Question Brutally difficult faulty hardware / software problem - PC intermittently slow boots, game crashing, HDD disappearing.

RockandGrohl

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Previous thread on Reddit has all PC info and steps taken, summary below

https://www.reddit.com/r/techsupport/comments/cuzc24/pc_new_hardware_installed_but_pc_is/

Ryzen 3600 Stock
Antec AIO Cooler
Asus Prime X370 Pro Motherboard
16GB HyperX Predator 3200MHz RAM
MSI RTX 2070 Super
Corsair VX550W PSU
2x SSD (one is boot) and 2x HDD
Windows 10 Home


  • Fresh fresh install of Windows on the SSD, it was the only drive connected so now has the complete boot record etc.
  • All parts bolded above are new.
  • Avast Antivirus Installed, along with Steam, Spotify and a few games, so relatively fresh OS.
  • No weird regedits or strange Windows plugins or anything like that installed. Just all stock and simple.
  • Temperatures are approx 40c idle and 61c load.
  • I have Verbose boot on, but don't get any text in the initial Windows load (black screen blue logo) only on blue screen white text, which doesn't help as it's freezing before that stage.
  • Have Prime95'd it for 15 minutes with absolutely no problems.

The problem

Following on from the last thread, we thought it was job done and I stopped doing remote support for friend. He played DOOM for 2+ hours, no problem. Installed a few games, downloaded and played Forza, realised graphics settings were low, so cranked them up. Then got like 10FPS (which shouldn't happen ever with a 2070S) and went back to menu to turn settings down, as soon as he did, the PC locked up, when he hard-reset it, it wouldn't boot.

PC performance will intermittently degrade or crash. We notice this happens in Doom when switching from gameplay to interacting with the environment, or when swapping game video settings (switching to Vulkan in DOOM, swapping graphics settings in Forza)

After it crashes, PC will either very slowly boot or just hang forever on the Windows logo with spinning dots. Sometimes black screen. Sometimes it will take >5 minutes to boot.

We are getting intermittent registration of one of the Hard Disk Drives. This should be totally unrelated to booting as it just has a steam directory with a couple games on it.

Just now a pop up has come up saying "Select to show what happens with removable devices - Data E:"
That's a hard drive, not a removable device, so it's still flicking on and off. (Important note, games are on G drive, and E drive is being intermittent)

Tonight I played Mordhau for 2 hours, with the game loading from the intermittent hard drive and didn't encounter one single problem. Framerate was locked to my 75Hz monitor and PC didn't bat an eye at gaming for 2 hours.

I then curiously decided to restart the PC while it had just come out of gaming and it stuck on the BIOS splash screen for about a minute, then let me in the BIOS after I got impatient and hit Delete (it let me in 20 seconds after hitting delete) and then I chose to boot from the SSD, it started to load Windows which took a further few minutes. Once in I did a Windows update and had to restart, which it appeared to do just fine. I then tested a couple cold boots and it was ok.

The problem is that unfortunately it will appear just fine, again, for a while, then the problem will reoccur. It's strange that a game crashing can be force closed, and then once back in Windows it appears to be fully functional until you shut down / restart, at which point you enter an excruciatingly long booting process.

Any help is really appreciated, thanks!
 

RockandGrohl

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There is a new bios,tried that?

Also with a completely new system also upgrade the psu! Especially when that one is as old as it is.
Could a PSU be causing these issues though? The power draw of the new system is less than the old one (replaced a 970 and an i5 3570k) so it’s like 15W less draw.

The bios is the most recent version.

I’ve just put the 2070 in the second PCI-E slot, gamed for 20 minutes then shut down PC, it’s stuck on a black screen having logged me off, fans are spinning, CPU is still being used by something as it’s still a high temperature - the Antec cooler is still glowing red which indicates >55c.

Finally on green now as I type this and sounds like a HDD has shut down.

Just held power button down to force close after 5 mins of waiting. Starting back up and it went straight past BIOS into booting windows, was on the black screen with flashing white underscore for about 1 min, now just stuck on a black screen.
 

RockandGrohl

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Old psu's might have crap ripple values and could very well give problems.

The bios in that redit thread wasn't the latest.
Yeah I get ya, just odd how the 2070S draws less than the 970 and the Ryzen 3600 draws less than the Core i5 before it.

You're right, there is another BIOS - I'm installing it now.
 

RockandGrohl

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Old psu's might have crap ripple values and could very well give problems.

The bios in that redit thread wasn't the latest.
So before I installed the BIOS I tried a restart, it loaded the Windows spinning logo where it got stuck for an hour before I hard-reset. Now updated the BIOS to the latest (5204) and it still won't boot into Windows - just stuck on the spinning dots.
 

RockandGrohl

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So before I installed the BIOS I tried a restart, it loaded the Windows spinning logo where it got stuck for an hour before I hard-reset. Now updated the BIOS to the latest (5204) and it still won't boot into Windows - just stuck on the spinning dots.
I've now unplugged both HDD's and left just the SSD's in and it got to Windows startup recovery, said recovery failed and pasted results to a .txt file, what's interesting is that it's claiming the text file is in "E:\Windows\System32 etc"

But...

Windows is ONLY on the C drive, confirmed, E and G were formatted, then had the volume erased and a new simple volume created, then formatted again and then we started putting games etc on the hard drives.

So why does Windows think there's a Windows directory in C??

To assuage any doubts, I only have C and D plugged in so Windows can't possibly be on E...




Restarted PC after that and it booted into Windows fine on the latest BIOS with no HDD's, so now going to download Mordhau and see if I can reproduce the startup error after 20 mins gaming.


EDIT: Can I see if a drive has a (possibly damaged) MBR on it? I think the E might have a corrupted MBR which is causing all these issues. This MBR would have stuck around since the Win 7 days I think, just going undetected since this MB swap.
 
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RockandGrohl

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Unplugged the HDD's and ran with 0 issues for a few hours, gonna do more testing today with and without those drives plugged in.

I need to check whether a faulty MBR exists on the spare drive.
 

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