computer keeps freezing & processor @ 100%

July 2, 2010 at 11:52:11
Specs: Windows XP, atlon xp 2500+
my pc is constantly freezing on me, & it is now becoming completely unberable! Im running: AMD Athlon xp 2500+ 1.8G (1822mhz) 1.6v, 166mhz bus, 512kbs L2 cache, (with the standerd heatsink supplied) on a A7V8X-X Asus motherboard.
With a - DDR 512mb dram 64bit dimm, an a 2nd- DDR 256mb dram, with (nullmhz) what ever that means? Ive got a radeon 9200 (le) agp Graphics card, My OS is win xp home. and my psu is a 350w premier. i have lately realised that my cpu is shooting up to 100% and usally stays there. i don't know if this is the reason why it keeps crashing? i have a temp display on the front of my case which reads on average 32c. this doesn't seem to be to hot to me as i've read that my cpu should be fine up too 85c, still i don't know how accurate the temp displayed is! Do i need a new cpu? or is it some other kind of problem? i've read that my cpu and motherboard are both good mid range items! i havn't overclocked my bios, even tho i've been told i could! i have reformated my hd severale times, i run avasti antivirus, and adware, and advanced system care! so i have no problems with spyware or viruses that i know of! Please some one tell me what to do before i take a hammer to the whole thing!!! 50 freezes a day is to much for anyone. :-(

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July 2, 2010 at 15:15:18
"DDR 512mb dram 64bit dimm, an a 2nd- DDR 256mb dram, with (nullmhz) what ever that means?"

If one module is not being recognized, the total ram amount will not be 768mb while booting or in the mboard's bios or in System Information in Windows - it will be 512mb or 256mb.
(If it's expressed in kb while booting and in the bios, multiply that by 1024)

XP just barely runs as it should with 256mb of ram, it doesn't take many programs running to bog it down, but will run quite reasonably with 512mb or more.

Your mboard supports up to 3 PC2100 (266 mhz, runs on module at 512mhz) ram modules in the three slots, or 3 slower modules (200mhz) , and up to a 1gb module in each slot,
"PC3200 (400 mhz, runs on module at 800mhz) max to 2 banks only"
"PC2700 (333mhz, runs on module at 666 mhz) ) to 4 banks only"

E.g. Each slot supports 2 banks, so you can install only one PC3200 double sided module (chips on both sides) or only two PC3200 single sided modules (chips on one side), or 3 PC2700 single sided modules (chips on one side), or only two PC2700 double sided module (chips on both sides).

Kingston says:

"This system only supports two ranks of DDR400 memory, and four ranks of DDR333 memory. When ranks are filled to capacity, the 3rd Socket(s) is disabled."

A7V8X-X Manual

See page 21 (memory installation).

If you have PC2700 or PC3200 ram installed, the third slot may be disabled, depending on whether the modules are double sided or not.

See the labels on the modules, or you can use a program such as CPU-Z to read the specs for each module, IF the mboard is recognizing it/them. The mboard auto uses the least specs of all the ram installed, e.g. so if one is PC2700, the other PC3200, all of them run at 333mz, not 400mhz, if the mboard supports the speed.

"Ive got a radeon 9200 (le) agp Graphics card, My OS is win xp home. and my psu is a 350w premier."

A 350 watt PS has a bit more capacity than the minimum needed for that 9200 chipset.

However, any PS can malfunction.
Check your PS.
Check the voltages in the bios for +12v, +5v, and +3.3v - they directly indicate those voltages put out by the PS.
See response 4 in this:

"i have lately realised that my cpu is shooting up to 100% and usally stays there. i don't know if this is the reason why it keeps crashing? "

That depends on what you mean when you say it's crashing.
If Windows is freezing, you can't do anything, that's one thing; if it is black scrren and rebooting that's another thing; if the mboard shuts off that's another thing. It appears you are getting a lot of the first of those.

"i have a temp display on the front of my case which reads on average 32c. this doesn't seem to be to hot to me as i've read that my cpu should be fine up too 85c..."

When there is a temp display on the case, it's almost always the temp inside the case, not the cpu temp, unless there are wires inside the case from the display that go to a sensor on the side of or under the cpu, which I very much doubt.

The current cpu temp is shown in the bios, or you can install a program in Windows that can show you the current temps, fan speeds, and voltages at any time. If you have the CD that came with the mboard, Asus often has one on it you can install called Probe, or it can probably be downloaded from the Asus web site.

Cpus for your mboard:
If you click on the blue highlighted entries at left, the thermal specs are in that.
The highest temp quoted is the absolute max beyond which the cpu is damaged.
The cpu doesn't need to be anywhere near than hot in order to not behave normally. E.g. if it's temp is over 55C or so it's likely to mis-behave.
If the cpu is getting hot above that point, yes, that could certainly cause freezes.

That said, that has nothing to do with your cpu activity being 100% a lot of the time.

If it is getting too hot....

Unplug the case/power supply, or switch off the AC power to it otherwise.
Power off your monitor.
Open up the case by removing the left side panel as seen when you're looking at the front of the case.

If the cpu fan/heatsink has mung (dust, lint, etc.) on it, clean it off, but DO NOT use a vaccuum cleaner to do that (they produce a tremendous amount of static electricity when running, and anything connected to them can discharge that to your components) - use canned air, or an air nozzle if you have access to an air compressor, or an artist's brush that can be used in small spaces, etc. It may be difficult to clean the top of the heatsink under the cpu fan - the most likely place to have mung on it - and the bottom side of the cpu fan blades unless you remove the fan. If you have a case fan, clean that too if it needs it.

Also check for mung on the video card fan and heatsink if it has that, and the power supply's openings / fan.

With the cover still off, restore the AC power, start the computer and make sure the cpu fan spins - if it doesn't spin, if you're sure the power supply is working okay, don't use the computer until you have replaced it.
If it spins too slowly, and/or if it makes rattling or screeching noises, most likely to be noticed when the computer has cooled to room temp, has not been used for a while, and then is started up, the cpu fan's bearings are failing - the cpu is likely to overheat as a result of that if it can no longer spin it's full speed - replace it as soon as you can.

"i have reformated my hd severale times"

Did you install all the drivers for the mboard each time you installed Windows from scratch ?
E.g. If you didn't install the Via main chipset drivers, the hard drive(s), and possibly the optical drives, is/are probably NOT running as fast as it/they are capable of on your mboard. That would result in the Windows running a lot slower than it should on your mboard, and the hard drive Windows is on being accessed a lot more than it should be.

Whenever you load Windows from a regular Windows CD (or DVD) from scratch, after Setup is finished you must load the drivers for the mboard, particularly the main chipset drivers, in order for Windows to have the proper drivers for and information about your mboard hardware, including it's AGP or PCI-E, ACPI, USB 2.0 if it has it, and hard drive controller support. If you have a generic system and have the CD that came with the mboard, all the necessary drivers are on it. If you load drivers from the web, brand name system builders and mboard makers often DO NOT have the main chipset drivers listed in the downloads for your model - in that case you must go to the maker of the main chipset's web site, get the drivers, and load them.

Load the main chipset drivers first.

For Via chipsets, you go to , click on the Drivers link, what you need are the Hyperion (4 in 1) drivers.

Did you run hard drive diagnostics on the hard drive Windows is on?

Check your hard drive with the manufacturer's diagnostics.
See the latter part of response 1 in this:

(thanks to Dan Penny for this link:)
Hard Drive Diagnostics Tools and Utilities

If you don't have a floppy drive, you can get a CD image diagnostic utility from most hard drive manufacturer's web sites, but obviously you would need to make a burned CD, preferably a CD-R for best compatibility, on another computer if you need to.

If the hard drive itself tests okay, any data problems found can be fixed, one way or another.

"i run avasti antivirus, and adware, and advanced system care! so i have no problems with spyware or viruses that i know of!"

Those things do not find all possible malware. No one anti-malware program does.
E.g. Malwarebytes (free version available but you have to update the free version each time you use it after the first time) finds and gets rid of the crap "rogue" anti-malware makers install that most anti-malware can't get rid of properly.

Advanced System Care is completely un-necessary in my opinion, and it may be running something that is using some of your cpu capacity all the time, depending on what settings you use in it.
I un-install it on all systems I work on that I find it on.

When your system is running

- unplug a cable that connects you to the internet - e.g. a network cable that connects the computer to your modem or router. If the cpu activity eventually decreases or stops, you know something that is accessing the internet is at least part of the cause of the excessive cpu activity. It isn't necessarily all malware, but part of it might be.

- press Crtl-Alt-Del to pop up Task Manager - Processes tab - expand the window.
What things listed there are using a lot of cpu time, when you don't have an internet connection, and when you do?

You will see several instances of SVCHOST.
SVCHOST is a "slave" program that is used by other programs that are not in the Processes list. If it's one of those that uses a lot of cpu activity, you need to use a program that can determine which prgrams are responsible for that, e.g. The Microsoft web site has Process Explorer.

- Start - Run - type: msconfig , click OK or press Enter.

Startup tab - disable everything listed there from loading.
You will be prompted to Reboot.
A System Configuration window or similar will pop up after the desktop starts loading - click on the small box on the left side to insert a checkmark.
Is the cpu activity less ?

See Response 4 in this, for more about msconfig and Startup programs:

- Control Panel - Internet Options - delete the Temporary Internet files.

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July 2, 2010 at 19:41:59
By the way
- someone told me recently that the current free Avast! slows their computer a lot more than free AVG 9.x does.

- I was working on a friend's computer a couple of days ago.He wanted me to try to figure out why Windows was running slower than it had been, and was taking longer to load and longer to shut down.

I found what most of the slowdowns were caused by.

He had three anti-malware programs that were trying to run their resident modules at the same time, and those were clashing with each other.
AVG 9.x trial version - it has a firewall, the free version does not.
The free Comodo Firewall
BitDefender 2009 BETA, a hacked version of the paid version.

Someone had clicked on the wrong link on the AVG site, and they were getting messages that the trial would expire in xx days, so they downloaded and installed the other two.

(There is also a free anti-malware suite available from their ISP, called Freedom or similar, but I know it bogs down Windows more than most, so I told him - the Dad - not to install it.)

Since they all have resident modules, and since he and his kids were not aware they were not supposed to have the resident module(s) running when they installed the next anti-malware program that does, or were supposed to un-install the other program before they installed the next one, neither the Comodo Firewall or Bit Defender were working properly (the trial AVG was installed first), and there were messages from both the Comodo and AVG firewalls.
There was was a BitDefender entry in Add Remove programs, but the attempt to un-install it produced an error, and that failed. I tried the Windows Installer Cleanup Utility, but BitDefender was not listed. I had to use a BitDefender supplied cleanup utility (it merely removes what is necessary to de-active various BitDefender versions - it does not clean up what seemed like over 200 BitDefender entries in the Registry).
The Comodo Firewall un-installed okay (I didn't look in the Registry afterwards).
I un-installed AVG , just in case it had been mangled by installing the other two, and they are going to re-install it (AVG free) later (they connect to the internet through arouter, which has a hardware firewall). .

Windows runs much better now on that computer !

For more about not having more than one anti-malware program that has a resident module running at the same time,
See Response 6 in this,
near the end of it, Starting at ....

Things I do see of concern in seawatch1's lines in Response 2......

- you have McAfee, Malwarebytes, and Avast! anti-malware programs installed....

It's also a very good idea for you to disable all resident modules in anti-malware software BEFORE you install anything yourself, and BEFORE you install anything major otherwise, yourself or on the web, especially SP3 updates.

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