• Now's your chance win big! Join our community and get entered to win a RTX 2060 GPU, plus more! Join here.

    Pi Cast Episode 3 streams live on Tuesday, August 4th at 2:30 pm ET (7:30 PM BST). Watch live right here!

    Catch Scharon on the Tom's Hardware Show live on Thursday, August 6th at 2:00 pm ET (7:00 PM BST). Click here!

Question Computer Constantly Crashes/Freezes and Requires Hard Reset

Apr 15, 2020
My desktop computer that I use daily for work and gaming has been acting up recently with some pretty regular freezing.

Specs (taken from PC Partpicker):
  • OS: Windows 10
  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 1700 3 GHz 8-Core Processor
  • Motherboard: ASRock AB350M Pro4 Micro ATX AM4 Motherboard
  • Memory: G.Skill Trident Z 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-3200 Memory
  • Storage (OS) : Western Digital Blue 500 GB 2.5" Solid State Drive
  • Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1 TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive
  • Video Card: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1080 8 GB WINDFORCE OC 8G Video Card
  • Case: Fractal Design Define Mini C MicroATX Mid Tower Case
  • Power Supply: EVGA SuperNOVA G3 550 W 80+ Gold Certified Fully Modular ATX Power Supply
I built this computer in August of 2017, so it's approaching 3 years of age.

Recently (last 3-4 weeks) my computer has been freezing while playing some high intensity games. At first it didn't happen regularly, maybe 1-2 times a week and only while my computer was under heavy load, which was understandable. Over the last few days, while playing low intensity games and even while working (not using high intensity applications, I will get this freezing and it has begun occurring very often (multiple times a day).

What happens is that all monitors will freeze, but the computer will continue running (doesn't shut down, doesn't BSOD). Curiously enough some ambient game sounds continue to play. For example, in League of Legends there is ambient sound in the game that I can continue to hear, but I won't hear any other in-game sounds such as character lines or the announcer. Only the soft ambient wind sounds will play. I will also stop hearing VOIP from Discord when this happens. I am forced to hard restart my computer to continue using it.

The last few times this happened I was able to have HWMonitor open in my second monitor and none of my temps are too extreme. GPU at around 75 C max and CPU around 55-60 C as its max. Now that the computer is freezing/crashing while just dong homework with very little load, I suspect the issue is not temperature related.

Some things I have done to try to resolve/diagnose the issue:
  • Clean inside of computer
  • Reset many BIOS settings (no more overclocking CPU or RAM)
  • Remove and re-insert GPU and RAM
  • Disconnect Motherboard from power and reconnect
  • Ran 2/4 passes of MemTest86 with no failure (stopped before completing pass 3)
A friend recommended running chkdsk which I will try later in the day when I don't need to get work done.

Can anybody provide a diagnosis or some additional tools to run to get more information? This is quickly becoming a great source of stress because I need my computer to attend virtual classes and get work done, and its lack of reliability is worrying.