The same old story?

Avatar

Please consider registering
Guest

Search

— Forum Scope —






— Match —





— Forum Options —





Minimum search word length is 3 characters - maximum search word length is 84 characters

Register Lost password?
sp_Feed sp_topic_old
The same old story?
Avatar
Marc Thomas
Argentina
Admin
Forum Posts: 249
Member Since:
November 6, 2013
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
1
November 21, 2013 - 7:52 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print

Don't be put off by the title as I'm sure this happens in all our daily lives, as machines will be....well, machines.
You're late for work, you try to start the car and nothing happens.
After several laps around the car and having kicked the tyres a few times for good measure, she splutters into life and somehow you manage to get both you and the car to your local mechanic.
Whereupon, the mechanic gets the car going first time and you make your exit, somewhat relieved, but perplexed.
I'm sure most of us can relate to this situation and it's fair to say that the same parallel can be used with PC's.
I have just a case right now in my shop.
A PC I built for a customer a couple of years ago, so I feel a greater responsibility than normal.
An Athlon II x 2 250 on which I had upgraded his memory to 4gb a few weeks ago. Last week I added another hard drive, which was used as he couldn't afford a new one. I had been the owner of that drive, so I knew it had very little use and all my in house checks had passed.
I left his original hard drive as a data drive untouched, so that he could easily access all his files as a secondary drive. The 'new' drive was given a clean install of Windows 7 Pro x64 and thus the boot drive.
When he came to collect the machine, I explained again that he would need to reinstall all his programs and games and he also had the advantage of being able to copy save games and other data from his original drive.
The first time he brought the machine back with a blue screen, I asked him directly what program he had been running and it turns out that he had found the Skype .exe and his favourite game .exe on the original drive and ran them both from there, in spite of my....erm, advice.
So I spelt it out to him again and he took the PC back home with him.
Later that day he has another blue screen and I asked him again what he was doing at that very moment in time.
Which was downloading a game, installing a Steam game, talking on Skype, watching a Youtube video and writing a Word document all at the same time.
I had the PC in the shop all day yesterday trying in vain to reproduce the fault, which brings me back to my original paragraphs.
I've lost count of how many times this scenario has presented itself and I find myself saying to the customer:
'Well that's weird...'
In this case, I haven't yet submitted the dmp file for checking only because I've had very little luck down that avenue in the past.
My question is: is he being unrealistic in expecting the machine to carry out so many tasks at one time?

Avatar
Mindblower
Montreal, Canada
Member
Forum Posts: 411
Member Since:
September 17, 2008
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
2
November 21, 2013 - 12:10 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print

All I got was "An Athlon II x 2 250 on which I had upgraded his memory to 4gb a few weeks ago". Bit more information might help, though todays computers should be able to handle many tasks (at the same time). I skipped from XP to Windows 8, so I'm not sure if it could be an o/s problem. The other item one could look at, is if those programs can work together, and include the security programs at boot time. I'm very often surprised to find that there are still glitches with software, listed, and totally bypassed, when searching for a hardware problem, Mindblower!

"Light travels faster than sound;
That is why some people seem bright until you hear them speak"

Avatar
Marc Thomas
Argentina
Admin
Forum Posts: 249
Member Since:
November 6, 2013
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
3
November 21, 2013 - 12:23 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print

Athlon II x2 250, 4gb ddr2, 500gb Samsung, 500Gb WD both sata.
Windows 7 Pro, Spanish x64 SP1 fully updated, MSE, Starcraft II, Skype latest, Steam updated with DOTA2, Chrome.

You see this is what I think too.
IE modern PC's can handle many tasks simultaneously.
I've even accidentally run two games at the same time with no ill effects.
My point remains the same as at the time of writing, I'm unable to make it crash and I've even added other tasks to the list.
There was no dump file either.

Avatar
Jim Hillier
Admin
Forum Posts: 2492
Member Since:
August 9, 2011
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
4
November 21, 2013 - 4:43 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_EditHistory

Hey Guys - Running multiple tasks should not normally cause a BSOD, unless memory is maxed out. Seems unlikely though with 4GB RAM, unless something is leaking memory real bad. What is the pagefile situation?

Memory leaks will have a greater impact over time, if/when the owner's habit is to leave the machine running for extended periods of time without switching off or restarting.

Overheating could also be a possible cause, especially when running multiple CPU intensive processes. Core temps can vary depending on positioning of the tower (critical) and prevailing weather conditions. If the tower is not in clear unobstructed air and it is a hot day, running multiple processes could be a problem. Incorrect fan control settings in BIOS could also add to higher than normal core temps.

Marc, the fact that you are unable to replicate the BSOD seems to rule out hardware failure under stress. There are possible environmental variances which could explain why you are unable to replicate the BSOD. One of the first things I'd be checking is the positioning of the tower in home.

Cheers... Jim

Avatar
Marc Thomas
Argentina
Admin
Forum Posts: 249
Member Since:
November 6, 2013
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
5
November 21, 2013 - 5:49 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print

Good idea Jim.
The temps seemed ok at least when I was checking it, but I forgot to ask how he exactly positioned the pc at home.
I left the page file at default Windows setting. Many say that that it should be double the ram, yet others say one and a half as you know.
I did ask him about the electricity supply, which down here is a bit hit and miss in some areas due to frequent 'brown outs'.
He reckons this is ok though.
Thankfully he's taken it home tonight and I haven't heard anything yet, so that's a good sign.

Avatar
Mindblower
Montreal, Canada
Member
Forum Posts: 411
Member Since:
September 17, 2008
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
6
November 22, 2013 - 7:27 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print

Well there you have it Marc, the three items most responsible for most computer problems, given in random order.
RAM, power (includes over heating), and software glitches.

Personally I try and prevent them all, since my computers run 24/7. Run a program which frees up trapped RAM, connect to a UPS, monitor drive temperature and have tower placed in a well spot for air circulation (not on floor) wiping the grill weekly of dust build-up, and try not to overload the CPU with too many intensive programs at the same time. Must say, software glitches rarely occur, but just hear of one new one, the router. The older models tend to start failing, with the common cure being a simple reboot of the system. This seems to be the best solution, reboot. I prefer to find the problem, Mindblower!

"Light travels faster than sound;
That is why some people seem bright until you hear them speak"

Avatar
Marc Thomas
Argentina
Admin
Forum Posts: 249
Member Since:
November 6, 2013
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
7
November 22, 2013 - 7:59 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print

I couldn't agree more Mindblower. Spot on.
What we can't control though is the user, in spite of our best efforts and advice.

Forum Timezone: America/Indiana/Indianapolis

Most Users Ever Online: 188

Currently Online:
15 Guest(s)

Currently Browsing this Page:
1 Guest(s)

Member Stats:

Guest Posters: 10

Members: 1272

Moderators: 3

Admins: 4

Forum Stats:

Groups: 8

Forums: 19

Topics: 1538

Posts: 11824

Administrators: Jim Hillier, Richard Pedersen, David Hartsock, Marc Thomas

Moderators: Judy Novotny, Jason Shuffield, Mail Poet