Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question
Solved

Random Freezes Under Load, Cannot Identify Which Component Failing

Tags:
  • Homebuilt
  • Computer
  • Systems
Last response: in Systems
Share
April 15, 2012 5:05:37 PM

Hi all,

I am having an issue where my computer will freeze up under load (gaming) and not recover. It is seemingly random in that I can stress the computer for 15 minutes or 8 hours before it will crash. It reboots fine afterwards, as if nothing was wrong. When the freeze occurs, the keyboard, mouse, and audio all cease to function. Windows system logs show no errors beyond acknowledging an improper shutdown. The freeze has only occurred while playing starcraft 2, but I haven't been playing other games recently so I don't know how that affects the situation.

Specs:

Computer is 6 months old, problem is 2 weeks old.

Mobo: ASUS P8Z68-V (most up to date BIOS)
CPU: i5 2500K @ 4.2GHz
RAM: 16GB Corsair
GPU: GTX 560 Ti SLI @900MHz (updated drivers)
SSD: Vertex 3 120GB (updated firmware)
PSU: OCZ 850W
Windows 7 x64 SP1

Temps at crash:
CPU: ~55 C
both GPU: ~60 C


Things I have tried:

GPU benchmarks get GPU temps up to 80 C for 10 min 100% load, no crash. memtest86+ for 9 hours: no errors. OCZ toolbox says SSD has no errors of any kind to report.



I don't even know what component is causing the problem. I've exhausted my knowledge at this point. I would prefer to avoid a windows fresh install, but if its all that's left, I'll have to do it. I would appreciate if anyone has any further steps to help identify the source of the problem.

More about : random freezes load identify component failing

a c 78 B Homebuilt system
April 15, 2012 5:18:38 PM

What case do you have?

Try taking the side off and pointing a big fat AC oscillating fan into the case and see if you still crash.
m
0
l
April 15, 2012 5:28:26 PM

I have a NZXT Phantom (Full Tower) with 6 case fans (3x 1300rpm 200mm fans and 3x 1500rpm 120mm fans). GPU fans are at 100% past 55 C, CPU is liquid cooled. I don't believe this is heat related.
m
0
l
a b B Homebuilt system
April 15, 2012 6:37:19 PM

Try lowering (a bit - don't get nervous :)  ) your settings in starcraft 2. See if you still crash.
m
0
l
April 15, 2012 7:26:24 PM

I will try that and report back, but it won't be for about 8 hours. Out of curiosity, why would having the settings too high cause this sort of crash? The problem is new, yet I have been playing starcraft on max setting for months before the problem began.
m
0
l
a c 78 B Homebuilt system
April 15, 2012 7:37:42 PM

In my experience, airflow problems which lead to heat problems which lead to power problems are the most common cause of freezing during gaming.

It wouldn't be wise to dismiss these sort of concerns out of hand.

I would like you to do the thing that I asked and report back with the results.
m
0
l
a b B Homebuilt system
April 15, 2012 7:41:15 PM

dlax said:
I will try that and report back, but it won't be for about 8 hours. Out of curiosity, why would having the settings too high cause this sort of crash? The problem is new, yet I have been playing starcraft on max setting for months before the problem began.

I'm assuming you updated all your drivers etc. There have been some issues with NVidia drivers and HD sound drivers etc.
m
0
l
April 15, 2012 8:18:10 PM

I will try improving airflow / lowering settings are report back.

I have tried the 295, 296, and the beta 301 drivers and have had the same crash on all three.
m
0
l
a c 78 B Homebuilt system
April 15, 2012 8:47:41 PM

If it was a driver problem the game would most likely crash in the exact same area every time OR probably crash right at the start of the game every time.

Whatever is the problem would most likely be easily repeatable.

It doesn't sound like it is doing that.

It sounds like airflow/heat/power because it is a problem that occurs only after very long periods of gaming. That meshes up well with it taking a long time for heat to build up to the breaking point.

Either or both of those things could be wrong, but in my experience things work this way more often than not.
m
0
l
April 15, 2012 9:36:27 PM

Is there a way to check if the problem is related to power without buying a multimeter/oscilloscope type setup?
m
0
l
April 15, 2012 10:08:36 PM

I had precisely the same issue, in the end, unplugged all my HDD's and connected the back one by one and it was a faulty HDD connector, it was 'dropping' the disk and the system was freezing.

TL:D R, reseat all your HDD's and inspect the plugs to ensure nothing's broken and missing contacts!
m
0
l
a c 78 B Homebuilt system
April 15, 2012 10:26:19 PM

You could just borrow a PSU from somebody.
m
0
l
April 16, 2012 6:28:32 PM

Tried removing a side of the case and placing a fan there. Also checked all sata cables. Still crashed. I think at this point I am going to try physically removing the GPUs one at a time, and then the sticks of RAM and see if it won't crash then.

Additionally, I noticed that if I turn the volume up once it crashes, I get a horrible sounding interference type noise.

Any new ideas?
m
0
l
a b B Homebuilt system
April 16, 2012 7:57:24 PM

dlax said:
Tried removing a side of the case and placing a fan there. Also checked all sata cables. Still crashed. I think at this point I am going to try physically removing the GPUs one at a time, and then the sticks of RAM and see if it won't crash then.

Additionally, I noticed that if I turn the volume up once it crashes, I get a horrible sounding interference type noise.

Any new ideas?

Try removing one of your audio drivers (either realtek or NVidia).
m
0
l
April 16, 2012 8:05:06 PM

go back to the memory test..

Memtest86+ is 32bit and only good for up to 4GB (its 32bit).. i would try running a memory test that can do all your RAM, or do one stick at a time. Just a thought.
m
0
l
April 16, 2012 8:48:35 PM

So unfortunately, this process takes a while to do because the freeze can happen after a very short, or very long period of play.

However, the following has just occurred. I have 2 GPUs. When one of them in the "master", the system will crash. When the other one is the "master", or the first one is just removed entirely from the system, the system will freeze, video output will cease for about 3 seconds, and then everything will recover and progress on normally.

Any ideas as to what is going on here?

Also, if I were to try removing one of the audio drivers, I would want to remove the nVidia one first because that is likely what is supporting the audio if I'm running off the GPU, right?
m
0
l
April 16, 2012 8:57:02 PM

well.. try just running one video card..

and also try my advice on the memtest.. I have a bad sector of memory before and it went undetected until I stressed the machine (played a intense MMO or had tons of applications open). After running Memtest for 10 hours and seeing no errors, I too was determined that it was something else. It wasnt until i swap my RAM around did i notice it freezing immediately at bootup (instead of during system stress) Ran Memtest again (one stick at a time) and found that only one of my sticks was bad.

Again since you have more than 4GB of RAM, and memtest is only a 32bit program, you are not testing all of your RAM.
m
0
l
a b B Homebuilt system
April 16, 2012 9:07:23 PM

rozz said:
well.. try just running one video card..

and also try my advice on the memtest.. I have a bad sector of memory before and it went undetected until I stressed the machine (played a intense MMO or had tons of applications open). After running Memtest for 10 hours and seeing no errors, I too was determined that it was something else. It wasnt until i swap my RAM around did i notice it freezing immediately at bootup (instead of during system stress) Ran Memtest again (one stick at a time) and found that only one of my sticks was bad.

Again since you have more than 4GB of RAM, and memtest is only a 32bit program, you are not testing all of your RAM.

He could just run this one
http://www.memtest.org/
m
0
l

Best solution

a b B Homebuilt system
April 16, 2012 9:09:22 PM

dlax said:
So unfortunately, this process takes a while to do because the freeze can happen after a very short, or very long period of play.

However, the following has just occurred. I have 2 GPUs. When one of them in the "master", the system will crash. When the other one is the "master", or the first one is just removed entirely from the system, the system will freeze, video output will cease for about 3 seconds, and then everything will recover and progress on normally.

Any ideas as to what is going on here?

Also, if I were to try removing one of the audio drivers, I would want to remove the nVidia one first because that is likely what is supporting the audio if I'm running off the GPU, right?

There may be a conflict between NVidia and Realtek. I would try removing Realtek first since you use NVidia. Also did you check your PCIe settings in your bios?
Share
April 16, 2012 9:12:37 PM

Currently using one GPU. Will try individual stick memtests. will try removing realtek drivers as well.
m
0
l
April 16, 2012 11:31:17 PM

Running memtest on individual sticks gave no errors.
m
0
l
a c 78 B Homebuilt system
April 17, 2012 1:01:21 AM

OK so tell me if I have this right.

You have tried both video cards in the computer and the PC either crashes or freezes with both.

Did you try putting none in the first PCIE slot and 1 in the second PCIE slot? If so, did the same thing happen?
m
0
l
April 17, 2012 1:15:26 AM

Out of laziness, I removed either the first or second card, and just put them back were they were normally to test them individually. In other words, I tested one GPU in the first PCIe slot, and the other GPU in the second PCIe slot. Crash/freeze occurs in both cases.

I have updated the realtek audio driver (I found them to be about 3 months out of date when I went to remove it). No freezing or crashing recently (about 4 hours worth of uptime). I will update if this did not fix the problem, as unfortunately I cannot recreate the problem.
m
0
l
April 24, 2012 12:15:39 AM

No crashing have occurred since updating audio drivers. My apologies for not checking those. Many thanks.
m
0
l
April 24, 2012 12:16:09 AM

Best answer selected by dlax.
m
0
l
!