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Very Frequent, Random Freezing


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#1 Ionic

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Posted 11 May 2010 - 09:00 PM

Mod Edit: Moved from Win 7 to Internal Hardware~~boopme

Relatively recently, my computer has started to freeze randomly. Usually lasts 30 seconds to 3 minutes before freezing. The computer will not respond to ctrl+alt+del or anything else. It can freeze at any time from while W7 is loading up, to anytime thereafter, and seemingly for no reason. I have been working with it for a few days now and have tried the following:

Running Memtest (no problems)
Running ChkDsk (no problems)
Swapping out graphics cards (Radeon 5870 to Nvidia 8800GT)

Cleaning out all drivers, reinstalling
Running various registry cleaning software
And finally, completely reinstalling Windows

None of this has worked for me. I just can't figure it out. Any help would be appreciated.

Basic specs:
Mobo: EVGA P55 SLi
RAM: 4GB DDR3 1333
CPU i5 750
GPU: 5870

Edit: Alright, it seems to now be freezing in safe mode. Can I write this off as a guaranteed hardware issue then?

Edited by boopme, 11 May 2010 - 10:32 PM.


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#2 keyboardNinja

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Posted 11 May 2010 - 10:12 PM

Bleeping Computer DOES NOT recommend the use of registry cleaners/optimizers for several reasons:

• Registry cleaners are extremely powerful applications that can damage the registry by using aggressive cleaning routines and cause your computer to become unbootable.

The Windows registry is a central repository (database) for storing configuration data, user settings and machine-dependent settings, and options for the operating system. It contains information and settings for all hardware, software, users, and preferences. Whenever a user makes changes to settings, file associations, system policies, or installed software, the changes are reflected and stored in this repository. The registry is a crucial component because it is where Windows "remembers" all this information, how it works together, how Windows boots the system and what files it uses when it does. The registry is also a vulnerable subsystem, in that relatively small changes done incorrectly can render the system inoperable. For a more detailed explanation, read Demystifying the Windows Registry.

• Not all registry cleaners are created equal. There are a number of them available but they do not all work entirely the same way. Each vendor uses different criteria as to what constitutes a "bad entry". One cleaner may find entries on your system that will not cause problems when removed, another may not find the same entries, and still another may want to remove entries required for a program to work.

• Not all registry cleaners create a backup of the registry before making changes. If the changes prevent the system from booting up, then there is no backup available to restore it in order to regain functionality. A backup of the registry is essential BEFORE making any changes to the registry.

• Improperly removing registry entries can hamper malware disinfection and make the removal process more difficult if your computer becomes infected. For example, removing malware related registry entries before the infection is properly identified can contribute to system instability and even make the malware undetectable to removal tools.

• The usefulness of cleaning the registry is highly overrated and can be dangerous. In most cases, using a cleaner to remove obsolete, invalid, and erroneous entries does not affect system performance but it can result in "unpredictable results".

Unless you have a particular problem that requires a registry edit to correct it, I would suggest you leave the registry alone. Using registry cleaning tools unnecessarily or incorrectly could lead to disastrous effects on your operating system such as preventing it from ever starting again. For routine use, the benefits to your computer are negligible while the potential risks are great.



As I've said many times, registry cleaners, tune-up programs, and so-called "optimizers" are the current snake-oil of the internet. There are countless free programs like this and apparently some paid ones, as well.

Do not be deceived. They promise performance you can only dream about....but only deliver a computer that is worse off than it was to begin with.

Edit: Alright, it seems to now be freezing in safe mode. Can I write this off as a guaranteed hardware issue then?

Sounds like it....I'm guessing mobo or processor. I'll have this topic moved to the hardware sub-forum. :thumbsup:
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#3 Ionic

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Posted 12 May 2010 - 12:00 AM

So, how do I go about diagnosing what piece of hardware is the root cause here? I know it can't be the graphics card because I switched it out which didn't help. I don't think it's the RAM because Memtest yielded no errors. The harddrive probably isn't the cause... That basically leaves the processor, power supply, and motherboard. How do I figure out which it is?

Edit: The motherboard also beeps three times while booting.

Edited by Ionic, 12 May 2010 - 12:53 AM.


#4 hamluis

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Posted 12 May 2010 - 01:04 PM

Well...I would start with elimination of possible overheating as a factor...and then do my best to eliminate the hard drive/file system from suspicion.

That means that I would...check the CPU temps immediately after a freeze, run the appropriate hard drive manufacturer's diagnostic (long test) and check event viewer for clues, looking only for errors noted (not info or warning items). In particular, I would key in on anything denoting "disk" or "IDE" or "ATAPI".

I would double-click any line item appearing useful...in order tot see the detail. If pertinent errors are reflected in Event Viewer...I would post the detail of those specific errors, to include listed Category, Event ID, and Source.

Bootable Hard Drive Diagnostics - Vox - http://usasma.vox.com/library/post/bootabl...iagnostics.html

Hard Drive Installation and Diagnostic Tools - http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/28744/hard-drive-installation-and-diagnostic-tools/

How To Use Event Viewer - http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/40108/how-to-use-event-viewer/

Cleaning the Interior of your PC - http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/tutorials/cleaning-the-inside-of-your-pc/

Computer Cleaning Information - http://www.computerhope.com/cleaning.htm

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#5 Ionic

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Posted 12 May 2010 - 05:35 PM

I do not think overheating is the problem. My PC is quite clean, is placed on top of my desk with very generous room to vent, has all the fans humming productively, and the computer can still freeze immediately after turning it on and getting into Windows for the first time in a day. I'll use the Western Digital software next to see if anything is up there. While I'm going through that process, are there any tools to diagnose motherboard, processor, or power supply issues? Thanks in advance for the help.

#6 MrBruce1959

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Posted 12 May 2010 - 06:35 PM

Hi Ionic!

Although software is not always 100% accurate with the readings it puts out, it does give us somewhat of an idea of where things do stand hardware wise.

Here is a link to HWMonitor it is a piece of software that does not need to be installed, it's a stand-alone piece of software, that displays voltages and temperatures from your motherboards on-board probes.

http://www.cpuid.com/hwmonitor.php
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#7 Ionic

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Posted 12 May 2010 - 08:58 PM

I loaded up HWMonitor just for giggles like you said. Nothing out of the ordinary showed up. Temps looked great, as far as I know, voltages were all fine... Another thing I've noticed about the freezing is that it does not seem to happen nearly as often after all the cleaning, reformatting, and troubleshooting. Right now it's dare I say, stable, without any video drivers. So of course now I have this great machine that chugs on Windows Solitaire (which I played the most tense game of ever, thinking it would freeze after every move). So... does anybody have any idea what this could possibly mean?

I also took a look at Event Viewer in the system section. Basically devoid of useful information, the only errors being id#6008, unexpectedly shutting down, and id#41, rebooting without cleanly shutting down.

Once again, thanks for all the help you've given out so far. If you folks need any more information on solving this, ask and receive.

Edit: I think this computer is just screwing with me at this point. I double clicked the setup for my video drivers and it froze right after clicking. What a jerk.
Edit 2: Okay, I'd say there is definitely a correlation between hardware acceleration and these lockups. I can pretty much cause a freeze by picking up a window and shaking it a bunch.
Edit 3: Does anybody know how to turn off hardware acceleration in W7?

Edited by Ionic, 12 May 2010 - 09:17 PM.


#8 MrBruce1959

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Posted 12 May 2010 - 10:50 PM

That's easy you click the start button, look for control panel in the menu on the right.

Once you are in "control panel" of Windows 7 look where it says "View by" in the upper right corner of the control panel screen and choose "small icons" where the little arrow is.

Now you can see all the control panel icons in one window worded alphabetically from A to Z.

Look for "Performance information and tools", click that icon.

In the next window look for "Advanced Tools" on the left side of this window in the list of options below where it says "control panel home".

In this window, look for the computer screen icon with the following words next to it "Adjust the appearance and performance of Windows" click this link.


"Performance options" window opens with three tabs, first one being "Visual effects" below are three options here, first once being "let windows choose whats best for my computer"

You can either choose "best performance" below that and go through the list of check boxes in the scroll window below to change the video settings, like disabling Aero Peek and a lot of other un-needed features. The other two tabs such as Advanced have other options you can adjust as well.


I am hoping my directions have not gotten you lost as to how to get to this "Performance Options" window.

Also you might find an icon related to your video card in the control panel window, if you do you can click that icon and use your video cards control panel to turn off its acceleration, if not then in the start menu's empty text box type the following dxdiag the dxdiag.exe should display in the box above. click it and enter the direct X utility and use the trouble shooter there.

Hope this helps.

Edited by MrBruce1959, 12 May 2010 - 10:59 PM.

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#9 Ionic

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Posted 12 May 2010 - 11:42 PM

You're directions weren't confusing. Don't worry. They didn't stop the freezing though ): I guess it just has to be something wrong with the motherboard. That would be a real bummer... I'm just not sure what else to look for.

#10 MrBruce1959

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Posted 12 May 2010 - 11:57 PM

You know what bugs me is if you could hand that board over to me through the Internet into my computer like Star Trek's "Beam me up Scotti", I would hand it back to you in 30 minutes working, but trying to give directions over the net isn't as easy to do either LOL.


But have you ever tried the directions we often give here about the process of elimination?

It is where you strip the computer down to its bare essentials, everything disconnected except for the video card, keyboard, mouse, monitor and one stick of RAM, and then slowly add one piece at a time back into the computer until the problem starts happening again. Hence you end up finding a hardware conflict or an IRQ conflict.

Have you ever researched things in device manager to see if your suffering from an IRQ or memory address issue? I know those are rare since Windows XP came out with NTFS, but you'd never know, might be worth looking into. Go to device manager and check devices by connection as well and also check the "system information" utility for conflicts and sharing, something might be relevant there as well.

Edited by MrBruce1959, 13 May 2010 - 12:00 AM.

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#11 Ionic

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Posted 13 May 2010 - 12:12 AM

If only life were that easy... I cracked the case open again and did a quick scan of the motherboard hoping there would be something obvious. What I saw startled me. I saw a slanted capacitor. So I just pushed it back into place. I'll uh... see what happens I guess. I'll try your process of elimination next, but this seems like a pretty good bet right here. I don't know if it's very fixable though.

#12 MrBruce1959

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Posted 13 May 2010 - 12:38 AM

I saw a slanted capacitor. So I just pushed it back into place. I'll uh..., but this seems like a pretty good bet right here. I don't know if it's very fixable though.


Are you saying you think you broke off one of the leads to an electrolytic capacitor?

Those are replaceable, as long as you find one with the same microfarads and voltage rating, using a 15 watt soldering pencil, a piece of rosin core solder and observing the polarity of the present cap, you can replace it with no problem. Just make sure its soldered in on both sides of the motherboard as motherboards are almost always double sided boards.

Edited by MrBruce1959, 13 May 2010 - 12:40 AM.

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#13 Ionic

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Posted 13 May 2010 - 01:46 AM

I have started running Prime95 as a stress test, if you can call it that. Anyway, my computer freezes every single time right after pressing begin on the test. It seems what Prime95 does uses exactly what is causing my problem. Does that point towards the CPU being the problem?

#14 MrBruce1959

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Posted 13 May 2010 - 02:05 AM

Well you started this thread by saying your computer ran fine at one point, then you stated the problems started and you went through a whole lot of fixes before you eventually re-installed Windows 7.

Now there has been know to be processors out there that are buggy from time to time, but usually they show those signs right from the beginning.

If your processor is the issue, it would be caused by over-heating from improper cooling.

Prime95 is a video graphics stress test, similar to 3Dmark06 which is downloadable at this link http://www.futuremark.com/benchmarks/3dmark06/download/

Prime95 and 3Dmark06 both benchmark your graphics card with a series of gaming frames at various framing rates and keep track of the results.

So basically what your saying here is your problem is related to your graphics card. Either your drivers are incorrect or your video cards accelerator is locking up. Do you have any idea how much memory is dedicated to your video graphics?

Edit: Just added another after thought, I think we need to look at your PSU's output here as well, we can't over look the possibility that your PSU does not supply enough current to satisfy your graphics cards demand.
Could you also post the specs listed on your PSU for the output ratings?

Thanks in advance.

Edited by MrBruce1959, 13 May 2010 - 02:14 AM.

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#15 Ionic

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Posted 13 May 2010 - 01:32 PM

Remember, the freezing happened even after I tried swapping out my 5870 for my 8800GT. Anyway, the 5870 has 1GB of memory. My power supply is a Corsair 750W and has a maximum power of... 750W. Unless the 5870 got bored and decided to use three times as much power, I think the power supply is more than adequate. I think it's time for me to start putting each piece of my computer into another machine individually until it starts freezing too.




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