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I had a old computer that I wanted to restore. So I did a fresh install of windows XP home edition. It came with SP2. first it was freezing when I tried to go to windows update through IE or being idle. I am connecting to the Internet through wireless. So I downloaded SP3 from another computer and installed it. Now it froze when the computer went to screen saver mode. It runs well when I surf the Internet and run applications.

Athilon 1800

512MB RAM

Radeon 250

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Sounds to me like you are using an outdated operating system. –  ioSamurai Jul 19 '11 at 17:35
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3 Answers

Contrary to other posted answers, it's unlikely to be heat-related if the system works fine except in screensaver.

I don't suppose you could just turn off the screensaver?

It's likely to be a bad video driver. See if the manufacturer (Radeon) has a newer one for XP. When they don't, either use a newer Windows or try another OS, e.g. Linux.

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This is a good answer. I would try a blank screen saver. If it doesn't lock up, then it's probably a graphics driver related issue. –  Ed Manet Jul 19 '11 at 20:13
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Could be:

  1. Thermal problem. Check your thermal readings to make sure.
  2. Driver problem. Since it's an old computer, you'd probably have to use drivers later than those that came with the hardware but earlier/older than the latest version available.
  3. Hardware problem/malfunction. The only way to make sure is by swapping out components. RAM is the most likely culprit here -- I've never had a RAM module that lasted more than 5 years without bad cells. Start with performing RAM check using MemTest86 or similar. Second most likely culprit is the hard disk drive -- mechanical components are prone to exhaustion and whatnot.
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Sounds like heat issue to me, probably GPU. Download hiren boot cd and test single components (cpu, hard disk, ram, gpu) so you'll find who's faulty. Again, if you talk about freezes probably heat is your problem. Try to clean blowing with an air compressor all your fans and clean all heatsink replacing thermal paste.

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