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System Hang Troubleshooting

I was wondering if anyone could offer me some suggestions as to how to go about fixing a problem I've had for the last few months.

The hardware:

Intel D865PERL (LAN, integrated sound[disabled])
Intel Pentium 4 (2.8Ghz, 800Mhz FSB, 1Mb cache)
2x512 PC3200 SDRAM (DDR400)
Maxtor 120Gb internal (7200rpm, 2Mb cache)
Maxtor 80Gb external (USB 2.0)
ATI Radeon 9600XT (@8x AGP, 5.6 catalyst)
Creative SoundBlaster Audigy 2 ZS (1.84.55 driver version)
Linksys Wireless-G PCI adapter
Buslink CD-RW
ATI TV-Wonder VE (currently removed)

The Problem:

During heavy loads (3 in particular: Winamp visualizations, DVD-encoding/burning, and gaming [mostly HL2, but also CoD]) I sometimes experience system hangs, where everything freezes, and a high pitched sound runs through the speakers/headphones.

I have installed the newest drivers for everything, cleaning thoroughly beforehand (also:
another problem: after installing the 5.5 Catalysts, my longon time into my XP Pro SP2 account increased from about 3 seconds to about 30, and did not return to its normal duration after I wiped those and installed 5.6)

Any ideas as to what I should do to properly troubleshoot? is it hardware? is it software? any help would be appreciated very muchly. Thanks
The increased load time is a driver issue. Probably when you installed the Cat 5.5

Download drivercleaner and follow the directions to cleanout your video drivers. Then reinstall the Cat 5.5

See if that helps the locking up issue. IF not next step is to start eliminating hardware one peice at a time to see which is the culprit.
-You ditched the TV Wonder which was a good first step.
-Remove the Audigy next and switch to on board sound and see if the lock ups stop.
-Then try running with just one stick of ram at a time and see if it clears up.
When the lock ups stop start adding everything you removed back in one peice at a time except for that last thing you pulled before the problem cleared up. If the system works with everything but the last part installed, reinstall that lastone and the system should start locking up again which confirms it was the bad boy.

If the system is still stable after everything is back in say three Hail Mary's and keep your fingers crossed.
Hipster Doofus said:
Have you got the latest firmware for you board?
yup :-/

@ LeeJend: Many thanks. Will begin the arduous process, well, now :)


edit: Using DriverCleaner worked, and I clapped my hands and squealed and all that good stuff, and it worked for a while, BUT after the first hang (I haven't played with hardware yet - that will be a project for tomorrow) the logon went right back to being sluggish... weird weird weird... any thoughts?
Last edited:
I think it is partly to do with that, and I've been looking into cooling solutions since I started using the P4... but typically, the processor stays between 120F and 140F when it is doing really heavy stuff, and hangs in there. The only heat-related thing I DO know is affecting it is humidity... the more humid it is, the greater the amount of times it hangs.

Right now, however, it's pretty cool (70 outside, 70 ambient indoors, 86 in case, and 111 on processor as I watch a DVD, and I watched it go to about 130 when I was playing HL2: DM not too long ago) and I have a large (14") fan positioned over the MB with the side of my case off, just to make sure it isn't going to overheat on me.

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