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Freezing but not sure why

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August 22, 2010 6:21:57 AM

Hey guys, I've been a long time member of other electronics forums over the years but never really visited this place much. Since most of them are dying out and this one still seems to be going strong I figured it was time for a change.

Anyway, I'm in the Navy and built my own computer. Had its ups and downs but most recently it was working really well. I went out on a 2 week underway with my ship and when I came back my computer was messed up. No one touched it but now it's started locking up on me. It doesn't unfreeze.

Here are the steps I've taken to try and fix the problem:

1. I cleaned the entire computer physically, inside and out, removing any trace of dust and wiped down each fan blade myself.

2. Ran anti-virus, anti-spyware using upgraded versions of BitDefender and Spybot.

3. Updated my video card's driver and any other drivers I thought might be out of date. I do this manually as I don't know any really reliable programs so maybe I've missed something.

4. Ran Windows Memory Diagnostics to check the condition of my RAM and it found no errors.

5. I've used programs like SpeedFan and the computer's own temperature reading on my case to see what might be overheating. While the GPU is running warmer than normal, nothing is TOO hot. On freezing the computer is never running hotter than 30 Celsius.


While doing this has helped a bit, it's still freezing. I don't know why. I'm hoping for some opinions.

I'm thinking Overheating is still a primary concern for me. I live in San Diego and it's very warm here right now, and obviously since I was gone I wasn't able to keep my place as cool as I'd like it for using electronics (especially with no A/C!). The computer has two case fans and I'm using Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro inside, but nothing really advanced in the way of cooling. Still, this was enough for it to work without freezing before I left.

More about : freezing

August 22, 2010 7:39:06 AM

post your specs - that'll help a lot

-initially i would suggest booting to bios and resetting to defaults

-then if that doesnt help get back to the bios and try disabling most of you onboard devices - like extra usb controlers...

you might have had a surge that did some damage to you r power supply while you were away

good luck
August 22, 2010 7:42:56 AM

These are the specs for the system in question:


CPU: Intel Core 2 Quad Q9450

Video card: EVGA GTX 280

Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-EP35-DS4 LGA 775 Intel P35 ATX

RAM: Corsair Dominator 4GB DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066

Hard Drive: Western Digital Cavier SE16 750GB 7200 RPM SATA

CD ROM: Lite-On 20X DVD+R DVD Burner

Power Supply: PC Power and Cooling Silencer 500W ATX12V/EPS12V
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August 22, 2010 10:20:59 AM

TheMindKiller said:
Hey guys, I've been a long time member of other electronics forums over the years but never really visited this place much. Since most of them are dying out and this one still seems to be going strong I figured it was time for a change.

Anyway, I'm in the Navy and built my own computer. Had its ups and downs but most recently it was working really well. I went out on a 2 week underway with my ship and when I came back my computer was messed up. No one touched it but now it's started locking up on me. It doesn't unfreeze.

Here are the steps I've taken to try and fix the problem:

1. I cleaned the entire computer physically, inside and out, removing any trace of dust and wiped down each fan blade myself.

2. Ran anti-virus, anti-spyware using upgraded versions of BitDefender and Spybot.

3. Updated my video card's driver and any other drivers I thought might be out of date. I do this manually as I don't know any really reliable programs so maybe I've missed something.

4. Ran Windows Memory Diagnostics to check the condition of my RAM and it found no errors.

5. I've used programs like SpeedFan and the computer's own temperature reading on my case to see what might be overheating. While the GPU is running warmer than normal, nothing is TOO hot. On freezing the computer is never running hotter than 30 Celsius.


While doing this has helped a bit, it's still freezing. I don't know why. I'm hoping for some opinions.

I'm thinking Overheating is still a primary concern for me. I live in San Diego and it's very warm here right now, and obviously since I was gone I wasn't able to keep my place as cool as I'd like it for using electronics (especially with no A/C!). The computer has two case fans and I'm using Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro inside, but nothing really advanced in the way of cooling. Still, this was enough for it to work without freezing before I left.



Well now,, you have done everything that could be expected, although you might consider running memtest
just to be sure of your ram????,,, and,, even though you have an excellent psu consider the following, remove 1 stick of ram and disconnect the dvd, if she does not freeze then you know that the psu needs replacing, that video card needs a lot of juice, the only other thing that comes to mind is to breadboard the mobo, just for easy access ,,but ????,also consider the following::: go to my computer/control panel/system/advanced
go down to startup and recovery, and turn on,send administrative alert, maybe you will get lucky and windoze will give you a load of gobbledey gook to figure out that may give some indication as to what is what.:) 
August 22, 2010 3:23:27 PM

The Minimum Recommended System Power for Gtx 280 is 550w psu !
August 23, 2010 2:41:32 AM

kikireeki said:
The Minimum Recommended System Power for Gtx 280 is 550w psu !


Yah, but I've never really had a problem with it before. It was just fine before I left, working at a top notch capacity.

It's not like the rest of the system is super power hungry or anything.



So, I think it might be a software issue. Today I was playing Starcraft to see if it would freeze and i played for a good long while (4 games) and nothing happened. Then, not 10 minutes after I quit the game and opened uTorrent and Firefox the thing froze on me again. I've always had a lot of problems with Firefox, it eats memory and the add-ons never seem to function right and all kinds of things, but it might be uTorrent causing the problems. I'm going to have to reinstall it to see.
August 23, 2010 3:18:33 PM

if you want to be truly sure your psu is up to snuff - run prime 95 and furmark at the same time for a few hours

also if there are signs of it locking up only when you start accessing your network heavily (running utorrent / firefox are indicative of this) you may want to reinstall network/ lan/ wireless drivers (whatever you have the internet jacked into) - did you try my previous suggestions?

but my guess would be the psu

power source quality from a wall socket can vary depending on where you live and how old the home your living in is - even if it was fine before - your ps may not be getting "good" power now as it is barely getting the minimums for your system when trying to draw that 500 - lower power psus are cheap and refundable if you so decide its not the problem

500 watts shouldnt be a big deal - but as i, and kikireeki mentioned, if any hardware is at fault at all - thats where it might be...

does the locking up include a blue screen?
August 24, 2010 2:40:47 PM

Yes, I tried some of your suggestions and the others people mentioned but nothing really affected my system for better or worse. The BIOS isn't that far off from the default settings anyway, just enough to do what I wanted it to do cause I was too afraid to change too much, lol.

I will take a look at the network drivers and see if that's where the problem is. Is there any way to test the network drivers or ethernet port or anything to see if that's the weakness?

If it is the PSU, I will run some tests like Prime95 like you suggested. Replacing the power supply would be easy so I would rather hope that is the issue. I mean hey, it's only money.
August 28, 2010 1:46:03 PM

You can test the drivers by disabling them the integrated nic in the bios under integrated peripherals or something similar sounding, as i said in my previous post, it would behoove you to disable all or most and test to see if those components (including your nic) are causing the problem and enable them after testing without em in a typical gaming session.

About replacing the PSU - its pretty much a win win if you brick n mortar a better psu, because you can test it and return it if the problem persists even with the better psu.
!