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Thread: Constant crashing

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    Constant crashing

    Hello

    I recently tried sorting out my brothers PC but have run into a major problem. It crashes constantly. Its made of parts from my old PC so nothing is particularly new. Most of the crashing appears during the Win XP loads screen. I am suspecting its the hard drive packing up, although no errors appear in Scandisk. If the bearing on the hard drive or the heads on the drive were dying would errors appear in Scandisk.
    I am hoping someone has an idea. To me the crashing seems kind of random and can appear at any time.

    Not sure what else to put down but I have unplugged the cd drive and changed the cables and connector to see if that had any effect and it didn't. Any clues?

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    Resident abit mourner BUFF's Avatar
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    Was this a new Winows install or 1 carried over from a previous configuration?

    Other than that maybe memory or voltage related?

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    Medic... I need a medic.. Donny John's Avatar
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    Yer, could be memory, set bios to defaults and try again. Is the hard drive making any loud or unusual clicking noises?
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    crashing

    Its a new Windows install, although the problem occasionally occured when I was using the system before I upgraded. I will try defaulting the Bios setting and will check the memory sticks to see if they are problems.

    Thanks for the replies. Is there anything else I should look at?

    I am not sure if the hard drive is making any weird noises, but will listen more closely.

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    A shadowy flight. MSIC's Avatar
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    One of the best things i ever found was memtest.
    I actually have mine on an install disc on a Linux installation but run the disc (boot from CD rather than boot to hard drive) and follow the onscreen prompts.

    It told me (to my surprise) that the second of two sticks of PC133 (64MB each) was faulty, and therefore was the reason that Windows wouldn't install properly (it kept on resetting or Blue-screening).

    The other possible cause for instability that i have read about (but don't believe at least i've experienced) is to do with power delivery, ie the PSU not giving a stable supply on a particular rail. Poorer motherboards with less or crappier regulator things cannot iron out the faults.
    (Clearly i'm not an electrical guru!)
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    Crashing

    Looks like I will try Memtest as I need to find the fault before commiting to buying anything for it.
    I think the memory has a lifetime warranty so if it is at fault then it won't be a problem

    Thanks for the info
    Last edited by ch9lss; 17-12-2005 at 09:50 PM.

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    Doesn't seem to be the memory. Memtest shows no errors.
    The thing that confuses me is that the crashes occur when the system is cool. After a while they go away. Just keep resetting until it works.
    Any clues?

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    A shadowy flight. MSIC's Avatar
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    That is odd. When it is cool you say.... so when it's warmed up no crashes...
    There's no condensation getting in the electrics is there??
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    What I mean is that after crashing about 1 million times, it will boot and then run fine.
    I don't think its the mem as memtest passed fine. I have changed over the PSU and it still does it and it seems to crash when I changed the hard drive.
    Its really pissing me off as its not a bad system.
    Any help would be appreciated

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    Have you checked everything is plugged in firmly (all the peripherals etc) It is not unknown for high resistance connection to develop after a while - warming up of the PC causes slight thermal expansion that can resolve the problem. Otherwise I would suspect the PSU, with a rail voltage out of spec when it is cold, but after it has warmed up, all is OK. Try starting the system cold, then when it ctrashes (assuming the PSU is still running and the system doesn't shut down) leave it in that state \for 15 minutes or so and see if it boots then.
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    Remove all non-essential components so you're running a basic setup, for example:

    1 stick of ram
    Your hard-disk
    Graphics card

    Do not add additional modules of memory, cd-rom drives or usb devices. Run Prime95 (google) if it crashes then as you've already tested your memory download your HDD manufacturers diagnostic tools, these are available from the manufacturers website. If your HDD does not produce any errors, then it's either your PSU, Graphics Card or Motherboard.

    If Prime does not crash once you configure your system to it's most basic form, then you know something you add from that point onward will eventually cause the system to crash, add things back one by one running Prime95 each time until you identify what's causing the system to crash.

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    Tried striping it down to the basics but its still a crash-a-thon. It gets to the menu where Windows tells you it failed to load properly and gives you some options including safe mode but whatever option you choose it crashes afterwards.
    Changed graphics card and have previously tested memory and changed over a PSU. It still crashes.
    When I plugged in a new hard drive it crashed when setting up Win XP. This could have been random so I will try again. If it still does it then I can pretty much say the hard drive isn't at fault. This would then leave the PSU or the motherboard.
    The motherboard is looking the likely culprit, but if anyone could help then I would appreciate it.

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