Why does my PC freeze after I turn it on?

November 14, 2010 at 12:38:27
Specs: Windows XP, Athelon 5600

My computer freezes minutes after it is turned on. I was told it was a harddrive problem, so I replaced it with a new Seagate harddrive. I still haven't transferred the files from the old harddrive, so besides installing the Windows XP and all the drives and programs, no files have been transferred yet.

It is a Dell desktop. Athalon dual processor 5600+. It was bought three years ago with Vista installed, but I downgraded to XP.

I replaced the harddrive because it was a similar issue where the computer would freeze, and sometime a blue screen would show up on the monitor.

Thank you for your help.

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November 14, 2010 at 12:42:39

This could be a thermal problem. Something (likely the processor) might be overheating. Open it up and see if all the fans spin when you power it on.

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November 14, 2010 at 17:03:07

Thanks. I checked and the fans are running fine.

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November 14, 2010 at 17:08:31

You should watch them until the machine freezes and make sure that they stay running. You could also check the system logs (right click my computer, manage, event viewer) at the time of the freeze to see if the system was able to log anything before it froze that might give you another clue.

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Related Solutions

November 14, 2010 at 17:10:15

I am doing a virus scan in Safe Mode right now. I doubt it will help, but it will be interesting to see if it freezes in Safe Mode.

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November 14, 2010 at 17:25:08

Thank for that tip. This is what the system log shows:

Under Application: Windows Search Service shows up last, under category Gatherer. Right before that was iPod Service And right before that was Windwos Search Service under category Search Service. Right before that is ESENT(source) under logging/recovery category which shows up 5 times in a row.

Under System:
There are red error signs next to Service Control Manager (several of them in a row towards the end as the computer froze), and DCOM.

Does this help?

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November 14, 2010 at 17:37:19

The scan was complete and so far no viruses and the computer did not freeze. Hmm... still on square one

Any help would be greatly appreciated. This is a business computer and need for work this week. I will give 20 bucks to whoever fixes this for me. No kidding. Just send me your paypal info and your beer for the next week is on me.

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November 14, 2010 at 17:41:08

Double click the red errors in the event logs and see what they say.

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November 14, 2010 at 19:25:16

It was bought three years ago with Vista installed, but I downgraded to XP.

In all honesty you would probably be better to upgrade to Windows 7. Now to your problem:

If it still freezes after you changed Hard Drive I would suggest you try a memtest on the ram to see if you maybe have a faulty stick. Also, a bad power supply will also give you those symptoms too...I would 1st do the memtest.

Some HELP in posting on plus free progs and instructions Cheers

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November 14, 2010 at 21:30:31


This is what the Red Error messages say: Event Type: Error
Event Source: Service Control Manager
Event Category: None
The Windows Search service terminated unexpectedly. It has done this 1 time(s). The following corrective action will be taken in 30000 milliseconds: Restart the service.
For more information, see Help and Support Center at

Event Type: Error
Event Source: Service Control Manager
Event Category: None
The Windows Search service failed to start due to the following error:
The service did not respond to the start or control request in a timely fashion.

For more information, see Help and Support Center at
That's pretty much what most of them say.


@XpUser4Real. Thanks. I will try your advice. Not sure how to do a memtest for the Ram but will see if I can find some info online.

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November 14, 2010 at 22:09:52

It's possible that the windows search service is ramping the cpu up to 100% usage which would cause the machine to appear that it is frozen. Windows search in xp sucked anyway so I'm going to tell you how to disable it.

right-click my computer
click manage
click the plus sign next to services and applications to expand it
click services
find windows search
double-click it
change the startup type to manual
click the stop button
click apply
click ok

That will disable the service. You could also uninstall it using add/remove programs in the control panel if I remember correctly. Not really anything to worry about because you can always reinstall it later if need be. Sorry if those steps aren't exactly spot on, they are coming from my memory, and I'm using a non-windows machine at the moment.

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November 15, 2010 at 14:11:19

1) Did memtest and it all came positive so no errors there.

2) I did uninstall the Windows Search Service from the control panel and it is lasting longer now. So the computer won't shut down for perhaps one hours whereas in the past was within minutes. However, it still freezes after about an hour or two all of a sudden. I am not even using any heavy programs. Just basic browser and email.

I noticed again that the last time it froze, I found out that that Service Control Manager is the one with the Error again (as I explained in my earlier post)

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November 15, 2010 at 20:39:00

is there an error id number on those service control manager errors?

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November 15, 2010 at 21:06:06

Over heating could be a prominent reason behind this. But you said that all is fine with fans. So. all you need to do is a clean installation of windows xp. But make sure that you backup your data on hard disk.

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November 16, 2010 at 14:35:50

Windows XP is intalled fine. this happened both on the old hard drive that I formatted. And on the new one, which I recently installed. If I don't get a convincing answer I then suspect the problem is somewhere in the hardware.

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November 18, 2010 at 00:25:49

So I checked the RAM today by putting new RAM sticks and the same happened.

But I noticed that when the computer case is open (cover not on) it lasts longer. When I put the cover on the case it freezes within 10 mins. So probably something with heating or the power???

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November 18, 2010 at 12:28:07

Yeah it really does sound like a thermal problem. Do the fans sound ok? Sometimes you can hear the bearings going bad.

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November 19, 2010 at 22:41:46

I did a couple of diagnostic tests and took a screenshot of them. This is what showed up.

What do you think?

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November 20, 2010 at 14:14:14

This could be a problem with the thermal paste (like Arctic Silver) that is between the cpu and the heat sink. If it is worn out and not working properly, it could cause an overheat. If you decide to put new thermal paste in, make sure you use rubbing alchohol and remove the old all gone first....and most importantly do not force anything back into place....good luck

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November 21, 2010 at 15:15:23

yeah it looks like it might be a running a little hot. If that's what it is you can try what fredmrv said, jut be sure not to get any paste on the contact side of the cpu, and/or you can drop in some better fans, or both.

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November 21, 2010 at 17:10:04

Since the two cores are hot and the video card is hot, wouldn't you say that the processor and video card is the issue here?

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November 21, 2010 at 22:31:35

I was thinking since they were both a little hot that it might be an airflow issue.

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