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System Freezes - No BSOD


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#1 dvh42

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Posted 09 February 2017 - 04:49 PM

I am running Windows 10 pro (x64) with a 3.47 gigahertz AMD FX-8320E processor, a ASUSTeK COMPUTER INC. M5A97 R2.0 motherboard, and 8 Gig memory.  The boot drive is a Corsair Force LE SSD [Hard drive] (240.06 GB) and the graphics card is a NVIDIA GeForce 210. 

 

The system periodically freezes.  There is no obvious pattern to this.  Sometimes is will run several days without freezing; at other times it will freeze multiple times in an hour.  The display remains on the screen, but the system is totally unresponsive and the on screen clock is stopped.  The event log shows only an Event ID 41 on restart, "The system has rebooted without cleanly shutting down first. This error could be caused if the system stopped responding, crashed, or lost power unexpectedly."  This behavior has persisted though multiple clean reinstallations (reformated HD) of the operating system and the swapping out of essentially all the hardware. 

 

Kaspersky Antivirus 2016 is running on the system and it was also scanned with ESET Online Scanner. This latter scan showed one problematic file which was removed.  The system, however, froze a couple of days later and has frozen several times since then.

 

I will certainly appreciate any help that you can provide in solving this problem.

 

Dave

Attached File  perfmon.zip   176KB   1 downloadsAttached File  SysnativeFileCollectionApp.zip   651.32KB   3 downloads

 


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#2 ranchhand_

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Posted 09 February 2017 - 05:44 PM

Welcome to BC!

The first thing I would suggest is testing your memory. I have seen this behavior several times and the culprit was a bad RAM stick. In case you don't know how to do this, here is my canned tutorial.

>  Download the (free) zip file (2nd from the top) ISO of Memtest86+ and burn to a CD.

>  Make sure your BIOS is set to CD = 1st Boot Device, HDD = 2nd Boot Device.
>
  If you have multiple sticks, test only one (1) stick at a time

Reboot with the CD in your drive. Allow it to run until you get a message at the bottom of the screen that testing is complete (about 20 minutes). Any red posts at the bottom of the screen means that memory stick is bad.

There is no need to run the test several times repeatedly; one complete pass is sufficient.

If Memtest will not run or you get error messages, let me know.

If you have any questions on how to do the above, post back.


Help Requests: If there is no reply after 3 days I remove the thread from my answer list. For further help PM me.


#3 dvh42

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Posted 09 February 2017 - 06:07 PM

In addition to checking the memory one stick at a time, all the sticks were swapped out with that from a fully function machine, but the freezes still occurred.  The other machine has continued to run with the "swapped" memory with no problems.  The other machine has essentially the same hardware as the problem machine (same motherboard and processor) and is used with similar software as the problem machine.  The drivers for the motherboard based hardware (sound, LAN, etc.) are the same on both machines.  They do have different graphics cards, but I swapped cards, and the problem machine still froze while the other machine ran without any problems. I have run memtest in the past, and the memory tested as good, but I will rerun it as well as other recommended tests (Driver Verifier and HDD Diagnostics).



#4 ranchhand_

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Posted 09 February 2017 - 06:47 PM

What running memtest may (or may not) diagnose, is that not only the RAM stick is good, but the motherboard slot has not failed and is good.  I had an experience once that the slot had failed on the motherboard, but the stick of RAM was still good. It took me two days to finally discover this. I removed the stick from the #2 slot and mounted it in the #3 slot, and the unit started working perfectly. Strangely, Memtest registered that stick as good even when in the dodgy slot.

All you can do with a problem like this is start testing components 1x1 until you find the problem, especially with old machines.

Next, I suggest testing your power supply with a tester, or swap with a good one (if you haven't done this already).


Help Requests: If there is no reply after 3 days I remove the thread from my answer list. For further help PM me.


#5 dvh42

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Posted 09 February 2017 - 08:28 PM

Along the way in chasing this problem, both the motherboard and processor were replaced/upgraded.  I had assumed that this would certainly solve the problem, but it did not.  Also, the power supply as well as graphics card, monitor, keyboard and mouse were swapped out one by one with those from a different, working machine, but the problem was still observed.  The problem occurred when the secondary drives and the optical drive were disconnected as well as when the operating system was installed on one of the secondary drives and the primary SDD was disconnected.  I am beginning to suspect that either there is a file buried on the hard drive that gets moved on every reinstall (or, perhaps, a gremlin!)



#6 ranchhand_

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Posted 10 February 2017 - 10:50 AM

You have been thorough, and that's good.

I have to start from basics, so please run Memtest 86+ (per instructions above) on each stick of RAM you have.

 

Next, please run Seatools for DOS on your hard drive, instructions below. I noticed that in your perfmon file, only the SMART feature was tested; the Seatools utility goes a lot deeper than that and can find problems that have not tripped SMART yet.

 

Go here and download Seatools For DOS (free)
http://www.seagate.com/support/downloads/seatools/#

> Accept the EULA and download the ISO file.
> When download is complete burn the ISO to a CD or DVD.
> Disconnect any other hard drives in your computer (not optical drives) leaving only your problem drive connected.
> Make sure your BIOS is set to:   1st Boot Device = CD drive, 2nd Boot Device = Hard Drive.
> Insert the CD in your optical drive and reboot.
> When the program opens, click the upper left corner for the Long Test.
> Note: if you get a pop-up window telling you that SMART has tripped and asking if you want to continue, choose Yes. Be sure to post that in your next reply along with the result of the test.
At the end of the test, you will get either a Pass or Fail notice. Post the result in your next reply.
Be sure to have your hard drive directly installed internally to the motherboard, not in an external case.

> I will assume that you have reset your CMOS (BIOS) back to factory default; if not, try doing that.

> Have you checked what your CPU temperature is running at? Shutdown can happen if it overheats. In addition, check the overheating shutdown setting in the BIOS; if it is set too low, it may be shutting down at too low a temperature. A long shot, but it's easy to check out. Also check out your "Cool & Quite" feature, if your BIOS has that.

 

Have you checked your power and reset buttons?  I have seen them begin to fail and cause random problems, and are easy to check. In case you aren't sure, following is my canned tutorial:

> Power your unit down. 

> Leave it plugged in. 

> Pop off the side of your computer, and trace the small cable running from your front panel, on/off power switch to where it plugs into the tiny socket on the mainboard.  Gently pull that plug off, revealing two contacts. 

Take a flat-bladed screwdriver, and short the two contacts.  Your computer should immediately power up and boot normally.  If it does not, your power switch is bad. However, in your case, I expect that it will boot normally, so run the unit normally for a length of time to see if the problem ceases.

Repeat this for your reset button also. I have seen them go bad and cause auto-reboot problems, but not as often.

 

If no good result on any of the above, replace your connection cables 1x1 to make sure the are not shorting.

 

If STILL no joy, you can start checking for software conflicts in the system, which are a pretty common problem. I suggest starting as follows:

> Boot into Safe Mode and run the system 24/7. If your shutdowns cease, at least you know that it is one of the programs or drivers running that is causing it.

> Run a clean boot from the msconfig command window; if your problems cease, it is a system conflict. If you aren't sure how to do this, HERE is a tutorial.


Help Requests: If there is no reply after 3 days I remove the thread from my answer list. For further help PM me.


#7 bwv848

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Posted 10 February 2017 - 10:58 AM

What's your current graphics card? A NVIDIA GeForce 210?


If I do not reply in three days, please message me.
 
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#8 dvh42

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Posted 12 February 2017 - 07:49 PM

Updates:  First, the system hasn't frozen again since I posted, so none of the tests have actually captured a freeze.  The freeze behavior is very erratic; sometime it will freeze three or four times right in row.  At other times it will run for several days without freeze.  I have not been able to identify any relationship between what programs are being used and when the freeze ups occur.

 

The graphics card currently in the machine is NVIDIA GeForce 210.  I, however,  swapped it out with a AMD Radeon HF5450, and also experienced a freeze.

 

I ran Memtest 86+ overnight with both sticks in place and saw no errors.  I haven't tested the sticks individually.  I ran Driver Verifier, and it found no errors.  The processor temperature is typically at 25 - 30ºC; I have not observed any temperature spikes.  Other temperature sensors are all in the normal range.  The BIOS is the latest version for the motherboard manufacturer.  I have not yet run Seagate Tools for DOS, but plan to do so.  I do not, however, expect see any problems since the freezes have occurred using two different boot drives with all the other drives being disconnected.  I have not disconnected the on-off switch although I have wondered if there might be an intermittent short to the case.  Unfortunately, disconnecting it and starting up by jumping the contacts will not show anything until the system starts freezing more frequently again.  Similarly, I am pretty certain that it has frozen after a "safe mode" start.  Again, if the system starts freezing regularly again, I will test both a "safe mode" and a "clean boot" start.

 

The only thing that seems to have been constant through all of this is the set of files on the hard drives.  Although I have tested two different hard drives, all the files were copied from one drive to the other.



#9 ranchhand_

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Posted 12 February 2017 - 11:10 PM

 

Unfortunately, disconnecting it and starting up by jumping the contacts will not show anything until the system starts freezing more frequently again.

The point is that if either the power or reset switch is in the process of failing, the only way you will discover it is by the procedure I outlined. When I give specific procedures to follow I have a reason based on past experience. The same with Memtest 86+; I have had the experience of testing multiple sticks of RAM at the same time and the test passed as good. When I tested them individually, one of the sticks failed and I found the problem. Again, running repeated passes is wasting time, one complete pass per stick is sufficient, but that is at your discretion.


Help Requests: If there is no reply after 3 days I remove the thread from my answer list. For further help PM me.


#10 dvh42

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Posted 16 February 2017 - 10:24 AM

I did follow the advice of ranchhand_ and checked each stick of memory in two different slots.  Again, there were no errors.

 

The key point is that the system has now been running for over a week now without any problems.  I made two changes just before this:  I ran an Eset scan which detected on piece of malware which Kaspersky had not found.  Although from the description it appeared to be fairly innocuous, I did, of course, remove it.  I also swapped the memory between my two machines.  The machine t has run perfectly since then with the exception of one lockup shortly after I made these changes.  This may have been caused by some totally different, random event.  I don't plan to do any more testing unless or until the problem reappears. 

 

I want to thank all of you for your suggestions.






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