System Freeze / Reboot

Hello all,

I have a PC that I built about 4 years ago, and has been working pretty well. However, just recently I started getting frequent system freezes and restarts during the day. I have had it happen both while using the PC, and when returning to it after a long period ( displays are turned off ). I don't get any sort of "blue screen"; it is usually just a total lockup, sometimes followed by a restart.

I took a look at the error information from Windows 7 after rebooting, and it came up with "BCCode 116", which I believe has to do with application usage of the Graphics Device. My Graphics Card is a GeForce GTX 460, and I have the latest driver ( using NVIDIA Geforce Experience ). I also checked my temperatures, and I haven't seen the GPU go above 58 deg C during use.

So I'm trying to think of what might have changed. The first ( and most likely thing ) is that I just recently started using a dual monitor setup. To be honest, that change definitely coincides with when I started getting the lockups. There was also a period of time when I was getting what looked like graphic corruption on "white pixels" of one monitor; they would alternate between a proper white and a cyan color. That problem has mysteriously disappeared however.

The other change is that I have started using Eclipse an awful lot, though that change is less in-sync with the period of problems. Definitely more Java than I have ever run before.

Any ideas on what I should look at next? Any additional logs I might be able to mine? Many thanks for suggestions!
4 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about system freeze reboot
  1. - this could be a early sign that your power supply is going to die. capacitors in the power supply can dry up, voltages that it supplies will start to fluctuate and you only detect that the graphics card is messing up.

    - reboots without bugcheck codes can also be due to the power supply, the supply has a power_ok signal it sends to the motherboard
    if it circuits detect a out of spec voltage condition it will send a signal to the motherboard and cause a system reset just like you pulled the power plug (no error log or memory dump)

    - bugs in graphics drivers can also cause hangs with no error logs. graphics drivers go for speed, to do this they remove error checking and don't write logs. the get confused and just hang.

    - graphics card drivers can hang if you switch to a hdmi cable and start running you audio thru that cable. Often you have to
    go to control panel, device mangaer and look at your HD audio sources. they can screw with each other and remember the audio on the graphic card has the error checking turned off. in that case I disable the various hd audio sources that I am not using and leave just the one I use.

    -graphics corruption can mean physical damage to memory on the graphics card, this can happen with overheating (chip on the card becomes unbonded to the graphics board) it can also happen if the card is overclocked, or bad drivers, or the BIOS settings for the PCI bus clock is set incorrectly.
  2. Hmm, ok. I hadn't thought about the power supply. Any way I can test that? And is there any other way I can test the graphics hardware issues you mentioned too?
  3. Best answer
    I would update the graphics driver, go to device manager and find the HD sound sources and disable all of them except the one on the mother board. (or the one in the graphics driver if you use HDMI for your sound)
    - note even if you don't disable the second HD audio sources, reinstall the graphics driver will put that audio source first in processing your sound and often will fix strange hang issues due to confilct in HD audio.

    it is the fastest and most easy thing to check.
    you can buy a checker for your Power supply but most people don't bother and just swap out the PS.

    I forgot to mention, dust build up on the graphics processor can do the same thing, short the pins, muck up the fans and slow or stop them. I have fixed many graphics cards with a can of air or my good old air compressor by just blowing compressed air into the fan blades.
  4. johnbl said:
    I would update the graphics driver, go to device manager and find the HD sound sources and disable all of them except the one on the mother board. (or the one in the graphics driver if you use HDMI for your sound)

    That seems to have done it! I disabled all the High Definition Audio devices with "NVIDIA" at the front, and now everything seems to be working fine. Strange that this problem crept up after 4 years, but perhaps it has something to do with the sources getting reordered due to driver installation, as you mentioned.

    It may be a little premature to celebrate, but previously it was freezing at least once a day and it's been two days so far without a hang. Thank you much!
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