Fustrating computer problem

vbimport

#1

Hello all, I am in desperate need of help with my computer, and I was wondering if anyone had any ideas, or tips that would help. Here’s the situation.

I bought this computer about 2 months ago, HP m9300t. It worked beautifully the first month or so. I added a few upgrades, an extra hdd, a new psu, and a 8800gt gpu. The addition of the new psu and gpu were done about 2 days before I had to move home and then leave for vacation so pretty much I added the psu and gpu, used it for a day and a half before it was packed up and moved. When I got back from my vacation, I set up my computer and everything seemed normal enough. Then I set up my new webcam, which caused my computer to freeze when using it with AIM. I thought nothing of it, and figured it was just some random error. Following that the computer begin to freeze randomly. At first I thought it had something to do with the web cam so I un-installed it, and it still froze. Then i noticed a trend with me surfing the net and going to flash and java heavy sites, so I uninstalled those, and it still froze. Tired of it all, I factory restored my computer thinking that it would be fine. It worked well as I begin to install things back on my computer, but then oddly enough half a day after the factory restore it froze again. Thinking it had something to do with AIM, I factory restored one more time, and it continues to freeze randomly to this day, a fustrating 2.5 weeks later.

I have also tried taking out the new gpu and replacing it with the old one that I knew had no conflict and was in working order, but it continued to freeze. I’ve also unplugged my extra harddrive to make sure that it was not causing the problem. The freezing seems to occur randomly when the computer is being used and not when it is sitting idle. Sometimes I can use the computer for nearly a day without it freezing, and sometimes it’ll freeze, i’ll do a hard shutdown, turn it back on and have it freeze again 5 minutes later. Another hard shutdown and it might work for the rest of the day.

I began to think that it was the primary hdd dying after 2 months, but I’ve run a few third party test to check the (S.M.A.R.T.) of the hdd for errors and everything has come back working in at 100%, I’ve also tried to listen to any strange sounds, but I don’t hear anything, so I’m not sure if its the hdd.

Summary:
Computer freezes randomy
Tried Factory restore twice
Not the fault of the new GPU
Not the fault of the secondary HDD

Basically I really can’t expect anyone to say “oh this is your problem” but I’d really appreciate it if someone has any tests or ideas or things I could run to try to solve this annoying problem. Thanks SO Much!


#2

What brand of PSU did you get?

That would be the first place I would look from what you have posted here.


#3

When you installed the 8800gt did you plug in the 6-pin power connector to it?

What antivirus and firewall do you have installed?


#4

First suspect is the power supply.

List the model and specs please.


#5

The PSU was a Rosewill RP600V2-S-SL 600W ATX12V v2.01 SLI Ready Power Supply.
Spec
Type ATX12V v2.01
Maximum Power 600W
Fans 1 x Silent 120mm Ball-bearing Blue LED Fan
PFC No
Main Connector 20+4Pin
+12V Rails 2
PCI-E Connectors 1x 6-pin
1x 6+2-pin
SLI Ready
Modular No
Power Good Signal 100-500ms
Hold-up Time > 16ms
Efficiency > 72%
Over Voltage Protection +3.3V, +5V, +12V1, +12V2
Input Voltage 115/ 230 V
Input Frequency Range 50/60 Hz
Input Current 12A/ 6A
Output +3.3@30A,+5V@55A,+12V1@19A,+12V2@19A,-12V@1A,+5V SB@2.5A
MTBF 100k hours at 25°C, max. load, nominal input
Approvals CSA,UL,TUV, FCC

And i did install the power to the 8800gt.

I also ran a CHKDSK, and It froze in stage 5 twice, the first time for about 3 hours and the second time for over 9 hours in stage 5 at before I gave up on it and just cancelled it.

Thanks for the replies


#6

Try running Memtest86+, download one of the bootable ISO’s and make either a floppy or a CD and boot to that disc, it will stress your ram and see if there are errors. Look under the error column when its running, let it run for a least and hour or until your see an error.

What was the video card before the upgrade?


#7

Ok I will find the program and run it. The video card before the upgrade was a geforce 9300 with 512mb.


#8

And my anti-virus is Norton. and I believe it has a firewall as well.

Thanks for the reply.


#9

The Rosewill RP600V2-S-SL 600W is getting mixed reviews.
Several had to return there first ones to get a good one.

Are you doing a defrag everytime you do a hard restart? You should.

The percent complete that Chkdsk displays during stage 4 is based on the percent of used clusters that are checked. The percent complete that Chkdsk displays during stage 5 is the percent of unused clusters that are checked. Used clusters typically take longer to check than unused clusters, so stage 4 lasts longer than stage 5 on a volume with equal amounts of used and unused clusters. For a volume with mostly unused clusters, stage 5 takes longer than stage 4.

If you have a lot of empty space but you are fragmented in will take a long, long time


#10

My computer is set to defrag automatically every week and it had just defrag a couple of days ago.

What are some of the symptoms of a bad PSU?

I ran the Memory test and it said pass with 0 errors. So I guess we can rule out the memory.

Is there any chance of damage to my hard drive from all the times I had to do a hard-restart, and in that case, wouldn’t the S.M.A.R.T. report something?


#11

[QUOTE=xTheGiftx;2132483]
What are some of the symptoms of a bad PSU?[/QUOTE]
Random shutdowns/restarts.
Voltages out of spec as well as wavering voltages under load.

Is there any chance of damage to my hard drive from all the times I had to do a hard-restart, and in that case, wouldn’t the S.M.A.R.T. report something?

Not likely.


#12

Check your voltages, either in the MB’s BIOS, or use a utility program that looks at the voltages, one should come with your MB. Another option is to use a multi-meter (volt meter) and check the voltage at a molex connector.


#13

[QUOTE=jflan;2132506]Random shutdowns/restarts.
Voltages out of spec as well as wavering voltages under load.
[/QUOTE]

Well my computer doesn’t quite shutdown or restart. Well I guess freezing is as good as shutting down, but it freezes and I can actually still press the button on the cd rom drive and it’ll open and close. Everything else though is frozen.

Can anyone suggest a program to check my PSU’s voltage. I tried searching but I couldn’t find anything. Also, as far as physically checking it with a voltmeter, I don’t have the tools or skills to do that.

I think that, as much as I would dread it, I may just go ahead and switch the old psu back in and see if the computer freezes again.


#14

[QUOTE=xTheGiftx;2132606]
Can anyone suggest a program to check my PSU’s voltage.[/QUOTE]
SpeedFan or MotherBoardMonitor
Also, as eric93se mentioned you can go into your system’s BIOS and find your voltages under “System Health” (or similar). See your manual on how to enter BIOS.

I think that, as much as I would dread it, I may just go ahead and switch the old psu back in and see if the computer freezes again.

This is a good plan, it’s fortunate to have an extra PSU at hand.
Before buying another PSU, post your choices here and let the members comment.


#15

This could be a software conflict!
What new software have you recently installed? Also updated firewalls and virus programs can cause the symptom’s you describe.
My machine recently went unstable and I found this was due to comodo firewall+ which updates its virus and malware database. I have been using this program with AVG for almost a year without problems until a couple of weeks ago. Luckily I use Acronis image maker and had to go back to a known good backup. This was after a day of frustration of random and frequent reboots. After 10 minutes I had a stable machine again, although I had to update Firefox, Avg etc. All is well now and I have gone back to Kerio firewall.


#16

I think that, as much as I would dread it, I may just go ahead and switch the old psu back in and see if the computer freezes again.

Can it handle your new 8800GT, if not the problem may still be there.

As jflan says it is good that you have one to test with, but that also means you may have to take the new card out also to get the real results.
Then add it and see what happens from there.


#17

[QUOTE=weedougie;2132711]This could be a software conflict!
What new software have you recently installed? Also updated firewalls and virus programs can cause the symptom’s you describe.
My machine recently went unstable and I found this was due to comodo firewall+ which updates its virus and malware database. I have been using this program with AVG for almost a year without problems until a couple of weeks ago. Luckily I use Acronis image maker and had to go back to a known good backup. This was after a day of frustration of random and frequent reboots. After 10 minutes I had a stable machine again, although I had to update Firefox, Avg etc. All is well now and I have gone back to Kerio firewall.[/QUOTE]

Well, the thing is, it was working fine for the first month, then all of a sudden the freezing started. Following that, I factory restored twice, and with minimal installations after the second one, and the freezing continued. I talked to HP Tech Support yesterday, and the guy told me to disable all start-up services and programs, except for the essentials, and sure enough, it froze again.

“Can it handle your new 8800GT, if not the problem may still be there.”

I removed the 8800 gt for the past week and a half and replaced it with the stock 9300 thinking i had a bad gpu. But it still continues to freeze.

The last 3-4 times it froze, I noticed a trend. I don’t know how relevant it is but I noticed that after prolonged use, it would completely freeze, I would do the hard-restart. After the restart, I would be able to use it for <5-10 minutes and it would freeze one more time. After another hard-restart, it would be good to go. Since the last time it froze last night, I used it for 2 hours, went to sleep leaving it on, woke up, and used it for another 2 hours with no problems. So I’m not sure if that rings a bell for anyone.

I’ve also been working on finding the voltage for the psu and seeing its performance, but I was not able to find it in speedfan, working on finding it in the mb soon. I’m going to be out of town all weekend, so I won’t be able to work on it much, but THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU so much to everyone who has helped so far, This problem is so frustrating.


#18

How is it going xTheGiftx?
Further to my previous post after a couple of days good computing it started freezing and rebooting at random.:eek:
At that I opened it up and although not particularly choked with dust I gave the insides a thorough clean. I also removed all cards leads drives etc and cleaned them. All contacts and leads were cleaned with switch cleaner and all reassembled.
It appears that mine was an over heating problem after all.:doh:

I have been able to go back to Comodo firewall and it is running sweet.
So for you it could be a power supply problem or overheating or a screwed registry. I would go for one of the first two myself at this stage and use a process of elimination. You could purchase a cheap a digital multimeter or borrow one and measure the power supply voltages with the computer on and see what happens under load.
Best of luck on your endeavours.

“When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.” ( Sherlock Holmes ):bigsmile:


#19

The last 3-4 times it froze, I noticed a trend. I don’t know how relevant it is but I noticed that after prolonged use, it would completely freeze, I would do the hard-restart.

Prolonged use ( Gaming ) ? 50 % , 70 % . 90 % cpu usage ?

After the restart, I would be able to use it for <5-10 minutes and it would freeze one more time.

Did you try and do a defrag and then a normal ( manual ) reboot before doing anything else?

After another hard-restart, it would be good to go.

For how long?

weedougie

At that I opened it up and although not particularly choked with dust I gave the insides a thorough clean. I also removed all cards leads drives etc and cleaned them. All contacts and leads were cleaned with switch cleaner and all reassembled.

Good Point , I was assuming this was allready done.

Once I open a case I clean it before working on it.

xTheGiftx
Did you blow out the cpu fan and heatsink,not sure how much dust there is there, but I try and clean my out every 6 months, unless I open one to upgrade it sooner.


#20

[QUOTE=xTheGiftx;2132198]The addition of the new psu and gpu were done about 2 days before I had to move home and then leave for vacation so pretty much I added the psu and gpu, used it for a day and a half before it was packed up and moved. [/QUOTE]

Okay I see that you said that a move with the system was made so was the system handled with
extreme care while it was being moved? The slightest bump while moving a system can cause you
problems as I’ve had first hand experience with people that bring their systems to me for repair after
they have moved across town/State/Country or moved the system down/up stairs or even just across
the room and bumped or even dropped their systems. :eek: The first place I look at is the RAM to make sure
that it is still seated correctly and if so I then check the CPU HS/Fan to make sure it hasn’t came loose.
Then again I’ve seen the RAM, CPU HS/Fan check out alright but replacing the PS cured it maybe its the
capacitors coming loose or something else but most of the time it is the RAM being a little bit loose.
I would more likely be suspecting that Rosewill PS as that brand is known not to be of the highest quality.
Rosewill and another brand that I will never use again is the Coolmax brand of PS’s both brands are IMO
for a lack of a better word CRAP. :Z