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Old 05-21-03, 12:19 AM   #1
Jamin
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Default Help with crashes

I hope y'all don't mind me asking for help here. I'm not a newb or anything, I'm just stumped and can't figure it out.

So, just yesterday, my computer just sorta crashed for no apparent reason while I was at gone. When I came home, the monitor had kicked into off mode, but I couldn't make it come back up at all. Moving the mouse, hitting keys, hitting ctrl/alt/del didn't work. The computer was just stuck. So I unplugged it and turned it back on, and it worked. Today, while I was using it, it hard-locked again. I wasn't really doing anything CPU-intensive, just piddling around on internet as usual. But this time it wouldn't get past the vid card BIOS screen. I reset the CMOS with the jumper, and it came on. Played around for awhile more and it was all normal. So then I reset, went back into the CMOS setup and kicked the FSB back up to 133 where it's supposed to be. Not five minutes later, it hard-locked yet again. Reset the CMOS, FSB is down to 100, and it seems to be working fine now.

The thing that bugs me is, nothing at all has changed since it was working. I haven't installed any new hardware, I don't overclock, all the fans are spinning, and as far as I can tell from the PC Health settings, the temps are all normal. I just installed Motherboard Monitor to check the temps while I'm actually running Windows, though... Anyway, my conclusion is everything should be just gravy. But it doesn't.

Here's my system specs, if that helps... it's pretty old, but hopefully I'll be building a new one later this year.
- AthlonXP 1800 tbird (stock, 11.5x133 or 11.5x100 depending on whether I've set the bios or not)
- AeroFlow HSF (put this in like three months ago)
- Soyo KT333 Dragon Ultra Platinum
- 1gig PC2100 memory
- Gainward GF3 video
- Hercules GTXP sound
- 80gig Maxtor HD, 16x Panasonic DVD

Any help is greatly appreciated.
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Old 05-21-03, 12:41 AM   #2
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Perhaps a stick of RAM has gone bad and will no longer run at 133Mhz.
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Old 05-21-03, 01:52 AM   #3
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The ram was also what crossed my mind as well - even though you didn't change anything i have seen a ram stick (which was fine for 6 months) fall to pieces and 'squidge' up as i removed it form the mobo, it was over 120 degrees celcius.

Try removing all the ram chips, check each one for distoritions or marks which shouldn't be there, then try each one on the mobo on its own.

If you have no luck then see if you can try your processor on a different mobo temporarily, these ones with the via chipsets are often hiding strange but random poblems which manifest after some time. I've had people go through 2 AK77 Pros for completely insane reaosns - dropping a screw onto the agp plate when it was off, and having ram melt.

Check the ram first
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Old 05-22-03, 03:04 AM   #4
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Thanks for the suggestions. I tried using each stick on its own, and this didn't seem to help the problem. I did look at them, and they look fine on the outside to me.

The only other thing I can think of is something's causing the CPU to get too hot... or maybe the graphics card... because it seems like if I let it alone for awhile, it fixes itself and comes back on like its supposed to.

That being the case, i don't know what could be causing it. The AeroFlow is seated fine on the CPU, the video card has never done this before... Maybe it's the RAM heating up, but I can feel the RAM and it doesn't feel hot at all.

Next time it crashes I'll poke around in there and see if anything feels too hot.

Thanks again.

---Jamin
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Old 05-22-03, 08:01 AM   #5
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If it wouldn't get past the video BIOS, try reseating the card.
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