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Help with PC issue....

Old 12-29-12, 01:58 AM
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Help with PC issue....

I'm fixing an old Dell Dimension for someone because of a freezing issue. 1st thing I did was reformat and reinstall (XP). Installed successfully and froze shortly after XP booted up. Repeated the process and same result. I know the disc I'm using is good bc I've used it many times. Next thing I did was swap hard drives and install. Same result. There are two sticks of RAM installed which I tested and RAM isnt the issue either. Only thing I can think of being the problem is the power supply. However, why would I only encounter a problem AFTER Windows is installed and booted up? Thanks!
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Old 12-29-12, 03:00 AM
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Re: Help with PC issue....

Sounds like the motherboard is on it's last legs.
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Old 12-29-12, 03:46 AM
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Re: Help with PC issue....

Take the cooling fan and heatsink off the CPU. Has the thermal paste dried up? If so, clean off the die and apply a generous amount of new thermal paste. Blow the dust rhinos out of the cooling fan and fins of the heatsink. Then reattach as before and see what it does.
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Old 12-29-12, 04:13 AM
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Re: Help with PC issue....

Originally Posted by E. Honda View Post
Take the cooling fan and heatsink off the CPU. Has the thermal paste dried up? If so, clean off the die and apply a generous amount of new thermal paste. Blow the dust rhinos out of the cooling fan and fins of the heatsink. Then reattach as before and see what it does.
Cleaned all the dust. It's definitely not a heat issue. I actually just reformatted again and this time it froze up while Windows was installing.
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Old 12-29-12, 06:29 AM
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Re: Help with PC issue....

Check for swollen/oozing capacitors on the motherboard. Get a flashlight and magnifying glass in there if you need to. If any, the motherboard has more than likely been hit with one (or numerous) power surge(s) and is probably shot (unless you want to look into replacing capacitors which I personally wouldn't bother with). -kd5-

Last edited by kd5; 12-29-12 at 06:39 AM.
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Old 12-29-12, 08:47 AM
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Re: Help with PC issue....

Originally Posted by kd5 View Post
Check for swollen/oozing capacitors on the motherboard. Get a flashlight and magnifying glass in there if you need to. If any, the motherboard has more than likely been hit with one (or numerous) power surge(s) and is probably shot (unless you want to look into replacing capacitors which I personally wouldn't bother with). -kd5-
most likely this, some Dell motherboards are known to have issues with leaky caps, not much you can do it this one has them...
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Old 12-29-12, 11:15 AM
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Re: Help with PC issue....

Originally Posted by 4KRG View Post
most likely this, some Dell motherboards are known to have issues with leaky caps, not much you can do it this one has them...
There are some links to what bad caps look like in my old thread about my failing dell computer.


http://www.pchardwarehelp.com/Power-Supply.php

Also, beware that some dell pcs use proprietary psu, in case you decide to change it out


http://www.pchardwarehelp.com/Power-Supply.php

Last edited by D.Pham4GLTE (>60GB); 12-29-12 at 11:27 AM.
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Old 12-29-12, 11:26 AM
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Re: Help with PC issue....

Originally Posted by kd5 View Post
Check for swollen/oozing capacitors on the motherboard. Get a flashlight and magnifying glass in there if you need to. If any, the motherboard has more than likely been hit with one (or numerous) power surge(s) and is probably shot (unless you want to look into replacing capacitors which I personally wouldn't bother with). -kd5-
Not necessarily due to power surge, could just be crappy caps like in my case. People were having theirs fail within or around the 1 year warranty, mine lasted 6 or 7 years. I always kept mine behind an apc ups.

This is one of the reasons why I moved away from these dell,hp, whatever. I bought a few CPU and mobo combos for $30 to 40 and they worked great. At the time, replacing the defective mobo with a used mobo would cost as much if not more. Obviously, these are low end systems, but really, I don't use these pcs much anyway and the speeds are just fine.

To The op, how old is the pc? If it is running xp, it is probably 5+ years old. You might want to consider upgrading the pc, if it is a problem with the mobo.
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Old 12-29-12, 07:22 PM
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Re: Help with PC issue....

Originally Posted by D.Pham00 View Post
Not necessarily due to power surge, could just be crappy caps like in my case. People were having theirs fail within or around the 1 year warranty, mine lasted 6 or 7 years. I always kept mine behind an apc ups.

This is one of the reasons why I moved away from these dell,hp, whatever. I bought a few CPU and mobo combos for $30 to 40 and they worked great. At the time, replacing the defective mobo with a used mobo would cost as much if not more. Obviously, these are low end systems, but really, I don't use these pcs much anyway and the speeds are just fine.

To The op, how old is the pc? If it is running xp, it is probably 5+ years old. You might want to consider upgrading the pc, if it is a problem with the mobo.
Thanks for all the responses. Like I said though, the PC is not mine, I'm fixing it as a favor so I will not be upgrading. It was purchased in 2003.
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Old 12-31-12, 10:06 PM
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Re: Help with PC issue....

There was a huge batch of bad capacitors that plagued the industry in the early 2000's, so your computer is a prime candidate for this problem:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capacit...gue#Prevalence
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Old 01-05-13, 03:22 AM
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Re: Help with PC issue....

down to the uber nerd level a frozen pc on older hardware mostly means the voltage control of either the ram or cpu is starting to die. being older hardware i would do some cleaning and new thermal paste on the the cpu cooler. then try using something to do a burn in test, you can even download microsofts mem test for free to check your ram. one more thing you can also try putting your hard drive in the freezer for about 20 min and doing a cold install, if you get no freeze then either the controller board or something is going wrong with the head and platters inside. i know it sounds crazy but its an old uber nerd trick from engineers not just A+ techs.

best of luck
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Old 01-05-13, 04:40 AM
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Re: Help with PC issue....

Originally Posted by BeanDip0001 View Post
down to the uber nerd level a frozen pc on older hardware mostly means the voltage control of either the ram or cpu is starting to die. being older hardware i would do some cleaning and new thermal paste on the the cpu cooler. then try using something to do a burn in test, you can even download microsofts mem test for free to check your ram. one more thing you can also try putting your hard drive in the freezer for about 20 min and doing a cold install, if you get no freeze then either the controller board or something is going wrong with the head and platters inside. i know it sounds crazy but its an old uber nerd trick from engineers not just A+ techs.

best of luck
As I stated in above posts it is not the ram or hard drive. I tried doing a fresh install on 2 different drives and swapped the RAM. Besides, it wouldnt even stay on long enough for me to download a program to test it. It was thoroughly cleaned, I ruled out the hard drive, the RAm, and the power supply... then I threw it in the garbage. Thanks for all the help!
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Old 01-05-13, 07:31 PM
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Re: Help with PC issue....

Smartest move - throwing it in the garbage!
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