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Diagnosing Random Computer Freezing

Hello,

I have been running my home built computer for around a year and a half now. For as long as I can remember this computer has given me problems with random freezing up. It usually never happens more than once a day and some days it never happens at all. I have been unable to find any pattern to the freezing.

The nature of the freezing is the computer will suddenly stop. Mouse will be frozen, any application that is running will freeze, Ctrl + alt + delete does not work etc. The computer does not shut down just remains frozen requiring a hard shut down. I am looking for the best way to go about finding the source of this problem.

Note: I regularly blow out my computer and usually run at good temps so I do not believe overheating is the issue. While gaming and running HW monitor my core temps never pass 55 C and video card never passes 75 C.


My specs are:

O/S: Windows 7 64-bit Professional
CPU: Intel Core i7-930 2.8Ghz @ 4.8GT/s
Motherboard: GigaByte GA-X58A-UD3R
RAM: Corsair Dominator 6GB (3 x 2GB) DDR3
PSU: SeaSonic X750 Gold 750W
GFX: XFX Radeon HD 5870
Display: Dual ASUS 24" 2ms HDMI Widescreen
HDD: Samsung Spinpoint 1TB and Crucial RealSSD C300 128 GB SATA 3 SSD
Case: Antec 902 Black

Thanks in advance!
21 answers Last reply
More about diagnosing random computer freezing
  1. I just ran driveragent and have 4 "out of date" drivers which I am unsure as to whether they are important. The missing drivers include:

    Standard Dual Channel PCI IDE Controller
    Marvell 91xx Config ATA Device
    ATI HDMI Audio
    High Definition Audio Device

    I believe that I installed the latest audio drivers but I was unable to get this error to disappear. I downloaded:

    Realtek Function driver for Realtek Azalia audio chip

    from:

    http://www.gigabyte.com/products/product-page.aspx?pid=3449&dl=1#dl
  2. One thing I just noticed is every time my computer crashes anything plugged into the usb 3.0 ports will act as though it was disconnected. For example when I have my mouse plugged into one of the usb 3.0 slots and my computer crashes the lights on the mouse will go out. When I instead have it plugged into the usb 2.0 slots and my computer freezes the lights on the mouse will stay on. Similar things happen to other devices I may have plugged into the usb 3.0 slots.

    A while back I use to have problems where my usb 3.0 slots would stop working randomly but my computer would not crash. I seem to no longer have that issue but I am still having the issue of my computer freezing.

    Any ideas?
  3. vorce67 said:
    Standard Dual Channel PCI IDE Controller

    Install Intel Management Engine Interface. That got rid of it for me.

    Quote:
    Marvell 91xx Config ATA Device

    Install Marvell controller drivers

    Quote:
    ATI HDMI Audio
    High Definition Audio Device

    This could be linked to the ATI gfx card using HDMI to send audio signals? Update to the latest driver?

    Quote:
    I believe that I installed the latest audio drivers but I was unable to get this error to disappear. I downloaded:

    Realtek Function driver for Realtek Azalia audio chip

    from:

    http://www.gigabyte.com/products/product-page.aspx?pid=3449&dl=1#dl

    I assume this is the latest driver for Win7 x64 dated Jul.8/11? Could be related to the HD Audio Device?


    Regarding random freezes, it could be related to power saving mode in Win7. Change settings for HDDs to sleep: Never. Another suggestion is to ensure you use the Intel SATA 3 ports for the SSD and not the Marvell ports. Also make sure you're using a SATA 3 cable and not SATA 2.

    Also see this thread in regards to the Crucial C300 (it might be related).
    Solution: C300 Disk Freeze-ups in Windows 7 solved for me (I think this is if you have installed the latest Intel RST).

    HTH.

    Edit: made a few 'adjustments' to grammar and adding a tid bit... :P
  4. neograndizer said:
    Install Intel Management Engine Interface. That got rid of it for me.

    Quote:
    Marvell 91xx Config ATA Device


    Install Marvell controller drivers

    Quote:
    ATI HDMI Audio
    High Definition Audio Device


    This could be linked to the ATI gfx card using HDMI to send audio signals? Update to the latest driver?

    Quote:
    I believe that I installed the latest audio drivers but I was unable to get this error to disappear. I downloaded:

    Realtek Function driver for Realtek Azalia audio chip

    from:

    http://www.gigabyte.com/products/product-page.aspx?pid=3449&dl=1#dl


    I assume this it the latest driver for Win7 x64 dated Jul.8/11?

    Could be related to the HD Audio Device?

    Regarding random freezes, it could be related to power saving mode in Win7. Change settings for HDDs to sleep: Never.

    Also see this thread in regards to the Crucial C300 (it might be related).

    Solution: C300 Disk Freeze-ups in Windows 7 solved for me

    I think this is if you have the latest Intel RST installed.



    Thanks for the reply. I disabled the sleep setting of my HDD. I also disabled a power setting called USB Selective suspend setting.

    All drivers are up to date besides the Standard Dual Channel PCI IDE Controller. Any chance you could give me a link to the correct download for this Install Intel Management Engine Interface.
  5. vorce67 said:
    Any chance you could give me a link to the correct download for this Install Intel Management Engine Interface.


    I have an Asus P67 board and it came with it on CD and website.

    Edit: Okay, looked at Intel site and found this:
    http://downloadcenter.intel.com/SearchResult.aspx?lang=eng

    Hopefully this will fix your annoying "Standard Dual Channel PCI IDE Controller".
  6. Just double checked the link and it gives a generic search page.

    So just type "management engine interface" (without the quotes - ;) ) and it should pop up a list. Select Win7 x64 under OS selection and you should be able to narrow down the drivers.

    HTH.
  7. Thanks for the help. I will work on all this and see it it fixes anything. I also have unplugged anything that was plugged into my usb 3.0 slots. Going to see if this helps at all.

    My freezing issue is pretty random so it may take a few days before I know if anything is fixed :)
  8. I thought I may of fixed the problem as I went a number of days without a freeze. However the freezing has returned. Any other suggestions?
  9. I guess this may sound rather dumb, but is sleep mode disabled for the system (as well as hibernate)? Run memtest to see if there's a faulty RAM module?
  10. You can try the instructions here to fix your freezing computer:

    http://www.onlinepcsavior.com/why-does-your-pc-freeze-how-to-stop-your-computer-from-freezing/
  11. neograndizer said:
    I guess this may sound rather dumb, but is sleep mode disabled for the system (as well as hibernate)? Run memtest to see if there's a faulty RAM module?


    Sleep and Hibernate are both turned off. I am in the process of testing each of my three sticks of RAM individually overnight so I can be sure the RAM is good. I will reply when all this is finished.

    Is there any kind of program I can use that will record information about what is happening when my computer freezes? It would be nice to maybe see some log information regarding the freeze.

    I currently have my both my hard drives and dvd drive plugged into three SATA2 slots. I am using the SATA cables that came with my mobo and they are not labeled with a speed and cannot tell if they are SATA 2 or 3. I thought I had read somewhere that the SATA 2 slots can out perform the Marvell ports so I am currently using those. Here is the information from my users manual about the different SATA ports.

    SATA2_0/1/2/3/4/5 (SATA 3Gb/s Connectors, Controlled by ICH10R)

    The SATA connectors conform to SATA 3Gb/s standard and are compatible with SATA 1.5Gb/s stan-dard. Each SATA connector supports a single SATA device. The ICH10R controller supports RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, and RAID 10.

    GSATA2_8/9 (SATA 3Gb/s Connectors, Controlled by GIGABYTE SATA2)

    The SATA connectors conform to SATA 3Gb/s standard and are compatible with SATA 1.5Gb/s standard. Each SATA connector supports a single SATA device. The GIGABYTE SATA2 controller supports RAID 0, RAID 1, and JBOD.

    GSATA3_6/7 (SATA 6Gb/s Connectors, Controlled by Marvell 9128)

    The SATA connectors conform to SATA 6Gb/s standard and are compatible with SATA 3Gb/s and SATA 1.5Gb/s standards. Each SATA connector supports a single SATA device. The Marvell 9128 supports RAID 0 and RAID 1.
  12. neograndizer said:
    I guess this may sound rather dumb, but is sleep mode disabled for the system (as well as hibernate)? Run memtest to see if there's a faulty RAM module?


    I finished running memtest on each stick of RAM and found no errors. I will attempt to test other pieces of hardware as I am still at a loss as to what is causing the crashes.
  13. Here is a SS of my voltages and various other things relating to my hardware. One thing I noticed is the reading of the +12v seems wrong. Not sure on this.


  14. I checked the +12v reading in BIOS and it states 12.3v
  15. I wanted to post here because it seems this is the EXACT problem I am having currently with my new homebuilt PC.

    Like you, the freeze happens seemingly at random and in random intervals - I'm currently using the PC fine and there hasn't been a freeze for a couple of days, but the other day it would freeze up in less than 10 minute intervals.

    Have you had any luck fixing this? It's been driving me insane, as there is no real way to test it (since the freeze seemingly cannot be 'triggered').

    In terms of hardware, the only thing we seem to share is the Samsung HDD. I also had the 'Intel Management Engine Interface' problem and it was through googling with those terms that brought me here. I just managed to install those drivers, which are probably completely unrelated, but we'll see!

    I'm just so worried about this, and I'd be really interested to know if you've made any progress or any steps you've taken! I did think I was making progress when I tried booting into safe mode as well as a clean boot and found that the freezing didn't occur, which made me think that the hardware was working correctly, but due to the fact that I have realised that even in normal mode the computer can go for long periods with no trouble, that testing has ended up coming to nothing.

    Some things I have noticed during my 'freeze-ups':

    - The hard drive makes no read/write sound
    - Any music/audio playing makes a repeated buzzing sound
    - After the freeze is over (after about 1 minute), task manager shows a very sharp spike of CPU (100% on all 4 cores)

    Hope we find a fix for this!
  16. I have had no progress on my freezing issue. It still appears to happen at random usually once in a day but sometimes a couple times in a day or sometimes not for a week. You said your freezing issue fixes itself after a minute? Mine appears to not fix itself and requires a hard shut down.

    Also of note I have every driver up to date and this did not fix the issue. I also have tried most of the suggestions on this forum to no success. It is hard to diagnose since the freeze is random.
  17. vorce67 said:
    I have had no progress on my freezing issue. It still appears to happen at random usually once in a day but sometimes a couple times in a day or sometimes not for a week. You said your freezing issue fixes itself after a minute? Mine appears to not fix itself and requires a hard shut down.

    Also of note I have every driver up to date and this did not fix the issue. I also have tried most of the suggestions on this forum to no success. It is hard to diagnose since the freeze is random.


    My freeze hasn't happened for a while now so I still can't try this, but have you tried pressing the CapsLock key during a freeze (and monitoring the light)? I read somewhere that this may determine whether the issue is related to software or hardware.

    Additionally, does the error occur for you in safe mode/clean boot mode? This may shed further light on the subject.

    And yes, my freeze usually lasts around 60 seconds and then the computer will snap back into life, completely fine and without error message. During the freeze it is evident that the internet has become disconnected (I use a wifi connection) but the internet is always back up when the freeze rights itself.

    Another thought is to try a manual crash dump? I'm not entirely sure how to analyze the results of this but it may give more information for someone else. As I said my error seems to have stopped (temporarily?) and so I'm in a bizarre state of anticipation, wanting the error to occur so I can perform further diagnoses!

    I'd be interested to know if the symptoms of your freeze are similar to those of mine (obviously minus the 'correcting itself' bit).

    Plus, if it is a possible software issue, is there any way you could find out a list of programs that you have running during the freeze? Perhaps we could compare and narrow it down to services or drivers of some sort? I am clutching at straws a little, but every little helps I guess.
  18. The caps locks light does not turn on when my computer freezes and I press the key. I am unable to do anything. Next time it happens I will let it sit there for quite a while and see if anything happens but I am pretty sure it is locked up for good. My keyboard has a red back light and this will not turn off when the computer freezes.

    I have not tried running in safe mode because it can take quite a while for the freeze to happen.

    I looked into creating a manual crash dump but have not done so. I may look into that again.

    I can compile a list of programs being run during the crash. Is there an easy way to do this?

    Thanks
  19. vorce67 said:
    The caps locks light does not turn on when my computer freezes and I press the key. I am unable to do anything. Next time it happens I will let it sit there for quite a while and see if anything happens but I am pretty sure it is locked up for good. My keyboard has a red back light and this will not turn off when the computer freezes.

    I have not tried running in safe mode because it can take quite a while for the freeze to happen.

    I looked into creating a manual crash dump but have not done so. I may look into that again.

    I can compile a list of programs being run during the crash. Is there an easy way to do this?

    Thanks


    Unfortunately I'm not sure of any way to collect running processes during the crash, as you would obviously have to know when the crash was going to happen. A good program for creating a log file of all running processes and services as well as registry changes is HijackThis, but there is no way to manually do a scan during a crash. There may be a way to keep a scheduled scan going which would at least give a rough idea of the programs running? I'm not entirely sure of the best way to proceed on that front.

    Also, I just found this SP1 hotfix for Windows which may help? (http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=2575077) I just installed it myself and will see if it helps (although as you are aware the sporadic nature of this problem renders any formal testing virtually obsolete).
  20. Disable AMD High Definition Audio Device in Device manager, also uninstall ATi HMDI Audio drivers.
    Should fix the problem. If not, also disable High Definition Audio Device.

    Worked for me as I had the exact same problem. I disable everything with audio but my Creative X-Fi Xtreme Gamer Fatal1ty Pro audio card and I never had those freezes anymore.
  21. This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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