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Random Freezing Issue


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#1 HKPhooey80

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Posted 13 December 2011 - 11:35 AM

For the past few months I have been experiencing random freezes of my system. It can occur at almost any time, during Windows start up, just after logging on, sometimes it freezes up after less than 10 minutes of use and other times I can run for 12 hours using system intense games and programs with no freeze, it has even happened in safe mode; the only times when I've not gotten a freeze is when I boot to utility partition and run diagnostics from there, or when I've rebooted after a freeze and the chkdsk application automatically runs. The freeze is a near total freeze: display locks up on whatever the image was on screen at the time of the freeze; if there was audio playing, then the last little sample will repeat ad infinitum until I shut the system down; if the hard drive light was on, it will stay on; no response from the mouse of keyboard, if I push Num Lock or Caps Lock, the little light on the keyboard to indicate the lock is on won't light up; the only thing that will run during the freeze are the fans, I have three fans in my system, cpu, gpu, and psu. I've run diagnostics and tests and monitoring software for every hardware component, memory, cpu, gpu, hard drive, physically, everything checks out as performing fine and temperature is not an issue. I thought it could've been a driver issue, but after rolling back drivers and fully updating drivers and finding drivers in between from times I knew the thing worked, I have mostly ruled out a driver issue.

A bit of background, in October I allowed someone to use my computer who wasn't very internet savvy and they proceeded to get me a virus, a really nasty rootkit one that did what I'm assuming is a great deal of damage, and removing it was quite the arduous task which I'm sure did even more damage. It was around the time that I got this virus that the freezing issue began. I've talked with a friend, and he seems to think the issue is corrupt system files and that a fresh install of the OS would likely fix my problems; alternatively he suggests it could be an issue with the hard drive itself (he also suggested a memory issue, but all the tests of my memory have came back clean). System file checks and check disk would appear to confirm the corrupted system file hypothesis. I have been needing to buy a new hard drive sooner or later anyways, as I'm running out of space on my internal hard drive and my supplemental external one, also I have been wanting to update from Vista to Windows 7. I have some extra money and want to fix this issue, but I'd like to be certain that this will be the solution; I'd hate to buy a new hard drive and new OS (especially with the increase in HD prices due to the recent flooding in Thailand) and it turn out that the issue still persists and it's some other component or problem, more expensive, that will need to be addressed and replaced.

I suppose I should give some system information, is there any applications I can use to get what is needed quickly and timely and in a copy-pasteable form?

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#2 Allan

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Posted 13 December 2011 - 11:46 AM

Since autocheck is kicking in, it would indicate a dirty bit. Unfortunately, checkdisk does not run with the recovery switch so it's virtually a useless process. Please do this: right-click on a command prompt icon and open as administrator. In the command prompt window type: chkdsk /r (then press ENTER). You'll be told the disk is in use and asked if you want to run checkdisk on the next boot. Say yes, exit the command prompt window, and reboot.

I'm not saying this will fix the problem, but it's a start. And the fact that the system also freezes in safe mode would tend to indicate it's a hardware issue.



#3 HKPhooey80

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Posted 13 December 2011 - 11:57 AM

OK, I did as you said. On restart, when CHKDSK ran, it said this volume is clean and then went to Windows startup. Though, right before I posted this topic, I had a freeze, and on reboot it ran CHKDSK and cleaned up a couple of files. If it kept a log on this, I'm not sure where to find it.

Yeah, the freezing in safe mode is what made me most concerned, I'd never had anything like that before, and it has me almost convinced the issue is hardware. However, the fact that I can boot to utility partition or from a disc, and have yet to have the freezing issue when I do so, adds another confusing element to the mystery. I know to use memtest to check memory, what other utilities would you suggest I use to try to narrow this down?

#4 Allan

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Posted 13 December 2011 - 12:00 PM

You did not run chkdsk /r

#5 HKPhooey80

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Posted 13 December 2011 - 02:38 PM

Well, I was pretty sure I had ran chkdsk /r the first time, but maybe I cancelled it before it started. I ran it again after reading your reply, it ran almost like it did during the self-initiated runs of chkdsk, only it took much longer, nearly two hours to finish. I didn't notice any messages during the running of the chkdsk that stood out in anyway. I haven't frozen since it's finished, but it's only been a handful of minutes.

EDIT: Well, about two minutes after posting this I did freeze up and had to do a hard reboot.

Edited by HKPhooey80, 13 December 2011 - 02:45 PM.


#6 jhayz

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Posted 13 December 2011 - 10:48 PM

Have you tried a clean boot startup? Since this is a random freeze problem. How about isolating your RAM sticks or testing the hard drive with diagnostic tools?

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#7 Allan

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Posted 14 December 2011 - 06:24 AM

Okay, well at least we've done a proper checkdisk. I agree with checking the ram as the next step:
To check the ram, download memtest (http://memtest.org/). Burn it to a cd using a dedicated .iso burning utility (http://www.petri.co.il/how_to_write_iso_files_to_cd.htm), make sure the cd drive is at the top of the boot order in bios, then boot to the newly created cd and run the utility.




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