Random Hard Freezes [Solved]

Haseyo

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Hi,
Hi,

I'm very new to this website and as is it, this is my first post. To start, I'm not very knowledgeable with computers in general, but I do know some of the basics. I would greatly appreciate any help.

Before I start, here's the list of my parts:
CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD3H ATX LGA1155
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM
Video Card: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 660 2GB
Power Supply: Corsair 600W ATX12V

I have been having this issue with a newly built computer (Windows 7). I have been getting these random freezes, The screen would freeze (sometime with defects like blue stripes), the audio would stutter and nothing responds (including CAPS lock on keyboard). I would have to manually reboot each time. At first, this would happen randomly while using my computer. I could be just browsing chrome (no other major programs running) or be gaming. It could happen 5 minutes after start-up or a few hours after.

This problem has become more and more frequent and much quicker. At this point, computer freezes during start-up (the wavy windows 7 flag) each time and sometime goes into a restart loop. After doing some research on Google and fiddling around I have made a few observations:

1. Computer only freezes when using my graphics card. When I plug my screen directly to the motherboard or start in safe mode, the computer works perfectly fine.

2. I have sent both my graphics card and motherboard for repair and they were both sent back without repair as they told me both parts were working fine on their end.

3. All drivers and Windows 7 updates are up to date.

4. The power supply offers more than enough power to run the computer.

Right now, I do not have the means to try out each component of my computer separately. I am unsure if this is a hardware or software related problem. One thing I have tried was to use an old graphics card. I had the same problem, so I doubt the problem comes from the graphics card itself. I am really curious as to why the computer works fine on safe mode and when I don't connect the graphics card. If you need any more details, don't hesitate to ask, I might have forgotten to write down some stuff.

Thanks in advance,
Haseyo
 

himnextdoor

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Did the machine ever work properly with that card?

Do you have the latest version of BIOS for your motherboard?

Can you set the 'default' VGA to something other than 'On-board' in BIOS?

 

Haseyo

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The computer worked fine for the first few weeks. When it first happened, I thought it was just some random freeze, so I didn't think much of it, until it became more frequent.

Yes I have the latest BIOS for my motherboard.

I'll look into it right now. There are two options for my computer to start up normally:
1. Connect the graphics card on the motherboard, connect the monitor to the graphics card (I'm using an HDMI connection) and start in Safe Mode.
2. Remove the graphics card from the motherboard, connect the monitor to my motherboard.
 

himnextdoor

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Windows updates have been known, more and more in fact, to cause conflicts with existing drivers.

It is something to do with the way Microsoft are implementing their 'new techniques' for multi-threaded, multi-core systems. And they don't usually get it right.

If the only difference between your system then and your system now is Windows Updates, I would start uninstalling the ones that came around the time these issues first arose.

Also, have a look in your Installed Programs list and see if you have any hardware drivers there that you yourself didn't install.

Sometime Windows installs an extra graphics adapter which might show up here. Do you have two graphics adapters installed?

If you do, uninstall the older one.
 

Haseyo

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Happens that I just did a clean install of Windows 7. I wiped everything from my hard drive before the installation (with diskpart).

The same problem occurs after re-installation. I have purposely disconnected my computer from the internet, so there are no updates nor programs installed on my computer. One thing that is different is that I can get passed the login screen, but only a few minutes after computer freezes. It seems to me that it freezes after a given time and not at a specific part of the start up.
 

gzfzvz

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DOes ur blue screen say critical proccess or a thread has been unexpectadly terminated or somehting like that? I'm going through the same crap and if u scroll through the forums there is plenty of users posting questions about blue screens and freezing. So i think its definately not a question of defective parts and what not. I see many people having exact same scenerio as me and you. Using the computer fine, randomly blue screens. First couple of times a day, then like 10 minutes after start up...

And all the answers are saying to test ur components, test the graphics card, make sure ur stuff is plugged in correctly, all this basic basic first time in front of a computer type of solutions while in reality the problem is much deeper than that. There are unexplained blue screens consistently happening for windows 7 users with new computers. Mine is only a month old and has the latest everything, was working fine for 3 weeks with the exact components i have now, but then started crashing.
 

Haseyo

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I never had a blue screen. I'm assuming you are talking about BSOD. My screen just stays as it is at the moment of the freeze, so if I'm watching a video, it just looks like the video is paused. I sometime (rarely) get blue stripes or distortions on screen which lead me to think it was a problem from the graphics card.
 

himnextdoor

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If you remove the side casing from your PC, does the crash take longer to occur?

Let your computer rest, take off the cover and see if you can get any further into Windows.

From what I can make out, you installed this exact same copy of Windows and managed to get all the hardware to work for a few weeks?

Now you reinstall the same Windows disk with the same hardware and you have this issue?

Go into BIOS and disable 'multi-threading' if you have it.

Also, reduce the number of cores you are using.

Restart and try to get into Windows again.

 

Haseyo

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My side casing has been off for the day (while re-installing motherboard and such).

If you are worried about temperature, I was able to monitor them for GPU and CPU when my computer was still partially working. When my computer froze I was able to verify the numbers. Nothing out of the norm.

Exactly. Everything is the same as the first time.

I'm not sure if I have multi-threading (didn't find it in BIOS).

I reduced the number of cores to 2 and disabled something called Turbo-something for my CPU... it was set on "auto" as default. I believe that's overclocking? I have no clue on this.

Anyways, after the change, computer seems to be working ok. It has been half an hour with no freeze!
 

Haseyo

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UPDATE: After reducing the number of cores and disabling Turbo Boost Technology, computer didn't freeze for about half an hour. It finally froze and now it freezes on start up (Windows 7 flag).
 

himnextdoor

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Have ever tweaked BIOS?

If you have then it might be worth resetting CMOS in order to load safe BIOS defaults.

The next suggestion I have, and I am afraid that this is starting to look like a hardware issue, is to remove all but one memory stick and run the machine again for a while to see if it crashes.

Try each stick in turn. Does the computer crash regardless of which RAM stick is attached to the board?

I hope you only get the crash with one of them because otherwise I fear that you may have a failing core in your processor.
 

Haseyo

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Today is the first time tweaking BIOS settings. I have just reset the CMOS and am running on default BIOS settings once again.

I am in the process of testing both my ram sticks. Should I be trying it on all the different slots as well? (in total 4 slots and 2 ram sticks)

All my parts are still under warranty, so it's no so bad. Considering I have already sent GPU and motherboard in repair as well, I'm ready for pretty much anything now.

Btw, thank you so much for your help, I feel like we made a lot of progess!
 

himnextdoor

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You are very welcome and you know what they say; two heads are better than one. :) :)

By all means try out different slots but only use one stick at a time.

It may be that the slots have a preferred configuration.

Really, we just want the PC to start for now and give us only one blue screen.

And if we can identify a memory problem, maybe we can tweak the memory voltages, reduce them slightly and reduce their clock speed.

It may be that they have been operating at the limit of their capability and are just missing the occasional clock pulse or two.
 

Haseyo

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I think we might have found the problem!

I have tried both rams on all 4 slots individually. Let's name them ram 1 and ram 2. When I used ram 1 on the first slot, computer didn't freeze for 20 minutes and I shut down the computer manually with no problem. I then switched to ram 2 on the first slot and it froze during start up. I then tried ram 2 on all 4 slots with the same result: freeze during start up. I then tried ram 1 on all 4 slots and was able to login and browse for a bit before I manually shut down the computer.
 

himnextdoor

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Wonderful! Sort of. :pt1cable:

Well, personally I would want a new stick but you might want to try and reduce the memory speed in BIOS to see if the problem is more tolerance related than a breakdown in the hardware.

Maybe it was over-rated, I don't know, but I'd want a new one.

And thank goodness it wasn't the CPU. :)
 

Haseyo

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I feel like I was looking too far ahead. I'll probably get new sticks or take advantage of my warranty.

In the end, problem solved! Thank you so very much :) let's hope nothing like this happens again.
 

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