(I should start by mentioning that this started when I was 14 years old and I'm now 17).
My troubles started with my first desktop computer in march of 2012. After having it for only less than a year my computer would, at complete random (so far as I can tell), freeze with the screen going black and the sound coming out of the speakers, if there was any at the time, would be stuck on an infinite loop of the last moment of whatever sound was coming from the computer/speakers. After a few seconds of doing this, my computer would then restart with the whole, "Windows has experienced an unexpected shutdown" screen with the normal "Start Windows Normally" and "Safe Mode" options and whatnot, I can't exactly remember, a lot of you are probably familiar with that screen. After choosing to restart it normally it would boot up the normal windows desktop screen and then a box or window would pop up saying something like "Windows has had a problem. Would you like to find a solution?", that probably was not even close to what it actually said, but I can't remember anything much about the window other than the fact that it existed. Anyway, after clicking "Confirm" or "Yes" it would change to say something like "Windows is checking for a solution" (again, nowhere near sure what it actually said), and I think it would have a sort of "progress bar" that would have a green bit that would go from left to right on it, I know I've seen similar progress bars on other Windows boxes where it does stuff and most of you probably have as well. After the box would go away however, I would never get any message about what it found, if it ever found anything, and if I kept using my computer after that (and probably even if I said no to the box, again, I can't remember much from back then), it would pretty much always freeze and restart much earlier than usual. I usually selected "confirm/Yes" when the box would appear(at least at first, I may have started clicking "no" or whatever it was after I realized it wasn't doing anything, again, can't remember), but I think after a while of my using my computer and it freeze-restarting all the time the box stopped appearing (I should also point out now rather than later that after this the box would never appear again any time this happened, even after I reinstalled windows (which you will read about below) or on any of the other computers I tried), but the freeze-restarting kept happening anyway. If anyone knows anything about that box, feel free to tell me. It's probably not going to help with my problem, I just want know what it was and if I should have done anything different. In retrospect, the box seems like something that might have been from a virus but everything else on my computer looked normal (besides the freeze-restarting, of course), so it might not have been. My computer would freeze-restart while doing pretty much anything, usually while browsing Youtube and Tv Tropes, as that is what I usually do on my computers, but it would also happen on other websites like Darths and Droids.com and once while I was in a game, namely the main menu screen for the demo of Mass Efect 3.
We tried everything to fix it but nothing worked, so we decided to just reinstall Windows instead ( I probably should also mention that we took all the save data from games on my computer and transferred them back to it after the reinstall, in case that means anything (which it probably doesn't). For a while, my computer troubles seemed over after the reinstall, but one thing I didn't make note of until later was that one time on Tv Tropes, the screen of my computer went completely black and would not go back to normal no matter what I would do, so had to turn off the surge protector it was plugged into just to get it to shut down. I really should have noticed this in hindsight, because later, when I was on the title screen for Crusader Kings 2, it once again freeze-restarted, except this time, and every time on my first computer after the reinstall, there was no "Windows has experienced an unexpected shutdown" screen. After a few weeks/months I got enough courage to try my computer again, which worked fine for a few more months until one day, when I turned it on and left it to go eat lunch I came back to find it had a blue screen of death (at least I think you're supposed to call it a blue screen of death, even though I was able to shut off my computer and restart it, so If blue screen of death is wrong or something, I'm sorry), which my dad did something to try and stop from happening again, I did not completely believe at the time that this was related to my problem, but now I know that it was and it was basicly what would happen when whatever caused my computer to freeze-restart happened and I was not in a game (at least I personally think thats what it was). Later that month, my computer froze-reset while I was playing The Sims Medieval, and after that it did the same thing in Civilization 5. We tried changing the graphics card, but I still got the blue screen of death two times while browsing the web (which is why I believe that the BSOD is connected to my freeze crashing problem), so when my brother was getting a new computer we decided to get the same one for me.
This new computer should by all reasonable logic have not had the same problem as my previous one, but I noticed that, occasionally, when watching a video it would freeze up for a few seconds and the sound would loop, much like when my previous computer would freeze-restart, except that the screen would just freeze, rather than go black. I ignored this, for whatever reason, until my computer froze-reset while playing Victoria 2 (only 2 days after buying it, lucky me *sarcasm*). I was told by my dads friend/acquaintance Scott who works at this technology and computer place or whatever and sold us the computer, after getting it looked at by him, that it was because the fan on my computer was defective (which is just proof that the universe hates me), But after what happened with the computer I got after this (which both me and my brother got again because the ones before were not as good as my previous one), I'm not so sure thats true.
When playing the Europa Universalis 4 demo on my latest computer, the screen suddenly went black and the sound looped, just like a freeze-restart would do, but then the screen went white and then the sound came back to normal, then the visuals came back and everything seemed normal again, like nothing ever happened. I quickly quit the game and shut down the computer, knowing that it might happen again. My family and Scott however, say that its "just the game" and that I should try my computer again, despite the fact that no one else has ever, to my knowledge, had this happen to them in the game. In fact, I asked on the Paradox forums if this is something that is common or normal to happen in this game, and I got this response from one of the users: "Obviously it is not...
Computer restarting is often a problem of overheating, bad power suply[sic], bad memory stick.
The screen going black and coming back looks like you are losing the GFX card somewhere, could be bad drivers, low power suply[sic], overheating again."
This issue has made my life hell for almost 2 years, and if I can't solve it soon my computer is going to have to be sold and a my dad will never buy a new one. The only continuity between my computers is that they have have all used the same monitor (until recently, when it had to be replaced because it was acting weird), mouse, speakers, possibly wireless antennae and they all at some point had Civilization 5 installed them (except my first computer before the reinstall, though I think it might have had the demo for Civ 5) Please tell me what the hell has been causing this and what I should do to stop it.
I'm asking this on multiple sites so that I can be sure I get an answer. Here are my current specs.
Intel DH77EB Motherboard
Intel Core i5-3470 3.2GHz (3.6GHz Turbo Boost) Processor
Thermaltake TR2 500W power supply
Kingston HyperX Blu 8GB DDR3 1600 (PC3-12800) Dual channel Memory
EVGA GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost 2GB 192-bit GDDR5 PCI Express Video Card (02G-P4-3657-KR)
Windows 7 Home Premium 64Bit