Question New computer build freezing up - CPU problem?

Jul 10, 2019
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Quick background: recent power failure/flicker caused my computer to crash and not boot up properly. Got stuck in a boot cycle and kept giving errors (sorry, don't remember what they were now) Had motherboard issues in the past, so assumed I needed a new setup (was about 5yrs old).

Replaced the following:
Motherboard: MSI MPG Z390 https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B07HM3MD1D
CPU: Intel I7 9700 https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B07HHN6KBZ
RAM: Corsair Vengeance LPX 32GB DDR4 3200 C16 https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B01EI5ZH28
Had a 1TB SSD SATA HD, replaced it with a 1TB ADATA XPG SX8200 Pro M.2 SSD https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B07K1J3C23
Kept the same GPU and PSU (Corsair 850) from the old build, figured they were alright (see below...)

I was planning on cloning the old SSD Hard Drive to the new M.2 drive, so I booted to the old SSD first. Everything seemed fine until about a minute after I logged in, the screen locked up solid. Mouse didn't move, nothing at all. I could only hard restart. I did that a number of times and kept getting the same issue. I tried booting into safe mode, and it all seemed to work well (for whatever that's worth). I assumed the hardware drivers were not correct since I was using new hardware but the same settings and drivers. But there really wasn't an easy way to update them since the computer kept crashing about a minute in. I tried using Windows troubleshooter in Safe Mode to essentially reinstall windows but keep my files (no worries, I have everything backed up nightly to a local server), hoping it would update the drivers. No luck. Tried the option to essentially erase everything and start with a clean install of windows. Still no luck, same freezing issues.

Finally decided to get away from the old SATA SSD and try a clean install onto the M.2 drive. So I created a bootable Windows USB drive and eventually got Windows 10 installed. Yay! Locked up a minute or two into the install process. $%^&.

At that point, the only hardware components that were old were the PSU, the GPU, and the case. So I replaced the PSU with a similar one to what I had: CORSAIR RMX Series, RM850x https://smile.amazon.com/CORSAIR-RM850x-Certified-Modular-Supply/dp/B079H5WNXN Installed it and got the same lockup a few minutes after getting logged into Windows (kept making additional progress at getting W10 installed on the M.2 drive at least!) To remove the GPU from the equation, I took it out and just plugged straight into the motherboard. Still locks up a minute or two after logging in. I removed 3 sticks of RAM, locks up. Swap out for a different stick (still from the new Vengeance set) and still locks up.

I also went ahead and got another new Motherboard, the Gigabyte Z390 AORUS Pro WiFi https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B07HRZKPXM Wondered if the old PSU caused an issue on the MB, so I figured this would be it, but nope, froze up while installing Windows. :(
Big oddity is that my BIOS on the Gigabyte shows I should be at 3.6GHz, but the CPU frequency is at 4.6GHz. I'm not overclocking at all and have reset BIOS to default, so why is it 1GHz faster than it should be?

At this point, I have no idea what else to try. I could log into W10 in Safe Mode and stay in there forever without it locking up. But still within 1-2min of logging into W10 normally it locks up completely. I'm at my wit's end here... what else could it be?? I literally have brand new hardware and a new install of W10. Could my CPU be bad, and that's what's causing everything to go wrong?

Sorry for the long post, I wanted to include as much detail as possible.
 

CosmicDance

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Jun 11, 2019
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Well it sounds like you have replaced everything apart from your CPU which appears to be the problem and the fact that it is running at 4600 MHZ base speed is odd.
Something has caused your CPU to run to fast during the power cut and stay that way so hopefully we can get manually change it back to its 3700 MHZ speed.
You can manually change it to its base 3.7 GHZ in the BIOS to try and get it stable and stop the crashing.

I obviously don't know how confident you are changing settings in your BIOS but you need to enter your BIOS and change your CPU Base Clock setting to 100.00 MHZ and CPU Clock Ratio to 37 in order to get normal 3700 MHZ speeds.

Take a look at this link as it is a review of your motherboard which shows you how to get into these relevant screens.

https://www.anandtech.com/show/14111/the-gigabyte-z390-aorus-pro-wifi-motherboard-review/3

Please ignore the parts about voltage for now as they should be at their default values with it being a new mobo.

So you want to be in the 'M.I.T' section of your BIOS.

If in your BIOS it says 100.00 MHZ for the Clock and 37 for the Clock Ratio already then try altering them to slightly lower values i.e. 99.00 MHZ for the Base Clock and CPU Clock Ratio to 36.
Firstly you will need to change the 'Auto' setting to Manual and then below that you will be able to set a Manual value for both the Base Clock and Clock ratio.

This will downclock your CPU to 3600 MHZ hopefully as we want the BIOS to be controlling your clock speed in order to get it back to its normal 3700 MHZ after we have done this.
Save these settings in your BIOS - there will be a key to do this indicated on your BIOS screen usually at its home page or when you press ESC enough times it will prompt you to exit and save the changes - you want to save them so click Yes.
Each mobo's BIOS is different and I am not familiar with yours so just make sure these changes are saved.
The PC will reboot once you have saved them and you then need to go back into the BIOS.
Hopefully this will lower your clock speed and you should see these new values when you go back to the M.I.T. section as the BIOS and CPU should be matching up now for this 3600 MHZ lower speed.

Go back and change these two settings again to get your target values which are 100.00 MHZ for the Base Clock and 37 for the Clock Ratio in order to achieve your desired speed of 3700 MHZ which is your CPU's base speed.

If it is now running at 3700 MHZ but still crashing in Windows then it sounds like an actual hardware fault with the CPU as you have eliminated everything else.

Hope this helps but post back to update as obviously further help is available from all users on this forum.

Andy
 
Reactions: joelpalmer
Jul 10, 2019
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Andy! Thank you so much for a huge detailed reply! This was really helpful.
The CPU is actually also brand new, but after getting a second new motherboard (had an old ASUS, got a new MSI, returned that and got a new Gigabyte) and being quite confident in the RAM, I am indeed curious if the CPU is amiss.

Ok, so followed your instructions, but also set manual values for Graphics Slice Ratio and Graphics UnSlice Ratio, instead of leaving them in Auto (in Auto they're showing 35). The i7 9700 is 3.6 GHz by default, so I aimed for 3.5GHz or so. I put the CPU Base Clock at 99MHz, the Graphics Slice/UnSlice Ratios at 35 and the CPU Clock Ratio at 35. Now the BIOS is indeed showing 3.46GHz! So that's a good start.
Went ahead as you recommended and changed them all back to default values, but instead of putting the Graphics Slice/UnSlice back to auto, I left them at 35. CPU Base Clock is 100MHz, and CPU Clock Ratio is 36. Save and exit, and it's at 3.6GHz. Good deal!

Updating as I go... :)
Last night I couldn't even get Windows installed before it locked up. Now I'm really close to it finishing up!!
Got Windows fully installed - yay! Got into Windows for awhile (10-15min?) and all seemed to be going well! But then finally it locked up again. I'll see if I can get a BSOD out of it. Last night after one of the lockups (after I posted here) I got a DPC Watchdog Violation BSOD.
I'm curious now if there's a compatibility issue with the ADATA M.2 drive? Or are we still looking at the CPU?

Thanks again for the help!
Joel
 

CosmicDance

Proper
Jun 11, 2019
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Ahh great to hear you are making progress anyway Joel as we have all been there in terms of PC frustrations and solutions including myself.

It appears to be an SSD problem you have now.

Follow this link as it is a prior post from one of the thousands of helpful and knowledgeable users on this excellent forum -
 
Jul 10, 2019
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Haha feels like every time I take a step forward... I take 2 steps back.
At work now, I'll try to troubleshoot this evening. Left the computer on for almost an hour, and didn't get a new BSOD, just stayed locked up.

Stupid question 1 of 2... I have a Gigabyte disc that came with the MB. Should I use that to update any/all drivers? Now that I might have 10-15min of time before a lockup, I might be able to get them installed. Stupid question 2 of 2, in the video you linked, where would I find the updated driver; does it pop up on its own, or do I need to download an updated one somewhere, or just use the disc?

If all else fails, I'll try pulling the M.2 drive entirely (been in there since the updated hardware) and try to boot to my old SSD. Just in case the M.2 drive is causing a malfunction?
 

CosmicDance

Proper
Jun 11, 2019
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There's no stupid questions as all of us have asked them at some point!

Sorry the link is just the text you need to read and not the video.
Scroll down and ignore the video itself.
The sentence starts with 'The actual syntax is.. '.

As for your drivers there are always the newest ones available on the maunfacturer's website.
Any you get with your hardware on a CD are generally older and outdated.
Manufacturers update them to account for new hardware and incompatibilities etc.

Yes definitely try just one of your SSD drives at a time as they obviously connect via M2 port and then SATA for the other.
 
Jul 10, 2019
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Ok, been a bit, but here's the latest.
I pulled the M.2 drive and tried to boot to my old SSD SATA drive. I had to install windows on it, and the computer froze midway through the install. So that kinda rules out any issue with the M.2 drive and any drivers with that.
I put the M.2 drive (which had a clean install of windows) and got in long enough to update a bunch of drivers, both from the internet, from Device Manager, and even from the CD.
I ran a memory test (took 7 hours!) resulting in no issues with the RAM at all. I ran an Intel CPU checker and it also came back with no errors, and also ran the chkdsk, and had no errors there. So from an analytics perspective, no problems.

Booted it up this morning, and it ran for an hour before I had to leave for work. But then found out it locked up at about an hour 45min. Noooo!

The only thing I haven't replaced now is the CPU. Tried 2 new motherboards, 4 sticks of RAM, 2 hard drives, and keep having the same error. The only thing unchanged is the CPU (well graphics card, but ruled that out earlier). Should I go ahead and try another one already? Perhaps early on when it got overclocked it got damaged? Amazon returns are pretty easy, so it's not hard to do.
 

CosmicDance

Proper
Jun 11, 2019
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Well sometimes issues are elusive and hard to pinpoint so yes it has to be the CPU.
Obviously the power cut has done something to it but returning it as 'faulty' without elaborating is in your interests 😛

Hope you get it sorted now after all this time spent diagnosing.
On the bright side though - you have learnt a lot more about finding faults with your patience & persistence which in turn helps yourself.

Inevitably these problems always happen to everyone in some way with a PC and hence these excellent forums with people whom without their help I would still be scratching my head too with the past problems I have had related to PC s.
 
Jul 10, 2019
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Ok, I'll try to get it ordered and hopefully installed early next week.
Thanks so much for your super fast and really helpful and encouraging responses! Really appreciate it :)
 
Jul 10, 2019
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One more quick update, I tried to run Ubuntu on it, just to see if it was a Windows issue or a hardware issue. Even running Ubuntu off the USB drive, it froze in 1-2min! Was kinda surprised at that.
 
Jul 10, 2019
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Last update.
I'm going home.
Got a new CPU, and it barely made it to the Windows login screen before freezing up solid. Absolutely no idea what this could be, but I'm done with it. Going to return what I can to Amazon and buy a fully built system.
So beyond frustrated at this thing.
 

CosmicDance

Proper
Jun 11, 2019
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Well if you don't mind me saying - that is just a new level of an elusive problem and no doubt beyond frustrating for yourself.

If you are in the UK I can thoroughly recommend pcspecialist.co.uk for pre-built systems that are configurable in every single aspect - you select each component manually.
Their system even alerts you if e.g. your chosen PSU is insufficient for the set up or the case you chose is too small for the GFX card.

I have used them 3 times when I haven't chosen to build my own system and ordered one for family too.
Their service and after care is flawless.

They are based in Huddersfield in West Yorkshire.

Andy
 

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