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Freezing pc screen- everything unresponsive


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#1 JamAli

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Posted 23 March 2015 - 10:56 PM

Good day,

   My dell  pc keeps freezing at start up or at desktop, or when I am using any programme or software.

 

OS: Windows 7 Home Premium SP 1, Dell Studio XPS 9100, Processor: Intel® Core™ i7 CPU 930 @ 2.80GHz, RAM: 6.00GB, Type: 64-bit Operating System

 

The screen may be pixelated or just unresponsive with intact picture. Recently, they have been the latter. It happens when I game, on the internet, reading a saved document, anything.

 

I have tried bleepingcomputer before and it seemed to have helped then reverted to this problem. So I brought in a technician to look at the unit. Supposedly the monitor, CPU and all it's hardware are fine. Nothing was found in the software. He changed out cards, upgraded everything, gave the insides a good cleaning, wiped my pc to blank status, fiddled with the bios. It would work well once, then revert to this frustrating state.

 

What happens: turn on pc. May load to start up screen/desktop/programme. Then I start to hear the fan(?) go into high gear. It keeps going up a level until it sounds really loud then either (1) the pc is unresponsive to mouse clicks or keyboard commands or (2) the screen becomes pixelated or (3) less rarely these days, the screen goes to BSOD. I can't keep it on long enough to do much. On time is average 6-10mins.

 

If this is a virus, I am concerned because I backed up all the data to a site and I am wondering if I bring this data to a new unit, if I will transfer this virus. Yes, I did a virus scan that said all was clear.

 

IDK what the problem could be. Faulty software, problem with monitor, hardware issue, virus, just bad luck? 

 

Help would be greatly appreciated.



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#2 illestrate

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Posted 24 March 2015 - 06:49 AM

if you feel like the monitor issue, you can confirm this by plugging it into a known good computer or device.  or switching monitors.  If you hear a fan switching into high gear might be a good idea to check if the temperatures are not getting to hot inside the computer, use a temp monitor like RealTemp to confirm temperatures and try to confirm if it is indeed the cpu fan is switching to high gear (all? cpu? case fans?).  Might be a good idea to rethermal paste your cpu if it does read high, or if the fans bad replace that. Does your computer come with a dedicated graphics card? What happens when you load the computer into safe mode does it have the same problems?



#3 zingo156

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Posted 24 March 2015 - 07:20 AM

This makes it sound like your computer is over heating:

What happens: turn on pc. May load to start up screen/desktop/programme. Then I start to hear the fan(?) go into high gear. It keeps going up a level until it sounds really loud then either (1) the pc is unresponsive to mouse clicks or keyboard commands or (2) the screen becomes pixelated or (3) less rarely these days, the screen goes to BSOD. I can't keep it on long enough to do much. On time is average 6-10mins.

 

 

Please download and run speccy:

 

You may have to do this in safe mode if you can not get the computer to run long enough to follow the instructions below:

 

  • Go to Piriform's website, and click the big download.png button.
  • Next, click Download from Piriform.com (the FileHippo link requires an extra click). Or if you want to use a portable version of Speccy (which doesn't require installation), click the builds page link and download the portable version.
  • You will now be asked where you want to save the file. The best place to put it is the Desktop, as it will be easy to find later.
  • After the file finishes downloading, you are ready to run Speccy. If you downloaded the installer, simply double-click on it and follow the prompts until installation is complete. If you downloaded the portable version, you will need to unzip it before use. Right-click the ZIP file and click Extract all. Click Next. Open up the extracted folder and double-click on Speccy.
  • Once inside Speccy, it will look similar to this (with your computer's specifications, of course):
    p22004369.gif
  • Now, at the top, click File > Publish Snapshot
  • You will see the following prompt:
    p22004371.gif
  • Click Yes > then Copy to Clipboard
    p22004372.gif
  • Now, once you are back in the forum topic you are posting in, click the p22004370.gif button. Right-click in the empty space of the Reply box and click Paste. Then, click Add Reply below the Reply box.
  • Congrats! You have just posted your specs!

If I am helping you with a problem and I have not responded within 48 hours please send me a PM.

#4 JamAli

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Posted 24 March 2015 - 09:09 PM

Thanks illestrate and zingo 156.

 

I will get on these asap. Can a CPU overheat in a few minutes? What about in the seconds when it freezes right at the dell logo start up screen? 

Anyhow, I will try to get the speccy info as requested.

 

Thanks for the suggestions and interest.



#5 illestrate

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Posted 24 March 2015 - 09:51 PM

Yes it can if it's not properly cooled or cooled at all.  Take your time to physically inspect the motherboard for any damaged components while your looking inside.  Process of elimination!



#6 JamAli

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Posted 28 March 2015 - 05:05 PM

Sorry for the delay.

 

Zingo156:

 

1. In safe mode, the pc seems to run fine but no internet available

 

2. In normal mode: the pc gave the BSOD without the fan going into any gears

 

3. In safe mode with networking: I got to download speccy and do as instructed. Results: below

 

http://speccy.piriform.com/results/ODHosaKlzzilvVlctNotnZL

 

 

illestrate:

 

1. In safe mode with networking I can't download and get any temperature monitoring software to run.

 

Thanks



#7 JamAli

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Posted 28 March 2015 - 05:15 PM

The full error message for the speccy result was:

 

CPU dll init failed (error 2)! Some information will not be displayed.



#8 JamAli

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Posted 28 March 2015 - 05:47 PM

Ok. Now on normal mode:

 

Core temp giving me temps of:

Min 56C to Max 80C for cores # 0-3

 

Real temp giving me temps of:

Min 57C to Max 81C for cores # 0-3

with Thermal status: "Ok" for all four


Edited by JamAli, 28 March 2015 - 05:47 PM.


#9 zingo156

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Posted 30 March 2015 - 07:20 AM

I would suggest dusting out the computer if you have not already. Also check to make sure your cpu heat sync is tight. I have seen those come loose on occasion.

 

I did notice 1 reallocated block on your hard drive, and some command timeouts. Generally command timeouts are related to power issues. You might have a problem with your power supply. That or it could be related to your system getting too hot.

 

Your cpu should idle around 40c-50c in a room that is 72 degrees F. Open your computer case and dust everything out and check your temps again. I do not see any other obvious issues from Speccy.

 

You can read about SMART here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S.M.A.R.T.

 

Your SMART report is showing a few problems:

 

05
Attribute name: Reallocated Sectors Count
Real value: 1
Current: 100
Worst: 100
Threshold: 36
Raw Value: 0000000001
Status: Good
 
BC
Attribute name: Command Timeout
Real value: 131,076
Current: 100
Worst: 99
Threshold: 0
Raw Value: 0000020004
Status: Good

Edited by zingo156, 30 March 2015 - 07:22 AM.

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#10 JamAli

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Posted 30 March 2015 - 06:06 PM

I've cleaned and reapplied the thermal paste. I have seen where they say it can take up to 24 hrs to start conducting heat properly. In that time should I turn on the pc? I turned it on and temps were 50 -60. But then it BSOD again.

#11 JamAli

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Posted 30 March 2015 - 06:32 PM

Thanks for the SMART article.Since the reallocation sectors and command timeouts suggest (according to the article) "imminent electromechanical failure" should I get someone to replace the hard drive and check the power supply or is this something I can do myself? I don't think I know how to check and replace an "oxidized data cable".



#12 zingo156

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Posted 31 March 2015 - 07:16 AM

Thermal paste should work right away. There is no need to wait to turn on the pc.

 

It wouldn't be a bad idea to test with a different power supply and at least run a diagnostic on the hard drive.

 

We can run a diagnostic on the hard drive somewhat easily. I am on a phone out of town today so it will be a bit harder for me to post things. I will post a diagnostic test in a new thread below. Try to run the test, if you have questions let me know.


Edited by zingo156, 31 March 2015 - 07:46 AM.

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#13 zingo156

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Posted 31 March 2015 - 07:20 AM

If a hard drive has a smart status warning or the drive is questionable this test may be of use NOTE this test does not work with AHCI or Raid sata operation. It must be done with IDE, ATA, or compatibility mode:

 

Before running this test it would be a good idea to backup any data that you cannot afford to lose. This test uses the hard drive at 100%. If the drive is failing or has problems it is possible for the drive to fail suddenly especially during heavy use as this test will do. It is unlikely but still I recommend backing files up to be safe. Here are the instructions to run the test:

 

The first step will be to burn MHDD to a disc as an image (cd preferably). MHDD Can be found here: http://hddguru.com/software/2005.10.02-MHDD/  Click the Last version of MHDD, CDROM iso-image download and burn this file directly to a disc.

 

TO CHANGE SATA OPERATION: (You may need to use your keyboard arrow keys and enter key if you can not click to change settings).

After burning the disc, restart the laptop and start tapping f2 or f1 or delete right away to get into the bios. There you should see System Configuration, expand that by clicking the + button (or using your arrow keys and enter key). In that list there should be something called Sata operation. (Sata Operation may also be by itself in that first screen list)

Click on sata operation and take note of the current setting to the right it will probably be set to AHCI it will need to be switched back to this after MHDD is done running. Select ATA, compatibility or ide mode and then click apply. Save and exit the bios, or if apply was the only option you can use Ctrl+Alt+Delete to restart.

COMMON BOOT MENU/BIOS keys: https://support.fixmestick.com/hc/en-us/articles/201577043-How-to-get-to-your-Boot-Menu-or-your-BIOS-settings

 

Now with the burned disc in the drive after a restart, start tapping (F12 Dell, Toshiba, Lenovo), (F9 HP), or (Esc HP, Samsung, Sony) on the keyboard (or change your boot options to boot to cd/dvd first). This will bring up the boot options menu. Select cd/dvd/cd-rw drive and hit enter.

If this worked correctly and booted to mhdd you should see a screen that says Microsoft windows 98 startup menu. You can let the timer run out or just hit enter on option (2 . Start computer without SCSI support).

 

Next you should see a new screen with numbers, most of these will not have any device listed behind them but one number should for example on my dell computer number 6 has WDC WD1600BEVT-75A23T0… and at the end a number in white which is the size of the drive.

Example: If your drive is a 500gb I would expect that number in white to be somewhere around 500,107,862,016 or close to. Find the correct drive to test then on the keyboard type the number in front of the drive (in my case it was 6) and then hit enter.

 

Now you should have a screen with MHDD> and a blinking cursor.

Next hit F4 on the keyboard 2 times and this will start scanning the hard drive.

You should be able to see the computer start scanning, each block represents 255 sectors (130560 bytes) on the hard drive. What we are looking for will show up on the right side of the screen.

There is a list on the right which shows numbers:

<3

<10

<50

<150ms

Etc…

 

Anything below the <150ms is a slow sector or a problem sector. Slow sectors <500 or >500 will slow down the computer. If there are a lot of these one after another (several 1000 or more) the drive should probably be replaced. Also if you have any at the end that were marked as UNC this means the drive has uncorrectable errors and the hard drive should probably be replaced.

Basically if you have any sectors that are below <150 (green) let me know and if possible the total number of them.

 

If all of the sectors were ok and fell within the range of:

<3

<10

<50

<150ms

Then the hard drive is ok, if there are only a few that are slow <500 or >500 the hard drive should be ok to use.

 

NOTE: that if there are many slow sectors one after another or you start having error after error the drive is in bad shape and I recommend ending the test. If you have already backed up your data, you can let it run but it may take days or even weeks to finish. To end the test hit the Esc key.

 

After you are done testing you will need to go back into the bios by restarting the computer and tapping F2, F1, Delete (or whatever key gets you into bios). Go back to Sata Operation and change it back to the default which probably was AHCI.

Then restart and the computer should boot again.

(If you are getting a blue screen and the computer restarts go back into the bios and confirm that Sata Operation is set to what it was before changing it to IDE, ATA, or compatibility).


If I am helping you with a problem and I have not responded within 48 hours please send me a PM.

#14 JamAli

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Posted 15 April 2015 - 08:57 PM

Hi zingo156,

   So sorry for the long time. Been studying.

Ok. Your last instructions frightened the dickens out of me. :blush:  So I read around and decided to try one last thing before I did all the above. :whistle: I did a clean boot and then rechecked the services (almost) one by one till the computer stopped freezing. It seems that the troubled programme is either 1)AMD External Events Utility or 2)Adobe Acrobat Update Service. Those two are the only ones unchecked. The computer hasn't frozen once! It is working fine with temperatures in range :bounce:

 

My one concern would be those results that showed imminent death approaching. I don't have the urge to find out which of those 2 programmes is causing the crash.

 

Thanks for all the help. Will see how long this lasts.



#15 zingo156

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Posted 16 April 2015 - 07:19 AM

Glad to hear you figured out the freezing issue. It is tough to say what shape a hard drive is in without running a diagnostic test, SMART is not always accurate or in some cases errors are unrelated to the drive health but instead related to some other hardware issue etc. I would just advise you to make frequent backups of anything important, this is never a bad idea especially with Ransmoware viruses floating around now. Anyone can use a drive until it fails as long as backups are done, this way nothing is lost if it suddenly stops working.


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