Freezing Problem, Win7 Rig, no BSOD, HELP!

Hello Dudes and Womenfolk,

I am at the end of my rope here with this issue. I have been seeking a solution since the middle of the summer, and have exhausted numerous attempts at a fix. I apologize in advance for the wall of text this will probably turn into. I figure I should be as thorough as possible at this point.

-My system freezes/becomes unresponsive during any and all levels of use, be it games/internet browsing/acad drawing/youtubing.
-Audio loops, making that robot-esque noise, although peculiarly makes slow progress through whatever sound-byte was playing until system recovers.
-System always recovers, usually takes 30s, but has lasted up to 5-6min. Never BSODs.
-Occurs randomly, and I do mean randomly. Sometimes I can play TF2/DoD:S/Eve/whatever for hours on end with no issue, and other times the system freezes on and off continuously. Same goes with all other applications I use heavily (Adobe Suite 5, AutoCAD 2013, Rhino4) as well as web browsing (I use Chrome).
-no BSOD means no minidumps to check :??:

-reseting BIOS to stock speeds on RAM/CPU
-updating/rolling back drivers, have run DriverSweeper each time
-updating/rolling back BIOS
-updating everything I could off Asus MOBO support site
-running antivirus, I use Avira, hasn't found anything before or after OS reinstall
-updating SSD firmware
-ensuring power settings are set to never sleep the SSD/HDD
-defragging the hell out of my WD HDD
-reinstalling Win7, after reformatting both hard disks
-running Windows in Safe Mode
-testing RAM sticks with Memtest, individually and collectively
-removing GPU and using onboard graphics
-installing a dedicated sound card and disabling onboard sound
-installing a voltage regulator betweeen my PSU and the wall outlet
-installing a different, brand new PSU
-swapping SATA ports for my hard disks, tried em all, disabled 3rd party Marvell ports
-a whole lot of BIOS fiddling
-dropping the whole thing off for a diagnostic at my local computer store (Microcenter)

-temps: have run Hardware Monitor in all applications, nothing unusual, GPU tops at 75c in games, CPU at 48c
-SSD SMART data: a single reallocated sector, estimated life left at 100%
-eEvent Viewer: have watched this unceasingly for anything unusual, nothing found

-not corrupted/bad software applications/games
-not a bad/corrupted OS install
-not bad driver software
-not a bad GPU
-not a bad SSD
-not a bad PSU

CPU: i7-2600k
MOBO: Asus P8Z68-V Pro (BIOS 3402)
RAM: Mushkin Blackline 996991 4x4gb (two dual channel kits)
GPU: Sapphire 6950 2gb Flex Edition
PSU: Corsair GS800 rev1 (800w, older 80Plus Standard Certified version)
SSD: OCZ Agility 3 60gb (boot disk, contains only OS, drivers, and critical applications)
HDD: WD Caviar Black 750gb (7200rpm, contains all other applications, games, programs)
CASE: Corsair Carbide Series 500R
HSINK: Zalman CNPS9900MAX-R (135mm)
KEYBOARD: Corsair K60 Mechanical
MOUSE: Cyborg R.A.T.5
MONITOR: Dell U2412M 24" LCD (1920x1200)
DVD/RW: Sony Optiarc something
WIRELESS: D-Link DWA-556 Xtreme N (PCI x1 slot)
SPEAKERS: Logitech z506 crap

Some things to note, the problem only occurs when I am doing something. The folks at my computer store could probably not replicate the problem because firing up Prime95 and FurMark and letting it sit all night doesn't make it freeze. I can stress test all day without issue, but as soon as I start browsing websites/using my pc nomrally - BAM! frozen.

I am considering buying a new motherboard at this point, but figured I should finally post up my problem at Tom's before I go spending even more money.

I will update my post as I try new things/remember things I tried.

Also, if this post is in the wrong forum section, please direct me to the correct one.

12 answers Last reply
More about freezing problem win7 bsod help
  1. I was having a similar problem with my system about 6 months ago. Had it narrowed down to the mobo or cpu. So I bought a g530 for $50 to test which was bad. It was the mobo had to rma it. After that sold the g530 for $42 on ebay so it only cost me $8 to find out what was wrong.
  2. If a computer freezes and recovers then the problem is not the memory so you can rule that out. The normal culprit for this problem as you have ruled out a software one by reinstalling the operating system, is the hard disk or SSD. Does the computer freeze in safe mode? If it does then you can rule out drivers as the problem. Have you verified that TRIM is working? If TRIM is not working then this may account for your problem.

    run (as admin)

    fsutil behavior query DisableDeleteNotify

    If the result is '0' TRIM is enabled.
  3. strife_77: Thanks for the tip. That's exactly what I was planning to do as well, or perhaps take the opportunity for a motherboard upgrade.

    pjmelect: This is why I finally posted, so people could blow my mind with suggestions I hadn't even imagined. Checked TRIM right away. The result was a '0' so it must be working (unfortunately for me) As for Safe Mode, it has been a while since I have confirmed the problem occurs in that environment. I will check and post back soon.

    Thanks for your help guys.
  4. Currently running in Safe Mode with Networking, can't induce a freeze. However, I also can't hop into any programs that I typically use to stress my system. Right now I've got 4 separate Youtube videos up, switching frantically between them, with WMP running in the background. This would surely freeze up the system under a normal boot. Are we on to something?
  5. Back in normal boot mode. Ran a Youtube video next to a Steam Store video, system froze in less than a minute.

    It's always seemed like the problem occurs when there is graphic stress on the system, but I was pretty sure I ruled out a faulty GPU or graphics driver when I tested the onboard Intel graphics and still caused the freezing... (I completely removed the HD6950 and its drivers, and made sure the Intel graphics drivers were up to date, just fyi)
  6. Try to download and create memtest86 boot cd, or any Linux distribution DVD - in boot options there is memtest86 command.
    Boot from CD and run tests with one by one RAM module, in pair, and all modules together.
  7. dondrusco: I'm running Memtest right now from a USB (I did beforeI as well) as I don't have any CDs laying around. Can I assume there's no difference between the two as far as testing goes?
  8. It would make no difference if you were to boot memtest86 from CD or USB. As I said memory is unlikely to be the cause of your problem because if it was memory that was causing the freezes then the system would freeze but not recover. Because the system did not freeze in safe mode you should try disabling devices one at a time in normal mode in device manager. Try for example to disable the sound in device manager or the BIOS and then try network adapter etc.
  9. pjmelect: So I think it is turning out to be something with the sound device after all. I have it disabled in BIOS and havent had an issue all day.

    HOWEVER, I did already try to replace it with a PCI soundcard once. I know I disabled the onboard then as well. The freezes still occured with the soundcard installed, and thus a I moved away from thinking sound was the culprit. Why would I get freezes from both the onboard and a dedicated sound card?
  10. Greetings all,

    First a TL;DR:

    After many many hours of debugging/searching/troubleshooting I stumbled upon this thread. My issues are the same as lead belly: computer locks up, works fine in safe mode, and also works fine with the on-board sound disabled through the BIOS.

    The only difference is my lockups are not recoverable. Once the freeze happens I have to power-cycle and no event logs (other than the force shut down) are present.

    The only thing similar between our two systems is an ASUS motherboard (mine is an Asus M5A97, AMD 970, upgraded to the latest BIOS version).

    A longer description of tests and things I did before getting here (somewhat chronological order):
    -Usual debugging (checked and upgraded all drivers, disk defrag, disk integrity check, reseated all plugs/components, etc).
    -Rolled back drivers and plugins to earlier versions
    -Tried a different graphics card
    -Tested RAM (moved between slots, tested together and indivually with memtest many times)
    -Tried safe mode and safe mode w/ networking (everything worked here, figured I would move to software)
    -System restore
    -Windows re-install, saving old data
    -Windows re-install, w/ format

    I had it pegged as a Flash problem I would have to deal with until I could find the right driver until it froze randomly a couple times shortly after Windows loaded up. After doing the above I eventually got to here, I hooked everything, disabled the sound in BIOS, and wha-la no crashes.

    Even with 10 separate browser windows (IE and Chrome) running videos via Flash and HTML 5, and playing about 30 minutes of Diablo at the same time (normally would freeze about a minute in).

    Apologies for hijacking the thread, but I thought it would be helpful to add a data-point and follow along to see if this can't get worked out.
  11. Quote:

    pjmelect: So I think it is turning out to be something with the sound device after all. I have it disabled in BIOS and havent had an issue all day.

    HOWEVER, I did already try to replace it with a PCI soundcard once. I know I disabled the onboard then as well. The freezes still occured with the soundcard installed, and thus a I moved away from thinking sound was the culprit. Why would I get freezes from both the onboard and a dedicated sound card?

    I think that you should test for longer to ensure that the freezing has really stopped with the disabling of the sound card. If it has, then you have found your problem. Have you installed the latest drivers from the motherboard makers web site? Do not install the drivers from Microsoft. If you try a PCI sound card, reinstall the operating system to remove all of the on board sound drivers. If it still causes freezing with a PCI sound card then you have a motherboard issue. Check for any BIOS updates, clear the CMOS or change the motherboard.
  12. 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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