My Baby Died

Yes, my computer seems to have completely died last night. It looks like bad RAM but I’m not sure. Here’s what happens.

I start up, everything goes good. I log in to the machine, and KDE starts fine. But after running for about 5 minutes, apps start crashing then the whole system freezes. The screen just stops and halts right there. Sometimes all that’s left on screen the desktop background; other times the whole desktop is there, frozen; other times a blank screen.

So I tried to do a hard reset, but it just keeps restarting and restarting without even showing the POST stuff to me. So I’m thinking it’s a RAM problem, or maybe a PSU problem. I’m hoping it’s not a CPU issue.

So I turn off and restart. Sometimes restarts fine and again runs for about 5 mins. Other times I get errors while trying to load kernel modules. Other times Linux and/or Windows just doesn’t get past the loading stage. So I have to turn off, wait a few seconds then start up again.

I have tried messing the RAM BIOS settings, playing with CAS Latency, even cranking up the voltage a bit. But nothing seems to work. I’ve tried disconnecting the Linux drive, runing only the Windows drive, and vice versa. I’ve tried turning off (in BIOS) and disconnecting all USB devices. I even tried cleaning the dust out. Nothing works, not even kicking it. ;)

I should also note that the case has good cooling and the CPU runs at a cool 47C and the system at 42C, on average.

So, do you guys have any ideas on what it might be? I have another PSU to test with, but no more DDR RAM or Athlon CPU to test with. So if you have any advice, please let me know.

So now I sit here on this 1GHz, 128MB SDRAM scrapped together system, runing an Ubuntu Live CD, writing about my poor little computer. :( I guess I’ll start with a MEMTEST.

My Baby Died was written by


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Have you tested the hard drive? I’ve bought SpinRite 6.0 a few days ago. It can’t hurt, and you can always get your money back if you’re not satisfied with it.


Hi, I’m a tech from back in the days of 286s … :=)

Sounds like it could be HEAT. Either the cpu fan or the case fan (if you have one)or the powersupply fan. Most likely, if it’s heat, that it’s the CPU fan… which is a good thing since they are only about 10USD.

Heat is always a good thing to check on since it’s easy to check and also because too much heat causes lots of types of errors.
For instance, RAM yes that might be it… but that might be because of the memory controller or the CPU addressing the ram! Not neccessarily ‘bad’ ram chips/sticks.

Hope this helps!


[email protected] here again.

Also, dust builds up just under the actual spinning parts of CPU fans.
So you can overheat even if the fan still turns!

The fan part is held unto the heat-sink part usually with four small phillips screws. Take out the screws and then while taking care to tale note of the orientation of the fan mechanism to the heatsink, lift the fan away. You will see tons of dust. Everyone reading this will find tons of dust if they have a ‘used’ machine.
Use a hose attachment to a vacuum cleaner to suck it clean. Don’t try to do it any other way, such as wiping. The heatsink has fins and they are often soft thin metal and bend easily. You don’t want to bend those.

This will save you much money and time over having someone else do it for you.

You CAN do it.


However, note that taking off the whole cooler, including both the fan and the heatsink part, is a whole ‘nuther kettle of fish.

They come together, the two parts of the CPU Cooler. The fan is already attached to the heat sink. The heat sink is held against the CUP withgooeyheatcompoundbetweenthem*. So unless you have some of the compound, you can’t really put it back together properly. But you can take off justthefan by removing the four phillips screws, as I noted before.
And then vacuuming the dust and yuk that’s preventing airflow in the CPU cooler.
It’s just a question of time before it’s dirty enough to cause overheating. Often people throw away machines before they get that dirty. Also, lots of people have paid for lots of service for problems which was actually caused by dust. Often, a service place will replace the entire $10 cooler “just because” rather than simply clean out the dust.


Argh!!!! I didn’t see this!

>I even tried cleaning the dust out. Nothing >works, not even kicking it

STILL it DOES sound like heat!!!!!


michael, reading your commments, I thought about the heat situation again. After much cleaning/repositioning/adding of fans/cables, I seem to have gotten the computer runnning stable again. So I’ve been doing much testing, with memtest and gcc, and think that it is a bad ram stick that goes bad when it gets a little hotter than it likes.

I’m going to try a new stick of RAM and see if that fixes it for sure. If it doesn’t, at least I’ll have 1GB of RAM towards a new comp hahahah .


i have a problem i delete something the screen of my computer its turn blurry the to fix the problem w/o spending a nickle.Please help me.


Hmm,that sucks.. 1ghz is “doable” but it still sucks.. Good luck with buying a new one!

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