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Windows 10 freezing


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#1 Dwgemster

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Posted 30 April 2016 - 03:50 PM

I've been having a problem with Windows 10 freezing periodically ever since I upgraded 4 or 5 months ago. I've tried many troubleshooting approaches and recently upgraded my GPU to an NVIDA GTX-980 and when the crashing continued reinstalled a clean version of Windows 10. I've downgraded my NVIDA driver to one some were reporting as being more stable and in fact the freezing has become less frequent. But any relatively intense graphics game (diablo III, Tom Clancy's Division, etc.) will cause the computer to freeze with a buzzing sound in the speakers or headphones somewhere between 30 minuets to an hour of play. The only recourse is to hard reset the system. I see nothing in the error logs other than the reliability monitor shows that windows was not shutdown properly. I'm attaching the output from the BSOD program and the SystemInspector. The Performance Monitor does not seem to finish for some reason, it's been running for 30 min and still shows the collecting data for 60 seconds message. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.

 

Note also I've monitored computer temperatures during normal operation under intense loads and everything's well within specs, the GPU is the only thing even getting very warm (~65C under heavy load).

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#2 usasma

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Posted 01 May 2016 - 03:02 PM

Your UEFI/BIOS (version A11) dates from 2013.  Please check at the manufacturer's website to see if there are any UEFI/BIOS updates available for your system.  If you are able to install the update through Windows (without booting from an external drive), then go ahead and update it.  WARNING - if the computer might shut down during this procedure, please don't do it, as this may physically damage the computer and prevent it from booting.

Only 6 Windows Update hotfixes installed.  Most build 10586 (TH2/1511) systems have more than this.  Please visit Windows Update and get ALL available Windows Updates.
The actual number is not important.  Rather it's important that you checked manually, installed any available updates, and didn't experience any errors when checking or updating.

There's several Live Kernel Events in the WER section of the MSINFO32 report (23, 24 x2, 28th)

Please do the following:

- open Event Viewer (run eventvwr.msc from the "Run" dialog)
- expand the Custom Views category (left click on the > next to the words "Custom Views")
- right click on the "Administrative Events" heading
- select "Save all Events in Custom View as..."
- save the file as Admin.evtx
- zip up the file (right click on it, select "Send to", select "Compressed (zipped) folder")
- upload it with your next post (if it's too big, then upload it to a free file-hosting service and post a link here).

FYI - If we're looking for Event ID 41 errors (unexplained shutdowns), there's more info on that here:  http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2028504

 

While waiting for a reply, please continue to monitor your temps with this free utility:  http://www.cpuid.com/softwares/hwmonitor.html

Now for a bit of guesswork.  You have the buzzing sound that often comes from bad video cards.

Yet you've switched video cards and still have the problems.

Yet the computer continues to freeze after a time while you're playing games.

The WER section of the MSINFO32 report shows a lot of video issues, and a lot of failed BSOD's

 

I'd suggest 3 things at this point.

1)  Diagnostics - there's a list of free one's here:  http://www.carrona.org/hwdiag.html

Start with the video tests

2)  Check for overheating.  Then next time the system shuts down, unplug the case from the wall and open it up.
DO NOT TOUCH ANYTHING INSIDE THE CASE - YOU CAN GET 3RD DEGREE BURNS!!!

But feel around inside the case (getting near to, but NOT TOUCHING the components)to see if there's a lot of heat anywhere in particular.
If the system is overheating, you'll feel the heat well before you come close to touching the overheating component.

3)  Run these tests also - it's not likely that this is the cause, but it covers a lot of the video troubleshooting:  http://www.sysnative.com/forums/bsod-kernel-dump-analysis-debugging-information/35-video-tdr-timeout-0x116-0x117.html#post29532

 

My thought here is that there's a problem with the motherboard and how it handles the video card's demands.

If you get the same "video-type" errors with 2 different video cards, then the motherboard is the most likely cause (as long as you've run ALL of the hardware diagnostics).

 


My browser caused a flood of traffic, sio my IP address was banned. Hope to fix it soon. Will get back to posting as soon as Im able.

- John  (my website: http://www.carrona.org/ )**If you need a more detailed explanation, please ask for it. I have the Knack. **  If I haven't replied in 48 hours, please send me a message. My eye problems have recently increased and I'm having difficult reading posts. (23 Nov 2017)FYI - I am completely blind in the right eye and ~30% blind in the left eye.<p>If the eye problems get worse suddenly, I may not be able to respond.If that's the case and help is needed, please PM a staff member for assistance.

#3 Dwgemster

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Posted 01 May 2016 - 10:18 PM

Thanks so much for the assistance. The one thing that's bugged me about this problem and seems too coincidental is that it only started after I upgraded to Windows 10. Prior to that my system was rock solid. However, being an analytical chemist, I've seen more times than I'd like a piece of hardware fail yet that failure coincides with a software update or something entirely unrelated to the reason for the failure. I suppose there could have been a hardware problem with the motherboard as you suggest, but it's just odd given the timing. As you point out I've replaced the video card and all my temperature zones are very cool, I keep the room my computer is in at or below 25 C most of the time, there's like 3 fans in the case not counting the two fans on the GPU, and the CPU is water cooled in this Alienware R4 Aurora. I guess I could try swapping the video card into the other PCI bus slot and see if that helps at all, I'd hate to have to replace this unit since other than the crashing it's still a very fast system. The BIOS is the current BIOS for this model. I turned off Windows Automatic update since I could count on each time the GPU driver or other system drivers needed updating that the system would definitely crash following those updates. I'll go ahead and turn it back on or manually force the updates to see what happens.

 

I've run the Event Viewer as suggested and the zip file is attached.

 

I'll run through the hardware diagnostics and see if anything pops up and I'll post the results when complete. Thanks again for the help, it's much appreciated. :)

 

Sincerely,

Dana Walker

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#4 Dwgemster

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Posted 01 May 2016 - 10:59 PM

I've run the FurMark Video tests, both the 1080p and 4k presets finish without problems.

http://www.ozone3d.net/gpudb/score.php?which=259368

 

That link is for the 1080p preset run. I wanted to clarify that when the system freezes if I'm in a game, then the buzzing sound accompanies the freeze, if I'm at the desktop or no sound is playing then the system is just unresponsive no sound. After I ran the FurMark GPU preset tests several times, I ran the GPU stress test. It only ran for 6 min then the system became unresponsive requiring a hard reset. The temperature during all the testing maxed out at 63 C or so. I've not tried opening the computer up to see if I can locate any hotspots, but I'll do that next.

 

Dana



#5 usasma

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Posted 02 May 2016 - 02:56 PM

Hundreds if not thousands of entries relating to resetting of the MEI.
This is the Intel Management Engine software,

 

I would:

- download a fresh copy of the latest, W10 compatible version of this software from the Dell support website for your model (it's listed under the chipset drivers section here:  http://www.dell.com/support/home/us/en/19/product-support/product/alienware-aurora-r4/drivers )

- uninstall the current version from your system.

- install the freshly downloaded version.

- monitor the Admin logfile to ensure that the constant resetting has been stopped.

 

Also, see if the results from the GPU stress test are repeatable.

Does the system always freeze after running the GPU stress test for a while?

If so, that would lead us to suspect video issues.

And, if that's the case (as you're tried different cards already), I'd then try the card in a different slot (and see if the GPU stress gives the same result there).

Again, you'll still need to check for hot stuff inside the case also - I use an IR thermometer that I got from a ski shop (for testing the temp for melting wax).  Did that after I got 2nd degree burns reaching around inside a case :0)

 

Also, I saw a couple of errors for your : C:\Program Files\Alienware\Command Center\ThermalController.exe

I'd see if you can download a fresh copy and replace this program.


My browser caused a flood of traffic, sio my IP address was banned. Hope to fix it soon. Will get back to posting as soon as Im able.

- John  (my website: http://www.carrona.org/ )**If you need a more detailed explanation, please ask for it. I have the Knack. **  If I haven't replied in 48 hours, please send me a message. My eye problems have recently increased and I'm having difficult reading posts. (23 Nov 2017)FYI - I am completely blind in the right eye and ~30% blind in the left eye.<p>If the eye problems get worse suddenly, I may not be able to respond.If that's the case and help is needed, please PM a staff member for assistance.

#6 Dwgemster

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Posted 02 May 2016 - 08:04 PM

Well, when I installed the clean copy of Windows 10, I noticed that the Intel Management Engine was not working. I had to reinstall the drivers multiple times before it became operable. The Thermal Controller for Alienware has always been kind of flaky, even under Windows 7. This is the current version that I installed after reinstalling Windows 10. It does allow me to control the 3 fans (PCI, CPU, and motherboard), but they can get stuck in 100% run mode if I'm not careful. I have manually set them to 30%. The CPU cooler (liquid) I can't control, but it appears to be running fine. I took your advice and reinstalled the IME, I moved the GTX-980 to the other PCI slot. I don't like it in that position because it's kind of close to the HD cage, but it seems to be running okay. Following that I ran several runs of the FurMark presets, which also ran fine. However, running FurMark GPU Stress Test caused the system to become unresponsive again in around 7 min.

You are right about the IME, it's resetting every 15 seconds exactly. The device reports normal operation otherwise. I'm not sure what it's tied to, and I'm not finding much more on my vendor's web site regarding updates beyond the one that I now have as current. With all that I was able to run Diablo 3 for over 2 hours today with no crashes. I have the settings turned down some so the warmest the GPU gets is around 60 C or lower, again it might just be coincidence. I'm thinking I might shop for a new system just in case, thanks for all the help, if you have any other suggestions regarding the IME I'd love to give them a shot.

Dana


Edited by Dwgemster, 02 May 2016 - 08:06 PM.


#7 usasma

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Posted 03 May 2016 - 07:38 AM

I've fought with the IME since W10 was released.

In short, if all is well, it works well.  If there's something else wrong (even if we can't see it), then the MEI will give us fits.

 

Try searching Google for:

 

intel management engine resets every 15 seconds

 

It gives some interesting results - but nothing firm enough for me to suggest to you.

The posts about doing without it are the most interesting - but I'm uncertain of the affect it may have on your system.

 

Maybe post over at the Alienware and the Intel forums?

I'd be very interested in anything that you might find out.

 

 


My browser caused a flood of traffic, sio my IP address was banned. Hope to fix it soon. Will get back to posting as soon as Im able.

- John  (my website: http://www.carrona.org/ )**If you need a more detailed explanation, please ask for it. I have the Knack. **  If I haven't replied in 48 hours, please send me a message. My eye problems have recently increased and I'm having difficult reading posts. (23 Nov 2017)FYI - I am completely blind in the right eye and ~30% blind in the left eye.<p>If the eye problems get worse suddenly, I may not be able to respond.If that's the case and help is needed, please PM a staff member for assistance.

#8 Dwgemster

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Posted 05 May 2016 - 07:49 PM

I thought I'd report back. Nvidia released a new game ready driver on May 2nd, I installed it and disabled the IME after noticing in my BIOS there was no firmware that needed supporting. I don't really think the crashing had anything to do with the IME, but since the new driver was installed no crashes and the system is running fine now. Knock on wood. Thanks again for the assistance, very much appreciated.

Dana



#9 usasma

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Posted 07 May 2016 - 08:44 AM

Glad to hear it! 

Thanks for letting us know!

Good luck!


My browser caused a flood of traffic, sio my IP address was banned. Hope to fix it soon. Will get back to posting as soon as Im able.

- John  (my website: http://www.carrona.org/ )**If you need a more detailed explanation, please ask for it. I have the Knack. **  If I haven't replied in 48 hours, please send me a message. My eye problems have recently increased and I'm having difficult reading posts. (23 Nov 2017)FYI - I am completely blind in the right eye and ~30% blind in the left eye.<p>If the eye problems get worse suddenly, I may not be able to respond.If that's the case and help is needed, please PM a staff member for assistance.




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