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Newly rebuilt system freezes often

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May 14, 2012 9:09:47 AM

I recently replaced the motherboard, CPU and RAM and did a fresh install of Windows XP, but now I'm getting occasional pauses and freezes. When I reboot after a freeze, I'll find that half the time something in the XP will be rolled back, usually something small such as hiding icons in the systray or the arrangement of the start menu. I know I'm overdue for an OS upgrade, but at this point I'd rather just wait for Windows 8 if possible.

I don't know how to even begin to diagnose why I'm getting these freezes. I've not done any overclocking whatsoever. I've gone over every single driver to make sure they are correct and up to date. I'm absolutely certain that everything is installed correctly. The motherboard is not reporting any heat issues, and all fans are running at full speed. Case is clean of dust and all used components were cleaned before re-installing. Initially I had set the graphics settings rather high, but I've taken that all back to defaults and I'm still having the problem. Windows Update is showing everything is up to date.

The only software I have installed are the basics: LibreOffice, YNAB, Chrome, etc. The only unusual thing I have installed is Electric Sheep screensaver, which is pretty graphics intense, but I've not had problems with it under the previous build.

Usually I dual boot in XP and Kubuntu, but I've not yet done a clean install of Kubuntu since the hardware update and I'm debating testing out Windows 8 consumer preview instead.

Does anyone have any ideas on why my system keeps freezing?

Motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3 - new
Processor: Intel Core i3-2100 with packaged cooling - new
RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws X 4GB (2 x 2GB) - new
Video Card: Radeon HD 6570 - bought Nov 2011
Power Supply: Nspire NSP-750V2-2BF14PFC 750W - bought 2007
HDD 1: Western Digital SATA 250Gig, Windows XP- bought 2007
HDD 2: Westren Digital SATA 320Gig, data drive - bought 2010
HDD 3: Hitachi Deskstar SATA 80Gig, Kubuntu - bought 2007 (not plugged in)
Optical Drive: HP DVD1260t DVD-RW - new
Dynex Internal All in One Card Reader DX-CRD12 - bought 2007
Case: Thermaltake Armor with 250mm side fan VA8003SWA - bought 2007

Edit: added links to the itemized list
May 14, 2012 10:01:24 AM

FrozenFlame22 said:
I recently replaced the motherboard, CPU and RAM and did a fresh install of Windows XP, but now I'm getting occasional pauses and freezes. When I reboot after a freeze, I'll find that half the time something in the XP will be rolled back, usually something small such as hiding icons in the systray or the arrangement of the start menu. I know I'm overdue for an OS upgrade, but at this point I'd rather just wait for Windows 8 if possible.

I don't know how to even begin to diagnose why I'm getting these freezes. I've not done any overclocking whatsoever. I've gone over every single driver to make sure they are correct and up to date. I'm absolutely certain that everything is installed correctly. The motherboard is not reporting any heat issues, and all fans are running at full speed. Case is clean of dust and all used components were cleaned before re-installing. Initially I had set the graphics settings rather high, but I've taken that all back to defaults and I'm still having the problem. Windows Update is showing everything is up to date.

The only software I have installed are the basics: LibreOffice, YNAB, Chrome, etc. The only unusual thing I have installed is Electric Sheep screensaver, which is pretty graphics intense, but I've not had problems with it under the previous build.

Usually I dual boot in XP and Kubuntu, but I've not yet done a clean install of Kubuntu since the hardware update and I'm debating testing out Windows 8 consumer preview instead.

Does anyone have any ideas on why my system keeps freezing?

Motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3 - new
Processor: Intel Core i3-2100 with packaged cooling - new
RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws X 4GB (2 x 2GB) - new
Video Card: Radeon HD 6570 - bought Nov 2011
Power Supply: Nspire NSP-750V2-2BF14PFC 750W - bought 2007
HDD 1: Western Digital SATA 250Gig, Windows XP- bought 2007
HDD 2: Westren Digital SATA 320Gig, data drive - bought 2010
HDD 3: Hitachi Deskstar SATA 80Gig, Kubuntu - bought 2007 (not plugged in)
Optical Drive: HP DVD1260t DVD-RW - new
Dynex Internal All in One Card Reader DX-CRD12 - bought 2007
Case: Thermaltake Armor with 250mm side fan VA8003SWA - bought 2007

Edit: added links to the itemized list

Hello;

look in the device manager and check that all components are installed properly, then make a check disk for the hdd, i would try to check the hardware that everything is connected firmly.

regards...
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a b B Homebuilt system
May 14, 2012 12:51:33 PM

Hello FrozenFlame22,

it sounds like you did a very thorough job installing your new equipment. First of all I don't think its a driver problem, checking the device manager will not resolve your issue. I doubt its an OS problem, you should be able to use WinXP or Kubuntu just fine until Win8 comes out. speaking of which, unlike Windows which has a heart attack if you replace the mainboard, you do not need to do a fresh install of Kubuntu.

I would recommend making sure you have the most up to date firmware for your motherboard. if you update the firmware, remember to factory reset it to defaults. there may be settings in the bios for timings of your ram. Run some burn in software to try to duplicate the problem. if the problem persists I would replace these items one at a time to determine which is causing your problem:

1) Ram
2) motherboard
3) cpu
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May 14, 2012 7:30:07 PM

jhafner said:
Hello;

look in the device manager and check that all components are installed properly, then make a check disk for the hdd, i would try to check the hardware that everything is connected firmly.

regards...


Device manager results match fully with what I installed.
Scan Disk and Defrag each cause the system to completely lock up and require a hard reboot. I'm cringing at how many times I've hard rebooted this computer with my new expensive hardware.
I ran a Hitachi Drive Fitness Test from a bootable disk and it didn't report any problems.
All hardware is connected firmly.

the great randini said:
what speed ram did u get 1600?


1333

JamesSneed said:
Also check the event viewer to see what it says as it may give some clues: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/308427


This has been helpful. The event viewer is showing that at each total freeze the hard drives and optical drive are busy or not responding. Unfortunately I can't give more exact details right now since the event viewer won't start up since I last rebooted. In fact the system has had very frequent pauses each lasting at least a minute, making writing this post excruciating.

nhasian said:
Hello FrozenFlame22,

it sounds like you did a very thorough job installing your new equipment. First of all I don't think its a driver problem, checking the device manager will not resolve your issue. I doubt its an OS problem, you should be able to use WinXP or Kubuntu just fine until Win8 comes out. speaking of which, unlike Windows which has a heart attack if you replace the mainboard, you do not need to do a fresh install of Kubuntu.

I would recommend making sure you have the most up to date firmware for your motherboard. if you update the firmware, remember to factory reset it to defaults. there may be settings in the bios for timings of your ram. Run some burn in software to try to duplicate the problem. if the problem persists I would replace these items one at a time to determine which is causing your problem:

1) Ram
2) motherboard
3) cpu


My main reason for wanting to reinstall Kubuntu was to switch from 32 bit to 64 bit, but at this point I'd settle for a working computer. I'll be checking firmware on the motherboard next. What do you mean by "burn in software"? Ugh. I'm not looking forward to the possibility of having to replace something I just bought. I'll address that as a last resort since I don't have any spare parts lying around. Nothing from the old build was salvageable and wouldn't have worked with any of the new components anyway. Good advice in any case.



At this point I'm thinking (hoping?) that I'm looking at a hard drive failure. It locks up when I do anything that seriously impacts the hard drive, such as scan disk or defrag. Why would the drive fitness test report no problems? Are these common (or even uncommon) symptoms of a failing hard drive?

Rebooting yet again to see if I can get rid of the frequent pauses.
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a b B Homebuilt system
May 14, 2012 8:01:32 PM

check to see that your ram is on the qal list. i have issue with g skill and a 16g kit. with the new asus bios only two sticks will run in the system if i add a 3 the system wont post. with the newer chipsets from intel the memory controller is built into the cpu.
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May 15, 2012 3:22:10 PM

Firmware for all components is up to date. Bios settings for ram are correct.

I finally got the scan disk utility to open and I ran scandisk on the drive on boot. It didn't report any errors, but I'm not sure where I'd look to get the results in any case. The event viewer is showing a controller error each time the system freezes. The only thing that is certain to cause a freeze is attempting to defrag the drive, which I've not been able to do successfully despite many attempts. Presently I'm not getting any pauses or freezes since the last reboot.

I'm 99% sure that I've got a slowly failing hard drive. It is 5 years old and happens to be my most heavily used drive. It's probably time to replace all three drives. I prefer to keep data and each operating system separated to different physical drives, so I'll be making a trip to Best Buy sometime in the next few days.
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Best solution

May 25, 2012 10:39:02 PM

A trip to BestBuy not Newegg? It does sound likely you are having hard drive issues with the type of freezing and controller errors in the event viewer.
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May 26, 2012 2:17:09 AM

Sorry, I should have followed up on this sooner. I did replace the hard drive in question and another drive that is just as old. I like to keep each operating system and my data on separate physical drives. I know I can partition drives and get the same effect, but this works well for me. Anyways, since the replacement, I've not had any problems at all. I've installed the Windows 8 Customer Preview on the new drive and I've determined that it's not worth the headache. Windows 7 OEM is in the mail.
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May 26, 2012 2:29:15 AM

Best answer selected by FrozenFlame22.
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