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Creeping Death
26-10-2011, 03:26 AM
I have a very irritating problem, my laptop keeps randomly locking up. It happens completely random, I might be playing a game or watching or video, or something completely mundane like browsing the internet. It might happen once a day or (like just now) 4 times in 20 minutes. I've tried absolutely everything I can imagine to fix it but so far nothing has worked. I've even gone as far as completely reformatting my entire machine and using a fresh install of Windows and it still hasn't helped at all. And of course, as it locks up and I have to force it to shut down, the event logs show nothing other than an unexpected shutdown.

Rather worryingly, this leaves me thinking the only possibility is it is a hardware issue which I suspect will be relatively costly to fix if it is the case. Can anyone hazard a guess as to what could be happening? Or atleast, some tried and tested hardware diagnostic programs?

I doubt it will help with an issue this vague, but my laptop is an Acer Aspire 5739G. Intel Core 2 Duo T6500 2.1GHZ, 4GB Ram, 300GB HDD, Nvidia 130m GT

Edit: I should note that this isn't a new laptop, I've had it for a little over a year now and up until lately I have had absolutely no problems with it whatsoever. It's just been recently (shortly after the BF3 beta ended) that it has started randomly locking up.

CMaster
26-10-2011, 11:03 AM
Run a memory tester.

Consider gently opening it up (if out of warranty) to try to clean out dust (if there is any sign of any)

Gerbick
26-10-2011, 11:34 AM
Could be overheating, so like CMaster suggests give it a clean. Might be worth running a hdd tester too.

Creeping Death
26-10-2011, 02:46 PM
Alright, I opened my laptop up and gave it a clean. Not that it needed much, it was surprisingly dust free. I didn't really think it was likely to be overheating anyway, considering it can happen 5 minutes or 3 hours after starting up.

Anyway, I know there is memtest for ram, can anyone recommend one for the hdd?

CMaster
26-10-2011, 03:23 PM
www.thefreecountry.com/utilities/index.shtml
Is a great source for utilities of all forms when you need them.

Gerbick
26-10-2011, 03:46 PM
http://www.seagate.com/www/en-us/support/downloads/seatools

I've used that a few times. And the built in chkdsk in windows.

trjp
27-10-2011, 12:15 AM
Make yourself a bootable Hirens CD - see here http://www.hiren.info/pages/bootcd

It contains every possible memory and HDD and other hardware diagnostic that there is - it should be able to give your laptop a thorough once-over.

Overheating tends just to shut-down a laptop rather than 'freeze' it but it's worth checking temps with something like Speedfan - http://www.almico.com/speedfan.php - what you're looking for is a gradual increase from launch - it can increase more when playing a game but it MUST drop back down quickly when you stop.

Other things I'd try include removing the memory chips - if there's more than 1 put them back in 1-at-a-time (a small number of laptops require 2 chips to work but most will run with just 1) - even just removing and reinserting the chip often helps tho as they get gunk on the connectors and/or work themselves loose.

Does this happen on mains/battery or both?

End of the day, if it's not a memory chip or the HDD, the odds are your laptop is knackered (there aren't really any other replaceable parts in there) so fingers crossed.

p.s. I once had a desktop PC which would freeze randomly - sometimes 3 times a day, other times not for months. I tried a load of things, never solved it and eventually replaced it. When I was breaking it for bits I discovered one of it's SATA cables had a broken connector on the end - flapping around with loose wires inside - I replaced it and test it and it's never frozen again in - oh - 3 years as a spare PC, so check ALL your connections :)

Creeping Death
27-10-2011, 01:49 PM
Well done a few passes with memtest and all the tests on that Seatools program and neither turned up any errors :/

@trjp: It happens on both mains and battery. Nothing out of the ordinary happening in regards to temperatures either, obviously it heats up when playing a game but it drops down pretty rapidly again afterwards. I'll open it up again and double check all the connectors but I didn't notice anything amiss last time I checked. I'll try reconnecting my memory and give that boot cd a go and get back to you.

It's increasingly looking like my laptop is just a bit buggered. I was really hoping that wasnt the case, I dont exactly have the money to replace it