Computer locks up after running awhile...cpu or vid card prob?

donfm

Senior member
Mar 9, 2003
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After my computer is running awhile it seems to start having problems. The screen locks and/or everything becomes very slow. I have reinstalled windows XP several times to no avail. Here are some symptoms:

1).When logging on the screen locks up at the password enter with a cursor that does not blink. I am not able to logon. The screen then flashes off and on at about 5 second intervals. I tried reinstalling video drivers. No help

2) At the initial Asus Mobo boot screen...there are pairs of vertical lines about a few inches apart across the screen they are made up of random pixels. The go away after the machine cools off.

3) Computer takes a long time to turn on or shut off when the problem starts occurring.

4) Some icons are shown completely in black on the desktop....with no functionality.

5) frequent lockups

The puter runs fine until after it's been running awhile. I have overclocked the cpu in the past but now it's on stock settings.

At first I thought it was the video card....but that wouldn't make my 'puter run slow and lock up I wouldn't think. I was told that if a computer takes a long time to shut off or turn on it was most likely a cpu issue.
Is their any way I can verify if it's the cpu or the vid card causing the problem. I have even considered the monitor may be going bad. I don't have a spare cpu or vid card to try. Thanks for any help this has
been a stumper.
 

DetroitSportsFan

Senior member
Oct 19, 2004
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Several of the things you said make me question your temps/voltage as possible causes of your problem. I viewed through your system specs, but no where in there is anything about your powersupply. It may be helpful at this time to post your mobo/cpu temps as well as your voltage usage on the 3 power rails, and your vCORE. Do you have ASUS probe (software monitoring tool) for checking your system temps and voltages?

Simple little experiment to try ..... take the case off and see if your system runs smoother. Without viewing all the information, my guess right now goes to (slightly) overheating vid card. It may be right at its threshold of proper operation.

Lets see your temps and voltages so we can make a more informed diagnosis .... in the meantime, open up your case to see if things run smoother.


EDIT: I would also like to know brand/watt rating of your PSU.


 

donfm

Senior member
Mar 9, 2003
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CPU Temp: 36C
Mobo temp: 33C
+12v=11.977
+5=4.999
3.3V=3.296
Vcore=1.584
Power Supply = Antec 430 Watt true Power

I'm not thinking overheating is an issue but not sure. About a month ago my Western Digital 120 Gig hard drive died right after I got a worm (don't know if it was related). I did a clean install of windows and all updates after I replaced the drive. Installed SP 2 and had nothing but problems. Unistalled SP2 and did a reinstall of windows again since the uninstall screwed up the registry. Reflashed the mobo Bios with current version after probs started. No effect. Have tried various version of Nvidia drivers for the Vid Card nothing helps. This setup was running fine for over a year now until the problems started. I'm hoping the CPU didn't get damaged from overclocking but it has run stable for over a year. I have 3 case fans and the Vid card has it's own fan.
 

DetroitSportsFan

Senior member
Oct 19, 2004
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well, your mobo/cpu temps are certainly not the problem. Your voltages are within spec too .... IF its temperature related, it would have to be your vid card because everything else looks ok.

Did you try running your system with the case open? Are you running a PCI card right next to your AGP slot? If you are, maybe move that card so there is a larger space between your vid card and your PCI card. If the system runs stable when opened up. Consider placing a PCI slot exhaust fan right next to your your vid card. This will help with air flow and keeping your vid card cool.

Have you looked in event viewer to see if its recording any errors when your system acts up?

 

donfm

Senior member
Mar 9, 2003
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Well yes to all your questions above. I tried all that. Now this morning when I got up I logged on...Everything seemed to work well. All video seemed normal. Only thing I noticed was when I hit the Strart buton on my desktop.....all the icons below the section with "windows update" were black. Every other icon on my machine looked ok with normal colors. Wouldn't this lead you to believe it was either an OS prob or the CPU since colors are reproduced fine everywhere else with no lockups. I'm at a loss here. Only way to be sure is to get another vid card and try it I guess. Right now I'm thinking it's not the vid card but it's just a guess.

Answer me this...if the vid card was bad...why would the system lock up all the time

Anybody know how I can test the vid card or the CPU to see if they work ok?
 

DetroitSportsFan

Senior member
Oct 19, 2004
374
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Originally posted by: donfm
Well yes to all your questions above. I tried all that. Now this morning when I got up I logged on...Everything seemed to work well. All video seemed normal. Only thing I noticed was when I hit the Strart buton on my desktop.....all the icons below the section with "windows update" were black. Every other icon on my machine looked ok with normal colors. Wouldn't this lead you to believe it was either an OS prob or the CPU since colors are reproduced fine everywhere else with no lockups. I'm at a loss here. Only way to be sure is to get another vid card and try it I guess. Right now I'm thinking it's not the vid card but it's just a guess.

Answer me this...if the vid card was bad...why would the system lock up all the time

Anybody know how I can test the vid card or the CPU to see if they work ok?


Not necessarily .... it could be software related (drivers,etc). More likely though .... spyware/malware. These "nasties" can cause a variety of hard to diagnose problems, they infect (to some degree) about 80% of the systems out there .... and they're not well written (memory leaks).

A couple of specific questions .... please anwser these individually and not with a blanket "YES."

1) Have you run your system with the case open? Did this make any improvements?
2) Is there an open PCI slot next to your AGP card? If no open slot between them, move a PCI card so that there is.

Next thing I'd do ....

Do you have any AV software running on this machine? If you do .... update it and do a full system scan.

IF NOT

Running unprotected could very easily cause the problems you've described. This is also a problem you should address immediately!

IF YOU DO HAVE AV SOFTWARE

Its time for a second and maybe third opinion .... Lets do a couple of free online virus scans.

1) HOUSECALL

2) Panda ActiveScan

Put a check in the box for "autocleaning" ... and make a note of file name and location of any file that they cannot clean.

Since we're running scans .....

Lets also download, install, and update either Spybot S&D or Ad-aware .... your choice, they're both good. (Download both if you'd like) Perform the scan(s) and "fix" any problems they find.

If you want me to look further into possible malware related issues, AFTER you've done the above, download HijackThis from the link in my sig and post me a HJT log. I'll take a look and let you know what I find.

If you've run unprotected:

Then the chances are these scans will find 100's if not 1000's of instances of infection. If thats the case, then my recommendation is to fix it 'mechBgon" style and drop the "bomb" on it and set it up the right from the beginning.

P.S.
"I was told that if a computer takes a long time to shut off or turn on it was most likely a cpu issue. "

Actually ... no. Thats a problem usually related to malware and SOFTWARE problems and in most cases not usually related to your cpu.
 

skyking

Lifer
Nov 21, 2001
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Nice post.
I have not seen malware do what he has been talking about, so it would be nice to toss any old video card, even a 4MB PCI one in there. If the problem goes away, your diagnosis is either drivers or video card going south.
If it does not, then the spectrum opens back up again to a whole lot of possibilites:p
 

DetroitSportsFan

Senior member
Oct 19, 2004
374
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Originally posted by: skyking
Nice post.
I have not seen malware do what he has been talking about, so it would be nice to toss any old video card, even a 4MB PCI one in there. If the problem goes away, your diagnosis is either drivers or video card going south.
If it does not, then the spectrum opens back up again to a whole lot of possibilites:p


Really? I've seen malware do a TON of different things .... However, based on the information we've been given so far, a "best answer" seems to be more vid card overheating/driver issues. I said that in my posts above .... But without ALL the information on the table, we cannot rule out "nasties" on his machine.


SkyKing

Seems you've been around for a while. I think you'd agree that troubleshooting is the process of eliminating possible causes from the mix one by one. So, lets not discount malware without checking for it first. That's all I was trying to say.... Furthermore, you may be right .... but thats not whats important to me. What's important to me is we get this guy's problem fixed .... regardless of who's idea gets it done.

SO

Lets look at all possibilities before we exclude any one. Fair enough?

 

skyking

Lifer
Nov 21, 2001
22,008
4,771
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Mine was only an alternative and maybe very short path to eliminate the card/driver. If he had an old pci vid, like many of us do, it would take oh, maybe 2 or 3 minutes to get that in there and see. Don't worry, I was only commenting that I had not seen malware do that, not that it was impossible;)
 

donfm

Senior member
Mar 9, 2003
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The reason I gave a blanket "yes" answer to your questions was that I tried all those solutions and none of them worked. I saw no reason to repeat what I considered Old news when I already said I tried them.

1) Took the side panel off and placed a box fan blowing on the mobo...no improvement.

2) I run Trend Micro Internet security on my computer for antivirus. Nothing gets by this program.

3) Run Spy Sweeper to remove and block malware. Computer is adware free.

4)There is no card in a PCI slot near my vid card. I have a full tower case so there is plenty of space there as well.

5) Deleted and reinstalled video adapter and updated vid driver to current NVidia drivers. No help

The source of my comment concerning "slow shutdowns" as a symptom of CPU failure was from the gentleman who taught my CompTIA A+ certification course. I am certified. This gentleman not only teaches the class but is MCSE, Cisco Certified along with a few others. He is writing a book to be used nationally as a reference to the CompTIA A+ course. He further owns his own IT Consulting Business. I trust what he tells me to be true concerning computer troubleshooting.

I believed the only way to eliminate the vid card as a prob was to put in another vid card. I had to buy one for the test which I will now return. So far so good. My system is now running without problem for 6 hours. I will leave it on all nite to see if it holds. Right now it definitely appears to be a faulty vid card. The problem is fixed. If I had a spare vid card available for a test.....this entire post would not have been necessary.

Thank you gentleman for all your help. This could have been caused by so many variables it was a tough one to troubleshoot. Once again thanks!!
 

skyking

Lifer
Nov 21, 2001
22,008
4,771
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No problem, glad you got it fixed. If you want a spare PCI vidcard for any future testing purposes, I can send you one for postage:)