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Q: copmputer hang ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   5 Comments )
Subject: copmputer hang
Category: Computers
Asked by: ballanson-ga
List Price: $8.00
Posted: 25 Dec 2003 00:52 PST
Expires: 24 Jan 2004 00:52 PST
Question ID: 290176
my computer is an AMD Athlon XP 1600+ with 512 mb of Ram.
The trouble with it is it sometimes (about every 5 hours of operation)
just hangs. It does not accept input from keyboard or mouse. You can
not get out of the hang by doing a [ctl] [alt] [del] as the computer
just ignores it. The mouse cursor is just stuck . The only way I can
get out of this hang is to switch off the computer. I was told that my
troubles were due to having windows ME so I had the thing reformatted
and windows xp installed. This did not help. I am ideally after a way
of proving whatever is wrong with the thing as making changes that do
not work is expensive and frustrating.
Cheers Bob

Request for Question Clarification by joseleon-ga on 25 Dec 2003 03:19 PST
Hello, ballanson:
  Your problem could be due to a large amount of causes, for example,
the RAM has defects, the harddisk is a 7200 rpm and there is no fan
attached to it, or even the CPU is not being refrigerated as it should
be... Many things, you can go to a support service, or we can try to
discover here what the problem is. But I think it's a hardware
problem, not a software one.


Request for Question Clarification by techtor-ga on 25 Dec 2003 08:17 PST
See if you can remove the casing cover from the side while the
computer is on (if that's possible) and see if the fans are still
working, like the one on the CPU or video card. I've heard that video
cards whose cooling fans have conked out can run for a while, but
later on cause the computer to hang due to heat buildup. I suspect
your video card's fan conked out, if it has a fan. Another possibility
could be that you have a lot of programs auto-loading during the
startup of Windows that take up much memory and choke the RAM. But
let's see first if your hardware components are still working.

Request for Question Clarification by andrewxmp-ga on 25 Dec 2003 21:08 PST
As mentioned, what you are describing could easily be attributed to an
overheating freeze.  If either the video card (most likely culprit) or
the CPU overheats, what you are experiencing would be the result,
especially that it takes a while to occur.  To test this, try to
remove the computer case, and set up a large fan of some sort to blow
into it.  Yes, for more cooling than could ever be necessary, but if
it doesn't crash, then you know it's due to heat.

Clarification of Question by ballanson-ga on 29 Dec 2003 16:27 PST
Thanks for your help it is great. 
I am hesitant to go to a support service my previous experience was
that they happily changed things over at considerable cost and did not
solve the problem. I guess I hoped that there was some sort of tracing
software that could do a definitive answer before they start chucking
my money about. I will try another tech if I can not fix the cause

I am unable to test warmtobe's idea as the machine has not hung since
I tried techtor's idea.

I tried the idea of taking off the side plates of the unit it seems to
work well I have not had any trouble since and was able to do my
bookwork and knock off work for Xmas.
There is one fan it seems to work ok but there is a tiny deposit of
fine black dust on the ajacent electronics that may have come from the
Further to the heat theory: I am in South Australia where it is
summer. Pulling off the side plates and turning on the airconditioning
seems to have solved the problem. Once I have caught up with things I
will put the plates back on and see if the trouble starts again.
cheers Bob

Request for Question Clarification by techtor-ga on 07 Jan 2004 21:44 PST
Hello Ballanson, 
I was just wondering, how's your system doing now, and have you seen
if any cooling fan inside the system box has malfunctioned?

Clarification of Question by ballanson-ga on 10 Jan 2004 19:52 PST
Thanks again for your replies. The current status of my machine is
that it is working ok with the panels off and room airconditioning
pointed at it. As best I can observe the single fan is working ok but
there seems to be a fine deposit of a graphite like powder near the
You may think it unenterprising of me to be happy with that but
here(Southern australia) Xmas/new year and Summer combine to make
getting things done very hard till a week or so after new year and
then I had my stuff to do. Very soon I shall put the panels on and the
airconditioning off and do a proper test.
If Techtor wants to post an answer I shall accept it as it was based
on his reply I managed to get it working well enough to enable me to
knock off for xmas
Subject: Re: copmputer hang
Answered By: techtor-ga on 11 Jan 2004 06:57 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Thank you Ballanson for allowing me to post an answer. As you have
learned, since it is summer in your area, heat is swelling all over,
and it can affect computer performance. If your computer starts to get
too hot, it can experience system freezes because it's not working as
efficiently as before due to heat. A solution you can try is adding
casing fans that blow outward to remove warm air from inside the
casing (if you have an opening in the casing that faces upward, that's
the best place to put an exhaust fan). If the cooling fan of your
video fan or processor have failed, or become hard, you may need to
replace them. Replacing the CPU's fan and heatsink with a bigger one
from Thermaltake or Globalwin or other cooling system manufacturer
will be a big help. Have spare cooling fans available for other
components like the video card in case they give out. Anyway, at least
you're doing the bottom line of the matter: keeping your computer

Thanks again, and I hope you've benefitted for the long term from our advice here.
ballanson-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars

Subject: Re: copmputer hang
From: admirall-ga on 25 Dec 2003 07:59 PST
? think your mainboard have  cpu temperature guard and if the
temperature is being greater than some value, the motherboard lock the
cpu. You can set up cpu temperature from bios settings. The second fan
can solve your problem.
Subject: Re: copmputer hang
From: warmtobe-ga on 26 Dec 2003 14:28 PST
A key question here is .. when you have to shut down the computer
because it locks up, can you turn it right back on and it will be fine
for another 4-5 hours or do you have to let it cool down for a while??
    If you have to let it cool off for a while or it keeps locking up,
then I'd agree that it's probably over-heating.   Otherwise I'd
probably be looking for either a memory error or a software problem.
Subject: Re: copmputer hang
From: sparky4ca-ga on 07 Jan 2004 23:33 PST
I would say you certainly seem to have heat problems.

Contrary to popular belief, you should actually have the side pnels on
to allow proper cooling. The fact that taking the side panels off made
it better just screams overheating.

Your system should have inside of it:

-near the top back of the computer, is a big square thing called the
power supply. There should be a fan at the very back of it blowing air
out of the computer. There may be another fan in the power supply
pulling air into the power supply. You may want to invest in a good
quality power supply from Antec or PC Power and Cooling.

-on the processor is a very tall heat sink with  fan on it. it should
always be turning when the computer is on.

-if you have a separate video card as opposed to onboard, there may be
a smll fan on it, on the underside of the card. It should always be

I would strongly recommend investing in 2 more standard case fans, one
to mount at the bottom front of the case for intake, and one below the
power supply as output. A competent computer shop shouldn't charge
more then 1/2 an hour to install the fans.

You should also install whatever monitoring software your motherboard
uses so you can keep an eye on the temperatures.

Subject: Re: copmputer hang
From: techtor-ga on 11 Jan 2004 23:14 PST
Thank you for the five-star rating as well!
Subject: Re: copmputer hang
From: bendsley-ga on 13 Jan 2004 20:34 PST
There is a program called Motherboard Monitor that will monitor
temperatures from diodes located near the processor, power supply fans
and other internal fans (assuming they have diodes to measure
performance).  This can be found at .  This
program will work with MANY motherboards (76 brands, 849 boards
supported to be exact).  This can tell you if your CPU is reaching
critical temperatures.  Alternatively, if you know anything about your
computer's BIOS, you can set it to beep or "warn" you with something
is beginning to reach a certain or user-specified temperature.

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