First time post, hopefully this is in the right Category. I apologize if it isn't.
My problem started a few weeks ago. Playing a popular MOBA game, I notice a brief lag/disconnect, so I alt-tab out to another window, which is unresponsive. The explorer and task bar and every other window is unresponsive. The game is still responding, and I can continue for a few minutes in that window before the entire system freezes. Ctrl-alt-del does nothing, and I have to hold the power button to shut down.
On rebooting, I was able to continue for a while. This was happening roughly once a night after an hour or so of use, and didn't happen again while being used, but occasionally the next morning my system had rebooted again on its own.
My system specs at this point:
i5-2500k (not overclocked when this started), cooled with Hyper 212+
8gb Corsair Vengeance DDR3 1600 (in the 2 and 4 slots due to heatsink)
Asus gtx 560ti dcuii graphics card
Black Widow 850w power supply
ASRock z68 Pro3 motherboard
Windows 7 installed on a 64gb SSD
Additional drivers/programs on a 750gb harddrive
Games and such on an additional 128gb SSD harddrive
I thought this could be a heat issue (i had 7 case fans, so it probably wasn't), but I upgraded the hyper 212+ to a Corsair h80 liquid cooler, and due to size had to upgrade my case to an HAF 912.
After these upgrades, the system was working well, and then the same thing. Slight lag/dc, switch windows, everything froze, main window eventually freezes and I have to hard power down. The only Event Log errors were the Kernal Power error caused by the incorrect shut down.
After this, I clean install Windows 7 on my 64gb SSD (using a Windows 7 Ultimate Upgrade disk, not a full version). I also reformat the 750gb Harddrive in case it was a malicious software causing it. An hour or so later, the same thing happens (this time with a blue screen that flashed too fast), and upon powering off, and then powering back on, I get a Windows Failed to Start 0xc00000e error. The escaping or entering kept me in a reboot loop
with the same error. Unplugging and replugging the Power Supply was the only thing that got me past this error, but the first reboot, my monitors never turned on. After the second reboot, everything started up as normal.
The same lag/freeze happens more regularly now (not in the game, just regular use), and everytime I get the 0xc00000e error and have to unplug the power supply. This also happened overnight during idle.
I've checked all of my power plugs and data plugs (though all of my sata and sata3 plugs are older), and all of my temps are low (41c max on CPU under load, 51c max gpu under load).
I'm out of ideas on how to trace the problem. I can't use Windows Repair from the upgrade disk because I get a "This version of Windows can't be repaired with this Installation File" or similar error.
Hopefully I've included adequate information for diagnosis, and I appreciate any help on the matter.
I ran 2 tests last night: FurMark gpu test to see if my graphics card had memory problems, or a bad gpu, and MemTest86+. I started the memtest at 11pm, as of 4am there were no errors.
I believe I've narrowed down the problem a bit, ruling out the graphics card and ram. I also believe I can rule out the PSU, as maxing out RAM and GPU would strain the PSU more than what I'm doing when it crashes. This isn't for sure, of course.
Whats the best way to test the remaining components: CPU, Motherboard, SSD?
Even though nobody offered anything for advice, I'll post the solution.
The problem was the SSD harddrive the OS was on. Somehow (maybe the cause, maybe a symptom) the OS ssd was not the masterboot harddrive, so I couldn't remove the others to test. It kept crashing after swapping out a new Power supply, so I started focusing on hard drives. I got fed up, wiped all 3 disks and installed Windows 7 on the 120gb (not the original 64gb). After it was finished, the 64gb was no longer recognized at all by windows. Since, it has not crashed at all, and the 64gb is pretty much bricked.
Thanks for reading, would have appreciated some advice, may have saved a few hundred bucks in diagnosing, but I'm a happy panda that my pc is working finally.
Before pitching your 64 gig SSD did you try to install a non upgrade version of any operating system? You may still have a good drive there. Doing Wipe and Loads with an upgrade disk is dicey at best because the system assumes the presence of an existing OS with which to build.
I am of course assuming your SSD was blank when you layed down the 7 upgrade disk, The worst part of troubleshooting system board vs cpu failures is that so many of their symptoms are interchangeable. I hate to say it but that's a 50/50 shot there.
I feel your pain on the money spent in diagnosing issues, I've been dealing with one myself lately that just won't seem to iron out, and it's going after my wallet as well.