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New Laptop Freezing

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by OrbitzXT, Jun 2, 2010.

  1. OrbitzXT

    OrbitzXT New Member

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    A friend of mine got a new laptop recently, upon receiving it he wiped the hard drive and installed a fresh copy of Windows 7 64 bit to have a nice clean install. All of this happened while he was staying at my house for a couple weeks, things seemed fine and we were playing Starcraft 2 and League of Legends together without any issues. The about a week later after everything had been fine he got a lock up, couldn't do anything, just froze and had to reboot. From that point onward it seemed to have been happening roughly once a day.

    Today, he went home and it seemed to have gotten worse. We were trying to play a game together, and he froze about 4 or 5 times in the span of 30 minutes. He even froze after just booting up and only had Firefox open. It seems odd to me that the problem would escalate like that so quickly. I thought maybe it had something to do with him going home today, and traveling with the laptop. Perhaps the RAM needed to be reseated, or the hard drive might have been damaged?

    Based on how and when it's been happening, having just booted up, and once while watching a movie using VLC, I don't think it's a temperature issue of either the CPU or GPU. I told him to run memtest and/or reseat the RAM, I think he's going to do these soon and get back to me, but any input from people smarter than me here would be appreciated.
  2. AsRock

    AsRock TPU addict

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    Could be a heating issue, maybe get a can of air on it to get what dust there is inside it. Any chance HWMonitor work on it so you know the temps ?.

    Maybe try using it in a much cooler place see if it resolves the issue or at least for a while longer then you would have a better idea if it's a heat issue.
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  3. OrbitzXT

    OrbitzXT New Member

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    I had him download core temp, I'm not sure of the temperature of the room he's currently in but he was idling at about 50ish. Not the best, but not alarming either. And some of these crashes happened when the CPU was not stressed, just using Firefox and watching movies with VLC. I don't think it's a heat issue, but I'm not 100% sure.

    Edit: Now that I think about it, maybe it could be heat. When he was at my house, I like to keep the AC on all the time and my room is often compared to an ice box. I highly doubt he has the AC on at home so his temps could be higher. But it still seems odd he'd be crashing at times when nothing is stressed and not heating up. I have him running Prime95 right now with Core Temp open and he says the highest it's getting is 73...which is high but not enough to crash it I think. Also, I highly doubt the CPU hit those temps while he was doing the things he was during lock ups.
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2010
  4. OrbitzXT

    OrbitzXT New Member

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    He's been running memtest for about 4 hours now without any errors, and prior to that he reseated the RAM and still had lockups. He's going to continue running it overnight since some errors don't show up in the first few hours. Since it seems it may not be the RAM, I'm inclined to look toward the hard drive next. What is the best method of testing the hard drive for errors?
  5. caleb

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    Have you ran this memtest?
    http://hcidesign.com/memtest/

    I remember you had to run it in a few threads so its able to fill the memory totally. Also I could pass all the sandra memory tests and a few other memory testers but filling memory with this one crashed my computer and the memory was ineed faulty.
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  6. OrbitzXT

    OrbitzXT New Member

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    No I'm not familiar with that test, I'm going to have him run that tomorrow. Is it like memtest86 in that he'll need to run it for a good portion of the day to be certain? Or does it find error faster usually? How long would you recommend to run it?
  7. caleb

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    No you will know in a matter of moments. It starts filling memory up to the specified value and then runs test on it. Cant remember whats the max you can put into there. For example if max is 512 and you got 2 gigs u need to run it 4 times with about 450MB. 450 because as soon as you pass you physical memory size it will start paging to HDD and this will cause the test to run extremly slow so you need to experiment a bit with the values to be able to "almost" use up all the memory. Use windows monitor to see how it eats memory.

    In my case computer simply froze or rebooted.
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  8. n-ster

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    Well, you could run HDtach or something to see if HDD is abnormally slow or if it freezes during it.... I doubt it is something obvious though... All the problems that I can think of would have different circumstances than yours
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  9. Guruthos New Member

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    If it's the HDD that causes the freezes there ought to be some indication in the SMART values; therefore, your friend should try using a program such as HD Tune or Crystaldiskinfo and check whether any of the attributes are failing. Or he could use the bootable diagnostic tools provided by the respective HDD-manufacturer (Samsung - ES-Tool, Western Digital - Data Lifeguard Diagnostic, Seagate - SeaTools).

    However, there could be many other causes for the freezes; therefore, your friend should take a look at the event log, as it may contain more hints at what causes the problem.
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  10. AsRock

    AsRock TPU addict

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    Try running checkdisk on it see if that picks up any HDD corruption. Or does it have a SSD ?.

    BTW what brand\model of laptop is it ?.
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  11. OrbitzXT

    OrbitzXT New Member

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    It's an Acer, this is the exact one. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834115727 We picked that one because it was the cheapest available with a dedicated graphics card for gaming. Guruthos, I'm not really familiar with the event log you mentioned, where and how can I look at this, and what information might it give me? The computer is giving no obvious signs that something is wrong. If it is indeed the HD, there are no sounds or performance issues, my friend is currently asleep but I'll find out from him in a bit how healthy his HD is.

    Thanks for your help so far everyone.
  12. Guruthos New Member

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    The event log is an utility designed to assist users during troubleshooting that's located in the control panel in the menu system and security. It's basically a protocol of various events (errors, warnings and others) that includes the time when they occurred.

    This means that by checking the events from around the time when the laptop locked up, you'll probably find some/a series of errors that are related to the crash. By doing some research on the errors themselves, it should then be possible to track down the source of the problem (or at least reduce the number of suspects).

    Regarding the HDs health, I'd recommend HD Tune as I can't say which HD was included in the laptop and I'm not sure if the manufacturers tools work with other brands; however, HD tune should do the job fairly well.
  13. OrbitzXT

    OrbitzXT New Member

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    Well just an update, he ran memtest for 12 hours, did HD Tune and the other memtest program suggested in this thread and none of them found any errors. I thought it might be a software thing, so I suggested a clean reinstall. When he tries to install Windows 7 now its apparently locking up everytime when Windows is at that "expanding" stage. Now he can't use it at all. That kind of sounds like an HD issue to me, even if the HD Tune reported nothing is wrong. Or is there something else wrong somewhere? I told him as a last resort to swap out the laptop's HD with another he knows to be working from another laptop. If that doesn't work I'm stumped, and he'll just have to RMA the whole thing.

    Edit: He's concerned about voiding the warranty, would taking out the HD from one laptop and putting it in this new one void the warranty on either?
  14. robn

    robn New Member

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    Hey, if it's under warranty ...he should have it warranty fixed! Might genuinely be a manufacturing fault.
  15. OrbitzXT

    OrbitzXT New Member

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    Ideally he'd like to just get it up and running right now since he has the working HD in an older laptop. Would he be voiding warranties on either by swapping the HD from one to the other?
  16. n-ster

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    I think it depends, but usually replacing an HD is not voiding the warranty from my experience...RAM and HDD and ODD are usually safe to touch. If you are not sure, just chat with or call ACER
  17. OrbitzXT

    OrbitzXT New Member

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    He realized it's within the 30 days still from the NewEgg invoice, so he should be able to get this replaced through them instead of Acer...which hopefully will be faster. It kind of irks me that I never pinpointed what the issue was but I guess you can't win them all. Thanks for the help everyone.
  18. n-ster

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    Newegg's service is great, going that route is the easiest for sure!

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