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Computer Freezes Randomly

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April 27, 2013 9:42:42 AM

Every now and then my computer will completely freeze on me, leaving me no choice but to hold in the power button and restart it.
When the issue first arrised, I did not have a dedicated graphics card, and the computer would black out and be unresponsive. Upon installing a graphics card I continued to have the issue, but instead of turning black it would just freeze on whatever screen I was currently on.
After trying many different suggestions (such as updating drivers, deleting things, etc.) I updated the BIOS of my GA-880GMA-USB3, but after a few minutes running it blue-screened. I then was suggested that taking out 2 sticks of RAM could help (I have 4 installed, 2 when I built the computer, 2 added later). I did this and the blue-screens stopped and I thought the problem was fixed. After a little over a week, I had another freeze up, so that's not the issue.
I have ran both memtest86 and hdtest which both passed. I have also checked cpu temp and that was normal too.
RAM timings and voltages are set manually in the BIOS based on manufacturers recommended settings.

· OS - Windows 7 x64
· Age of system - ~ 2 - 2.5 years
· CPU - AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition Deneb 3.4GHz Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor
· Video Card - MSI R7770-PMD1GD5 Radeon HD 7770 GHz Edition 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready
· MotherBoard - GIGABYTE GA-880GMA-USB3 AM3+ AMD 880G SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 HDMI Micro ATX AMD
· Power Supply - CORSAIR Enthusiast Series 550W
· RAM - G. Skill Ripjaws Series DDR3-1600 8gb (4x2gb)
April 27, 2013 10:27:53 AM

Well it wasn't an anomaly because I just had another one. Someone please help because I don't know what to do.
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April 27, 2013 10:50:46 AM

DId you load the default settings and save them? Once done, you can go back to your custom settings.
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April 27, 2013 11:04:43 AM

GhislainG said:
DId you load the default settings and save them? Once done, you can go back to your custom settings.


I just followed the Qflash instructions from here: http://www.gigabyte.com/MicroSite/121/flashbios_qflash....

I assume you mean the section that says "Load Optimized Defaults" which I did do.

I've since had a bunch more BSODs.
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April 27, 2013 11:14:58 AM

Did you reconfigure your settings to match what they were before?
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April 27, 2013 12:37:09 PM

Yes. I was talking to a friend of mine and he suggested removing 2 sticks of RAM to see if that helps, so far I haven't had an issue so I think I may have solved the issue. Fingers crossed.
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April 27, 2013 12:43:22 PM

Then your memory configuration probably has changed (not enough voltage or faster timings) and having to remove half of the modules isn't a solution, but it at least allows you to determine where the issue probably is.
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April 27, 2013 12:52:11 PM

GhislainG said:
Then your memory configuration probably has changed (not enough voltage or faster timings) and having to remove half of the modules isn't a solution, but it at least allows you to determine where the issue probably is.

Possibly, but I should add some additional info to my issue. I decided to try updating the BIOS because I have been having an issue for a while where my computer would completely freeze up and the monitor would go black, but the computer would still be running, leaving me with no option but to hold in the power button. Back in august I bought a graphics card and started having a similar issue except the screen wouldn't go black it would just remain on whatever screen I was on, completely unresponsive. Yesterday I took the graphics card out and went back to on-board graphics and low and behold, screen blacks-out again. What I didn't think to try (which was dumb on my part) was to remove the 2 additional RAM sticks I installed almost immediately before I started having issues. So I think I may have just been sent defective sticks and will be sending them back to G. Skill this week if I don't experience any more issues.

Basically, it seems to me the bluescreens were simply in lieu of the freeze ups, but I am reluctant to get my hopes up too soon since this has been an issue for over a year now.
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April 27, 2013 1:46:47 PM

I recommend that you contact G.Skill as they can provide the required settings for 4 modules on your motherboard. Once set properly, run Memtest86 for several passes to make sure the memory is stable.
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April 28, 2013 7:27:45 AM

GhislainG said:
DId you load the default settings and save them? Once done, you can go back to your custom settings.


I had the proper settings set up in the bios that are listed on newegg and when I ran memtest over night a while back it passed every time. I'm going to just rma the additional sticks and see if issues arise again when I put in the new ones.
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May 12, 2013 7:08:27 PM

Quote:
but I am reluctant to get my hopes up too soon since this has been an issue for over a year now.

Guess I was right to not get overly excited since I had a couple more freeze ups since removing the RAM. I am now thinking I just have a defective motherboard, could this likely be the case?
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May 13, 2013 5:15:44 AM

It certainly is a possibility. Does it freeze, does it crash with a BSOD or boh?
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May 13, 2013 9:21:14 AM

GhislainG said:
It certainly is a possibility. Does it freeze, does it crash with a BSOD or boh?

Just freezes, so unfortunately no minidump.
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May 13, 2013 10:11:33 AM

If it just freezes, then I'd first try another PSU.
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May 13, 2013 10:14:37 AM

GhislainG said:
If it just freezes, then I'd first try another PSU.


Even though when it freezes everything is still running? (fans/lights/etc)
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May 13, 2013 12:56:44 PM

I've witnessed that issue before and the fans and lights won't go out as they barely are affected by voltage drops, unlike the motherboard and CPU. I'm not implying that it definitely is the PSU, but I'd certainly start by replacing it with a spare one. It doesn't have to be very powerful if the system freezes when running office applications or browsing the net.
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May 13, 2013 7:54:06 PM

Why did you update the BIOS?

Perhpas you could just do a REPAIR with the OS CD disk.
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May 13, 2013 8:05:09 PM

I updated the BIOS because I was experiencing random freezes, so I have been trying everything lately outside of actually buying new parts.
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May 14, 2013 5:08:13 AM

imail724 said:
I updated the BIOS because I was experiencing random freezes, so I have been trying everything lately outside of actually buying new parts.


You should have tried to resolve the issues before updating the bios, it might be just an under-powered PSu, a hard drive too full of data, an older game issue, just about anything except a bios issue.

You might want to (need to) try back dating the bios to the one previously and then post a new thread about your real issues ...

Edit 2 - If you can boot to desktop then the bios is good, it's the programs you are running or the games being played or does it BSoD just at desktop?
What is your PSU?

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May 14, 2013 10:20:21 AM

Well updating the BIOS didn't really do anything, I'm pretty much at the same spot I was prior to updating the BIOS. I started this thread because of BSODs but those went away so now I'm back at square one.
It freezes pretty randomly but I don't think it has ever done it just at the desktop (I could be wrong though), usually watching a video, playing a game (even on facebook), one time I was just opening spotify.
PSU is CORSAIR Enthusiast Series 550W.
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May 14, 2013 12:08:48 PM

You had the SATa set at (?) AHCI and then you set it to IDE. You have to do a re-install to make that change otherwise you do a registry change of the ide /ahci prior to the change in the bios. The registry, now, is still referring to the original setting and no longer sees your hd drive as what you had it. Just change the BIOS setting back to the original setting for the hard drive and you will be able to boot.

A BSOD has various issues mostly about games, older programs, drivers, updates, etc and very rarely about bios settings unless it refers to your LAN or netwoork and sometimes some issues about the mouse/keyboard etc but usually a few minor adjustments can fix it without the update. I never do a bios update but do admit to ne about 12 years ago, it didn't go well :( 

Spotify is well known for causing BSoDs.
The main problem with just watching a video is that you also have countless other apps open as well including internet, a game on pause mode, rather than just watching the movie.

Once youhave changed the bios back to the iriginal setting for the hdd, Save Exuit then go directly to Safe Mode. Wait for sdektop and all has settled then do a clean shutdown, not restart.. Wait about 3 minutes then boot to desktop as normal.

What do you do when you get to desktop, normally..

Also are you using onboard video out or a graphics card? What brand/model video card?
Any external devices?
You should add all your hardware specs in the opening details to get better and quick replies otherwise it could take ages to drag it out of you.
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May 14, 2013 12:27:48 PM

TenPc said:
You had the SATa set at (?) AHCI and then you set it to IDE. You have to do a re-install to make that change otherwise you do a registry change of the ide /ahci prior to the change in the bios. The registry, now, is still referring to the original setting and no longer sees your hd drive as what you had it. Just change the BIOS setting back to the original setting for the hard drive and you will be able to boot.

A BSOD has various issues mostly about games, older programs, drivers, updates, etc and very rarely about bios settings unless it refers to your LAN or netwoork and sometimes some issues about the mouse/keyboard etc but usually a few minor adjustments can fix it without the update. I never do a bios update but do admit to ne about 12 years ago, it didn't go well :( 

Spotify is well known for causing BSoDs.
The main problem with just watching a video is that you also have countless other apps open as well including internet, a game on pause mode, rather than just watching the movie.

Once youhave changed the bios back to the iriginal setting for the hdd, Save Exuit then go directly to Safe Mode. Wait for sdektop and all has settled then do a clean shutdown, not restart.. Wait about 3 minutes then boot to desktop as normal.

What do you do when you get to desktop, normally..

Also are you using onboard video out or a graphics card? What brand/model video card?
Any external devices?
You should add all your hardware specs in the opening details to get better and quick replies otherwise it could take ages to drag it out of you.


Ok I updated the first post with more information. BSOD is not the problem, it is random freezes that make the computer completely unresponsive. It hasn't happend since May 8, but it could happen again at any moment. Spotify did not cause a BSOD, it just froze. Normally I go to Chrome when I get to the desktop. I am currently using a graphics card (MSI R7770), but before installing that I was using on-board and was experiencing the same issue, except the screen would go black, rather than just freeze on the current screen. I have an external WD hd always plugged in and an HP printer that is always off.
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May 17, 2013 3:24:16 AM

The 550 watt PSu is inadequate, the CPU is 125 watts, the graphics card could top load as much as 225 watts (i"d have to check), plus everything else @ 100 watts, that gives you about 450 watts on the 12v rail., A 550 watt PSU is as much as about 480 watts, not leaving a heck of a lot for peak power.

Get a 650 watt PSU, remove any molex adapters, only use internal fans that actually connect to the motherboard, and don't have so many apps open that are not being used. Hopefully your 550 watt PSU has the 8-pin 12v connector and you are not just using a 4 pin connector.

The MSI R7770 comes with a utility disk including Norton Internet Security™ 2008 60 days Trial, if you installed it then uninstal it.

The video card is MSI but it is AMD chipset meaning that they (MSI) may have modified it to suit their own needs (added MSI information table) meaning that you have to use their drivers for it and not AMD.
http://www.msi.com/product/vga/R7770-2PMD1GD5-OC.html#?...

The cpu is either 125 watt or 140 watt, your one is the 125 watt so if you update the bios, you have to use the 125 watt one. We all assume that the bios update is the same for all of the bioses with the same update number but that have never been confirmed.
http://www.gigabyte.com/products/product-page.aspx?pid=...
Support for DDR3 1866(O.C.)/1333/1066 MHz memory modules, there is no mention of DDR3 1600, that could be an issue.
THe motherboard supports up to PCIe2.0, your video card is PCI Express x16 3.0, that is another issue.

Basically, you have to get a video card that is actually PCIe 2.0 and the ram is 1333mhz otherwise the system and hardware can't communicate with each other properly and you will get lag, pauses, screen freezes, in my opinion.
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May 17, 2013 5:13:37 AM

If the system also freezes when using onboard video, then the PSU may be defective, but it definitely is powerful enough for that system.

http://www.gigabyte.com/products/product-page.aspx?pid=... includes a comprehensive list of compatible DDR3-1600 memory kits.

PCIe 3.0 video cards are backward compatible with 2.0; otherwise a lot of people who bought newer video cards would have similar issues.
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May 17, 2013 7:26:45 AM

GhislainG said:
If the system also freezes when using onboard video, then the PSU may be defective, but it definitely is powerful enough for that system.

http://www.gigabyte.com/products/product-page.aspx?pid=... includes a comprehensive list of compatible DDR3-1600 memory kits.

PCIe 3.0 video cards are backward compatible with 2.0; otherwise a lot of people who bought newer video cards would have similar issues.
My specific RAM actually isn't listed there, but this one is, and the specs seem almost identical. Do you see that making a difference?

And I'm going to rule out anything to do with the graphics card since the issues began before I even installed one.
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May 17, 2013 1:49:17 PM

Run the memory at the default speed (1333 MHz to rule out that remote possibility), but I've never seen a memory module cause a system freeze; it usually causes a system to crash. If both Memtest86+ and the Windows memory diagnostics don't find errors, then the modules are fine. Systems often freeze because of a flaky motherbaord or PSU.
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May 17, 2013 3:41:01 PM

Yeah ran both and both passed. Is there any way to troubleshoot if it is the psu or mobo? Don't wanna buy one and it end up being the other that's causing the issue.
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May 17, 2013 8:06:29 PM

Troubleshooting without spare parts is challenging. Could you borrow a PSU from another system? It's easier to start with the PSU than the motherboard, but there are other possibilities like the motherboard shorting to the case (not very likely, but it could happen), etc.
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May 17, 2013 11:36:06 PM

Okay, I checked the PDF for the ram and 1600mhz is listed but is says (downgrade to DDR3) as what that means, I don't know.
It just not included with the spec sheet -

Support for DDR3 1866(O.C.)/1333/1066 MHz memory modules
http://www.gigabyte.com/products/product-page.aspx?pid=...
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May 18, 2013 3:53:36 AM

"Downgrade to DDR3" means that it will run at 1333MHz. What speed does it run at, according to CPU-Z? What voltage is applied to the memory modules (check in the BIOS)? With 4 modules installed, you may have to increase voltage a bit or you could remove 2 modules to rule out a memory issue once and for all.
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May 18, 2013 7:11:44 AM

GhislainG said:
"Downgrade to DDR3" means that it will run at 1333MHz. What speed does it run at, according to CPU-Z? What voltage is applied to the memory modules (check in the BIOS)? With 4 modules installed, you may have to increase voltage a bit or you could remove 2 modules to rule out a memory issue once and for all.


So basically, I was correct, you can't run @1600mhz but where I was in error is that you can use 1600mhz however, the ram will not run @ 1600mhz, only @ 1333mhz.

I think that using 1333mhz pure would be better so the cpu doesn't have to convert the 1600mhz, n'est pas?
Perhaps the blue screens are appearing due to the conversion ratio confusing Windows OS management, reading the ram @1600mhz but only being allowed to use it at 1333mhz... The onboard GPU uses part of the ram for vram then it, too would have issues.
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May 18, 2013 7:45:19 AM

"I think that using 1333mhz pure would be better so the cpu doesn't have to convert the 1600mhz, n'est pas?" The CPU doesn't convert; it simply runs it at that speed. To be honest I still suspect the PSU or the motherboard.
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May 18, 2013 5:09:03 PM

Spotify is a streaming program unless you purchase the full version so it can be used offline, add the streaming with hog hungry Google and whatever else you got running, the PSU might strain to provide adequate power to all the hardware, all at the same time.

I suggest to not have apps open if not actually in use or get a 600 watt PSU, if not the ram. :) 
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May 19, 2013 9:51:03 AM

Alright so a friend of mine thinks he has a spare PSU he can lend me, hopefully that will do the trick. I still haven't had a freeze up in over a week, so it's tough to even judge if the problem is resolved or not.
As for the speed in CPU-Z, are you talking about the DRAM frequency? Because that says 669.6 MHz currently.
The voltage is set to 1.5v.
I thought the memory was the issue and removed 2 sticks a few weeks ago, but I had 2 freeze ups since then.
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May 19, 2013 10:33:18 AM

CPU-Z reports the actual clock that should be doubled for DDR memory: 669.6 x 2 = 1339.2 MHz. If you only have 2 memory modules, then it should be stable. If another PSU doesn't resolve the issue, then you'll have to consider replacing the motherboard with one that's known to be very stable with that processor.
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May 19, 2013 10:36:04 AM

Ok thank you for all of your help. And when I reinstall the 2 extra modules, should the DDR memory still read the same?
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May 19, 2013 2:44:52 PM

Yes, but once you have a stable system, you could try to run them at 1600 MHz.
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May 22, 2013 8:05:06 PM

Here's a question that is unrelated to the topic but I figured since you've been so helpful to me thus far, you may be able to help me with this too.

Prior to removing the 2 extra modules of RAM, i was experiencing a strange issue where when I was on some sites and hit back, the page would simply refresh itself rather than go back. After taking the RAM out, this stopped happening, but today I threw the 2 new modules in, and the issue has resurfaced. Any ideas why this would happen? Browser is Chrome.
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May 22, 2013 8:14:55 PM

imail724 said:
Here's a question that is unrelated to the topic but I figured since you've been so helpful to me thus far, you may be able to help me with this too.

Prior to removing the 2 extra modules of RAM, i was experiencing a strange issue where when I was on some sites and hit back, the page would simply refresh itself rather than go back. After taking the RAM out, this stopped happening, but today I threw the 2 new modules in, and the issue has resurfaced. Any ideas why this would happen? Browser is Chrome.
I've never encountered that issue, but you may want to report it to the Chrome developpers. You need to provide a link to the sites/pages that cause the issue along with as much info as possible. I've run into sites where you can't go back because the code prevents it (usually bad coding), but that isn't related to the amount of memory on the guest system. Do you have issues when visiting the same sites with IE or Firefox?

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May 22, 2013 8:20:54 PM

Just tested both, Firefox works fine, but IE had the same issue.
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May 22, 2013 8:27:30 PM

The back button issue happens with IE9, the Back option (-1) is the same page you are currently using, you have to bash it a couple of times for it to go back to a previous page.
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May 22, 2013 9:22:29 PM

I have internet explorer 8, but yes that is the situation, if i hit back a few times rapidly it will go.
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May 23, 2013 1:22:40 PM

If you mouse-over the back button, a drop down list will give you options of the previous pages available.
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May 24, 2013 7:54:15 AM

I know that there are other ways to go back (usually I just open every link in a new tab so I don't have to bother), but that still doesn't explain why it would work fine with 4gb of ram but not 8
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May 24, 2013 8:45:30 AM

imail724 said:
Just tested both, Firefox works fine, but IE had the same issue.
If it occurs with public sites, could you provide links?

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May 24, 2013 9:07:39 AM

Happens on Tom's Hardware
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May 24, 2013 11:07:54 AM

imail724 said:
Happens on Tom's Hardware

lol

I get that too, it is the plugins that they use that need to connect to Facebook and Google scripting and things before it loads to you... I queried it in the Feedback Category and they suggested to update the Java JRE which I didn't do because things seem to be a bit quicker now..

Something that might pertain to you but may not, also, is that if you have more than one device on the same PSU cable line that is a different volt/amp to the other device. Things like an SSD with a SATA hdd or a fan with a molex with a hdd or CD/DVD drive or if the graphics card uses a molex connector and one other conector is connected to another device. There is a delay while one uses the power and the other device on that same cable line has to wait its turn because the V/A is different.

The problem with having too many tabs open is that each tab is actually a "window" and requires a new process (which you will see in Task Bar Manager). When you close that tabbed window, the process does not quit, only when you actually close the browser, referring to IE only but may also apply to other browsers, yet to be confirmed.
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May 25, 2013 1:30:01 PM

Have you ever adjusted the memory voltage in BIOS?

This is from your manual:
DRAM Voltage control
Allows you to set memory voltage.

"Normal
Supplies the memory voltage as required. (Default)
1.300V ~ 2.260V
The adjustable range is from 1.300V to 2.260V."

Take it out of default "Normal" and make sure it is at least 1.5V. You could try bumping it up to 1.55 -- 1.60 and see if that helps.

And set your multiplier for the correct 1600GHz. Your board only recognizes memory up to 1333GHz unless you OC it higher.

Since you are OC'ing, it might take a few times to get a stable configuration.



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May 25, 2013 1:35:53 PM

I have the voltage at 1.5 and I set everything else as per the manufacturers settings. I bumped the GHz to 1600 the other day but then I got a BSOD, and after rebooting I got a message that it BSOD'd because of the memory adjustment in the BIOS so I put it back to 1333. This recent BSOD did not give me that message after.
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