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Freeze ups....

Discussion in 'Tech Talk' started by cheaptrick, Jun 6, 2005.

  1. cheaptrick


    Feb 13, 2005
    North Carolina
    Computer has been freezing uo on and off line lately.
    I have an updated spyware remover, good antivirus, etc.

    What else can I do, besides reinstall Windows 98 like I did last year?
    It was a real pain.

    Thanks, as always.

  2. Sgt. Schultz

    Sgt. Schultz Annoying Member

    Make sure that the unit is not over heating ... that can/will cause a system to run erratic and even freeze up.
  3. pyblood


    Dec 22, 2003
    Just out of curiosity, how much RAM does the PC have? If you don't know, you can right click on the computer icon located on your desktop.
  4. cheaptrick


    Feb 13, 2005
    North Carolina
    Thanks for responding, gentlemen.

    128 mb of RAM.

    Now the problem seems to be getting worse. After I'm online and pull up a few web pages, my computer gets slower and slower and must be restarted.
  5. Sounds like it could be overheating.Are all the fans running?Some PC's only have one fan but make sure the ones you can see are running and it's not full dust.
  6. fastvfr

    fastvfr Ancient Tech

    Mar 28, 2001
    SW Oregon
    CT, if the problem ONLY occurs when you are online, then it is definitely a virus or spyware--some sort of malware (possibly a spambot) that is using the CPU cycles and the Internet connection's bandwidth to send pings or copies of itself...or spam.

    Two things: open Start> Run> msconfig> Startup (tab) and uncheck as many things there as you can. Leave just ScanRegistry, TaskMonitor, SystemTray, LoadPowerProfile and your antivirus program ticked. Apply, OK and Restart.

    You ought to get another 256MB RAM stick, too. Most AV apps need lots of memory space to do their thing and that could be the problem.

    If you use Norton, you need to know that it is far to bloated for such an underpowered rig. LOSE IT and dload Avast for a far better--and LIGHTER--replacement. It's free, too.

    Make sure you use canned air to clean out the CPU cooler, any case fans and also the Power Supply. Excess heat there can even start fires.

    Good luck.
  7. When we first got dsl on our old puter that was running Windows98se after a few web pages the puter would start to slow down, fonts change to basic stuff and eventually the system would lock up.
    Turns out that for some reason or another the system resources would get lower and lower until finally frozen system.
    Never had that problem when we were on dialup.
    Did the WindowsXP upgrade strictly because it didn't have the system resources bottlenecking problem that Windows98 did and the lockups stopped.
  8. mitchshrader

    mitchshrader Deceased

    Jun 14, 2005
    A logging firewall can tell you if things are happening of which you're not aware.. (outbound info) and your problem does sound like spyware as you've described it. Or a spambot, .. first cousin to spyware.

    'Good' trojans are near indetectable. That's their job. Near irremovable as well. There's some smart evil coders running around underpaid who DO have elegantly nasty imaginations.

    Win98 should run adequately on 128 megs ram, but a dirty processor fan Certainly is a likely suspect. If you've never blown the dust out, you're due. If the fan on the processor is turning slowly, it MAY cool the comp enough to be stable at 'idle' but overheat under any minor load.

    MORE ram (up to 384 total) isn't wrong, and will improve performance generally, IF you have spare slots, and IF you want to make an investment in an older machine, and IF you've fixed the stability issues.

    Don't go there until the comp is back to 'normal' though.

    First step is clean the machine, if needed, and check the processor fan with the side off. Visually inspect and listen for whines, grinds, chatters, any noise that says the fan is less than adequate.

    That's AFTER you know the CPU fan and heatsink under it are fairly dust-free. A failing case fan isn't USUALLY so critical, but should be replaced.

    Given that all fans work, no giant dust bunnies, "it just dies" with no reason..

    Then you go to your logging firewall and find out what your comp is doing without permission. UNHOOK it from the net, entirely, and see if the problem goes away. If it does, yes, it's software.

    Now, there's another possibility. Certain buggy programs can use 100% of the CPU. Off the top of my head, I can think of 3 or 4 that have had that issue, Norton among them. RealPlayer, Quicktime, an old (and rapidly replaced) version of Sygate, .. check CPU useage. As I remember an older version of Internet Explorer (5.5b) had CPU issues.

    Some games can do it. You need to isolate the cause, there's no magic bullet. Recently installed software (sometimes weeks ago) is the most likely culprit. It's a good idea to uninstall any old/unused programs. Many folks let them stack up. If you don't need it, Uninstall it. (not delete!)..

    A good diagnostic program is Belarc Advisor, free download. It'll tell you what's installed. If the list is huge, trim it. Tidy is easily maintained.

    happy geeking! ;Q