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Computer Freezes after 45-60 minutes, Windows 7

Hello Everyone,

I'm having a real problem with my computer – long story short, Windows 7 freezes up after 45 – 60 minutes of running. It doesn't matter what programs are running at all: Firefox, games, VLC, Open Office. The active window freezes, the cursor spins as if something is processing then eventually disappears, and everything stops. I cannot use Ctrl-Alt-Del to get to the Task Manager. There is no responsiveness at all, and I have to hold the power button down to turn everything off then back on again. If I use the reset button, the computer doesn't boot. It says something about needing a valid boot disk and doesn't detect any of the hard drives. When the computer restarts, it shows the “Windows did not shut down properly” menu. My keyboard is unresponsive and I have to wait until the timer counts to zero for the computer to continue booting. These problems started happening about a month ago. The computer has been together for almost two years with no problems until now.

Solutions I have tried so far include: reinstalling Windows 7 on a different SSD and the same problem occurs. I have also run Memtest86 and no errors were found with the RAM. I let it run overnight and it was still running in the morning. I don't believe it is a heat problem as I shutdown and immediately turn the computer back on. I don't think it is a virus as my virus checker comes up negative – and why does it still happen if I reinstalled Windows?

Could one of my video cards be bad?

Windows is fully up to date. Full system specs are listed below. Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

CPU: i7-3930k, OC to 4.2
MB: Asus Rampage Extreme IV
RAM: 16 GB Corsair
Video: 2x Galaxy GTX 680 in SLI
Hard Drives: Kingston SV200S3 SSD 256 GB (current system drive), Crucial M4 128 GB SSD (former system drive, currently empty), 2x Seagate Barracuda 2 TB (storage)
CPU Cooler: Corsair H100
Power Supply: Corsair AX1200
OS: Windows 7 Ultimate
Anti-Virus: Microsoft Security Essentials
9 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about computer freezes minutes windows
  1. lets completely eliminate heat from the equation.

    open the side of your computer, stick a room fan in the opening. see if the problem continues. if it vanishes then you DO have a heat problem. we'll have to figure out what specifically is overheating in order to fix it, but in general this type of thing is one of the cheapest and easiest things to fix, It's also one of the most common causes of this type of restart... so it's also one of the first things we make certain is not the issue.
  2. ingtar33 said:
    lets completely eliminate heat from the equation.

    open the side of your computer, stick a room fan in the opening. see if the problem continues. if it vanishes then you DO have a heat problem. we'll have to figure out what specifically is overheating in order to fix it, but in general this type of thing is one of the cheapest and easiest things to fix, It's also one of the most common causes of this type of restart... so it's also one of the first things we make certain is not the issue.


    The case is a Corsair 800D. I've got the panel off and a fan running on it - same problem. Everything froze up at 1 hour, 2 minutes. Powered off by holding the power button, keyboard was unresponsive at bootup, had to wait for the counter to reach zero to continue booting.
  3. mmm well we know temps aren't the issue then.

    moving on... the next two most likely hardware causes are the psu and ram. If you have another psu laying around you can try, do that and see if the issue remains. If you don't then we'll have to take a closer look at your ram. I know you said you tested the ram. how did you test it? memtest86 is ideal... but you need to run it on the ram with only 1 stick plugged in. And run it for 5-10 tests. do the same on the other stick of ram.
  4. ingtar33 said:
    mmm well we know temps aren't the issue then.

    moving on... the next two most likely hardware causes are the psu and ram. If you have another psu laying around you can try, do that and see if the issue remains. If you don't then we'll have to take a closer look at your ram. I know you said you tested the ram. how did you test it? memtest86 is ideal... but you need to run it on the ram with only 1 stick plugged in. And run it for 5-10 tests. do the same on the other stick of ram.


    I did use memtest86 before. I will go ahead and test it one stick at a time, as you suggested, and see what it turns up - can't hurt, just time consuming. When I ran the test, I had all four sticks (4 x 4 GB each) in and no errors appeared.

    Unfortunately I do not have another PSU handy, but I really hope that isn't the problem.

    As I type this message, I am currently on the computer now. I am in safe mode with networking enabled and have a timer running to see if/when everything freezes - just passed 10 minutes. I will post again if it freezes in Safe Mode. I will also post the memory test results my next post.
  5. Best answer
    ok. well in my experience memtest86 only really works one stick at a time.
    I know it's laborious, but we need to nail it down... right now i'm basically suggesting possible hardware problems in order of likelihood. The issues you're describing can be caused by both bad ram and a bad power supply. Personally i think bad ram is more likely... but testing the psu tends be to simpler and quicker if you have another psu around... so i threw that out there because testing the ram can be a pain in the backside.
  6. ingtar33 said:
    ok. well in my experience memtest86 only really works one stick at a time.
    I know it's laborious, but we need to nail it down... right now i'm basically suggesting possible hardware problems in order of likelihood. The issues you're describing can be caused by both bad ram and a bad power supply. Personally i think bad ram is more likely... but testing the psu tends be to simpler and quicker if you have another psu around... so i threw that out there because testing the ram can be a pain in the backside.


    Ok, so here is what happened. I ran memtest86 on two different sticks, one at a time. I let each test run for several hours and no errors appeared. However, when I went to reboot Windows would not start. Both time the computer got to the Windows logo and froze there. I can continue this but I imagine the results will be the same.

    I also let the computer run on each stick individually. On each stick, Windows froze up at a little over an hour. I imagine there is nothing else to look at but the power supply, right? Any advice would be appreciated.
  7. Remove the graphics cards and try running on only the integrated graphics.
  8. zeph_yr said:
    Remove the graphics cards and try running on only the integrated graphics.


    Unfortunately my motherboard doesn't have integrated graphics. I did pull one card to see if it freezes, unfortunately it still does. Looks like it's my power supply. I will pull it out and test it once I get the correct equipment. Thanks for everyone's assistance.
  9. ok. tell us how it turns out. while the psu looks like the most likely problem, that doesn't mean there isn't a software issue at play.

    Hopefully we can help you nail this one down.
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