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Weird PC freeze problem...
Twinhead May-25-02 10:33 AM
Now i have something.

A pc that is continually locking up with whatever yo are doing on it.
If i play a game of Patience or Freecell, does not matter, the system freeses with no regular interval and no findable couse.

The mouse, Keyboard, memory, soundcard, videocard, CPU, and the mainboard are replaced with brand new ones.
Thre Hard drive is formatted directly after it and reinstalled from 0 (Zero).

And did I had some luck??


The new system still freeses whenever it likes.

When it freeses:
Shortly before that he mouse pointer is moving erratically across the screen.
Then the pointer dissapears and the system does nothing at all.
Even the CTRL-ALT-Delete does not function anymore.


ASUS TUSL2-C mainboard
Intel Celeron 900 MHz CPU (The REAL 900 MHz one, NOT my overclocked 600 MHz, beceause this is not my computer, who is now more reliable then this one.)
128 Mb PC133 SD-Ram (One chip)
Sound Blaster PCI 128 soundcard.
56K Flex / V90 modem.
64 Mb ASUS AGP videocard.
Standard PS/2 mouse and Keyboard. (NOT wireless)
20 Gb IDE Harddrive in FAT-16 blocks
50 spd. IDE CD-Romdrive.
Windows 98 SE original installation from Genuine CD-Rom
And.... Working all the time i am needed to type this message.

Anyone some Ideas??

1. RE: Weird PC freeze problem...
DJ Net2Infinity May-25-02 10:52 AM
In response to message 0
I would try the power supply, you have tried anything else other than it, and I have seen a Power Supply cause lock up problems.

2. RE: Weird PC freeze problem...
Twinhead May-26-02 12:33 PM
In response to message 1
I think the problem is solved.
Give it some time...

I replaced the AGP videoboard for a KNOWN good one.
Now i am testing the system, and no lockups did occour again....

(Fingers crossed!)

6. RE: Weird PC freeze problem...
lbyard May-26-02 01:52 PM
In response to message 2
I'll bet it has one of those hard to find, intermittent problems that one fixes by fooling around the computer (best expression I can think of--reseat boards, memory, press on cable connectors, push down on the end of the motherboard...) and the darn thing starts to work, but you don't really know what you did to fix it. And as soon as you put the lid on, or, worse, the customer hauls it home, it breaks again. In the old days a hairline crack in the motherboard or a bad solder joint caused some of those problems, but it seems to happen rarely now. Some of them were heat-related. Then there was the computer with the bad case. We replaced everything three times except the case. Finally, scratching our heads, we replaced the case and that fixed it. One of those mysteries. Or, as Brian suggested, you could have a marginal power supply and the one display adapter you presently have in the computer is less vulnerable to the noise coming from it than the previous ones. Still, all in all, these things are usually easier to troubleshoot than the analog equipment (transmitters, receivers, TACAN, etc.) I worked on as tech at an air station in the old days. They had vacuum tubes. Larry

7. RE: Weird PC freeze problem...
Twinhead May-26-02 04:33 PM
In response to message 6
LAST EDITED ON May-26-02 AT 04:44 PM (EST)
Hello Larry.

Vacuum tubes are easy to tell if they are broken or not.
Breaking the Vacuum will result in white coloring of the mirror-collor inside the tube.
Otherwise if intact and no glowing filament(s), The filament(s) have either no voltage or are broken.

After taking the ASUS videoboard out and placing an Voodoo-3 with 16 Meg in it, it did not help.
I have replaced the Voodoo-3 with a Voodoo-4 with 32 megs and all is running perfectly.
There is an 300 Watt PSU in that computer. (Not changed)
I had tested it for tree hours now and it is working flawless.
3D and 2D mixed and starting a few games after each other is working without lockups.
The Celeron 900 stays even at about 45 deg. Celcius.
The noise from the PSU can indeed be the couse for the Voodoo-3 but this one is working fine with it.
I am ashame that i do not own an Oscilloscope
That is THE instrument to detect this noise.

As the data shows in my first post, there are some good brands involved here. (I hope )

8. RE: Weird PC freeze problem...
lbyard May-27-02 01:20 PM
In response to message 7
>Vacuum tubes are easy to tell if they are broken or not.
Breaking the Vacuum will result in white coloring of the mirror-collor inside the tube. Otherwise if intact and no glowing filament(s), The filament(s) have either no voltage or are broke

That is pretty much a 0 or 1 in analog world... Gain is important. And various kinds of tubes can have other problems that one cannot see or detect so easily, especially at high frequencies. That is why we had tube testers. Many people will remember going to the drug store with a bag full of tubes to use their tube tester, which were is stores all over town in the days of black and white TVs. I can remember spending many hours in the middle of the night with a paper bag full of otherwise “good” acorn tubes swapping them in and out while fixing a UHF homer, among many examples… And measuring the power-out and plate voltages, etc. on lighthouse tubes in transmitters as part of the daily routine. But most of the work I did on vacuum tube equipment was about 40 years ago. Larry

9. RE: Weird PC freeze problem...
Twinhead May-28-02 04:24 AM
In response to message 8
WOW, hat was before i even existed!

You are right about the other things like Frequentie response and gain.
Tubes that become gassy (Air is seeping in between the glass and the connectorpins) will definitly decrease in preformance.
HF and HP types will even get HOT.

For normal domestic appliances, this is accepted intil a tube fails completely.
If a radio or TV set does dim or emit more noise out the amp, no one will ever complain about it untill it is very intense.

For precicion and digital devices it is devestating.
The smallest abberation can couse a great problem.


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