Overheating or bad memory,
I have a friend, and her computer keeps crashing. Someone she knows said he'd look at it for her:
These are the symptoms
(1) Crashes after 20 mins: Reboot
(2) Crashes after 15 mins: Reboot
(3) Crashes after 10 mins: Reboot
You get the idea. This "chap" has said it needs a new graphics card because of the graphically intense game she's playing, and he's waiting for the money off her for a new graphics card, then he can return the computer! Only she can't afford a new graphics card!
Now I don't reckon it's the graphics card, and I've told her what I think the answer is, so if you could all contribute your answers, so that I can get her computer back for her and solve the REAL problem.
I bet you're all wondering what this fantastic game that uses so much of the graphics card is.......
I've deliberatly not posted what the real cause of the problem is, so that I won't predudice your opinions when I show her (and the idiot trying to extort a new graphics card off her) the general concensus!!!!
Overheating or bad memory,
Overheating. There is a a setting in the BIOS which tells the computer to shut down if it reaches a certain temperature. That would be my guess!
I concurr. Either overheating (not surprising at the moment!) or faulty memory. The one other cause could be a faulty PSU.
'Crashes' is soooo vague. If it freezes or the graphics go 'mental' I would say overheating graphics card - I had a friend a few years ago that had this problem.
If crashes is simply a random reboot, it could be software related - dodgy drivers or virus/malware could be to blame.
Just to add my two cents of detail:
I also concur - overheating, faulty memory, faulty psu - tho it could well be anything when it comes to "random crashing" like Ric says
You cud try any of the numerous programs for monitoring system stats like temperatures, ram info & voltage.
I like Speedfan - which is pretty good - http://www.almico.com/sfdownload.php
and you can sometimes tell a dodgy psu from the voltage rails
Also, give MemTest86 a blast - http://www.memtest86.com/ - and use the ISO version - run a basic test and a advanced one (you may want to leave it run for a few hours to really give it a good test but if there is something wrong (or the memory is incompatible) its usually clear from the basic test (7 parts to the basic test I think).
If it resets why its testing, you'll know its nothing to do with windows as it doesnt use the hdd to run the test (as you may have guessed lol)
Also, a faulty hdd can cause random crashing (as can a faulty mobo or a cpu, tho generally cpu's either work or dont but its still a possible) so get the manufacturers HD diag boot disk/cd image and give it a diag run using that
I think that, depending on the make/model of the graphics card, some chipset manufacturers have diag tools for checking temps and stuff, and there is probably 3rd party software that can check the temp too
Windows wise, try the usual:
- A/V scans (if no av is present or you suspect it has been disabled) and give the McAfee Stinger a blast too
- spyware checks using MS ASW, Ad-aware, Spybot - S&D, CWShredder (standalone ver), HiJackThis [use with caution] and stick in spywareblaster for protection too
- Use some program like CCleaner or Norton Systemworks (or Norton Utilities) to check for and fix registry/windows errors & problems
- Also a hardware diagnostic tool might be useful for "stress testing" the system and if you get one that can log all info while its doing it, it might point to the problem
- have a check of the event viewer too to see if windows has recorded any info on it
- make sure windows is all patched up too and that it isnt a driver conflicting that they may have installed by accident through windows update or "fiddling"
...and now I'll be going to bed :P
Good luck and let us know how it goes
when I say crash, I presumed she meant freeze. I've thought all along (without seeing the machine) heat, but interesting that the Graphics Card doesn't seem to be a likely cause (like duh!!!). And she did tell me that the back of the computer is next to the back of the 'fridge. Really seems a "no-brainer" to me, shame she gave it to someone with no brain!!!
Sounds like an odd place for a computer to live. Not the coolest of places either. Also check the fans/temperatures of the processor and mobo chipsets.Originally Posted by StewartKnight
To be fair, Stewart did not say that it was random chashing. He said that evertime she switched the pc on, it took less time for it to crash. That means there is a pattern.Originally Posted by tarquel
If you want to get into the symantics of it - I said a random reboot. This means that it reboots for seemingly no reason at an unpredictable time. :POriginally Posted by mark_wood
The pattern does suggest heat build up.
I'd go for heat build up, especially if it's sucking in the warm air from behind the fridge. Has the GPU got a fan on it? Has that failed.
Or it could be a loose connection, but the with timing between reboots or whatever i've most of my money on heat.
before things get too heated (pun intended!!!), what happens (so I'm told) is the computer freezes, and SHE reboots the computer, not that the computer reboots itself!
as others have suggested, memory or overheating would seem to be the most likely.
Memory: Run a torture test in Prime95 - my fave way of finding memory faults:
Overheating: Switch the PC on with the case open, check all the fans run and are not clogged.
Leave the case open and point a desk fan at the inside, see if the computer still crashes.
I take it Stewart, that you are actually fixing the pc yourself?
I thought "my two cents" pretty much covered it all lol
If it locks up in windows (peoples definitions vary so if you havent seen it yourself stewart, she may think its stopped responding but it could be a bit of spyware taking up ~100 cpu usage for example) then it doesnt mean its hardware at all.
Give her a knoppix cd lol and let her boot and play with that for a while and see if that freezes after a while. Surely if its hardware, it wont matter the OS, and knoppix might tax the hardware a bit more by running, than just windows.
I haven't seen the computer myself, I'm just trying to prove to her that the guy "fixing" her computer hasn't a clue, and is just trying to sell her a graphics card!
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