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all. Here are my specs beforehand:

AMD Athlon XP 2400+ @ 2.00 GHz, 160GB IDE HDD, 128MB GeForce 6200 AGP, 2 x 512MB PC3200 DDR RAM, CoolMax 350W PSU, 1 x CD-RW Drive, 1 x DVD-ROM Drive, FIC AM37 Mobo, Windows XP Pro SP3

My desktop freezes after random periods of time but there are no errors listed in the Event Viewer after a forced shutdown and restart. A couple months ago, I found that when it froze, the floppy was being accessed at the same time. So, I disconnected the floppy (since I never used it anyways) from the power supply and motherboard. Everything was working fine and the computer never froze. This past Christmas break, I left for a Conference and when I got home, the computer kept freezing again. So, this time, I just disconnected the DVD reader (from mobo and power) and started it up. Still, it froze almost right away. Then I found some older sticks of RAM (2 x 256MB PC2100 DDR) and swapped them in. Everything worked fine again after that. I even swapped the 2 x 512MB PC3200 DDR RAM back in and everything worked okay. Then it started freezing again, and I tried all possible RAM combos, still freezing within 5-10 minutes of startup. One thing I've realized is that the floppy drive is still listed in My Computer and I uninstalled it from my Device Manager already. There were no software errors, and I uninstalled the most recent software, with no effect. Still, I have no idea what is wrong because everything ran fine before that. Any suggestions?

EDIT: Still have yet to buy some blank CD media to use Memtest86+. However, would a lack of virtual memory cause the computer to freeze?

EDIT2: So after a long time, I ran Memtest86+ and all is well. Turns out though, after removing my original DVD reader and replacing it with a DVD-ROM drive, there is no freezing whatsoever! Thanks for all your suggestions!

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closed as too localized by Nifle, slhck Sep 21 '12 at 9:31

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How did the Memtest86+ work out? –  pcapademic Jan 17 '10 at 6:34
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4 Answers

up vote 1 down vote accepted

disable the floppy drive in the BIOS, set it to Not Installed, additionally you may disable the onboard FDD controller, this will knock it off completely.

and test your memory with Memtest86+ to rule out faulty modules.

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My BIOS does not have the option to set whether the Floppy is installed or not. I've searched every option and can't find it. I will try using Memtest86+ tonight. –  Wesley Jan 9 '10 at 22:35
    
now that's very strange, most BIOS (if not all) i know allow to configure floppy drives (if a controller is present), hard disk drives, CD/DVD drives :) –  Molly7244 Jan 9 '10 at 22:38
    
Yeah, I can't find it. Would taking everything apart and then putting it back together help at all? –  Wesley Jan 10 '10 at 18:15
    
well, re-seating all addon cards, memory modules and cable connectors certainly won't do any harm. –  Molly7244 Jan 10 '10 at 18:19
    
Yeah there's no use, but I'm going to reformat and see how things go. –  Wesley Jan 15 '10 at 16:07
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I would start watching the temperature of my CPU, GPU (i.e., video card) and hard disks.

For Ubuntu Linux, I use the Sensors Applet:

$ sudo aptitude install sensors-applet

For Windows, I would install SpeedFan, although some people prefer other applications like Rivatuner.

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Yeah I think I'm going to reformat my hard drive anyhow. –  Wesley Jan 15 '10 at 16:07
    
I still haven't reformatted yet, but I went into my BIOS and CPU/GPU temps are around 21 C... –  Wesley Jan 16 '10 at 18:08
    
Nice low CPU and GPU temperatures. What about your hard disks? –  pcapademic Jan 16 '10 at 20:37
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For random failures, I like to try hardware testing utilities. Unfortunately, I don't have any good links for your - perhaps your motherboard manufacturer has something.

I've been given Dell machines for so long that I've gotten spoiled by having their "Hardware Diagnostic CD". Boot the CD, and then it runs a bunch of tests. A test fails, Dell sends a technician, component gets swapped, and, viola, I'm back in business.

Out in the real world without 3 year service contracts, perhaps you could find a more general hardware diagnostic application, preferably one that boots from CD or USB and the puts the hardware through its paces?

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Are you running out of memory? The system may be freezing because it is forced to use a swap file.

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Nope. I'm running 1GB DDR and my RAM meter always says there's at least 500-600 MB free at any time. –  Wesley Jan 17 '10 at 13:44
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