Computer Freezes Randomly

Dell / DIMENSION 2400
July 14, 2009 at 08:44:55
Specs: Microsoft Windows XP Professional, 2.798 GHz / 766 MB
My computer keeps freezing randomly. I mean FROZEN to where I can do nothing, not even move the mouse. I once left the computer on for 15 minutes to see if it would unfreeze but it didn't, so I had to do a hard restart. I turned it on and then about five minutes later, it did it again. I restarted again and now it seems to be doing fine, but I am cautious. Before it did it, each time the hard drives sounded like they were spinning down as they do when I turn my computer off, then the computer froze. The hard drives are pretty well quiet except when I turn my computer off. What would cause this? Is it the hard drive's problem or is my power supply failing and not putting out enough juice to power the hard drives? (I have a 40 GB and a 20 GB, planning on getting a bigger one so if the hard drives are the problem I won't be mad.)


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July 14, 2009 at 12:49:19
Two places to start.

One is event viewer logs and the other is dump logs.

They may or may not show anything other than you having to crash it so be sure to notice times exactly.

The other idea is to look at bios. Most times there is health information that may help.

Then it goes into diag software, might start with memtest.

"Best Practices", Event viewer, host file, perfmon, antivirus, anti-spyware, Live CD's, backups, are in my top 10

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July 16, 2009 at 07:33:08
Okay, I ran memtest and it came up with no errors. The logs show nothing other than me having to hard restart, also. There is no health information in my computer's BIOS, so...

Okay, more details uncovered. I forgot to mention that sometimes when I turn my computer on, it says that Promary Drive 0 and Primary Drive 1 cannot be found. That is what made me think that it is the hard drives, but then I realized that it is unlikely that they would both die at the same time, so that is when I thought the PSU wasn't putting out enough juice to make them run.

Also, I turned my computer on yesterday and got a Windows crash report. It said that it was corrupted.

Thatnk's for helping so far and hope this may help narrow the problem down!

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July 16, 2009 at 12:13:17
Yet another reason to suspect my hard drive, my computer froze again. When I restarted it, I got a "error reading disk" message. I restarted my computer again and it froze at the Windows XP splash screen. I restarted it again and it froze at the "Windows is Starting Up" screen. Would this be my hard drive, or my PSU clunking out on me?

I CAN, however, boot into a Ubuntu live CD I had and it stays on for quite a while (using it now)

Thanks again!

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July 18, 2009 at 10:00:07
Okay, problems piled on top of each other...

There was a point that my hard drive wouldn't work in the Primary IDE thing, it only worked in the secondary and my CD drive would work in Primary. I put a different spare hard drive in and it worked perfectly fine (It had Windows 95 on it xP). I went and got a new hard drive and now my computer has almost no problems that it had before. I don't know...

I have once seen a hard drive not work on a computer even after I formatted it, until I used KillDisk on it. I guess since files aren't officially "deleted" until they are written over, that some files can come back from the dead and wreak havoc, which is probably what happened on my old hard drive.

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