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Random Computer Freezing in almost brand new computer

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August 3, 2013 5:13:23 PM

Alright, so recently i bought a computer from iBuyPower (I know, I know), anyways, recently (within the past month) it has developed an issue where it will randomly freeze.

Here are the specs:

Intel Core i5-3570
nVidia GTX 660 EVGA Superclocked (1046 Core clock one)
Corsair Vengeance 1600 MHz DDR3 RAM
ASUS P8Z77-V LX mobo
Thermaltake TR2-600W ATX 2.2 (Temporary until I receive my Corsair CX500M)
Sandisk Ultra Plus 128GB SSD
Seagate Barracuda 1TB 7200 RPM HDD (3 years old)


More Information:

Anyways, the freezes appear to follow a completely random pattern. Viewing the event viewer, the only thing I can find that seems to be out of the ordinary is that a certain registry fails to write every now and again but it happens up to 3-4 times a day whereas my computer crashes maybe once to very rarely twice a day. Also, apparently this failing to write is an issue that is common in Windows 8.

Anyways, when I originally got the computer, I got random blue screens which I tried to remedy with a Bios Update, I am now on BIOS revision 1902 which is 1 lower than being the most updated. It was also through this bios update I discovered that my RAM was bad and had to RMA it. Did not have any crashes when I was using my cheap ass 1333MHz DDR3 RAM by AsInt.

Right now, my BIOS is set to run X.M.P. with my i5-3570 at 3.4 GHz (4GHz Boost) which is .2 GHz higher in boost than normal, and my ram running at 1600 MHz in dual channel.

Steps I have tried:

I ran driver agent, it says I have bad drivers for:
"Intel(R) 82802 Firmware Hub Device"
"Intel(R) Z77 Express Chipset LPC Controller - 1E44"
"Intel(4) 7 Series/C216 Chipset Family SMBus Host Controller - 1E22"
"Standard Enhanced PCI to USB Host Controller"
"Intel(R) Management Interface"
"Standard SATA AHCI Controller"
"Realtek PCIe GBE Familly Controller"

I tested my hard drives with SeaTools

I am currently running MemTest and it is at 50% completion with 0 errors so far.

I have reinstalled Windows 8 after completely reformatting my Hard Drive. (But not my data drive)

Any help in steps I should take to diagnose this would be GREATLY appreciated.

Best solution

August 5, 2013 4:06:52 PM

Hello,

I'm afraid i can't help you, but i think I might be experiencing a similar problem, so maybe we could find a solution for it. I bought my computer in the beginning of this year and it came with this problem. I used RMA two times already, and they switched the PSU both times. The second time the problem was seemingly gone but has returned recently after I formated the HD.
Could you give more details about the nature of these freezes?. Mine happens randomly, generally when i'm browsing the internet. But it has also happened while playing games. Like yours, they occur one or two times a day. The mouse and keyboard become unresponsive, the screen freezes completely, can't turn off caps lock, lights of usb mouse go off, but the pc usually stays on, though i remember it restarting by itself a few times after it happened. I've also experienced "mini-crashes" where the mouse would stop responding a few seconds and then return to normal. I've read some post on the forum and tried some things suggested there, like disabling c1 and c3/c6 states on the bios and preventing windows from shutting down usb devices to save power. I also tried disabling intel rapid storage technology, all of this to no avail. Also runned mentest a while ago. No errors detected.
I noticed that in the majority of the posts i read, the people asking for help just disappeared after sending a few messages, so it kinda left me wondering whether they solved the problem or just gave up.

I'm considering sending the memories to RMA, but I don't know if this would solve it. I was hoping it was just
some kind of configuration in the bios or windows. By the way are your SATA devices set to operate on IDE or AHCI in the bios?

I would really apreciate if you could give an update on your situation and maybe tell us what you have tried so far.

Thank you. :) 
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August 5, 2013 6:22:52 PM

Well, here's what I have so far. I have gone 2 days without a crash, however, I did 3 things in an attempt to remedy it all at once. First, I updated my BIOS to the absolute latest update (even though the BIOS changelog didn't detail anything about stability), I downclocked my Processor to it's default speed and boost speed (3.4GHz, 3.8GHz boost, down from 4.0 GHz Boost), I also downclocked my RAM from 1600MHz to 1333MHz (even though it is 1600 MHz RAM). If after a week there are absolutely 0 crashes, I will then begin to reset my RAM to 1600 MHz, and if there are no crashes after that, I will reset my very miniscule overclock.

As for the freezes, mine were the same as yours, although sometimes I could soft reset it and others I would have to hard reset it. I never had mini-freezes, all worked perfectly well and randomly it would freeze. The pattern of the freezes also seems random, just like yours.

From my point of view, it could either be faulty RAM not being stable at the clock it is meant to be at, or the BIOS was the issue. I did run a memtest and it got to 500% and showed 0 errors so I'm not sure it's the RAM. If you can, try loading your BIOS defaults. Also, another little thing I did was I manually set the timings for my RAM, the BIOS should be able to handle it by itself, but no harm in doing it manually.
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August 6, 2013 7:01:50 PM

Thank you for your reply.
Well, at least in my case the problem wasn't related to overclocking, my processor is running at stock speed as well as the memories ( 2 x 4gb 1333mhz kingston). I already loaded the bios defaults a while ago but it didn't seem to work. I'm considering updating the bios, but i'm a little afraid to do so. I also tried updating all my drivers but no matter what i do, all the driver update software I´ve used say they are still not up to date. One of the bad drivers is an SMBus controller like yours. There are also some bad USB drivers. I suspect they could be causing these freezes but like i said I can't update them. As for hardware I also have a GTX 660, though mine is a Zotac. But I doubt the problem is related to the video card, anyway.
Just one question: You said driver agent reported some bad drivers. Besides those 3 things you've done, did you update those drivers too?
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August 7, 2013 12:10:17 AM

JackStewarts said:
Thank you for your reply.
Well, at least in my case the problem wasn't related to overclocking, my processor is running at stock speed as well as the memories ( 2 x 4gb 1333mhz kingston). I already loaded the bios defaults a while ago but it didn't seem to work. I'm considering updating the bios, but i'm a little afraid to do so. I also tried updating all my drivers but no matter what i do, all the driver update software I´ve used say they are still not up to date. One of the bad drivers is an SMBus controller like yours. There are also some bad USB drivers. I suspect they could be causing these freezes but like i said I can't update them. As for hardware I also have a GTX 660, though mine is a Zotac. But I doubt the problem is related to the video card, anyway.
Just one question: You said driver agent reported some bad drivers. Besides those 3 things you've done, did you update those drivers too?


Well I just got my new PSU today and installed that, after that I reset my RAM to 1600 MHz and so far no freezes, hopefully it is fixed. As for the drivers, I only updated one, and that was the Intel Manageability Engine, I also added the Intel Rapid Storage Device but I doubt that has anything to do with it. I would say within 80% certainty that it had to do with a faulty BIOS setup or an incompatible BIOS version
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August 7, 2013 5:19:42 PM

JackStewarts said:
Thank you for your reply.
Well, at least in my case the problem wasn't related to overclocking, my processor is running at stock speed as well as the memories ( 2 x 4gb 1333mhz kingston). I already loaded the bios defaults a while ago but it didn't seem to work. I'm considering updating the bios, but i'm a little afraid to do so. I also tried updating all my drivers but no matter what i do, all the driver update software I´ve used say they are still not up to date. One of the bad drivers is an SMBus controller like yours. There are also some bad USB drivers. I suspect they could be causing these freezes but like i said I can't update them. As for hardware I also have a GTX 660, though mine is a Zotac. But I doubt the problem is related to the video card, anyway.
Just one question: You said driver agent reported some bad drivers. Besides those 3 things you've done, did you update those drivers too?


Another update! After I set the RAM to 1600 MHz (and manually set the timings to the recommended defaults) the computer froze again! So, I contacted my manufacturer and I reran a memtest except using the Windows Memory Diagnostics and on the 8th run through the test froze at 76% and sat like that until I hard reset (I waited 20 minutes), the manufacturer confirmed that this indicated faulty RAM, so looks like i'm going to have to RMA my RAM for a second time... So, if we are experiencing similar issues, I advise you to run a out of Windows Memtest, also, if you are using the Windows Memory Diagnostics, press F1 to enter setup and change the run throughs from 2 to 10.

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August 9, 2013 6:12:39 PM

Thanks for the update.
Well, I didn't know it was necessary to run the tests so many times. I think I ran it only once when i used Memtest and as it didn't show any errors, i assumed the memory was good.
I didn't experience any freezes in the past three days. I did change some configs in the bios, but I doubt the freezes are gone. Sometimes they go away for a while. I still have some hope they are gone for good, but if they return I'm going to do as you said and run Memtest again.
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August 9, 2013 7:51:28 PM

JackStewarts said:
Thanks for the update.
Well, I didn't know it was necessary to run the tests so many times. I think I ran it only once when i used Memtest and as it didn't show any errors, i assumed the memory was good.
I didn't experience any freezes in the past three days. I did change some configs in the bios, but I doubt the freezes are gone. Sometimes they go away for a while. I still have some hope they are gone for good, but if they return I'm going to do as you said and run Memtest again.


Alright, well here is my final synopsis, my RAM was of low quality and I had to either set it to 1333MHz or bump up the voltage on it. So far after bumping up the voltage I have not froze so fingers crossed!
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August 12, 2013 4:43:37 PM

Hello again,
Well, read your last post. So any news on the freezes, are they really gone after you bumped up the voltages?
I thought my freezes were gone after I changed some configs in the bios, since I hadn't experienced any freezes in more than a week. But unfortunately the PC froze again today. I will probably run mentest again when I have time. Do you think these freezes are really caused by faulty memory?
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August 13, 2013 4:20:31 PM

JackStewarts said:
Hello again,
Well, read your last post. So any news on the freezes, are they really gone after you bumped up the voltages?
I thought my freezes were gone after I changed some configs in the bios, since I hadn't experienced any freezes in more than a week. But unfortunately the PC froze again today. I will probably run mentest again when I have time. Do you think these freezes are really caused by faulty memory?


As of today, 0 freezes so far, I have it running at 1.6V because the motherboard manual reccomends lower than 1.65, and it's been perfectly stable. If your crashes are complete freezes, as in no mouse movement, nothing, then I would say 70% chance it's RAM, 20% CPU, 5% Motherboard, 5% anything else.

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