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My computer keeps locking up and freezing randomly

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  • Graphics Cards
  • Motherboards
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April 24, 2013 12:11:17 AM

Basically so far I have spent over £200 by sending my computer to the store to get it fixed, and each time they say that I have a faulty part. The first time it was a motherboard then again apparently my motherboard was broken. Then after that they told me that my Graphics card was faulty so I replaced that, then after I did some research online I came to the conclusion that my RAM was faulty and replaced that. The problem basically is that when I am using my computer it seems to just randomly freeze, this will occur when the computer is on stand-by and also when the computer is under a lot of stress. It seems to happen faster if I am playing a game, ( But that is not certain). When the computer freezes it basically looks like someone has taken a screen shot and you can't do anything except for turning off by the power button.
Things I have Tried:
Installing windows on 2 separate hard drives and running them separately.
Ram in all 4 slots different configurations.
Reinstalling windows several times.
Run Scans even though all my computer parts were bought last June. I must have put over 50 hours of research trying to fix this problem but my computer is still useless. I hope someone can give me some suggestions anything would help thanks.

Pc Specs:
AsRock Z77 Extreme4 Motherboard
GTX 670 Graphics card
8GB corsair vengance ram 2x4
I5-2500k 2.3ghz processor
CPU FAN: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO
Corsair TX750V2 Enthusiast Series 750W ATX/EPS 80 PLUS Bronze PSU
OCZ AGT3-25SAT3-120G Agility 3 120GB SATA III 2.5 inch SSD
Seagate Barracuda 3.5 inch 2TB 7200 RPM 64MB 6GB/S Internal SATA Drive

More about : computer locking freezing randomly

a b V Motherboard
April 24, 2013 5:21:07 AM

There is not a lot to go by but thanks for including the specs however, could you be more specific about the ram speed?
Do you overclock anything?

Freezing usually (but not altogether exclusively) refers to the wrong type of ram, like speed, latency, or even brand name.
http://www.asrock.com/mb/Intel/Z77%20Extreme4/?cat=Memo...
Is your ram listed in the memory QVL list?
April 24, 2013 6:32:54 AM

TenPc said:
There is not a lot to go by but thanks for including the specs however, could you be more specific about the ram speed?
Do you overclock anything?

Freezing usually (but not altogether exclusively) refers to the wrong type of ram, like speed, latency, or even brand name.
http://www.asrock.com/mb/Intel/Z77%20Extreme4/?cat=Memo...
Is your ram listed in the memory QVL list?

Thanks for the reply and I had a look at the list and it doesn't appear to be there, could that be causing the freezing? And i havent overclocked anything
Corsair CMZ8GX3M2A1600C9B 8GB 1600Mhz CL9 DDR3 Vengeance Memory Module Kit
a c 342 U Graphics card
a c 519 V Motherboard
April 24, 2013 10:57:35 AM

I would first eliminate the possibility of faulty RAM. That is one of the most often reasons for freeze ups. Run make a bootable CD with the memtest .ISO and have it run at least one full pass. It is usually best to do it with one stick in the first slot; one stick at a time so you can easily tell which is the bad stick if it finds errors.
http://www.memtest.org/

How long have you been using the PC?
April 24, 2013 11:23:43 AM

Quick update my computer keeps freezing but after it did I went into the BIOS and found that my HDD was no longer their on the boot options, does that mean that the HDD is the culprit?
a c 342 U Graphics card
a c 519 V Motherboard
April 24, 2013 11:27:38 AM

It could. Especially if you can no longer boot to windows. Does it show up at all in BIOS? In the list of available SATA or IDE drives.
April 24, 2013 11:40:38 AM

I'm almost certain it's not my ram as I got it replaced just 5 days ago but I will run the test anyway as my ram isn't on the qvl list thanks for the help
a c 342 U Graphics card
a c 519 V Motherboard
April 24, 2013 11:49:28 AM

Even new RAM is occasionally bad. Probably not the problem, but worth verifying. So, can you still boot to windows?
April 24, 2013 11:59:00 AM

yes i can boot to windows fine everything is fine and it can work for almost 3 hours if im lucky, or it can freeze after 10 mins
April 24, 2013 12:00:42 PM

My windows 7 was installed to my SSD so that is why i can launch windows, but i have tried my computer with just the SSD drive and I have also tried it with just the HDD and it is still freezing.
a c 342 U Graphics card
a c 519 V Motherboard
April 24, 2013 12:08:43 PM

If you can boot from that drive, it should show up in BIOS. Do you have the latest BIOS?
Once you prove the RAM is good, the next likely culprit would be drivers; the graphic driver foremost. I would uninstall the gfx driver, boot to Safe Mode (F8) and run Driver Sweeper. Have it remove any Nvidia, AMD, and ATI graphics driver remnants it finds. Reboot to Win7 and install the latest driver for your card/OS.
http://www.techspot.com/downloads/4266-driver-sweeper.h...
Then run CCleaner to rid your system of junk files, registry errors, and other crap.
http://www.piriform.com/ccleaner
Lastly, check MSCONFIG/Start UP and see if you can eliminate as many TSRs as possible. For comparison, I only have 6 items checked to boot with Win7.
a c 342 U Graphics card
a c 519 V Motherboard
April 24, 2013 12:11:39 PM

Lewisgray said:
My windows 7 was installed to my SSD so that is why i can launch windows, but i have tried my computer with just the SSD drive and I have also tried it with just the HDD and it is still freezing.


Oh! Did you follow proper guide lines when install Win7 to a SSD. There are a few pitfalls you can run into along the way if you aren't careful. I always recommend going with a tutorial like this one: http://www.computing.net/howtos/show/solid-state-drive-...
If you feel it's worth it, maybe you should do a clean install using the guide.
April 24, 2013 12:20:41 PM

the things is though, when i installed windows 7 on my HDD it also froze up on me aswell, which is the part i dont understand
a c 342 U Graphics card
a c 519 V Motherboard
April 24, 2013 12:30:37 PM

Lewisgray said:
the things is though, when i installed windows 7 on my HDD it also froze up on me aswell, which is the part i dont understand


Ahh, more information trickles out... ;) 
Now it is beginning to sound more like a hardware issue, rather than a software issue. But I would still give the above two pgms a run unless you want to just start over with a clean install.

Btw, have you ever run a stress test with something like prime95 or Furmark? When prime95 finds errors, it sometimes lists what they are.
Prime95 will stress test most components in the PC except the gfx card. I use Furmark for that.

(how well do you trust the folks that "fixed" your PC?)
April 24, 2013 12:39:49 PM

thats the thing they seem nice but i dont think they did that much, ill run those two thanks, and i doubt its me graphics card as that was only replaced 5 days ago but ill give it a go
a c 342 U Graphics card
a c 519 V Motherboard
April 24, 2013 12:53:19 PM

It would be highly unusual for 2 MBs in a row to be bad. Or two cards in a row. But good luck with your testing. Let us know what you find.
April 24, 2013 1:46:31 PM

Just ran Prime 95 for 30 mins with no faults decided to stop it even though it was a short test, the temps never got over 47 degrees. But about 30 seconds after i stopped my computer froze up. And when it froze both my temps were stable
April 24, 2013 1:52:17 PM

the crashes are becoming more regular now, the max up time i have had is about 50 mins, but it has started freezing every 10 -30 mins now
a c 342 U Graphics card
a c 519 V Motherboard
April 24, 2013 1:55:37 PM

Man, that sure has all the earmarks of bad memory. I used to have that problem with an old Asus P5Ne-SLI MB. If I populated all 4 slots with the fastest memory they'd accept, it would do that. Obviously that's not your issue with 2 sticks of RAM.

However, You might still try memtest or the built in Windows Memory Diagnostics. Or even try just one stick in the machine for awhile and see if you can make it crash. Then swap sticks. I would definitely eliminate the memory first.
April 24, 2013 1:58:42 PM

alright ill test the memory out for the rest of the day. thanks for your help. And would the fact that my memory is not in the QVL list have any effect on how my ram is running? otherwise i have played around with 1333mhz and 1600mhz and they both dont seem to work
a c 342 U Graphics card
a c 519 V Motherboard
April 24, 2013 2:19:35 PM

What are the specs of your memory? 1600MHZ/1.5V/9-9-9-24? Should be fine.
The QVL is simply the memory the manufacturer used during testing to prove out the MB. So they only guarantee it with those brands/specs. I've never had an issue using memory that wasn't on the QVL. And I've built a bunch of PCs.
a c 342 U Graphics card
a c 519 V Motherboard
April 24, 2013 2:21:21 PM

Lewisgray said:
the crashes are becoming more regular now, the max up time i have had is about 50 mins, but it has started freezing every 10 -30 mins now


Sounds like the warmer something gets, the sooner it crashes.
a b V Motherboard
April 24, 2013 9:04:48 PM

The ram seems to be good. The QVL ram list is a guide only, not all ram can be tested, too many brands but it is a good indication. Your ram is standard so I doubt that it is the issue.

Does the PC crash without any hdd's (SSD) attached?

What is your OS?
Your motherbard supports up to Windows 8 x64 but the SSD doesn't list Windows 8 at all as a supported OS.
Windows XP 32-bit /64-bit; Windows Vista 32-bit / 64-bit; Windows 7 32-bit / 64-bit; Linux; Mac OS X
http://ocz.com/consumer/agility-3-sata-3-ssd

If you had problems instaling the OS on the SSD, it could be (possibility) that the hdd is not suited to your OS, if in fact that you have installed Windows 8.

Is your SSD set to IDE or AHCI mode? Check bios.
April 25, 2013 3:03:14 AM

TenPc said:
The ram seems to be good. The QVL ram list is a guide only, not all ram can be tested, too many brands but it is a good indication. Your ram is standard so I doubt that it is the issue.

Does the PC crash without any hdd's (SSD) attached?

What is your OS?
Your motherbard supports up to Windows 8 x64 but the SSD doesn't list Windows 8 at all as a supported OS.
Windows XP 32-bit /64-bit; Windows Vista 32-bit / 64-bit; Windows 7 32-bit / 64-bit; Linux; Mac OS X
http://ocz.com/consumer/agility-3-sata-3-ssd

If you had problems instaling the OS on the SSD, it could be (possibility) that the hdd is not suited to your OS, if in fact that you have installed Windows 8.

Is your SSD set to IDE or AHCI mode? Check bios.

Its set to AHCI mode

April 25, 2013 3:19:03 AM

Updatee: tested it this morning with all 4 ram sticks in the computer, ran fine for 3 hours. Then i gave it a break launched it again and it froze after after 30 mins. Tried again where it lasted probably the same amount of time, but this time the screen went black and the computer shut down.
a b V Motherboard
April 25, 2013 3:24:43 AM

What is your Operating System?
April 25, 2013 4:38:09 AM

Windows 7 I just unplugged 1 stick of ram so that there was only 1 in the machine, started it up and it shut down only 5 seconds later and now my computer wont turn on no matter how many i put in or where i put them
a c 342 U Graphics card
a c 519 V Motherboard
April 25, 2013 7:42:08 AM

Do you have access to another power supply to use for testing?

If not, it may be time to start over. Breadboarding may determine which item is the culprit. I would set the MB on an insulated surface and connect just the PSU, CPU/cooler, RAM, and monitor. Start the system with the on-board buttons and see if you can boot to BIOS. Let's see if you can get that far. If it won't start, I would suspect the PSU...
April 25, 2013 8:47:42 AM

clutchc said:
Do you have access to another power supply to use for testing?

If not, it may be time to start over. Breadboarding may determine which item is the culprit. I would set the MB on an insulated surface and connect just the PSU, CPU/cooler, RAM, and monitor. Start the system with the on-board buttons and see if you can boot to BIOS. Let's see if you can get that far. If it won't start, I would suspect the PSU...

Ok ill give that a go later thanks again for the help

April 25, 2013 9:16:07 AM

And could a faulty power supply be causing the freezing of my computer?
a c 342 U Graphics card
a c 519 V Motherboard
April 25, 2013 9:35:55 AM

Lewisgray said:
And could a faulty power supply be causing the freezing of my computer?

If it wasn't maintaining the proper voltage for instance, yes.
April 25, 2013 10:14:42 AM

amazon have offered to replace my power supply for free, so i will update again when it arrives to tommorow
a c 342 U Graphics card
a c 519 V Motherboard
April 25, 2013 12:24:43 PM

Keeping my fingers crossed for you ;-)
April 25, 2013 2:26:16 PM

clutchc said:
Keeping my fingers crossed for you ;-)


:)  im keeping every part of my body crossed, this has been a problem for over 4 months so to get it finally fixed will be amazing
April 26, 2013 4:18:35 AM

Just plugged the new power supply in and the computer still wont start. Cant see why it wont turn on anymore. As i have replaced the
Graphics Card
Motherboard x 2
Memory
And now power supply.
It has gone from crashing to not turning on.
The last time my computer turned on it completely shut down after 5 seconds, what could that be?
a b V Motherboard
April 26, 2013 11:58:51 AM

Try unplugging the SSD, and the othe hdd. Just have the graphics card for display output.
On Post, it should give the vram (rather quickly) in the top left corner before the POST output. Does it give you the proper vram of the graphics card?

Now at POST, does it display the proper volume of your ram?

You should have the LOGO disabled to view the posts.

Now, go into BIOS and see if the General tab (main or first tab) displays your ram, is it correct?
April 26, 2013 4:34:42 PM

TenPc said:
Try unplugging the SSD, and the othe hdd. Just have the graphics card for display output.
On Post, it should give the vram (rather quickly) in the top left corner before the POST output. Does it give you the proper vram of the graphics card?

Now at POST, does it display the proper volume of your ram?

You should have the LOGO disabled to view the posts.

Now, go into BIOS and see if the General tab (main or first tab) displays your ram, is it correct?

Its completely dead and just wont turn on
a b V Motherboard
April 26, 2013 4:54:09 PM

Dead? But you had some sort of power on previously...

Issues such as that could only be coming from an over-heated CPU. Check the thermal paste (not too much and not too thin), reseat the cooler. If the cooler is not unmoveable, it wobbles or leans to one side then it is not securely fitted and is not providing adequate heat dissipation.


April 27, 2013 2:32:59 AM

TenPc said:
Dead? But you had some sort of power on previously...

Issues such as that could only be coming from an over-heated CPU. Check the thermal paste (not too much and not too thin), reseat the cooler. If the cooler is not unmoveable, it wobbles or leans to one side then it is not securely fitted and is not providing adequate heat dissipation.




Ok ill re-seat the fan
April 27, 2013 3:23:16 AM

If my CPU was over heating wouldn't it turn on for a few seconds and then turn itself of?
April 27, 2013 3:41:31 AM

I just read a post about how to spot a bad CPU and I have had quite a few of the symptoms.
Computer draws power but won't turn off, this happened once and the only way to turn it of was by the switch on the wall because the power button wasn't working. I have had a total of 3 blue screens in the past 2 weeks of testing. But it has never booted but not gone past post.
http://pctutorials.info/bad-processor-how-to-spot-such-...
a b V Motherboard
April 27, 2013 4:12:32 AM

It's not that easy to get a bad CPU, it would need to be having direct contact with the heatsink (no or dried thermal paste) to burn the CPU. You might need to remove the CPU, wipe off the thermal Paste and see if there are any discolorations on it. It should be looking as good as new, even after years of use. Check for any bent or misaligned pins.

Sometimes, cheap thermal paste is used, you need a good brand like MX6 for best results. I recently purchased CoolerMaster E2 Thermal Paste, it's gold in colour, haven't tried it yet, hopefully it is a good paste, I paid as much as $9 for it.

(Don't worry about roydion78, it's easy to make fun of a thread, it's most difficult to actually give the correct replies and to solve the Question.)
April 27, 2013 5:06:02 AM

TenPc said:
It's not that easy to get a bad CPU, it would need to be having direct contact with the heatsink (no or dried thermal paste) to burn the CPU. You might need to remove the CPU, wipe off the thermal Paste and see if there are any discolorations on it. It should be looking as good as new, even after years of use. Check for any bent or misaligned pins.

Sometimes, cheap thermal paste is used, you need a good brand like MX6 for best results. I recently purchased CoolerMaster E2 Thermal Paste, it's gold in colour, haven't tried it yet, hopefully it is a good paste, I paid as much as $9 for it.

(Don't worry about roydion78, it's easy to make fun of a thread, it's most difficult to actually give the correct replies and to solve the Question.)


Alright,I removed the fan and the paste looked as good as new, it was a good brand as well, it was a coolmaster paste. I can't put the fan back on though because I lost the paste, stupid me but I have called up the repair shop that i was sending my computer to, and they said they are going to discuss what they have already done to the computer and what it could possibly be. Ordering some new thermal paste today and got to try again with the same fan as it was working well. If that doesn't work im going to wait for them to call me back with what they think it is and then I will go from there. If they think it is the motherboard again, then I am going to send it to them to put the new one in if amazon can send me a new free one. As I must be doing something wrong when putting it together. Thanks for the help ill update again in a few days.
a b V Motherboard
April 27, 2013 5:33:21 AM

There have been recent issues with the Northbridge chip, it could be that it is the fault. Usually, there is a fan on it, the Southbridge has a heatsink but more recent model motherboards don't seem to have a heatsink for the Southbridge and no heatsink/fan for the Northbridge chip. Both chips do get hot but the Northbridge (that handles CPu and ram) does get a lot warmer and needs planty of air flow.

It could be that the Northbridge has blown a "gasket" therefore the motherboard is virtually useless.

Post back when the "experts" have given their assessment.
April 27, 2013 6:08:34 AM

TenPc said:
There have been recent issues with the Northbridge chip, it could be that it is the fault. Usually, there is a fan on it, the Southbridge has a heatsink but more recent model motherboards don't seem to have a heatsink for the Southbridge and no heatsink/fan for the Northbridge chip. Both chips do get hot but the Northbridge (that handles CPu and ram) does get a lot warmer and needs planty of air flow.

It could be that the Northbridge has blown a "gasket" therefore the motherboard is virtually useless.

Post back when the "experts" have given their assessment.

Ok, ill try and see if I can get a different motherbaord, what thermal paste would you reccomend?
a b V Motherboard
April 27, 2013 6:37:29 AM

There is MX4 and MX6 which are good, I recently purchased CoolerMaster E2 (gold colour) thermal paste, haven't tried it yet but the PC guy said it was good so I have to "believe" what he said. It only cost $9 which I thought was rather cheap but it's only a slim single use application. I might be able to squeeze out a second application (for a different PC) if I'm careful with the first layer. I've used Z3 "Dead Cool" thermal paste, that cost me $15 a few years ago. It was good but rather claggy. Just be careful about applying the paste, it is corrosive to the PCB board and there mnight be sensors near the edge of your CPU socket, don't get any of the stuff on them.

I'm not that knowledgeable about thermal paste, I rarely need to apply it. My PC's are low end old models. You may need to go ask in the CPU category.
May 1, 2013 12:15:54 PM

Well I built my computer again using the new thermal paste and making sure the fan was secure and still not luck, it still wont start or even make a noise trying to attempt to start. The computer store havent called back since last Thursday so im gonna give them a call tommorow, even though they probably won't have a clue. Any suggestions what it might be? And can you list the different components which can cause a pc not to start?
a b V Motherboard
May 1, 2013 1:38:18 PM

Are you using molex adapters for your internal fans? They need to be on a separate cable line and not on the same cable line as the hdd or video card. Better to not use nolex cables at all even if it means having less internal fans, you only need two of them, anyhow.

If you have more than two internal fans, disconnect the other ones then try to power on.

The SSD should be on its own cable line and the HDD on its own cable line but could be on the same line as the CD/dvd drive.
It's not easy getting all the devices on their own cable line, some PSU's just don't have enough cable lines!
Make sure the video card is on its own cable line, though, and not mixed with internal fans or whatnot.

Could you take a snap shot or two f your PC innards?
You can upload them to http://tinypic.com/
then add the image url to the details.

What can cause a PC not to start? Everything, anything, and more text than in "Gone with the Wind" to try to explain it.
May 1, 2013 1:57:27 PM

I tried taking a few pictures but they all turned out rubbish and it was very hard to see whats where, I made a video(which isnt much better) but hopefully you can get the gist of what it looks like. If you let me know the other areas you want to see then i can show you them as well. If this video doesn't help I was thinking that I could live stream it on a website called Twitch, if you are up for helping me with that some time it would be a great help.
a b V Motherboard
May 1, 2013 2:16:07 PM

tinypic allows video uploads then you add the url to it in the details, we can then watch your home movie! :) 

Lots of problems occur when people use the same cable line for different hardware, I had to remove an internal fan that was connected to the same line as the video card because of jitters. The Pc is an old XP with only a 400 watt AT PSU (20 pin), it only has 2 lines of cables and I got 2 hdd's as well as a floppy drive to connect, and a cd/dvd drive, and a video card that requires power as well. It works much better now and no jitters, pauses or skips, but no internal fan, though. I've left some slots unblocked to allow air flow. I've got another PSU for it but its in storage locker, I'll have to go scrummage it out soon.
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