How to determine the specific problem in the hardware malfuntion?

Question

Hi,

I think this is a great service, my computer keeps freezing up on me and I have to restart it, sometimes it restarts first time other times I have to pull the power cord from the back of the PC and start it again (sometimes a couple of times).

Generally the computer goes for between five to 40 minutes before it freezes up. Sometimes a blue screen will come up and say hardware malfunction and contact your hardware vendor. I think that is preety weird as it doesnt look to be Microsoft at all.

I have looked at the device driver page on XP and it states that all devices are working normally .

If you have any ideas on what could be the problem it would be greatly appreciated.

Kind Regards

Billy

Answer

This question was answered on March 7, 2005. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.

Hardware malfunction error message are caused by a hardware condition detected by the processor Most equipment problems are centered around the motherboard, RAM on a motherboard or adapter card, or the cache memory on a motherboard or adapter card You can try isolating the problem by doing the following:

1 Remove any extra memory modules you may have in the computer leaving only the least amount required for the computer to start and run Windows In many cases, this will be either 16 MB or 32 MB, depending on your computer Restart the computer to see if the error messages you received early still persist If the error does not reappear, the issue is isolated to one or more of the RAM modules removed from the computer Continue to remove and replace the minimum amount of RAM required with the memory modules you removed earlier Replace the defective RAM module

2 Remove any adapter cards that are not required to start the computer and run Windows Reinstall each adapter separately, restarting after each card is installed, to see if the error returns If the error does not return after reinserting all the adapter cards, it is possible that one of the adapter cards needed to be reseated After you computer is running again, monitor the computer for an agreed upon period of time to make sure that the error does not return If resetting the adapters did not solve the issue, you may be required to replace the adapter that is causing the error

3 Verify that you have installed the latest revisions for your computer's BIOS or firmware configuration software Go into the bios and set load Fail safe defaults or Bios defaults, disable any antivirus protection inside the bios, and set Plug and Play Operating System to NO The type of hardware your computer uses and the motherboard design determines what part of your computer's firmware can actually be updated Proceed to update the BIOS, firmware, and/or EISA configuration

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Author

Posted by Kera of Katharine Gibbs School - New York on March 7, 2005