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Computer Freezing, possibly a motherboard issue

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October 2, 2011 11:18:11 PM

My computer has a freezing problem, usually occurring during gaming. When it freezes, the screen does not change from the previous frame, and the speakers play loud sounds (possibly the last few milliseconds of audio repeating). The only solution is to do a hard reset of the computer. I believe my motherboard is the problem because everything worked fine until I upgraded my motherboard, CPU, and memory and added an SSD. The SSD is using Smart Response. Memtest goes through a complete run just fine, however since this is an intermittent problem I may try to run it overnight. The BIOS is fully updated. Temps appear fine, as I have more than adequate cooling.

My hardware is as follows (all stock clocks/voltages):
ASUS P8Z68-V
Core i5-2500K
G.Skill Ripjaws DDR3-1333MHz
Radeon 5850
OCZ Vertex Plus 60GB
Seagate 7200.11 1.5TB Hard Drive
CM Hyper 212+ Cooler

Thanks in advance for any help you can provide!
October 2, 2011 11:25:40 PM

Hi. What utility do you use to display the temperatures WHILE you are playing?
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October 2, 2011 11:35:21 PM

Thanks for your quick reply. I don't record them while I'm playing, but I use Core Temp and Prime95 to test the "maximum" temperature. And playing a game should not make as much heat as Prime95, in my experience. If I remember correctly, the temps never went over 70C.

An additional piece of information: When I restarted after the previous freezing, many files were corrupted and I'm currently running chkdsk to fix them.
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Related resources
October 2, 2011 11:42:57 PM

Those are very good utilities to stress the processors, but not the remaining system. Try to run SpeedFan before playing the game and check the temperatures. Then play the game and switch to the utility from time to time to get any spikes. The processor might be fine, but what about the memory, chipset, etc. Getting those temperatures while playing would be my first try.
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October 2, 2011 11:51:04 PM

I see what you mean. Asus has its PC Probe software that *might* give me even better temperature readings, especially for the mobo and RAM. Does SpeedFan have logging? That way if the system crashes, I can look back at the temps. Also, do you know of any programs I can use to simulate a game, but goes automatically? I know benchmarks like 3DMark do this, but they don't loop, at least in the free version.
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October 3, 2011 12:10:04 AM

Thanks. I'll look into benchmark loops, it looks like the full version of 3DMark 11 has this feature, but I'm not sure if I really want to pay $20 for it...
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October 3, 2011 12:19:40 AM

Welcome. Please post back with your results
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October 3, 2011 12:28:18 AM

The problem with this is that it's not a consistent problem, sometimes it takes minutes or hours or doesn't occur at all.
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October 3, 2011 12:38:51 AM

I had a similar problem; it just crashes when it wants to crash. It was a short. Try reseatting all components back to their places.
Another way to make sure it´s temperature related, open the case, put a really big fanthose household fans) directly into it, and try playing like that. Leave it overnight if you see it still hasn´t crashed. A friend did that until he got a better cooling system.
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October 3, 2011 12:49:37 AM

One thing I keep thinking about is that when I installed the CPU cooler, it seemed like I may have overtightened the screws, because the paint on the PCB came up a little bit. When I realized this I stopped doing this, and you would think that no important wiring would be in such a place, but it keeps popping up in my mind. Anyone have any insight into this?
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October 3, 2011 1:03:24 AM

After you try to troubleshoot as much as you can on the software side, I would go back to the hardware and reinstall that heatsink. Upon removal, carefully clean it and check on the PCB if there´s any of the copper conducts/traces/lines that´ve been compromised.
Also, careful with ESD.
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October 3, 2011 1:15:54 AM

Thanks for the advice. If I do notice that there are problems, are there ways to repair them, or am I out of luck?
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October 3, 2011 1:23:26 AM

I had 2 different builds that I used the same Graphics card. A evga 280. The first computer froze in the exact same way you are describing. On this computer 2600k Msi GD65 the screen would start to show artifacts just before it would lock up with a sound loop. Either way, try a different graphics card if you have one. BTW I sent that card back to EVGA and it was defective.
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October 3, 2011 1:24:55 AM

If the PCB got compromised, I would take it to a shop to get it looked up. They might fix it by tracing back the lines, but no guarantee, since that mobo might use different layers on the PCB. Do your best reading off those temperatures on the background even if it takes hours.
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October 3, 2011 1:38:27 AM

I would have considered the graphics card, but it worked fine in my previous build, so I don't see any reason why that would be it. I also don't experience any artifacts. And hopefully it doesn't come to that :\
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October 3, 2011 1:55:45 AM

rjkucia said:
My computer has a freezing problem, usually occurring during gaming. When it freezes, the screen does not change from the previous frame, and the speakers play loud sounds (possibly the last few milliseconds of audio repeating). The only solution is to do a hard reset of the computer. I believe my motherboard is the problem because everything worked fine until I upgraded my motherboard, CPU, and memory and added an SSD. The SSD is using Smart Response. Memtest goes through a complete run just fine, however since this is an intermittent problem I may try to run it overnight. The BIOS is fully updated. Temps appear fine, as I have more than adequate cooling.

My hardware is as follows (all stock clocks/voltages):
ASUS P8Z68-V
Core i5-2500K
G.Skill Ripjaws DDR3-1333MHz
Radeon 5850
OCZ Vertex Plus 60GB
Seagate 7200.11 1.5TB Hard Drive
CM Hyper 212+ Cooler

Thanks in advance for any help you can provide!


Hi,

I had and identical problem with this board. Drives/Cards/other periphery was similar but not the same. I ended up ditching for an ASRock Z68 Pro Gen 3. The ASRock board Works like a champ with no lockups or blue screens. Before I ditched the Asus board, I had narrowed the issue down to the Virtu and Intel HD drivers that were causing instability.
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October 3, 2011 2:06:17 AM

Personally, I adore this board (except for this problem). If it's just a Virtu/Intel HD issue, that would be great! I don't even have any software that uses Quick Sync, so unless the library of software that utilizes it expands I would have no problem disabling it. Did you completely uninstall both drivers, or just disable the integrated graphics?
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a c 207 V Motherboard
October 3, 2011 3:38:23 AM

I would suggest running OCCT's CPU and GPU tests and monitoring both temps and voltages.....if it crashes, you can view the graphs of both.
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October 3, 2011 7:54:39 PM

OCCT's GPU test caused a crash. GPU temps were about 82C. I disabled the integrated graphics and uninstalled both Virtu and the Intel driver, and we'll see if that helps.
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October 3, 2011 8:03:20 PM

Good call;Nice utility. Please make sure to disable those components one by one and testing at each attempt. Disabling all at once might fix it, but then you won´t know which one was the culprit.
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October 3, 2011 11:18:48 PM

This time, an hour of OCCT on both CPU and GPU resulted in no crashes. GPU temp his around 85C, CPU was below 60. Now I'll try 3DMark11 on loop and see how that goes.
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October 3, 2011 11:42:34 PM

Hey all,

Just wanted to get into this discussion - My build is displaying very similar if not identical problems. When I play Battlefield Bad Company 2 for what seems to be a random duration (10 min to 2 hours), my computer will freeze up. The screen shows the last screenshot that was present, and a sound loop plays that sounds like a machine gun almost. Hard reset required. Interestingly enough, this has also happened while my computer is idle, running iTunes.

My Specs:
ASUS P6T Deluxe V2
XFX 6950
CMPSU-850TX 850W
Intel Core i7-920
CORSAIR XMS3 6GB
Windows 7 64 bit

So far, what I have tried is this:

Updating graphics driver

I have run memtest86+ overnight. About 7 passes, without a single problem.

I have changed BIOS to manual clock the memory to rated specs (1600, 9-9-9-24), and tried X.M.P settings

Tried to disable my onboard sound via BIOS - I am using the sound output via HDMI on the Graphics card.

Underclocking graphics card via ATI suite.

I have run FurMark 3D to stress test the graphics card and I have run that program for 2 hours without any problems.

I have also logged temperatures and computer state when a crash happens using AIDA64. Temperatures are fine I think. Graphics card is about 82 at max, I can't remember the exact numbers, but I can post the log if it would help. I really don't think this is the issue since I have had this happen during idle.

I am still not sure if this problem is software or hardware??? I have a separate hard drive running Ubuntu, but I don't really have any graphically intense software to test. And haven't been able to reproduce the crash in Ubuntu as regularly as I can in windows. I have only had my system crash once in Ubuntu.


At this point, I am kinda stuck. If anyone has any ideas about what I could try I would be VERY grateful.

Thank You in advance!
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October 4, 2011 12:00:07 AM

Try OCCT, got my system to crash better than FurMark. For me I'm 99% sure it's related to the integrated graphics (whether it's the hardware, driver, or Virtu, I'll figure out later), but you don't have that. But it's most likely software related, at least in my case. Does this occur in other games?
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October 4, 2011 12:28:42 AM

I think we are entering another side here with the "idle" fact. If it also crashed while on idle, then I would check Power Management to configure it for Full Performance disabling any device who would want to turn off while not being used. If you use AVG Antivirus, check that "Game Mode".
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October 4, 2011 1:14:08 AM

@rjkucia - I will definitely try OCCT and see what happens. Let me know if you do find out for sure that it is the integrated graphics. @jmartinexmp As for antivirus I have Kaspersky and I will check Power Management to see if something funky is set there.
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October 4, 2011 2:55:53 AM

Problem is confirmed to occur when integrated graphics are enabled in BIOS, does not occur when it is disabled. Anyone know the reason why this might be?
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October 4, 2011 3:17:50 AM

Nevermind, the problem has occurred again when the graphics are disabled.
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October 4, 2011 3:36:53 AM

The problem may be related to the Asus "Performance" setting in the BIOS. Not entirely sure what it does, but disabling it has seemed to help.
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October 4, 2011 4:04:57 AM

Older motherboards would have that option as Performance/Compatible. I always left it in Compatible mode. But I never really got to tweak around with Performance option. Keep monitoring and compare your new temps results with previous ones to see if there´s any significant change.
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October 4, 2011 3:35:02 PM

Actually there's a Power Saving mode, a Normal mode, and an Optimal (not performance) mode. It looks like it automatically changes your BIOS settings depending on what is chosen. Optimal *might* automatically turn on the integrated graphics, but don't quote me on that; I couldn't find any documentation as to what it actually does.
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October 4, 2011 3:55:21 PM

I don´t know if different versions of Windows have different names for their power plans. (Mine: W7-32bit, I have Power Saver, Balanced, and High Performance). The Performance i talked about it´s the one from the BIOS on CPU modes (Compatible/Performance).

In power options, I would choose High Performance, then I would disable any Sleep/Suspend/TurnOff on devices (e.g Never Turn Off Hard Disk, 0 minutes... Disable Wake timers... Disable USB selective suspend setting...)
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October 4, 2011 3:57:28 PM

...For both guys: Disabling any Power Management, S1/S2/S3 modes, etc... from the BIOS might help confirm that the problem is in that area of ACPI.
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October 4, 2011 4:04:55 PM

jmartinezmp said:
I don´t know if different versions of Windows have different names for their power plans. (Mine: W7-32bit, I have Power Saver, Balanced, and High Performance). The Performance i talked about it´s the one from the BIOS on CPU modes (Compatible/Performance).

In power options, I would choose High Performance, then I would disable any Sleep/Suspend/TurnOff on devices (e.g Never Turn Off Hard Disk, 0 minutes... Disable Wake timers... Disable USB selective suspend setting...)


I found these settings in the BIOS, I didn't change anything in Windows. This BIOS has a simple mode and an advanced mode. In the simple mode, you have the three options I spoke of, along with a couple temperature and fan monitors. In the advanced mode, you have access to all the normal BIOS settings. I have had no problems with sleep/suspend/turnoff/etc.
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a b V Motherboard
October 4, 2011 5:07:36 PM

I know you guys are going threw step by step finding a solution to your problem. I did however wanted to kickin the door a little and say i fixed my freezing game issue (games were Bad Company 2 and Battlefield 2). The initial problem was exactly the same: screen locked up, sound looped the last few miliseconds of sound until i had to hard reboot the machine.

Turns out it was sound. My Asus mobo has the integrated Realtek HD audio (which driver are up to date). To test it, i disabled the onboard audio in BIOS and the Games ran just fine for hours. Re-enabling the sound caused it to crash again within 20minutes. I simply picked up the creative USB X-fi card (i have a micro-ATX gaming case, didnt want my graphics card crammed next to a sound card) for $40 and sound worked great.

I did skim this forum post, so if sound was also mention and tested already, then i apologize. But hope it helps someone with game freezing issues and searching for an answer on this forum.

~Atkins
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a c 716 V Motherboard
October 4, 2011 5:24:51 PM

A couple of things to check: 1. PSU, and 2. BIOS = AHCI *and* Start = 0; see -> http://support.microsoft.com/kb/922976 If the PSU is older (capacitor aging) if power is lacking at 'Peak' then you can get similar problems.

Next, look at the Event Manager and look of Critical errors then post them here.
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a b V Motherboard
October 4, 2011 5:52:05 PM

If the user is using IDE on his current OS - wouldnt changing it to AHCI possibly Blue Screen on startup?
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a c 716 V Motherboard
October 4, 2011 5:57:37 PM

NO - IF the OP uses Fix It then it'll be set properly. BIOS = IDE <=> Start = 3 <or> BIOS = AHCI <=> Start = 0.

Intel® Z68 chipset :
2 x SATA 6Gb/s port(s), gray
4 x SATA 3Gb/s port(s), blue = SSD + HDD

Also, the OCZ Vertex Plus OCZSSD2-1VTXPL60G have had many issues and it might be the root cause. Further, IF SRT is improperly setup then that too can cause a variety of problems. Nice Article -> http://www.anandtech.com/show/4329/intel-z68-chipset-sm...

Next, use d-Mode with the HD 5850; see {nice guide} -> http://download.asrock.com/manual/virtu/Z68%20Pro3/Engl...
BIOS for d-Mode
Initiate Graphic Adapter -> PCIE/PCI ; otherwise BSOD
iGPU Memory 64MB ; or more
iGPU Multi-Monitor -> Enabled ; required

IMO - IF OCZ Vertex Plus OCZSSD2-1VTXPL60G is being used then RMA the SSD.
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October 4, 2011 6:19:22 PM

So I have done some tinkering. I pulled up the event viewer and here is what I found ...

Critical
Kernal-Power
EventID: 41
Task Category: 63

The system has rebooted without cleanly shutting down first. This error could be caused if the system stopped responding, crashed, or lost power unexpectedly.

... I had some 35 events that were identical to this that have time stamps exactly when my computer crashed.

Here is some of my bios settings:

HD: IDE

and under power:
Suspend Mode - Auto
Repost Video on S3 resume - No
ACPI 2.0 Support - Disabled
ACPI APIC Support - Enabled
Restore on AC power loss - power off
Power on by [various devices] - Disabled

I changed some of my power options to disable all power saving and sleeping...
On my next run of BFBC2 I got a black screen and my computer restarted by itself - vastly different than the previous stagnant screen shot and a sound loop with a hard reset required.

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a c 716 V Motherboard
October 4, 2011 6:33:35 PM

EventID: 41 and Task Category: 63 is a 'Sudden Shutdown'.

First, for now, BIOS Load Defaults (Gigabyte Load Optimized), set AHCI and required changes i.e. CPU Fan management. Boot.

Run Fix It -> http://support.microsoft.com/kb/922976

Download the Latest Driver(s) from the MOBO website, and Uninstall ALL of the Utilities that are BIOS invasive i.e. ASUS AI Suite or Easy Tune6; they're all crap and cause tons of problems! Boot.

Next, in Windows run MSCONFIG -> select Diagnostic Mode, Boot and Re-Install all of the latest Drivers. Boot.

Test

IF this solves the problems then it's/was OS related.
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October 4, 2011 6:47:33 PM

So ACHI should be set how I have it? ACPI 2.0 Support - Disabled, and ACPI APIC Support - Enabled. Should I leave the HD on IDE mode or should I change it to ACHI?

Just for the record... OCCT caused a crash within 60 seconds.
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a c 716 V Motherboard
October 4, 2011 6:58:04 PM

^Read above; BIOS and etc.

Q - What PSU, and what are your FULL specs.

BTW - you need to start your own Thread. Your situation and the OP's will confuse people.
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October 4, 2011 7:15:39 PM

Ok. Sorry about any thread confusion. I will start another.

And I have this PSU: Corsair CMPSU-850TX 850W

Also I loaded default BIOS and set AHCI mode however windows would not load, I changed it back to IDE. Would running the Fixit program before changing to AHCI mode fix this? And may I ask why you think that the HD would cause such a crash? Full specs are these:

ASUS P6T Deluxe V2
XFX 6950
CMPSU-850TX 850W
Intel Core i7-920 @ 2.66
CORSAIR XMS3 6GB
Western Digital Velociraptor HD
Windows 7 64 bit
I think I am missing something....
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October 4, 2011 7:41:30 PM

I'm in RAID mode, as that's required for SRT to function. I also considered it possibly being sound-related, as the problem only seems to happen when sound is playing. However we haven't mentioned this before. If my problems come back even with the current settings, that will be the next thing I try.
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a c 716 V Motherboard
October 4, 2011 7:53:37 PM

rjkucia said:
I'm in RAID mode

Bingo! The BIOS even with RAID must have Windows Start = 0 = AHCI/RAID. Also, keep the SATA together 4 x SATA 3Gb/s port(s), blue = SSD + HDD

Here's mine in RAID (Start = 0)


Also, if the Audio problem persists, pull the HD Audio headers and don't use the AC'97 headers.
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October 4, 2011 8:35:29 PM

Where in the registry is that? And I believe I am using that, I'll double check in case I'm not though.
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a c 716 V Motherboard
October 4, 2011 9:35:08 PM

As I posted above, Run Fix It -> http://support.microsoft.com/kb/922976
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\Msahci
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\IastorV
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October 4, 2011 10:11:35 PM

Also, the OCZSSD2-1VTXPL60G is the model used. But I do not believe this is causing the problem.
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!