO file that must be burned to CD via an
option like "burn from image" using software like asy CD Creator, Nero, or
Sonic. Do not merely drag&drop to CD.

Be sure that the BIOS is set to boot from CD before hard drive.

Insert the KNOPPIX CD and reboot. Within a minute or two the PC will be
running a version of LINUX directly from the CD. By default, nothing will
be written to your hard drive. Run that for a while. If the PC freezes,
the problem can not possibly be with XP, since XP is not being used. If the
PC works fine, then the hardware is probably OK and maybe it is time to
perform a repair installation of XP.

Note that KNOPPIX is also very handy to rescue data from a PC that is mostly
OK, but whose XP installation has become corrupted. KNOPPIX can read NTFS
as well as FAT32 partitions. It can copy files to external hard drives,
like USB and firewire. In fact, it has its own CD burning program, office
suit, web rowser, etc. Finally, the latest version of KNOPPIX (4.0) is also
available as a bootable DVD image, with even more applications. But, for
your purposes the CD-version would be enough, even an older version like 3.8
or 3.9.

"Vinternet" <Vinternet@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote in message
news:D69E79D1-C798-496C-80C8-45D1B686B15D@microsoft.com...
>A week or so ago my computer froze about a minute after startup (the mouse
> cursor wouldn't even move) and I was forced to cold-reboot it. The same
> thing
> happened a few times so I decided to leave it alone until morning. The
> next
> day it was working fine, and had no problems until two days ago. (I'm on a
> different computer right now).
>
> So now the computer is doing it again - it will start up Windows XP and
> then
> after a minute or two, (I almost always have Norton and AIM running, but
> it
> doesn't always happen on the same event) the computer completely freezes,
> mouse cursor and all, and I have to reboot it from the power button on the
> cabinet. Sometimes it freezes before it even finishes booting back up
> (including when I tried to start it in Safe Mode).
>
> Everything is plugged in, and because I've barely been able to use it, it
> shouldn't be overheating or anything. Is this a hardware issue, or do I
> have
> a virus? And what can I do to tell/fix it?
>
 
G

Guest

Guest
Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.security_admin (More info?)

The second reply seems to want you to do something that you might not b able
to do if you are a novice ther are products such as sandra lite which is free
to download and tests your computer without having to open it up, but going
from your description i have to agree that it is more likely that it is
hardware and that it should lead to your power supply being faulty

"Vinternet" wrote:

> A week or so ago my computer froze about a minute after startup (the mouse
> cursor wouldn't even move) and I was forced to cold-reboot it. The same thing
> happened a few times so I decided to leave it alone until morning. The next
> day it was working fine, and had no problems until two days ago. (I'm on a
> different computer right now).
>
> So now the computer is doing it again - it will start up Windows XP and then
> after a minute or two, (I almost always have Norton and AIM running, but it
> doesn't always happen on the same event) the computer completely freezes,
> mouse cursor and all, and I have to reboot it from the power button on the
> cabinet. Sometimes it freezes before it even finishes booting back up
> (including when I tried to start it in Safe Mode).
>
> Everything is plugged in, and because I've barely been able to use it, it
> shouldn't be overheating or anything. Is this a hardware issue, or do I have
> a virus? And what can I do to tell/fix it?
>