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Old 14th February 2005   #1
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Computer crashes/freezes/hangs-up


My computer crashes intermittently. It has NEVER crashed when booted in either SAFE or DOS mode. It crashes most frequently with the mouse pointer
on a horizontal plane on the File/Edit/View line at the top end of the screen, on roughly a 9 - 3 o'clock line in mid-screen or at the bottom of the screen on the Start line. It will crash when the mouse pointer enters the particular plane ,BUT it will also crash with the mouse pointer static on the 9-3 o'clock plane but when scrolling with the down-arrow keyboard key (for instance scrolling down the favourites list). Similarly, it has also crashed in DOS (entered from Windows) when the characters being displayed coincides with the mouse pointer static on the 9 -3 o'clock plane on the right side of the screen. Sometimes it will crash when dragging the right-hand side scrolling bar when it passes the critical 9-3 o'clock plane. Strangely, when re-booted after a crash, it will crash again in the same screen area. The incidence of crashing is definitely lower when the screen display has been changed from 800X600 to 640x480 - but it stll crashes. After start-up in the morning it will some days be crash-free for hours and then suddenly WHAMO !!!
This has been going on since March 2004 and I have spent a great many hours trying to resolve the problem (updating drivers, anti-virus software, running Reg Clean, checking what's ready to run, new battery, trying this, trying that. etc), all to no avail.
It is not hardware, it is not temperature, I have the most up-to-date mouse/graphics/keyboard drivers and there is no apparent IRQ conflict.
My computer has on-board graphics and no AGP expansion slot. Where does one go from here ???
HELP, PLEASE !!!! Many thanks.


Last edited by Aubrey Little; 14th February 2005 at 03:31.
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Old 14th February 2005   #2
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My System
Do you have, or did you ever have, any sort of "hot corner" software installed? Maybe with a screensaver you downloaded? Something that lets you park or click the mouse in one corner of the screen and the screensaver will immediately kick on?

I sounds like it might be some hot corner software gone nuts.

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Old 14th February 2005   #3
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Many thanks, Miz.
No, I've never downloaded that type of software. In my efforts to solve my 'computer crashing' problem I have downloaded Everest, Belarc, Fresh Diagnose and M/S Memory Diagnostic, Reg Clean, SpyWare Blaster, SpyBot, Ad-Aware, and AVG. The last five I run twice a week and once a week I run Disk Clean, Scan Disk and Disk Defrag (ME version).
Several times I've run Aumha's 'Parasite Checker' and the M/S Memory Checker (once in extended mode - ran continuously for over four days/nights).
Except for Bridge Baron there are no games played on the computer. I use the following software: I/E, O/E, MS Word, MS Excel, Simply Accounting, Family Tree Maker, Nikon View, WinZip, Adobe Acrobat, and at this time of year an income tax program (TaxWiz). I have QuickTimePlayer which I think I've used once or twice in three years.
My ' problem' computer is a Pentium 11, Slot-1 - M741LMR M/B, AMI BIOS, 400Mhz Intel Celeron CPU, 256Mb RAM, 4.2 GB H/D (about half full), Logitech optical mouse (Mouse Port), HP printer, HP scanner (USB) - Graphics Accelerator is SIS620. A CD-ROM and a FDD. One PCI and one ASI expansion slot.
I re-installed Windows 98SE in November 2004
I've downloaded, upgraded, de-upgraded and re-upgraded the Graphics/Mouse/KeyBoard drivers - too many times, enough already. I can see no conflicts in IRQ's - the mouse and K/B each have their own dedicated IRQ.


Last edited by Aubrey Little; 14th February 2005 at 23:53.
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Old 15th February 2005   #4
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Do you happen to have Sysagent at windows startup? This file does the "hot corner" area for windows version of the screensaver activator.

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Old 16th February 2005   #5
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Hi Mark:

No, have never had SysAgent on my start-up and I've NEVER downloaded a screensaver. The only 'hot corner' display that I remember seeing are the words 'safe mode' in each of the four corners - which I'd use all of the time if I could access the internet and the printer. The fact that it has never crashed in either safe mode or when booted-up in DOS indicates to me that it is NOT a hardware problem. There are definitely fewer 'freeze-ups' when I cut the screen resolution from 600x800 to 640x480. I scaled back the graphics acclerator several months ago - seemed to help for a while then 'whamo'.

Thanks.

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Old 16th February 2005   #6
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The Sysagent.Exe I am referring to is part of Windows 98, it would be installed into the folder C:\Program Files\Plus! . Anyway this is eliminated as a possible cause.
I am no expert on video cards, but it appears yours may be developing a problem. It wouldn't crash in Safe Mode or pure dos mode [not dos window] as the more elaborate video functions are not in use, your card would be in 16 color mode, not 16, 24 or 32 bit modes.

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Old 16th February 2005   #7
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Thanks Mark.
My computer has built-in graphics and no AGP expansion slot - so one cannot just replace the defective graphics card with a new one. In addition, PCChips has discontinued the M741LMR M/Board. So, I guess I'm 'toast'. I guess it's a bit hard to accept that a simple task such as scrolling the favourites list with either the mouse or the keyboard can 'on and off ' freeze the computer. Strangley enough, scrolling anywhere on the desk top never hangs the computer - but get into an application, move the mouse-pointer to the top left to click on 'File' - instant ice.

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Old 17th February 2005   #8
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There are PCI slot video cards on the market, but the choice of them is getting smaller. I have a Slot 1 [266 MMX] computer I just resurrected, and it uses a Rage 128 All in One Wonder Pro, and performs good.
It would be nice if you could borrow any PCI video card long enough for an install and test run.

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Old 19th April 2005   #9
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An update on computer/mouse freezing problem.


Have been struggling with my Win98SE computer freezing since October 2004. Went down many, many roads - all to no avail. Finally came across a suggestion that it could be possibly be caused by M/S Office 2000(Word)'s NORMAL.DOT file. Experimented with that for a while, renaming the normal.dot file and deleting the 'data' registry entry then re-initiating Word - it worked off-and-on, sometimes for hours on end and then suddenly 'wham'!. Through sheer frustration I uninstalled M/S Office 2000 and it's been three weeks now since my last freeze. I'm tired of using Wordpad, not having 'SpellCheck' and 'M/S Excel' but what the heck, it beats the computer crashing constantly, often at some very inopportune times. I'm planning to re-install Excel to see what happens and if OK I'll then re-load Word.

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Old 20th April 2005   #10
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Thanks for the update on this. I merged the two threads.

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Old 20th April 2005   #11
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Audrey,

Originally Posted by Aubrey Little
In addition, PCChips has discontinued the M741LMR M/Board.
This MB has problematic Video Drivers. It uses the SIS video processor on the motherboard and they have always been problematic.

You might want to try to putting in a PCI video card and disabling the onboard video processor in the CMOS setup.

What video driver are you using? The SIS 530 or the SIS 620?

George

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Old 20th April 2005   #12
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Audrey,

Question for you:

How much memory is in this PC? Do you have a lot of cute little icons in the lower right corner of the screen on the taskbar?

1. You might not have enough memory (RAM - your video function shares your computer memory).
2. If you have a lot of things loading up at bootup, then you might be running out of resources. Reboot the PC, BEFORE you do ANYTHING else, right click MY Computer, select PRoperties, then click on the Performance tab and tell me what % free resources you have. It should be greater than 80% from a cold reboot.

George

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Old 20th April 2005   #13
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George - many thanks for your replies.

Re: PCI video adapter: The M/B has one PCI slot and one ISA slot. The cable internet installer could not get the built-in network (LAN) adapter to work so he installed an adapter into the only PCI slot. So a PCI video adapter, if still available, is not an option. The video driver is SIS620 - I've downloaded and installed it twice since last October. Desperate, I guess.
The computer has 2x128MB PC100Mhz SDRam with 8MB seconded by, I think, the video driver/system. I ran the Windows Memory Diagnostic (MTINST.EXE) - the full, in-depth version ran continuously for over three days. Memory OK - no problems reported.
Immediately after a 'cold' boot the System Resources = 86 percent free.

M/S Support has two articles on troubleshooting problems with the Global Template (normal.com). It is a bit of a struggle without M/S Word and Excel but boy am I enjoying working on a computer that does not freeze/crash all the time.

On a personal note: It is Aubrey, not Audrey. Thanks.

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Old 20th April 2005   #14
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Hi Aubrey (sorry about the D),

You sure your board is a PC Chips board? There is an Amptron board that looks soooooooooo much like what you describe (1 ISA and 1 PCI slot).

Try going to this site and see if the video driver SIS60vga9x.zip helps.

http://www.video-drivers.com/companies/796.htm

George

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Old 21st April 2005   #15
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Iclarius:

I've just checked the user's manual that came with the system:

Title on cover: PC100 SystemBoard. Slot 1. M741LMR user's manual.

On the PC-Chips web-site, the M741 is definitely their board (discontinued), and I'm quite sure that this was verified by both Everest and Belarc.

Most of the info in my previous post (e.g. SIS620 video driver, open slots etc.) came from the user's manual.

I'll have a go at your suggested driver.

Many thanks.

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