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Computer freeze issues and frustrating problems.


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#1 flobiwan

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Posted 21 October 2014 - 05:58 AM

This is a long story, so please bear with me.  Over the past week, i have had computer problems like i never had before.  I have a Gateway DX4860 running Windows 7 64bit, that starting last Wednesday, was freezing after EXACTLY 1 hour from startup causing me to have to do a hard restart from the power switch. Everything was frozen and even Ctrl+alt+del wouldnt do anything.  It was always after 1 hour exactly.  And it didn't matter what i was running.  It would freeze if i had NOTHING open.  I tried many many things including:

 

virus and malware scan - all clean

tested memory with memtest - 3 passes - 0 errors

disabled all non-essential start-up items

removed the graphics card i installed years ago and switched to onboard graphics

ran sfc/scannow numerous times - the first time it fixed some errors.  Subsequent runs were fine.

Looked at event viewer for errors - found several Schannel 10 errors but it doesn't seem like those were related

Looked at task schedule for anything scheduled to run after 1 hour.  Found one, disabled it.

 

 

Nothing did any good.  Freezes continued after exactly one hour.  I broke down and bough a new Dell Inspiron 3847 running Windows 7 64bit last Friday and here's where it gets weird.  I put my old PC off to the side so that, i could set up my programs on the new PC and look at the old one for reference.  I installed my graphics card in the new PC as well as the 2 auxilliary hard drives i use.  I also installed a brand new 600w Thermaltake power supply (i get a new one with every PC purchase due to the extra stuff i have).  While i was setting up, i noticed that the old PC was no longer freezing.  In addition, when starting up the new Dell, it informed me that my 3rd hard drive was failing.  Note, the 3rd drive has nothing but videos on it.  I use it to stream movies and TV shows to my SMART TV using Serviio.  I immediately purchased a new hard drive to replace that one and was able to copy the info over to it. 

 

On Monday morning after i woke up, the NEW Dell PC had frozen!.  At first i thought it was the same issue, but when i did a hard restart it froze during the "Starting Windows" animation - froze mid-animation.  I tried to hard restart and it won't boot up AT ALL now.  No splash screen, nothing - so i can't get into the BIOS or safe mode or do anything.  The fans keep going on and off as if they're trying to start and the green light on the back of the power supply is blinking.  So, i reinstalled the Dell power supply and removed my graphics card and both additional had drives i had installed.  Still won't power up. 

 

So, are these two problems connected or just bad luck, and why did my old PC stop freezing?  There are two things that were different when it stopped freezing.  I had taken out the 3rd hard drive that was failing (however that only had videos on it and it was not in use when the PC had it's freezing issues.  Also, i did not have it plugged into my UPS but into the wall directly.  It may also be noted that when the new PC first had it's freeze, it WAS plugged into the UPS (although it did not have the bad HDD in it).  The new PC still won't power up when plugged into the wall, though.

 

My UPS is very old.  I've had to replace the battery about 5 times over the years.  Is it possible that the UPS could be going bad and that caused the problems with both PCs?  Could a bad UPS do that?  Could it cause permanent damage to a PC so that won't start up again from any outlet?  Keep in mind that the old PC froze after EXACTLY 1 hour . 

 

Could the bad hard drive have been causing the 1-hour freezes even though i wasn't accessing it when the freezes happened? And, consequently, could the problem with the new Dell be totally unrelated and a complete fluke?

 

Sorry for the long post.  Any insight would be appreciated.


Edited by flobiwan, 21 October 2014 - 06:03 AM.


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#2 dc3

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Posted 21 October 2014 - 08:58 AM

Do you have a SSD installed on this computer?


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#3 flobiwan

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Posted 21 October 2014 - 10:18 AM

No, i have no SSDs at all.



#4 zingo156

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Posted 21 October 2014 - 11:04 AM

A bad hard drive could definitely cause freezes, with the Gateway, that would be my suspicion. As to why the new computer now has problems that is a good question, possibly that failing hard drive messed up something related to the sata controller. Since it is new and should be under warranty I would suggest going that route with that computer. If you do not have a warranty let me know and I will post my steps for diagnosing hardware.


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#5 zingo156

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Posted 21 October 2014 - 11:09 AM

A few things you can check on with the dell: check that ram is seating correctly, sometimes it can be bumped or come lose while doing other things inside. Double check power connections, disconnect all hard drives including the original dell drive.

 

You can also try resetting the dell bios by unplugging the computer from power, removing the cmos battery for 10 seconds and then put the cmos batter back in and plug everything back in.


Edited by zingo156, 21 October 2014 - 11:10 AM.

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#6 flobiwan

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Posted 21 October 2014 - 11:21 AM

I'll try those suggestions for the Dell, thanks.  Regarding the old computer and the failing hard drive, i wasn't even accessing it during the freezes so could that still have been the cause since it was basically just sittting there? 

 

My fear now is that i'm afraid to plug my old PC back into the UPS in case that somehow malfunctioned and fried the Dell PC.  Have you heard of anything like that happening?  It would be odd since that's exactly the sort of problem a UPS is supposed to prevent.



#7 zingo156

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Posted 21 October 2014 - 01:07 PM

I doubt it is the UPS but I don't have a ton of experience with them failing, I would suppose it is possible for the voltage or current from the UPS to be incorrect an cause and issue.

 

If a hard drive is failing it can cause the computer to freeze at any time. Depending on when the computer sends a signal to put that drive to sleep it may coincide with the time the computer was freezing. Even if the computer is not interacting with the drive, it could be causing the issue.


Edited by zingo156, 21 October 2014 - 03:17 PM.

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#8 flobiwan

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Posted 21 October 2014 - 02:41 PM

Thanks.  I was just asking because the UPS is about 12 years old so i was wondering if it was just dying and causing problems.  So, if you're right, i guess the problem with the new Dell computer was just a weird unrelated fluke.

 

So i guess it really could have been that bad drive.  Maybe i'll put it back in for testing and see what happens.


Edited by flobiwan, 21 October 2014 - 02:42 PM.





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