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Old 2007-06-25, 20:28   Link #1
bball_machine
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Join Date: Jun 2007
Screen freeze

Hi guys. Sometimes, my windows XP would freeze. The screen freezes. I can't move the mouse. The keyboard doesn't do anything. The only thing I can do is restart the computer. Strangely, even the restart button doesn't work. The computer would restart, but it stays as a black screen. I turned off the computer, waited for a minute or so, and then it worked. So everytime the screen freezes, I have to turn off the computer, wait a bit, then it will work again. Sometimes, if I don't wait long enough, it will freeze on the windows XP startup screen. The windows XP splash screen is displayed, but it is almost transparent. You can only see it vaguely through a black screen.

Anyway, I've been trying to find out why this is happening. If I'm doing something simple like word processing, the computer never seems to freeze. However, when I'm doing graphic work, it freezes. It also freezes consistently when I export mp3 files in a program named audacity. So I thought, "okay, maybe it freezes when I give the computer too much stress". I thought that was the problem. But I was wrong. One day, I was playing Doom 1 (a very old game that shouldn't put any stress on the PC), and it still froze after a short time. Console emulators also freeze it.

Eventually, I just decided to reformat the harddisk. I did the quick format, and reinstalled windows. Unfortunately, the freezes still occur. However, it does seem to be happening a lot less.

By the way, even if the computer doesn't freeze, sometimes if I restart (after installing a driver, etc), it won't reboot. I have to do the above; turn off computer, wait a bit, then turn it back on.

That's all the information I have. This is really troubling me, as I know next to nothing about computers. If anyone can help, I would be really grateful. Thank you very much.
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Old 2007-06-25, 20:37   Link #2
Gundam Zero Force
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I had something very similar to this happen on my old XP. When I started to use more heavy Graphic intensive programs the screen would freeze and restarting wouldn't do a thing . . . I beleive it was becasue of an insuffieicnt amount of ram and a slow processor but then I started to defrag my pc and everything got better.

I can't say it will fix your issue but defraging the computer every now and the really does help clean things up.


::Thinking:: I know there is something else I did to fix the freezing issue, I just can't remember right now, I have a better pc and the old one is used for storage now. I'll see if I can figure out exactly what I did to fix it. All I know is it does not have anymore freezing issues.
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Old 2007-06-25, 20:47   Link #3
Claies
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Intense operations causing it to freeze?

Any of the following:
- Bad video card
- Screwed up RAM
- Overheating, which causes all of the above
- Fragmented hard drive

If it freezes when it demands higher CPU performance, and you're forced to wait before the computer's allowed to start, then I'll put my bet on overheating. The freezing would be due to the motherboard's reaction - it slows down the processor to a crawl to prevent further heating damage.

If it is indeed the problem, try looking inside your computer and ventilate it. Blow the dust off, and consider upgrading your cooling solution. You don't have to do the nuclear option like liquid cooling...just get a bigger case fan. A nice, $10 120mm fan can go a long way.
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Old 2007-06-25, 20:47   Link #4
Gundam Zero Force
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Ok I got some more info. When I defragged the computer I did not use the built in defrag system that came with XP.

I used Partition magic 8.0 I believe. It did the trick in cleaning everything up and fixing errors. That is what fixed my freezing issue. Now your computer might be freezing for another issue but mine was fixed that way.

Does your compuer ever show a black screen when you turn it on or is your pc on 24/7?
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Old 2007-06-25, 20:53   Link #5
WanderingKnight
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Quote:
However, when I'm doing graphic work, it freezes. It also freezes consistently when I export mp3 files in a program named audacity. So I thought, "okay, maybe it freezes when I give the computer too much stress". I thought that was the problem. But I was wrong. One day, I was playing Doom 1 (a very old game that shouldn't put any stress on the PC), and it still froze after a short time. Console emulators also freeze it.
All of those activities seem related with the processor.

-Exporting/encoding audio is processor intensive.
-I don't know what you mean by graphic work, but if you mean Photoshop, it puts some strain in the processor, too.
-Emulators emulate frame per frame, so the strain on the processor is HUGE compared to what it should be if their emulated programs ran natively (for example, a PS2 is way, way behind most modern PCs in terms of specs, but the only PS2 emulator so far requires a really new dual core processor to work properly).
-Is there a Doom 1 port for Windows XP? My guess is there is not. If there is not, it should be just a software running in a DOS or old Windows emulation, which would again mean processor stressing.

What processor do you have? How old is it (in terms of usage)?
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Old 2007-06-25, 21:58   Link #6
bball_machine
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Thanks for the replies everyone. Here are my responses:

About defragging. I have recently reformatted my computer, so would I still have to defrag? I haven't defragged in a long time, but I have just reformatted the PC, so does that reset everything?

"try looking inside your computer and ventilate it."
Thanks, I'll give that a try.

"Does your compuer ever show a black screen when you turn it on or is your pc on 24/7?"
Yeah, the computer shows a black screen when I restart it right after it freezes. I have to wait for like a minute, then it will boot again. My computer isn't on 24/7. I only use it for a few hours at a time, in fact.

"Exporting/encoding audio is processor intensive."
Yep, I remember it freezes when I try and export audio using Audacity. Hopefully that'll help with finding the problem.

"Is there a Doom 1 port for Windows XP?"
Yes, there is a port. In fact, there are quite a few. Zdoom, etc. So yeah, it's not an emulation.

"What processor do you have? How old is it (in terms of usage)?"
I think my PC has 1GB of RAM. It is 3 years old.

Thanks a lot everyone. Please continue to help me out.
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Old 2007-06-25, 22:03   Link #7
Ledgem
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Gundam Zero Force, you have an interesting suggestion. Instability with the partition could cause problems, but I'd rule it out because the parent poster has stated that he formatted and reinstalled Windows, but still had the problem. That rules out issues due to fragmentation or partition issues. It rules out anything software-related, with almost 99% certainty.

I suspect overheating, personally. Emulators and a "low stress game" like Doom 1 still stress your system.

I wouldn't suspect RAM, because issues with RAM usually lead to blue screens rather than freezing. It's still possible, though. There's an easy way to test it. Use Memtest - either put the program on a floppy disk and boot from it, or burn it to a CD and boot from there (the site should have instructions). It'll basically test your RAM quite thoroughly and tell you if any of your RAM is bad. If you have bad RAM, replace it. If you have multiple sticks of RAM and only one of them is bad, remove the bad stick and it should restore system stability.

Let's get to the heating issue, though. What sort of case are you using (if nothing else, "big" or "small" are satisfactory identifiers)? Did you build your computer yourself? Did someone else build it? What sort of processor are you using?
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Old 2007-06-26, 00:17   Link #8
WanderingKnight
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Quote:
"What processor do you have? How old is it (in terms of usage)?"
I think my PC has 1GB of RAM. It is 3 years old.
That is not a processor... That is RAM memory. The processor may be Intel or AMD, it has a chip model name (like Athlon XP or Pentium 4) and a clock speed (measured in mHz/gHz). You might want to look into the specs of the computer you got when (I suspect) you bought it.

I think Ledgem may be right on the money--maybe, guessing from all which causes it, it might just be the processor overheating.
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Old 2007-06-26, 00:23   Link #9
bball_machine
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Oh sorry about that. I have a Pentium 3, which, yeah, I bought 3 years ago. From memory, 1Ghz, 512MB video card. Thanks.
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Old 2007-06-26, 00:54   Link #10
Tiberium Wolf
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Download PC Wizard 2007 and then go push your cpu and keep checking the temp using that prog.
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Old 2007-06-26, 05:44   Link #11
toru310
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@bball_machine Before doing anything please check your power supply because I had the same problem before when a pc freezes and have to restart the pc for a cuple of minutes to start again..

My problem was the power supply because of its low voltage computer components can't work anymore. So my guess is that your power supply fail. I mean you have to wait a couple of minutes right to start again and it has a black screen after wards? Also hard drives need power to start your os..if its other components you should atleast see your bios.

And I suspect your power supply because of that 512mb VGA since it sucks to much power maybe it overloaded your power supply..it can happen.

But if anyone can correct me please do so.

I have a question is your monitor hooked in the power supply if so that can also be the cause of failure..and did you had a blackout and your pc was on?

Oh yeah my pc was fixed after 1 months a bought a new PSU and no more freezing.
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Old 2007-06-26, 11:35   Link #12
Gundam Zero Force
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Quote:
Gundam Zero Force, you have an interesting suggestion. Instability with the partition could cause problems, but I'd rule it out because the parent poster has stated that he formatted and reinstalled Windows, but still had the problem. That rules out issues due to fragmentation or partition issues. It rules out anything software-related, with almost 99% certainty.
Yeah the defrag thing helped my old XP from feezing but of course it was just a suggestion. What fixed my pc might not be the same problem as someone else's. It was just in idea of what might be the problem. I think my pc had something out of place and defragging fixed that. All I know is it hasn't had freezing issues since I defragged.
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Old 2007-06-26, 13:05   Link #13
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virus infection??
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Old 2007-06-26, 14:11   Link #14
Claies
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Originally Posted by arcadeplayer987 View Post
virus infection??
Computer viruses don't force a PC to die on CPU-intensive work and keep it shut for minutes before allowing it back on.
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Old 2007-06-26, 17:44   Link #15
bball_machine
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Thanks for the responses everyone.
Sorry, I have yet to try out any of the suggested programs. Memtest requires some effort to run, so I have to find the time to use it. I promise to try it out though.
Nah I don't think it's a virus infection. If it is, I think reformatting should have fixed it?
Hi Migufuchi Fusutsu. No, fortunately, I always turn off my computer as soon as there is thunder, so it has never been on during a blackout. Yes, the monitor is indeed plugged to the motherboard. Not sure if it's the PSU though. Sorry, I know nothing about computers.
I have noticed something else by the way. Two days ago, I did Photoshop work whilst listening to music on Winamp. When I did that, it froze a couple of times. Yesterday, I did Photoshop work, but did not listen to music. In that case, it didn't freeze at all. Hope that can help pinpoint the problem a bit more?
Thanks a lot.
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Old 2007-06-26, 17:52   Link #16
Claies
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Photoshop and listen to music on some other program and tell me what you see. I highly doubt that Winamp alone created this problem, but it does require substantial CPU usage and memory. The one I want you to use, Foobar2000, is pretty minimalist when it comes to graphics.

www.foobar2000.com
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Old 2007-06-26, 18:19   Link #17
bball_machine
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Thanks Claies, I'll download the program and let you know the results. I like your avatar btw. Konata is awesome =D.
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Old 2007-06-26, 19:21   Link #18
Ledgem
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gundam Zero Force View Post
Yeah the defrag thing helped my old XP from feezing but of course it was just a suggestion. What fixed my pc might not be the same problem as someone else's. It was just in idea of what might be the problem. I think my pc had something out of place and defragging fixed that. All I know is it hasn't had freezing issues since I defragged.
I didn't intend any offense, and that's an interesting solution that I've made note of. I can imagine a number of circumstances where a defrag could help quite a bit, but I just wanted to state why it's highly unlikely to be the issue, in this specific case We all appreciate the suggestion, though. By sharing our experiences and knowledge, we all gain something from it.
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Old 2007-06-26, 23:44   Link #19
Gundam Zero Force
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ledgem View Post
I didn't intend any offense, and that's an interesting solution that I've made note of. I can imagine a number of circumstances where a defrag could help quite a bit, but I just wanted to state why it's highly unlikely to be the issue, in this specific case We all appreciate the suggestion, though. By sharing our experiences and knowledge, we all gain something from it.

oh no, forgive me, I had no clue my words were in bold . . . now I feel like an idiot I guess I accidentally hit the bold button whoops . . .

Yes I agree with you, I don't think the issue bball_machine is having is in anyways related to a quick defrag fix. At first I thought it was but now we know more info it is most likely hardware/memory problems.
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Old 2007-06-27, 17:04   Link #20
bball_machine
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Hi guys. Here are my new observations:
- foobar2000 playing music, and Photoshop work at the same time. Froze after a reasonable amount of time has elapsed. Over two hours before it froze I think.
- foobar2000 playing music, and processing word document at the same time. Never froze.
Here is an interesting one:
- Photoshop work, with NBA.com open in the background. Froze quite quickly. After about half an hour.
Thanks everyone. Hope that helps a bit.
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