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zircon

Regular system hangs in Windows XP. :(

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I got a Q9450 processor which I had professionally installed last month at Micro Center. Since then, I began having problems with system hangs. I'm not positive the processor is the cause, as the first hang wasn't until at least a week or two after I got it, but they've definitely been regular. I've gotten maybe 10 total. The system just freezes completely; no noises or error messages, nothing in the Event list.

I've installed two new pieces of hardware since the new processor, which are USB-only (Printer + USB Mic), but the hangs happen even when the hardware is not plugged in (or in use.) The system has hung randomly, sometimes when I'm doing intensive stuff (eg. working in FL), sometimes when I'm just navigating folders or browsing in Firefox. Seems random. Coretemp reports my idle temperatures in the low 60c range, now that I have my case siding off. At first I thought it was a heat issue, which I suppose it still might be, but the system doesn't shut down, it just hangs.

Worth noting: I've run torture tests on all FOUR processors for several minutes, bringing the temps into the upper 70s, with no hang - plus I've seen the hangs happen when the temperatures have been as low as 63 (for the hottest proc.) I have an aftermarket cooler which I used on my last processor, and the tech who installed the whole setup also used Arctic Silver coolant.

Another thing worth noting is that the tech did need to flash my BIOS (ASUS board) to install the Q9450; it would not post without the update.

I have probably installed and uninstalled new software since I got the new processor, but in the last 3-4 years I've never gotten hangs like this and I certainly haven't been using anything out of the realm of my normal activities (simple web browsing and music making.)

Please help! I don't even know where to start diagnosing this as there's no log or error of any kind. It's driving me crazy.

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To be honest, it sounds like a bad memory module. Bad processors tend to...pooch your system completely where memory does just what you describe. My suggestion, pull out something like memtest86+ and run it for a while and see what comes up. If you have large amount of memory 3GB+, pull a couple of sticks out to speed the process up a little. Hopefully the system locks up or reports errors early in the test process.

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I posted this in your other thread, but the temp sensors for the 45nm Duos and Quads report almost 20c over what the temp actually is. Every monitoring program you can use will report this wrong temperature. So i am 99% sure its not heat, unless your heatsink isn't applied correctly, in which case it most likely wouldn't run to begin with.

Run memtest like phill said, that sounds like bad memory.

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I've thoroughly tested all my memory as of a few months ago; several sticks are only a few months old. I WAS having massive memory trouble, having gone through two kits of bad RAM that Corsair sent, but the third kit tested perfectly. When I was having memory problems, I got BSODs, not system hangs. I'm hesistant to spend an entire day doing Memtest again considering everything checked out not very long ago (Prime95 did not encounter any problems either.)

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OK, spent the whole day memtesting all of my four sticks (total 6gb) *individually*, two full passes each, with no errors. It's not my RAM, which is what I thought before. RAM doesn't usually cause your system to hang, memory problems = bluescreens. Back to square 1. :(

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Could be a power supply issue too, i had a brand new box a while back that would hang about 5 minutes in after boot, and it was only because the power supply wasn't giving it enough juice.

Also, you use 64 bit XP don't you? Could be a driver issue.

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I dual-boot XP64 but I haven't used it in months, since I always need my internet connection for something and I generally keep my XP64 partition offline so it doesn't get bogged down with crap I don't need. I don't think it's a power supply issue, the PS is a year and a half old, 600w, providing more than enough for all my components. Is there any way to somehow test this, though?

I suspect it IS some kind of driver issue but I have absolutely no idea what driver that would be since I'm not getting BSODs. The frequency at which the hangs happen is also bizzarre. For example, I had one on Sunday, but then didn't have one at all until today, though my computer was running 24 hours a day. Today I got no less than THREE hangs so far. But I'm doing the same stuff every day.

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I periodically run Spybot S&D, plus I have Symantec Antivirus corporate edition, courtesy of Drexel.

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Does it ever hang when you are doing something particularly stressful? The PS could be crapping out and not providing the power when its needed. You could also download Speedfan and check if the voltages ever drop severely (several points out of spec) at any time. Outside of getting a tester and testing it, those are really the only ways.

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zircon,

I had this same problem in 2004 with my system, and I went through the same frustrating tests: CPU, RAM, software, swapping PSUs that worked perfectly, etc. The system ran like a champ for months until suddenly it would completely hang without warning. It didn't matter what I did: music, IM, DVD, computer just sitting idle, etc.

That was until I realized the apartment management was getting all the power meters replaced with newer ones. For whatever reason, the voltage completely went goofy while this transition was taking place, and my system's PSU didn't like it at all, though all my other electrical appliances continued to work just fine. When they completed the transition, all my system freezes went away, so it was the power going into my apartment that was causing the problem, even though the PSUs were top-quality.

See if you can get an electrician to diagnose the power going into your place. Your system might be showing correct voltages, which was my case during the transition, but there could be weird spikes happening that's totally freaking out your PSU.

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Does it ever hang when you are doing something particularly stressful? The PS could be crapping out and not providing the power when its needed. You could also download Speedfan and check if the voltages ever drop severely (several points out of spec) at any time. Outside of getting a tester and testing it, those are really the only ways.

It does hang under stress, but it also hangs when it's NOT under stress.. and most of the day it's getting taxed pretty hard (in FL.) I downloaded Speedfan and gave it a run... what should I be looking for?

Jago, I live in an apartment so I'll have to see if my landlord would go for getting an electrician here. I know there is renovation being done on some other apartments in the building but it shouldn't be affecting me.

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Jago, I live in an apartment so I'll have to see if my landlord would go for getting an electrician here. I know there is renovation being done on some other apartments in the building but it shouldn't be affecting me.

I thought the same thing when they were replacing the power meters. They were done with my building completely, so I thought my system would be fine. Nope. It continued to hang until they were completely done, which took about a week. So I literally had a week of random hangs. Talk about frustration! Hopefully your landlord can help you out.

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Jago could be right on this, if the power coming in to your system is surging or browning out then your PSU will throw a shit fit. Speedfan won't show anything different in this case, but if you want to look anyway it shows the voltages on the bottom of the window on the default screen.

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In the event that it does NOT turn out to be a power problem, anyone have any other suggestions as to what this could be?

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In the event that it does NOT turn out to be a power problem, anyone have any other suggestions as to what this could be?

dung beetle

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I have read a few people having problems when they upgrade to the Q9450, most of them due to voltage problems. You did say the tech flashed the bios, but you may want to double check that he got the newest version for your mobo and then reset everything back to the default settings. I think intel even has a couple of utilities for check and testing your processor, may be work a look at.

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In the event that it does NOT turn out to be a power problem, anyone have any other suggestions as to what this could be?

I just thought of something else. If you know someone with a system that works fine, see if they're willing to give theirs a test run at your place. If their system hangs as well, then it's the power coming into your apartment. If it runs fine, it has to be something with your motherboard, for it seems the rest of your components appear to be fine. Are there capacitors on the board that look like they're bulging or leaking?

Could the tech have unintentionally overclocked the RAM or CPU? That will also cause random hangs.

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Definitely no overclocking going on... I don't see any problems with the capacitors, visually speaking, and no other electronic devices in the apartment (including Jill's laptop, though it has batteries) seem to have suffered any problems. If I had any friends in the area willing to move their desktops, I would try your suggestion, but unfortunately I do not :(

phil: The BIOS is definitely up-to-date as the old version that WAS installed did not post at all with the Q9450. We had to get the latest to make it work. I reset all the BIOS settings (but did not flash it) myself later just to make sure everything was OK.

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