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XP randomly freezes up

I upgraded my system a few months ago and it's been running rock solid right up until a few days ago.

Now my computer will randomly freeze and the only thing I can do is hit the reset button to clear it all up. When the system freezes, the mouse and keyboard won't work and when I have the task manager open showing me the performance, it's graphs and info tracking are frozen too.

I have two computers running side by side connected by a basic Belkin KVM switch that I've had for a long time. My "main" system with the new upgraded parts is the one having the problem, the other system which I mainly use just to mess around on has shown none of the freezing at all.

Despite my main system freezing on me at least once a day, I haven't quite been able to nail down a clear reason or activity that might correlate or coincide with it. I pretty much always discover that my main system has frozen when I attempt to switch back to it from my backup system using the KVM switch.

I'll it the hotkey to switch over, and then change the channel on my LCD. At that point I'll realize the mouse and keyboard arn't working on the main system and I cannot switch back to the backup system using the hotkey on my keyboard. Both systems are then basically out of commission until I reset the main one, at which point the backups systems mouse and keyboard will start working again.

The only other thing I notice is that it might happen after I finish playing a large game, though not immediately. This may be nothing as I only use my main system for serious work and serious play.

As far as software additions, the only thing I've added immediately prior to the problems starting is Zonealarms free firewall. I added it to my norton 2006 internet security suite and simply disabled the norton firewall.

Other than that, my system has had no significant changes.

I even did a completely fresh install of xp sp2 to see if the problem was over but it persists. I've even disabled zonealarm and that hasn't done anything.

When I reset the system, I dont get asked to go into safe mode, there's never any blue screens, the system just locks up and I have to hit reset.

I'm at a loss to figure out what the problem is.

Any ideas?

i feel like i type this every month...
let's see, what happened a few days ago?
hint: windows tuesday

The latest zonealarm has some compatibility issues, but none with freezing

mixing zonealarm and norton is not a good idea. for that matter i never liked norton, too many personal issues, too many complaints here at osnn.

roll back to before the 11th.

then add zonealarm back. if stable try the ms updates then.

Perris Calderon

Staff member
Political User
I agree with the zombie...maybe even badly seated hardware...I had the exact issue with a hardrive that just needed to be seated more snug

bush dogg

OSNN Senior Addict
Political User
After what you’ve done up too now I would say run the Harddrive manufacturers utilities and make sure the drive/drives are OK first.

Then check for the latest BIOS version.

Also reconnect all KVM cables on the problem system and make sure all cables are seated well.

Could be a bad KVM, I would run the system without the KVM attached for awhile just to test this and see what happens.

(Most of the time I run three systems connected by a KVM and about a year ago I had this same problem come up twice the first time it was the BIOS on an Intel board. I updated the BIOS and everything was fine for around two months then the freezing started again, well the system worked fine stand alone so it had to be the KVM switch or the cable I figured.
What I did was when that system froze connected to the KVM I disconnected the mouse & keyboard cables from the back of the KVM for a few seconds then reconnected them and this worked most times so I replaced the KVM cable on that system and solved the freeze problem again for now)

I use the IOGEAR MiniView SE and been very happy with it. Others I’ve tried didn’t work very well for me, it seemed I had to reset the systems a few times a day.

I mentioned this above but try the system without the KVM and see what happens.
Thanks for all the help guys, as always, I'm grateful. I'll try it all out and let you know how it progresses.

I don't think it's ram, heat, or PSU issues cause my voltages seem pretty solidly in line from what I'm reading with the monitoring software, system temp is always in the upper 30s with my CPU in the mid 30s or so, and I've run my ram through memtest for hours without issue. Still, who knows.

My hunch says it has something to do with Zonealarm since my system was otherwise unchanged for months and running fine with ZA being the only notable addition and not too long before the issue cropped up, though I also suspect the KVM just decided to frazzle at a moment that would confuse me with ZA.

My bios is the latest as are all my drivers, so dunno if any of that is an issue.

I've never been too keen on Norton either. Always heard it was a bloated mess full of conflicts and issues, but I got it for free from a local store with another purchase and figured I'd give it a shot, didnt notice an issue one way or the other.

Might toss it though and just go for utilities piece by piece, any replacement suggestions?


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