--For the past few weeks the computer
has been running fine. Its important to keep in mind that after a good solid 1.5 weeks of running this new comp, everthing has been running great and no additional software / hardware has been added. Just this morning I turned on my computer, and within 15 seconds of reaching the desktop, my computer froze. No blue screen of death, just a frozen desktop. The mouse cursor was unmovable , no keys functional... it pretty much just looked like a took a screen shot of my desktop.
--A few hours later I decided to play some Bad Company 2, and within 5 minutes of game play, my comp froze in the same fashion except this time there was a high pitched humming noise coming from some component inside the case I couldn't identify. The symptoms were the same this time, a frozen (almost screen shot like) screen with a still image, no functional keys or mouse cursor. The whole computer froze, not just the program. None of the sounds in the game were repeating/looping as happens in other type freezes, the only thing that could be heard was a high pitched hum from inside the case.
I ran windows diagnostic memory test to find nothing. I was going to run memtest86 but on their homepage it says that the most recent version 3.5 has issues with 4+ gb of ram... so i scratched that plan...
So whats the faulty component(s)? The problem sounds sort of similar to a bad Nvidia 8800 GTX I had a while back on a completely different mobo / build, only in the respect of the freezing.. when my old 8800 went bad, the whole screen would freeze, mouse cursor not working and all, but the whole screen would turn purple, and its not doing that in this case. I would only have the issue of the freezing when the GPU was being used extensively, but I know that this isn't the case here b/c the problem happened this morning after the computer off all night.
Now I know that this is slightly off topic but I might as well put it in here.... my sata WD 250gig HD recently has started making loud clicking noises randomly, much louder than the normal clicks it makes when its in use. Could this be a HD related issue? Bad HD? Could this be the source? Sorry for so much info its just that there's so many components that could be the source of the issue I'm freaking out trying to narrow the selection down. Im not about to reboot windows b/c ive read that so many people have had low sucess levels with fixing problems by rebooting windows... 90% its a hardware issue. In addition like i said... no additional software has been added and the comp has been running fine up until today.. If the problem happened once.. fine... but twice in 4 hours? DoubleyouTeeEff?
Thanks to all who read this. Any help / imput would be GREATLY appreciated Thanks.
The high pitched sound could be the fan on the video card if it's overheating. Can you remove the side panel and listen to narrow down the sound? Do you have the Catalyst Control Center installed to monitor the GPU temp?
You could also try removing some RAM (maybe run one stick at a time; if all is well, add another stick, and so on until you're fully loaded).
the video card was not overheating. This happened from windows desktop when i turned the computer on after it sitting all night. And usually my GPU temps dont reach over 57C. I don't have state of the art cooling, but i do have an antec 900 case with some good ventilation
Also, i don't have supplementary ram to test out like that. Is there another program like memtest86 that is known to test 4+ GB of ram successfully?
The loud clicking/ticking noise coming from your HDD is a very probable cause of the freezing you're expriencing. You see since everything is stored on to your HDD, the drivers can't be accessed or access is cut off because of potentially bad sectors in your seemingly failing hard drive.
As cmichael138 said, run the diag tool from WD. All is not lost if your HDD is bad, but you gotta be quick before it gets worse. Bad sectors can happen for various reasons, including viruses.
1. Run diagnostic tool on your hard drive. If your results come out bad, replace the disk.
2. Connect your HDD to another computer (if you can) as the slave drive. Run a virus scan to ensure you have no infections.
3. Get a disk cloning software (like Acronis True Image) to make a transferable disk image of your hard drive.
However, memtest has version 4.0 out and I have successfully tested a computer with 4GB of RAM. I would also run this test to check on your RAM. If you're still not statisfied with the 4.0 release, you could always test your sticks in a combination that yields less than 4GB, but you'd have to run a second test for the modules that weren't tested.
In general though, has anyone ever heard of anything similar happening? Whats your best guess as to what this could be? I'm about to do the tests you recommend and well find out soon, but I'm curious as to which of the choices, Mem, Video, HD etc. you most lean towards.
OK so I just ran the WD diagnostics tool. the SMART status info passes, but when I go to run a quick test, or extended test, it gives me an error saying "Cable Test::Write Sector Error" then a box comes up and says "Test failed ! Please Check the Cables"
the Test results section reads as follows:
Test Result: FAIL
Test Error Code: 11-Cable Test::Write sector error!
Well I'm not at home, and I cant remember the name of the program, but I downloaded another HDD testing program. It took an 1.5 hours to scan all sectors and found nothing, everything was fine.In addition, the S.M.A.R.T. test info on both WD diag and this new program i got came out fine, all components on the drive are running up to spec.
It is also important to note that the only time i got the hum was when my comp froze, and (from what could tell) it didn't sound like it was coming from the PSU, but more from the MOBO or that general area where video / processor / mem are. The computer doesn't make any irregular hums or whines at all on a regular basis.
Anyway, as I stated before in the link 4 posts up http://club.myce.com/f138/western-digital-cable-test-fa... people are commenting that the WD diagnostic is garbage, and that other people have stated having similar issues when the drive / cables are fine. If there was a problem connecting to the SATA cable then how could my hard drive be working fine 99.9% of the time?
I'm not dismissing your statement about the people having problems with the software being dysfunctional, rather I'm trying to help you see that there is a possibilty of a failing hard drive. A failing hard drive may work at times and seem flawless, but then it could also cause the symptoms you're experiencing.
Regardless of what the test results were, a ticking/clicking noise coming from the hard drive is always bad. The only sound you should hear are the discs in the HDD spinning.
Have you had a chance to test your RAM? Keep in mind that just because you see all physical RAM in BIOS and that you load Windows succesfully, that doesn't always mean your RAM isn't faulty. Running MemTest to rule out failure here is equally important in the troubleshooting process.
NOTE: Memtest must run for at least 10-12 passes through to be effective. It would be best if you just let it run overnight or all day when you leave for the day.
As for the GPU observation, good call. A GPU also has RAM, and should the RAM on the GPU itself be bad, that could also explain your situation. Furthermore, a GPU isn't an uncommon hardware to fault for freezes. Since your mobo doesn't have an on-board video chipset, do you have another GPU you could try? or perhaps, although less effective, could you try your GPU in another computer?
Lastly, you PSU. We haven't explored the possibility of an underpowered PSU. 650W only tells us the maximum output of the unit. It is important to know the difference in the types of power supplies; basically the amount of +12V rails and their max amperage load.
For example: Your 650W PSU MAY only have one +12V rail and that rail may have max amp. rating of 20A. If you exceed the 20A, you would be overburdening your PSU. That being said, take a closer look at your PSU just to know what it can handle, better yet, post what the PSU sticker shows.
Heres a little story i had a Rampage ii extreme - I7 920 and four seagate 1gb hadrives. I set the computer up with 2 HD on the sata raid ports in 0. Then the other HD and 2 cd drives on the ports. I got a whine pitch noise and Hard Drive clicking noises from time to time. The computer would hang or sometimes when i restarted there would be HD errors. I changed the Controller options in Win7 took of the advanced and write back options. Still didnt work the intell Raid program would show errors and sometimes drop the raid. Called ASUS and they thought the Southbridge was bad. Had it repaired and put it all back together still same problem.
Replaced the board with Gigabyte X58 UDR3 in rebuilding the computer. The first start up no second set of drives. On the Gigabyte board theres three controllers GA-Intel-Jmicron 6g on the GA controller raid. The cd rom drives on the intel controllers. The 2 other drives on the GA non 6gb ports. I said great i got another bad board or something. So in moving things around i hit the power cable for the 2 drives and they clicked like crazy. But they now showed up and worked badley but worked. I have a Ultra x3 1000 watt power supply with modular cables. Well the port for the cable on the PS really lose fit. So i used a regular 4pin 5volt with sata drive connectors. Started the computer up and everything is fine and no whinning or clicking noise.
I feel that the rail for the sata drive in the PS is no good or the port you plug the cable into is bad. Everything is fine now and no problems. No one ever thought to look at the PS because everything worked including the ATI X2 4800 thats needs tons of power. The computer is stable and the only problem i had was the clicking and hangups. The other board was fine all along. So i spent 200 dollars for nothing except i got usb 3.0 and 6gb HD connections that the rampage ii didnt have. I went from a 400 dollar board to a 200 dollar board with no really cool looking heat sinks and the lcd poster. And most of the software on the board and the creative X-fi MB edition was nice touch but stupid. Why couldnt they just give a full creative X-fi instead of just adding the electronics to the little PCIEX1 thingy.
I had a used power supply in the house that was a 800 watt PS. I could have saved my self allot of trouple by hooking that up. I would have found out it was the PS first place. So check the power cables on any whinning noises or hard drive clicking. Or if your computer hangs for no reason and you get HD errors.