Question Random computer hardware freeze - how to narrow it down?

Nov 7, 2019
I have been getting a random freeze in my computer every 1-2 days since I got it like a year ago. It is a total freeze - there is no BSOD, no record of events in event logs, just the mouse stops moving, the fans keep whirring, the harddrives stop churning, the monitor displays the last rendered frame, and everything is just frozen. I have to power off and on (I don't have a reset button - I suppose it might work if I had one).


CPU: i5-8600k
RAM: 2x 8GB DDR4 G.Skill "Ripjaw" F4-2800C17S
GPU: GTX 1050ti
HDD1: Seagate ST975042AS
HDD2: Seagate st1000lm048

HDD3: Kingston SSD SA400S37

Anyway, the freeze happens under no discernible common conditions but seems more common to heavy CPU loads - like rendering a video, converting a video, or running a game. However, I've also had it freeze under very low CPU (esssentially nothing open but windows desktop) loads when the processor should be at its coolest running state. (e.g. I almost never wake up in the morning and find my desktop froze while I was sleeping, but it'll freeze more often when I'm doing something on the computer - I have only woken up to find it frozen maybe once and my computer is not set to sleep or hibernate - I just turn off the monitors.)

I was running "Memtest86" to try to see if it was the memory. It completed one battery of tests with zero errors. I decided to run four more tests with turbo and xmp enabled and it froze while running memtest86 so it must be hardware sourced because memtest86 boots off a USB.

It freezes with turbo and xmp both enabled and disabled in BIOS. It freezes outside of windows environment and inside windows environment. It freezes before windows logon and after logon. I have never seen it freeze in the BIOS setup but I've never had the BIOS setup open long enough to really test if it would.

Recently it's been freezing a lot more than it was which is why I'm making a thread about it now. I've had like 10 freezes since last night which is off the charts. Before it was AT MOST 2-3 a day and more commonly once every two days which still made my computer usable and, considering the difficulty of tracking down "random intermittent freeze" - I never bothered to try to track it down that much.
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Things to do:

Open the case and ensure that all cables, cards, RAM, jumpers, etc. are fully and firmly in place.

Clean the inside of the case to remove dust, debris, paper scraps, dead bugs, etc.

Try running with only the boot HDD. Temporarily disconnect the other two HDD's.

Look in Reliability History and Event Viewer for error codes and warnings that occur just before or at the time of any given problem.

That all said: my thought is that the PSU is a likely suspect.

It may no longer be fully capable of supporting the existing components.
Nov 7, 2019
Ok, but this has also been happening since I put the computer together - so it wouldn't be PSU "degradation" as you used the syntax "no longer fully capable." That being said, this is the kind of freeze you'd expect from a PSU?

I mean, the freeze never blacks the screen out or BSOD or anything - it ALWAYS displays the last rendered frame. Can any hardware component cause this kind of freeze? e.g. If it were the GPU I might expect some sort of visual corruption? Or

Once I get some money I will take it to someone who has the parts to help narrow it down - but I'm just trying to understand why you say "my thought is the PSU is a likely suspect."

There are these errors in reliability monitor sometimes AFTER I reboot from a freeze - does this tell me what piece of hardware it's talking about?


Hardware error

‎11/‎6/‎2019 2:36 AM

Not reported

A problem with your hardware caused Windows to stop working correctly.

Problem signature
Problem Event Name: LiveKernelEvent
Code: 141
Parameter 1: ffffa70e48396010
Parameter 2: fffff80b50720958
Parameter 3: 0
Parameter 4: 4
OS version: 10_0_17134
Service Pack: 0_0
Product: 768_1
OS Version: 10.0.17134.
Locale ID: 1033
I will try only the boot drive in the morning.
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