Question PC freezes randomly

IridescentCheese

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This sometimes happen to my PC mostly while gaming but rarely on normal use, when it happens everything is frozen and when I try to press capslock on my keyboard, the capslock indicator doesn't illuminate. So I just hold the PC's power button and restart it and somehow it doesn't happen, its very random and I never really figured out the cause.

Then recently I decided to clean up my PC and I had to unplug the mobo's power cable so I can unplug and remove my GPU and clean the insides and the GPU. After that I just plugged everything back and when I turned it on, it did not boot. Luckily my mobo has an EZ DEBUG LED feature and the CPU, and DRAM led indicators are illuminating alternately. I encountered this many times and somehow it has something to do with my cooler somehow being screwed too tight or too loose, when I managed to screw the cooler properly it booted like charm.

I thought the issue is all over but when I play videogames (in this case Borderlands 2), at random times my PC will freeze again. I would hold the power button, boot it again and try to game but it freezes again. This time I didn't game and just use it for internet use and it didn't freeze. After a few days of not gaming, I tried to play Borderlands 2 again for the third time and I managed to play for about an hour before it froze again. At this point I thought gaming is not an option right now and I will just use it for internet, but later on, my PC froze again while browsing facebook. I held the power button as usual and restarted it, after a few minutes of internet browsing it froze again. I did the usual restarting but somehow this time its not freezing anymore but chances are it could happen again and I'd rather not use my PC with a looming risk of freezing. I have feeling that its my cooler that I may have precariously installed that is causing this but maybe its something else. Thanks in advance.
PC specs:

MOBO: MSI Z170A PC MATE
CPU: i5 6600k
GPU: Asus Strix GTX 1070
RAM: 8gb Hyperx Fury DDR4
COOLER: ID Cooling ICEKIMO 120w
SSD: 120gb L7 EVO
PSU: 500W Aerocool StrikeX 80plus Bronze
 
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Hi, can you check the CPU and GPU temperatures? If your cooler is not installed correctly then you might see high idle and load temps. I'm suspecting your poor quality PSU might also have something to do with this if the temps are okay.
 

IridescentCheese

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Hi, can you check the CPU and GPU temperatures? If your cooler is not installed correctly then you might see high idle and load temps. I'm suspecting your poor quality PSU might also have something to do with this if the temps are okay.
Hello, I am checking my CPU temp on idle and its around 57 – 61 celsius.

My GPU temp on idle is around 46 – 48 celsius. Although when gaming, last I checked it peaked to 72 celsius on graphically demanding games.

I did suspected my PSU to cause the freezing, and that my issue with the CPU not getting detected by the mobo(then it refuses to boot) is a separate issue and is not correlated to the freezing. But recently when this freezing issue became more frequent, before that I had that “CPU not getting detected by my mobo” and I had to adjust the cooler's screw for it to work.
 
Hello, I am checking my CPU temp on idle and its around 57 – 61 celsius.

My GPU temp on idle is around 46 – 48 celsius. Although when gaming, last I checked it peaked to 72 celsius on graphically demanding games.

I did suspected my PSU to cause the freezing, and that my issue with the CPU not getting detected by the mobo(then it refuses to boot) is a separate issue and is not correlated to the freezing. But recently when this freezing issue became more frequent, before that I had that “CPU not getting detected by my mobo” and I had to adjust the cooler's screw for it to work.
Idle temps seem okay, what about load temps of the CPU? You can run a synthetic stress test like AIDA64 to stress the CPU and check the temperatures. But I think the cooler is not the problem, otherwise idle temps would also be pretty high.

Is your RAM a single stick or two? If there are two sticks, try removing one and then see if the freezes still occur. Also, test your RAM for problems with memtest64(with both sticks installed), you want zero errors in memtest.
 

Spiderkeys

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Is the freezing only occurring in Windows or other OS your using, because freezing can be software related too, like an out-of-date/incompatible drivers etc.

I did have one machine that behaved in that way, but my freezing seemed to be related to idle work, and never came across the freezing in games. But after many months of frustation, a few tweaks in BIOS, just as disable Cool'Quiet feature and very slightly underclocking the CPU surprising fixed it forever.

Check the state of your HD also, in SMART and also internally for any bad/Loose cables and even try another Port.
 
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Have you tried to run your RAM at stock settings? I had an issue with my PC freezing randomly, and just disabling XMP profile fixed the problem.
 

IridescentCheese

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Idle temps seem okay, what about load temps of the CPU? You can run a synthetic stress test like AIDA64 to stress the CPU and check the temperatures. But I think the cooler is not the problem, otherwise idle temps would also be pretty high.

Is your RAM a single stick or two? If there are two sticks, try removing one and then see if the freezes still occur. Also, test your RAM for problems with memtest64(with both sticks installed), you want zero errors in memtest.
Ok so for the RAM I actually use to have 16gb but my other 8gb RAM became faulty and I actually had to start a forum here just to conclude that the RAM is to blame. Right now I only have a single 8gb RAM. I did a test with it anyway with memtest64 and it showed no errors, or at least the text at the bottom said something like "no errors" around the 40 second mark.

After that I tried to open AIDA64 but it somehow Microsoft Windows failed and I had to force restart my PC, not sure why that happened but no harm mentioning.

Eventually I opened AIDA64 and run the system stability test, I only left CPU checked while the rest are left unchecked. After about 8 minutes of stress testing nothing much happened.
The temps for the duration of the test was around 80 celsius. And it never froze.

EDIT:

Before all this I actually tried to play Borderlands 2 just to test my PC. Asus' GPU Tweak II luckily has an on-screen-display feature so I can see the state of the CPU and GPU right before it froze. About more than 5 minutes into the game and it froze, no audio, keyboard is not responding.
Unfortunately I screwed up and failed to document the results, but I did remember the temps. CPU temps was at 81 celsius while GPU was at 57 celsius.
 
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IridescentCheese

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Have you tried to run your RAM at stock settings? I had an issue with my PC freezing randomly, and just disabling XMP profile fixed the problem.
I think back when my PC was still fresh, I did enable XMP but eventually turned it off because I had some problems with it. I did ran a memtest64 on my RAM and it mentioned no errors.
 

IridescentCheese

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Is the freezing only occurring in Windows or other OS your using, because freezing can be software related too, like an out-of-date/incompatible drivers etc.

I did have one machine that behaved in that way, but my freezing seemed to be related to idle work, and never came across the freezing in games. But after many months of frustation, a few tweaks in BIOS, just as disable Cool'Quiet feature and very slightly underclocking the CPU surprising fixed it forever.

Check the state of your HD also, in SMART and also internally for any bad/Loose cables and even try another Port.
I only use Windows 10 and I have no idea about the drivers, I just assume updating the OS itself updates the drivers. The only driver I am at least aware of are NVIDIA drivers.

As for the the BIOS I rarely tinker around there because I am least knowledgeable about it, and I might screw it up. I did try to run a SMART test on my SSD though. I used the command prompt method with "wmic diskdrive get status" command and it quickly said "OK". I find that suspiciously quick but I guess its ok.
 
This is the drivers page for your motherboard, download the correct chipset drivers for your OS, and install them, install any other drivers you think you need: https://www.msi.com/Motherboard/support/Z170A-PC-MATE.html#down-driver

81C, while slightly hot, should not cause any issues with your CPU. Also, I don't think the freezing is software related, especially because even your keyboard is completely freezing. Still, I suggest you back up all your data and reinstall Windows. Install the drivers after you've reinstalled Windows.
 

IridescentCheese

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This is the drivers page for your motherboard, download the correct chipset drivers for your OS, and install them, install any other drivers you think you need: https://www.msi.com/Motherboard/support/Z170A-PC-MATE.html#down-driver

81C, while slightly hot, should not cause any issues with your CPU. Also, I don't think the freezing is software related, especially because even your keyboard is completely freezing. Still, I suggest you back up all your data and reinstall Windows. Install the drivers after you've reinstalled Windows.
So basically reformat my PC, install new windows 10, update it as necessary, then install the drivers needed from MSI's link. All right I'll do that then just play videogames again then I'll notify you if anything happens.
 

Spiderkeys

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As for the the BIOS I rarely tinker around there because I am least knowledgeable about it, and I might screw it up. I did try to run a SMART test on my SSD though. I used the command prompt method with "wmic diskdrive get status" command and it quickly said "OK". I find that suspiciously quick but I guess its ok.
Of course, Fidding around with the BIOS, is the last resort, and yes even experts don't understand every setting, but do so if everything else fails.
 

IridescentCheese

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This is the drivers page for your motherboard, download the correct chipset drivers for your OS, and install them, install any other drivers you think you need: https://www.msi.com/Motherboard/support/Z170A-PC-MATE.html#down-driver

81C, while slightly hot, should not cause any issues with your CPU. Also, I don't think the freezing is software related, especially because even your keyboard is completely freezing. Still, I suggest you back up all your data and reinstall Windows. Install the drivers after you've reinstalled Windows.
I have reinstalled Windows 10 and installed the chipset driver, I tried playing video games again(this time Fallout 4). After more than an hour of gaming no freezing happened although I cannot be too sure. But if freezing happens again, which do you think could be the culprit?
 
I have reinstalled Windows 10 and installed the chipset driver, I tried playing video games again(this time Fallout 4). After more than an hour of gaming no freezing happened although I cannot be too sure. But if freezing happens again, which do you think could be the culprit?
At this point you've ruled out almost all software and firmware related problems, except for maybe a BIOS update, so if the freezing still occurs then that means it's probably a problem with your hardware. You could try the BIOS update first, often newer BIOS have fixes to common issues like these. If that still doesn't fix it, you'll have to start replacing parts.
 

IridescentCheese

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At this point you've ruled out almost all software and firmware related problems, except for maybe a BIOS update, so if the freezing still occurs then that means it's probably a problem with your hardware. You could try the BIOS update first, often newer BIOS have fixes to common issues like these. If that still doesn't fix it, you'll have to start replacing parts.
Unfortunately my PC froze again, and I'm not even playing videogames. Im gonna go try to update the BIOS from my mobo's supprt page but I am not entirely sure if all I have to do is to download the latest or is a bit nuanced.
 
Unfortunately my PC froze again, and I'm not even playing videogames. Im gonna go try to update the BIOS from my mobo's supprt page but I am not entirely sure if all I have to do is to download the latest or is a bit nuanced.
Yeah, download the latest version, put it on a USB drive, and then enter your BIOS with that USB plugged in. From there you need to find the update/flash option and that will detect the newer BIOS on your USB. Note that the updating process should NOT be interrupted at all and if it is, your motherboard could become bricked. So make sure to not interrupt the update process.
 

IridescentCheese

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Yeah, download the latest version, put it on a USB drive, and then enter your BIOS with that USB plugged in. From there you need to find the update/flash option and that will detect the newer BIOS on your USB. Note that the updating process should NOT be interrupted at all and if it is, your motherboard could become bricked. So make sure to not interrupt the update process.
It froze again while Im gaming, keyboard wont respond and its making some buzzing noises. This is definitely a hardware issue.

CPU - temps are fine
GPU - temps are fine, updated drivers
Mobo - BIOS, and chipset drivers updated
RAM - is fine at least according to memtest86
SSD - is "good" in crystaldiskinfo

I heard that coolers can cause a short in the mobo and a PC will not boot as Ive seen in this thread, Although Ive solved this issue by just screwing it not too loose and not too tight. But it may have been causing some random short while being used and freezes it. That's just my theory though.

But then there is the PSU that could be faulty. But I dont know how to check it out. Plus its not the highest quality of PSUs.

For now once I can afford it, I will just replace the PSU and the cooler or try to reinstall the cooler and see if anything goes wrong. Cant conclude anything until that happens.
 
It froze again while Im gaming, keyboard wont respond and its making some buzzing noises. This is definitely a hardware issue.

CPU - temps are fine
GPU - temps are fine, updated drivers
Mobo - BIOS, and chipset drivers updated
RAM - is fine at least according to memtest86
SSD - is "good" in crystaldiskinfo

I heard that coolers can cause a short in the mobo and a PC will not boot as Ive seen in this thread, Although Ive solved this issue by just screwing it not too loose and not too tight. But it may have been causing some random short while being used and freezes it. That's just my theory though.

But then there is the PSU that could be faulty. But I dont know how to check it out. Plus its not the highest quality of PSUs.

For now once I can afford it, I will just replace the PSU and the cooler or try to reinstall the cooler and see if anything goes wrong. Cant conclude anything until that happens.
It definitely is an inadequate power supply, and might be the source of the problem. Can you figure out where the buzzing is coming from?
 

IridescentCheese

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It definitely is an inadequate power supply, and might be the source of the problem. Can you figure out where the buzzing is coming from?
Oh no, the buzzing is from the audio speakers. When it freezes the audio is also frozen, but now the audio outputted a buzzing sound. The hardware itself isnt making any noise.

Although in the past like over 2 years ago, this freezing happened. But not as frequent as now, so I didnt care back then. Maybe my PSU is starting to decline?

But then there is also that part that I mentioned where my PC refused to boot, and my mobo's debug led lights showed problems in my CPU and RAM. Somehow screwing the cooler moderately tight fixed it, and it started booting properly. But that is also when the freezing became more frequent than ever.

Im most likely gonna replace both my PSU and cooler. Since both parts are not that too problematic and expensive to replace.
 

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