Question PC hard locking while in games, and other issues.

Feb 24, 2020
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Back story.

I have an ssd for my C drive, Windows 10 and a few programs & games on the ssd. Some programs and games go on my E drive 1TB HDD along with all my storage.

Over the course of the last 6 months, I have experienced hard locking, mostly when I am in a game, sometimes if I have a game open and I've switched to working in another program, sometimes when a game isn't even running and I was working with Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, working with posters and pictures. I thought when I had upgraded to an 8gb video card before this, 16gb ram, I should be able to handle anything.

I have wiped the ssd, reinstalled windows and have a very fresh system with Radeon driver installed with the AMD app, with only 1 game installed. Still hard locked, it just freezes 5 or 10 mins into the game, picture still on the screen, mouse and keyboard locked, no crash dump info, no error window, no blue screen, just freezes, forcing me to do a hard reset.

I upgraded my PSU to a Gold Rated Gigabyte G750H just before Christmas. Still hardlocking when I try to play Anno 1800, Two Point Hospital, Transport Fever2, but all other instances outside gaming seem to have been solved, and I'm able to play Factorio without anything happening.

Added Issue

I asked for help from Anno 1800 tech because once I'm in the start menu, it won't load a save or a new game, just endlessly stays loading. They asked me to do a DISM restore health and a sfc scannow, my PC said it was able to repair some corrupt files and told me to restart, when I did, my computer wouldn't load. It just stayed stuck on the loading screen with the owner avatar and the endless spinning circle, but my screen would flick off for about 5 sec and back on for less than a second repeatedly. I even left it for 4 hours to see if it would finally load, but nothing worked. A hard reset wouldn't work, only a 10 sec power button hold would turn it off, and I could get to troubleshooting. Eventually, I reinstalled windows, again. Tried the dism and scannow on a fresh windows install with nothing else installed and it did the same thing, wouldn't load, screen flashing on and off. They told me it was a Windows issue, which is why I'm posting this thread here. So I am basically stuck there. I can run Factorio, and all my other programs. Transport Fever 2 has a benchmark tool and says I should run on ultra settings but hard locks after 10 mins on high or medium settings, not even ultra. No other games run for long before hard locking.

Here is my Speccy: http://speccy.piriform.com/results/mUgAvUtm5FsOT3SYmTobdrH
I have a screenshot of Radeon app showing driver is up to date but I don't see a way to attach files.

Please help!!!
 

JohnBonhamsGhost

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Jan 14, 2016
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make sure everything is up to date. check BIOS updates and all motherboard driver updates for latest versions.
make sure all internal/external cables are seated firmly.
make sure CPU, GPU, and system temperatures are staying within a safe threshold while being stressed.
run Windows Memory Diagnostic and/or Memtest to be sure RAM doesn't show any errors.
run disk checks on both SSD & HD to make sure both disks are functioning correctly.
 
Feb 24, 2020
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Does this problem occur in any games, or some few certain games? Does similar problems apply to other programs?
Like I said, it happens in Anno 1800, TPH, TF2, but not Factorio. It only happened early on before PSU upgrade in programs like Photoshop and Illustrator, which can be GPU intensive at times, I've been told. And that's it.
 
Feb 24, 2020
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make sure everything is up to date. check BIOS updates and all motherboard driver updates for latest versions.
make sure all internal/external cables are seated firmly.
make sure CPU, GPU, and system temperatures are staying within a safe threshold while being stressed.
run Windows Memory Diagnostic and/or Memtest to be sure RAM doesn't show any errors.
run disk checks on both SSD & HD to make sure both disks are functioning correctly.
I have run Furmark and Valley Benchmark tests at the request of another helper who is now lost, and all tests were fine for the GPU. All temps are excellent. All cables are top of the line and seated properly.
The DISM and scannow were instructions and caused issues, I don't know how. I have no other issues running any other programs off both disks now, just the hard locking on games, and I haven't tried to do scannow again.
I will do mem diag and disk checks now and get back. Thanks
 
Feb 24, 2020
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and definitely make sure you have ALL system updates updated to latest version; motherboard manufacturer system drivers, BIOS, etc.
This is where I get the "oh boy" feeling. I'm on the motherboard site and looking at the driver download section, seeing Bios, audio, lan, utilities, etc drivers and I freeze, I think to myself "should I just download and execute?" and get nervous, haha.
 

Ralston18

Titan
Moderator
Look in Reliability History and Event Viewer for error codes, warnings, and even informational events that correspond to/with the times of the hard locks.

Use Task Manager, Resource Monitor, or Process Explorer (using only one at a time) to observe system performance while idling, doing light work/browsing, working with Adobe or Illustrator, and gaming.

Look for some resource bottleneck and what may be causing it.
 
Feb 24, 2020
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Windows mem diag tool returned nothing wrong with RAM.
CHKDSK returns nothing wrong.
Used AI Suite 3 & EZ Update and it said no need to update this environment.
AMD Chipset is up to date. Installed by AMD not Windows.
Looked in Event Viewer and it's like reading foreign language.

I've been told my motherboard is likely crap and have read online that it's had issues, don't know how to go about doing anything about it unless I replace it. Any ideas on that would be welcome.

Still concerned about the DISM and scannow causing an issue not letting the system load and having to restore to earlier restore point. No one has given me anything helpful with that. Windows issue I guess.
 

JohnBonhamsGhost

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Jan 14, 2016
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Still concerned about the DISM and scannow causing an issue not letting the system load and having to restore to earlier restore point. No one has given me anything helpful with that. Windows issue I guess.
this usually means disk errors or just corrupted Windows installation. considering you reinstalled Windows recently and showed no drive errors when scanned, i would guess these are not the issue.

if using two 8GB sticks, maybe try each stick of RAM separately.
 
Feb 24, 2020
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if using two 8GB sticks, maybe try each stick of RAM separately.
This brings up a thought that no one has brought up before. About a year ago I bought 8GB (2x4GB) Rip Jaws ram sticks. When I opened the system up, I was surprised to see a single stick 8GB that my computer guy had built the system with. I had planned on upgrading as I could afford, I was planning on adding an 8GB video card soon (soon after buying the ram) and wanted plenty of ram. I made 2 calls, to the local retailer where I bought the ram sticks, and my computer guy, and they both said it was fine to have this configuration as long as they were installed properly, which they were. (8gb single in dimm1, dual in dimm2 & dimm4). I assumed that this configuration showed up in the Speccy report when I've asked for help previously on a couple of reputable forums. No one brought it up, and I didn't think to offer it. Could this be the source of any issues? I am willing to try anything suggested. I will try to do the DISM and scannow when I am home tonight around 8pm mst, with only the 8gb single stick installed. I will also do mem diag tool on all 3 sticks individually.
 

JohnBonhamsGhost

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...I assumed that this configuration showed up in the Speccy report when I've asked for help previously on a couple of reputable forums. No one brought it up, and I didn't think to offer it. Could this be the source of any issues?..
you never know with RAM. a lot of times even using two matching sticks that were not tested and packaged together can cause issues.

your report only shows 16GB dual channel mode RAM, so the 3rd stick is not being recognized. your system can't use single and dual channel simultaneously so it appears to just be ignoring this 3rd stick. it is a possibility though that the system is having trouble because of this setup.
 
Feb 24, 2020
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your report only shows 16GB dual channel mode RAM, so the 3rd stick is not being recognized.
It's saying 16gb though, so doesn't that mean that it is recognizing the 3rd stick? If it wasn't recognizing it, wouldn't it report only 8gb? I'm not knowledgeable enough to know, just learning and asking questions, sometimes they are silly questions. haha
 

JohnBonhamsGhost

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8gb single in dimm1, dual in dimm2 & dimm4
i imagined this meant each stick was 8GB, which would equal 24GB if all were available.

so you have one DIMM with a single channel 8GB stick, and two with dual-channel 4GB sticks? i would imagine this would lead to some problems with reading/writing data. modern AMD chips especially have problems with certain RAM and certain configurations.
 
Feb 24, 2020
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You are correct on your rundown of what I had. I have uninstalled the dual-channel 4gb sticks temporarily. I will be keeping those, and getting dual-channel to replace the single-channel soon. I wasn't able to work on the system to check if DISM & scannow causes the same issue, ran into other things that needed my attention. I will get that done in the morning as well as mem diag on each, and hopefully test some gaming in the morning as well to see if just the memory conflict (possibility) shows me anything.
 
Feb 24, 2020
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Ok, mem diag on all 3 sticks - no issues.
Ran DISM and SFC scannow in Powershell, did the same thing, said it was able to repair some corrupt files. Restart, and the Owner Avatar loading screen endlessly loops. A little different this time, the screen stays on with the spinning dots for 31 secs, screen goes black for 2 or 3 secs, spinning dots for 31 secs, black. Left it for an hour. I have previously left it for over 4 hours just to make sure. I'm lost on that one, may have to contact Windows. Haven't played any games yet.

Any ideas left from anyone? I may replace the motherboard and CPU next month.
I haven't done this myself before, but I've done pretty much everything else inside a computer many times, so any guides you can point to that are useful would be appreciated. I'm not ending my search for a fix, it's just been 6 months of wasted time, best to start fresh?

Edit: I played Anno for 20 minutes without a hard lock. This is good news. I only have the 8gb rip jaws installed. Hopefully that memory incompatibility was the issue.
 
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Reactions: JohnBonhamsGhost
Feb 24, 2020
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Ok, played TPH for about 30 minutes last night, got a BSOD, attempted write to read only memory. Used BlueScreenView.exe and found the driver atikmdag.sys in (c:/windows/system32/driverstore/filerepository/c0351505..../B351435) it is 64mb and it's an ATI Radeon kernel mode driver.

I have no idea whether this info would tell anyone anything, haha.

I just thought I'd try.

Sometimes more info can be helpful. Sometimes not.

I have gone over every driver update, uninstall/reinstall, info site out there and I am stuck. Bios up to date, all ASUS and AMD drivers up to date, Is there a safe program out there that can do all this????
 
Feb 24, 2020
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Sorry, got busy. I haven't removed the GPU, I have used 3 different GPU's and had 2 of them tested and believe there is zero issues with the GPU's themselves. My system needs to have a GPU to operate the programs and games that I would like to. I'd replace the motherboard before going without a powerful GPU. If you think we would learn something significant from running the system with just the onboard only, I will do so, but I'm hesitant at this point because of my end goals. In the meantime, I was playing TPH on my main monitor (43" Samsung UHD TV) at the same time as running a movie on my second monitor(65" Sony UHD Tv) and got a hard lock about an hour in. Tried again and another hard lock after 15 minutes. Played TPH for over 6 hours alone with the second display turned off completely, until I received a BSOD saying "system_service_exception" I've replaced every driver I know, I just did windows update before the 6 hour run, I confirmed my ASUS bios version is the latest yesterday. I'm just overwhelmingly pissed off with this system. I can't run a moderately graphically intensive game alone with nothing else running, nevermind playing and watching a movie at the same time on a decent GPU, great PSU, top of the line HDMI cables, can't even do a DISM and scannow without windows crashing my system and unable to reload. I appreciate all the help from this site, but I'm no further along and lost. Should I upgrade the motherboard and CPU? Can Windows help me with the scannow issue? ARRRRGH.
 

Grobe

Distinguished
If you're not interresting to spend time for proper test AND report the results here, I can't see how I can provide any help. Then it's probably better if you carry your rig to a professional repair shop and pay them to trouble shoot and repair the problem.
 
Feb 24, 2020
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If you're not interresting to spend time for proper test AND report the results here
After hundreds of words detailing my experiences, REPORTING MY RESULTS, in 23 comments/replies over 6 days, just on this forum, nevermind the last few months I've spent elsewhere, I believe I've displayed interest in spending the time AND reporting results. I even said I would do what you mentioned,
If you think we would learn something significant from running the system with just the onboard only, I will do so
I was just qualifying your request, and hoping for more direction/suggestions as to what you'd like me to run, what I should look for, what you are looking for, or something along those lines. I can't run multiple monitors with the onboard slots available. (I only use the 2nd monitor/tv for watching movies/tv series with GOM Player Plus. I do not use it for gaming at all.)
I have not been ungrateful for the help I've received here, and have only been gracious and thankful in my words, have I not?

Nobody on this planet seems to have ever heard of my issue with DISM restorehealth and sfc scannow causing a meltdown, even Windows pros.
 

Grobe

Distinguished
Nobody on this planet seems to have ever heard of my issue with DISM restorehealth and sfc scannow causing a meltdown, even Windows pros.
I've never claimed to be a "windows pro" - I've moved to Linux years ago.

And sometimes users get problems that are unique to their HW configuration. In that case it is neccesary to rule out some ideas what the fault may be, and it requre some patience from the user and willingness to follow the instructions given. If - as in this case - the OP refuse, and start trowing claims to those trying to help, there is just nothing to do.

Help yourself and have a nice day
 

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