Computer freezes periodically

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I wonder if anyone can give me some help with a computer that is causing problems. It started about a fortnight ago when the computer would randomly freeze. The only thing you can do is switch it off and re-boot. I checked all the connections and the mouse (PS2 mouse) seemed a bit loose, so I replaced it. This didn't help matters and so I tried a new keyboard too to see if that was causing the problem. It wasn't. I then moved on to opening it up, removing everything and reseating it to see if one of the cables had somehow come loose. I checked the cables visually and they seemed ok. I did the same for the RAM too. Again the computer would still freeze. Next stage was to download the Western Digital diagnostics tool to test the hard drive. On the first run, the PC froze and it repeated this a few times. I thought it was the hard drive, so I took an old slave and replaced it with that and booted up again. After installing everything, the computer froze again. I installed the original HDD in another PC and it ran fine. No problems there at all so the HDD seems fine. I re-installed it in the rogue computer and ran the WD tests again - all clear this time. I booted up and logged on as normal and the thing froze on me again... So I came here. The PC is a Compaq Evo D310 Intel 1.7 Celeron, 256 Mb RAM, 40Gb HDD with Win XP Pro SP2 installed. SP2 was installed about three months ago. I have also checked the event logs to see if they can offer any help, but there was nothing there that gave any idea. I think that's about everything I have tried so far. Can someone give me some ideas about where to go next?

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I have had strange things like that happen to me and quite a few times it was a bad memory module, though the memory seemed ok. Replace the memory from a comparable stable machine, see if that works.

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  • EricHarris
    You might also try the following: 1. Are all the fans running properly? If not, the computer could be overheating. There may be one on the CPU, also! 2. Try swapping the power supply in the computer with one from a computer that works without problem. 3. You do not say what other adapters are in the computer. One of them could have a problem, so swap them out one at a time. 4. The motherboard itself could have developed a problem and need to be replaced. Temperature fluctuations can cause solder joints to go bad, for instance. If this is the case, it is very likely to be more cost effective to buy a new computer than coughing up the money to get a replacement motherboard that says Compaq on it. Good hunting.
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  • Harg7769
    You might also try the following: 1. Are all the fans running properly? If not, the computer could be overheating. There may be one on the CPU, also! The fans appear to be running normally, but that is only a visual check to confirm. 2. Try swapping the power supply in the computer with one from a computer that works without problem. I'll try this when there's a spare one around. 3. You do not say what other adapters are in the computer. One of them could have a problem, so swap them out one at a time. All adapters are integrated, so it's quite difficult to swap out. 4. The motherboard itself could have developed a problem and need to be replaced. Temperature fluctuations can cause solder joints to go bad, for instance. If this is the case, it is very likely to be more cost effective to buy a new computer than coughing up the money to get a replacement motherboard that says Compaq on it. How would I know? Is there some sort of diagnostic app I could run to test the motherboard?
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  • BlueKnight
    I don't know if this will be a great help, but it can't hurt... take a look at the Motherboard Monitor found at: http://www.sofotex.com/Motherboard-Monitor-download_L15737.html It sounds fairly informative, but whether it can pinpoint your particular problem is another matter. You can't complain about the price though (freeware). Since you didn't mention any beep codes during the boot process, I'd suspect either a memory problem or a temperature related connection (solder) problem. Jim
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  • Harg7769
    Thanks BlueKnight - I gave the Mobo Monitor a try and it reported the CPU temp as 32C while the case was 35C, so nothing too bad there. I was expecting it to go up dramatically but it stayed fairly constant and I was able to use the PC for about 20 minutes until it froze again, still with a temp of 32C. Looks like it's a bad joint somewhere then.
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  • Houzema
    My experience: I have had similar issue with a PC in the past. I tried all the things you described with no results. I also ran RAM module testing software that found no fault. Since so many people suggested replacing the memory module I tried it even though it passed the RAM test. The problems went away after the RAM swap. RAM is pretty cheap, for most PCs today. The price of a module could be worth the piece of mind. If it doesn;t resolve the issue then the extra module can always find a home on a system that needs a little extra headroom.
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