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Re: XP Freezes on P6T

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      08-10-2010, 10:24 PM
troop wrote:
> Hello,
> When idle for some time, this system freezes--no ability to move the cursor, no input at
> all, the screen is frozen. Everything works well otherwise and a reboot works well.
> There is a standard intel i7 cpu, 3 x 1MB 1333 Patriot memory, a 550W power supply, 2
> optical drives, 2 HDD, a sound card, wireless mouse and 8800 GTX gpu.
> I have run memtest over 2 passes with no errors.
> Perhaps the problem is the PS ? How do I test that ?
> Might moving the memory sticks around accomplish anything ?
> Can someone suggest another option ?
> Thx,

Have you tried testing with a second computer on your home network ?

Sometimes, OSes "die on the GUI", but remain running in other parts.
For example, using a second computer, use the "ping" command to send
test packets to the frozen computer.
Computer #1 Computer #2
"ping" (the frozen computer)

If the computer on the right, responds to the ping, then it could
be that just the display subsystem is frozen. I've had a Windows
system here, where the screen stopped responding, but it would
answer a "ping", and that means it isn't actually frozen.

You might want to check any logs on the computer afterwards, such
as Event Viewer, and see if anything significant was logged.

You can also try booting a Linux LiveCD, like Ubuntu (click the
"Try" button, rather than the "Install" button, when it boots).
If there are no signs of instability with Linux running, you
might assume there is a software problem with your WinXP install.

You can use a multimeter to test power supply output voltages.
But it is just as easy to take a spare power supply and swap it
in, and see if the symptoms change. (You have to be careful,
when using a multimeter, not to short the tips together while
making voltage measurements. I clip one test lead, onto an I/O
screw on the back of the computer, as my ground, and then use
the red test lead to probe for voltages. That way, the tips
of the probes can't short together.)

If it was my computer, I might also try a different video card.
Alternatives would be a PCI video card or a PCI Express video card,
the cheaper the better. I keep a PCI FX5200 here, when I suspect
there is a problem with my video slot, but using a too-old card
can mean there are no drivers for it. This card might still have
drivers for the latest OSes.

(A card for $30 - there is even a rebate offered, but it is Gigabyte
offering the rebate...)

The symptoms here don't match yours, and these symptoms are more
obviously graphical in nature. But note that the 8800GTX is known
for contact problems between the GPU silicon die and the
rest of the video card. "Baking" was a way to solve the problem.
Of course, baking is unforgivably crude, as the people doing the
baking of their cards, have no temperature control to speak of
at all. At the factory, the solder profile is precisely controlled,
and "baking" is for when the video card no longer has a warranty
and you don't want to throw the card away. I've even heard of this
technique, being used on a laptop motherboard with a defective GPU.


Freezing problems are very hard to debug, so if you aren't successful
fixing it, don't feel bad. Many before you have tried and failed.

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