For a beginning, check all power and ribbon cable connections and run the Maxtor HDD diagnostics from a floppy created from the download from their website.
I just got an email from a guy I built a new computer for. He said that lately when he has been in a multi-player game of Half-life 2, there will be a clicking sound that comes from the system, and then it will freeze up. I have asked him some questions about it, and he will get back to me somtime soon. I am just wondering right off if anyone might know what it is. All of the hardware is brand new, and I hope nothing is going wrong with that. It is an Athlon 64bit 3200+ processor, MSI board, 120 or 140GB Maxtor Hard-drive (can't quite remember), 1.25GB Ram. Pretty much the only thing that was previously used was the cd-rom. It seems like it may be clicking from the hard-drive though. What do you think? Thanks.
Also, make sure all fans are running, and that none of them is causing the noise.
Could a wire be catching on a fan? Depends on how frequent the clicks are.
No, I highly doubt that it would be a wire or something like that on a fan. It only has been doing this when he is playing a multi-player game. I am suspecting that it's something with the hard-drive, or video card. I haven't been able to get over to have a look at it yet.
He ran the hard-drive diagnostics that was on the CD that came with the hard-drive, and there is this error: machine_check_exception He researched it and it could be memory. I might be able to go over and see what I can do with it. Any help on this would be great. Thanks.
One suggestion is to remove the computer's cover, and have your friend duplicate the situation that causes the problem while you're looking inside the computer. This may enable you to pinpoint the source of the clicking noise.
Sounds like a Windows error and not a HDD diagnostics report. Can you confirm this?
Since this is a new build, it could also be worth checking the WinXP Hardware Compatibilty List.0x0000009C: MACHINE_CHECK_EXCEPTION
(Click to consult the online MSDN article.)
This is a hardware issue: an unrecoverable hardware error has occurred. The parameters have different meanings depending on what type of CPU you have but, while diagnostic, rarely lead to a clear solution. Most commonly it results from overheating, from failed hardware (RAM, CPU, hardware bus, power supply, etc.), or from pushing hardware beyond its capabilities (e.g., overclocking a CPU).
If this build has a floppy drive I would download the HDD diagnostics and run them as Paul suggested earlier...Sounds like a Windows error and not a HDD diagnostics report. Can you confirm this?
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