Question PC constantly completely freezes with no BSOD

Aug 17, 2022
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Hello

Off with the most important thing, these are the fundamental specs of the hardware I'm running:
MOBO: Asus Z-97K
CPU: Intel Core i7 4790K (@4700MHz)
RAM: 4x8GB Kingston HyperX Fury @1866MHz (OC'ed from stock 1600MHz)
GPU: Asus Turbo GTX 1060 6GB
PSU: Corsair CX850M
Main Drive: SB-ROCKET-1TB (NVme)
Other drives: 2x500GB Western Digital Green HDD (internal) and one external Maxtor 4TB HDD.

This is a PC I put together about 6 years ago and has been serving me properly ever since. However about 1 year ago I started to notice that the PC at times would completely lock up without providing any BSOD. But a reboot solved always solved things, and things went smoothly for the following months. It's just about two months ago that things started getting bad to say the least. The PC started relentlessly locking up whenever I did something even remotely demanding on the hardware, whether it is opening the file explorer and browsing a bit, browsing the web or playing a game. Then all of sudden the issue faded again and for a few weeks it was fine. But tonight it started again.

In detail, while in Windows, as long as I'm idling (CPU usage <5%) nothing really happens and the PC is stable, and so is it when it's suspended. But whenever I start any activity, irregularly, the PC will all of sudden lock up and become unresponsive, unable to reboot on its own. Sometimes the motherboard speaker beeps at the same time of the freeze, but the beep itself freezes and just continues forever until I force reboot.

The weirdest part of all of this is that if I try to immediately reboot, the PC will start freezing faster and faster, during Windows login, then during Windows boot, and eventually it will just start cycling between on and off, not even making it to the BIOS splash screen. The constant crashes even managed to corrupt my Razer Synapse install, it seems.

I searched up the Asus MOBO acoustic signals and there is nothing anomalous. The PC posts normally and beeps once at each boot.

What's weird though is that about a month ago, whenever I start up the PC after power depletion (shutting down the PSU switch, so that PC remains without power) the PC will always bring me to the American Megatrends splash screen and tell me to reapply BIOS settings.

Things I tried:
1: Checking temps. Nothing anomalous here. CPU during boot never surpassed 75°C and idles in the 40s. So it can't be temperature

2: Booting without overclock. I have specifically a profile with absolutely no overclock applied, saved in the BIOS, with even Turbo Boost disabled to save power. But as soon as I tried it, and booted to Windows, the PC just froze brutally like before, beeping endlessly until I force restarted it.

3: Cleaning the PC. No effect whatsoever. I unplugged everything and removed as much dust as I could. But it froze even after the cleaning.

This problem makes the PC completely unusable for anything and I'm out of ideas. I would greatly appreciate any help or suggestions, if I'm doing something wrong. I can provide more informations if required.

Thanks for the help.
 

Nighthawk117

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Sep 27, 2021
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My I ask what your vcore was on your 4790K when it was overclocked to 4.7Ghz?

For me most obvious candidates for hardware issues are board and RAM. I'm sure you've checked, but I don't suppose any meaningful information was left in the event viewer or reliability history?
 
Aug 17, 2022
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My I ask what your vcore was on your 4790K when it was overclocked to 4.7Ghz?

For me most obvious candidates for hardware issues are board and RAM. I'm sure you've checked, but I don't suppose any meaningful information was left in the event viewer or reliability history?
Vcore when the 4790K is at 4.7 is 1.307V (1.305V in BIOS). Changed it a few times over the years.

Nothing in the event viewer except the forced shutdown that well, I manually cause. The PC froze just now again during gaming, and failed to boot afterwards.

Usually this type of freeze is outside of Windows's environment. BSODS are usually thrown out when Windows is still running at the time of the failure. So this is probably an hardware issue, or a lower level issue in general.

I honestly don't think it's RAM, considering that even on stock frequencies, the PC crashes just as brutally. No difference at all.
 

Nighthawk117

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Sep 27, 2021
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I agree sounds like a hardware issue, that's why I asked if there was anything in there. If there's no paper trail then usually means something is very wrong. Seems like a good vcore for 4.7Ghz, I wondered whether it was on the high end and degraded the chip. I've known of RAM modules to fail that's why I mentioned it, even if it's not that likely. You could run MemTest86 to see if it finds anything obvious or simply try one stick at a time. Unfortunately when I was having these sorts of issues about 6 months ago the only way I got to the bottom of it was simply to gradually replace each component until I found the culprit.
 
Aug 17, 2022
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I agree sounds like a hardware issue, that's why I asked if there was anything in there. If there's no paper trail then usually means something is very wrong. Seems like a good vcore for 4.7Ghz, I wondered whether it was on the high end and degraded the chip. I've known of RAM modules to fail that's why I mentioned it, even if it's not that likely. You could run MemTest86 to see if it finds anything obvious or simply try one stick at a time. Unfortunately when I was having these sorts of issues about 6 months ago the only way I got to the bottom of it was simply to gradually replace each component until I found the culprit.
Which component was the culprit for you? RAM modules?
 
Aug 17, 2022
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For me it was the motherboard, had random freezes and restarts. Sometimes it would take 2 weeks, others it would be several times a day, replaced every component except PSU. I knew it wasn't the PSU, so concluded it was the board. Put in another one and has been fine ever since.
Unfortunately I believe it's the motherboard for me, too. The capacitors on it look fine, and in fact voltage supply looks perfect on Hwinfo, which means the PSU is working fine too. Looks like that it's just something deeper and unrepairable that has failed.

The PC just now froze again. It gave one solid short beep as it froze. I don't know what it could mean. Didn't find anything on the internet. But it has to mean something bad.
 

Nighthawk117

Respectable
Sep 27, 2021
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Unfortunately I believe it's the motherboard for me, too. The capacitors on it look fine, and in fact voltage supply looks perfect on Hwinfo. Looks like that it's just something deeper and unrepairable that has failed.

The PC just now froze again. It gave one solid short beep as it froze. I don't know what it could mean. Didn't find anything on the internet. But it has to mean something bad.
I didn't get any beeps myself, was quiet as a mouse. Apparently one long beep can mean memory problems. Don't suppose you've tried changing the CMOS battery at all?
 
Aug 17, 2022
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I didn't get any beeps myself, was quiet as a mouse. Apparently one long beep can mean memory problems. Don't suppose you've tried changing the CMOS battery at all?
I didn't. At one I did speculate it could've been the CMOS battery due to the BIOS profile loss after the PC has been powered down for long periods of time. But CMOS batteries failing never gave me such issues before. But I'll definitely try to replace it with a new one. .

Also about the beep, no no. It was a brief one. I know that the long one indicates that memory failed. But that never occurred.
 

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