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Computer freezing/restarting randomly


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#1 johnnysanz3

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Posted 07 August 2009 - 09:57 AM

This will be long, I will try to post as much information as I can.

Computer Specs:

Motherboard: ASRock X38TurboTwins
PSU: Silverstone ST70F 700W
Processor: Core 2 Duo E8400 3.0GHz
GPU: Sapphire Radeon HD 4850
RAM: 8GB (G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3 1333)x2
OS: Vista Ultimate 64-bit
Case: 1 big fan, 3 smaller fans, aluminum

The Main Problem:

The problem as it currently stands is that it restarts and freezes randomly. It has done this since I built it. It didn't bother me because it wasn't really all that often that it did it, I admit it was stupid of me to not fix it though.

I had never found a pattern, or a way to force the errors to happen. It was completely random (at least to me).

Recently I started playing some video games more often, L4D, Aion. And I finally found a way to kind of force it to restart or freeze. In the game Aion, it happens everytime I play it, sometimes it takes 20min to a couple hours but I know it will eventually happen while playing this game. In other games, like L4D it has only happened once in all the times I play. It still happens every once in a while just doing other stuff in Windows randomly.

Testing so Far:

I started monitoring while playing Aion to see anything weird. Hottest my GPU got was 80C, I turned up some fans and got it down to low 70's C. The voltages were all really close except for +12.0v which was at 12.56 while not playing a game and during play it goes down to 12.4s.

I couldn't pick up anything in particular that caused the freeze or restart.

I ran Prime95, a CPU/MEM stress test for a couple hours and got no errors. The CPU got its warmest during this, getting to 65C. The mobo temp was around 50C.

I unchecked the "Automatically restart" option in Vista hoping it would give me an error message before restarting/freezing but I still didn't get any.

I checked the event logs and only got errors saying "Previous system shutdown was unexpected".

I reset my motherboard to see if I screwed anything up settings memory timings manually and such. After I did this, the game worked for 5 straight hours until I went to bed that night and didn't freeze that night at all. It's came back though. I really thought I had it fixed after this.

I have 4 sticks of RAM and tried switching these in and out. Somehow doing this I made the restarting in Aion quicker after I start playing. Now it happens withing a minute or two into the game. This game is the only thing I can do to force this error to happen, even though it still does it doing anything else, but a lot less often and more random.

I tried moving the GPU to the other PCI express slot, same problems.

Other Problems that may/may not be related:

My monitor has always randomly not found a signal from the PC. Sometimes I would have to turn it on and off a few times till monitor recognized it.

Most of the time when I have to turn the computer off by holding the power button down, when I turn it back on, it starts up for a few seconds, turns off, than a few seconds later turns back on normally.

Maybe my installation?

Since all these problems have been pretty much from the start, I will write some goofy things in my Case. Note though that this case worked fine with my old computer parts in it:

My mobo is only held on by 2 screws, and a post on my case is missing in the one corner of my mobo, making the mobo kind of flimsy there.

My CPU is mounted pretty snug, but during mounting the one corner clip/button that you push down broke off, but its pushed down I am pretty sure and is snug on the mobo.

I have a case fan that has a power cord kind of glued together with some black stuff that sometimes turns on and off because the wire is probably not fully connected in that gooey stuff.

The motherboard has some capacitors leaning slightly but I couldn't find any evidence of black or bulging capacitors, or anything out of the ordinary.

Everything else is pretty normal in the case. At least as much as I can tell, all this new stuff I got was new to me, like the power supply connectors and everything, it was a pretty big upgrade from my old stuff that used older connectors and stuff like that.

My newbie ideas

If I knew more, I probably would have an idea to fix it by now, other than what I tried here, I'm trying to avoid buying a ton of parts if its not the problem, I don't really have any backup parts to try out otherwise I would have tried them out, and I don't really know anybody that has backup stuff I can try.

The PSU: maybe Power supply is messed up so randomly it screws up.

The motherboard: seems like it could cause these types of problems. It was kind of a cheap one.

The GPU: I kept thinking this one especially once I got that one game to always cause the error. Plus with the monitor not detecting a signal sometimes on boot, but would the vid card cause these problems when I'm not doing anything game related?

Windows Vista: I haven't tried a reinstall yet because I have a bunch of videos and stuff with nowhere to back them up, once I find a solution to that I will probably try this. But the problems still say hardware to me, but I can be wrong.

I'm getting close to biting the bullet and buying new parts, I was thinking a new case first, since my old one is falling apart, and then maybe new mobo cause this was a cheap one, what you guys think? My psu I thought was a pretty good one...I hope its not that.

Was thinking, should I just throw this off a cliff and start over? =)

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#2 the_muse

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Posted 07 August 2009 - 10:22 AM

I would check to see if anything is shorting out your motherboard first..

Take it out and put screws in every hole and make sure you have the little plastic red rings around the screws so metal is not touching metal

It could be your PSU.. Does your mobo have on board video? If so take out your GPU and see if it still freezes if so then you can say it is you psu or gpu then..as 80c is pretty high but not melting high.

DO you have your cpu overclocked?

#3 johnnysanz3

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Posted 07 August 2009 - 10:27 AM

Nothing is overclocked. Good idea about the motherboard, I may get a new case since I need one anyway and install it properly and see if it fixes it.

#4 starcraftmaster

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Posted 07 August 2009 - 10:33 AM

I have a case fan that has a power cord kind of glued together with some black stuff that sometimes turns on and off because the wire is probably not fully connected in that gooey stuff.


Was thinking, should I just throw this off a cliff and start over? =)


plug out the fan and see what happans


before you throw the computer off the cliff can i have it ? :thumbsup:

#5 johnnysanz3

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Posted 07 August 2009 - 10:36 AM

I have a case fan that has a power cord kind of glued together with some black stuff that sometimes turns on and off because the wire is probably not fully connected in that gooey stuff.


Was thinking, should I just throw this off a cliff and start over? =)


plug out the fan and see what happans


before you throw the computer off the cliff can i have it ? :thumbsup:



You know, I don't know why I haven't tried that yet..lol

But as far as the cliff..It would be a sacrifice to the computer gods for future good fortune in computing. =)

#6 the_muse

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Posted 07 August 2009 - 10:45 AM

Download cpuz hpc wizard and click on the tab show in the screenshot.. Pc Wizard

Posted Image

#7 johnnysanz3

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Posted 07 August 2009 - 11:26 AM

Download cpuz hpc wizard and click on the tab show in the screenshot.. Pc Wizard

Posted Image



Ok here it is:

Hardware Monitoring : Winbond W83627DHG
Voltage CPU : 1.22 V
+3.3V Voltage : 3.26 V
+5V Voltage : 5.06 V
+12V Voltage : 12.51 V
Processor Fan : 2136 rpm
Processor Temperature : 43 C
Power/Aux Temperature : 4 C
:
Processor : Thermal Diode
Intel Core 2 Duo (Core 1) : 47 C
Intel Core 2 Duo (Core 2) : 45 C
:
Hard Disk Monitoring : S.M.A.R.T
Hard Disk Hitachi HDT725032VLA360 : 39 C
Hard Disk WDC WD800JB-00ETA0 : 36 C

#8 the_muse

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Posted 07 August 2009 - 11:47 AM

That all looks fine to me. Voltages are ok..Temps are ok.. Although a tad on the high side for an idle temp. But thats nothing to worry about.

I would say your mobo is shorting out. As you said only 2 screws re holding it up! You need a good 6 or 7 screws and (I dont know what they are called) the little red things that usually comes with the screws with your mobo..
If they are not on the screws then it is about 75% your board shorting out..

Lets make sure it aint your hard drives as well though!

Download speedfan and go to the smart tab.. And click perform an in Depth analysis on the drives you have! Speedfan..


Posted Image

#9 hamluis

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Posted 07 August 2009 - 12:26 PM

Those little things are called "standoffs" and they should be readily available from any abandoned case (e.g. computer repair shop) or bought for very little.

Example: http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/Se...1&CatId=965

Louis

#10 johnnysanz3

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Posted 07 August 2009 - 12:26 PM

I will do that. Of course I had to go now, and won't be able to have access to my computer again till Saturday.. I'll run that and post it Saturday afternoon/evening, thanks for the help. Check back on Saturday if your around to see the results.

#11 johnnysanz3

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Posted 07 August 2009 - 12:28 PM

Those little things are called "standoffs" and they should be readily available from any abandoned case (e.g. computer repair shop) or bought for very little.

Example: http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/Se...1&CatId=965

Louis



Oh cool now I know. I had thought those were part of the case and were broke off for good.... Thanks!

#12 johnnysanz3

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Posted 09 August 2009 - 06:12 PM

That all looks fine to me. Voltages are ok..Temps are ok.. Although a tad on the high side for an idle temp. But thats nothing to worry about.

I would say your mobo is shorting out. As you said only 2 screws re holding it up! You need a good 6 or 7 screws and (I dont know what they are called) the little red things that usually comes with the screws with your mobo..
If they are not on the screws then it is about 75% your board shorting out..

Lets make sure it aint your hard drives as well though!

Download speedfan and go to the smart tab.. And click perform an in Depth analysis on the drives you have! Speedfan..


Posted Image


Ran it, everything came up very good in my main hard drive.

Everything was very good in my backup older hard drive except for the power on hours Count. Basically from what I read it was saying that is an old hard drive. Which it is.

#13 stealthchicken75

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Posted 09 August 2009 - 09:04 PM

I had this EXACT same problem with my PC recently. The way it was happening led me to believe that it was the motherboard shorting out due to metal touching the case. Took everything apart, checked it all, remounted, worked fine with no reboots for 2 days, then suddenly out of nowhere it started randomly rebooting again. Then thought it was the PSU, bought a new one, worked again for 3 days no issues, then suddenly started random rebooting again. After MUCH trial and error I accidentally figured out that it was the RAM.

I removed one of my RAM modules and things booted perfectly, put the RAM back in, computer started freezing again. I have since removed the RAM and haven't had a single freeze/reboot since. Try it out, remove all your RAM and put only one stick in. If the problem persists, remove the RAM and try a different module.

#14 starcraftmaster

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Posted 10 August 2009 - 02:40 AM

I had this EXACT same problem with my PC recently. The way it was happening led me to believe that it was the motherboard shorting out due to metal touching the case. Took everything apart, checked it all, remounted, worked fine with no reboots for 2 days, then suddenly out of nowhere it started randomly rebooting again. Then thought it was the PSU, bought a new one, worked again for 3 days no issues, then suddenly started random rebooting again. After MUCH trial and error I accidentally figured out that it was the RAM.

I removed one of my RAM modules and things booted perfectly, put the RAM back in, computer started freezing again. I have since removed the RAM and haven't had a single freeze/reboot since. Try it out, remove all your RAM and put only one stick in. If the problem persists, remove the RAM and try a different module.


theres many things that can make a system restart
but thats a good try
you can try a memory testing program insted if u want to make it easyer

#15 johnnysanz3

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Posted 10 August 2009 - 06:37 AM

I had this EXACT same problem with my PC recently. The way it was happening led me to believe that it was the motherboard shorting out due to metal touching the case. Took everything apart, checked it all, remounted, worked fine with no reboots for 2 days, then suddenly out of nowhere it started randomly rebooting again. Then thought it was the PSU, bought a new one, worked again for 3 days no issues, then suddenly started random rebooting again. After MUCH trial and error I accidentally figured out that it was the RAM.

I removed one of my RAM modules and things booted perfectly, put the RAM back in, computer started freezing again. I have since removed the RAM and haven't had a single freeze/reboot since. Try it out, remove all your RAM and put only one stick in. If the problem persists, remove the RAM and try a different module.



That sounds good, I am going to try that, I had removed RAM in pairs, but didn't try leaving one in, I just switched the 2 pairs in and out. I also think I'm going to run a memtest tonight before I go to bed.




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