Jump to content


 


Register a free account to unlock additional features at BleepingComputer.com
Welcome to BleepingComputer, a free community where people like yourself come together to discuss and learn how to use their computers. Using the site is easy and fun. As a guest, you can browse and view the various discussions in the forums, but can not create a new topic or reply to an existing one unless you are logged in. Other benefits of registering an account are subscribing to topics and forums, creating a blog, and having no ads shown anywhere on the site.


Click here to Register a free account now! or read our Welcome Guide to learn how to use this site.

Photo

Computer Randomly Freezes (Hardware Suspect)


  • Please log in to reply
5 replies to this topic

#1 samthedagger

samthedagger

  • Members
  • 21 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:San Antonio, TX
  • Local time:11:20 PM

Posted 09 August 2014 - 11:30 AM

O, wise and great masters of the computing world, I pose to thee a conundrum! I have recently been experiencing random screen freezes and occasional blue screens of death. I have thus far been unable to determine the source of the problem. My symptoms, key software, and hardware are listed below.

 

Symptoms

-Computer freezes at seemingly random points in time; software halts, keyboard and mouse both unresponsive to any input. The computer may run for several days or several hours before crashing.

-It does not seem to matter when I am running high performance games, just browsing the internet, or doing very little at all. The computer can be sitting essentially idle (i.e. no major programs running, just background processes), and it will lock up and require a hard reset (i.e. the computer must be turned off and then back on).

-Occasionally I will receive a blue screen of death. It is only on the screen long enough for me to see that a memory dump is taking place.

-Regardless of the type of crash, upon restart, Windows 7 will tell me that it has recovered from a critical error and is searching for a solution to the problem. This window will remain open practically indefinitely as Windows searches, apparently in vain, for the source of the issue. I have actually let this process run for several hours and it is continuing to search.

-Gaming (and therefore increasing system resource use) does not seem to increase the likelihood of a crash. I can sometimes game for 4-6 hours if I have the time with no problems whatsoever. Other times, the system might crash 20 minutes after starting a game. The only games I currently run are Mass Effect 1, Mass Effect 2, Neverwinter, and The Elder Scrolls Online. I generally run these games on medium to ultra high settings depending on the games (the older games handle ultra high settings at satisfactory framerates of no less than 30 fps).

-Streaming media via Netflix, HBOGO, or YouTube likewise does not seem to increase the likelihood of a crash.

-I leave my computer on the majority of the time (often idle, but I leave certain applications like Teamspeak3 open so my gaming contacts can leave me messages). When the problem first became frequent enough to notice, I might wake up about 25% of the time to find my computer had crashed overnight. This seems to have increased over time to about 50% of the time.

 

Operating System

-Windows 7 Premium 64 bit

 

Hardware

-Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Kentsfield Quad-Core 2.4GHz LGA 775 Processor BX80562Q6600

-ASUS MAXIMUS FORMULA LGA 775 Intel X38 ATX Intel Motherboard

-Crucial 8GB (4 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model CT2KIT25664AA1067

-XFX HD-677X-ZNFC Radeon HD 6770 1GB 128-Bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card

-OCZ Solid 3 SLD3-25SAT3-60G 2.5" 60GB SATA III MLC (primarily used as a boot drive for Windows 7 and small applications, currently 10GB free space)

-Maxtor DiamondMax Plus 9 6Y160P0 160GB 7200 RPM 8MB Cache IDE Ultra ATA133 / ATA-7 3.5" Hard Drive Bare Drive (most games installed to this drive; I store media on an external drive)

(I didn't buy all of this at Newegg, but I find the specifications listed on their site handy for reference, so I linked to them.)

 

Anti-Malware Software

-WinPatrol (no unexpected software has been running)

-AVG Free Edition 2014

(Yes, I realize this is not a superb set of malware prevention software, but I am a long-time computer user. I am particularly diligent about what I download, and where I get it from.)

 

What I have done so far

-I have tested my memory sticks individually with Memtest86. I let it run overnight. While I found errors on two of the sticks, there were very few (around a dozen); it is my understanding that this is not incredibly unusual. Furthermore, the random freezes/crashes occur even if I remove the two sticks with errors and run on only 4 GB.

-I have run Intel Diagnostic Tool 64bit. This is freely available from their website. This diagnostic says my CPU is free of errors.

 

Obviously, many of the components in my system are fairly old in terms of technology, I believe the oldest parts are 6-7 years old (not counting the HDD which is over 10 years old and has been used in several systems for various purposes over the years). I acquired the mobo & CPU in May 2012 second-hand from my brother who I know takes meticulous care of his PC. I purchased the GPU in December 2012 and recently upgraded the memory from 3GB to 8GB. According to CPUID HWMonitor, the system can get fairly hot. The CPU cores reach a maximum of around 95 C when running 3D games, but idle temperatures reach a maximum of about 70 C. The housing case dates back to 2001 and doesn't have optimal ventilation.

 

That is my problem, in as detailed of a way as I can describe it. I welcome any feedback and recommendations on the matter. If I have failed to provide sufficient details in one area or another, please let me know what is needed, and I will do my best to provide what is needed.


Edited by hamluis, 09 August 2014 - 12:11 PM.
Moved from Win 7 to Internal Hardware - Hamluis.


BC AdBot (Login to Remove)

 


#2 dc3

dc3

    Bleeping Treehugger


  • Members
  • 30,601 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Sierra Foothills of Northern Ca.
  • Local time:09:20 PM

Posted 09 August 2014 - 12:47 PM

Please download and install Speccy to provide us with information about your computer.  When  FileHippo opens, click on Download latest version in the upper right pane.
 
When Speccy opens you will see a screen similar to the one below.
 
speccy9_zps2d9cdedc.png
 
Click on File which is outlined in red in the screen above, and then click on Publish Snapshot.
 
The following screen will appear, click on Yes.
 
speccy7_zpsfa02105f.png
 
The following screen will appear, click on Copy to Clipboard.
 
speccy3_zps1791b093.png
 
In your next post right click inside the Reply to Topic box, then click on Paste.  This will load a link to the Speccy log.
 
 

Please download MiniToolBox, save it to your desktop and run it.
 
Checkmark the following checkboxes:
 
• List last 10 Event Viewer log
• List Installed Programs
• List Users, Partitions and Memory size.
• List Minidump Files
 
Click on Go to start the scan.  Once it is finished highlight the text, copy it and paste it in your next post.

Family and loved ones will always be a priority in my daily life.  You never know when one will leave you.

 

 

 

 


#3 samthedagger

samthedagger
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 21 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:San Antonio, TX
  • Local time:11:20 PM

Posted 11 August 2014 - 08:23 AM

Thank you for your reply, dc3. I received a quick answer from Tom's Hardware that seems to have resolved the issue. Quite simply, my system was too hot. I removed the heat sink, cleaned the thermal paste, applied fresh paste, and viola! The system is running 20-30 C cooler and has survived a 24-hour stress test without incident. I shall continue to monitor the system for the next week, but if no further crashes have occurred that point, I shall be certain and re-post here that the issue is indeed resolved. If not, I will run the diagnostics you requested and provide the necessary data.

 

Assuming this issue is indeed solved, however, thank you, kindly for your response. Your service to computer enthusiasts is appreciated! People like you really do make the world a better place for all of us builders and gamers who aren't as fluent in the technical details.



#4 dc3

dc3

    Bleeping Treehugger


  • Members
  • 30,601 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Sierra Foothills of Northern Ca.
  • Local time:09:20 PM

Posted 11 August 2014 - 10:00 AM

I would suggest that in the future, if you have a topic open in another website on the same subject you stick with one website.  This is like the right hand not knowing what the left hand is doing.  This is unfair to those trying to help you.


Family and loved ones will always be a priority in my daily life.  You never know when one will leave you.

 

 

 

 


#5 samthedagger

samthedagger
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 21 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:San Antonio, TX
  • Local time:11:20 PM

Posted 17 August 2014 - 06:54 AM

I understand what you mean, and normally I would do so. In this case, my computer was flat-broken. I was afraid to use it for fear of damaging the hardware. Had this been a less critical issue, I wouldn't have asked for opinions on another site. I really do appreciate the time you took to help. It seems you feel you have wasted your time, and I apologize for that. In the future, if I encounter a similar critical problem, I shall at least preface my post by stating that I am also looking for solutions elsewhere. Therefore those who feel their time is better spent on people who are only looking here may do so being more fully informed of my approach.

 

Thank you again for your time. It was kind of you to respond. My computer has been running non-stop for nearly a week now with no restarts or resets required so I consider the issue resolved.



#6 dc3

dc3

    Bleeping Treehugger


  • Members
  • 30,601 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Sierra Foothills of Northern Ca.
  • Local time:09:20 PM

Posted 17 August 2014 - 10:25 AM

I did not insinuate or suggest that you had wasted my time.  I was simply pointing out the possible logistics problems which could occur when a topic is being addressed by to different websites.  It doesn't have anything to do with my personal feelings. 


Family and loved ones will always be a priority in my daily life.  You never know when one will leave you.

 

 

 

 





0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users