View Full Version : PC locking up (video?)
21st Jun 2012, 17:49
My PC has begun to play up.
When playing back videos it occasionally stops playing then gradually begins to lock up completely. Each time it does this a single error "Beep" occurs through the built in speaker.
Rebooting sometimes cures it but occasionally a second reboot is needed.
I initially suspected the PCI video card so this was removed and the built-in video output (which I'd not used before) was selected. It still does it.
21st Jun 2012, 17:57
faulty hard drive
any one of those. Open it up, clean it out, make sure the CPU fan works and is clear of dirt, reseat / check the memory, run the hard drive manufacturers diagnsotics on the disk and see what you get
However I'd bet on a motherboard thats failing under stress
21st Jun 2012, 18:20
Done all those. I've also removed the heat-sinks from both the motherboard processor and the video card, vacuumed everything free of dust, cleaned them to as new condition with acetone and reseated them with new thermal paste. No noticeable difference. The hard drive is good.
The checksum on the memory at bootup seems OK. But is there another test?
I'm hoping it's not the motherboard or main processor but fear you may be correct.
21st Jun 2012, 18:45
Vista and (I think) Win7 has a built in memory checker
start > run > type "memory" in the box and the memory checker should load up and offer to scan at reboot
For XP or earlier, download this file, run it - it creates a CD ISO image
Then burn it and boot with it
Download Microsoft Windows Memory Diagnostic Free - It tests the Random Access Memory (RAM) on your computer for errors - Softpedia (http://www.softpedia.com/get/Tweak/Memory-Tweak/Microsoft-Windows-Memory-Diagnostic.shtml)
Its a long shot, something that used to happen and give this kind of problem but I've not seen for years - is the heat sink on the northbridge attached ? In days of yore some board makers used to attach these with thermal tape - which wasn't much use anyway - but used to degrade, leaving them loose. Fix was to cut the heat sink off using fishing wire, scrape the pad off, replace with thermal compound and then place small blobs of superglue in two of the northbridges corners before pushing the heat sink back on......
Most often seen on cheap boards from Elite / ECS /PCChips or their other twenty or so pseudonyms
I'd be surprised if it is this, but the comment to it happening when playing video does possibly point toward the northbridge
PS - I've never known a "modern" processor fail without some kind of hamfisted mishandling. Modern quality standards are just too high. I'd be really surprised if it were the CPU
21st Jun 2012, 19:07
That leaves the psu as a possibility , have you got a meter that you can check the voltage at the power skt with, before and after the problem? If it's not that then it's got to be the mother board.
22nd Jun 2012, 23:30
I can check the volts with a meter but if this were the fault, surely it would be more random. This only happens when a video is played.
The BIOS on this MB has a page which shows the various voltages, all seem normal.
I'm beginning to look at buying a new motherboard.
22nd Jun 2012, 23:48
"This only happens when a video is played"
Which is what makes me think the northbridge is failing or overheating.
You've ruled out the graphics chip / card itself, but the northbridge controls the graphics chip or card. If that goes then anything which causes the graphics to get stressed - e.g. a video - can cause failure
Typical indicative symptom is if it works OK on web sites until you hit a flash video - and then crashes.
what motherboard have you got in it?
23rd Jun 2012, 06:42
My thought with the psu was just to double check before you brought a new motherboard, it was for problems like these I used to have a can of freezer spray on the bench, an invaluable final diagnostic tool.
2nd Jul 2012, 21:53
Thanks for all the replies.
I'm almost certain it's a failing motherboard. It's certainly related to video playback and is occurring more often now. The boot up isn't always successful and needs two or three attempts; everything locks up again after the XP desktop screen appears. I've decided that the only real cure is to junk the motherboard and processor.
The RAM is DDR2, now outdated. As it is now almost 6 years old, the old XP software needs replacing too. The case is older than the hills and looks very jaded and tatty, the PSU is more recent. I'd need to replace both of those, too.
I priced up the individual components I would like to use and have compared with the prices of ready built "shop package" PCs at my local computer repair shop. They can build me a good spec, complete PC with Windows 7 software (with a few extras thrown in for free) for less than I could buy the equivalent items, for a self-build project.
So, I bit the bullet and got out the credit card. The new PC will be ready for pick up tomorrow. :)
2nd Jul 2012, 22:28
"They can build me a good spec, complete PC with Windows 7 software (with a few extras thrown in for free) for less than I could buy the equivalent items"
Just remember that for the supplier there is virtually no margin in building a new PC - all the profit is in after sales support / warranty / extras.
Where I used to work (the biggest UK assembly plant) we made more profit out of a ream of paper than we did on a full PC system. Then we went bust..... (with all the money disappearing in Dubai, but thats another story)
4th Jul 2012, 22:53
New PC bought yesterday, connected up at 8 p.m....it would only boot to the BIOS "splash" screen. Hard drive obviously not working. Damn...
Covers off, inspection light out. Multimeter put into use. No 5 volts power getting to the drive plug. Traced it back through the harness to a dodgy soldered connection in the PSU. Not touching that, warranty sticker on it. Took it back to the shop, new PSU fitted. Picked it up three hours later.
Bingo! All working. :ok:
5th Jul 2012, 00:04
three hours for a PSU?????
9th Jul 2012, 12:59
Three hours was no issue, even though I could have changed the PSU in ten minutes (I could also have repaired it but that would have meant breaking the seal and voided the warranty). But the chap behind the counter was a one man band on the day - with a shop full of customers waiting behind me. I wasn't so desperate to insist he stopped everything to do it while I waited! I went off and did something else for the morning.
New PC works very well now.
9th Jul 2012, 16:39
New Power Supplies are only about a tenner,buy a spare:rolleyes:
9th Jul 2012, 17:10
Buy an UPRATED spare ;)
9th Jul 2012, 23:44
New Power Supplies are only about a tenner,buy a spare
No need, as it's under a year's warranty. If it fails after the warranty period, I'll buy a new one then and fit it myself.
10th Jul 2012, 09:28
You also need to track down and disable the 368 day timer chip that causes devices under warranty to fail two days after same runs out Mr T.
Slightly off topic my flash player keeps failing but I understand it is a prob with flash player not the Draper home made super puter,running Mozilla Nightly 64 bit,flash player plays clips but soon as I click on say go full screen orf the buggah goes, it runs fine on Explora 64 bit
Reading various tech sites it seems a well known and recorded problem why dont the Flash player bods fettle the buggah?
10th Jul 2012, 09:35
no need to worry about that - this machines not an Acer
13th Jul 2012, 13:37
Are there any settings in the BIOS you might need to change - there certainly are for sound - I guess video isn't much different