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Computer crashes randomly, even in Safe Mode

Last response: in Windows 7
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October 28, 2012 10:20:40 PM

A few days ago, I stepped away from my computer and returned to find it had shut off. When I rebooted, I discovered the BIOS options had reset to default(?). I started it normally (even when prompted by Win7 to start in Safe Mode).

I didn't have trouble for about 30 minutes - everything was fine. Then as I tried browsing the web with Firefox, the computer froze and would not respond. The screen was frozen and the cursor would not move. Ctrl + Alt + Del didn't do anything; it was locked up. I reset, and after 20 minutes with no issues, I tried running Diablo 3. Within a minute, it locked up again (though there were looping, clipped sounds from the game).

I restarted in Safe Mode. About 10-15 minutes later, the same thing happened again while I was trying to browse the web.

I can't seem to leave it on for more than a handful of minutes without it locking up. I'm not sure what's causing the problem, but I could use some troubleshooting steps to start with. (I am typing this using the browser on the ExpressGate software built into the ASUS mobo I'm using. No crashes so far though I guess it could happen again.)

I can update this thread as I try different steps.

Here is my hardware:
COOLER MASTER HAF 922
ASUS P6X58D Premium LGA 1366
XFX HD-577X-ZNFC Radeon HD 5770
CORSAIR Enthusiast Series CMPSU-550VX 550W
Intel Core i7-930 Bloomfield 2.8GHz
G.SKILL PI Series 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM
SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM
ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Black SATA 24X DVD Burner
Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus (aftermarket cooler)

Best solution

a b $ Windows 7
October 28, 2012 10:37:24 PM

Test the hard drive to begin with. You'll need to use a bootable CD to test the drive that has Windows on it. since you can't use Windows software to test the Windows drive. I suggest you use "SeaTools for DOS" but you may need to use a PS/2 mouse or keyboard to run that since it doesn't load any USB drivers: http://www.seagate.com/support/internal-hard-drives/con...

To make a bootable CD from the SeaTools ISO file, use "IMGBurn": http://www.filehippo.com/download_imgburn/

Boot your faulty PC from that CD & SeaTools will open.
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a b $ Windows 7
October 28, 2012 11:27:32 PM

Have you tried doing a system restore? Can you check when the last Windows update was. If you have a usb stick you can make it bootable and download Linux (Ubuntu) and run the Linux OS off the usb stick and that will tell you if the rest of the computer hardware is ok and then it would be the hard drive and Windows.

http://www.ubuntu.com/download/help/create-a-usb-stick-...

http://www.ubuntu.com/
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October 28, 2012 11:58:18 PM

@Phil 22: Wow... uh... I just tried running the program you recommended on "Long Test." It was fine up until 24% - then I started seeing green lines of tiny, unreadable text appear on the screen - at which point the computer froze and, when I tried pressing a key, my computer made a long, continuous beep. :(  I turned it off.

What's next?

EDIT: Just realized something - if this program only uses the HD and mobo / onboard graphics, and it, too, crashes... then doesn't that mean the problem must be with either the HD or the mobo, not with Win7 itself?
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October 28, 2012 11:59:40 PM

inzone said:
Have you tried doing a system restore? Can you check when the last Windows update was. If you have a usb stick you can make it bootable and download Linux (Ubuntu) and run the Linux OS off the usb stick and that will tell you if the rest of the computer hardware is ok and then it would be the hard drive and Windows.

http://www.ubuntu.com/download/help/create-a-usb-stick-...

http://www.ubuntu.com/


Okay... if I try running Linux off a USB and that works, then I'll know it's the HD / Windows?

I'll give it a shot.
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a b $ Windows 7
October 29, 2012 1:09:33 AM

page 2-38 for long beep did you try to press the mem ok button on the board i would also test with one stick of memory at the time
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October 29, 2012 1:32:44 AM

scout_03 said:
page 2-38 for long beep did you try to press the mem ok button on the board i would also test with one stick of memory at the time


Good idea about MemOK! I'll look at page 2-38 as well.

I did a System Restore and it was holding for about an hour. I still remain unconvinced the problem is solved, however. I will try MemOK and keep an eye on it. If I see the problem again, I'll try booting from that Ubuntu link that inzone posted.
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a b $ Windows 7
October 29, 2012 3:13:01 AM

You'll find that Ubuntu is very similar to Windows and is kind of a cross between Windows and Apple. It uses firefox for a browser and you can use it for awhile to verify your issue and you can also browse the web.
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October 30, 2012 10:54:16 AM

Update: Used System Restore, machine was working fine yesterday morning and evening, then it froze up again today about about 1.5 hours of use.

Interesting side note: I had moved some files around on my desktop after downloading them, but after it froze (about a minute later) and I rebooted, the files were in the default "Save To Desktop" location along the left-side file column... Strange.

Next steps:
- Boot with Ubuntu to check stability
- Check MemOK to check the memory

...I'm leaning toward the HD being the problem but we'll see...
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October 31, 2012 12:35:02 AM

Should I do the Short Test or Long Test in SeaTools for DOS? I used the Long Test last time and it crashed, but I suppose I could do a short test... Or is there something else I should look for while testing the HD?
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a b $ Windows 7
October 31, 2012 12:38:44 AM

try the short test in windows you will see what it will report and if the short pas then use the long in windows but look like the dos fail did you write down the error code he gave you ? could be drive need rma if it is under warranty
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October 31, 2012 12:41:25 AM

I'll try short then long. I dunno if it's still under warranty - got it ~1 year ago.
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November 10, 2012 1:21:30 AM

Best answer selected by Waterfiend33.
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