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Old 12-31-2002, 01:27 PM   #1
Vanidar
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Angry Tech help

In need of some heavy tech help. I have picked my own brain and cannot figure out a solution to my problem.

First, here is my system specs:

AMD Athlon XP1600 (1.4GHz,) 728 MB SDRAM, ECS K7S5A Mainboard, Radeon 9000 Pro 128 MB Vid card, SB Audigy Gamer Sound Card, and Running XP professional/Dx 9

My problem has to do with constant Lock ups. Usually this is with EQ but happens with any resource intensive program I try to run. After it starts to lock up it repeats every few mins while running these programs and can sometimes happen at an idle too. As well I cannot defragment my drives because it will lock up while the defrag is going.

Usually it seems I have about an hour to 2 hours of normal operation then the lock ups will start.

My first thought was that it was my Video card. I was using an older Prophet II 64 MB card. 3 years old or so and the Processor fan on it was starting to fail. I bought the Radeon hoping to fix the problem but it has not.

My next thought was maybe it was CPU temperature. At the spec clock speed of 1.4 GHz the CPU runs at 128 F/40 C at Idle and can reach up to 140 f/50 C when running EQ. I checked with AMD though and this is well within their acceptable running temperature range for that processor. I have under clocked the processor now to run at 1 GHz and the lock ups are not as often but still happen after the 2 hour mark give or take. I also play with my Case cover off to improve airflow.

I have reformated my HD and reinstalled evrerything from scratch, and I have made sure EQ is the only thing running. Problems still persist.

Now this may or may not be related but I also have a small problem with my Mainboard and CMOS. If I completely power down my system and then turn it back on the CMOS loses it's memory of any HD that is plugged into the Primary IDE. Primary Master and Primary slave have to be reselected in CMOS and then everything is fine. This DOES NOT happen with a simple reset. I have to fully power down the entire computer before CMOS loses the PRimary IDE. Secondary IDE drives are not affected in anyway. My thinking is that I need a New CMOS battery but I suppose it could be indicative of another problem with my mainboard.

So... any ideas? Why would I be experiencing such conistant lock ups while running any kind of resource intensive program? It's making playing EQ very dificult and running other applications is becoming very hard as well.

Last edited by Vanidar; 12-31-2002 at 01:29 PM.
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Old 12-31-2002, 01:50 PM   #2
darue_ivywood
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writing this real quik, so i didnt really read it all..

few points though..yes, sounds like you need a new CMOS battery.

also, removing the side of your case actually prevents proper airflow. Its impeding the necessary airflow that would normally be present.

Unless of course you have a floor fan blowing into the side of the PC.

and what happens on lock-up? Blue screen? shutdown? system freeze? any errors?
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Old 12-31-2002, 02:05 PM   #3
Vanidar
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System freeze. No errors no blue screen nothing just total lock up.

And taking the case off has lowered my CPU temp by almost 10 degress so it can't be doing anything bad
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Old 12-31-2002, 02:08 PM   #4
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Vanidar, Check your Memory also. My earlier PC had bad memory modules and would have lock ups on intesive apps also.

Another Issue is the HD, are the Old? They could be slowly dieing on you. How long has it been since you defragged? What program are you using, how fragmented is your drive?

The CMOS should be checked also, thats not good that it resets itself.

Another thing is your CPU is running pretty dam hot, even if its in the range's try getting some air on it by adding a fan inside, get a new cpu fan or like darue said open the side of the case.

Remember Athlons have a serious Over Heating issue.
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Old 12-31-2002, 02:27 PM   #5
Igota
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sounds like it could be a hard dirve heat issue to me. do you have two of them right next to eachother? and do they have active cooling?

If you have two 7200rpm HDD's on top of eachother and there is not an active fan on them, that can happen very easyly.

What brand/speed/size is(are) your HDD('s)

My atlon 1.53 runs at 55-62 during the summer when I need to keep my computer really quiet, so I don't think that is it. But if I take the fan off my HDD's they lock up quite quickly.
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Old 12-31-2002, 02:54 PM   #6
Vanidar
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I'll have to look into the HDD cooling issue have not tried that yet but these are only about 2 years old and one of them is only a year old. One is a 10 gig the other is a 20 gig and I have only just recently started having this problem and I have not changed anything with the HDD as far as positioning and or cooling since I got them.

I thought about memory but both my chips are very new and have been tested. I think they are ok.

Defrags are a problem right now as I said in my originally post. Neither Disk is really bad yet but I cannot get all the way through a defrag before everything locks up on me. Doesn't matter what I do, after about an hour it locks up in the middle of the Defrag.

And as well AMD told me that I shouldn't be worried about my system tempurature unless it hits 60 C or about 160 to 170 F. If it stays under that I am fine according to them. I don't think it's really possible to get the CPOU temp down lower than 120 F as I have gone all out on trying to cool the sucker down. It just isn't getting any cooler than that.

Someone did suggest it might be the BIOS. I am going to try to flash it and see if I can fix the problem that way. If anyone has any more ideas please let me know. This is getting to be very frustrating.
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Old 12-31-2002, 03:34 PM   #7
Syke Auttic
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Some good suggestions there.

You might want to doublecheck your ram and make sure they are identical..sometimes a variance can cause trouble...even up to 1-2 years later.

Have you tried to defrag the drives in safe mode? It may just be a driver compatibility issue or something hanging around that should not.
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Old 12-31-2002, 04:00 PM   #8
Ojuillean
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When you replaced your video card did you alter your AGP Aperture Size at all within your System Bios?

With 700+ mb of ram - and a 128mb Vid Card you "should" be able to run with a AGP Aperture of 128mb - perhaps even 256mb.

Check and see what it is now and if it's 64mb or less maybe try bumping it up to 128mb. Also I'm assuming your bios also has your agp set at 4x - should double check that.

Also try swapping your ram about in the slots.
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Old 12-31-2002, 04:05 PM   #9
Ojuillean
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Dx 9
Just noticed that....and I say "BlingBling! We have a winner!"

I'd seriously consider ditching DX 9 and change back to DX 8.1 if I was me.
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Old 12-31-2002, 05:55 PM   #10
Vanidar
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BIOS!!

Just flashed the BIOS and updated with the latest version and by golly if I have gone almost 3 hours now without a single lock up!

Was even able to get my HDD defraged. Everything I have tried up[ to this point Didn't work. However updating BIOS seems to have done the trick.

And Oj, I am having zero problems with DX 9 so far. It's improved my performance tremendously and I am glad they released it. I don't think I'll be going back to 8.1

Good to see you again BTW Don't be a stranger in game. Talk to you guys later.
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