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 Random freezes w/sound stuck looping... Post a Reply  
From: Brad on 06/27/2002
gateway >:[
1.1 tbird
g2 mx
sb live!
winBlows ME

I have done just about everything short of throwing this thing out the window to resolve the problem. I've been through the registry with a fine toothed comb, reinstalled the os, changed every driver multiple times, disable/deleted/reinstalled countless programs that I thought might be responsible, and cleaned out every spec of dust from the heatsink and case (although its only using factory cooling).

The problem is very erratic but always results in a total lockup that often repeats the last sound in a loop. These lockups can sometimes be semi recovered from using alt tab del and waiting for whatever program pops up not responding (this often leaves behind strange graphical errors with the os). Although often it requires a complete power down. Most often the problem occurs when im playing ultima online, using dreamweaver, or just happens in random programs for no apparent reason, usually while mutlitasking. I can't remember it ever occuring in a strictly 3d game situation (which makes me think its not a heat issue) and it seems (maybe?) to occur more frequently when I have winamp playing at the same time as one of the above programs. Sometimes I can go for a whole day without having any of these lockups and other times it will happen every 10 minutes.

The strangest thing is that there was no problem at all during the first year we had the computer, and it just mysteriously arose. Even after using windows ME recovery back to factory install the problem still continues. Nothing terribly major like flashing the motherboard or anything occured. The things I do remember changing near the timeframe the lockups began are:

-Windows update including IE6.
-Installed a new scanner.
-Cable changed from @home to Comcast network.
-and of course my state of mind changing drastically
towards the psychotic.

Another odd thing I noticed was during the windows recovery, there was a divide by zero error. On the ms help pages it says this is usually a result of having bios virus scan enabled, although the problem occured quite awhile before the recovery. Doubt that has much bearing on the issue but figured I would mention it.

There is a much older thread on this board which explores similar problems for other people if more information helps:

I'm running out of ideas short of a total reformat. Next step for me includes a baseball bat and some stress relief...Any help anyone could provide would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.


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From: Gregg on 06/30/2003
I have a similar problem, although mine is with a Sapphire Atlantic Radeon 9500. It runs fine for a while in 1024x640 with refresh of 75Hz and then boom, the screen crashes, reverts to 640x480, 60 Hz and MS points to the Radeon hardware as the culprit. Well, I have the lastest MS signed drivers, lastes mother both bios and up-to-date with xp. Sapphire tried to blame Giga-byte, MS blames Sapphire and we go round and round. This is becoming a real bummer.

My P4 runnng 2.66 gHz, with 2G mem and 300Watt PSU on XP is turning out to be a real headache since upgrading from a ATI Radeon to a Sapphire Atlantic Radeon 9500. Any Ideas?


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From: Brad on 07/01/2002
Thank you for your reply computerpilot =).

The computer is a Gateway select 1100 PC. Yea I am none too happy with this gateway setup but unfortunately the lil woman purchased it before I was in the picture.

Over the weekend I tried replacing the ram but that did not help. I have the newest directX and had previously tried a couple earlier versions to check if it that helped, also to no avail. When I cntrl alt del winamp does stop working although the sound doesnt seem to loop. I did install motherboard monitor a few days ago when I thought it was a heat problem but didnt notice any change in temp when the crashes occured. I pretty much had ruled that out since the hardware worked fine for a year or so and its pretty clean inside the case, the fans seem to be working fine.

At one time I was worried there wasnt enough virtual memory but unfortunately im not familiar enough with it to keep myself out of trouble when messing with it. Right now its set to having windows control it. I do have another harddrive in our second computer that I could use... Another thing that was suggested was checking irq conflicts but im not certain how to go about that either.

Oh another very strange thing that occurs, occasionally when installing large programs off the CDrom it will cause the system to stop responding, and this happens nearly 100% of the time while using the exceptionally stupid gateway backup/setup cds.

Thanks again for suggesting things to check out. I'll pour over gateways info along with swapping out the visiontek geforce2 pro from our other machine and see if that helps matters any and then post back.


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From: Computerpilot on 07/01/2002
You can check for IRQ conflicts by using the System Information program.


Click on the plus to expand harward resources. You can view conflicts/sharing to see if there are any IRQ conflicts. Otherwise, you can view the IRQ folder to see if the hardware in question is indeed sharing resources (same IRQ numbers). If all the hardware in question is actually sharing the same IRQ, you can switch the hardware to use another IRQ number in the Device manager. However not all hardware have the ability to change IRQ numbers. My experience tells me that devices that are removable from the system usually have the ability to change the IRQ number. It is normall for two or three devices to share an IRQ number but usually, you want to keep it around 2 devices.

Right click 'My Computer' and choose properties. You should see a device manager tab. Find the hardware that is sharing IRQ's. Double click the hardware icon and choose the resources tab. Choose the Interrupt Request from the list of memory settings. If the box below become unshaded, then you have the ability to change the IRQ number. I would check to see if you have any empty IRQ number available and try switching it to that. Some hardware will only work with a limited IRQ number range. Therefore, it will be a test to see if the hardware still works afterwards. If not, simply change it to an IRQ number that has only one device on it (again, you can check this in the System Information tool).

You are right, I would not change the virtual memory settings. Let windows do the work. You would get a message that would indicate the computer is low on memory and will expand the setting automatically. However, you will usually not damage your system by changing this unless you have very little room left on your hard drive (virtual memory = hard drive disk space).

If you CDROM is giving you problems, I would suggest you try replacing it. They are relatively cheap (30 bucks). Also, you may try to replace it with the other computer's CDROM for a test. It is not unusual for combo (CDRW or DVD) drives to go bad after a year or two of heavy usage. I always recommend you run two CDROM drives (whether it be a DVD or CDRW or whatever).

Keep doing the troubleshooting. You will eventually find the bad device.



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From: Computerpilot on 06/28/2002
Nice, very nice.

I would say Gateway has made a 'lemon' of a computer. They have to be aware of this by now. I would take a look at their website (support) and run a search for your particular model. If you post it, I will check out a few sites of my own for known issues and fixes.

I would suspect that video card. I would scrap the little bastard. Maybe you can sell it and buy a new one. I would find another card (borrow from a friend) and see if you have the same problems. It actually sounds like a Direct X issue (do you have the most current version?). Also, you were posting about 'looping sound'. Try this once, while you are listening to music on your computer, hit control-alt-del. Does the same thing, huh? Something stops the application. I think that something is a hardware conflict.

The next thing I would do would be to remove a stick of RAM (like the other post suggested). If you only have one stick, then this is not an option for you. However, I would bet that the RAM that was installed in the factory was probably some pretty cheap shit. You might try a new stick (or again, borrow from a friend). I would not suspect the sound card but you can try to operate awhile without this as well to see if you still get the same lockups.

Hardware problems suck because they take a lot of work. however, it is easier than diagnosing an error message in Windows as you just need to modify the configuration to find out where the conflict lies.

How is your system's virtual memory? Do you have two hard drives where you can stick the pagefile.sys on the second drive? Dreamweaver uses a huge amount of system memory. I like running with Windows XP and 2000 because I can monitor the RAM and CPU activity. MAybe you can find some freeware to help you out as well. You might find a untility to check the tempurature of your sytem/CPU as well to see if this is an issue for you.

How about a BIOS update!? If there is an update on the Gateway page for your system, go for it!

It seems that the same issue is occuring with Windows 98 SE so I would not downgrade!

Well, that should get you started. Post back if you want some additional help. Hopefully I sparked something that might help you out.


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From: Brad on 06/27/2002
Just found yet another thread exploring this topic:

Does anyone have some new information?

Also I noticed in the thread above that someone posted issues with usb power consumption and it just so happens the scanner we installed around that time is usb. How would I go about determining if this is related to my problem? I think in the meantime I will uninstall it and see if it helps...


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