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PC freezing, only safe mode works

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Last response: in Windows 7
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August 6, 2012 4:01:14 AM

Hey.

My friend's computer has started freezing and I'm here to post for him because he cannot access the internet. First crash was BSOD but other crashes are just hangs/restarts, have to do a hard reset from the chassis.
When starting in normal windows the system freezes after 5-10 seconds once the desktop view pops up, OR sometimes it freezes when opening control panel/browser/or any other application but doesnt freeze if nothing is opened (except apps on start up).

Chkdsk doesnt find anything and windows gives no errors on startup. I took a quick view in the memorydumps by debugging them which all seem to lead to different file errors "ntoskrnl.exe", nvidia driver, memory_corruption and some others (which I don't remember now). My friend is bringing the PC today to my house so I can take a better look at it.

We tried using Windows 7 CD to use the repair option but it freezes after 1-2 minutes once it boots from the CD.
Only thing my friend has changed before it started freezing was MSI motherboard BIOS update.

I'm gonna test removing RAM sticks, removing graphic card drivers and clearing CMOS once my friend brings the PC.

(can't post system specs yet, I don't remember them all)
In the meanwhile, does anyone have any other ideas?
a b $ Windows 7
August 6, 2012 5:03:01 AM

bad day!
Well, on the surface it sounds like a memory issue to me. Run Microsoft Memory Diagnostic, and follow up with an overnight of memtestx86+

There is always the possibility that it was a bad BIOS Update (something that should not be done unless to get rid of a particular compatibility issue to begin with), but if it passes POST then it is likely fine. You may want to reset the UEFI/BIOS, and load defaults to ensure system stability.

Just a word of note; Recently I just had a real pain of a repair job. Everything passed all tests, but I was still having random crashes. Turned out that the controller on the SSD was having issues, so the SSD needed to be replaced. But the device had passed 5 different benchmarking suites which tested different aspects of the drive, and the only way I found what was wrong was by replacing 1 part at a time.
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August 6, 2012 8:02:52 AM

Thanks for the reply.

I think I got it working. The first thing I did was to remove RAM from DIMM2 slot, turned power on and started windows: no crashing or freezing.
Not sure if it's faulty RAM or slot, gotta test that with other RAM later on or run the memtest
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August 6, 2012 6:40:23 PM

It seems only 1 RAM at a time works, if there are two or more in the freezing comes back.
Could it be that BIOS update have different default settings that arent good for the RAMs?
If so, which are the values for RAM to use manual settings instead of BIOS's auto settings?

Motherboard: 990XA-GD55
RAM: Corsair 1600mhz 4GB 9-9-9-24 1.65V

The BIOS is running the RAMs on 1333mhz
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a b $ Windows 7
August 7, 2012 2:07:34 PM

ah, I had a similar problem with my ASRock Extreme3 gen3 when I got it last year. It is a power management issue with the mobo. In my case the board worked great for ~1month, and then started exibiting issues. Sadly, it was out of the newegg return window, but ASRock took good care of me.

MSI is a pretty good company, so I would contact them about a replacement.

Turn on XMP or change your UEFI settings to get the ram up to the speed it is meant for, but if it is showing issues at 1333, you can be sure it will have issues with 1600.
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August 7, 2012 4:27:06 PM

I did put the RAM freq, timings and voltage manually and it lasted 15 minutes longer before freezing in windows.
The PC I'm trying to fix is also about 1-2 months old, good that it still has warranty valid..
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a b $ Windows 7
August 9, 2012 3:01:26 AM

test your sticks in another box to be sure that they are working properly, and then contact MSI for a replacement.

Be warned; ALL hardware companies will send you back a returned product to replace the one that you are returning. It can be a pain in the butt, but it is normal practice, and it may take a time or two of returning parts before you get a good one.
As an example, the replacement board sent to me by ASRock is missing the gold plating on the caps. I was really annoyed at first, but the board works perfectly well, and truth be told I do not have a window on my case, so it is not like I needed that extra 'perk'. But it is little stuff like that which you may have to contend with when you return a product.
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