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Aptiva A50 occassional lockups

PC locks up from time to time. Has a slight electrical odor when this happens. Typically after a few reboot attempts the PC works fine. Help! Thanks

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The only thing I can suggest is to shut it off and reboot. I have experienced an occassional problem like that and seems to be related to calculations for some areas. There is an area in OK where mine will lockup everytime I go thru there. Try downloading the update from the Cobra site. It is a 2005 update.

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Freezing up

A few things to try. Check the event logs on your PC for Hard drive errors. If the lockups are random they could be caused by bad blocks on your drive in a paging or system file. If you see disk errors, replace the drive immediately and make sure to keep proper backups. Next, update all drivers, especially the video driver. Often lockups will be caused by Video driver corruption. Dont be scared to install beta versions of drivers for your laptop in an attempt to resolve the problem. Next, search out a utility boot CD from the internet. There are several, usually running linux but most contain a memory test utility that you want to run for a long period of time (several hours) to see if after a stress period you start getting memory errors. Next, search for speedfan on google and install it to monitor the temperature on your processor, this problem could be caused by dust buildup on the processor heat sync or cooling fan. Generally it would take some time to have this problem lock up the system, however, after the first lock up and reboot subsequent lockups would happen more quickly. Many laptop repair depots will do a service for under $100 where they will dissassemble the machine, clean the heat sink and fan (or replace it) and apply new thermal grease.

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This is a common problem but not an easy one to diagnose because it has so many causes. Here are some common causes of lockups: Software incompatibility Hardware incompatibility or incorrect device driver Bad RAM Video card problems Dying power supply Processor getting too hot The first step in diagnosing the problem is to keep a journal showing exactly what you were doing each time the system froze. This can help you spot patterns - for example, if the lockup occurs when you try to print, or whenever you play a sound, that suggests a problem with the specific hardware device or its software driver. Heat, bad RAM or a power supply that's about to give out are more likely if the lockups are random.

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