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My PC keeps freezing for unknown reasons

Last response: in Windows XP
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September 14, 2010 11:27:05 PM

STATS:

GIgabyte motherboard
1000wat power supply
Q9550 Core
ATI HD5770
WD Velociraptor
G. Skill 4gig Ram

Now to the question:
This mostly happens when I use the pc for gaming and yes my rig does meet the recommended requirements and exceeds them. So as I'm playing on randomly my game freezes up completely!! I cant ALT+TAB nor CTRL+ALT+DEL...only thing left is for me to do is to restart the computer. Any ides WHY this is happening? Is my Ram or VID card faulty?

Things I did:
Ran memTEST came back negative
Cleaned the cpu

September 15, 2010 12:17:59 PM

I'm having a very similar problem. I can still move the mouse cursor usually but nothing else will respond. Sometimes the screen goes black instead of just freezing. Have yet to figure out what in the world it can be.
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September 15, 2010 7:59:14 PM

Most likely it's the video driver. You can get the full version of Catalyst control center from here (version 10.9)
http://sites.amd.com/us/game/downloads/Pages/radeon-xp-...

If that doesn't solve the issue, check the event viewer to see if it's logging errors (red X's).
start-->run-->eventvwr.msc-->check the system and application logs
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September 16, 2010 4:40:54 PM

Still occurring for me after re-installing the latest video card drivers for my 8800 GTS.

Error Code Under System:

Event Type: Error
Event Source: System Error
Event Category: (102)
Event ID: 1003
Date: 9/16/2010
Time: 7:48:40 AM
User: N/A
Computer: KBOX
Description:
Error code 10000050, parameter1 a7fde525, parameter2 00000000, parameter3 bf861b4d, parameter4 00000000.

For more information, see Help and Support Center at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/events.asp.
Data:
0000: 53 79 73 74 65 6d 20 45 System E
0008: 72 72 6f 72 20 20 45 72 rror Er
0010: 72 6f 72 20 63 6f 64 65 ror code
0018: 20 31 30 30 30 30 30 35 1000005
0020: 30 20 20 50 61 72 61 6d 0 Param
0028: 65 74 65 72 73 20 61 37 eters a7
0030: 66 64 65 35 32 35 2c 20 fde525,
0038: 30 30 30 30 30 30 30 30 00000000
0040: 2c 20 62 66 38 36 31 62 , bf861b
0048: 34 64 2c 20 30 30 30 30 4d, 0000
0050: 30 30 30 30 0000
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September 16, 2010 5:18:12 PM

@ kmaho
You should start your own thread for this, so we don't hijack mellowtrax's thread.

Though, you should make sure you have SP3, and run memtest on your RAM overnight.
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September 21, 2010 9:41:16 AM

mellowtrax said:
STATS:

GIgabyte motherboard
1000wat power supply
Q9550 Core
ATI HD5770
WD Velociraptor
G. Skill 4gig Ram

Now to the question:
This mostly happens when I use the pc for gaming and yes my rig does meet the recommended requirements and exceeds them. So as I'm playing on randomly my game freezes up completely!! I cant ALT+TAB nor CTRL+ALT+DEL...only thing left is for me to do is to restart the computer. Any ides WHY this is happening? Is my Ram or VID card faulty?

Things I did:
Ran memTEST came back negative
Cleaned the cpu


Most likely driver problems, remnants of older drivers. Resolved for me (I think) by running a free program called Driver Sweeper.
-uninstall driver and reboot
-run Driver Sweeper
-reboot
-reinstall driver
-reboot
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September 21, 2010 9:42:30 AM

aford10 said:
Most likely it's the video driver. You can get the full version of Catalyst control center from here (version 10.9)
http://sites.amd.com/us/game/downloads/Pages/radeon-xp-...

If that doesn't solve the issue, check the event viewer to see if it's logging errors (red X's).
start-->run-->eventvwr.msc-->check the system and application logs


eventvwr.msc never shows freezes like that; it shows BSODs.
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September 21, 2010 9:45:16 AM

aford10 said:
@ kmaho
You should start your own thread for this, so we don't hijack mellowtrax's thread.

Though, you should make sure you have SP3, and run memtest on your RAM overnight.


memtest86 can show errors when there aren't any and no errors when there are. It is far from the last word, in my experience.
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September 21, 2010 3:35:35 PM

xaltotun said:
eventvwr.msc never shows freezes like that; it shows BSODs.


The event viewer can show any and all errors. It's not specific to BSOD's.

And memtest is the closest thing to a 100% result you'll see. If you let it run overnight, it'll do enough passes that you'll have an accurate answer.
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September 21, 2010 7:07:40 PM

The Event Viewer never shows hard locks aka freezes. And I never said it was specific to BSODs.

That guy has the same problem I had, and each time my system freezed, and I hit reset (like he has to do), the Event Viewer was useless to me, even though I had it set up to record such things (Windows XP SP3).

Memtest86 shows errors that aren't there and doesn't show errors that are there. Even the readme.txt that comes with it says that.
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September 21, 2010 7:40:36 PM

There are many things that can cause freezing. Your graphics driver can crash and lock up the display. You could have an outdated BIOS version, that's causing all sorts of hardware to freeze, stutter, or BSOD. All sorts of these issues are usually logged in the event viewer. Some are logged under the system logs, and some under applications.

I'm not saying all causes of freezing are logged there, but many, if not most, are.

No diagnostic software is going to be perfect. I said it's close to 100%.
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September 22, 2010 12:48:21 AM

I think there are degrees of the freeze hard lock (get it?).
Some are mild like stuttering, then it goes into 1 min lock ups that eventually recover, and then you have what I had, which is a complete system lock up where you can't do anything and you get no BSOD. These ones for me never showed anything in the Event Viewer, but BSODs and CTDs were listed.

These for me seem to have been driver-related and seem to have been resolved with uninstall, reboot, Driver Sweeper, reboot, reinstall.

I have a feeling the most serious freezes/hard locks cannot be listed as the system has no time to write anything and is just dead, stuck on the last frame.

I dunno, I'm no expert.

About memtest86. Each to their own. I would never trust it or Prime95 to test my system stability as I've passed such things with no errors for 24 hours and yet have had freezes in games, even pissy games.
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September 22, 2010 12:51:24 AM

Just about Prime95 and memtest86 also... on another system, I used to get BSODs at any time, in or out of games, and that system passed both programs, too.

So in my opinion they are over-rated as The Last Word on testing.
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September 22, 2010 1:45:43 AM

Then your issue may not have been the RAM.
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September 23, 2010 6:02:00 PM

hey thanks guys for all the tips...
i have done most of that stuff
going to try the driver sweeper and reinstall and check the even viewer

my video driver is updated to latest so is my BIOS and i got SP3
maybe winXP is just not compatible with some hardware i got
my friend has almost same setup but runs win7 and gets no problems...
BUT i just HATE WIN 7 cant do anything with it

once again thanks

martin
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September 23, 2010 8:04:03 PM

Thanks for the update. Let us know what you find.
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October 24, 2013 10:48:26 PM

mellowtrax said:
STATS:

GIgabyte motherboard
1000wat power supply
Q9550 Core
ATI HD5770
WD Velociraptor
G. Skill 4gig Ram

Now to the question:
This mostly happens when I use the pc for gaming and yes my rig does meet the recommended requirements and exceeds them. So as I'm playing on randomly my game freezes up completely!! I cant ALT+TAB nor CTRL+ALT+DEL...only thing left is for me to do is to restart the computer. Any ides WHY this is happening? Is my Ram or VID card faulty?

Things I did:
Ran memTEST came back negative
Cleaned the cpu



first of all, my hardware i experienced the failure on:
Gateway MX6436 Laptop 512Mb ram and 80GB Hdd-TravelStar IDE

your hard drive is failing and soon will ignore all I/O requests. the software located in the damaged sector is triggering the lock-up. i am experiencing the same issues, but much closer to the MBR. for instance- i have a laptop running as a full server on my network; she's slow, but she works perfectly for all my network media needs. after i changed up some ram and applied some thermal gel to the processor, chipset and GPU, i began to notice some lock-ups. i decided to go back to XP from server 2008 since it does almost everything i use on server 2008. during my Format, it froze and hung up. i tried all of my 40+ OS discs (XP, Win7, Win8, Server2008, 64bit and 32bit) and couldn't get it to complete setup. Eventually, i downloaded and ran GPARTED LIVE (Linux) to try some formatting that would re-write the disk and hopefully get it to boot to XP so i could run CHKDSK through the windows boot sequence. Successfully, i booted to XP, ran CHKDSK and it found no errors???
so i probed further.... because it was failing on a VERY predictable basis.
***** PLEASE NOTE******
I INITIALLY THOUGHT I WAS OVERHEATING WHICH CAUSES AN AMD SYSTEM TO LOCK-UP AND FAIL NO QUESTIONS ASKED. ive been though this lockup 100 times on various AMD powered systems, IT WILL STOP THE FAN AND THE HDD LIGHT WILL STAY LOCKED "ON" NEVER EVER HAS AN INTEL Sytem done this to me, just as a note.........

I attempted to recover the disk using an external attachment and separate laptop. This allowed me to create an UNKNOWN (RAW) disk and should have been wiped to DOD standards.

Installed XP no problems at all and thought to myself "im such a genius"

less than 1 hour into configuration and multiple restarts for driver installation, she locks up again. it appears to be happening around the 1GB sector of my drive. once i reach 1GB usage and it goes to access that data, it fails. either i get an error and XP recovers and it accesses the files no problem, or it locks up and corrupts that sector once again. attempting a reformat thinking the drive is fine, shows that it cannot be formatted due to an "Unknown" error.
SO, i start from scratch and try again to get her up and running again to no avail.

So I took the drive into bestbuy-my roomate works there- and he ran diagnostics. the drive showed no problems the first 5 times the test was run until the 6th. upon an extended Table Record test, it failed and reported that the drive was corrupt and recommend replacing. He DOD wiped it 12 times, and reported no errors after that.

So i continued setting it up as usual after reinstalling the disk.
install had no problems, system seemed faster than ever.

the same sector had still been corrupted, but the drive learned of its broken sector and denied access to that section of the disk, limiting my drive space to 70GB exactly, even tho its an 80 (which shows 76GB free space under normal operation)

now limited to 70gb, i have no problems.
Until i ran out of room after my DVR filled up my external drive and began to automatically write to the main disk... Thanks DirecTV for your "advanced" external drive feature........

I began to get the same issues, failure to boot because of missing files, different every time like VGAOEM.fon missing, NTLDR.dll, NTOSKRNL.EXE missing, etc etc always something new

i tried all my same recovery steps and absolutely cannot get it to run stable for more than 5 minutes without BOS or complete lock-up.

took it back to my buddy, he ran the exact same test and it failed every time no matter what. even during Format it never even hit 1% after 12 hours.

SOLUTION: Buy a new Hard drive. it will save you an entire week of troubleshooting.

All of this diagnostic and troubleshooting was within 1 week. started having problems on monday, fixed and running by wednesday, failure again on thursday, DOD 12X Wipe on Friday, no problems until monday morning when DVR accessed the same damaged sector trying to write data.

I have only had 1 hard drive ever fail in all my PC's lifetime.
it caught fire and exploded throwing shrapnel, disk fragments and metal casings all over my Gaming room and it was an old Maxtor 250GB @7200RPM that used to whine all the time and had extremelly loud loading clicking. it sounded like someone was jackhammering outside my house, but it always worked and i always knew when someone was accessing my server :)  nevertheless, it was a heat factor and it literally ripped the discs off the spindle throwing them every which way. luckily nobody was in the room (it threw a full DISC at my EXACT spot on the couch lodging into the wall right where my face would have been)

the silent type of failure like i am experiencing (and you as well) currently is the worst.
you have no idea its coming. perfect one day and failure to boot the next. can cause a massive loss of data and personal time with the wife or spouse. it sucks because i dont know the exact cause of this type of failure, but i assume it has something to do with a massive amount of drive load (like mine) and it attempts to write new data to a section of the drive otherwise dedicated to page file**** my system is 512 ram and running server 2008 when failure occured, during a file transfer in the region of +/- 30GB. it was installing .NET framework and some other updates when this occured. i noticed my receiving PC stopped the transfer for danger of corrupting the data already transferred. (windows 7 is so smart) i checked my server and sure enough she was 100% locked up. things would minimize and close and the cursor moves around and acts like it will load what you clicked but nothing ever happens. worst part of this is that the processor is hanging so its under load and BIOS CANNOT start the cooling fan which caused the temperature fail safe in my gateway to trigger and cut power. this is also where the damage could occur, from the ARM of The HDD still holding Positive Charge and swinging across all lanes of the disk, accidentally writing corrupt data to all sectors in the region and causing failure.

That was my experience. I replaced the failed drive with one from Ebay identical in every way. 80GB TravelStar IDE DISK. Have not had a single problem since.

PLEASE NOTE!!!!! I was bored and wonder got the best of me so i disassembled the damaged disk.
I was surprised to find that on the very first disk, a micro BLACK LINE about 1inch from the center of the spindle that went a complete revolution around the disk. i took it into geeksquad and my roomate told me he had never seen that damage before.

we started the disk while OPEN and disassembled and began writing files to it. after sitting for a week without power, she booted fine and showed no signs of failure, BUT IT HAD NOT WRITTEN TO THE PART OF THE DISC WITH WITH BLACK LINE ON IT YET!!!!!!

So i started loading stored data (MUSIC) from my External Drive to the failing and open drive. it wrote all over the rest of the disc and seemed to ignore the damaged sector, writing all the way up to it, then skipping it and continuing on the same disk.

NO PROBLEMS. Disk is full and shows 76GB total storage space. then i accessed the corrupt data by launching ATI Display UTILITY --=CCC.EXE

It appears that while installing ATI Drivers, the disk accessed the SAME area of the drive and tried to write something to it, which was unmovable data that was in use and started this whole Cluster F%*#!!!

the thing is, that nomatter where i install the ATI Drivers, it always writes to that same sector. it must be allocating GPU storage or something and this would be caused by an error in the code of the ATI Software that goes un-noticed in most systems.

Either way, it caused my drive to fail and ATI Covered my new hard drive purchase as this was irrefutable evidence of hardware failure caused by their software.

I took a video and sent it to them along with a 23 page report of my troubleshooting, diagnostics and log files of all the failures. they concluded that the corruption was in fact from a faulty driver installation that accessed the wrong sector of the disk in use.

Also my drive was very badly overheated from literally Years of constant Up-Time. there were score marks on the edge of the disk and solid burn marks on the arm from heat and friction between the case and the rubber buffers that secure the spindle in place. the arm was regularly bumping into the actual motor that spins the disk. the rubber had melted, stuck to the arm swung around with it all the time which probably caused a little problem with performance.

either way, Your Hard Drive is FAILING no doubt about it. its a cheap upgrade and worth every penny to update.
I would recommend at least a little bit of troubleshooting, you never know. you may be able to squeeze another year or more out of it until its actually time to upgrade but it will always be a game of russian roulette when booting. a nice solid format may recover the damaged sectors or data. its definitely worth a shot especially since formatting software is mostly free and very simple to burn to a CD and run pre-system boot in order to wipe the disk for Windows installation. when you get to that point in the windows install, AFTER u have already formatted the disk, it ASKS YOU if you want to format quick, regular, or leave file system if it detects an operational NTFS File System. If, and ONLY IF you have properly formatted, would i recommend writing to this disk. it worked for me, but not for long. this will allow you to gauge the actual life left in your drive. if it works and you never have another problem, congrats. otherwise you're on a very slipery slope and its just a matter of time.
good luck. report back.
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