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Computer rebooting randomly, often while under low load/idle


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#1 ironicmoustache

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Posted 08 November 2018 - 08:27 AM

I woke up today to a computer that seems to be wanting to reboot semi-randomly, usually while idle or while doing low-resource activities (playing the original Doom, recording some mic audio via USB interface [not being monitored via ASIO or anything, just straight to the drive]). I had a similar issue a few years ago that was due to bad RAM, so I tried pulling out a RAM stick, and only having one stick in seemed to cause the PC to reboot faster than normal, so I stuck the other one in and it seemed stable. Got back from a meeting and it promptly rebooted again within 10-15 minutes, failed to boot three times (triggering W10's recovery menu), upon which I booted into safe mode just to check; it idled fine for about 10-15 mins then rebooted soon after. Then I booted back into standard Win10 and it's been fine for the past 20-30 minutes.

 

Temps are generally fine, nothing uncharacteristic as far as I can tell, ambient is around 28-30 degrees C usually (28-29 C at the time of writing) for reference.

 

Attached is the Sysnative folder as well as the Event Viewer logs that I've seen be requested on this forum in older posts (did a bit of looking around when I first started encountering the issue). Speccy link is http://speccy.piriform.com/results/disVeo6h1iVCPMKpSRr5sUP

 

Will be borrowing a PSU to test and eliminate one hardware variable, although given how inconsistent it is (spurts of rebooting followed be relative stability) I'm not sure how quickly I'll be able to tell. EDIT: Forgot I also had a spare GPU with a friend, will try plugging that one in first since it's less of a hassle...

 

I'll run the memtest and hard drive tests over the weekend, possibly. Both of my SSDs (system drive and games drive) check out fine in CrystalDiskInfo, although I did encounter a random Chkdsk upon boot 2-3 weeks ago...

 

I also postponed Windows update after reading that the Fall (?) update was deleting some peoples' files and forgot to enable it again, although I'm not sure if not updating would cause sudden problems in system stability.

 

Thanks in advance! Do let me know if more info is needed, or if I left something important out.

 

BIG FAT EDIT: Soon after I posted this the computer shut down and entered a bit of a boot loop: the power LED comes on, then goes off, then it tries to boot again, and it goes off, etc. Boots up after turning the PSU off and back on again. Not sure if this helps narrow it down, I'm thinking PSU but it could still be anything else really I guess (a problem with the RAM slots themselves? mobo? CPU? GPU?)

Attached Files


Edited by ironicmoustache, 08 November 2018 - 09:02 AM.


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#2 dmccoy

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Posted 08 November 2018 - 09:21 PM

It sounds like you have put together a good plan to start testing the PSU, RAM and Hard drive. Please follow the guide below for testing and let me know the results of each. The stress test is optional at this point unless the other test pass. If they all pass then we will continue troubleshooting.
 
Step 1: Test Hard Drive
Download USB Seatools Boot file to your Desktop
 
1. Uncompress the .zip file
2. Open the USBbootSetup-SeaToolsBootable folder
3. Double click on the SeaToolsBootable_RC_2.1.2.usbBootMaker.exe file
4. Follow the steps to create a Bootable USB
 
1. Boot from the Seatools USB and Run the program
2. Once it starts it will scan for all drives connected to your computer.
3. Select drive you want to test.5. If it passes then
4. Select the Long Generic Test under the Basic Tests menu
5. When the test is complete you will see the result under Test Status
6. The test will indicate either Pass or Fail.
7. Provide the Results in your reply.
 
Step 2: Test Memory:
Run memtest86+ version 5.01 for at least 8 passes.
Memtest86+ - Advanced Memory Diagnostic Tool
 
This may take hours so plan to run it overnight.
Testing takes approximately 1 - 2 hours /GB RAM
Just 1 error is a fail and you can abort testing
Then test 1 RAM module at a time in the same DIMM each for 8 or more passes
When Memtest86+ has completed 8 or more passes take a picture and post an image and upload to your reply
MemTest86+ - Test RAM BSOD Tutorials
 
Step 3: Stress Test Your CPU - Prime 95
Download the correct version below:
Windows: ftp://mersenne.org/gimps/p95v266.zip
Windows 64-bit: ftp://mersenne.org/gimps/p64v266.zip
 
- extract the contents of the zip file to a location of your choice
- double click on the executable file
- select "Just stress testing"
- select the "Blend" test. If you've already run MemTest overnight please run the "Small FFTs" test instead. (run all 3 if you find a problem and note how long it takes to error out with each)
- "Number of torture test threads to run" should equal the number of CPU's times 2 (if you're using hyperthreading).
 
The easiest way to figure this out is to go to Task Manager...Performance tab - and see the number of boxes under CPU Usage History
 
Then run the test for 6 to 24 hours - or until you get errors (whichever comes first).
Monitor the CPU temperature using either your motherboard monitoring software, SpeenFan or HWMonitor. DON'T let it exceed 85ºC. If it does, then you probably have a CPU cooling problem. This won't necessarily crash the system - but check the output in the test window for errors.
The Test selection box and the stress.txt file describes what components that the program stresses.
http://www.playtool.com/pages/prime95/prime95.html


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#3 ironicmoustache

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Posted 08 November 2018 - 10:12 PM

Noted! I'll focus on trying the borrowed PSU first, since I should be able to swap a new one in somewhat quickly and see results somewhat more immediately (well, relative to running memtest overnight), but if it still proves problematic I'll run the other tests.

 

Also, this might be me overreacting a bit, but I've recently had some issues with my audio interface: if I power it on (it's a USB interface but uses external power), it'll work for maybe a minute and then stop being detected by the system, almost like it semi-disconnects. I have to cycle power maybe once or twice before it's fine, but after it's stable it poses no issues for as long as it's left powered on. I had it down to just a slightly faulty power adaptor that I will replace, but (and this is a stab in the dark, i don't know much about power/electricity/voltage/current issues) is there any chance that it might be losing connection due to some faulty power circuitry that mistakenly sends power down the USB connection, thus potentially frying some motherboard bits? Like I said, TOTAL stab in the dark, but that's the only hint of anything that's developed over the past few weeks...

It's worth noting that power/wiring in this house is less than ideal, in that if someone turns off a fluorescent light I can sometimes hear a slight pop in my speakers etc. Maybe it's just that the PSU fell victim to a surge/drop/etc in voltage/power supply that just knocked it a bit off kilter? Would something like an AVR help with this? I'm renting, so redoing the power/wiring is a bit beyond me at the moment...

 

Sorry for the wall of text, and thanks for the reply!


Edited by ironicmoustache, 08 November 2018 - 10:28 PM.


#4 ironicmoustache

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Posted 13 November 2018 - 05:23 AM

An update: I didn't get around to doing any of the tests because, somehow, after disconnecting/reconnecting some of the power connections (namely the CPU power connection and the SSD power connection on the PSU side), my computer ran without a hitch for almost 3 full days. I was feeling good about it, thinking it was all fine, so I opened it up and added back the 8GB stick of RAM I'd initially removed during troubleshooting. Of course, after starting the PC up again, it promptly rebooted within 15 minutes. Which would indicate a RAM problem, except that after I removed the new stick it still restarted out of the blue (albeit after ~40 minutes) and then failed to boot 3 times in a row after this one restart.

 

It's been up and running a YT video and music from Spotify for nearly the past hour, but I'm a bit stumped... I still have the spare PSU to try, but logically (and I know these things sometimes don't always work logically), if it were a PSU problem wouldn't it have caused issues over the three days? This recent spate of restarting wasn't during any heavy use, just work transcribing stuff. In fact, I did a bit of gaming over the past 2-3 days without any issues, so it seems, to my mind, unlikely that it's something to do with stress/temps/power draw.  Is there a chance that there's something wrong with the motherboard, perhaps the memory DIMMs (maybe damaged due to a power spike?) which causes it to glitch out after RAM is inserted into the bad slot(s)? Maybe even something with the CPU?

 

I know, there are possibilities of short circuits and everything, but wouldn't those cause the restarts to happen a lot quicker, and not suddenly disappear for 3 days before returning? Although, now that I think about it, the force of inserting the RAM might possibly cause issues...

 

Thoughts? Thanks.

EDIT: I will, of course, be doing the tests when I can. Seems stable now (4 hours uptime) after doing exactly what I did last time, which was disconnecting and reconnecting both the CPU power and the SATA power cable powering my system drive, the latter on the PSU side. The latter did seem a bit loose, so maybe it's just that? Hmm.


Edited by ironicmoustache, 13 November 2018 - 08:17 AM.


#5 dmccoy

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Posted Yesterday, 07:56 PM

Sorry been sick for last few days. Will hopefully feel better tomorrow and catch up.

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#6 ironicmoustache

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Posted Yesterday, 10:46 PM

It's ok, hope you're feeling better and that it wasn't too bad!

 

Anyway, I've spent some time futzing about with it and have some updates:

 

1) It seemed stable with just one stick in, but then it restarted out of the blue once (in maybe about 8-10 hours of uptime).

 

2) This prompted me to try swap in a different PSU, just in case. I tried to make it crash by running it with both RAM sticks. It ran fine for 8 hours, then restarted, and today it will not stay up for more than 10-15 minutes, even when booting from a Linux bootable USB. Likely means the PSU was not the problem since symptoms are shared between two units.

 

I've been quite slack at running memtest and the hard drive test, for which I have no real excuses for. But wouldn't booting from a Linux USB eliminate any chance of the system drive causing a system crash?

 

EDIT: I can't even get memtest going, as it will reboot a few moments in. Won't really boot either right now. POSTs, I see the splash screen, but then it shuts down/reboots. Either the PSU I borrowed (which is as "known good" as I can get without pulling one out of a currently running system--my dad has a desktop system but the PSU is a 400w unit, and I don't want to add the variable of it maybe not having enough power--and without spending money on a new one) is also dead, or there's a CPU/motherboard problem?

 

EDIT 2: I confirmed that every possibly problematic component is still under warranty. I've managed to secure a laptop to do work on, so I might just take my CPU, mobo and RAM to the shop I got the parts from, ask them to check the parts out (if needed) and RMA whatever's needed.


Edited by ironicmoustache, Today, 04:38 AM.





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