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Computer random freeze and lockups, please help!

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March 27, 2012 3:39:07 PM

Recently, my computer of 3+ years started having random freeze ups. The freeze up occurs seemingly for no reason. i could be playing a game or doing something like surfing the web, and all of a sudden the entire system freezes, the fans are still running, lights are still on, but everything on the monitor stops responding, audio is stuck on whatever sound it was playing at the time. Mouse does not move, keyboard is unresponsive(I tried hitting caps lock and num lock with no response).

My system:

OS - windows 7 64 bit
motherboard - 132-BL-E758-EVGA X58 SLI
graphics card - evga nvidia gtx 285 & gigabyte gtx 285 in SLI
RAM - G.SKILL 12GB (4x3)
CPU - intel i7 920
HDD - Crucial 64GB SSD, Western Digital 750 GB & Seagate Barracuda 1.5TB
PSU - Corsair HX1000watts

Here are some of the things I tried to fix the problem
- My cpu was running hot, replaced cpu cooler with a new cooler
- Blew out all dust from case, there was a lot of it
- Manually adjusted the GPU fan speed to 100% through nvidia control panel when temperatures go above 75c
- updated all drivers
- updated the BIOS for motherboard
- I had Corsair DDR 3 6GB (2GBx3), Sometimes ram would show up as (6 GB installed, 2GB usable), I was planning to upgrade anyways, so I bought new ram, G.SKILL 12GB (4x3), and the ram problem seem to have stopped
- reinstalled windows 7, this time, on a new 64GB SSD drive I just bought, reformatted both of my old HDD
- ran cpu stress test and gpu stress test, no errors

I have not done any over clocking what-so-ever. Most of the settings on the motherboard is default, except for switching SATA controllers from IDE to AHCI for my new SSD.

After doing all of this, the freeze ups seem a bit less frequent(although it could just be wishful thinking on my part). The last three freezes happened like this

1. Playing Battlefield 3, computer freezed while audio kept looping on that one note it was playing before freeze up
2. Playing Kingdom of Amalur for 3 hours, no problems. But about 4 seconds after I quit the game, computer freezes
3. After a hard reset from the last freeze, about 15 seconds after I logged on to windows, computer freezes again.

What I've noticed

The only pattern I can repeat that I know will cause a freeze is when I am playing Kingdom of Amalur on steam, whenever I finish playing, the computer will usually freeze after 2-5 minutes, sometimes earlier. During the game, everything runs smoothly. However, when I go to alt-tab out of the game and go to the performance panel, I see that only core 1,3,5,7 are being used on the CPU, while core 2,4,6,8 are at 0% usage. Not sure if this is related.

Any other freezes seem to occur at random.

Anyone have ANY idea as to why this is happening? I am at my wits end. I am not that tech savvy, and this was my first build.

please help!!!!!
a b B Homebuilt system
March 27, 2012 3:58:06 PM

are you getting a BSOD when the pc freezes?
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March 27, 2012 4:00:48 PM

No BSOD. The computer just stops at whatever it was doing last.

On the monitor, whatever the last image was just hangs there, same with the audio, like on a continuous loop.

Mouse and keyboard completely unresponsive. Can't move mouse, ctrl-alt-delete does nothing. I have to hold down the power button for a force shut down.
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a b B Homebuilt system
March 27, 2012 5:57:46 PM

Can you post the full specs of the RAM? These kind of system hangs sound like what happens when your voltage or timings are off. Also, it would be a good idea to test out the individual sticks of RAM using memtest86+ ... but after ruling out the obvious.

Not saying it's guaranteed that the RAM is the culprit, but it's a common cause of this and an easy place to start - not to mention also being a part that was recently changed.
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a b B Homebuilt system
March 27, 2012 6:19:51 PM

So it passes cpu and gpu stress tests with no problems but freezes in any game?

What kind of tests are we talking about here?

This could be ram, you could test each stick at a time with Memtest86.

It could be a failing psu as well. It's pretty much process of elimination on something 3+ yrs old.
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March 28, 2012 3:32:18 AM

the ram is

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 12GB (3 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9T-12GBRL

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I actually just got this ram. My previous one was a corsair dominator 6gb(3x2gb)

However, the freezing and lockups occured BEFORE i got the new ram, so I don't think that's what is causing it.

Incidentally, I am able to boot up in safe mode without any freezing problems. Does that indicate that its a software issue?
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a b B Homebuilt system
March 28, 2012 2:09:15 PM

No you said you re-installed windows so it cant be a software issue.

The reason your virtual cores aren't used is because games don't use hyperthreading.

I don't know man, the fact that your freezes are completely random and happen during gaming and not gaming is baffling.

With no BSOD, it's nearly impossible to troubleshoot.
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a b B Homebuilt system
March 28, 2012 2:15:42 PM

It could be a virus, driver or software conflict, piece of HW is failing ..... and more.
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a b B Homebuilt system
March 28, 2012 2:20:05 PM

It could be a virus, driver or software conflict or piece of the HW is malfunctioning, like HDD or PSU or RAM or mobo and more.
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!