Why is my computer freezing?

Question

My Wife's computer has been suffering through sudden freezes, sudden crashes, and related problems; no pattern seems evident. After many, many attempts to repair via software programs, I finally decided to re-format the hard drive.

Everything went well until I began to re-install the Windows 2000 Professional OS from the original W2K CD. I received the following error message after the installation had proceeded quite a way through the process: "The following value in the .SIF file used by Setup is corrupted or missing: Value 7 on line 3701 in section []. Setup cannot continue. To quit Setup, press F3." The error message pops up each time I attempt to re-load the OS.

I do not believe the CD is scratched, so I am perplexed about why this error message occurs.

Any assistance would be appreciated.

Answer

This question was answered on July 14, 2005. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.

This is a very common complaint for many computer users Why this happens can be due to a number of things The most common causes of these troublesome problems will be covered here They fall into the following general categories:

Hardware

Defective or mismatched components in your computer

Aluminum Migration & ESD

Premature ageing and “Electro Static Discharge” can make a computer very intermittent

Operating System

Some versions of Windows have bugs that can cause these problems

Drivers

Buggy or down-level drivers can cause many problems

Software

Some programs have bugs in them that can cause these problems

Memory Fragmentation

Do you often see the message, "System is dangerously low in resources" If so you are probably suffering Memory Fragmentation

CMOS Settings

Improper CMOS settings can cause many problems Changing CMOS settings can also be used to help diagnose some hardware problems

Loading Order

The order in which the software components of your computer are loaded into memory, at startup each day, can cause a multitude of odd problems

A Combination of the above

Defects in any of the above may only show up under specific circumstances.

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Author

Posted by Johnny of Katharine Gibbs School - New York on July 14, 2005