What's left to test on a freezing computer?

I’m working on a friend’s computer, which I built at least five years ago. Due to Windows XP giving me the blue screen on start up — even in Safe Mode — I decided to backup his documents and clean install Windows. (I did this for him three years ago, so I think it’s due.)

Unfortunately, that didn’t do the trick.

After the proper drivers were install on a fresh Windows XP foundation, it still froze on me. It wasn’t a blue screen, and I wasn’t even doing anything processor-intensive.

After that, I did the following (within my Ultimate Boot CD):

  • Ran the extended test with the Western Digital hard drive diagnostics software
  • Ran MemTest86+ v1.07 for two passes, which took about 40 minutes.

He’s ready to buy another computer, so I’m not worried. I just want to exhaust all other options.

Other than the motherboard finally gone bad, what else could it be? How do you test a motherboard?

Published by

Bryan Villarin

Bryan works at Automattic. He's also a cat whisperer. Sometimes…a photographer, and card magician.

3 thoughts on “What's left to test on a freezing computer?”

  1. My HP notebook has a special HP-sepcific help center which includes a test for the motherboard and other hardware components. Unfortunately, that’s the extent of my hardware troubleshooting knowledge for any non-Mac computer.

    In the Mac Universe, we have TechTool Pro, which we can use to diagnose and repair almost any software issue and diagnose every hardware component of every Apple computer. I’m not sure if such a thing is available for Windows, and I believe that the myriad of hardware manufacturers would contribute to the difficulty of maintaining such a utility. I guess that the best thing to do would be to ask the manufacturer of the motherboard, though they might just try to sell you a new motherboard.

    Good luck!


  2. @James: Yeah, my supervisor agrees that it’s something with the motherboard. Since it’s fairly old in computer years, it isn’t worth trying to troubleshoot or replace it.

    My friend’s cool with that, so I gave him a quote for his new computer.

    Thanks for the input. 🙂


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