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Computer "freezes," requiring forced restart.

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  • Homebuilt
  • Computer
  • Systems
Last response: in Systems
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July 15, 2012 7:53:45 AM

Thanks in advance for helping me out with this problem.

I've just recently built a new computer. It works perfectly, when it doesn't "freeze." I'm pretty certain that this is a driver issue, as there are no freezes/crashes when I'm running in Safe mode.

Description of the problem:
Randomly; this could be while the computer is idle, while playing a game, while watching a youtube video, etc.; the computer will "freeze." The mouse will not move, the keyboard is unresponsive, the hard drive activity light on the case will not flash, all of the led lights on the motherboard will light up, and not flash like typical, all of the fans on the case, power supply, graphics card, and CPU will continue running. The debug led on the motherboard shows nothing unusual. I've been able to play video games for a few hours before this happens, or leave the computer up all night without a freeze until I get up in the morning. The freezes typically happen when I'm at or around my computer, ie. they will happen if I'm cooking dinner with my computer running in the other room, but it will usually not freeze if I leave it up all night. (I left it running last night downloading a game from Steam and it was still going in the morning, with the game downloaded.)

When the computer freezes and there is some form of sound playing, either through the onboard integrated audio, or through my Logitech USB G35 headset (which has its own sound card), the sound will loop the previous millisecond or so. This typically stops after about a second of looping. Occasionally the computer will reboot itself (which in this case there generally is no error in the error management software), but most of the time I am forced to hit the reset button on the case, or turn the power off and then back on. (in this case there will be a Windows did not shut down successfully error, as well as the option to boot into safe mode if needed). The system will not freeze in the BIOS, and hasn't frozen while being booted into a CD or off of a USB stick. It only freezes when in normal Windows 7.

There are no freezes or crashes in safe mode.

Here's my computer's specs.
Intel i5-3570 3.4ghz
16GB Corsair Vengeance DDR3 240-Pin, 1600MHz (defaults to 1333mhz in the BIOS), 1.5V 9-9-9-24 timings (CMZ16GX3M4A1600C9B)
Motherboard: MSI Z77A-GD65 (Z77 Chipset, LGA 1155, SATA3, etc)
Graphics Card: HIS ATI Radeon HD 7850, PCI express 3.0, 2GB GDDR5, etc.
Power Supply: Rosewill Xtreme Series RX850-S-B 850W Continuous @40°C, 80 PLUS Certified
2 Western Digital Caviar Green 1TB hard drives (1 Brand new, the other out of an old external hard drive)
1 SanDisk 64GB SATA III Solid State Drive, Windows is installed on this drive.
Rosewill RANGER Gaming ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
Saitek Cyborg gaming keyboard
Razer Naga (original) gaming mouse (I've also tested with a different USB mouse, haven't tried a PS/2 mouse)
Samsung DVD Burner

Operating System:
Windows 7 Professional 64-bit

Links to all of these parts on Newegg in the following spoiler, excluding the mouse and keyboard:


Here's what I've done:
I've ran Memtest, no errors found. Reinstalled drivers several times, as well as making sure all drivers are up to date. Almost completely unbuilt, and rebuilt the computer, aside from taking the power supply, motherboard and CPU out. Ran the computer with only 1 stick of memory, and only 2 sticks of memory. Verified that all temperatures are well below maximums, haven't seen the GPU over 50, and haven't seen the CPU over 40-45. I've been using various monitoring programs to make sure that none of the voltage changes. The memory is set to the proper voltage and timings, even with the BIOS setting set to "Auto." I haven't been able to reproduce the problem on command. I've made sure that all plugs, that I know of, are seated well and that nothing is coming unplugged at random times.

I turned AHCI mode on for all SATA controllers, TRIM ( for the SSD ) is enabled. All power connectors are properly plugged in, one for the graphics card, one for the CPU, one for the motherboard itself, several for various fans, and all of the plugs for the various hard drives, optical drive, and SSD.

I do have anti-virus installed, and have had no viruses.

I have not tried new parts as this is a completely new build, that I just received and put together a few days ago on Thursday. I have not reset the BIOS by removing the battery, reinstalled Windows 7,

Supplementary Information:
Windows 7 installed fine, as well as all of my various software and games. The SSD is not full, it has 20 GB left empty. Auto defrag is off, as well as indexing, and various other things that may affect the SSD.

One of the hard drives, the old one, had some problems when plugged in to my other computer via USB (it was originally an external hard drive, which I'm now using as an internal HD). I narrowed it down to being the controller circuit board, which has been known to break. However, I'm going to test to see if there are still crashes with it not plugged into the system. (All data on the HD is still there, and I haven't had any problems copying to it, etc.)

I forgot to install the small panel that covers the ports on the back of the case/motherboard. I do not think this is a problem, but it could be. (One of my next steps if the Hard Drive isn't the issue).

I have a feeling that this is a driver issue after all of the things I've tried and read. I've reinstalled all of the motherboard, chipset, and bios drivers, as well as the graphics card drivers and drivers for the various hard drives, etc. Windows 7 is completely up-dated.

What do you think this could be?

Thanks!

More about : computer freezes requiring forced restart

July 15, 2012 9:18:14 PM

A quick update, removing the second hard drive had no effect. However, the freezes have gotten a bit farther apart today.
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July 16, 2012 8:04:00 PM

I have a quite similar probem with a bit older PC though; everything freezes, stuttering sound on the background (if something was playing) thus force restart is required. Didn't have it before. Freezing inconsistantly - sometimes three times in an hour during a web cam conversation, sometimes during a YouTube video, sometimes not even after 1-2 hours of gaming.

I have checked all "the basic stuffs" (temps, loaded optimized defaults, removed my ASUS Xonar D2 and extra 2x2GB, ran memtest with 0 errors...). Haven't tried fresh Windows 7 install yet as I think it's hardware related.

I suspect my GPU (ATI HD 5870) at the moment, so planning to switch it with my friend's GPU.

Let you know, if I'll find out my cause.

P.S. Hasn't frozen for 3 hours now during "basic Windows usage"(!)
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July 17, 2012 5:21:37 PM

Went over 24 hours without a freeze, then there was a freeze last night while watching a DVD movie. Start of suspecting the DVD drive now. Will test it more.

I did perform a full breakdown, and completely rebuilt the computer. Seemed to help.
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January 11, 2013 8:50:49 PM

Did you ever figure out the issue? This is happening to me now... Works fine in Safe Mode but locks up in "regular" mode.
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January 11, 2013 11:43:32 PM

I think I got mine working (for those who search this in the future)... What I did was:

I had 4 stick of ram... 2x4GB and 2x2GB. I took out the 2x2GB sticks, and put the 2x4GB in DIMM 2/4.

I also had my video card plugged into the 2nd PCI-E slot (for space reasons) but moved it to the top. Not sure which of these fixed it but I hope this helps someone else.
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May 6, 2013 1:48:48 PM

Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit Randomly Freezes
No BSOD just random freezes with screen on and no keys or cursor repsond, all I can do is use a hard reset to restart. Then I get the standard windows was not shut down properly messege at start-up. I have been having this issue/s and have tried all the same standard help people have had to offer, in all the dfferent post I've read online.
To actually fix this issue I ended up having to go to the device manager and check for driver updates on all my devices, one at a time. I think the ones that had updates that fixed this issue were the ACPIx64-based PC under the computer drop down and the IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers especially the ICH ATA and SATA AHCI ontrollers (I think these made the difference). I checked them all, but these were the only ones that had updates. Once those were updated and the computer was restarted, it has stayed on. It's been on for a day now and no problems so far.
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July 26, 2013 3:11:01 AM

@Chavez1 I have also had the same problems as you had. I went through the device manager just as you had, but I just had to update my NVIDIA drivers and so far my computer is doing okay. I only tested on idle for 30 minutes but it would usually freeze at idle after 3-ish.
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July 26, 2013 3:17:53 AM

Check RAM. I had freezing issues : not exact but pretty similar to yours and one of my sticks was bad. See if you can trade with a friend or take a stick out at a time and test to see if it solves your issue.
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