[SOLVED] PC Locks Up, USB Shuts Off - Is it the Mobo?

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Ange1ofD4rkness

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Hey guys, as the title says I am having an issue with my PC locking up, and my USB devices shutting off. Now this issue has been going on for a long time, we are talking years. But the previous times I have fixed it (or believe I have), so this might be a little long, sorry but I really need some help.

Okay so the initial issue started a few years back, I started having an issue where my PC would just randomly lock up and I'd have to force shut it down. I can't remember for sure if my USB devices would shut off, I want to say they did, but again I can't say for sure. Well I ended up fixing the problem by simply reseating my RAM. The issue would continue to pop up over time, but reseating the RAM always seemed to fix it (if I recall right it was usually after I moved the computer and drove it somewhere).

But recently I have started to run into this problem again. At first I thought it was my new Videocard, however, after disabling the GPU's HD Audio, and updating its drivers (after a system format), almost all of its problems are gone (the drivers still crash, and usually recover themselves, but that's a problem a lot of people are having).

The problems started up a few weeks ago. I took my PC to a hacking event (iCTF for anyone who knows it) on my campus, and during the event I accidentally turned my chair and slammed my leg into my PC a few times (it's a full tower so it didn't move to much). Well each time (happened like 2 or 3 times), the computer would lock up and I'd have to restart it (and if I recall right USB devices turned off). Well then I took the PC home for Spring Break, and it all went down hill. The old issues returned with the locking up and USB devices turning off. Reseating the RAM didn't seem to want to fix it. I ran multiple Memory Tests, no problems detected. I even had times where the PC would randomly just restart. No BSOD or anything (I assume this as most the time I was gone and came back to see it restarted, and no sign of a BSOD). I even had 5 BSODs in 2 days at one point, which was rare, but those events were also rare and really haven't resurfaced (so let's brush those off).

Well I returned to campus, and proceeded to reseat my RAM, reseat my CPU, clean some dust off, and then fired back up the computer. Everything worked fine, no problems at all. But then probably a week or so later, I happened to look in my System settings to realize I was only showing 8 GB of RAM, when in fact I have 12 GB. Now I don't know if it was like this since I reseated or the last few days. Well about a day or two after I noticed I proceeded to reseat my RAM after restart didn't prove to return the 4 missing gigs (I even checked in my BIOS) (oh yeah, I sleep my computer most the time when I go to sleep and leave for classes). Once I reseated it, I checked my BIOS and System settings to show all 12 GB were back ... but then the problems started up again.

The first time I had the usual freeze up, the second time the computer just reset itself, no warning, no nothing. I went back into my System settings to find once again, my RAM was back down to 8 GB, where it has sat since. Well the problems after this stopped, until recently (like the last week), and now I am having the good old freeze ups, and USB shut offs, they seem to be more occurring after I wake my PC up from sleep, but I think it's happened other times. I should also point out that I run CPUID to watch my temps, and my CPUTIN Max value has been spiking rather high, despite the actual CPU temps not showing these values (I remember once it was over 500 F). Now when I look at the current value it's usually around 30 C (~ 80 F), and when those spiked values do hit, I never see them. Right as I write this, I have a current value of 32 C (88 F) and a max of 91 C (195 F) ... seems like the values jumped again (nothing else is showing temps like that, not even the GPUs which run really hot).

I am getting fed up with this problem, finals are coming up and I don't need this. I have never updated the BIOS (I really can't risk that now), I have run tons of Memory Tests all to show no problems (using Windows checker). I am planning on starting to take out 2 sticks at a time or RAM to see if I can find the bad socket on the board or the bad stick or RAM (which ever it is), hoping it's an error where it's toggling to a working state then back out and causing the lock up.

Also I just realized, I think when most of my problems occur, it's after I move my computer in the car, which is usually a drive home that's over an hour of highway driving. I know components can wiggle loose, but even the reseating isn't proving to successful. So please can I get some help? I am losing my mind here. (BTW thanks for taking the time to read all this).

Specs:

  • ■ ASUS P6T
    ■ Intel i7-920
    ■ Corsair XMS3 PC10666 DDR3 - 1333MHz (total of 6 sticks)
    ■ BFG GeForce GTX 285 OC
    ■ EVGA GeForce GTX 560 Ti
    ■ Sony 20x DVD-RW
    ■ Seagate 1TB SATA (I assume you don't need exact model #s)
    ■ Seagate 2TB SATA
    ■ Ultra X4 1050W PSU
    ■ Noctua NH-U12P SE1366 CPU Cooler
    ■ Windows 7 Prof. 64-bit (yes it's a legal copy)
    ■ Thermaltake Armor+ Full Tower
I think that's all of it

(Let me know if you need more details about cooling, I don't have a lot of fans, and a stock one was removed and never replaced ... but I don't think heating is an issue).
 

genz

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It sounds like you have a loose socket on your machine, but theres a lot of things it could be. It could be a dodgy driver or RAM, or any socket, from video to USB to internal molexes or data, but there is a socket that has a wire that is loose, and every knock pushes it away from contact into an intermittently touching state.

Run memtest and verify RAM, if it's not that then we can start getting nitty gritty.

Your best bet to find this is not to start removing hardware, but to start disabling drivers. On some plugs, particularly plug n play ones, you could still get the software lockup problems caused by drivers crashing even when there is nothing connected to the port due to the dodgy connection sending odd messages. Go into your control panel and disable all the devices you don't actually use , then run as usual. If you get a lockup, disable a device that you do use, then go and do a stressful task like gaming, or something that would usually aggravate a lockup. Carry on doing this until you either hit on a driver connected to a device that seems to be causing it, or you get down to HDD, Video and core devices (Input, Intel bridges etc etc). If You are still having the issue, change the PCI-E socket of your GPU and HDD at the same time and see if it fixes the problem. If not then uninstall your GPU driver.

If it's still not fixed at that point, I would say it's either the install of Windows or the mono. Depending on which you value the most, I would get a new one of either.
 

Ange1ofD4rkness

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I know this is SUPER old, but I realized, I never followed up on this.

It took me sometime, but I finally figured out the issue, it was indeed the RAM ... well sort of. What was happening is the RAM was "wiggling" loose, so to speak, but not in a noticeable fashion.

Anytime I moved my PC, I learned I had to reseat the RAM, but, that wasn't the only cause that can do. At home I discovered other issues. The PC sat on the floor next to me at my home at the time, and anytime I moved the chair I sat in, if it wasn't moved smooth, like slid, or put down softly after moving, and caused some "movement" in the floor it froze. Another time my brother came walking through the room, all heavy foot, it did the same thing.

So the problem was the RAM appears to be wiggling loose. It wasn't noticeable though, but, any jolting movement, even through the floor, was enough to freeze it, and involved reseating the RAM to fix it
 
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