Question Random PC crash that spreads between applications

Apr 11, 2021
My PC has started to crash in a random strange way. Everything will be working fine then out of nowhere it will start to crash but instead of an instant crash/freeze or BSD the crash spreads like the PC is having a stroke.

It starts off with a single thing not responding, like Google Chrome for example. When this happens I am not able to close Chrome and if I try to open task manager it starts to load but then also crashes leaving just the border showing.
I can click START > POWER > SHUTDOWN but then after clicking shutdown the taskbar will stop responding and the system will not shut down.
Other applications appear to not be affected until I interact with them. Once I have they then stop responding.
The only way to restart the system is with the reset button.

Another example of this is last night I was playing a game with my partner and she was streaming it. We were in a voice call on discord at the time also.
My game froze and I was unable to do anything however I could hear her and see her stream still on my second monitor.
She was unable to hear me but it was still showing me as online on Discord even after a few minutes.

I am really unsure what would cause this as it's like the crash is contagious and spreads over the system as I interact with it.
  • It's not a heat issue as 99.% of the time it runs fine and also occurs when not gaming.
  • All BIOS settings are default with the exception of the RAM set to the correct XMP profile.
  • Upgraded my main SSD yesterday so it's a fresh Windows installation, however, the crashes occurred the exact same way prior to the reinstall.
  • Other than the SSD, there have been no hardware changes since November 2019 when additional RAM was added.
  • BIOS is running the latest version since yesterday however the crashing was occurring on a previous BIOS version also.
After reinstalling Windows I did have another strange issue that seems to be resolved now.
Everything was going fine with the reinstall. Windows and all drivers/applications were installed from a USB 3 dongle.
It was only when trying to install Office 2019 that the system crashed and this time I got a BSD.
When the PC restarted it would not POST regardless of how many times I restarted it.
To get it to POST again I had to clear CMOS.
My thinking was that for some reason the system was not liking the file size (3.3GB) and running it from USB so I tried to copy the file to my desktop. The transfer started off ok but after about 10 present it dropped down to 0mbps and the system crashed. No BSD this time however it would again not POST.
Thinking it may have been a bad driver, I uninstalled the USB 3 driver and let windows manage the driver for it. The same crash occurred again while copying the file to my desktop.
Ended up copying the office IMG file from my NAS drive and installing it ok from my desktop with no issues.
The remaining programs on the USB dongle installed ok with no issues.
When installing the software for my Quest 2 it warned me that the USB bandwidth was not great enough and upon checking windows had not installed a USB 3 driver as it said it has so I reinstalled the previous driver and so far it has worked ok.
I still find it strange however that a crash would cause the system to not POST until the CMOS was reset.

With the crashing persisting after a reinstall, this points to it being hardware related but I am unsure what it could be.