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askelvins
1 Copper

Unnecessary Freezing

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Hello

I installed xp sp3-final on my dell optiplex GX260 after I increased the memory to 1536MB (512+1024) with a 2.40GHz processor. The HDD is 80GB and my system freezes unnecessarily. Sometimes I have to shut it down manually.

Before installing sp3 I was using sp2 which I did not format, so both OS are still on and I have to choose on startup which one to run. The sp2 cant support lots of programs that's why i installed the sp3 but get nothing but freezes. Please what could be the cause of this freezing since I think the memory and processor and HDD are all ok for a maximum speed and operation. Thank you.

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1 Solution

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RoHe
6 Thallium

Re: Unnecessary Freezing

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If you're being requested to choose between XP SP2 and XP SP3 at boot, that means you did a parallel installation of Windows XP instead of a just updating to SP3.

In other words, you have both versions of Windows on the hard drive. That can cause problems because (a) you have mulitple copies of related files on the drive, some of which may not work with XP SP3, and (b) with an 80GB hard drive, you probably have very little free hard drive space left.

Windows uses the hard drive as virtual memory to store and quickly retrieve things from a "paging file" when there isn't enough memory to hold everything it needs. When free space is limited, that can cause Windows to slow down and and/or freeze because there isn't enough space to write the paging file.

Assuming the hardware checks out ok after you run the diagnostics suggested by Sundeep, your only solution may be to reformat the hard drive and do a clean install of XP SP3. Keep in mind that you must back up all your personal files on external media first because a reformat/reinstall will permanently delete everything that's on the drive.

An alternative might be to remove the old drive and install a larger drive and install XP SP3 on that new drive. You can then reinstall the old drive as a secondary drive and copy off your files onto the new boot hard drive. You can then reformat the old drive and use it for extra storage.

Before you begin, you should also make sure you have the Installation disks and product keys for all your software (eg Microsoft Office) because you'll have to reinstall everything after reformatting and reinstalling Windows.

 

Ron

   Forum Member since 2004
   I am not a Dell employee

9 Replies

Re: Unnecessary Freezing

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Hi askelvins,

System freezing might be due to various reasons. My suggestion would be to run the diagnostics on the system to check the hardware functionality. You may follow the steps below :

  • Power on the computer
  • Press F12 button when you see Dell logo on the screen
  • Highlight the Diagnostics option and press Enter
  • Note down error messages if any and reply with the outcome

If the diagnostics pass, you may try running the computer in safe mode and see if the issue persists. For booting the system in Safe Mode, you may refer to Microsoft article Here

Please reply with the findings. Will take it further from there.

Thanks & Regards,
Sundeep B
#iworkfordell
To know more about Dell Product Support, Drivers & Downloads, Order & Dispatch status -> choose your region USA;India For helpful Dell Support Videos, you may click Here.

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RoHe
6 Thallium

Re: Unnecessary Freezing

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If you're being requested to choose between XP SP2 and XP SP3 at boot, that means you did a parallel installation of Windows XP instead of a just updating to SP3.

In other words, you have both versions of Windows on the hard drive. That can cause problems because (a) you have mulitple copies of related files on the drive, some of which may not work with XP SP3, and (b) with an 80GB hard drive, you probably have very little free hard drive space left.

Windows uses the hard drive as virtual memory to store and quickly retrieve things from a "paging file" when there isn't enough memory to hold everything it needs. When free space is limited, that can cause Windows to slow down and and/or freeze because there isn't enough space to write the paging file.

Assuming the hardware checks out ok after you run the diagnostics suggested by Sundeep, your only solution may be to reformat the hard drive and do a clean install of XP SP3. Keep in mind that you must back up all your personal files on external media first because a reformat/reinstall will permanently delete everything that's on the drive.

An alternative might be to remove the old drive and install a larger drive and install XP SP3 on that new drive. You can then reinstall the old drive as a secondary drive and copy off your files onto the new boot hard drive. You can then reformat the old drive and use it for extra storage.

Before you begin, you should also make sure you have the Installation disks and product keys for all your software (eg Microsoft Office) because you'll have to reinstall everything after reformatting and reinstalling Windows.

 

Ron

   Forum Member since 2004
   I am not a Dell employee

askelvins
1 Copper

Re: Unnecessary Freezing

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Thanks guys for your swift responses. To Sundeep, please is the reply after running the diagnostics

PRIMARY IDE

Drive 0: Maxtor STM380215a - PASS

Drive 1: No IDE device

SECONDARY IDE

Drive 0: AOPEN DUW160/ARR - Diagnostics not supported

Drive 1: No IDE device

That was all. Thank you.

To RoHe, I was thinking same way with you but please lets see what Sundeep has got. In fact, am very grateful for your in depth explanation of the problem and solution. Great one there!

In any case, is there any way I could delete the XP SP2 from the drive? In terms of space I have 5GB more on the drive C  and 28GB on D. Thanks once again to you all.

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askelvins
1 Copper

Re: Unnecessary Freezing

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NB: If I run the XP SP2 side, it  does not freeze at all but if I run XP SP3 it freezes continuously! Thanks.

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RoHe
6 Thallium

Re: Unnecessary Freezing

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NB: If I run the XP SP2 side, it  does not freeze at all but if I run XP SP3 it freezes continuously! Thanks.

That implies that your hardware is ok. As for the diagnostics, it appears you only have 1 hard drive (drive 0) on the Primary IDE channel, and one optical drive (drive 0) on the Secondary IDE channel. Diagnostics were not supported on the optical drive because you didn't have a data disk in that drive when the testing was run.  I am assuming no other error messages were reported...

With only one hard drive, drives C: and 😧 are just partitions on the same physical drive. 5 GB free on C: isn't really a lot of space.  And if the drive hasn't been defragged or checked for errors in a while, the amount that's actually useable could be a lot less..

It sounds like your SP3 install has problems. Either it didn't install correctly and/or there are file conflicts with something from SP2, Or possibly there isn't enough space available for both paging files.  You can follow instructions here to see how much space is allocated to the paging file in SP3 vs SP2.

Unfortunately, the only way to eliminate a parallel install is to wipe the drive. Since you installed XP SP3, you probably re-wrote the master boot record, meaning you won't have access to Dell's PCRestore which would reset the drive to exactly how they shipped it. So, you're left with doing a clean install. You can find a good guide to a clean install on Dell PCs here, that was written by one of the other members of this forum.

It's a pity you installed XP SP3 instead of just running the free SP3 upgrade from Microsoft. emoticon.TongueTied.title

 

Ron

   Forum Member since 2004
   I am not a Dell employee

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askelvins
1 Copper

Re: Unnecessary Freezing

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Thanks so much RoHe, will surely get back to you when am done. But with my pc specs:

RAM: 1536

HDD: 80GB

PROCESSOR: 2.40GHz

OPTIPLEX GX260 system

Can it running W7 ultimate effectively? Thanks!

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speedstep
6 Thallium

Re: Unnecessary Freezing

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GX260 DDR PC 2100 system is REALLY REALLY SLOW compared to DDR2 6400 GX620 or better.

GX620 tower also has PCI-E video slot which will improve performance even more.  GX260 is one of the last WIN98SE systems.  Putting WIN7 Ultimate on this system would not be satisfactory.



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askelvins
1 Copper

Re: Unnecessary Freezing

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Thanks Ron, am through now. The clean installation worked! Thanks SpeedStep to for your explanations, will sure consider it.

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RoHe
6 Thallium

Re: Unnecessary Freezing

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Glad we could help. emoticon.Yes.title   emoticon.Yes.title

Did you go to the Microsoft update site and download all the latest updates to SP3, IE8, dotnet framework, etc etc? I got a big bunch of updates for XP SP3 just this week, alone...

 

 

Ron

   Forum Member since 2004
   I am not a Dell employee

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