[SOLVED] PC Freezes during games after applying new thermal paste to CPU (i7 2600k)

Oct 30, 2019
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Hello. I have had my computer for 7 years now, I built it in anticipation for Diablo 3 in 2012. It was a Windows 7 that later "upgraded" to Windows 10. My CPU is an Intel i7 2600k Sandy Bridge and I have only very mildly overclocked it over the years.

I never used the stock heatsink and fan at all, they are still stored in a box. Instead, I installed a closed loop watercooling system for the cpu only. I have only lately noticed higher temperatures on my cpu while running. Reportedly, the 2600K is a model that runs hot and 90c isn't too alarming, but I was seeing 90c-98c often enough while gaming (No Man's Sky) in the last week that I knew there was a problem. On top of that, it began to make a rattling noise I'd never heard before. Also, I was idling anywhere between 63c and 74c.

I bought a tube of Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut thermal paste and received it today. I removed the closed loop water cooler and the processing unit. In doing so, I noticed the screws for the mount were actually a bit loose, which would explain some higher temps and also the rattling noise.. When I did the original build I used Arctic Silver 5 thermal paste. I used Arctic Silver thermal paste remover and surface polisher to clean the surfaces of the watercooling unit and the processor. I was very careful about removing the old thermal paste and did it out of my case, as Arctic Silver 5 is slightly capacitative (Kryonaut is non-conductive and non-capacitative). The surfaces were very clean when I was finished and I also used some 91% Isopropyl Alcohol to clean some mild dust buildup off a few surfaces of the WCS and the chassis where the radiator is mounted. I didn't do anything else, save for unplug the cpu power cord from the motherboard and the WCS fan, as the cpu power cord was in the way and the fan needed to be unplugged to remove the WCS.

To note, I have checked the WCS while running, the fan works as it should and I can feel the water running through the two tubes. One tube is warm, the other is cool. After applying the new thermal solution and spreading it with the included spreader (ugh), I reinserted the processor, locked it in, and remounted the WCS atop it (in the same position as before). I hooked everything back up as I had it before. After a few minutes, I booted up and my pc rebooted once before I had any visuals, and then booted up. It told me I installed a new cpu and wanted me to change settings, including overclocking options. I changed nothing as nothing really changed. When I got into Windows, I used Speccy to check my running temps. My CPU idle temp dropped to 34c. It sits between 35c and 42c most of the time now, just browsing the internet or watching Netflix. If I run No Man's Sky, I have had few chances to check the temp but what I have seen is temps no higher than 72c so far.

I can boot up the game just fine, load my save and begin playing. However, within 10 minutes the game will freeze. I am able to perform one or two tasks before everything becomes unresponsive. Task manager won't open unless already opened, and nothing I try closes the game. One time I waited for about 10 minutes and then it suddenly performed the tasks I tried before, alt tabbing, ctrl alt del, etc. I was able to do things again and check Speccy, all temps were good. I was not able to shut down the computer, log out, or close the game in any way (which prevented the first two things). Every time I have had to hold the power button to shut down.

Since then I have tried setting all bios settings to Asus optimal, default settings. Setting things to Auto. I continue to have this problem.

Specs:
Windows 10 64 bit
Intel Core i7 2600k Sandy Bridge
16 GB RAM Dual Channel DDR3 (G.Skill 4x 4GB)
Asus P8Z68 Deluxe Motherboard
EVGA Nvidia Geforce GTX 760 (4GB Vram)
500GB Samsung SSD
Corsair 750W PSU
Lancool Chassis

I haven't updated my BIOS in years... though everything worked fine before I applied the new paste, besides the cpu running hot, and now I have a new problem I didn't have before.

Also, no blue screens, and no heat related shut downs before or after.
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
If there is a newer BIOS available, I would install it. I realize you didn't need to have it before, but before, your BIOS didn't think a new CPU was installed either.

It might actually be worth trying to update the BIOS, because unless there is a KNOWN reason for not doing so, such as a bad BIOS release (Which you'd know about most likely, and so would the manufacturer, and it would have been pulled and replaced years ago. Good thing about waiting a long time to do BIOS updates, it's pretty much impossible to get one that isn't tried and true), it is ALMOST always better to have the latest version than to not have it. They don't release updates just for fun. They do it to resolve known issues and problems, so it's a good idea especially when you are having issues that you can't otherwise explain, like now.

Also, AFTER updating the BIOS, OR, even if you DON'T update, it might be a good idea to simply do a hard reset as follows. Again, especially since for some reason it thought you installed a different CPU. You really might also want to take the CPU back out and make sure there are no bent pins on the motherboard. It's VERY unusual, and a red flag, for the system to give a message about a new CPU when the same CPU was reinstalled.



BIOS Hard Reset procedure

Power off the unit, switch the PSU off and unplug the PSU cord from either the wall or the power supply.

Remove the motherboard CMOS battery for five minutes. In some cases it may be necessary to remove the graphics card to access the CMOS battery.

During that five minutes, press the power button on the case for 30 seconds. After the five minutes is up, reinstall the CMOS battery making sure to insert it with the correct side up just as it came out.

If you had to remove the graphics card you can now reinstall it, but remember to reconnect your power cables if there were any attached to it as well as your display cable.

Now, plug the power supply cable back in, switch the PSU back on and power up the system. It should display the POST screen and the options to enter CMOS/BIOS setup. Enter the bios setup program and reconfigure the boot settings for either the Windows boot manager or for legacy systems, the drive your OS is installed on if necessary.

Save settings and exit. If the system will POST and boot then you can move forward from there including going back into the bios and configuring any other custom settings you may need to configure such as Memory XMP profile settings, custom fan profile settings or other specific settings you may have previously had configured that were wiped out by resetting the CMOS.

In some cases it may be necessary when you go into the BIOS after a reset, to load the Optimal default or Default values and then save settings, to actually get the hardware tables to reset in the boot manager.
 
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Oct 30, 2019
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How do you figure there is an issue with the pump? The processor doesn't overheat now and I can feel the water rushing through the tubes, one tube is hot water going out to the radiator and the other is cool water going back into the block.

The screws actually don't get super tight. They get snug and if you turn them beyond that they loosen up a little before getting snug again. I'm not really sure why... maybe to prevent overtightening?
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
Yes on the screws. Probably to prevent overtightening or stripping.

On the pump, either you have an air bubble that was effectively trapped in the pump when you removed it and repositioned it when redoing the paste, or you have an issue with the pump that simply wasn't apparent before the repositioning. Nothing else could cause a "rattling noise", if nothing else was disturbed or removed.

Try this.

With the system running, put your finger on the top of the water block. See if you can "feel" the noise when it rattles. Is the rattling constant or intermittent.

If it's an air bubble, you can try tilting the case back on it's back panel, to both sides, to the front panel, etc., WITH it RUNNING, to try and dislodge the air bubble and get it back into the radiator so the pump mechanism won't air lock (The idea is to try and get the pump and radiator to change positions, so that any air bubble in the pump can work its way out of there and back to the radiator where some air is tolerable), but if you have an air bubble that effective, considering the age of the cooler, then it's time to replace it most likely anyhow. Consider, these things were designed to last only about 2-4 years, max. If you bought yours when you built the system and it's 7 years old, it is WAY past the point at which it should have been replaced. I am assuming you actually meant "closed loop" as in AIO, not custom loop.
 
Oct 30, 2019
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Ohh, I see what you meant, sorry for the confusion. The rattling noise started on it's own within the last week, for no readily apparent reason. After removing the WCS and applying thermal paste the noise is completely gone. I believe it was because the screws were loose. So just to clarify, the rattling has completely stopped.

Indeed, I realize it is old, but otherwise seems to still function as intended. I am hoping it will continue to do so until I can afford to do a new build, probably another year... but hopefully sooner.

The overheating and rattling are gone now, I'm just having games freeze up at this point.
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
If there is a newer BIOS available, I would install it. I realize you didn't need to have it before, but before, your BIOS didn't think a new CPU was installed either.

It might actually be worth trying to update the BIOS, because unless there is a KNOWN reason for not doing so, such as a bad BIOS release (Which you'd know about most likely, and so would the manufacturer, and it would have been pulled and replaced years ago. Good thing about waiting a long time to do BIOS updates, it's pretty much impossible to get one that isn't tried and true), it is ALMOST always better to have the latest version than to not have it. They don't release updates just for fun. They do it to resolve known issues and problems, so it's a good idea especially when you are having issues that you can't otherwise explain, like now.

Also, AFTER updating the BIOS, OR, even if you DON'T update, it might be a good idea to simply do a hard reset as follows. Again, especially since for some reason it thought you installed a different CPU. You really might also want to take the CPU back out and make sure there are no bent pins on the motherboard. It's VERY unusual, and a red flag, for the system to give a message about a new CPU when the same CPU was reinstalled.



BIOS Hard Reset procedure

Power off the unit, switch the PSU off and unplug the PSU cord from either the wall or the power supply.

Remove the motherboard CMOS battery for five minutes. In some cases it may be necessary to remove the graphics card to access the CMOS battery.

During that five minutes, press the power button on the case for 30 seconds. After the five minutes is up, reinstall the CMOS battery making sure to insert it with the correct side up just as it came out.

If you had to remove the graphics card you can now reinstall it, but remember to reconnect your power cables if there were any attached to it as well as your display cable.

Now, plug the power supply cable back in, switch the PSU back on and power up the system. It should display the POST screen and the options to enter CMOS/BIOS setup. Enter the bios setup program and reconfigure the boot settings for either the Windows boot manager or for legacy systems, the drive your OS is installed on if necessary.

Save settings and exit. If the system will POST and boot then you can move forward from there including going back into the bios and configuring any other custom settings you may need to configure such as Memory XMP profile settings, custom fan profile settings or other specific settings you may have previously had configured that were wiped out by resetting the CMOS.

In some cases it may be necessary when you go into the BIOS after a reset, to load the Optimal default or Default values and then save settings, to actually get the hardware tables to reset in the boot manager.
 
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Oct 30, 2019
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Okay, I was really leaning towards updating the BIOS already so I'm going to do that.

Upon checking the company website, the latest updates are for version 3603. One is for XP and Vista and the other is for Win7 and Win8. Obviously because of the dates, nothing is for Win10 specifically. Should I proceed with the latter option anyway? I am pretty sure the current BIOS is the original from 2011.

https://www.asus.com/us/Motherboards/P8Z68_DELUXEGEN3/HelpDesk_BIOS/

If I have the same problems after the BIOS update, I will do a hard reset. I doubt that any pins got bent or anything, as I was very careful, but I will pull the cpu and wcs back out as a last resort if I can find nothing else that works.
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
Whatever the MOST recent BIOS version is, shown for Windows 8, install THAT. That is what I would do anyhow.

Also, as mentioned by Boju, make sure that all 16GB are showing up in resource monitor and CPU-Z, that you are showing Dual channel and that the speed is correct. Verify that it is showing the same in the BIOS too. If you maybe knocked up against one of the memory modules while working on the CPU block, might have borked something up just enough to cause an issue. Might even be worth simply reseating the RAM and graphics card, and double checking ALL of the other connections to the motherboard and other hardware by unplugging and then replugging them back in. Things get bumped around sometimes when you're working inside the case and you might not even realize that one connector is sitting askew.


Has this system EVER recieved a CLEAN install of Windows, or are you still riding on an updated installation that was originally 7 but was upgraded to 10 without ever having been clean installed with 10?
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
I do agree. You don't normally get a cold hose returning to the pump from the radiator. Cool-er, but not cold or very cool. An air block/lock, whatever you want to call it, can definitely cause that. But if temps are normal now, then it's hard to second guess it.

I'd definitely recommend running HWinfo or Core Temp to verify that temps truly are where they should be though.
 
Oct 30, 2019
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Bios has been updated, reset default settings after and saved. Booted up windows, all seemed normal. I did a test run in NMS, lasted 30 minutes without any freezing. Shut the game down to get ready for bed.

I did actually do a clean install on my SSD. I forgot about that. When I originally built this system I didn't have my SSD right away, and then when I got it, I hadn't gotten around to using it right away either so I did a clean install when I started using the SSD. However, that was still many years ago. I can usually keep things in decent working order unless something catastrophic happens haha.. then that's when wipes, bios updates, etc. happen.

In regards to the WCS the outgoing hose is at least room temp, possibly cooler. Not cold, but definitely not warm or hot. The other hose going to the radiator is quite warm. I can feel the water flowing through the hoses, as well as the warm air blowing through the radiator.

I may open up the case tomorrow and reseat pci components and ram. I know I didn't bump anything, but I do have memory fans that sit above the ram and I took that off and cleaned the fans with alcohol too. I'm pretty sure this was a "full" size tower so there is ample room to work.

So far so good though. Another test tomorrow, if I can run the game for an hour or more I'm probably good. Also, I continuously checked my temps while running the game earlier, they didn't go above 50c even once. I'll stress it more tomorrow and see if there is any change.

Here's a screenshot of Core Temp while idle with only Thunderbird, Chrome, Steam, and Razer Cortex open:
https://photos.app.goo.gl/KE5JgYEhXDLjQZBr7

Couldn't find a way to upload the image, so hopefully that works.
 
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Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
Can't see the image, but for future reference if you upload it to imgur, then click on your image and copy the code from the "Direct link" option in the right hand links, then come here and click the image button between the smiley face and link icons and paste that code, your image will display.

Or, you can post a link to ANY hosted image, anywhere, using that same method, however the image link MUST end in an image format such as .jpg, .png, etc., otherwise for links that end in things like your link above or are image galleries, you must use the "insert media" option and paste your link there. That option can be chosen from the drop down on the formatting toolbar where you see the three dots side by side.
 
Oct 30, 2019
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That was share enabled on my google drive, I used to have a photobucket and whatnot, but never use any of that stuff anymore as I hardly ever find myself on forums without a direct upload option these days. Kinda takes me back to '05 with those free invision board websites and discussion boards everywhere, before social media took over everything. Good times.

From imgur:

 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
Seems rather high to me, if you are not really doing much of anything during that screenshot.

I would advise you to download Prime95, run it, disable the AVX and AVX2 options in the main options window that opens before you run the program and then choose the "Small FFT" option. Run it for one to five minutes and take a screenshot. If temps exceed 80°C at ANY point, then click on the file menu and select stop or exit. Do not simply click the X in the upper right corner because that will not stop the program from running. You must use the options in the "File" menu drop down.
 
Oct 30, 2019
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I ran Prime95 and did a stress test with the settings you said to use. I ran it for 6 minutes and never once did a core reach or exceed 80c.


I did run NMS again to test it, but I did not run it for an hour as I noticed a repeat incident that I saw once the other day. If it happened just once I'd have ignored it, but twice and now I suspect a graphics card issue.

When playing I flew to a building on a planet, when I got there, textures were missing from a few objects. When I went inside the building, the aliens facial and armor textures were a smooth blur, and did not look as they should. There were other objects with the same issue. Part of the building itself was missing wall features, where you could see inside the building from outside, which is not supposed to happen. This is the second time I noticed this recently. The first time was upon arrival in a space station, all aliens were missing their textures. I cannot honestly remember if the first incident was before or after the repaste, but I suspect it MAY have been before... I'm not certain of that though.

I did notice when I did the repaste that the graphics card was visibly warped. Not significantly, but on the one corner not held in place by anything, it seems like time and gravity pulled it downward a bit. Not sure if that could cause a problem, but I imagine that it could. The card itself is younger than other components, but still a good 5 years old.

I will take a closer look later when I reseat the card, I'll also take a picture of it. Gotta go do the whole Halloween thing with the kids for awhile. Haha
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
I understand. Overall though, so far so good aside from the graphics issue. I'd recommend running the thermal test again, for 15 minutes though. 6 minutes is enough to tell if there is an immediate issue, 15 minutes is necessary to determine if it is fully thermally compliant.
 
Oct 30, 2019
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Ran a test again and at about 4-5 minutes my screen went black and nothing else happened. Manually shut down. Restarted, installed the latest graphics driver (was only behind one anyway) and restarted again. Began a test again. I was about 7 minutes in when the test said something about passing 24K. This time I was about 10-12 minutes in before my mouse froze in place, fans quieted down, screen went black and after about 5 seconds the computer restarted itself. It's possible I forgot to select the "small fft" option the second time, but I don't think so.

That's where I'm at so far. I haven't had a chance to look inside the tower yet today, I may have to do that tomorrow.
 
Oct 30, 2019
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I forgot to mention that during the tests, only one core nudged 80c on a few occasions, never went over it and never hit it more than a split second.
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
So, that doesn't sound like a thermal issue. That sounds more like a memory or motherboard issue, or a faulty power supply.

Given the age of the motherboard, this wouldn't be entirely unexpected. What is the exact model of your PSU and how long has IT been in service?
 
Oct 30, 2019
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PSU is the same age as the majority of the system. 7 Years. It's a Corsair HX750 modular psu.

I haven't noticed anything else point toward an issue with PSU yet. No random shutdowns or anything, except for during this most recent stress test. Usually I have to manually power off when the system freezes up. It's a hard freeze, makes doing anything impossible pretty much, and if the screen also blacks out like the last couple of times, even moreso.

Hopefully I'll get a chance later to actually open up the tower again today, so I can reseat everything, and I'll pull all plugs and replug them in and do a hard reset.

I downloaded memtest86 and wrote the image to a usb drive. I'll post the results after I run it.

Thanks for sticking with me on this,
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
So, PROBABLY not memory related. Run Windows memory diagnostic test. Choose the extended option. It will take a fairly long time to complete.

https://hetmanrecovery.com/recovery_news/test-system-memory-for-errors-in-windows-10-8-or-7.htm

Keep in mind, ANY problem you experience on a computer, regardless of what hardware component is causing it, can be replicated by a weak or failing power supply because it doesn't have to be a typical power supply issue or symptom. If the PSU doesn't work right, NOTHING works right, and you could be seeing a CPU, memory, motherboard, graphics card or hard drive issue that are not happening because something is wrong with them, but instead, because they do not have stable, clean power in order work properly.
 

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