Random hangs

October 6, 2011 at 07:14:23
Specs: Win XP, P IV / 1 GB DDR
Guys, need your help.

I am having an old computer on my hands, with the following configuration :

Motherboard : i810-ITE8712
CPU : Celeron 1 GHz
RAM : SDRAM (256 MB *2)
HDD : 40 GB Samsung SV4012H

The computer is experiencing random hangs, and I am unable to find the cause behind it.

Motherboard is old, and the manufacturer's site is now available no more.. and the company too has closed down I think. So, I cannot get BIOS updates, motherboard specifications, drivers, nothing. I even had really hard time finding out which company the Motherboard belonged to. After researching on the internet for drivers, I came to know that it belongs to Lucky Star from Taiwan.

Thankfully, XP recognizes the drivers for all components, so that's not a problem.

I was suspecting the RAM. SDRAM is now no more available, and an year before, we had bought two SDRAM sticks, which are local made, of 256 MB each.

Which software should be used to test the RAM sticks? I have Memtest86, Memtest86+, and Windows Memory Diagnostic. I read on internet, and went with the last one. I ran tests on each stick separately with 3 passes of tests. No errors. I then put them together, and ran the tests again. No error there too.

Which tool should I use to test RAMs? How many passes should I use?

Since I found no error with RAM as per my method above, I turned my attention to the HDD.

The HDD has three modes :

1] Selective slave, for capacity less than 32 GB.
2] Selecting slave, for capacity greater than 32 GB, but without capacity limit.
3] Selecting slave, for capacity greater than 32 GB, but with the capacity limit of 32 GB.

I downloaded the manual for the drive, and even the manual gives conflicting details for putting jumpers. When I bought the PC home, there were no jumpers.

After reading the manual, I tried the second mode... PC hangs there too.

Then, I tried the third mode, feeling confident that this must be it. I formatted the drive making a partition for 20 GB, and installed XP on it, but just before it could be installed fully, the PC hanged again.

Now am really frustrated, and don't know what to do. Any other area, where I should be looking?

See More: Random hangs

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October 6, 2011 at 07:40:44
The numbers you posted are for the chip set, not the model of the board. Look around the perimeter of the board for some numbers on the circuit board.

Did you previously have this board running WinXP OK?

Examine the board for bad capacitors. Look at the link below to see what you are looking for. If you find bad caps then I suggest you scrap the board.


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October 6, 2011 at 09:14:07
Thanks for the reply OtheHill.

Well, since I have been seeing this computer, its been running XP... and it mostly runs fine. But, even then it did hung on random occasions.

Sometimes it would run for quite long hours without hanging, but since I have bought it for a repair and fresh install to my home, the hangs have increased quite a lot.

I have experienced hangs at even boot up screen. Happened two times. One time just hanged, and the other time, I saw colorful lines appear on the screen. Generally, those are caused by the RAM, so I had taken out the RAM and reseated again, and also ran the tests.

The computer had been lying around for some time. I was the who revived it by changing the CMOS battery, optical drive, and RAM.

I have already looked on the motherboard for any label, or numbers which could tell about the motherboard, but there is nothing. I have even taken out the system information with tools like SIW, Belarc Advisor, WinAudit... but none of them return anything.. just the number I told.

There are only two things on motherboard, one is a sticker with label I810E(T), and another : 6B810ECD+ ... but that corresponds to the BIOS ROM.

I looked on the motherboard for bad capacitors. All look in good condition, just one of them is bulging a bit. Not noticeable, and does not look ominous too. Should I be concerned about it?

Should I open up the power supply and have a look for bad capacitors?

Also, which program would you recommend for a RAM test?

Thanks :)

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October 6, 2011 at 09:23:38
no need to look up psu,, u are right the system is quite umm old.
the bulging capacitor could u post a pic of that one?
also if the ram are ok what about the cpu check the temps of the cpu in bios and post back results with the pic

computers are a second home

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Related Solutions

October 6, 2011 at 09:29:56
OK, I will post back with the pic, and the CPU temperatures. Although I don't suspect the CPU temperature is an issue here, because as I wrote before, I have experienced hang ups even on the BIOS screen. Anyways, I will post these both back after a while :).

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October 6, 2011 at 09:32:26
Oh, and BTW, here is the BIOS string. Don't know if it will be of any help.


BIOS reported is :

Phoenix Technologies, Ltd.
6.00 PG

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October 6, 2011 at 10:00:37
Sorry, won't be able to do both.

For the pic, my camera isn't so good. Its auto-focus, and on taking it closer, the capacitor goes out of focus. If I take from a distance, its of no use, as what we want cannot be seen.

About CPU temperatures, guess what, this MB seems so old, and so stupid, there is no such thing in the BIOS, where you can see hardware information like temperature etc! What luck!

I tried doing that with SpeedFan, but that too is a no go, since the motherboard does not seem to support such function.

Sorry :(

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October 6, 2011 at 10:14:01
Back with one more info.

I had installed XP on another hard disk for the same PC in question. I now booted with that hard disk, and then tried to copy a big folder from a CD. Halfway through, the PC hung.

So, I think the hard disks can be ruled out for causing trouble. Now its back to RAM, or the power supply, or the motherboard.

I had opened up the power supply for cleaning today, but did not look at capacitors closely... just cleaned the dust, which was a lot there. I think I might open the power supply again, and have a closer look at capacitors.

Any other ideas are welcome.

Thanks for the replies.

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October 6, 2011 at 10:24:27
Even one bulging capacitor can cause the kind of issues you are having.

You shouldn't really open your power supply. That can be dangerous. I recommend you blow out the entire system, including both ends of the power supply using either canned compressed air, or a compressor.

Do not use a vacuum cleaner on a computer or peripheral hardware. Static discharge can damage the hardware.

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October 6, 2011 at 10:46:36
Hmm.. that bulging capacitor might be the problem. Lets see.

Thanks for the advice about cleaning.

Well, so far, I have opened up power supplies for cleaning, because the fans can get really clogged up in dust, and even the air can't clean them fully. I don't it on a regular basis though.. only when absolutely necessary.

Again, can you recommend a tool for RAM testing, and how to go about it?

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October 6, 2011 at 12:18:45
You already have the best tools for testing. memtest86+.

I should have mentioned this before but changing the jumper setting on the hard drive will force you to reformat.

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October 6, 2011 at 12:28:33
Thanks OtheHill ... will do testing with memtest86+ then :).

Yes, I do know that after changing the jumper setting, I will have to reformat. I am doing that right now, and installing XP again.

I have now changed the place of the HDD too. Earlier, it was a slave with the optical drive. I have now made the HDD a secondary master on the other IDE port that was free.

XP has installed fine without any hangups, thankfully. Now proceeding with other installations... SP3, and such.

Thanks :).. will keep posted, if I have anything more to share.

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October 7, 2011 at 14:01:01
Well, I made the hard disk a master on the secondary IDE port, and also changed the jumper settings to make it a master. That seemed to work. I was able to install XP without any trouble, and I have installed patches, and programs, and the computer has not hanged a single time. I think the problem is solved.

Thanks for all your help guys.. much appreciated.

I must say, that I have been a part of this site for many many years now. Earlier, I was active on this site, and I have got help many a times. At that time, I also provided help whenever I could. This site has always been an active one, and people do get good help here. Its really good to see that this site still remains active with people who help others. I had posted on 2-3 other forums too, but didn't get any reply there. I really appreciate the help provided here. Thanks :).

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October 7, 2011 at 14:54:59
Glad you have solved the problem. Thanks for getting back to us.

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October 9, 2011 at 03:38:55
My pleasure :) ... thanks for helping.

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