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Why is my computer crashing


Wish-I-Were-Fishn

Question

I have a nice, new home built computer. However, lately it has been crashing occasionally.

I don't have much installed by way of programs, but I did install an older HP 722c printer a while ago. It is supposed to use a serial cable, but my computer doesn't have a serial port so I got a serial-USB cable and installed the printer using the XP install a printer feature. It found and installed the driver for my printer.

When it crashes, I'm not using the printer, just surfing the net. I suddenly get the blue screen with lots of white text, but it goes so quickly that I can't read what it says.

Any ideas?

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  • Wish-I-Were-Fishn

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  • upnorth

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  • Sandmannd

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  • PierBridge

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Well, I really doubt it's your printer, but you know, in my years of tech support, I've seen it before. Try to disconnect the printer if you think you won't need it for a day or two and see if it crashes. How often does it crash? If you boot into safe mode do you have the same problem? That loads no drivers so it's a great tool.

I usually don't tollorate trouble shooting these problems myself too long before I just format and reinstall.

It could be the hard drive as well.

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If it started shortly after you plugged the usb device in you many have a faulty usb device. I have seen them short out and cause problems, rarely but they do. I would do as Sandmann suggested and unplug the the thing for a while and see if your symptoms go away.

If it persists, you can go into the PCs event log and look at what is happening about the time of the crash. To get to the event logs:

Right click on My Computer, select "Manage" it will bring up another window, go to event viewer and you will see several options. You will probably find the most pertinent info under "System", but there might be some useful info in "Application" too. If you see an error or warning right about the time the PC crashed you can go to the Microsoft site and search the "Knowledge Base" for tips on correcting the issue. The "Knowledge Base" is under support.

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  • 'we have more fun' FishingMN Creators

I'd uninstall the printer software and unplug the printer and see what happens.

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Almost sounds to me like an overheating of the processor... but I am not a hardware expert. Since you built it yourself, maybe did not get the processor seated/heat shielded quite good enough? I only built one, but I know a big part was using the heat dissapating gel stuff when putting on the processor. Maybe it is done different now, I am not sure. Something to check for, though, if other things don't pan out.

Good luck.

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If at all possible as the two above posted try using the PC without the printer plugged in and see if it still gives you the blue screen of death. You could hitting F8 I believe and go to Last Known Configuration to see if that helps. Printers are notorious for causing havoc on PC's that make it all but impossible to figure out what is conflicting and causing the issue.

Also, you can try to see if there's a new driver for the printer than the one you have installed. Go Right Click > My Computer > Manage > Device Manager > in the Right Panel Click the Plus sign next to USB and find the printer or if it shows up Right Click on it and Choose UPDATE DRIVER. Click Next > Next so it searches the internet and it may or may not find a newer driver. Just make sure the printer is plugged in while doing this. Sometimes thats all it takes. If it keeps on happening, I would also suggest a wipe of the PC, just be sure to back everything up first!

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If there is any question that you may be running too hot, Speedfan is a free program that you can use to monitor temperatures inside your machine without needing to be in BIOS. The program is more powerfull than that, but that's all I use it for. Just google Speedfan.

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I don't think it's over heating. That doen't usually cause the blue screen, rather just shuts down. But ya never know, computers suck.

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Blue screen usually is the "screen of Death" but i just got my computer repaired, and it was restarting itself randomly, i couldnt figure it out, and took it in and had it fixed. I never got an explanation, had a few virus' that AVG didnt pick up, as well as a few driver errors. I'd guess it has somethign to do with the printer driver you installed. CRTL+ALT+DEL and see what processes are running, maybe the printer driver has a program that is running continuously and when you start the internet it overloads and crashes.

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OK, so I installed all of the driver updates that came on my motherboard disk and hopefully that took care of it. The Intel update ran for a while and updated several drivers.

I never ran this before because everything seemed to work fine. I'll keep my fingers crossed.

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Darn! It just happened again! I was just watching a clip of 24 online and I suddenly got the blue screen and an immediate reboot.

I checked the error log and I see several cases of event 32 & 59 at the time of the crash and also at other times of the day, but just before crashing it says 7036 in both cases tonight.

Does this help?

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What kind of memory ( ram ) sticks do you have in your system? Can you take one or 2 out and still run your computer? Maybe it's a bad memory stick.

Just an idea.....

Mike

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Do you have System Restore enabled on your XP system? You might want to try restoring back to a later date before you computer started crashing. It won't affect any files you created, but will affect apps or drivers installed after that date.

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So you a have New home built computer that is CRASHING? Red Flag #1.

Who put the machine together for you? And do have a list of components/specs that were used?

Re-install Windows for starters.

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Home built isn't a red flag at all. My best PC's have been ones that I have built. It's just a big erector set to play with when you start building them.

Does it happen a lot watching media? Does it happen randomly? Without seeing it, it's hard to judge. But I would go with a format and re-install of windows. I would actually go farther and get a utility to write zeros to the drive and then re-install.

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Of course you can build a great home made PC.

In this case a NEWLY built PC that is crashing is the 1st RED FLAG!

Anybody who's built a few Custom PC's knows there can be issues.. grin

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The events you posted don't say too much. The 7036 event had even less helpful info. Microsoft

Did you unplug that printer and usb to serial device yet?

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  • 'we have more fun' FishingMN Creators

I build PCs too, everyone one of them is rock solid.

Before putting one together you'll need to do some investigation/research. There are a ton of things that could be getting you the BSOD.

So you have a CPU in mind. You'll select a motherboard by searching for known problems with that MB. Then compatibility issues with ram, video cards, sound cards, and down the line.

Since you already put this this together, list everything in your build.

Case, fans, MB, MB bios version, video, sound, ram, HD, DVD,Cd,

everything.

Refer to your MB manual and double check the MB install. Take it slow so you don't duplicate a mistake. Make the recommended settings in your system setup/bios. You should also through your MB search, find any recommended settings or fixes. What version is the bios flash and is there a new flash with fixes.

Does your MB have dip switches and clock speed? You can check in your bios along with temp.

Process of elimination. Take anything out that is not needed to boot up. This should be bare bones. One by one you'll add the devices after testing the PC.

Go to the MB site and download the latest the MB drivers. Then get all the drivers for sound, video, and so on. Save them and format the HD and do a clean install.

Install the drivers in the correct order.

After Windows has loaded you'll first install the MB drivers.

IF your MB has onboard sound and video use them and don't install a sound or video card till after you've gotten a solid PC. Don't forget to disable the onboard devices as you install

as card of the same.

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What kind of memory ( ram ) sticks do you have in your system? Can you take one or 2 out and still run your computer? Maybe it's a bad memory stick.

Just an idea.....

Mike

I would seriously look at the memory now. Do what MN Mike says. There is a free program called Memtest that I have used a lot. It is a free download. Just google it.

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OK....when you are talking PC troubleshooting a scatter gun approach doesn't do very well. Surface Tension explained some things pretty well.

1. best thing to do is go back and think about what has happened between the time the PC was working correctly and when it started to give you problems.

2. Remove those things, whether they are hardware or software.

3. Analyze your results before running any further tests.

The Blue Screen of Death is usually caused by to things going after the same memory address at the same time and the PC throwing up its arms and saying you can't do that.

You can also go in to msconfig and take things out of the start up that don't really need to start and maybe causing you problems, but do the simpler things 1st. Remove the printer and anything else you may have installed since it was working correctly.

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OK....when you are talking PC troubleshooting a scatter gun approach doesn't do very well. Surface Tension explained some things pretty well.

1. best thing to do is go back and think about what has happened between the time the PC was working correctly and when it started to give you problems.

2. Remove those things, whether they are hardware or software.

3. Analyze your results before running any further tests.

The Blue Screen of Death is usually caused by to things going after the same memory address at the same time and the PC throwing up its arms and saying you can't do that.

You can also go in to msconfig and take things out of the start up that don't really need to start and maybe causing you problems, but do the simpler things 1st. Remove the printer and anything else you may have installed since it was working correctly.

I agree with Upnorth and Surface, start stripping out Hardware and SW that have been installed since it was working last.

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Are you using XP Home or Pro?

XP Home

Gee, I wish I know when it first crashed. I can't remember if it was before, or after the printer install. My wife thinks after so I will start with that.

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I was going to say it was from posting on FM, but then Sandmann and Upnorth would have crashed theirs long time ago. laugh

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I wouldn't touch any hardware until you download Memtest and run it.

It's easy and clean to do before you really start to dive in.

You can get the original memtest86 at memtest86 dot com. Or there is another verison called memtest86+ based of the original that can be had at memtest dot org.

Typically you'll have a couple of choices. Download a .iso file that will allow you to make a bootable CD of the program, or download a floppy disk package.

Then, once you have the disk made, you just put the disk in and restart the computer. The memtest program should then start and allow you to run the test(s) as long as the boot order of the computer has the floppy and or CD drive before the hard drive.

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That makes no sense, get it back to the point where you know it ran. We use memtest where I work, but only after we have removed anything that has be installed recently. It only a small tool and looks at only one thing. You are more likely to have a simple lockups from memory issues than BSOD.

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I was going to say it was from posting on FM, but then Sandmann and Upnorth would have crashed theirs long time ago. laugh

Bah hahahahahahahah!! cry You're funny for an almost retired guy!! Hey I just noticed you live in S. St. Paul, not too far from we. We should get together sometime.

As for the PC, I agree with Upnorth. The test won't tell you a ton. Start with removing the printer and the SW with it.

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