General Question

poisonedantidote's avatar

What could be causing my friends computer to crash?

Asked by poisonedantidote (21544 points ) November 30th, 2012

I am just round at a friends house trying to see what is wrong with the computer.

The problem is that after about 5 minutes of booting the system, it freezes up.

I have checked the most likely suspects, bios configuration, hardware conflicts, viruses, registry errors, and so on.

Everything seems to be ok, and it is not crashing at the moment, but has been crashing quite a lot.

The crash always happens a few minutes after booting the system, and seems to be fine so long as it does not crash in the first few minutes.

Any ideas?

Thanks.

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7 Answers

dabbler's avatar

I would suspect these things:
power supply
RAM has become unseated in the sockets / mild corrosion on RAM sockets.
hard drive connection / hard drive failure

I’d try pulling the RAM chips out and reseating them first, when that’s the problem it’s so easy to fix it’s worth trying up front. The seasonal change in temp/humidity can cause RAM modules to shift out of whack. The symptom that it will crash in the first few minutes supports this possible cause, as maybe when the machine warms up a bit the RAM gets better contact.

A power supply can start going intermittently. But I think that would be more likely to quit after the machine warms up.

Hard drive connections can get intermittent, reseat the cables into the hard drive(s) at both ends.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Check for loose connections and if you go poking around inside make sure you are “GROUNDED”.

I use a VELCRO strap with a wire under it on my wrist and the other end on a ground source ( ground leg of an outlet or metallic cold water pipe ).

njnyjobs's avatar

More than hardware problem, I would suspect a deeply entrenched malware or more running in the background. Try booting the system in Safe Mode with Networking….if the system does not manifest the problem then surely there is the high possibility of rogue apps running in the background, undetected by antivirus software….. While running on safe mode, connect to the internet and download an anti malware software, i.e. malwarebytes, hitman pro, avast, etc….from download.com. Scan system and rescan after rebooting.

poisonedantidote's avatar

It is the power supply box, I noticed a surge before it froze. Thanks for the help.

jerv's avatar

Surge protectors and oversized power supplies are your friend. My 600w unit can supply the 450w I need more reliably, and can handle things that would fry a PSU that was closer to my actual needs. Also, go name-brand; they cost more, but the others are cheap for a reason ;)

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