Question New PC Freezes with occasional WHEA, seemingly only when gaming

Oct 17, 2021
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Greetings Tom'sHARDWARE community and friends. I've been a long time lurker for over a decade since college. First time I've had an issue I could not resolve by sifting through the boards. Long story short, built the PC from Cyberpower around november of last year (coming up on that 1 year warranty mark), and, to be honest, I've had random WHEA bsod crashed since I received it alongside other random bsod issue. Through updating drivers and the like, I was able to avoid any sort of crashing for a long time (as far as I recall I didn't get any bsods for sometimes up to a month or two at a time ie it was so rare that I didn't think there was a truly discerning issue).

But recently (about a week ago) my computer has been completely freezing up for the first time ever. Mind you no BSOD errors or dump files (although 1 time I did get a WHEA error, but I didn't have my dump pathway set correctly, so I didn't get the dump files, and since then the PC has frozen about 15-20 times and I haven't seen a WHEA uncorrectable error since. Just a straight freeze, audio frozen, can't click ctrl delete anything; only option is to manually force shutdown. So this did happen around 2 updates; a windows 10 update and a GPU update (typically the updates only helped whea or bsod issues I had). I also cleaned my computer and noticed they had incorrectly wired my CHA1 fan to the AIO pump port on the mobo (sounds newb but the way I have my tower oriented, I suppose I never noticed my back fan was not working, and my temps are always so low that I've never had anything close to a temperature issue even under stress). Needless to say I placed it into the appropriate cha1 slot below the pump slot. I note this process because I can't be certain if the errors occured on the same day I did this or not, but I know for sure I had no issues until after the recent updates. But again, always some sort of WHEA error since I received the PC. I've seen the great "Colif" moderator's posts on many threads, and have tried a lot of the following tests:

-about 5-6 different admin tests to search for errors and clean corrupted files
-disabled XMP
-ran the INTEL processor diagnostic tool test
-trying to run the mem test 86 but it says the thumb image or something is corrupted when I try (do i physically need to insert the micro usb to get this to work?)
-currently disabled the CHA1 fan to see if somehow inserting and enabling that fan is causing a crash

Needless to say I've been pulling my hair out trying to get this fixed, and also worried of any long term damage to the PC by repeatedly forcing manual shutdown. I didn't game all day and let my PC run on it's own and noticed the PC only seems to crash when I'm gaming (though I haven't tried to stress it through streams or youtube etc come to think of it I'll try that today). Here are my PCs specs below:

CABLE: None
CAS: CORSAIR ICUE 4000X RGB SERIES ATX Mid-Tower Gaming Chassis + AirGuide RGB fans (Black)
CC: None
COOLANT: None
CPU: Intel(R) Core™ Processor i9-10900K 10/20 3.70GHz [Turbo 5.2GHz] 20MB Cache LGA1200
CS_FAN: Default case fans
ENGRAVING: Custom Picture (we will contact you for picture submission detail after processing your order) [+29]
FAN: Cooler Master MASTERLIQUID ML240L V2 240mm ARGB CPU Liquid Cooler with Copper Cold Plate [+0]
FREEBIE_VC1: Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War [+0]
FREEBIE_VC2: 1-Year GeForce Now Founders Membership [+0]
HDD: 1TB WD Blue SN550 Series PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD - Seq R/W: Up to 2400/1950 MB/s, Rnd R/W up to 410/405k (Single Drive)
HDD2: 3TB (3TBx1) SATA-III 6.0Gb/s 64MB Cache 5400RPM HDD (Single Drive)
HEADSET: None
IUSB: Built-in USB Ports (Based on motherboard and case selection)
KEYBOARD: CyberPowerPC Multimedia USB Gaming Keyboard
MEMORY: 32GB (8GBx4) DDR4/3000MHz Dual Channel Memory [+120] (GSKILL Ripjaws V [+60])
MICROPHONE: None
MONITOR: None
MOPAD: None
MOTHERBOARD: ASUS PRIME Z490-V ATX, ARGB, 1GbE LAN, 2 PCIe x16, 4 PCIe x1, 4 SATA3, 2x M.2 SATA/PCIe + WiFi 6 Intel 201AX
MOUSE: CyberPowerPC Standard 4000 DPI with Weight System Optical Gaming Mouse
NETWORK: Onboard Gigabit LAN Network
OS: Windows 10 Home (64-bit Edition)
OVERCLOCK: No Overclocking
POWERSUPPLY: 1,000 Watts - Standard 80 Plus Gold Power Supply
PRO_WIRING: None
RUSH: Standard processing time: ship within 3 to 4 Weeks
SERVICE: 3 Years FREE Service Plan (INCLUDES LABOR AND LIFETIME TECHNICAL SUPPORT)
SLI_BRIDGE: None
SOUND: HIGH DEFINITION ON-BOARD 7.1 AUDIO
SPEAKERS: None
TUNING: None
UPS1: Tripplite TLP806TEL Protect It! 8-Outlet Surge Protector, 6-ft. Cord, 2160 Joules, Tel/DSL Protection, Cord Clip [+24]
USBHD: None
USBX: None
VIDEO: GeForce RTX™ 3080 10GB GDDR6X (Ampere) [VR Ready] (Single Card)
WARRANTY: STANDARD WARRANTY: 1 Year Parts WARRANTY

Any help is so greatly appreciated. I have an online business, use shippo and other various sensitive sites with saved passwords so I don't want to take it in yet as I have never really had good luck taking my PCs in for diagnostics, and they like to charge you an arm and a leg regardless. Anyhow again, so grateful and am willing to donate for help resolving this issue. Really affecting my workflow and I am completely unable to game. Really disappointing as this was the first nice PC I've ever spent my money on, and there has always been some on and off bsod issues, but I have NEVER had a straight freeze like this and forced manual shutdown. Thank you again friends.
 
have you tried a fresh OS install?
though these errors are usually related to hardware issues those can be caused by corrupt drivers or OS.

also, have you kept the motherboard drivers & BIOS up to date?
many times these updates are released to address problems with hardware or other issues.

a simple thing you can try is disconnecting any peripheral devices except mouse, keyboard, and display.
try a few games that may usually crash and see if it helps.
use shippo and other various sensitive sites with saved passwords so I don't want to take it in yet
if you'll be sending back in for RMA make sure you backup all of your personal data to a separate disk and then do a Reset of the OS to remove any user data.
 
Oct 17, 2021
5
0
10
0
have you tried a fresh OS install?
though these errors are usually related to hardware issues those can be caused by corrupt drivers or OS.

also, have you kept the motherboard drivers & BIOS up to date?
many times these updates are released to address problems with hardware or other issues.

a simple thing you can try is disconnecting any peripheral devices except mouse, keyboard, and display.
try a few games that may usually crash and see if it helps.

if you'll be sending back in for RMA make sure you backup all of your personal data to a separate disk and then do a Reset of the OS to remove any user data.
I haven't updated BIOS since receiving the PC around december, but for some reason, the EZ flash isn't showing up at all in bios. Extracted the updated BIOS into the root directory of my flash drive, but EZ Flash is nowhere to be found in the advanced tab (also isn't showing up anywhere in the search tab of BIOS). Any ideas on that? When it rains it pours I swear.

EDIT: going to try the OS restore after the BIOS update if it doesn't work. As you said from everything I've read it seems like it's hardware related but will definitely go through the software motions first to rule out. Thank you so much for your help JohnBonham!
 
Oct 17, 2021
5
0
10
0
have you tried a fresh OS install?
though these errors are usually related to hardware issues those can be caused by corrupt drivers or OS.

also, have you kept the motherboard drivers & BIOS up to date?
many times these updates are released to address problems with hardware or other issues.

a simple thing you can try is disconnecting any peripheral devices except mouse, keyboard, and display.
try a few games that may usually crash and see if it helps.

if you'll be sending back in for RMA make sure you backup all of your personal data to a separate disk and then do a Reset of the OS to remove any user data.
Well it still crashed even with BIOS update. Also turned off the cha1 fan in bios just in case of the rare chance that had something to do with it. Still crashed. Had 6 streams open and 20 tabs online, didn't crash for hours. My last hope now is to update some of the asus drivers (I believe those are all up do date) and then do a fresh install of the OS. Still just blank freezing, and it isn't even during graphically intensive processes. I play some FPS games, random steam games etc, but for the test tonight I was just playing a Magic the gathering card game online which is akin to Hearthstone; very easy on the system and it still froze up. Temps etc are fine...So frustrating...you'd think they had a way to identify these issues through error codes by now the way they do for car diagnostics. If I do have to bring it somewhere (which I find they usually don't do a great job), would you recommend geek squad or like MIT computers?
 
If I do have to bring it somewhere (which I find they usually don't do a great job), would you recommend geek squad or like MIT computers?
i've had better luck with local privately owned shops.

i've heard many times from customers using Best Buy that Geek Squad just has basic ceremony that they go through with every computer repair job.
basically going through the same motions that you'd find described here or on other help forums.
and they usually won't test individual components to tell what has actually malfunctioned, will just tell you the system is dead and to buy a new pre-built from them.
 
Oct 17, 2021
5
0
10
0
i've had better luck with local privately owned shops.

i've heard many times from customers using Best Buy that Geek Squad just has basic ceremony that they go through with every computer repair job.
basically going through the same motions that you'd find described here or on other help forums.
and they usually won't test individual components to tell what has actually malfunctioned, will just tell you the system is dead and to buy a new pre-built from them.
Much appreciated. The clean install of windows did nothing as well. Going to just mail back to cyberpower I think at this point (though it will probably be over a month until I get it back /sigh
 

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