Jump to content
CCleaner Community Forums

Hardware Problem Developing In An Old Computer

Recommended Posts

Just a quick update and thank you to everybody who has helped. 

I haven't said much about this job simply because i don't have much time just now to work on it. 

One thing i did is switch over to the last version of Palemoon for xp, and that seems to have helped.  Much quicker and lighter on resources. 

Am monitoring the temps and processes to see if anything spikes just before a lock up.  No patterns observed yet. 

More later.  :)

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yep.  Gotta love the pare pair pear.   :)


And thanks for the palemoon suggestion, it really is better. 

Come to think of it, that might have been Hazelnut's suggestion. 

?? duhhh . . . Anyways it's a good'un. 


Of course, we locked up about an hour after that post.  I knew better than to gloat.


One thing did change at about the same time the lockups started.  I ran Puppy 528 from a live CD and allowed it to put the 2 permanent files onto this computer C: partition. 

- there is a folder called l5281204.053 with a file called lupu_528.sfs in it, size = 290 mb,

- and also a file called lupusave-20161022_2.2fs, size = 512 mb

23 of the 45 gb on that partiton is free space, so still plenty of room on C.


Just thinking aloud.  :blink:

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Not sure of that. 

Windows will run for a day or two, then at some point it will lock up as described earlier. 

Often but not always when resuming from standby. 


I don't run Puppy for that long for two reasons. 

One, because the computer won't go completely to standby and shut down. 

Plus, I don't entirely trust the firewall capabilitires in Linux.  Mostly because I haven't read up on them. 

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

A new clue.  :ph34r:


Windows xp locked up on my newer computer, the one set up to dual boot wxp and w7 from 2 separate HDDs. 

Happened after the OS had been on standby for several hours, was awakened and connectied to the net to update the AV. 

It has a much faster processor, more RAM, is of course newer,  and has never locked up before.


The active softwares common to both xp computers are Avast, Spywareblaster, Outpost Firewall, Sandboxie, and Powershadow. 


I'm beginning to suspect a conflict with Avast since it is the only one of those that has changes regularly.

I will check over on the Avast forums, see what they have to say.


It could also be something with Outpost, but i have one of the old versions, a firewall only, never needs to update.  It does have a feature called Feedback. Since Agnitum sold to Yandex, the update servers for Outpost apparently don't work, and that may have some negative effect on that "Feedback" function.


Well, Mta, it's a needle in a haystack for sure.  I'll continue to post up anything that seems relevant or until you guys tell me to hush up about it.  :)


In the meantime, can anyone please suggest a good firewall and antivirus for xp?  I'll probably replace both. 



Andavari, I still haven't run Linux for any length of time on the old computer, to check for lockup, but I will as soon as I can. 

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

good firewall and AV for XP?

you didn't mention free or not, so for free AV, I've only ever used Panda, Avast or AVG and all have been excellent.


as to your recent lock up, you may have over looked the most common reason - MS, or should I say, Windows.

sometimes what happened on your 'newish' PC just happens, no rhyme, no reason - BOOM, thank you very much MS.

mind you, it could just as easily be hardware, if I do see lock up issues, more often than not, it's with a PC coming out of a power-save state.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the Panda recommendation. 


For a firewall, free would be better.  I used ZoneAlarm free a long time ago, it was good but not easily configured in those days.  Am also considering Jetico firewall, now offered free.  It is well recommended. 

Sure would be nice to find a firewall with the "auto-learn" feature that was so handy in Outpost. 

I haven't kept up, they may all have that now. 


Fwiw, windows updates were turned off long before this issue started.


"BOOM, thank you very much MS."  :lol:  Could be, it is after all windows, but that is low on the probability scale, imho, because the old computer ran for 10+ years without this lockup issue, and the new-ish computer for a few years.  That's why I guess something important has changed.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Login make sure you read the system requirements of Avast to know if it's actually compatible with XP.


Earlier this year in August I had to dump Avira for Panda, due to Avira still fetching program updates but those updates were causing nothing but problems due to incompatibility with XP.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm still using Avast (free) although I've frozen the program itself at Version 6.0.1367.


Haven't ever needed all the bells and whistles that program updates brought, and the important parts, the Engine and Virus Definitions, are still updated daily and I might add, flawlessly.


Never had an issue that I can recollect from many years of use.


And although I experimented with one or two "Two Way" firewalls many years ago, I went back to XP's own firewall and have stuck faithfully with it. A one way barrier, but combined with Avast, utterly reliable now for 10 years.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, Dennis.  I have always let Avast update the program whenever it wanted to.  But you're right about the bells & whistles, and I still have the old installers.  Andavari, the avast site says right now that it is compatible with xp but I'm gonna keep checking. 

What about a firewall, Andavari? 

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Not sure if a hard drive error could be the problem here.  If so, it might be the same on the newer computer because HP shipped it with a faulty HDD, and when the tech fixed it under warranty he didn't replace it, probably just ran chkdsk


Just ran gsmartcontrol 2 minute test.  Not sure I like that stuff about Old_age, and Pre-fail.  :P



Model Family:     Western Digital Caviar Blue EIDE
Device Model:     WDC WD2500AAJB-00J3A0
Serial Number:   
LU WWN Device Id:
Firmware Version: 01.03E01
User Capacity:    250,059,350,016 bytes [250 GB]
Sector Size:      512 bytes logical/physical
Device is:        In smartctl database [for details use: -P show]
ATA Version is:   8
ATA Standard is:  Exact ATA specification draft version not indicated
Local Time is:   
SMART support is: Available - device has SMART capability.
SMART support is: Enabled


SMART Attributes Data Structure revision number: 16
Vendor Specific SMART Attributes with Thresholds:
  1 Raw_Read_Error_Rate     0x002f   200   200   051    Pre-fail  Always       -       1
  3 Spin_Up_Time            0x0027   144   136   021    Pre-fail  Always       -       3758
  4 Start_Stop_Count        0x0032   091   091   000    Old_age   Always       -       9328
  5 Reallocated_Sector_Ct   0x0033   200   200   140    Pre-fail  Always       -       0
  7 Seek_Error_Rate         0x002e   100   253   000    Old_age   Always       -       0
  9 Power_On_Hours          0x0032   076   076   000    Old_age   Always       -       18033
 10 Spin_Retry_Count        0x0032   100   100   000    Old_age   Always       -       0
 11 Calibration_Retry_Count 0x0032   100   100   000    Old_age   Always       -       0
 12 Power_Cycle_Count       0x0032   091   091   000    Old_age   Always       -       9266
192 Power-Off_Retract_Count 0x0032   200   200   000    Old_age   Always       -       237
193 Load_Cycle_Count        0x0032   197   197   000    Old_age   Always       -       9329
194 Temperature_Celsius     0x0022   109   099   000    Old_age   Always       -       34
196 Reallocated_Event_Count 0x0032   200   200   000    Old_age   Always       -       0
197 Current_Pending_Sector  0x0032   200   200   000    Old_age   Always       -       0
198 Offline_Uncorrectable   0x0030   200   200   000    Old_age   Offline      -       0
199 UDMA_CRC_Error_Count    0x0032   200   200   000    Old_age   Always       -       0
200 Multi_Zone_Error_Rate   0x0008   200   200   000    Old_age   Offline      -       0

SMART Error Log Version: 1
No Errors Logged

SMART Self-test log structure revision number 1
Num  Test_Description    Status                  Remaining  LifeTime(hours)  LBA_of_first_error
# 1  Short offline       Completed without error       00%     18033         -
# 2  Short offline       Completed without error       00%     14822         -

SMART Selective self-test log data structure revision number 1
    1        0        0  Not_testing
    2        0        0  Not_testing
    3        0        0  Not_testing
    4        0        0  Not_testing
    5        0        0  Not_testing
Selective self-test flags (0x0):
  After scanning selected spans, do NOT read-scan remainder of disk.
If Selective self-test is pending on power-up, resume after 0 minute delay.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

can you do that Speccy thing Willy mentioned from the other post?

it's much kinder on the eyes. :blink:

but from those stats, nothing pops out as alarming.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Computers produced for personal use have a certain lifespan. In particular the main piece where data is stored the "hard disk” has a rotating disc that contains a very sensitive device that does about a thousand cycles per min. Drives are like old records, spinning in a magnetic vacuum. They are very sensitive instruments, suffering sudden blows while moving will greatly damage them. And when the life span assigned to them is taken into account (which can be estimated by the warranty period) the possibility of losing data is a threat that cannot be ignored.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

What about a firewall, Andavari? 


Sorry I'm late to reply to this.


The same as Dennis on XP I'm using Windows Firewall. I also have the hardware firewall enabled in my DSL modem.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I knew I had a bookmark for this, unfortunately it was filed in a safe place which almost assured I wouldn't find it again.




An excellent detailed description of the XP firewall. Probably one of the best ever one way firewalls, and I think it was first posted on here by hazel.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

screenshot of gsmartcontrol "Attributes". What does it mean? 


The 2 minute test and the 5 minute conveyance test showed no errors.


The HDTune error scan showed no bad sectors (all green).

The HDtune general health window showed this:



Speccy 1.30 showed all temps OK, low to mid 30s C. 


So far, none of the tests have found a (serious) hardware problem afaik.  Am I missing something?


Edit:  Thanks, Dennis, a great tutorial. 

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

as far as I can see, you haven't missed anything.

based on those reports, your HD is fine - which isn't to say your drive IS fine, just that those reports don't give any evidence to the contrary.

SMART values are one point of reference, they are not the be all and end all.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

- If your HD had any (serious) problems then GSmartControl would have shown one of those (SMART attribute) lines in pink/red. Then there's no need to dig up info on what safe values are. Hence my recommendation to use the program.


See this info:




@The developers of Defraggler: Nice suggestion for what can be added in a/the next version of Defraggler.

Edited by Willy2

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

- Install PcWinTech's CLEANMEM. And switch off everything (!!!). But let the program show the system tray icon that shows the % of used memory. I could imagine that when the PC locks up the % goes "through the roof" (for a short while).

- Some folks re-install their OS system every one or two years. Excellent way to remove A LOT OF clutter. But I am not sure whether or not MS still offers all the updates for XP.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

OK, running cleanmem now.  Will just leave it running until lockup or shutdown. 


By now everybody who reads this forum is probably thinking "Why doesn't the ding-a-ling just reinstall or go to a newer OS?"  Simple reason, if not a rational one:  I just don't WANT to.  :P


Pretty sure win xp will still update, not ready to go that route yet.  Would be such a pain to get everything set up again, but it might be the only option. 

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Just had another quick look through this thread.


As the Active Window can still run, there is no hardware error in my opinion (although I wouldn't base too much credence on that!)


In your very first post you said although background windows were frozen the Active Window (process explorer wasn't affected)


Did you remove Avast as a test?


Have you tried (as a test) using a non PS2 mouse and keyboard and just plugging them into spare usb ports?

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...