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Computer randomly locking up

xenchuxenchu Registered User regular
edited November 2006 in Help / Advice Forum
I have a 4-5 year old computer that seems to finally be dying. I'd love if I could squeeze another 3-5 months of life out of it though for under $100 in repairs.

Specs, if they matter:
Athlon 2800+
Some sort of custom-made-for-HP ASUS Motherboard from an HP Pavillion a320n
1.5 gigs of RAM
Radeon x1300
450 watt power supply that came with a case I bought awhile back
120 gig HD that came with the PC

A few weeks ago it would start locking up randomly - I could be playing a game, or just sitting at the welcome screen. The screen would go black as if it weren't getting a signal (and on one monitor I have I would indeed get the "no signal" message), any sound that was playing would start looping the last second of sound, but all the power lights would stay on.

I have no idea what's causing it, and was hoping somebody might have some insight.

I've considered trying to swap various parts in and out from other computers I have, to see if there's any 1 part that's killing it. Would I need to reformat the HD if I switched to a different motherboard/processor (from my Athlon XP to an Intel Pentium D)?

Thanks in advance for any help... I just got a 22" monitor from Black Friday and can't even play on it yet :(

xenchu on

Posts

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    RaggaholicRaggaholic Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Open your case and clear out the dust. Get the dust off of the fans, sinks, whatever. Then try again.

    Damn, is that monitor one of those widescreens from Best Buy that I didn't know existed?

    Raggaholic on
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    RuckusRuckus Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Sounds like heat.

    If you can, find out what the Asus motherboard model is (they usually have it stenciled on the board either in between the PCI slots or near the RAM slots. If you find out the model, download Motherboard Monitor 5 and see how hot you're running.

    Otherwise you can check your heat by restarting your computer, entering the BIOS (usually DEL on boot) and finding the Hardware Monitoring section, and looking at CPU and Motherboard temps. anything over 49 celcius would be worrisome for me, but Athlons can take a bit of heat (I think it's upwards of 75 celcius, somebody correct me if I'm wrong).

    Other things to look for:
    Make sure your CPU heatsink fan is spinning freely, and/or the heatsink is not packed with dust.

    Ruckus on
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    xenchuxenchu Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Raggaholic wrote:
    Open your case and clear out the dust. Get the dust off of the fans, sinks, whatever. Then try again.

    Damn, is that monitor one of those widescreens from Best Buy that I didn't know existed?

    Why yes, yes it is. And it's beautiful.

    Between your post and the post after yours, it sounds like a stop at Walmart for some compressed air is on my to-do list for after work.

    My temps are usually around 55-60 I believe, though I could be wrong. Plus my apartment tends to be in the mid-lower 50s this time of year, so there's plenty of ambient cooling.

    xenchu on
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    RaggaholicRaggaholic Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Download Everest Home Edition. I know that's a good free program for checking the heat of all of your components. It let me know that I was running my CPU way too hot.

    And Qtips + Rubbing alcohol work pretty well on fans.

    PS->About your monitor, I hate you forever. I'm using a 19" CRT hooked up via VGA on my gaming machine.

    Raggaholic on
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    xenchuxenchu Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Raggaholic wrote:
    Download Everest Home Edition. I know that's a good free program for checking the heat of all of your components. It let me know that I was running my CPU way too hot.

    And Qtips + Rubbing alcohol work pretty well on fans.

    PS->About your monitor, I hate you forever. I'm using a 19" CRT hooked up via VGA on my gaming machine.

    Check ebay in the next few days, at my local Best Buy there were two guys with three carts full of monitors, I would guess between 15 and 20 total. Something tells me they won't be using all of them, and with that many on ebay, prices shouldn't get too ugly.

    I'll give Everest a try, thanks.

    xenchu on
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