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Computer Randomly Freezing


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#1 Jaypak

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 10:01 PM

Right, so I've had quite a lot of issues with my homebuilt gaming desktop completely freezing up for no reason whatsoever that I can discern. For the first month that I had it it was perfectly fine, ran my games perfectly and all was well.

 

When I got back from my vacation afterward I discovered that it had decided it was going to randomly freeze. Screen stopped, audio cut off, mouse was unresponsive, keyboard the same, had to hard-reset. Usually this occurred when playing Skyrim or Team Fortress, but on occasion it would freeze when I was just browsing the Internet, watching a video, or doing nothing at all, including one instance each of freezing at the ASRock boot screen and the Windows logon screen.

 

I grabbed my old laptop, hit Google for all it was worth, decided it must be the memory and ran Memtest on each stick in turn, no errors. I eventually ended up placing my two RAM sticks in the slots they weren't in previously and for a while this solved the problem. A few weeks later it turned up again.

 

This time I RMA'd the sticks back to G.SKILL, who sent me a new set. I put them in, loaded up Skyrim, bam, freeze.

 

Someone on a thread I started somewhere suggested it was the PSU, since the GPU I had needed more juice ostensibly than the PSU I had could output. It being a Tom's Hardware build which pointed out that that wasn't a problem, I indicated as such to the person. I then received the suggestion that the PSU was faulty. I got a new one, plugged everything back in, freeze.

 

After a while of this, I updated the motherboard's BIOS (I was extremely worried that it might freeze during that and kill the board) and the problem seemed to go away again, until it showed up for a THIRD TIME a week ago.

 

I kindly request assistance before I decide to solve the problem by backing my car over the immensely frustrating machine and thereby wasting a lot of money.

 

EDIT: Also, for what it's worth, my USB wireless adapter seems to not be registering after I hard reset the computer, as either I hard reset it or it just sits there and eventually shuts off. In addition, one of my case fans doesn't seem to be working; not sure why, I checked it last time I opened the case and it should be plugged in correctly. Could it be overheating?

 

My build: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/budget-gaming-do-it-yourself-computer,3364.html


Edited by hamluis, 30 January 2014 - 12:42 PM.
Moved from Win 7 to Internal Hardware - Hamluis.


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#2 Jaypak

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 08:00 AM

Further edit: I don't believe the issue is OS-based as I re-installed Windows twice attempting to fix this and neither time worked; they didn't even create a brief respite from it. Apologies for the double post but I forgot to mention this earlier and I feel it's important.



#3 zingo156

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 02:38 PM

Please download and run speccy: http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/download/speccy/

You can upload the results and post the link here.


Edited by zingo156, 30 January 2014 - 02:39 PM.

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#4 Jaypak

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 05:10 PM

Here are the results: http://speccy.piriform.com/results/wFxMvvjLaBiTujK7XQmN57s

 

 

Apologies also for not having this in the proper forum.



#5 zingo156

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Posted 31 January 2014 - 09:11 AM

Because of this: including one instance each of freezing at the ASRock boot screen, I think it is hardware related, so I think you are in the correct forum. Everything in speccy looks ok. I see that you may be using a usb audio device. Have you tried playing the same games with this device unplugged?

 

Because of this: Usually this occurred when playing Skyrim or Team Fortress, the first thing I call suspect is usually the video card though it could also be power related (or any other hardware component). If you have not already updated the video card driver do that first. Then run this test: http://www.ozone3d.net/benchmarks/fur/

 

Run furmark for about 15-20 minutes and see what your temperature maxes out at, if you have freezes or crash quickly after starting the test it will point further toward a video card problem or power related problem under load. I believe your video card temperature will max out somewhere around 80C.


Edited by zingo156, 31 January 2014 - 09:14 AM.

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#6 Jaypak

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Posted 31 January 2014 - 06:40 PM

Max GPU Temp: 69°C

 

^ This copy/pasted directly from the furmark window. It didn't crash. What think, o most helpful sloth?

 

I have tried playing with the USB audio device (my headset) unplugged, it crashed, I tried unplugging my speakers as well, still crashed.



#7 zingo156

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Posted 03 February 2014 - 09:26 AM

69C is perfectly normal and should not cause a problem since it did not crash it seems unlikely that the video card alone can be blamed.

 

I suggest you check your hard drive or drives if you have more than one for errors:

  1. Open the "Computer" window
  2. Right-click on the drive in question select properties.
  3. Select the "Tools" tab
  4. In the Error-checking area, click <Check Now>.

In speccy the smart data looks ok but always a good idea to double check...

 

You mentioned that your wireless usb device would disappear after a boot... Try unplugging that, leave it unplugged and run through games again. If you still have crashes, try unplugging all non-required devices, anything usb, wireless, add in pci cards etc. Just leave components required to play the game, cpu, cpu fan, motherboard, ram, video card, hard drive, mouse, keyboard and then run the games again.

 

I do believe it is hardware related, it could be any piece of hardware... Has it frozen at post more than 1 time or just 1 time?

 

A few other things: You can try to disable your anti-virus software or uninstall (make sure you can reinstall before uninstalling) and then try gaming again. On a few occasions I have seen AV's cause issues while gaming.


Edited by zingo156, 03 February 2014 - 09:33 AM.

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#8 Jaypak

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Posted 03 February 2014 - 11:00 AM

Will try those as soon as I'm able.

 

As far as the USB disconnecting; that doesn't seem to be related to the crash so much as the hard reset. If I let the computer power down a few minutes after the freeze, when I restart the USB is just fine. It only disappears if I hard-reset.



#9 Jaypak

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Posted 09 February 2014 - 11:19 AM

Update: Uninstalling avast! has done nothing to alleviate the problem.



#10 zingo156

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Posted 09 February 2014 - 11:28 AM

I am curious how long the problem went away after this:

 

"After a while of this, I updated the motherboard's BIOS (I was extremely worried that it might freeze during that and kill the board) and the problem seemed to go away again, until it showed up for a THIRD TIME a week ago."

 

Also has it frozen more than 1 time at the post screen or failed to post more than just that 1 time? The reason I ask is this would signify a hardware related problem.


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#11 Jaypak

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Posted 09 February 2014 - 01:06 PM

Roughly a couple of months. And it's only frozen at boot (I think that's what you meant by post) one time.



#12 zingo156

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Posted 09 February 2014 - 01:50 PM

If it has only frozen on post (bios screen) one time it could have been a random event. I am not 100% certain it is hardware related. That freeze at post could have just been a 1 time fluke. Your freezes in windows could be software related. Have you tried updating all drivers from ASRock's website? Things like the audio driver, and chipset driver would be worth trying to update. If you had a spare hard drive laying around, personally I would start fresh and see if it froze on a clean install of windows in the same manor. This would be the fastest way to rule out software, you could also make a bootable disc with linux on it, something like Mint: http://www.linuxmint.com/download.php

 

If it never freezes in linux performing similar tasks windows froze doing, it would seem to me software could be to blame.


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#13 Jaypak

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Posted 09 February 2014 - 05:10 PM

Updating all drivers as recommended by SlimDrivers has not affected the issue. I haven't got another hard drive to test, unfortunately, but I'll look into the Linux thing.



#14 Jaypak

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 06:08 PM

Alright, on impulse I took the side of my case off and ran a window fan blowing into the case while playing Skyrim.

 

It hasn't frozen.

 

So it seems the issue is in fact overheating...*grumble*

 

Now I must needs fix it, how do I figure out what exactly is overheating?



#15 zingo156

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Posted 11 February 2014 - 08:36 AM

You can try to run different stress tests for different hardware: prime95 for cpu and furmark for gpu, because furmark already passed and your temp was 69C I might assume it is the cpu or (motherboard) north/south bridge.

 

You can download and run HWmonitor: http://www.cpuid.com/softwares/hwmonitor.html Run this software while running the game with the side of the case on. Then watch your temps. This should report main board, cpu, gpu temps etc. Might help narrow down the problem if it is heat related.


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