Disapointing Computer


Old 04-15-05, 05:44 PM
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Disapointing Computer

Hello Everyone,

Just have to say, when you have a problem, this is a good site for references!!! My computer lately has been shutting down on me and then rebooting!!! When it reboots, It tells me that my computer just recovered from a serious error. I click on the link that microsoft gives me and most of the time it says that it was caused by a "Device Driver"!!! Once in a while it says that I lost memory!!! That is what I think it is!!! (Memory) I did the "Roll Back Driver" thing and still it happens!!! My computer is an "HP Pavillion 734n". I have a "AMD Athlon XP Processor 2.0 GH", Am running 512 MB DDR SDRAM!!! I really don`t want to wipe my hardrive out and start new! But have most of my files backed-up on disk! Also, I did a check on my memory and it said it was fine but I am still sceptical on it!!! Sometimes when it boots back-up my screen is "BLACK" until it fully boots up!!! Please someone help!!! I am ready to go by new memory for it and wipe windows (XP) out and reinstall!!!

Thank-You, Dave

P.S. I Have tried "Windows Restore"!!! Also I have "Scanned" it for viruses, trojans, worms etc. at "TrendMicro"!!!

Last edited by Dave_Roberts; 04-15-05 at 05:47 PM. Reason: Forgot something
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Old 04-15-05, 07:28 PM
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Couple of questions.

What changed on the computer within a few days prior to the begining of the program? Did you install any software, if so what? Did you run windows update? Did you change any hardware? Have you ever updated any of your drivers beyond what came with the computer? Do you ever get updated drivers from HP? Did you start using,or do you use any USB devices?

What service pack are you running for XP?

Do you notice any common factors to when it crashes, such as the room being hot, running a certain program, etc?
Old 04-15-05, 07:32 PM
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Does the error message indicate which device driver or any other information?
Old 04-15-05, 07:40 PM
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"NO", It gives no device specifically!!! Just tells me that it was a "Device Driver"!!!

Truly, I thank-you for replying!!!
Old 04-15-05, 07:42 PM
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Awful lot of !'s in there
Go to control panel, click administrative tools, click event viewer, click on system in the left pane, and scroll through the right pane and look at any red X entries, they may give a clue as to which driver is causing the problem.
Old 04-18-05, 10:47 AM
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What is the age of the computer? A lot of times intermittent problems that seem totally unrelated end up being a problem with the power supply. The power supply is probably the LEAST reliable component in a computer today, and they fail regularly, especially with computers being kept in "computer desks" which have little or no ventilation.

A marginal power supply will manifest itself as bad devices, bad memory, bad hard drives, etc...

Considering they only cost about $20 and are easy to replace, that is one of the first shotgunning techniques I use when the problem cannot be isolated to software or a specific hardware device. Sometimes cheapy computers (think Emachine) even ship with a power supply that is simply not up to snuff (Emachines used to ship with a 160W supply, although I think they've changed that now).
Old 04-18-05, 10:49 AM
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You use exclamation marks like many use ellipses...

It may be your power supply crapping out on you. The random hangs/reboots can be a symptom of such. Also I've seen instances where underpowered RAM modules won't reflect their actual size and can even over time become damaged.

With those proprietary systems (dell, HP, compaq, etc) it can sometimes be a little harder to locate a PS that will fit the case. If you do decide to try an alternate one to see if this restores stability just be sure to measure the size of your current one and also note what wattage it's rated for before you trek to the store.
Old 04-18-05, 12:27 PM
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Before replacing parts,

I would suggest opening up the case, then remove and re-seat the memory modules, all cables, and the cards. (video, modem, network, etc).

Also, try to blow out all the dust with some of those compressed air cans. Don't try a vaccum, they generate static electricity.

You'd be surprised at how often this works!

If this doesn't help, then I'd try all the suggestions above.

Trying to help!
Old 04-18-05, 03:18 PM
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Shutdown problems

You have received some great advice prior to my post. With Athlon XP motherboards current consumption causing premature power supply failure is a real possibility. Having used AMD chips for many years I have seen those problems before.

While poking around in the machine look at power supply fan andsee if it is clogged with dirt or if cooling vents inside or outside are dist filled.

Also very important on AMD motherboards be sure CPU fan and colling fins are absolutely clean and that fan speed is not dragging. Most AMD boards have built in the BIOS motherboard monitoring where you can see things like fan speeds and most important CPU temperature. If you have that feature go into BIOS and watch CPU fan speed for erratic speed readouts ot high CPU temperatures. I have an Athlon XP 2 gig processor that runs about 38-43 degrees C most of the time with a high performance cooler. You should not see temps much above 55-60 with stock fan, tops under processor load. If you overclock all bets are off!

Be sure while in there to reseat RAM module (s) and check contacts for tarnished edge connector pins.

All of the things listed prior as well as these items are prime suspects for random reboots should they be hardware related.

Good Luck

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