Question PC freezing at random - No error messages - Solid white CPU LED

Jul 21, 2020
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I built my PC about 1.5 years ago, and I've been having intermittent crashing problems with it since the beginning. Sometimes weeks or months go by between crashes, and sometimes it will crash multiple times in one day. Here [0] is my parts list.

UPDATE BELOW: I have tried some more things after getting feedback. After calling MSI, I am still within warranty, so I will look into RMA'ing my board if the problems continue. Thank you for your help!

I posted [1] about this issue on the /r/buildapc subreddit a few months back, and a BIOS update seemed to fix the problem, but now it has returned.


The Problem:

When my PC crashes, the screen will freeze, and whatever sound that was coming out of the speakers at that moment will suddenly get very loud and BUZZ. Mouse and keyboard inputs do nothing. If I have an Xbox controller plugged in, it will vibrate at max strength. Soon after that, the screen will go black and the white CPU LED on my motherboard will light up and stay solid. Fans will keep spinning, my RGB strips keep changing color, and nothing will change until I hard reset by holding down the power button until the PC turns off.

Recently, the symptoms have changed very slightly - instead of freezing the screen on the current image, sometimes both of my monitors will go black, and after 5 seconds or so the CPU LED will turn on and I'll need to hard reset.

There have been no error messages or BSOD's, and even after rebooting the only errors I see are from my applications like Firefox or Radeon Power Manager realizing that they were shut down improperly.


What I have tried so far:

• Reseating the CPU and reapplying thermal paste. This was trickier than I thought, especially after the backplate of my motherboard came off during the reinstall of the fan. Currently it's being held on to the back by the fan screws. Are stock Ryzen coolers really supposed to be this difficult?
• Checking out Reliability Monitor in Windows. I noticed that Chrome Remote Desktop often failed to install before crashes, but even after completely uninstalling it the issues continue. Reliability Monitor only seems to detect that I had to hard reset Windows, rather than whatever caused the crash in the first place.
• Installing WhoCrashed. No error reports after a crash.
• Unplugging and replugging all of the connections from my power supply to my other components.
• Reseating my RAM.
• Turning off XMP for my RAM. No changes in reliability.
• Testing my RAM using MemTest86. No errors found after 4+ hours.
• Updating my graphics card drivers (currently on Radeon 20.4.2)
• Updating my BIOS (currently on 7B86vAC) [2]

EDIT: Some new things I have tried:

• Updating my BIOS again (currently on 7B86vAD)
• Updating Windows to 2004
• Resetting CMOS

My theories:

• This is a hardware problem: Just a theory, but I don't think something is wrong with my software here - I had the exact same problems when dual booting into Ubuntu. I don't know if Ubuntu and Windows share driver software or anything else like that, but I thought this was worth mentioning.

• Something's wrong with my CPU: I have struggled with getting the stock cooler installed each time I've installed/reseated my CPU. I feel like I'm breaking my motherboard in half when I try to screw in the cooler - are the springs supposed to be that strong? Should I be applying WD-40 to help? I worried that I hadn't applied enough thermal paste, or that my CPU was getting too much pressure from the fan, so I reseated it and the issues continued. Do I need to buy a new cooler to try it out? I've been looking at this one. [3]

• Something's wrong with my power supply: From the research I've done online, it sounds like these kinds of mysterious issues are often traced back to a faulty power supply. I don't have a spare that I can swap in, and I don't have a multimeter to test the output voltages, so are there any other things I can do to test my power supply without getting a new one? If not I'm open to buying a new one for testing purposes.

• Something's wrong on my motherboard: Could a bad trace on my motherboard be causing the problem? I've read that heat can cause things to expand and cause problems seemingly at random if you have motherboard issues.


Pictures:

Here's a picture [4] of the motherboard lights on the right side. The top CPU light is the one that turns on during the crashes.


Conclusion:

I feel like a ghost is haunting my PC. I almost wish I had a more "fixable" problem, like trouble booting - then I would at least know the problem had been solved!! Any help you can provide is appreciated - let me know if I can give any additional details.

[0]: https://pcpartpicker.com/user/coolst0rybro/saved/ZvJNQ7

[1]: https://www. reddit.com/r/buildapc/comments/fyetu3/pc_crashing_at_random_no_error_messages/

[2]: https://www.msi.com/Motherboard/support/B450-A-PRO

[3]: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B076LQ2HBW/?coliid=I1BGZTU360GAR1&colid=3VHU3RTO6NX0S&ref_=lv_ov_lig_dp_it&th=1

[4]: View: https://imgur.com/bJDSNt8
 
Last edited:

Lutfij

Titan
Moderator
Are stock Ryzen coolers really supposed to be this difficult?
No, this might mean you're forcing something to go into a spot it's not meant to be in, which also makes me wonder why the backplate would come off, unless you didn't remove the board from the case to reinstall the CPU cooler/reapply thermal paste.

From your parts list>support list for the motherboard, you have a BIOS update pending for that board, i.e version 7B86vAD

We're currently on version 2004 for Windows 10, which one are you on at the moment?
 
Jul 21, 2020
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I am currently on version 1909 of Windows 10, but I can update today. I can also get the BIOS updated.

Your response and some others on other forums is making me think something must be wrong with my cooler, or with how I applied it. You're right, I didn't take the motherboard out of the case when I reseated the CPU, and that caused my problem with the backplate. Think I should take it completely out to try again?

Thank you for the help!
 
Jul 21, 2020
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UPDATE 2, 8/11/20: After a successful RMA, MSI replaced my motherboard, and after installing it I had one whole day of no crashes! Unfortunately the system crashed again today with the exact same symptoms. I have started an RMA request for my CPU with AMD, so hopefully that fixes it. Any other suggestions?
 

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