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Thread: computer freeze ups

  1. #1
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    computer freeze ups

    My Dell 4700 Dimension P4 computer is freezing up lately. I am running XP Pro with all the service packs. 256 Meg. of memory, and a 3.0 processor. I have AVG AV which I update and do a manual scan every third day. AdAware and Spybot are also run about every four days. The only things that load at startup are two items for AVG, one item for Cloudmark (a spam stopper for Outlook Express), and an item for Microsoft antispyware. If I do that Control Alt Del, (when it freezes), sometimes I can get to Task Manager. If I look at the Performance tab I see the CPU usage is about 50% when the freezeup occurs. Other times the CPU usage is between 0 and 10 %. Under the CPU usage is DF Usage which is 182 MB. Then there are four other areas below. TOTALS has Handles at 7183, Threads at 414, and Processes at 30. The next group is COMMIT CHARGE (k)with Total at 187,008, Limit at 619,385, Peak at 187, 680. The next area is PHYSICAL MEMORY (K) with Total at 251,980, Available at 36,650, and System Cache at 100,860 The last group is KERNAL MEMORY (K) with Total at 40,348, Paged at 34,992, and Non Paged at 5.356 I guess I could probably use more memory, but my other Dell 4600 never froze with basically the same programs and same amount of memory. . There was about three times when this freeze up was accompanied by a continous beep from the computer in the last two months. I e-mailed Dell since the computer is only about 6 months old. They responded that the beep usually means a hardware failure, and that the next time it happens, I should check the status of the four diagnostic lights on the back of the computer. Well, the computer still freezes up, but no more beeps. I have run the Dell diagnostics which takes about 90 minutes and everything checks out OK. I even ran the diagnostics at Pit Stop, and averything comes up OK. Very confused.
    The computer has 256 MB DDR2 SDRAM at 400 Mhz. The freezeups always occur when using Internet Exployer or Outlook Express. In fact, a friend sent me a link to a special fireworks site. If I go there, and then click on the sky to make fireworks happen, the computer freezes every time. I tried it a few times. And I always had to manually shut down the computer. I was able to get to Task manager, but was unable to "End" any of the tasks. All help and suggestions are greatly appreciated
    Last edited by mike13; July 3rd, 2005 at 14:02 PM.

  2. #2
    Old and Cranky Super Moderator rik's Avatar
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    So what are the 4 LEDs on the back doing when it freezes? Are they all still green? PLZ keep me posted...

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    rik--thanks for the reply. I just went to that fireworks site again. And sure enough, after I clicked four times in the sky, the computer froze. I then checked those four diagnostic lights on the back of the computer, and they were all green like they are supposed to be.

  4. #4
    Old and Cranky Super Moderator rik's Avatar
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    Kinda figures. If the diags have all been run then it's pretty much a given that the hardware is ok. You'll need to start checking out the SW. Although you may be running some spyware cleaning apps, there can still be some naughties present.

    But...as you pointed out the memory amount is at the minimum that I would recommend for running XP, adding more would not hurt. The other thing to look at is, are you using the onboard video or do you have a video card in the system?

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    Have you tried disabling all or some of the possibly suspect startup apps in msconfig? Perhaps, close all but your firewall and see if It still freezes then start one by one. Give us the link to the fireworks site. I want to try it.
    Last edited by lynchknot; July 5th, 2005 at 00:56 AM.

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    rik--what do you mean checking SW ? I never installed a video card. I believe it is an on board video card.
    lynchknot---the address is www.njagyouth.org/liberty.htm

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    Try using another browser (opera or firefox) to rule out or in the fact that:

    The freezeups always occur when using Internet Exployer or Outlook Express

  8. #8
    Old and Cranky Super Moderator rik's Avatar
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    I was just wondering if the video card that your system has may not be able to render the video from that website. But after seeing it, that should not be the case. If it's only happening when on the internet, it may still be related to spyware/malware being on the system. Could also be related to any ISP software that you may have loaded. Are you using broadband internet or dialup?

    Lynchknot posted a great link in post #5 as to how to use MSCONFIG if you aren't familiar with it. If you are, then disable all the apps that start when the system cranks up. That way you can rule out any software that is running in the background that you may not be aware of. Try disabling all startup items at first,except for your anti-virus, and see how it runs.

    Also, just for giggles, if you have another keyboard please connect it to the system for testing purposes.

  9. #9
    Titanium Member efc's Avatar
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    Rik, MSCONFIG can be a little intiminating to some. Startman.exe can be found at the bottom of the above link. It provides easy control of programs that start during boot process.
    Linux Mint Debian Edition

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    I went into msconfig, and disabled two of the four items that were there. The only two remaining items are for AVG antivirus. I then went to that fireworks site and it froze after three clicks in the sky. Had to manually shut down, could not get to task manager.
    Then just for fun, I left IE and OE open. I then put a video in the DVD player, no problems at all. I watch about three minutes with no problem.
    I have cable internet, behind a linksys router, and have the XP firewall enabled.

  11. #11
    Precision Processor Super Moderator egghead's Avatar
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    uninstall your java software. once uninstalled you can re-install and that will clear any fault with java applets.

    if you don't uninstall first i have seen java stay corrupted even after re-install
    ------------------------------------------------------------



  12. #12
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    egghead---Not sure what you mean about Java software.

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    I just went back to msconfig. I see that memory dump thing again. DUMPREP O-U
    I have disabled it before, and even followed the instructions about going into My computer / Properties/Advanced tab etc. but it is back. Guess I did not do something correct. Will try again.

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    I visited the site and while I did not have my computer freeze entirely, it did cause Firefox 1.04 to freeze that tab and screw up the display in the other open tabs. I would definitely be thinking along the lines of a Java problem.

    Badger

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    I found two sites by typing Java in at Google, that supposedly can fix Java problems, but you need to buy them. Is there anything out there that can fix the Java problems (free) if I have Java problems ?

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