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Vista 64-bit "random" freezing

Last response: in Windows Vista
July 21, 2008 5:57:07 AM

Hi everyone,

First of all I want to apologize because I do see a few of these threads that are similar to this, but each seems to be pretty specific to the user based on hardware and such.

I just built a new machine and I'm running 64 bit version of Vista, but I'm getting seemingly random freezes. Playing games, surfing the internet, typing in Word, etc, it will just freeze up completely - no mouse, keyboard, hard drive activity, etc. I've been scouring lots of forums and such trying to find a solution, I've done things like disabling native command queueing on the SATA hard drive, etc, etc, as suggested by people with similar setups and problems but haven't had much luck.

My setup looks like this for the PC:

EVGA 790i Ultra motherboard
EVGA GeForce 9800 GX2 SSC video card
Corsair XMS3 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3 1333 (PC10666)
Seagate SATA 500GB 7200RPM 32MB cache hard drive
An old LG DVD burner using E-IDE
Intel Q9450 processor
Vista 64-bit operating system

For those of you who have had this sort of problem - worst case scenario I install 32-bit XP and things will be stable? or are there other solutions?

Thanks in advance
July 21, 2008 2:27:25 PM

hmmm i presume that you have all the relitive driver updates, checked that ur BIOS is upto date?
July 21, 2008 7:45:04 PM

Yes, I have the latest BIOS and drivers for all components in the system
Related resources
July 21, 2008 8:41:37 PM

I had an issue with 32bit vista freezing up on, found it too be some third party software installed on my rig.

Try going into MSCONFIG and disabling all your startup progs, and then in the services tab check the box that hides all MS Services, leaving you jus with the third party ones and disable those, then re-boot.

If you find your system to be running perfectly again start re-enabling them one at a time until the prob re-occurs then you'll know what cause is.

Hope this helps
July 21, 2008 11:00:54 PM

I've had this problem since a clean install of Vista so I'm not sure if a third party program would be causing these freezes but I'll give it a shot. Any other ideas while I'm trying that?
July 22, 2008 1:04:46 AM

Is your ram running at mfg spec voltage?

Sometimes the northbridge also needs a voltage bump.
July 22, 2008 4:09:07 AM

What would you suggest taking this particular northbridge up to?
July 22, 2008 4:27:18 AM

It looks like my RAM is *not* running at the appropriate voltage actually... I set it to 1.6V instead of the recommended 1.7V. However, I get immediate blue screens when loading windows if I take it to 1.7V. Any ideas now?
January 30, 2009 3:05:36 PM

Did you have any luck resolving this issue? I have scoured forum after forum with no luck. Like you said, there are a lot of device and software specific problems that just don't seem to fit, it is just a random spastic freeze up.
February 2, 2009 11:37:02 AM

Its a NVIDIA driver issue with the GX2. Try using the 181.20 drivers, they cleared up (most) of my issues. Earlier 180 drivers were bad for the GX2...

I know 178.24 is about as stable as 181.20, so you could give those a shot as well. The last truly stable GX2 drivers I tested were 174.2x (.24 i think...), all others seem to exhibit some freezing (I did not test the 175 WHQL drivers yet, those may or may not be stable).

I know disabling SLI support fixes the issue, and have seen several SLI'd 9800GTX setups with the same issue, so I'm thinking theres a bug in SLI support somewhere in the 180 release line...
February 4, 2009 2:34:06 AM

Looks like you have a very similar set-up to myself and I've been having the exact same problems (random freezes). Just like you they've been happening right from the start and there is no rhyme or reason to the freeze ups.

This is my set-up:

EVGA 790i Ultra motherboard
Intel Q9450 processor
Thermalright Ultra 120 Extreme Cooler
PC Power & Cooling Silencer 750 Quad
BFG GeForce 8800 GT factory OC'd video card - 2 cards (freezes are the same in SLI mode, two card or only one card)
Corsair XMS3 8GB (4 x 2GB) DDR3 1333 (PC10666)
Vista Home Premium 64-bit operating system
Hitachi Deskstar SATA 750GB 7200RPM 32MB cache hard drive
LG DVD burner w/ lightscribe using SATA
Hauppauge WinTV HVR-1600 PCI TV Tuner
Nmedia C98 Media Bay

I've updated all drivers through windows update and then through each manufacturers website. I've also tried running all different BIOS versions with only the last two versions actually improving the situation at all (the 2nd to last version to date works best on my system - BIOS Version 2.053 - NF79_P07.bin
See this link for all the bios versions available for our mobo:

I put this rig together with no intentions of OCing it because the set-up is already more than what I need for what I use my computer for. However, right from the start I had major problems with stability... Windows often wouldn't even boot with the stock settings. Strangely enough the computer freezes much less since I read a thread suggesting I overclock and play with the voltages. It was no big risk to try since my machine is cooled to the max anyway and I personally would not venture anywhere beyond the Motherboard suggested limits.

Here is my most stable CMOS set-up to date (surprisingly it is almost at the max recommended OC):

CMOS settings:

System Clocks (no adjustment from defaults):
CPU Multiplier = 8X
FSB & Memory Configuration:
FSB-Memory Clock Mode = "Unlinked"
FSB (QDR), MHz = 1600
Mem (DDR) MHz = 1600
Memory Timing Settings = "Optimal"
CPU Configuration:
CPU Thermal Control - TM1 & TM2 Enabled
System Voltages:
CPU Core 1.40V
Memory 2.00V

Let me know if this helps... or you discover anything else that helps please let me know.

I do see that our systems are very similar, with our Mobo's being the main common denominator (other than the CPU and Memory - not likely the problem since my memory is well tested and CPU's are not likely to cause these type of freeze up problems (can anyone else can suggest differently to this?)), so I'm beginning to think we may have just been unlucky and got Mobo lemons?!?

EVGA was very helpful and accommodating when I last talked to them, so I'm thinking I may just talk to them about getting a replacement if we can't come up with something closer to completely stable. Thanks to all for your input and help so far.... great suggestions!
February 25, 2009 10:50:30 PM

Latest two updates from NVidia (Jan. 22, 2009 & Feb. 18, 2009) have significantly improved stability on my rig, so it looks like the MoBo was not likely the problem after all. What a relief to have the computer running so much more smoothly. Kudos to NVidia for figuring the bugs out and to EVGA for their accomodating customer service.
April 11, 2009 2:27:25 PM

I've had the freezing issue ever since I built this computer several years ago. I had it with Vista/64. Installed the V/32 and had freezing. Reinstalled the OS back to V/64. Still randomly freezes.

The freezing is completely random. I may go several days between freezes or several minutes. Each time is about 45 seconds where I can move the mouse pointer around but cannot do anything else.

I've noticed each time this happens, my HD activity light is lit up solid - no flickering. Looking through the computer mgmt files and logs show nothing out of the ordinary.

I've just sorta lived with it but keep hoping to stumble across a solution.

I haven't updated my NVidia drivers lately. Last I got was 158.24.

April 14, 2009 1:13:33 AM

Speedlever, you weren't very specific about your system, but I would recommend you take a look at this link to Nvidia's driver download page:

Pretty straight forward, just enter your video card information and your operating system and do a search. (I prefer this over the automatic driver finder, but you can take your pick).

Make sure you set a restore point before doing the update.

Also, Note Nnvidia's "Driver Installation Hints":

* "Download Accelerator" utilities should be disabled when downloading any drivers.

* Do not run virus protection software in the background while installing the drivers. This prevents the driver from configuring itself properly.

Update your driver to the latest version for your card and hopefully it will make a big difference for you. Good luck!

If this doesn't work you can try previous driver between your current and the newest.
April 18, 2009 11:12:21 PM

Believe it or not, my random freezing came from the old EIDE burner. It would also light up my HDD activity LED and finally one day I put two-and-two together.

This is a simple test / fix though - just unplug the power to all of the EIDE devices.

Also one other thing (by this time, I've moved on to another mobo + cpu) that caused freezing (and crashes) was my memory timings + voltage. I had some Patriot Viper DDR3 memory that didn't report proper EEP profiles. A relatively painless RMA to Patriot cured that problem.

The easiest way to determine if this is hardware related is to boot another OS and see how stable that is. Luckily I am dual booting in Linux and when it couldn't get past the kernel load - I knew something was up.

Fedora (and other distros) offer Live CD's which you can boot directly to without installing anything.

Hope that helps.
December 28, 2009 10:47:20 PM

I have the same issue with my Dell Studio Desktop 540 running Vista 64 bit. I got it in March and about six months later the freezing started. I ran the Dell diagnostics which suggested there was no hardware problem. The tech support guy in Mumbai convinced me to order the Windows 7 upgrade in the hope that it would make the problem go away, and I suspect he got a commission the way he was pushing it. I haven't done the upgrade yet but am skeptical that it will do anything. The upgrade cost is ridiculous and I hear that there is not much difference between the two OS's. All I know is that my XP machines are all very stable and never had this sort of problem.
December 29, 2009 5:02:59 AM

Random freezes / restarts can usually be attributed to RAM or power supply issues. Run Memtest86 overnight to see if you get any errors. Letting it do one or two passes is NOT sufficient. Drivers normally cause blue screens when they're at fault... but it certainly wouldn't be outside the realm of possibility.

The OS isn't to blame. Vista ran perfectly stable on my system (as well as XP). Windows 7 may or may not fix your issue... but since you've already paid for it, what have you got to lose? I could see your hesitation if your system was functioning perfectly fine, but since it isn't then you have nothing to lose and possibly a stable system to gain. Of course, if it's a hardware issue, then it won't be stable regardless of the OS that's installed. Plenty of people complain about issues with XP as well, so you have to look deeper than the OS.
December 29, 2009 9:52:13 AM

Thanks! I'll give Memtest86 a try (before installing Windows 7) and let you know. Not sure how I would test the power supply, but first things first.
June 9, 2010 2:32:39 PM

I had the same problem with computer freezing up. Tried running Memtest and came out OK. Changed BIOS memory setting and frequency settings, over and over, no help. Finally, when I updated the Video driver, that fixed it.
June 10, 2010 3:06:30 AM

After much wrangling with the Indian tech support guys, I finally got Dell to come out to replace a bunch of stuff ... memory, fan, hard drive and mother board. The darn thing still freezes up, although not as quickly as before. I find that if I manually put the computer to sleep after each use it generally keeps working, but if I let it sit (or if it puts itself to sleep) then it freezes. I think I'm going to have to get a new computer because getting Dell to replace it would take a miracle. I suspect that maybe I have a bad CPU, but who knows.
April 8, 2011 7:27:26 AM

I have had the exact same problem with this configuration. Its an IbuyPower PC I bought 2 1/2 years ago. The first day it froze on around #24 or #26 of the windows updates. The freezing has been sporadic since then regardless of:

1) three complete reloads from the original disk.
2) 3 different anti virus and firewall programs
3) Ran all tests with no malicious SW
4) Had the service provider replace my Processor, board, and memory.

Still happening. Very sporadic. Sometimes at desktop. Sometimes just browsing. Sometimes I can leave it on for 2 days and no problem. The next 3 days it happens each time on boot up. I don't know if it is a Windows Problem or a Power Supply/ Voltage or whatever but is very frustrating to have to do a hard reboot. They finally gave up and are sending me a somewhat comparible machine from NewEgg with a GTX 550ti but with a core i5. Anway, I admit Im tempted to try Windows 7 just to see if it helps, though I still think it is HW related. Could be wrong.

System Information
Time of this report: 2/16/2011, 21:23:59

Operating System: Windows Vista™ Home Premium (6.0, Build 6002) Service Pack 2 (6002.vistasp2_gdr.101014-0432)
Language: English (Regional Setting: English)
System Model: MS-7380
BIOS: Default System BIOS
Processor: Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Quad CPU Q9550 @ 2.83GHz (4 CPUs), ~2.8GHz
Memory: 8190MB RAM
Page File: 1670MB used, 14892MB available
Windows Dir: C:\Windows
DirectX Version: DirectX 11
DX Setup Parameters: Not found
DxDiag Version: 7.00.6002.18107 32bit Unicode

DxDiag Notes
Display Tab 1: No problems found.
Sound Tab 1: No problems found.
Sound Tab 2: No problems found.
Input Tab: No problems found.

DirectX Debug Levels
Direct3D: 0/4 (retail)
DirectDraw: 0/4 (retail)
DirectInput: 0/5 (retail)
DirectMusic: 0/5 (retail)
DirectPlay: 0/9 (retail)
DirectSound: 0/5 (retail)
DirectShow: 0/6 (retail)

Display Devices
Card name: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 280
Manufacturer: NVIDIA
Chip type: GeForce GTX 280
DAC type: Integrated RAMDAC
Device Key: Enum\PCI\VEN_10DE&DEV_05E1&SUBSYS_24001682&REV_A1
Display Memory: 4069 MB
Dedicated Memory: 997 MB
Shared Memory: 3071 MB
Current Mode: 1920 x 1080 (32 bit) (120Hz)
Monitor: Alienware AW2310 (Digital)
Driver Name: nvd3dumx.dll,nvwgf2umx.dll,nvwgf2umx.dll,nvd3dum,nvwgf2um,nvwgf2um
Driver Version: 8.17.0012.6099 (English)
DDI Version: 10
BGRA Supported: Yes
Driver Attributes: Final Retail
Driver Date/Size: 10/16/2010 10:55:00, 12788840 bytes
WHQL Logo'd: n/a
WHQL Date Stamp: n/a
Device Identifier: {D7B71E3E-46A1-11CF-E162-0C041FC2C535}
Vendor ID: 0x10DE
Device ID: 0x05E1
SubSys ID: 0x24001682
Revision ID: 0x00A1
Revision ID: 0x00A1
April 9, 2011 2:42:18 AM

Actually my Dell is working perfectly these days. I found that having the screen turn off under the powersave feature was what was freezing it up. As long as I leave the monitor on or put the whole computer to sleep I no longer have the freezing problem. I do think that having the hardware replacements (see my previous msg) helped though.
April 27, 2011 2:23:23 AM

FYI: I'm also having mouse hangs on Windows Vista 64. Same problem several other people have reported, where the mouse stops responding for about 2 - 5 seconds, then everything continues fine. What's different about mine is I built this computer in 12/2008 and it was absolutely stable until about about two months ago (Feb or March 2011), when the mouse hangs started, never any crashes. Oh, one issue has been a long time occurence, about once every 30 hours of TF2 (gaming) nvidia video driver would crash and I would have to restart the game. Here's the rig:

Corsair 8GBs DDR2 800MHz
Intel Core 2 Quad CPU Q9300
5 different SATA drives (Hitachi, Maxtor, WD)
Corsair PS

All nvidia drivers and firmware are up to date
Windows automatically updates (and is up to date)

Following the advice of previous posts, I uninstalled any apps I rarely use and disabled all non-windows programs in the system config. That helped reduce the occurrences of mouse freeze, but it still happens. Thinking about upgrading to Windows 7, but not sure that will fix it.
May 5, 2011 12:44:47 AM

Noticed that the 'mouse hangs' really were just the mouse, the keyboard was still responsive. Installed Logitech drivers for the MX518 mouse and that seems to have corrected the problem.