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Old 06-04-2008, 05:26 PM   #1
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Default I need computer help! Freezing Computer

I posted a few weeks ago about a slow computer I have. It is a Dell 4550 about 5 years old with 256 RAM. I followed the suggestions of the awesome HBT poster and got another 512 card. It has been blazing fast since then. Now, I have a new problem. It freezes when it is in the middle of a project. Happens about every hour or so. I have to actually power it down with the power button. The mouse arrow moves around the screen, but cannot click anything. This has happened on and offline. It has happened while running an anti-virus scan, ad-aware scan, just about anything I am doing.
It was suggested to me to run a anti-virus scan (it can't make it through one!), and to take out the new RAM and see if it still happens (it does -- I tried it first with just the new 512 crucial card, then with just the old Dell 256 card -- both times it froze). Not sure if even has anything to do with the new RAM because it worked fine for 2 weeks.

What next?

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Old 06-04-2008, 05:30 PM   #2
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To be blunt, it sounds like it's time to start looking for a new machine.

You can get a Dell Inspiron 530s with a 2Ghz Celeron 440, dvd burner, 1 gb of ram, a 250 GB hard drive and a 19" flatscreen for $579. If you don't need the monitor you can get it for $379.

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Old 06-04-2008, 05:41 PM   #3
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This, I know....however I don't have the loot right now. Any fixes?

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Being Dealt (kegged): Carbed Crystal light lemonade for the boys, Delta Bravo IPA, Applewinder
Primary: Climbing stout
Primary #2: ESB
Big Blind: Pucker Bitter
Small Blind:
Tasty Remembrances: White 'N Nerdy, Dynamite Red (Hop bursted), APA, The Bonaduce (irish Red), runners stout, ridgeback brown,

from my big ass computer sitting on my floor

Last edited by Kayos; 06-04-2008 at 05:47 PM.
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Old 06-04-2008, 06:30 PM   #4
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I am assuming you are running Windows XP? Do you know how to get into safe mode? If so, have you run a AV scan in there?

I have to say, I doubt it is a virus. Usually when you are experiencing freezing it is usually because of bad hardware, bad driver associated with hardware, or corrupt windows.

Try booting into safe mode with all of your memory in. Do an AV scan and then do some cleanup on your computer:

Step 1: Control Panel>Add Remove Programs>remove any programs you no longer use
Step2: Open Internet Explorer (or whatver browser you are using) and clear all stored data including cookies, passwords, temporary files...everything.
Step 3: Then open up windows explorer and type in %temp% and delete everyting in that folder
Step 4: Go to Start>Programs>Accessories>System Tools and run Disk Cleanup
Step 5: In the same location as step 4, run disk defragmenter
Step 6: reboot into Windows normally

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Old 06-04-2008, 06:32 PM   #5
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Oh, and dont expect this to happen quickly. This process will take a number of hours. Especially if you have a lot of data in your temporary folders

Also, seriously, start saving for a new computer. Even if we get this fixed and it stops freezing, you are going to have a new problem sooner rather than later. PC's dont last forever.

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Old 06-04-2008, 06:40 PM   #6
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Likely to be spyware, and can be VERY difficult to eliminate all of it. If you don't have the skills to clean the system manually (even the best spyware and virus programs won't usually clean all the problems) I'd recommend doign backup and re-install from scratch (partition wipe).

I'd also try doing a system restore and see if that helps. Go back to the time when it was running good.

You could also check for bad Capacitors. Dell and everyone else, used capactitors which had a bad formula. After a couple of years the Caps woudl bulge and split and cause lockups and whatnot. VERY common problem with certain lines of computers. Just open the case and look at the big cylinder-shaped components arranged near the CPU. Those are filter caps and tops should be FLAT and WITHOUT any brownish stuff on them. If all of those are looking good, then possibly the Power Supply. Try replacing the power supply with a known good one.

It could be any of these things and more, but the caps are easy to check and the PSU is usually not hard to change if you can find one to try out. The worst would be reinstalling. Actually the worst would be spending many hours tryign to clean up the spyware, only to have to re-install anyway. Ok, so the worst would be the hard drive crashes before you can back up the data, but that is not likely...

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Old 06-04-2008, 08:55 PM   #7
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Ran it in safe mode and it never freezes...not sure what that means

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Being Dealt (kegged): Carbed Crystal light lemonade for the boys, Delta Bravo IPA, Applewinder
Primary: Climbing stout
Primary #2: ESB
Big Blind: Pucker Bitter
Small Blind:
Tasty Remembrances: White 'N Nerdy, Dynamite Red (Hop bursted), APA, The Bonaduce (irish Red), runners stout, ridgeback brown,

from my big ass computer sitting on my floor
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Old 06-04-2008, 08:57 PM   #8
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Could mean a number of things. The short version is whatever is causing it to freeze in normal mode is not being loaded in safe mode.

Safe mode pretty much loads only the bare essentials and therefore does not load all of the drivers/software that has been installed over the time you have had your computer.

Did you go through the steps that I laid out? Did the AV Scan find anything?

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Old 06-04-2008, 08:57 PM   #9
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that probably means you need ti uninstall the video drivers, download new ones and try reinstalling them.

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Old 06-04-2008, 09:00 PM   #10
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Quote:
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that probably means you need ti uninstall the video drivers, download new ones and try reinstalling them.
That was going to be my next suggestion. Video drivers can get corrupted pretty easily. Typically, when this happens, the machine will restart on you, not just lock up, but I would not put it past it.
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