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Help! Computer keeps crashing!

Old 04-23-02, 06:26 PM
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Help! Computer keeps crashing!

This may sound familiar to all of us. My computer keeps freezing up about four ot five times a day and only way to get back to Windows is a cold boot PLUS Scandisk keeps running everytime I bootup saying "one or more of your drives may have errors on them" even after I shutdown properly and it examines the hard drive has has found some cluster errors THEN Scandisk freezes up both in MS DOS and Windows.

My computer is about four years old with Win 98 SE and PII 333 MHZ and 160 RAM. I just replaced my hard drive several months ago. The computer has been freezing up even BEFORE I changed the hard drive. I suspect an aging motherboard (AOpen) and memory modules. I just need my computer to hold together for at least one more year. Should I turn off the scandisk in RUN>MSCONFIG? Is there any software that might help like a scandisk ulitity? I am open to all advices and ideas. Thanks!

Grr1
Old 04-24-02, 02:34 AM
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if you can you might be able to go into the bios and underclock the computer by slowing down or reducing the FSB or memory timings. this will give you a slower computer however it probably will be more stable.

which Aopen motherboard is it. maybe someone has or had it and can tell you how to do it.
Old 04-24-02, 03:09 AM
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Hmm...I have one SS7 computer that has a tendency to freeze - you think it might be the memory? I used some of the memory in a Duron later, and it was rock solid.

RD
Old 04-24-02, 04:46 AM
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Originally posted by DivxGuy
Hmm...I have one SS7 computer that has a tendency to freeze - you think it might be the memory? I used some of the memory in a Duron later, and it was rock solid.

RD
sometimes power related issues can cause memory to seem to be going bad.

durons run at 100 FSB what does the SS7 computer run the FSB at?

by the way SS7 = Signaling System 7?

so if the SS7 computer runs at 133 FSB then the reason that the memory might seem rock solid is due to the slower FSB

Also memory timings can make a difference so two 100 FSB systems using the same memory might show different stability.
Old 04-24-02, 12:54 PM
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Well, what I did before was I turned the hardware accerelation from full to medium. But it didn't help. Can you please specify how to underclock the memory. I was in the BIOS setup but I am not sure where to start.

The processor usage seems to be at 100% even when using only one program like IE 6 or running scandisk BUT when it plays music or uses MS word it is only at 20%. My motherboard (I think) is an AOpen Award A200. I don't know when kind of memory modules I have certainly not the faster ones today like SDRAM to DDRAM.

Grr1
Old 04-24-02, 08:54 PM
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i had this before

if you boot up, then automatically takes you to a "surface scan," then that means you may have a bad sector. depending on ur comp speed, it may take a while. the HD that busted on me was a 40gb IBM DEATHSTAR. it took pretty much 2 full days for the comp to run the scan.
Old 04-24-02, 09:19 PM
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wow, two whole days for the surface scan! It ran the surface scandisk before in bootup and found some bad sectors about 8 or 9 bad ones. It took about four hours but after that it said "Hard Drive Failure" So I rebooted and skipped the surface scan and ran scandisk in windows. Sometimes scandisk will get hung up. You would think that with an AOpen motherbpard and hard drive, they would work well together.

I looked into the BIOS setup and lowered the memory and CPU frequency it seems to work better but still crashes after 45 minutes. I just can't tell if this is a software or hardware problem. I dunno if it could be a bad hard drive, memory, or motherboard.
Anyway to find out for sure???

Grr1
Old 04-24-02, 10:34 PM
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what hd?

what hard drive do you have? is it still under waranty?
Old 04-24-02, 11:02 PM
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Oh, I meant to say that my motherboard is an AOpen A200 and the Hard Drive is a "Generic IDE DISK TYPE 46" at 20 GB. I think it was a 3 month warranty, but I am not sure. I will find out! The hard drive is about six months old. Hope I can get it replaced. Or should I get another brand?

Grr1
Old 04-24-02, 11:27 PM
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gcribbs:

SS7=Super Socket 7, an acronym you don't come across much nowadays, but back in 1998-99, it was the foundation of the budget PC.

Now I feel old.

RD
Old 04-24-02, 11:43 PM
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hmm... I noticed my hard drive doesn't have a driver installed on it. Wonder if it will make any difference if I install one?

Grr1
Old 04-25-02, 12:14 AM
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hmmm

if possible, back up important info, and either reformat, and push ur luck or check if you waranty is still valid.
Old 04-25-02, 01:24 AM
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well, reformatting the hard drive is actually the easiet but costly solution. I don't have the Win 98 SE CD so I can't reinstall the OS and I do not have the resources to back up 8 Gbs of data. I had this hard drive wiped and reloaded by a tech guy three months ago because of a .. dare I say... a virus.

I am trying to make this computer hold together for at least one year. I have looked in the BIOS setup and lowered the memory and CPU usage. And after five hours of use with no freezing, I can breathe a little more now. Sure I get some illegal operations now with lower allocated memory but computer is more stable.

Ah, it is time to find out the warranty of the hard drive!

Grr1
Old 04-25-02, 02:15 AM
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Originally posted by DivxGuy
gcribbs:

SS7=Super Socket 7, an acronym you don't come across much nowadays, but back in 1998-99, it was the foundation of the budget PC.

Now I feel old.

RD
Oh socket 7 I heard of do not remember super socket 7. never heard of SS7 before. i figured it was some sort of specialty computer so I looked into it and came up with the signal system 7.

Funny how things drift out of your mind never to return
Old 04-25-02, 02:17 AM
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Originally posted by grr1
well, reformatting the hard drive is actually the easiet but costly solution. I don't have the Win 98 SE CD so I can't reinstall the OS and I do not have the resources to back up 8 Gbs of data. I had this hard drive wiped and reloaded by a tech guy three months ago because of a .. dare I say... a virus.

I am trying to make this computer hold together for at least one year. I have looked in the BIOS setup and lowered the memory and CPU usage. And after five hours of use with no freezing, I can breathe a little more now. Sure I get some illegal operations now with lower allocated memory but computer is more stable.

Ah, it is time to find out the warranty of the hard drive!

Grr1
what do you mean by lower allocated memory? what does the illegal operations say?

you lowered the FSB in the bios right? so the cpu is running slower. what exactly did you change? what are your new settings?
Old 04-25-02, 03:35 AM
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where to start? I went to BIOS Chipset configuration, changed the CPU frequency from 333 MHZ to 266 MHZ and the AGP in MB from 64 to 32. Is this what you meant? Did I miss something? If so, please explain which setting to look in. Computer has not frozen up since but too soon to tell.

The illegal operations say "error at kernel32.dll" for both Windows Media Player and PowerDVD. For WMP, I play music in the OTHER WMP (internet version) which works fine and after clicking the close button on the illegal operation for PowerDVD, it still just goes ahead and plays the DVD fine. But the hardware acceraltion is on full for the DVD player. Uncanny, isn't it?

Grr1
Old 04-25-02, 03:45 AM
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Originally posted by grr1
where to start? I went to BIOS Chipset configuration, changed the CPU frequency from 333 MHZ to 266 MHZ and the AGP in MB from 64 to 32. Is this what you meant? Did I miss something? If so, please explain which setting to look in. Computer has not frozen up since but too soon to tell.

The illegal operations say "error at kernel32.dll" for both Windows Media Player and PowerDVD. For WMP, I play music in the OTHER WMP (internet version) which works fine and after clicking the close button on the illegal operation for PowerDVD, it still just goes ahead and plays the DVD fine. But the hardware acceraltion is on full for the DVD player. Uncanny, isn't it?

Grr1
http://www.all-windows.com/kernel32.html

you can change the AGP back to 64 MB. this relates to your video card.

by the way can you slow the cpu down a bit more. I know this is pain however I wonder if the dll errors might be solved by an even slower system putting less stress on your ram.
Old 04-25-02, 01:17 PM
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Really? I though the illegal operations were occuring because of the lower frequency and if I put them higher, they would go away. I will try to lower it even more down to 233 Mhz and see if anything changes.

Yet, depsite a more stable windows environment, after having the computer off overnight, shutting down properly and running scandisk in windows. This morning, the computer still went into scandisk in Bootup after saying "one of your drives may have errors on them" and gets hung up and says "unable to read the FAT" when it is 75% done. I am using win 98 se fat 32 file management. If the warranty is no good anymore, I will replace the hard drive with a better one, the 20 GB seem cheaper nowadays. I saw a Western Digital 20 GB HD with 7200 RPM for only $55.

Grr1
Old 04-25-02, 09:36 PM
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Originally posted by grr1
Really? I though the illegal operations were occuring because of the lower frequency and if I put them higher, they would go away. I will try to lower it even more down to 233 Mhz and see if anything changes.

Yet, depsite a more stable windows environment, after having the computer off overnight, shutting down properly and running scandisk in windows. This morning, the computer still went into scandisk in Bootup after saying "one of your drives may have errors on them" and gets hung up and says "unable to read the FAT" when it is 75% done. I am using win 98 se fat 32 file management. If the warranty is no good anymore, I will replace the hard drive with a better one, the 20 GB seem cheaper nowadays. I saw a Western Digital 20 GB HD with 7200 RPM for only $55.

Grr1
no the lower frequency is allowing you to see these crashes more than likely. before this the whole system was just going down. now the system is not fully crashing. but you are still seeing errors. It is possible that the frequent crashes toasted windows to the point that nothing short of a reinstallation of windows will solve them. Of course with the hard drive possible going bad that may not solve your problems anyway or with the memory issues you might get a corrupted hard drive after a new installation in time.

a new hard drive might help if the hard drive is what is really wrong. i still feel like it is a memory failing issue although so many other things could be the problem that I might be wrong.
Old 04-25-02, 09:54 PM
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Thanks for the explanation! Yes, when the computer is booting up, I hear the "good beep" then a few seconds later, I hear the "second bad beep" and the computer says your hard drive may have bad sectors and goes into scandisk which keeps finding new bad sectors.

I do think you are right about the bad memory and hard drive. Unfortunately, my old motherboard won't support the new memory stores are selling now. So, I may have to consider getting a new computer.

Now, I am wondering if it is better to build a new computer with win 98 SE OR jump up to Win XP. I wonder if Win XP is for me, I would like a more stable computer. Let me know!!!

Grr1
Old 04-25-02, 10:09 PM
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Originally posted by grr1
Thanks for the explanation! Yes, when the computer is booting up, I hear the "good beep" then a few seconds later, I hear the "second bad beep" and the computer says your hard drive may have bad sectors and goes into scandisk which keeps finding new bad sectors.

I do think you are right about the bad memory and hard drive. Unfortunately, my old motherboard won't support the new memory stores are selling now. So, I may have to consider getting a new computer.

Now, I am wondering if it is better to build a new computer with win 98 SE OR jump up to Win XP. I wonder if Win XP is for me, I would like a more stable computer. Let me know!!!

Grr1
try lowering the speed to 233 and see what happens. it might still go into scandisc. however it is possible with the lower stress being put on the cpu and memory that it might even finish

than it might even allow you to boot into windows in the future without running it..

all of this is guesswork. it is always harder to troubleshoot a problem online without being at the computer to make the changes yourself. hopefully this will help you to use this computer for a bit longer until you can get that new computer.

win 98se is fine. This is not the cause of your problems. XP has its own problems also
Old 04-25-02, 10:25 PM
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I've already lowered the CPU frequency (sighs) all the way down to 233 mhz, the illegal operations still occur for some programs.
Scandisk is running all the way now in Windows, not in bootup it stops and says unable to read this drive. Also when I am typing a paper, I get the BSOD that says "Unable to write to disk C:" then I press any key and it returns to windows normally.
It would be easier for me to put win 98SE in, it might be worth getting the norton system works to replace the Win XP features.
I will keep trying and I will go to the place where I got it from and trade it in towards a new one as a last resort. Any more advice would be greatly appreciated!

Grr1
Old 04-26-02, 12:56 AM
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Originally posted by grr1
I've already lowered the CPU frequency (sighs) all the way down to 233 mhz, the illegal operations still occur for some programs.
Scandisk is running all the way now in Windows, not in bootup it stops and says unable to read this drive. Also when I am typing a paper, I get the BSOD that says "Unable to write to disk C:" then I press any key and it returns to windows normally.
It would be easier for me to put win 98SE in, it might be worth getting the norton system works to replace the Win XP features.
I will keep trying and I will go to the place where I got it from and trade it in towards a new one as a last resort. Any more advice would be greatly appreciated!

Grr1
do you have the win 98se cd- if so back up important files onto floppies if necessary. then reformat and start over. If you bought this system recently even if you have no warranty maybe they will help you out by doing this and reformating the hard drive.

also if the Hard drive is under warranty maybe you can get that replaced.

weird question- how much free space do you have on your hard drive?
Old 04-26-02, 01:45 AM
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Could this be a heat related issue? Just a thought. I had a similar issue, but it was with an Athlon and a dead HSfan.

There are memory checkers you can get off the internet to see if your memory is bad. It also sounds like it's just a Win98SE error combined with some bad sectors... is it a Western Digital drive or a Fujitsu or something? Cuz stuff like that is common in those types of drives.
Old 04-26-02, 02:08 AM
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Originally posted by Trigger
Could this be a heat related issue? Just a thought. I had a similar issue, but it was with an Athlon and a dead HSfan.

There are memory checkers you can get off the internet to see if your memory is bad. It also sounds like it's just a Win98SE error combined with some bad sectors... is it a Western Digital drive or a Fujitsu or something? Cuz stuff like that is common in those types of drives.
The bad thing is that it could be so many things.

hard drive failing.
failing memory.
failing cpu.
failing power supply.
heat issues like you mentioned.


I figured by slowing the computer down by lowering the FSB. I might help his computer limp along. the slower speed could enable the memory, cpu to start working better due to less stress on them. I also figured the cpu would generate less heat at that lower speed.

of course it did not seem to eliminate the problems which could mean PS or hard drive or that the component failing is too far gone to have it work at even a lower speed. of course it just could mean that windows is now trashed and the more stable FSB would not fix that. however if he reinstalls win 98se we might get him stable again.

the negative thing is that if it does not work then we still could have the failing component

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