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My Amilo freezes and I really don't know what to do...

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My Amilo freezes and I really don't know what to do...

Postby Winter83 » Wed Oct 21, 2009 1:37 pm

Hi all and sorry for my little english.
After searching everywhere without finding any solution, I try to write here my problem.
I have an Amilo laptop, bought in January 2007, with Windows XP Media Center Edition, 120Gb HDD.
Sorry but I'm not at home and I don't remember the exact model.
My problem is that my laptop suddenly freezes. I turn on my laptop, and after some minutes or after some hours it freezes, I can't move the mouse or the keyboard. The only solution is to reset it. It happens when I'm doing nothing in particular: for example, it happens when I'm using Internet Explorer or simply when I try to rename a file on my desktop, or also when I'm not working on the laptop.
I reinstalled WinXP - SP3 but the problem is still here.
I changed my hard drive (because experts people told me to try this...) but the problem is still here.
I haven't connected any USB device. I disabled wi-fi... but nothing.
The question is: which is the cause of the problem?
Experts people where always I repair my computers told me that there isn't nothing strange, ram seems ok...
I really don't know what to do.
Winter83
 
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Re: My Amilo freezes and I really don't know what to do...

Postby hikaru » Wed Oct 21, 2009 2:12 pm

Can you please install Everest and have a look at the SMART data (HDD health) and the temperatures of CPU and GPU (if available)?
You say the RAM is ok. Has this been tested with memtest86+? If so, how long did this test last?
Can you provoke the problem to occur by opening a calculator and computing the factorial (n!) of a big number?

Please boot Windows in safe mode and see if the problem occurs there too. You might also want to try a Linux Live CD.
And please post the model of your Amilo if possible.
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Re: My Amilo freezes and I really don't know what to do...

Postby Winter83 » Wed Oct 21, 2009 2:46 pm

Thank you for your rapid answer. In the next days I'll try to do what you said and I'll tell you the exact model.
I don't know if the ram was checked with memtest86+ because the technicians made the test for me.
For sure, it isn't the hard disk, because it's brand new.

But:
- is it possible that high temperature is the cause? The laptop stops working also after some minutes, and I think that temperature is not too high. I also tried to use the laptop raised from the table with 'little legs' but the problem was still there...
- is it possible that the cause is the battery (maybe I have to try to use laptop without battery?) or the cable/power pack?

Unfortunately this is a really strange issue and I understand that there is not simple to find.

Last thing: could you explain what do you mean with "Can you provoke the problem to occur by opening a calculator and computing the factorial (n!) of a big number?"

Thanks for support!
Winter83
 
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Re: My Amilo freezes and I really don't know what to do...

Postby hikaru » Wed Oct 21, 2009 3:03 pm

Your problem is indeed strange. It could be nearly everything.
If the reason are high temperatures it is hard to detect without a software that measures the temperatures. Even raising the notebook might not be enough.
Even if the HDD is not the problem, it could still be the controller of your main board. This should be detectable with SMART too.
I think it's unlikely that th battery causes these problems, but nevertheless you should try it without.

Winter83 wrote:Last thing: could you explain what do you mean with "Can you provoke the problem to occur by opening a calculator and computing the factorial (n!) of a big number?"
If your problem is an overheating CPU, this test will make it obvious because it puts high load on the CPU and increases the temperature very quickly. Just open a calculator in scientific mode, enter a number like 1000000, click the button that is labeled with n! and wait for some minutes. If you have a dual core CPU start two instances of the calculator.
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Re: My Amilo freezes and I really don't know what to do...

Postby Winter83 » Thu Oct 22, 2009 7:09 am

Hi, I verified and my Amilo is "Pi 1536" if I'm not wrong.
I tried to use it without battery, but the problem is still there.
I tried to open two instances of the calculator in scientific mode, but the laptop doesn't froze (I waited some minutes), only the fan began to spin.
Yesterday the laptop froze two times: after 1 hour (more or less) the first time and also after 1 hour the second time. I think the freezes are starting to become more.
Tomorrow I'll try with Everest and I'll let you know... But... I'm beginning to think that I have to buy another laptop........ This situation is making me mad :-\
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Re: My Amilo freezes and I really don't know what to do...

Postby hikaru » Thu Oct 22, 2009 7:56 am

Ok, I think we can exclude the CPU.
Do you see any exclamation marks in the event log?

Please run Windows in safe mode for some time. In safe mode the graphics drivers are not loaded (might look awful) and a partially defective graphics card will most likely work without the driver. So if your notebook doesn't freeze in safe mode it's most likely your graphics card. The graphics card of the Pi 1536 can be replaced but it's quite complicated and it might be hard nowadays to find a replacement card.

And please run memtest for a while (best would be over night). I know you were told that the RAM was checked, but if you did this in a store they mostly only run it three hours or even only one cycle. If the RAM has a major defect this is enough, but for errors that are not so obvious it often needs more turns.
You can get it here:
http://www.memtest.org/
or with every linux live CD/DVD.
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Re: My Amilo freezes and I really don't know what to do...

Postby Winter83 » Tue Oct 27, 2009 2:19 pm

Hi, I tried to check the hardware (ram, video card...) with the software you told me, but apparently all seems ok.

But... I think there is an issue with the internet connection, causing the problem. Maybe. In fact, when my Amilo freezes, it's always on internet. No matter if I'm using IE, or Firefox, or other programs that needs internet connection. After some time, it freezes.

I tried to use wifi... it freezes. I tried to use the cable... it freezes.

Now I tried upgrading the drivers (I found on internet drivers updated on september 2009 for my internal laptop modems!) and... I hope this will solve the problem (but it's strange that this issue is caused by a driver... or not? with the old drivers the laptop worked without problems for two years..........).

The 3yrs old wi-fi router I use I think it's OK because with another computer and other peripherals I don't have problems of freeze and all works great.
How can I see if there is any issue with my internal internet cards?
Thanks
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Re: My Amilo freezes and I really don't know what to do...

Postby hikaru » Tue Oct 27, 2009 2:29 pm

It's not that unlikely that a driver causes system instability. It mostly has a direct connection to the kernel and if it causes a faulty call this might lead to a crash of the kernel.
If the problem occurred after you switched to a new driver, I suggest to move back to the old driver and see what happens.
There is now way I know to check a network card, except for try and error.
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Re: My Amilo freezes and I really don't know what to do...

Postby Winter83 » Fri Oct 30, 2009 7:15 am

Thank you again.

Now my laptop seems to have a new problem: it won't start up! I press the power button and the screen stays black and only the power led and other three leds (that with the padlocks, I think they are the last three on the right) are on... I had to try less or more 10 times and then the laptop starts. Using only the battery or only the power cable doesn't change... I think I had to buy a new laptop........... :(
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