Question My PC is freezing randomly with no BOSD and needs a hard reset

Jul 24, 2020
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Speccy: http://speccy.piriform.com/results/3BN2wBczGhV5hWXO5bOTxIE
PSU is Cooler Master Extreme Power Plus 550W

Sorry for the long post, but I need to cover everything because my situation seems to be unique.

For the past month or so, my PC has been completely locking up with no rhyme or reason to it. The screen freezes, my mouse and keyboard don't work, a loud buzzing sound is played through speakers, and the only way out is a hard reset using the reset button on my PC case.

There is no way to manually trigger these freezes, but they mostly happen when I leave the PC idle at the desktop for a while, watch Youtube videos, scroll though reddit, boot up the PC (never before the "please wait" bit with the spinning dots), playing games (although this has only happened once), and lastly when I go to shut the PC down (at "shutting down" with the spinning dots).

I have gone through every single possible test to try and diagnose the issue:
Multiple Memtest86 tests with no errors, same with Windows Memory Diagnostics.
Scanned both hard drives with CrystalDisk and Seatools.
Clean reinstall of Windows with no additional programs, still froze. This was done the same day I'm posting this.
Swapped GPU's, still froze.
Unplugged keyboard and mouse, still froze.
Updated Chipset drivers, still froze.
Updated BIOS, still froze.
I'm not overclocking in any way.
There are no abnormal spikes in usage or temperature when freezes occur.
Used without second HDD, still froze.
Ran driver verifier, no blue screens only freezes.
Stress tested with Prime95, no freezes during tests.

The only thing that's strange about these freezes (aside from the freezes themselves) is that my mouse turns off, and by that, I mean the lights turn off. Both my keyboard and mouse were made by GXT but only the mouse lights turn off, the keyboard remains lit (but you can't toggle the numlock LED) as does all my PC's internals.

At this point, I've ruled out most hardware issues, since the freezes do not occur in the BIOS, the boot up screen, in safe mode (although I may need to test this for longer), or during either of the 5+ hour Memtest (in which it probably would've frozen during that time if left idle in windows). Everything in my PC runs well within normal temperatures and is cleaned regularly.

The only big issue my PC had before the freezing started is that I realised Windows hadn't updated in a while, it was still on 1803. So I upgraded to 1909. The next time I went to boot my PC after this, it refused to boot. I had to use an old Windows 7 install disk I had to repair the start up, which let me boot up into Windows 10 normally. However, my second hard drive had it's partitions deleted and I had to format it and reinstall Windows 10 (deleted applications but kept files) in order to get everything working again. The freezes started sometime after this but I'm not sure exactly when.

Event Viewer is useless too, there are never any errors that correlate to the crashes. The most serious errors it shows is minor things like DCOM errors. The errors that log the time for when my pc was shut off unexpectedly log the time the pc froze, not when I force restart it. It seems to the think the freezes are shutdowns. I never get BSOD's either, so no .dmp files of any kind.

While I'm inclined to think it's a windows issue since the crashes only seem to happen in Windows, it could be a hardware issue. Everything in my PC aside from the GPU is 5-6 years old. I don't think it's the RAM or HDD's due to testing.

At the end, I'm at a loss. I browsed every single forum and reddit post for issues like mine and nothing has worked. So I'm posting here to hopefully find some form of troubleshooting I'm not aware of, or maybe someone who's had the same issue.
 
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Jul 24, 2020
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Yeah I figured it was something like that. I'll try to get my hands on a new one but with COVID that'll be hard. Will report back here there are any changes.

One other thing I will mention is that I was able to stop the freezes for nearly two days by moving my USB Keyboard and Mouse to the front USB ports rather than the rear ones. But the freezes started again moving the USB hasn't helped since.
 

COLGeek

Cybernaut
Moderator
This sounds like a power issue and I would expect the USB devices to work better in rear USB ports than the front. The "improvement", albeit temporary, could have just been coincidental/happenstance.
 
Jul 24, 2020
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New PSU is in and PC is running fine so far (and seems a lot quieter?) so now I just need to wait and see if it freezes again. The longest it went with out freezing is nearly two days so here's hoping. I'll report back if I think the issue is solved or if it persists.

Thanks again for everything so far!
 
Jul 24, 2020
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Well, after not freezing both yesterday and this morning, it just froze again. Exactly the same as before.

Now I'm at a complete loss. I have no idea what could be causing this to occur.

Edit: I've had my PC plugged into a power bar this whole time so I'm going to try plugging it straight into the wall for a while. I doubt this will help though.

Edit2: Nope. Just froze again.

Edit3: Now that I have to narrow down the problem again... Is it possible that my WiFi adapter could be the issue?
This is the one I have: https://www.tp-link.com/us/home-networking/pci-adapter/tl-wn751nd/
I bring this up due to the fact that it's the oldest part of my PC (latest drivers are from 2012) and doesn't even seem to support Windows 10. Since the issues only seem to occur in Windows and not in BIOS or Safe Mode and I'm always connected to the internet this seems like it might be the cause however I've had Windows 10 since it came out and these issues only started recently so I'm not sure.
 
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COLGeek

Cybernaut
Moderator
Could be WiFi. Could also be memory or even the Mobo BIOS. Have you tested your memory? Also, are you running the most current BIOS for your motherboard?

What speed is your memory running at in the BIOS?
 
Jul 24, 2020
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As stated in the original post, I have performed multiple memory tests using Memtest86 and Windows Memory Diagnostic. No errors. And my motherboard is updated to the latest BIOS.

Curiously, I just attempted to disable my WiFi adapter in device manager, and another freeze happened the second I clicked to confirm. I rebooted, went to do it again but no freeze. So I enable it again to come type this up, and it froze again, less than a couple of minutes of re-enabling.

Edit: Tried to trigger another freeze doing this but it's not happening. Might've been a coincidence.
 
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Jul 24, 2020
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I left it on overnight without the adapter and no freezes for over 12 hours at this point. Both idle at desktop and running games.

I guess it's either the adapter itself OR Windows is trying to do something internet related and crashing as a result.

Edit: I managed to get my hands on a ethernet cable so I'm using that for now. I'll see if it crashes.
 
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Jul 24, 2020
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So far there's been no crashes for well over 24 hours of continuous usage. Safe to say the issue is solved! Thanks for the help.
 

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