Question Computer freezes/crashes while playing video games


May 6, 2017
Hey, guys I really could do with some help regarding issues I’ve been having with my computer.

MSI GTX 1070 8GB
Intel I7 9700K
16GB DDR4 @ 3000MHz

The problem:

When playing video games my computer suddenly freezes up. The game stops completely, repeating a tiny portion of sound it last played (classic game crash style). Some other applications continue to function somewhat, like youtube videos still playing and discord still working. However, any attempt to tab into them results in either the video stopping or the application stops working. I'm forced to press the restart button on my PC, or just hold down the power button.

The story so far:

This first started happening a long time ago now and only seemed to crash my computer when playing relatively high fidelity games like Dark Souls 3 and Rust. I thought the issue was cooling related so I implemented the crude solution of taking the side panel off and pointing a large fan into the case. This actually seemed to work somewhat. And since it only happened while playing a few games I just put up with it. Although I must emphasize the “somewhat” because it still happened, albeit less frequently. However, after a while, I grew tired of having to do this and went straight for the nuclear option of factory resetting my PC in an attempt to rule out software issues. Unfortunately, this had no effect and the problem persisted.
As time went on it gradually got worse. It seemed to start affecting games that I played quite frequently like SCP Secret Laboratory (which is definitely not a high fidelity game look it up). And thus, believing it was still a cooling issue, I bought a new CPU cooler to replace the old AIO water one I had had for a good three years up till then. I Installed it and also performed a big clean out with a spray duster and anti-static chipset brushes, and hurrah! The problem completely ceased…
...for a good week.
It came back with a vengeance now crashing my computer when playing simple things like TF2 and Minecraft.
So I tried keeping the task manager open on my other monitor to see if anything unusual happened when it crashed. Lo and behold the SSD usage (which is the only storage in the PC) suddenly shoots from about a max of 20% usage to a constant 100% until I press the restart button on my PC.
No applications appear to be causing it, it just happens.
Which brings us to now.

What I’ve tried:
  • Replacing the CPU cooler
  • Turning the fans on my GPU to max
  • Pointing a big fan into the PC
  • Factory resetting the PC (“Remove all files and reinstall windows” option)
  • Just leaving it for a few hours (Nothing changes)
  • Running a chkdsk
  • Disabling Cortana
  • Running a memory checker
  • Checking for outdated drivers
  • Reinstalling GeForce drivers using the re-install driver option
  • Updating to a beta branch of Windows to get rid of an error that was showing up in the event log (It got rid of the error but the main issue wasn’t fixed)
  • Stopping windows search
I seriously don’t know what to do at this point and I just hope that my desperate plea is heard by some giga brain computer guru who can pull the answer from thin air. Or even any suggestions are appreciated.
Thanks for reading this, and sorry it's such a long post.