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Computer freeze ups

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July 29, 2011 3:52:19 AM

Hello Tom's Hardware community!

I've been having PC freeze up issues dating back to about a month now. My PC has fairly new hardware (< 1 yr ago) and only recently has been having freeze ups generally after running an hour. The freeze up requires a restart of the computer and usually goes away until I shut down the computer and start it up again where the same problem will occur. Before I thought it would only happen when I'm running programs or games, but even when I'm idle it sometimes locks up.

My current system specs:
OS: Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
CPU: Intel I3 540
Mobo: Intel H55TC
PSU: Seasonic 660 Watt 80 Plus Gold
Graphics XFX 9800 GTX+
Memory: Corsair Tri-channel 6gig RAM @ 1033 Mhz
HDD: WD SE 80 GB (Primary)
WD Black Caviar 500 GB (Secondary) both via 3gb SATA

I've tried fiddling around with my system by disconnecting the secondary HDD thinking that may be the issue but came back negative. I've also ran Windows 7 memory test to check if RAM was the issue, it came back clean. I'm wondering if it is even the harddrive that is causing the lock ups or possibly a faulty motherboard or voltage problems.

I'm leaning towards a possible voltage issue with memory that may cause freeze ups. The latest upgrade in my rig is the PSU. The Seasonic replaced an old Ultra 500 watt that ran my old computer more than 5 years ago. Could changing PSU's cause voltage issues? Are there any programs I can run to see what caused the freeze ups? Should I try removing a RAM stick downgrading the memory down to 4 gigs?

More about : computer freeze ups

July 29, 2011 4:57:51 AM

I didn't notice you saying anything about checking temps for your components...have you? If you haven't, there's a really good possibility that your CPU is overheating and causing the shutdown. That would also explain why it's shutting down even on idle. Try downloading this.

If temps are flirting around 70-80c+, there's your problem. To fix it, you'll have to pop open the PC, remove the CPU fan and reapply thermal paste to the top of the CPU.

Either way though, download HWMonitor and take a screen, upload it to this thread, and we'll go from there.
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July 30, 2011 12:25:11 AM

I am using HD Tune Pro for monitoring my HDD's. My primary idles at around 45 C and while running intensive programs it shoots up to around 52-53 C. While the secondary runs at 40 C and shoots up to around 45 C while running intensive programs. I don't know if this means anything but when I hit the "Health" tab I do get a warning status for both HDD's. They are both under the same "ID" value: (C7) Ultra DMA CRC Error Count, Current: 200, Worse: 172, Threshold: 0, Data: 1126, Status: Warning. I don't know if that could be causing the freeze ups.

To answer your question I did download the HWMonitor and the intel core temps are running at 55-56 C for core #0 and 53 C for core #2. So both cores are within acceptable ranges.
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July 30, 2011 1:55:47 AM

Hmmm, well it doesn't look to be a heating issue. Try removing all of your RAM sticks except for one and make sure it's in slot 0 (the one closest to the CPU). Boot up and see if that does it.

Also, are you connected a network at all times? Try disabling your wireless/unplug the ethernet cable. See if that fixes it. If that doesn't work, go into your BIOS on startup and choose "Restore to default settings". It should be just on the right when you first enter the BIOS.

And if that doesn't take of it...

Go into Device Manager - Start>Control Panel>System and Security>Device Manager - and see if you have any conflicts with your hardware. If there are any blue/yellow circles next to anything, take a screen and post it.

The fact that the problem occurs on first boot, but then goes away (most of the time) on second boot is somewhat strange to me and makes me wonder if it's an application that runs on startup. For now though, try those possible solutions.

Don't worry, we'll get this taken care of. :sol: 
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July 30, 2011 2:38:44 AM


http://postimage.org/image/6hoj0bhg/full/ URL for event logger through Windows.

Kernel - Power shows up in the Critical error on the exact times when the system freezes up.

Also, I had a weird installation of Windows 7 Ultimate. I had the Upgrade version to Ultimate which required a previous version of any Windows OS. I had a bootleg Win 7 from China so I used that as the initiate installation and then upgraded. Thing is, when I go to Computer Management > Disk Management. I notice the "4th" disk labeled in Chinese and it had in parentheses: "Primary Partition, Active", so I made changes to it and made my C: drive (code name: Alpha) as the Active. My computer still crashed and it followed up with a Windows 7 unable to load. I had to boot through CD. So that did not fix it. No, I did not delete that Chinese disk partition, just removed its active status.

As for the RAM suggestion. I did run the Windows Memory Test and it came back clean, I will try running with just 1 stick of RAM though I doubt that is the problem, at least that is not indicated by the Windows Error Log. I'll do that tomorrow late at night since I will be busy.

Thanks for the help thus far!
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July 30, 2011 9:32:41 AM

This is a very widespread problem, but there's yet to be a general proven solution. A lot of the times though it's caused from conflicts with drivers. Try taking a look at Device Manager again and see if you have two audio drivers. If so, disable the one that you could go without. If you've never used CCleaner, I'd recommend it as well.

Also, run cmd. Enter the command sfc /scannow. If you're not familiar, that'll scan all of Windows essential files for errors. If any are detected, it replaces the file(s). And enter following command as well: chkdsk [drive name]: /f

Except, when entering that command, take away the braces and for "drive", put the letter of the drive. This will check each sector of the specified HDD for integrity. If there are bad sectors, it'll attempt to fix them. Run for both of your drives. Take a screen of what the reports say for each if you don't mind.

...

Since there's no minidump created it makes troubleshooting this issue a real pain in the a** and most every suggested solution a shot in the dark, kind of. The fact that you didn't start out with a legitimate version of Windows could also play a huge part. Do you have access to a more, reliable, version now?

One last thing...have you made any hardware changes recently? Or rather, what was the last piece of hardware you installed/changed?
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July 30, 2011 2:13:29 PM

To answer your question about the last hardware changes. The most recent swap up was the power supply unit. The PSU should not be faulty, it's one of the most expensive power supplies out there. I really did not hold back on the PSU as my previous one made noise like a jet as soon as it started up.
http://www.seasonicusa.com/NEW_X-series_560-660-760-850... is the website.

I haven't installed any new drivers ever since the freeze up started.

My current version of Windows 7 Ultimate is legit.

I will run those commands when I get back home and post screenshots.
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July 31, 2011 4:07:06 AM

I downloaded CCleaner and ran the program. It deleted around 1500 mb worth of items. Then, I ran the command sfc /scannow and after about 15-20 minutes of scanning, it came back clean.

When I tried to run chkdsk, only my secondary HDD could be processed, the primary (C:)  came up with "The type of the file system is NTFS. Cannot lock current drive. Chkdsk cannot run because the volume is in use by another process. Would you like to schedule this volume to be checked the next time the system restarts? <Y/N>. The secondary HDD came back clean.

I would also like to mention that even though C: failed to run, I did hit "Y" for a checkup during restart before I took the screen shot, it never ran chkdsk.

http://postimage.org/image/3092dxmx0/ is the CMD line.
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July 31, 2011 11:09:06 AM

hello buddy

usually pc crashing and restarting causes one of this problems

1. Bad memory module
2. Psu not enough power
3. hdd bad sector
4. software problem
5. wrong bios setting
6. wrong system setting

your psu is very capable powering your cpu so dont think about the psu.
the problem is your memory, the intel h55tc mboard requires a memory specs of 1066-1333mhz.
try getting 1066 or 1333mhz memory module.
but try this maybe it could help. maybe the bios setup has an error, try restarting your pc and on blackscreen loading press F2 until bios setting appears,
on bios setting press F9 to load bios default and select yes. then press F10 and yes to save and exit the bios.
if it still crashes maybe a software issue is causing it, try reformatting the pc and i suggest make your 500gb your primary.
if still crashes then i suggest replace your memory module.
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August 10, 2011 2:38:04 AM

My Corsair 6gig (3 x 2gig) memory are running at 1333 Mhz. However, they're tri-channel and my mobo only supports dual-channel. Is that possible for conflict? I did a Microsoft Mem Test and it came back clean. I still think there's something going on with Flash whenever I use this computer, my computer seems to freeze on Flash based programs (other than YouTube) more often (wimp.com / grooveshark.com). That's my only real update right now.

I had two version of Flash (11 and 10) installed. When I deleted 11 my system didn't freeze for a while, then two nights ago it started freezing up like crazy (4 times in 1.5 hours). Now it's back to the old routine, at least 1 freeze up per start up.
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August 10, 2011 8:20:08 AM

i dont think its the memory, your memory is okay, tri channel means it has 6 slots, 1 memory channel means channel A and B, channel 2 is channel C and D, and 3 is channel E, and F, while dual channel means it has 4 slots from channel A to D. i had a core i3 before and it has 8gig, all 4 slots has a 2gb kingston 1333mhz and it runs 6months without a single freezing until i upgraded my pc . i think its your system that is causing it, try reformatting your pc it might solve it before testing the hardwares.
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