Computer Randomly Freezes

Funky Ducky

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So, I have a custom built computer that I built back in mid July. Ran great for a while. Occasional freeze, but no big deal. I recently moved into my dorms and the problem has getting much worse. But first, specs.
I'm running a MSI SLI 970a Krait Edition motherboard, XFX Radeon R9-380p , AMD FX-8320, 2x 4gb Kell Neo DDR3 ram, Seagate 1tb hd, Mushkin 120gb ssd, with a Rosewill Glacier 700w power supply.
Generally, it doesn't lock up frequently when I'm browsing. Start playing games or such and it locks up within 20 minutes generally. So far, I've attempted a sfc scan with no errors (was getting some before I did a clean install), scanned for viruses with multiple programs (not running at the same time) with no results, hard disk check with no errors, checked the drivers, temps, memory test, I've tried taking out a stick of ram and swapping them out so only one was in at a time to no avail, and I resorted to a clean install of windows after I was having some issues with a "refresh" of WIndows 8.1. Same problems after the clean install. Usually crashes within 20 minutes or so of playing any games, but browsing freezes are more rare and take longer. At this point, I'm stuck. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
 
Sounds like a power supply issue, especially if a change of external power connection made the issue worse.

Try borrowing a high power UPS and running the same tests, if the issues happen less (or much more) again it's certainly a PSU issue.

If a UPS doesn't help, it can still be a PSU issue, but it could also be a graphics memory or motherboard issue as well.
 
Sounds like a power supply issue, especially if a change of external power connection made the issue worse.

Try borrowing a high power UPS and running the same tests, if the issues happen less (or much more) again it's certainly a PSU issue.

If a UPS doesn't help, it can still be a PSU issue, but it could also be a graphics memory or motherboard issue as well.
 

Funky Ducky

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As the build is still quite new, do you think it would be worthwhile just using the warranty that it's likely under? A 700w power supply should be more than enough for what I have set up from what I understand. Could it just be the power supply going bad?

Additionally, looking at the 12v rating according to hwmonitor, im getting around 13.992v. I'm not knowledgeable about what to be looking for here.
 

Funky Ducky

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I have no idea where I would even obtain one. I, unfortunately, don't have any friends in the area that are computer enthusiasts.
 


Ok, here's another option, use your overclocking software to underclock and undervolt the graphics card, and set your computer's power profile to run the CPU at 50% clock maximum. If the graphics card is currently at ~1GHz, bring it down to <900MHz and slash 5% on it's base voltage. After that try running the games again and seeing if there's a change. If stability improves, chances are that it's your PSU being pretty bad for AMD (which tends to have more current spikes, especially in GCN 1.2 vs earlier GCN versions) or that you had been overclocking and the overclock was unstable.
 

Funky Ducky

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Currently, I don't do anything with my card. Any programs that you would recommend to do this? I'm running an AMD FX-8320 which is clocked at 3.5ghz(4.0ghz turbo). I'll need a little more info on how to do this. Thanks.
 


XFX doesn't provide overclocking utilities, so you'll have to use something like MSI's afterburner.

As for the CPU, literally go to "Power Options" (right click on start icon) and then "Change Plan Settings" then "Change advanced settings", and then set "Processor power management" 's maximum to 50%. That will slow your CPU to it's minimum frequency (even though it says 3.5GHz, it should idle under 2), and in the process use less than half the power.

Basically what you want to do is minimize the power consumption of the system while gaming, which might help you spot PSU failure.
 

Funky Ducky

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That's very helpful! Thanks. I'll update sometime later tomorrow once I can get to this.
 

Funky Ducky

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Just had it fail while I was browsing the web even with the still lowered settings. Still think its the psu?
 


Still likely the PSU, just check the event viewer to see if anything other than "kernel-power" errors crop up at the time of freezing.
 

Funky Ducky

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Replaced my psu and I'm still having the same issues.
 

Funky Ducky

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They're all kernel-power errors seemingly coinciding with when I force power off my computer.
 


In other words, it was never "crashing", just locking up and you forced the system to crash? That actually changes the entire problem.

If you have 8.1 Pro, enable remote access and, instead of resetting the computer, try logging in remotely. Depending on the error (or success) there it might help narrow down the issue.
 

Funky Ducky

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Ya, I don't have pro. I have the embedded version of 8.1
 


Using embedded on a system like that sounds like the OS was not a legitimate license. Are you using an OS that was on a DVD with Microsoft's hologram or downloaded directly from the Microsoft website itself?
 

Funky Ducky

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Lol, it is a legitimate key. I'm a college student and am signed up with Dreamspark since I get it for free. Part of the software catalog is Windows Embedded. So, free windows key and downloaded directly from microsoft.
 


You are in fact using a "pirated" version then. Please read the terms of your agreement carefully next time: "Your DreamSpark Direct Subscription includes certain Windows operating system products. You may install these products only on a computer that is already licensed to run a full version of a Windows operating system on it, as evidenced by a valid Certificate of Authenticity (COA) for a Windows operating system affixed to the computer. "

Windows Embedded 8.1 Standard is not meant for desktop computers, and though Industry is more or less like the regular 8.1 Pro, "Standard" is more closely related to the CE line, being geared towards highly integrated systems with modular functionality. The OS could very well be incompatible with your software if you didn't set it up properly.
 

Funky Ducky

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I'm still not running a pirated version of anything. I have a legitimate copy of Windows 7 that was first installed on here. So, it's not fucking pirated. Embedded works just fine on desktop computers. It's more so a no frills version of Windows.

Anyways, I know it's not incompatibility. Absolutely nothing indicates that issue. What it's been narrowed down to (and the MSI technician I talked with agrees) is that it is the northbridge processor on my motherboard is getting too hot and causing the computer to free. My motherboard has a bad reputation for it. SO, I'm buying a new motherboard, rma'ing the one that I have, and then I'll sell it when I get it back as they're giving me a new one.
 


Unfortunately I can only go by what you've written, and your story is both missing information and changing all the time! As for Embedded Standard, it's quite different due to the enhanced modularity and is meant for integrated systems, hence why I mentioned that compatibility depends on your configuration (since you can either copy Windows 8 or have a very stripped down version). I have seen some people strip out things that their software needs, so it's not a stretch.

If your cooler is not a type that moves air around too much (water cooling, closed towers, etc), it can cause overheating in some motherboards, but as you didn't mention cooling the standard cooler was assumed, and that should adequately cool motherboards unless there is physical damage (like if the heat spreader/heatsink on the chipset came off during transport)
 

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