PC freezes when using any browser. CPU spikes to 100%

JonasAbdo

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Nov 12, 2013
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Hi all,

I've been having a very frustrating problem for the past few weeks, and i cannot find any working solution. Periodically while using an internet browser (Chrome, Firefox, etc...) my PC will freeze. The CPU usage will spike to 100% and the PC will remain frozen anywhere from ten seconds to several minutes. This problem seems to be exasperated when streaming video as freezes will occur far more frequently then with normal browsing. When streaming causes a freeze the audio will continue as buzzing, or occasionally will continue in a extremely distorted state.

I have tried many different solutions including display driver updates/re-installs, virus scans (Norton), malware scans (Malware bytes), BIOS update, Disk defrag, CHKDSK via command prompt, etc.. and i still have yet to find a solution.

What is strange is that this issue only occurs when using browsers, games which must connect to the internet work flawlessly even when running on ultra graphics, and hardware temps seem to be stable and in acceptable ranges.

My rig is...

-MSI Z87-G45 Gaming Motherboard
-Intel Core i5-4670K
-16 GB RAm G.Skill Ripjaws X Series
-2 x GIGABYTE GEFORCE GTX 970 GV-N970G1 Gaming-4GD 4GB Graphics cards (in SLI config)
-750 Watt Corsair PSU
-2 x Western Digital 1TB HDD
-Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit

Thank you in advanced, any help is greatly appreciated. :)
 
I've seen other threads in the past with the same issue, although their CPU usage wasn't that high (around 50%, enough to freeze the browser anyways). Problem was a corrupted flash player installation. Try uninstalling it and test your browsers with no flash player at all, if it works with no issues download it again to have it installed.
 

zwebbhead

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I think RaDiKaL_ is pushing you in the right direction....try uninstalling and disabling any browser addins you have at all, delete temp files/cookies, reset IE to default state (Tools > Internet Options > Advanced > Reset), remove Chrome and Firefox completely as well, remove Java - basically take IE back to the bare bones and then try it and let us know what happens
Also when it spikes is it the browser that is making it spike using the full CPU? Do any other apps add to it? Can you screenshot task manager when its doing it for us?
 

JonasAbdo

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Ok, so I completely removed Chrome and Firefox. running IE with no add-ons, and still getting the same freezes. Below is a task manager screenshot. Tried to get a screenshot of the processes view as well, but with the freeze it would not show which process was running at 100%, but I am almost certain that it is the browser.

https://imageshack.us/i/eykPE2Syp

Also I noticed that sometimes right after the freeze I will get a message saying that "NVIDIA Windows Kernal Mode Driver, Version 355.60 stopped responding and has successfully recovered". Though this does not occur every time which I find rather odd.
 

JonasAbdo

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UPDATE
So i removed both of my GPUs from my PC, and using the integrated graphics on my CPU, the freezing issue seems to have stopped. It seems to me that the issue is definitely associated with either one of the GPUs, Both of the GPUs, or some sort of weird driver issue. The CPU is also no longer spiking, and is staying in usage ranges that are more reasonable for simply using a browser. Do you guys have any ideas?

Also i just tried running with one GPU installed at a time, and although both cards experienced the freezes, freezing occurred significantly less frequently than with both cards installed. I find it hard to believe that this could be a hardware problem since the cards both stopped working at the same time. I am thinking that it probably has something to do with software/drivers.

Additionally, i'm noticing very poor performance in graphically demanding games that worked flawlessly before this issue started occurring. I ran a few benchmarks, and was getting scores that were 2-3 times lower than what i've gotten before.
 
Well it's not really likely that both GPUs are failing simultaneously on their own, most probably the issue is somewhere else.

Is that Corsair PSU a CX series? those units aren't really good at all, I've seen lots of threads here at Toms about people having all kind of issues, being their PSU ultimately the cause.

Lets find out if that's your case, see if you can borrow another quality PSU and test your system with it, if that's not possible, monitor your PSU values with HWMonitor Pro or AIDA64 while running some benchmarks.
 

poppasmurf

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just for chuckles go to 3d guru's site and get there "display driver uninstaller" app and uninstall all graphic drivers and start clean and reinstall your graphic drivers, if you have updated them recently it may have had something go haywire during the process its free and works great good luck
 

JonasAbdo

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Actually managed to resolve the Benchmarking issue. It was a problem with the cpu overheating. Replaced my thermal paste, and benchmark scores returned to normal. Still getting freezes when watching video though. Not sure if the PSU still applies since scores are back to normal, but its a Enthusiast Series, This one to be exact http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139021 .

I will check out 3d guru's uninstaller, then report back.
Once again, thanks for the help guys, i really appreciate it.

UPDATE
Used the uninstaller, following all instructions for restart, safe mode, etc... Then installed the latest Nvidia drivers. Unfortunately, I am still freezing while streaming video with a browser.

Also i can confirm that this only occurs when using a browser, streaming via applications installed on my PC such as Popcorn Time or Kodi seem to be working without any problems.
 

poppasmurf

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Ooooo....ok now that sounds like software / file format issues not playing nice. Try seeing if that app has an update for windows 10 or right click with mouse when curser is over the app icon look for "properties" and tnen run compatibility doubt it will work because of the format differences from the to browsers btw I find chrome does well for watching streams better
 

JonasAbdo

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Wait i'm confused, the apps are working fine, why is there a need to run them in compatibility mode? It is browser based streaming that i am having issues with.

Intel driver updater said that it "did not find any drivers for your system".
 

poppasmurf

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Oi sorry thought you had upgraded to win 10 for whatever reason they are "trying" to do away with flash and going with a different format for how you receive them because of the security issues with flash but anyways no, have you updated your browsers then and also need to update your flash player I find the avast AV free version has a fairly good tool for updating apps with security issues more than likely with the push of windows 10 they also pushed the changes to Win 7 and 8 as well. So if you have adobe flash player update it as well
wrapped into there free AV
 

JonasAbdo

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Sorry about the long gap between posts, I've been busy with university. Wouldn't the browsers have updated when i reinstalled them? I also updated flash, and i'm still getting freezes.
 

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