Question about HP Pavilion 504n (DA190A#ABA) PC Desktop

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Lockup My computer works great except, it frequently freezes and will not take any input from the mouse or keyboard. It generally does it while you aren't using any input. Loading of a page or navigation on line. There is no pattern to it and it's even froze a couple times on the screen saver. I can seldom go for more than a couple hours without this occurring, sometimes only a couple minutes. The only cure is a reboot. I'm pretty sure it's a hardware problem. I've added a second hard drive, a firewire card and more memory, but the problem was existant before any upgrades. I'm using a Dell monitor and keyboard currently along with a Logitech mouse (wired), but I don't see what these would have to do with it. Also, I'm not overclocking. Any ideas?

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  • doc1590 Sep 24, 2008

    Hey, thanks for the advice. The fans and heat sinks are clean and no second hand smoke to cause that oily cigarette problem. The house is clean, but if there is any dust around, It always seems to go straight to the computer. (Maybe that's why the house is clean:)

    I use a regular automotive type air compressor set to about 25psi and a soft bristle brush about twice as often as you suggest.

    I don't think it's a software problem but it could be. My wife runs a registered copy of Symantec (Norton) A.V. We have backed up programs a couple times and run the HP reinstall program. There doesn't seem to be any correlation between it's locking up and any particular program.

    Could it be the video card (original onboard adapter)? I don't have a spare to try after disabling the onboard card.

    Also, It locks both online and offline. Sometime it will lock playing solitaire, which is not a big problem. BUT trying to get that last bid in on Ebay at the last minute and have it quit, is quite frustrating.

    Any other ideas???

    thanks ,



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Make sure that all of your internal fans are running. Power up the computer with the case open (just take the side panel off). As I am sure you have seen from making upgrades, there is a fan over your processor on the motherboard. Make sure it is spinning. Also look on the back and make sure the fan on the power supply is running. These fans may need to be cleaned. This can be done using a spray can of compressed air (it is recommend to clean the dust out of a computer at least once a year). The fans may just be gunked up and not running properly. If there are smokers in the house, do not let them smoke around the computer as the tar in the cigarette can build up over time on the fans and computer components and cause some major problems. If cigarette tar is the issue then clean the fan blades off with a q-tip. If the fans still do not work they may need to be replaced. Some computer stores sell fans that will work for your current model of heat sink, which sits above your processor. If the power supply fan is not working then you need to replace the power supply. If the powersupply needs to be replaced then make sure to match the wattage of the new power supply to the one you currently have. You may buy a power supply with a higher wattage rating as well, just make sure it will fit!

I have assumed that the problem is with heating because you said that things were running like loading a page or when a screen saver was running. These processes make your processor work harder and it builds up more heat and can cause your system to freeze by causing writing errors to and from RAM.

There is a slight possibility that this could be software related. If the computer fans are running then run an antivirus program to make sure that there are no viruses on the computer.

I sure hopes this helps. If you still have problems, then let me know and there may be some other steps we can try.

Posted on Sep 20, 2008

  • BigFatGeek Sep 25, 2008

    Well doc1950 it sounds like you really take good care of your computer system. That is good. I am bound and determined to help you get to the bottom of this problem. So I will suggest a few more things.
    Unless you have upgraded the processor without applying thermal grease or the heat sink and fan properly then you probably don't have a temperature problem. But you can usually check the current temperature for your CPU and Motherboard in your CMOS Setup program under the power option. (I have assumed that you are aware as to how to enter CMOS setup because you have made upgrades and are aware of overclocking). System hangs are an indicator of Motherboard problems. You might do the following to make sure that is not the problem:

    - Check the voltage output of your powersupply. This should actually be
    the very first thing you do, as it could very well be the problem. And
    if you replace a motherboard when the Power supply is the problem, then
    you will damage the new motherboard! When testing (with a multimeter), make sure to be safe, don't let probes touch each other, the board, or you when one of them is hot, or both of them are hot. Do not touch any chips or circuitry on the board. Do not let any static discharge and fry any circuitry. (Also you must check the voltage output while the computer is powered on -of course, so don't ground yourself to the computer at this point. However at all other times you want to make sure you are grounded to eliminate any possibility of static discharge to the board or other components). Static discharge, by the way, may have been what caused your original problem. Back to checking power: The voltage range for each connection is often written on the top of the power supply. Make sure the mutlimeter is set to measure voltage and not current (amps). Set the multimeter to measure voltage in a range of 20 volts, and set the AC/DC switch to DC. Below is a link to a website that has directions to exactly how to measure voltage output to an ATX motherboard (which I am pretty sure you are using). It includes directions, charts and diagrams.
    Checking Your Power Supply's Voltage

    - Check all capacitors on motherboard to make sure none of them are bad. If they have bulging and/or discolored heads then they are bad. Even one bad capacitor may be the cause of your problem. So look carefully. (Solution: Replace Motherboard)

    - Look for other physical damage to the board including frayed traces. (Traces are the lines that run all over your board - these carry data, and power to and from devices/memory/processor/expansion busses/chipset). (Solution: Traces can be resaudered - delicately! or The motherboard needs to be replaced)

    - Remove as much unnecessary hardware as possible and reboot the system. If this fixes the problem then reinstall hardware until you find the cause of the problem. (neccessary hardware: motherboard, processor, powersupply, hard drive, keyboard, monitor)

    - Make sure that all metal spacers under the motherboard are in place properly. Improper connections can cause shorts.

    - Check the voltage output of your powersupply. This should actually be the very first thing you do, as it could very well be the problem. And if you replace a motherboard when the Power supply is the problem, then you will damage the new motherboard!

    - Lastly, if all of these steps fail, you may want to try flashing your BIOS. But it is a very tricky process. I reccomend looking up your motherboard's make and model number online and looking to see if you can find a BIOS upgrade for your board. It should also include directions on exactly how to do it for your motherboard. (Make sure you have tried several other options before doing this, as this can cause problems, but it can also solve problems.)

    I hope some of these ideas helped. I believe you might be having problems with either your motherboard or power supply, so check both, but like I said above, check the power supply first. Let me know if this does not work.



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