Question about Dell Dimension 8200 PC Desktop

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Continuous crashes - I'm going crazy!!!

I have a Dell Dimension 8200 with a 300w power supply and a 2.53 GHz processor. This computer is one of the only computer problems that I have ever be totally stumped. It crashes frequently, crashes such as the blue screen of death, and also the "blahblahblah.exe has experienced a problem and needs to close. We are sorry for the inconvenience." Please note that blahblahblah.exe can be anything from Internet Explorer to Microsoft Word. I have absolutely NO idea what the heck the problem is. The problems all started when we got a digital video camera, and then found out that we needed to have a firewire port, and a DVD burner. We got and successfully installed a 200gb hard drive, a Maxtor CD/DVD burner, and a firewire card. Since then it started crashing a lot, and I am beginning to wonder if it is the PSU not being able to supply enough power, being only a 300w one. Also, I don't know if it's the motherboard dying, or a defective component shorting or something. Please don't tell me to reinstall my operating system or check for viruses, because I have already done that many times, and I have even tried installing Linux on it. Any help would be GREATLY appreciated.

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  • Matthew Haynie
    Matthew Haynie May 24, 2008

    Most of the time when I get a bluescreen, it will be a "PAGE_FAULT_IN_NONPAGED_AREA" I have looked on the web and I think it might be a HDD overheat. Also, note that ablsolutly NONE of the capacitors on the mobo have a peaked top. If its a heat issue, note that there's only 1 case fan that has a shroud on it to take heat away from the CPU heatsink. There is no actual fan on the heatsink itself. The system specs are a follows:

    Computer: Dell Dimension 8200 Desktop PC

    Mobo: Unknown

    Graphics card: nVidia GeForce Ti200 (no fan)

    CPU: 2.53 GHz Intel Pentium 4

    CD/DVD Drive: Maxtor CD/DVD Rewritable Drive

    Hard Drive(s): 40 Gb Western Digital Caviar (OS Installation)

    200 Gb Seagate Barracuda(Additional space, possibly problamatic HD)

    PSU: 300w Generic PSU

    That's all I can think of for now, so if you need any more information, I would be happy to provide it. If you want me to do anything complicated, don't hesitate to ask, 'cause I (probably) know what I'm doing.

  • Matthew Haynie
    Matthew Haynie May 24, 2008

    I have removed the firewire card. No change. More suggestions please?

  • Matthew Haynie
    Matthew Haynie May 24, 2008

    Its a little late to return the hard drive, but I have run diagnostics on it, and its supposedly all green. See how I got stumped???!!!

  • Matthew Haynie
    Matthew Haynie May 25, 2008

    4 sticks of memorey, 256 each, total of 1024 mb of ram, all identical samsungs.

  • Matthew Haynie
    Matthew Haynie May 30, 2008

    Thank you, now i know the problem is with the memory!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



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Try uninstalling the firewire card. Of the three pieces of hardware you installed, that's the only one I could see the computer having a problem with, unless you picked up a defective hard drive. But sometimes your device drivers can conflict with other things and cause problems like that. I'm certain it's not the power supply, otherwise the computer would probably just decide not to boot. But try taking the firewire card out to see if it helps you.

Posted on May 23, 2008

  • Thomas LaMora
    Thomas LaMora May 24, 2008

    If you are getting a page fault in non-paged area, then the hard drive you picked up is probably defective. Try running some kind of diagnostic test on the hard drive. If it fails, I would return the drive and get a different one.


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Try looking for a virus... LOL

Okay, all kidding aside. A 300w power supply is not totally bad power-wise, but it could be the problem. The first thing I would do is remove the firewire card and see if that clears up the problem. One of two things: faulty drivers OR bad firewire card. Or a combo of all three. Give that a try first and see if you get any relief.

Posted on May 23, 2008

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Look for a pattern to when this problem occurs. It may be heat related. Be sure that there is sufficient ventilation and air flow. Also, check the motherboard for capacitors that have the tops that are peaked. The tops should be flat. You may have taken a power hit that smoked a few filter caps. That could cause noise on the power lines which can cause noise on the data lines etc...
Keep us posted.

Posted on May 23, 2008

  • ABRsvcs May 25, 2008

    How much memory in this machine and on how many sticks?


  • ABRsvcs May 27, 2008

    This may sound a bit odd, but Windows does not handle memory errors within the non-paged area very well. These errors I'm refering to are hardware errors not pagefaults. Try moving the memory sticks inward. In other words take the 2 memory sticks on the outside and put them into the inner 2 slots as follows:

    Start: memory sticks 1,2,3,4 and place as: 2,1 4,3. Try the machine again and see if the problem remains. Moving the sticks like this will force the virtual memory onto different physical memory sticks. Any hardware memory problems should now be in the "user" areas where memory issues are more easily handled.

    Keep us posted.



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