Question PC COMPLETLY freezes randomly. Not even power/reset buttons work.

Sep 16, 2019
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Hi!

First time actually registering and posting on this forum...

So my (older) PC that I bought used like a year ago started to have some weird random freezes while doing everyday tasks. I don't really know when it exactly started, probably months ago, but it wasn't so often so I didn't really care about it. It started happening more ofter recently.

Just a few mins ago I was on Chrome, 2 tabs open. Listening to music on Youtube and reading something. Suddenly the PC fully froze. The screen was not responding at all (but I could still see the picture, just nothing moved, e.g. clock). The sound started, I don't know how to explain, it froze, if you know what I mean. Keyboard and mouse - totally unresponsive. CTRL + ALT + DEL - nothing. Power and reset button do nothing at all too.

I was suspecting on my GPU at first, as the screen froze, but the sound did too, and headphones were connected straight to the motherboard.
I am now thinking that it's the PSU. I don't really have a spare one to verify, and I would like to spend 70$ on a decent PSU to see that PSU wasn't a problem at all...

Specifications:

CPU: Intel i5 2500 @ 3.3GHz - idling at 30-40°C
MOBO: Intel DH67CL
RAM: 16GB DDR3 @ 1333MHz
GPU: Gainward GTX 960 Phantom 2GB - idling at 30°C - not overclocked (I did have it overclocked before, I returned to stock thinking it would solve the problem, but it didn't...)
PSU: Spire 550W (SP-ATX-550WTB)
SSD: (Windows + apps) Kingston A400 240GB - 26°C - 99% health
HDD: (storage) 2x750GB WD Blue in RAID 0

Any help regarding this problem would be appreciated.
 

Grobe

Distinguished
A quick web search reveals that this motherboar is probably from around 2013, so I'll say the MB is at the end of expected lifetime.

Have a look at the motherboard, see if the capacitors looks OK - i.e. if one of them looks like have being pressurized from inside, then that is the cause of the problem.
 

Ketchup79

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Aug 7, 2019
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Actually my first thought was that power supply. How old is that? Not that it was ever "top of the line" to begin with. I would buy another model, locally if possible (easy return if necessary) and see if that improves things for you.
 
Sep 16, 2019
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Have a look at the motherboard, see if the capacitors looks OK - i.e. if one of them looks like have being pressurized from inside, then that is the cause of the problem.
I will post a pic soon, I think one of them isn't in the best shape...

Actually my first thought was that power supply. How old is that? Not that it was ever "top of the line" to begin with. I would buy another model, locally if possible (easy return if necessary) and see if that improves things for you.
It's as old as the pc. 5 years at least I guess.

Not really sure that I can buy a PSU anywhere in my town...



It just crashed again a few mins ago, this time I actually got a BSOD, saying "CLOCK_WATCHDOG_TIMEOUT".
I forgot to mention that, sometimes I get a BSOD with that exact message and sometimes it just freezes.
 
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Sep 16, 2019
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Looks rough, but I have seen worse. Upload your dump files somewhere so we can take a look.
I will when it crashes again, I can't find dump files now. I configured everything so it should create them next time.

Unless you've soldering skills to replace the capacitor, that motherboard should be considered defective.
I soldered a lot of times before, but what worries me, can something go wrong when I replace it and turn the PC on?
 

Ketchup79

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Here is a nice article with some good pics to determine if you have a bad capacitor:
https://www.robotroom.com/Faulty-Capacitors-1.html
While the one in your pic looks a bit burnt, I can't say 100% that it is causing your issues. Perhaps someone else here has seen one just like that and knows that it is. Personally, I would look to see if it is rising (since it doesn't appear to be leaking) before I settled on that as a cause.
If it were me, I would do a fresh install of Windows with good drivers on another hard drive. If the exact same problems continue, it's probably hardware, and the replacement of that capacitor wouldn't be a bad place to start.
 
Sep 16, 2019
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Sep 16, 2019
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Some forums pointed me to a RAM problem, I did a memory test a few weeks ago and there were no problems.
Is it possible that the cause is that RAM sticks aren't the same brand?

I have 2 sticks of Kingmax 4GB 1333MHz memory and 2 sticks of HyperX 4GB 1333MHZ memory.
That HyperX RAM was bought from a Chinese seller on eBay, which may sound fishy, but I didn't have any problems with it, at least if it doesn't cause this BSODs.
 

Ketchup79

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Aug 7, 2019
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So that particular one, CLOCK_WATCHDOG_TIMEOUT, generally points to overheating or a hardware failure. However to confirm this error, you need provide another dump pointing to the same error. When another dump occurrs, upload it here so that we can compare.
 
Sep 16, 2019
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So that particular one, CLOCK_WATCHDOG_TIMEOUT, generally points to overheating or a hardware failure. However to confirm this error, you need provide another dump pointing to the same error. When another dump occurrs, upload it here so that we can compare.
Okay, thank you. Haven't been looking forward to a BSOD before. :)

I doubt it's overheating, I have an aftermarket cooler and I usually run on 30-40 degrees celsius, similar with GPU. And those crashes happen when doing regular tasks, not when I'm gaming or similar.
 
Sep 1, 2019
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I had the same problem, updating the Bios and all drivers fixed it for me, also your capacitor looks really bad, even if you fixed the problem now, your mobo won't be running 100% forever.
 
Sep 16, 2019
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Updated BIOS with USB. Everything was successful but nothing shows on monitor when booting.

I tried various stuff, changing BIOS jumper from 1-2 to 2-3 and opposite, removing CMOS battery, removing GPU, removing RAM (only 1 stick left), etc, but still no picture on monitor.
I also put the BIOS file on USB, put the USB in PC and removed BIOS jumper. I turned it on and left for 10 minutes. Apparently that should flash the recovery BIOS or something but nothing really happened...

Is the motherboard (finally) dead or what?

P.S. I've seen cases like this one, but as a sign of dead MOBO their USB ports weren't working or something. I have a LED strip connected to USB of my motherboard and it gets powered when I turn the PC on. Keyboard and mouse are wireless.
 
Try some known good RAM, just to easily/quickly rule it out...
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I'd try a fresh WIndows install to a different SSD (leave Kingston disconnected during testing) , and retest. (If no SSD, even a slower spinning SATA 2.5"/3.5" drive will do for testing
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Disconnect any unneeded case fans, and unneeded useless LEDs/RGB header junk, USB headers.
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Then another PSU (in case the old/original is partially browning out), making sure not to reuse any old modular cables with new/temp PSU....

If temps are fine, you are likely left with just mainboard remaining...
 
Sep 16, 2019
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Well, we were worried about the board anyway. So it might be finally time to say the heck with it.
I already started looking for a new one after BIOS fail, but wanted to ask anyways.

Unrelated to my previous questions, do you think I should sell my i5 2500 and 16GB of DDR3 RAM, invest a bit and make a Ryzen build or I will this CPU be good for next 1-2 years?
1155 motherboards, from what I see, are going around $60+ in my country, add a bit more and I can buy an AM4 board.
 

Ketchup79

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Aug 7, 2019
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Depends on what you are doing with it. I still use a 2500 for the kids computer AND it acts as a Plex server at the same time. On the other hand, a decent motherboard that supports that chip is either very overpriced, used, or no frills at all. Even though the 2500 is still a pretty capable chip, the rest of the platform is starting to show its age, such as USB, SATA, and lack of UEFI. it's still up to you and your pocketbook, but I would probably sell the CPU and get something new while the 2500 is still worth something (although not a ton here in the US).
 
Sep 16, 2019
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Depends on what you are doing with it. I still use a 2500 for the kids computer AND it acts as a Plex server at the same time. On the other hand, a decent motherboard that supports that chip is either very overpriced, used, or no frills at all. Even though the 2500 is still a pretty capable chip, the rest of the platform is starting to show its age, such as USB, SATA, and lack of UEFI. it's still up to you and your pocketbook, but I would probably sell the CPU and get something new while the 2500 is still worth something (although not a ton here in the US).
I decided I'll sell my RAM and CPU, save a bit and then I'm going for a Ryzen.
 

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