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Strange XP freeze/slowdown problem (HW/SW related?)

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  • Strange XP freeze/slowdown problem (HW/SW related?)

    I am not sure if the following problem is hardware- or software- related... would appreciate some insight:

    - from time to time, Windows (XP Pro, sp2) decides to freeze for a few seconds, accepting no input.
    - then, after 5-10 seconds of being frozen, the screen either becomes grabled, gets replaced by white stripes/a blank white screen, or the monitors stop showing anything and complain about an out-of-range refresh rate (I use a dual display card with 2 monitors).
    - however, as soon as that happens, Windows now accepts input again. Not much use because I still cannot see anything. So, I try to force it to change the display mode somehow - usually I do this by opening a command prompt and pressing alt-enter to go to full screen text mode (of course, I have to do this blindly on my keyboard).
    - then, I press alt-enter again to go back to windows. The display is now back to life, and I can see my desktop again - with one problem: all graphic output is now sluggishly slow. Moving a window around, or scrolling text up and down, takes ages to draw on screen and makes my CPU usage go through the roof.

    (The process hogging the CPU depends on the window I'm moving/scrolling - e.g. winword.exe for Microsoft Word, explorer.exe / csrss.exe for various system windows and dialogs, etc).

    Usually this goes away upon rebooting - but happens again soon after.

    This smells like a hardware problem (such as my video card dying?), but I cannot be sure... would appreciate any insight either way.

    Thanks!

  • #2
    Re: Strange XP freeze/slowdown problem (HW/SW related?)

    I'd go into safe mode, uninstall your video card drivers, reboot, install the latest ones, reboot again, see what happens.
    ** Remember to give credit where credit is due and leave reputation points where appropriate **

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    • #3
      Re: Strange XP freeze/slowdown problem (HW/SW related?)

      Hello Wired
      Decrese refresh rate on both of your monitors.
      Cheers

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      • #4
        Re: Strange XP freeze/slowdown problem (HW/SW related?)

        Wired,

        That did the trick! The previously installed video driver was the one that came bundled with Windows (ATI Radeon 7500 Family driver by Microsoft).

        I installed the latest drivers from ATI instead, and now it handles the display mode without a hitch (two monitors running at 1152x864, 85Hz).

        Thanks!!

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        • #5
          Re: Strange XP freeze/slowdown problem (HW/SW related?)

          No problemo!
          ** Remember to give credit where credit is due and leave reputation points where appropriate **

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