Computer diagnostics

Discussion in 'Tech Talk' started by NetNinja, Sep 30, 2006.

  1. NetNinja

    NetNinja Always Faithful

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    Oct 23, 2001
    HotLanta, GA
    Hey everyone does anyone know of any good or excellent free diagnostic tools out there to stress a computer.

    I seem to be getting random lockups on a game I am running.

    The game has been running fine for a year and a half now all of a suden I get random lockups.

    New video card. (yes it was locking up with the old video card)
    Yeah I have done all the things like check the drivers and whatnot.

    Yeah I have reseated cards and checked to see if things are plugged in.
  2. doktarZues

    doktarZues I'm anti-anti

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    Nov 11, 2003
    Brevard County, FL
    Faulty/underpowered power supply, faulty RAM, software and configuration issues with the hardware (usually manifesting in forms of memory leaks), and overheating CPU are some of the common problems that cause lockups and unexpected reboots.

    Try opening your case and blowing a desk fan right at the inside of your case and try that for a few days, seeing if it makes your lockups go away.

    You are pretty limited as to how far you can test a power supply without real diagnostic equipment, but they are generally not very expensive and it never hurts to have an extra one, so you may want to try ordering a new PSU.

    Memtest86 is an ages old trusted memory diagnostic utility that will check for bad memory. Memory does not often or easily go bad but having a single cell bad likely be the culprit and they certainly DO happen from time to time.

    I don't know of any diagnostic programs that really help, I've tried several over the years and have always been dissapointed. The only thing really worth monitoring is the Voltage and Temperature, and I'll have 3 different programs give me 3 different readouts.

    Worse comes to worse, it wouldn't be a bad idea to backup all of your data and do a clean install of windows, paying particular attention to making sure every program and driver you load is the most up to date as possible. This will eliminate any software configurations.

    I've seen a lot of computers that do what you're saying and it can be really tough to troubleshoot. Most of the time it is an overheating problem or a bad power supply, but I've seen the most off the wall things fix them before. You must be dedicated, thorough, and patient if you /really/ want to get it fixed. Or it may be something really simple. Anyways, good luck, let us know if you find anything that fixes it. -dok

  3. MikeG22

    MikeG22 CLM

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    Jun 24, 2002
    San Diego
  4. David_G17

    David_G17 /\/\/\/\/\/\/\/

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    Oct 7, 2002
    google for "Ultimate Boot CD"

    it has tests for everything.
  5. Blitzer

    Blitzer Cool Cat

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    Jan 15, 2004
    The communist's play ground of OHIO
    Yes needed to clean a PC is the number one reason a PC can reset or lockup (overheating under load).

    Many of the service calls I dispatched for locking up or rebooting, while working for COMPAQ, were heat related issues.

    After multiple lock ups the Windows load can be compromised and need to be reload or resorted to resolve Windows instability due to the corruption. Fixit software will not normally deal with the damage due to lockups and reboots.

    Power demands with high end video cards is a valid issue. You can upgrade the power supply with a 400 - 450 watt unit, check the Video card specs or contact their tech support for more insight on that subject.

    Reseating chips and cards, to include memory, can resolve intermittent failures. Remove RAM chips and cards then burnish the contacts with a small piece of printer paper folded over your index finger to shine the contacts.

    Check the motherboard for visible changes in the appearance of the Capacitors, little plastic covered metal cans. Some mother boards have been locking up due to these parts being overstressed and failing. Some of these caps filter the processor from noise. Use a small bright flashlight to inspect the parts. The parts will look puffed out or cracked. The motherboard can still function but under heavy CPU loads, gaming, they glitch and lock up or reset the computer. This is due to the failing of the capacitor and the leaking of their internals, that is the electrolyte has dried out.

    I had 4 out of 5 aBit brand, model BEC and BECII motherboards fail in this manner, a manufacturing defect. :thumbsup: