pLEASE HELP! My dad's computer is driving me crazy!

Mar 15, 2003
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I'm going crazy here and would really appreciate any help... Thanks for even reading this!
So my dad's computer hasn't been working well and, of course, he's blaming me.... Sure, I built the system but I also didn't build it according to my specs - a lot of the parts in there date back from his old duron system...I'm about to write him a very professional list of ways to resolve these problems as well as parts he needs to buy... So here are the problems he's having:
1) Random crashes... One moment he's using (gag) AOL and then the next moment EVERYTHING is frozen - the mouse doesn't move, the keyboard doesn't reply (fails the "numlock test), CTRL+ALT+DEL does nothing (in winXP pro)... The system does not work until a reset

2)It's often slow as heck... He's using a decent processor (celeron 2.0) with not enough ram -256mb- but my mom's PIII-333 is faster and more responsive.... He doesn't game yet typing a letter in word often has that very annoying "type faster than text appears on the screen" effect

3) Sometimes the system doesn't reboot or it hangs at the WINDOWS IS SHUTTING DOWN SCREEN

4) His wireless network drops pretty often... Now I know this could just be the net adapter but I have a feeling something more devious is up... I live in a small apartment and my mom's computer is further from the base yet never drops.... I noticed that unplugging the USB receiver and plugging it back in fixes any problems..

So those are the main issues.. Here are his specs:

-Albatron PX845PEV motherboard: I've heard great things about this i845pe board
-256mb ddr266 ram ... Ancient stuff taken from his old duron rig.. Figure this could be a cause of some problems
-ATX case and 350watt power supply from his old rig.. I'm convinced this has something to do with his problems..In fact, I'm thinking he should just buy a new power suppy and 80% of his problems will be resolved..
-Panasonic dvd-ram/dvd-r multidrive... The only drive that he has....
-Maxtor 120 gig hd.. He picked this drive up because his seagate drive failed on him... I told him to get a 7200 rpm drive this time to speed things up - things were fast for a few days but it's still slow as hell... Partitioned as 40/40/40
-Zip drive... I say it's useless but he swears by the thing
-Old ATI all in wonder card... Could this card's features slow down his computer? He never uses the video features...hMMmm..
-Built in sound card: since his CPU isn't very high powered could this be adding to his PC slow downs? Any good 100% hardware cards out there?
-Intel Celeron 2.0 ghz (p4 based) NOT overclocked using standard cooling
(btw: the system does NOT show a spike in temperatures after crashes)
-Netgear USB 802.11B adapted

Here's the shopping list so far:
-Allied True Power 450 watt power supply
-Micron or other high quality 512mb ram (I'll throw away the old 256mb chip)
-Soundcard (if it REALLY reduces the CPU overhead)
-2 system fans and possibly a HD fan

Thanks for any help!
P.S. I've already done three clean install of Windows.. The computer is still buggy as heck
 

jyates

Diamond Member
Aug 18, 2001
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I find that Win98se usually hangs up when shutting down with a nic card in a computer.
There is a patch you can run that fixes the shut down issue with Win98se.

As far as random freezing.....I would run a test on the system memory and maybe try another
video card and make sure you have the proper drivers.

The slowness you are talking about is a worry and I wonder if it's a memory or a hard drive
issue?

You might want to try another IDE cable on the hard drive.

Jim
 
Mar 15, 2003
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103
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Originally posted by: jyates
I find that Win98se usually hangs up when shutting down with a nic card in a computer.
There is a patch you can run that fixes the shut down issue with Win98se.

As far as random freezing.....I would run a test on the system memory and maybe try another
video card and make sure you have the proper drivers.

The slowness you are talking about is a worry and I wonder if it's a memory or a hard drive
issue?

Jim

I had the win98se shut down hang problem years ago.. I thought WinXP doesn't have this issue

Interesting that the memory could cause the system to freeze... I always thought memory either worked or didn't work... Will look into that... Recommend any good memory tests (reliability not performance)?

The hard drive shouldn't be the cause of the slowness- it's brand new.. I'll test the memory asap though.. Thanks!
 

filmmaker

Golden Member
Oct 20, 2002
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I think purchasing a brand new system on the cheap would solve most of these problems. Mixing old and new hardware is always tricky; I should know since I'm still using 6GB and 8GB hard drives in my system. ;)
 
Mar 15, 2003
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Originally posted by: filmmaker
I think purchasing a brand new system on the cheap would solve most of these problems. Mixing old and new hardware is always tricky; I should know since I'm still using 6GB and 8GB hard drives in my system. ;)

Hmmm, he's not going to like the idea.... I think replacing all of the old components will be cheaper though... I'll suggest it though.. Over the phone.. Hopefully in another country ;)
 

Zepper

Elite Member
May 1, 2001
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Does his current PSU have the P4 power connector (4pin square), does the mobo have a P4 connector? If the answers are No, Yes; get a drive pwr to P4 pwr adapter from www.svc.com and most of his problems should go away.
.bh.
Where's the :sun: ?