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Computer keeps freezing

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December 2, 2011 4:56:19 PM

So i built this computer over a year ago but just this past summer i decided to upgrade my videocard from a xfx 4770 to a sapphire 6870. Shortly after i left for college and since ive been here my computer has been freezing. Games like crysis, battlefield bad co. 2, and fallout new vegas. I dont really know why the programs are freezing. in BFBC2, from the main menu, without being in any games, if i changed the graphics from high to advanced the game would freeze right then and there. i dont get any blue screens, i usually just end up closing the program. I dont even know if my video card is the problem. i know a lot of people say its the drivers, delete the old ones, blah blah blah. but when i got my new 6870 i wiped my computer clean and reinstalled windows at the same time. The temperatures seem fine and in most cases seem to be on the lower side. I had been getting other weird issues too but they havnt happened in a few weeks. When my comp goes into hibernate sometimes it wont turn back on. pretting the keyboard or mouse or the power button wouldnt wake it back up. i would end up unplugging it for soem time and trying again later and it would work...and it would resume windows as if nothing happened. Also, i had my CPU overclocked to 3.7ghz and it was fine for a while but around the time i started getting the weird startup issues the overclock started failing(when i first OCd i ran stress tests and everything was fine) i brought it back down to 3.3ghz. and within the past week the 3.3 oc failed and i had to bring it back to its original value of 3.1 ghz. im really at a loss of what the issue could be and im on the verge of getting a new PSU but i want to make sure i need it first.

heres my build:
corsair 500w
amd phenom II x2 550 @ 3.1ghz
4 gigs of gskill ram
sapphire radeon 6870
3 HDDs
1 dvd drive
bunch of fans

More about : computer freezing

a c 78 B Homebuilt system
December 2, 2011 5:25:03 PM

Without looking at your computer's parts first, my gut feeling is that it is a bad PSU.

Now that I looked at it and saw that it is a Corsair 500w, my gut reaction is kinda scaled back some. Still, it could very easily be the problem.

I need to know more about your power supply (Exact model, how old, usage patterns) and your cooling solution (number of case fans, brands, oritentation, etc).

Also, just to be clear on this... You did say that you got the new card, replaced the other one with it, then blew away windows and reinstalled it, correct? As in not in some different order? Just double checking.

Lastly, what parts, if any, do you have that are comparable to your current parts that you can use to test things with?

- Edit - Don't be stingy with environmental information too. Is it dusty around the PC? Is anything that makes a lot of heat nearby? Is it inside a closed space where it is likely that exhaust heat would be cycled back into the intake? Anything you can give me on that stuff would be great. If the computer is usually on when people vacuum the area then dust could get kicked up and sucked into the intake. Anything that might affect the intake/exhaust is fair game.
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December 2, 2011 5:35:35 PM

Its a Corsair CX500 that i bought from newegg in august 2011. not sure what you mean by ussage patterns. i use my computer daily. before i had issues it would hibernate after like 2 hours of being idle. since ive started having issues i turned hibernate off (since i cant turn it back on once it hibernates) and the computer stays on 24/7 and i restart it about once a week. As for Cooling i have an Antec 300. there are 2x 120mm fans at the front for hard drives. there is another 120mm fan at the back of the case, and yet another 120mm fan on the side cover, and 1 last 140mm fan on the top of the case. for the CPU i have a corsair A50 which has 1x 120mm fan on it. then its just 1 fan on the video card and 1 fan on the PSU.

When i got the new video card i also bought the corsair CX500. the process was pretty much this: turned computer off. pulled out old video card and old power supply, installed new video card and new power supply. booted from windows 7 cd and wiped the drives clean. reinstalled windows.

Everything in my computer are the original parts from when i first build the system. the ONLY things that changed are i had the 4770 card and a BFG 550w PSU, both of these were removed and replaced with the 6870 and the CX500. there was nothing wrong with the parts i took out and i ended up selling them to a good friend who still uses them now. Please dont ask why i went from a BFG550 to a corsair 500....its a long and useless story.

Not sure if its worth noting but im like the biggest fan of not getting updates and drivers. i know it sounds crazy but if it isnt broken i don't try to fix it. With that noted, i pretty much have drivers and updates to make things work and thats it. Ive never updated windows and i haven't touched drivers or updates for my video card since i reinstalled windows

Forget to mention that the 2 fans at the front of the case are intakes along with the 1 fan on the side cover. the top fan and the rear fan are both exhausts
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a c 78 B Homebuilt system
December 2, 2011 6:21:39 PM

If the PSU was new from a few months ago the usage patterns don't really matter. Even if you managed to keep the PSU at max load the entire time since then it probably wouldn't be dying now.

One thing, though, the sleep/hibernate/power save/whatever mode makes use of the +5 SB wire on the PSU. This usually isn't fully loaded with amps. The connected devices, especially if you have a lot of USB devices, can completely drain the power from this line easily and make it impossible to wake a computer from this mode.

I don't know what sorts of peripherals you have connected to this computer, but I would hazard a guess that if you enable hibernation again and take out everything except the keyboard and mouse that you will again be able to wake the thing up.

Your fan setup gives you positive pressure (more in than out) which generally isn't ideal. It can result in heat being stuck in the case longer than usual. The ideal is negative pressure (more out than in) to make sure the hot air gets sucked out as quickly as possible.

Still, I doubt your fan setup is really causing any major problems.

What is the maker and model of the case you are using?

Your decision to go from a BFG 550w to a Corsair 500w wasn't a bad one. The BFG 550 barely runs in spec on the 12v negative power cable whereas the Corsair is well within specifications all around. Even on the +12v rails the BFG 550 was quite dirty, moreso than the Corsair.

Also, you aren't wrong in your "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" mentality. If your system is stable there is no reason to update to the "latest and greatest". Indeed it causes more headaches than it alleviates.

However, the key part in there is "if it is stable", which currently it isn't.

On that note, I would highly suggest you go to the windows update website and download everything that says "Critical" on it. I would also seriously consider installing everything that says recommended on it.

Like you, I don't update drivers very often unless I am having problems, but I DO try to stay current on windows updates, especially the ones related to computer security. I can't guarantee you that it will fix your problem, but it just may.

Off the top of my head I can't think of too much that sounds wrong with your computer. I would suggest you try doing the windows updates and possibly a video card update if the windows updates don't work.

Normally, the first thing I suggest is a new PSU for pretty much everybody, because in my experience half of problems are PSU problems, but I do trust the Corsair brand more than almost any other so I don't want to put too much focus on that.

However, for testing purposes, do you think that guy you sold it to would let you borrow it for a day, if it came down to it?
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December 2, 2011 8:03:18 PM

the only USB devices plugged into my computer ever are my mouse and 1 external harddrive, i seriously doubt that those are overloading it, and it they are then something else has to be wrong.

And again, temperatures are never an issue. my cpu idles at around 25C and never goes over 35C, even when it was OCd to 3.7ghz. The video card is the same story, it idles at around 31C and ive never seen it go over 45C.

The case is an Antec 300

Other then updates relating to computer security are there any other types specifically you recommend for updates? i really dont want to get more then i need and im sure there are hundreds i dont have.

Also i just remembered, not too long after the upgrades i did to my computer my area was hit with a mild hurricane and we lost power. however we had a generator running and through a power strip i had my computer running. i only did this for one night but like a week later someone told me that its terrible to run a computer off of a generator due to inconstant power, i was just curious if this sort of thing could damage a PSU
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a c 78 B Homebuilt system
December 3, 2011 2:15:07 AM

Household appliances tend to like their power to be very clean, whereas houses tend to like their power very dirty coming off the power lines.

That being said, I am pretty sure that your computer is running off a 120v AC wall outlet.

I am not an electrician, but according to my knowledge of power the power that goes between the wall and your PSU is dirty AC power. The parts inside the PSU act as an AC to DC converter, and what comes out the other side of the PSU is DC power that is ideally extremely clean.

There are step down transformers in the house that take the 15,000v from the power line and reduce it to 1000v, and then further reduce it to 120v for each outlet and those devices may do a little to clean up the power some, but I am not an expert on this.

Anyway, I think it is possible that generator power could damage it, though I wouldn't think it was likely.

In any event, it is one of those things you can only figure out by switching it out and seeing what happens? How old is the PSU?
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December 3, 2011 2:41:07 AM

thanks for the help ill try a few different things. and read the past posts i keep repeating things
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December 3, 2011 9:02:48 PM

To be honest, updating windows 100% made things worse. my startup time is ridiculous now and BFC2 froze as soon as i clicked something on the menu
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a c 78 B Homebuilt system
December 3, 2011 9:50:39 PM

Sorry if I ask the same things again once in a while. I have like 50 outstanding people I am trying to help at this moment and it is sometimes difficult to keep straight who is who.

I skimmed the thread again from start to finish so hopefully you won't have to duplicate any more answers this time.

Sorry your computer performs worse after the windows updates.

In any event, I have tried and tried to avoid suggesting a new PSU even though it was my original gut feeling before I read your specs. I think you may need to start considering potential ways to acquire a similar PSU that you can switch out and see if it works.

If there is someone you could borrow one from for a day, that would be ideal.
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December 3, 2011 11:10:27 PM

I think you are right, it is what i had been thinking too. i just found a wattage calculator and it suggested i have 500. so im most likely going to buy a new one in the near future. thanks for the help.
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a c 78 B Homebuilt system
December 3, 2011 11:13:06 PM

I hope that fixes it.
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January 18, 2012 7:09:49 PM

problem solved, got a corsair 750W no more issues, runs better then ever before.
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