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Frequent freezing

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Last response: in Windows 7
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August 13, 2011 6:39:50 AM

For the last couple of months, my computer has been freezing frequently, as much as 6 or 7 times a night. While nothing specific forces it to crash every time, it seems to crash when I played a windowed game (more likely to if my browser isn't minimized), tab into a full screen game, or interact with my web browser (latest version of firefox, seems more likely to freeze if I'm doing something video related or have a windowed game minimized).

I haven't had any luck yet, but so far I've tried cleaning the dust out of my computer, running a malware scan, running checkdisk, returning my RAM and processor to their base clocks, running a registry cleaner and updating my drivers.

I also ran a hardware scan using PC check and everything I tested came back ok, the only thing I didn't test being some hard drive functions and one stick of ram.

If I had to take a shot in the dark, I would say it has something to do with my hard drive considering it's some generic Taiwanese thing and it's struggled with checkdisk before. Any ideas for a possible fix? I'm running a legitimate copy of 64 bit Windows 7 Professional on service pack 1.

More about : frequent freezing

a b $ Windows 7
August 13, 2011 7:42:53 AM

See if it fails while running Prime95, Furmark, and CPUID's Hardware Monitor to watch your temps. If your temps sky its heat, or if you get a rounding error in Prime95, you probably have some form of memory issue. You should also be able to spot a gpu issue.

If its none of those, you can look to your OS and HD next.
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a b $ Windows 7
August 13, 2011 2:40:22 PM

Yeah no mention of temps whatsoever.

What are you temps? Use CPU ID HW monitor. Google.

Also list us your cpu, motherboard, ram, video card, and power supply make and models.
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August 13, 2011 9:09:00 PM

Quote:
See if it fails while running Prime95, Furmark, and CPUID's Hardware Monitor to watch your temps. If your temps sky its heat, or if you get a rounding error in Prime95, you probably have some form of memory issue. You should also be able to spot a gpu issue.

If its none of those, you can look to your OS and HD next.


Processor and video card were both idling around 40c. Furmark got my video card up to 86c, at which point the fan caught up and the temperature stabilized. I really doubt it runs that hot normally, though, since I had never heard the fan run that loud before.

With Prime 95 I left it on overnight and didn't have any problems. The hottest core 0 got was 69c, and it went back down to around 40c as soon as I stopped prime 95.

Anyway, I don't think it's overheating and it doesn't sound like it's an inherent problem with the processor, video card or memory.

Quote:
Yeah no mention of temps whatsoever.

What are you temps? Use CPU ID HW monitor. Google.

Also list us your cpu, motherboard, ram, video card, and power supply make and models.


CPU is an original i7 920, motherboard is a (regular) ASUS P6T, video card is an EVGA GTX285 with 1 gig DDR5 vram, ram is 12 gigs (6 2gb sticks I believe, if not it's 3 4gb sticks) ddr3 1333MHz (DRAM frequency is 534.5 MHz). The power supply is some generic 800W thing.
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a b $ Windows 7
August 14, 2011 1:54:43 PM

Check your ram settings in bios. Make sure your ram speed, voltage and timings are set according to the manufacturers sticker on the ram itself.

That's a lot of power hungry hardware to be running on "some generic 800w thing". Seriously, the psu is the most important part of the system, it powers everything. Why would you go high end and then power it with "some generic 800w thing"?

A generic 800w psu probably doesn't even put out a true 600w, so your system is probably seriously strained. It may be the psu that's overheating.
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August 14, 2011 3:21:51 PM

Can you tell us what (if any) antivirus/firewall program(s) you use? If you have different programs they might mess up each other. I had the same problem on an older computer and found out that my avira antivirus didn't work with zonealarm firewall.
Best of luck.
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August 14, 2011 9:52:41 PM

Quote:
That's a lot of power hungry hardware to be running on "some generic 800w thing". Seriously, the psu is the most important part of the system, it powers everything. Why would you go high end and then power it with "some generic 800w thing"?


It was mainly a budget issue. It probably wasn't the smartest decision, but I'm not totally convinced it's the power supply since I only have problems when using certain programs in unison, not to mention everything ran fine overclocked for over a year until I decided to go back down to base clock to try and make my system more stable. It also doesn't seem to have anything to do with how stressed my system is or how long my computer's been running, which also makes me think it's not overheating.

Quote:
Can you tell us what (if any) antivirus/firewall program(s) you use? If you have different programs they might mess up each other. I had the same problem on an older computer and found out that my avira antivirus didn't work with zonealarm firewall.
Best of luck.


I use avast! for my antivirus and I use Malwarebytes for malware removal.

For what it's worth, I use Skype frequently and listen to internet radio, so that might contribute somehow.
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August 15, 2011 8:12:46 AM

I googled "avast causing slow performance" and I didn't find anything conclusive....I don't know, I guess Malwarebytes doesn't run non-stop (does it?, I never used it) so it shouldn't be an incompatibility.
Best of luck.
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August 15, 2011 8:27:03 AM

No, it only runs when you ask it to scan and I specifically used avast! because it's unobtrusive. I don't think it has anything to do with anything other than my games, my browser, and possibly a faulty piece of hardware.
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a b $ Windows 7
August 15, 2011 8:44:14 AM

85C and hovering is right for vid cards, and under 70C for the cores is fine for this supermax load. If there was a cpu, mobo, gpu, psu or heat problem you should have seen it, and runnng Prime95 that long also pretty much ensures your memory is OK.

You might want to run CHKDSK on your hard drive, and/or force Windows to physically change the location of your swap file. If nothing turms up there, I'd start looking for a rogue driver (by re-installing some, particularly any you recall updating around the time you first noticed this prolem) or app (by looking for a common app that's running when you have a failure).
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August 15, 2011 10:20:52 AM

Quote:
85C and hovering is right for vid cards, and under 70C for the cores is fine for this supermax load. If there was a cpu, mobo, gpu, psu or heat problem you should have seen it, and runnng Prime95 that long also pretty much ensures your memory is OK.

You might want to run CHKDSK on your hard drive, and/or force Windows to physically change the location of your swap file. If nothing turms up there, I'd start looking for a rogue driver (by re-installing some, particularly any you recall updating around the time you first noticed this prolem) or app (by looking for a common app that's running when you have a failure).


Sounds good. I'm not too sure about a swap file since I only have 1 hard drive, but if there's something I'm missing and there's an easy way to do it, let me know. I guess I'll run CHKDSK and re-install a few drivers/programs I use frequently. Assuming that doesn't do it, is the next step replacing the hard drive?
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a b $ Windows 7
August 15, 2011 2:14:25 PM

Your power supply ran fine for over a year, so there's no possible way it could be that. :sarcastic: 
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a b $ Windows 7
August 15, 2011 7:05:16 PM

Full disclosure: I have never done what I'm about to recommend.

Run CHKDSK, and repair if/as necessary. Take note of any damaged files, as these are likely candidates for re-installation if possible. If you can't get CHKDSK to run clean, I would seriously consider replacing the HD though its still possible something else is causing the problem.

You might also try this: http://www.seagate.com/www/en-us/support/downloads/seat... to see if it can find issues with your HD.

If CHKDSK runs clean, disable the swap file and run your system . . . sort of carefully, meaning don't ridiculously multi-task. You have plenty of memory, and should not really need the swap file. Does it still crash? Running Defrag and re-instituting your swap file might change its physical location on the disk. (Though there are other ways to do this, disabling/enabling the swap file this way also will "clear" it.)
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August 15, 2011 11:08:24 PM

Unfortunately, I'm not really sure how CHKDSK turns out. Every time I've left it running it looks like it hangs for a while, but every time I let it run overnight it loads back to my desktop when I look at it the next day. Anyway, I'll try disabling my swap file and defragging. I guess if that doesn't work I'll look into replacing my hard drive.

Edit: Disabling the swap file didn't fix it. I guess I'll run Seatools and try playing around with my display drivers.

Edit 2: Seatools came back clean. I'm pretty well convinced at this point that my problem is related to a display driver.
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a b $ Windows 7
August 16, 2011 2:34:19 AM

Well, you've got pretty good evidence it's not hardware - good luck, and if/when you nail it please let us know. It may help the next guy :) 
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August 16, 2011 3:26:57 AM

I think the problem is that windows is freezing when my display driver crashes. The only real problem is it's just a theory and I don't really have a remedy for it.
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