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PC Freezing, need help, might be processor or mobo. any help?

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June 25, 2010 3:08:30 PM

I have a semi new (6 months) machine.

Every once in a while during normal use the computer freezes. I don't get an error message, popup or any warning.

What ever is on the screen is frozen in place, cannot do anything but hard reboot.

now when i run prime95 stress test the CPU goes to 100% and the CPU goes to ~58-59C. it stays around that for 60 seconds and then freezes.

is there any logs i can pull? any help is needed.

Thanks everyone!

Windows 7 x-64 Ultimate
965 140w (copper zalman cooler)
MSI 790fx MOBO
Mushkin 4GB 2x2 DDR31600
Dual WD 1TB Raid-0
9800GTX 512mb
June 25, 2010 3:44:37 PM

did ram test. no problems. cannot figure out what the problem is.
a b à CPUs
June 25, 2010 6:46:10 PM

Did you recently install any new drivers? Are you overclocked?
What has changed from the time the PC was working normally and now? What processor do you have?
June 25, 2010 6:53:00 PM

Before you start "ripping" your system apart (hypothetically speaking). Here are some things you might want to try. I have listed my advice in steps; the order of the steps however, are not critical.

Step 1) Clear CMOS: (resets all settings stored in the BIOS ROM to factory default). Power down your system completely and flip the i/o switch on the back of your PSU, if applicable. Pop open the side of your case. Find the CMOS battery (if you're unsure of what it looks like, refer to the motherboard/PC instruction manual; this can also be found on MSI's website "http://www.msi.com/language/") . Somewhere near the CMOS battery there should be a button or jumper (it depends entirely on the model of your motherboard). If it's a button, just push it; real simple. if it's a jumper, there should be 3 pins with a "plastic block" on 2 of them. Remove the "plastic block" and place it on the the other side, then remove and place back to its original state. Alternatively, you can remove the battery altogether and wait. Wait at least 15 minutes before placing it back in. If applicable, again flip the i/o switch on the back of the PSU to on.

*By correctly following this step, it ensures that all settings in the BIOS are returned to factory default. If anything is overclocked, (e.g. Frequency, multipliers, timings, voltage for the CPU, Chipset, RAM, PCI-E) it can result in system instability; ergo computer freezing. If storage devices are configured in a RAID you'll want to power on your system. Enter the BIOS (typically by pressing Delete, F2 or F10 repeatedly), and change the IDE/SATA controller settings from IDE to RAID. Then exit and save the changes made.

Step 2) Run Memtest86+: Download Memtest86+ from "http://www.memtest.org/#downiso". Extract the .iso from the zipped file and burn the program to a blank disc (e.g. The disc type will depend on what your optical disc drive supports CD-R/CD+R, DVD-R/DVD+R) as an image. Insert the disc you just burned into the optical disc drive you will be using. Restart your PC and enter the BIOS. Change the boot device priority to the optical disc drive being loaded first, then exit and save changes.

*If this step is followed correctly, when your computer restarts it should automatically load and run Memtest86+. Wait and leave the system running for at least one pass. (This program will check your memory for corrupt/bad blocks of data that get stored in RAM). If the program locks up or your system freezes, it could be a possible sign of bad memory. Further trouble shooting will be required to discern which module is at fault*

-- For the sake of saving time, I will try to be less granular in the following steps. If you have any questions, feel free to ask.--

Step 3) Download and run Seatools/ or "other" HDD diagnostic tool "http://www.seagate.com/www/en-us/support/downloads/seat..." Perform a short, and long test to verify if the system is freezing due to corrupt/bad sectors. (Seatools also has the ability to delete partitions and format your HDD so it would be wise to act with caution). You may also want to try in Windows, running CMD as an administrator then type "chkdsk" for the check disc command. If it finds problems, try it again with the "/f" parameter. In CMD, type "chkdsk /?" for a list of functions . When you're done with running check disk, you can also try the "sfc /scannow" command (system file checker). This may require the Windows 7 x64 installation disc to verify and correct problems found in the registry (chances are though, this isn't the issue but it is safe to try).

*If your HDD isn't a Seagate drive, the program can still scan the surface of the drive, check the sectors and verify media integrity/data corruption. It just won't "necessarily" be able to correct the problem due to the firmware and the way the information is encoded on the drive.*

Step 4) Download and ensure you have the latest drivers/DirectX. Run ATI Tool/Furmark/Geo-Forms Demo/PC Mark Vantage/ or "other" stress test tools to stress test and check for artifacts on the discrete video card and/or onboard chipset if applicable.

*As with your RAM, the freezing could be triggered by trouble reading/writing data to the video card's RAM that normally, isn't affected until "ample" data is being stored. You may also want to try removing the discrete video card altogether, using only the onboard video if applicable; or move the video card into another available PCI-E x16 slot (this is assuming you have your system completely turned off).*

Step 5) Turn the computer completely off and flip the i/o switch (or unplug the power cord) on the back of your PSU if applicable. Remove the side panel of your case. If dusty, (not to be vague or anything, but you will have to use your own judgment or post a picture of your system's "guts"; it's your call) it may be necessary to "carefully" blow out your computer with a can of compressed air (cans of compressed air can typically be purchased at Walmart or your local "brick-and-mortar" PC/electronics store). You may also want to try removing the heat sink and fan from your CPU (I'm assuming your CPU is air-cooled) and check to see if the thermal paste is crusty and needs replacement (I would highly recommend using Arctic Silver 5 if your looking for a premium paste). You may also want to check the south bridge heat sink and fan if applicable. Check to see if any case fans need replacement (doubtful though if the system is only 6 months old) or if any available case fan mounts are open for installation of additional fans.

*Reasons why overheating is not good should be self explanatory.*

Step 6) Enter the BIOS and enable Spread Spectrum Clocking (SSC) to check if this is causing system instability.

*For detailed information on this topic go to: "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spread_spectrum"

Step 7) Run Antivirus/Antimalware Programs to determine if the freezing/BSOD's is software related.

*Here is a list of programs I would highly recommend; all of them are free.

Malwarebytes: "http://malwarebytes.org/mbam.php"

Super Anti-Spyware: "http://superantispyware.com/downloadfile.html?productid..."

Avira Antivirus: "http://download.cnet.com/Avira-AntiVir-Personal-Free-An..."

Avast Antivirus: "http://download.cnet.com/Avast-Free-Antivirus/3000-2239..."

PC Tools Antivirus: "http://www.pctools.com/free-antivirus/download/"

AVG Antivirus: "http://download.cnet.com/AVG-Anti-Virus-Free-Edition/30..."

Combofix: "http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/combofix/how-to-use-com..." (must be ran in safe mode).

You may also try running registry cleaners; backing up your files; doing a repair-install of Windows; running a pre-installed envirionment (e.g. Bart P.E.) via USB flash drive or disc, and moving all your files into a backup folder, then reinstalling Windows and keeping the current filing system in tact as a last resort.


--Anyways, I hope this is helpful to you in some kind of way-- Good Luck :D 
!