Computer Randomly Freezes ...

June 13, 2009 at 12:05:08
Specs: Windows XP Ultimate Edition
Hello. I have an Acer Aspire 5610Z with Windows XP Ultimate Edition installed, and it keeps freezing shortly after booting up. It does not seem to be a problem with the software since it also freezes during the bios screen or before that. Also if it makes it past the bios screen, it will freeze up some time shortly after or during login, or even while loading windows. It's completely randomly doing so and I can't figure out why. I've tried replacing the ram, and I know that there is a corrupt/scratched sector on the hard drive, but I covered it with null data and there is nothing important on that sector. I tried removing the hard drive but it seems to still freeze during the bios screen and before, so I don't think it's that. I did the same with the DVD drive. I also pulled the computer apart to see if there were any loose connections and there doesn't seem to be any ... The computer is a little old and kinda worse for wear, but I can't afford to buy a new one any time soon, so any help would be appreciated.

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#1
June 13, 2009 at 13:21:15
There could be an issue with the CPU.
Most common CPU problems are heat related.

I would check the CPU fan. Is it spinning correctly? Try removing it, cleaning it, then replace with a good lair of thermal heatsink compound.

You could also try down clocking the CPU to a speed below it's recommended rating. This will both reduce operationg temp and reduce strain on the device when operating.

IT Services Manager


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#2
June 13, 2009 at 13:46:17
Well, the fan is kinda broken. It's clatters a lot, I think the bearings are off ... but usually when my laptop overheats, it automatically shuts off, it's never done this before ... and since it it a laptop it does not have fan controls, I looked before and couldn't find any anywhere ... I had the acer software on it before so I was able to run the cpu at different capacities, but it would not install when I put a fresh copy of windows on. Could it be that the cpu is screwed from the regular high temperatures?

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#3
June 13, 2009 at 14:06:01
It's quite likely that temperature could have damaged it.

Temperature is usually main casue of CPU failure.
Depending on the fault will cause the system to fail differently.
Normally a CPU that reaches the max operating temperature initiates a "controlled" shutdown of the system to prevent long term damage. However, I have seen faulty PCs freeze as you described because the CPU and/or motherboard is damaged to the extent of preventing this safety shutdown.

Being a laptop makes it even tricker to diagnose.
I'd suggest you definately have the fan replaced.
Unless you have a spare laptop CPU it'd be enclined to take it to a reputable repair center and have the CPU tested.

But based on what you've said I think you could be looking at a CPU or motherboard fault.

IT Services Manager


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