Question [Solved] Windows freezes after/during boot

Oct 13, 2021
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I built this system with windows 10 home edition about 3 years ago and it ran fine until a month ago when I first started experiencing this problem. It froze completely requiring hard reboot while watching YouTube, and would constantly freeze minutes after boot up or even during boot up, even freezing during my attempts to use Windows recovery. Eventually I tried reseating the RAM and that fixed the problem completely, until a couple days ago, when the problem came back and reseating the RAM no longer does the trick.

I have tested the RAM both with windows and memtest and I get no errors. Chkdsk does not report anything, I have reseated My SSDs and even wiped them and reinstalled windows. CPU temperature hovers between 34° C and 44° C.

Hardware specs are:
Mobo: MSI z390 gaming edge AC
CPU: i7-8700K 3.7 (no overclock at present)
GPU: MSI GeForce GTX 1660 ti
RAM: Corsair vengeance RGB pro 4x8gb 3200
PSU: Corsair RMx 1000w ATX12v
SSD1: Samsung 860 Evo 250 GB (system)
SSD2: Toshiba 512 GB (programs)

Strangely it appears to be able to go longer (10-15min) without a freeze if the system has been powered off for a while, but once it starts freezing it will continually freeze within minutes/seconds of (and sometimes during) reboot.
 

Bob.B

Respectable
I built this system with windows 10 home edition about 3 years ago and it ran fine until a month ago when I first started experiencing this problem. It froze completely requiring hard reboot while watching YouTube, and would constantly freeze minutes after boot up or even during boot up, even freezing during my attempts to use Windows recovery. Eventually I tried reseating the RAM and that fixed the problem completely, until a couple days ago, when the problem came back and reseating the RAM no longer does the trick.

I have tested the RAM both with windows and memtest and I get no errors. Chkdsk does not report anything, I have reseated My SSDs and even wiped them and reinstalled windows. CPU temperature hovers between 34° C and 44° C.

Hardware specs are:
Mobo: MSI z390 gaming edge AC
CPU: i7-8700K 3.7 (no overclock at present)
GPU: MSI GeForce GTX 1660 ti
RAM: Corsair vengeance RGB pro 4x8gb 3200
PSU: Corsair RMx 1000w ATX12v
SSD1: Samsung 860 Evo 250 GB (system)
SSD2: Toshiba 512 GB (programs)

Strangely it appears to be able to go longer (10-15min) without a freeze if the system has been powered off for a while, but once it starts freezing it will continually freeze within minutes/seconds of (and sometimes during) reboot.
Make it smaller.
Remove the gpu and connect the monitor to the igp.....test.
 
Oct 13, 2021
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The igp is not part of the mobo it is part of the cpu.
Remove the gpu and plug the monitor into the mobo.
Sure enough, my bad!

Currently testing; so far so good, which is kind of upsetting considering the cost to replace if the GPU is indeed the problem. Will report back.
 
Oct 13, 2021
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Smaller again.
Do not add back the gpu.
Use one stick of ram in the proper slot.....see the manual.....test.
If no help try a different stick of ram.....test
Well, unfortunately the thing is now stuck in a BSOD loop during boot, and the only time the loop breaks is when it freezes completely and doesn't even generate the BSOD. This is with no GPU and one stick of RAM. I'll try changing out every stick of RAM.
 
Oct 13, 2021
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Well, unfortunately the thing is now stuck in a BSOD loop during boot, and the only time the loop breaks is when it freezes completely and doesn't even generate the BSOD. This is with no GPU and one stick of RAM. I'll try changing out every stick of RAM.
All RAM swapped out, no dice. Now it just straight up freezes on boot. Whichever component is failing is certainly failing harder the more I tinker with it.
 
Oct 13, 2021
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Are you fitting the ram stick in the proper slot?

Perhaps try reseating ALL plugs that includes plugs at the psu.
Yeah, second slot from the left. B1?

I just reseated the CPU just in case, but while I've got her down here I will reseat all the plugs as well. Power supply is the only thing that I haven't touched yet.
 
Oct 13, 2021
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Reseated all of the plugs, still trapped in a BSOD/freeze on boot loop.

Not sure where to go from here. The only things that I haven't tested at this point are the power supply, the CPU, or the motherboard itself.
 
Oct 13, 2021
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What is still connected?
What do you see happening on the screen?
The only thing still connected are the CPU and cooler, one 8 GB stick of RAM, the storage with Windows installed, and the PSU.

The screen is just the splash screen with the rotating circles that appear while windows is booting up, except that they aren't rotating because everything is frozen. It will not proceed past that point anymore, it won't even get to the login screen.
 

Bob.B

Respectable
The only thing still connected are the CPU and cooler, one 8 GB stick of RAM, the storage with Windows installed, and the PSU.

The screen is just the splash screen with the rotating circles that appear while windows is booting up, except that they aren't rotating because everything is frozen. It will not proceed past that point anymore, it won't even get to the login screen.
So what you see is the bios splash screen and it's locked.
Unplug the disks.....what happens?
 
Oct 13, 2021
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So you can get into the bios.

If you have xmp enabled turn it off and try to load windows.

If you don't have it enabled can you boot and run a pass of memtest86?
it was not enabled, but I did notice that somehow I must have loaded an overclock profile while testing yesterday because my CPU was set to 4.8GHz instead of the stock 3.7.

I set it back down to 3.7 and reconnected the storage; plugging the storage back in to test, that seems to have broken it out of the BSOD boot loop and windows automatically performed a clean install.

I have been running for a little less than an hour right now without the GPU installed with no freezes yet.
 
Oct 13, 2021
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Well.. unfortunately after a couple hours she started freezing again.

Just a refresher checklist of the things that I've done and tested...

Reseated RAM, reseated the power supply plugs on all ends, reseated the CPU, removed the GPU, ran Memtest86 to completion (6 hours) no errors, ran chkdsk on the storage and reseated the cables, (and actually plugged in a brand new M2 SSD and installed Windows on that, same result.)

Strange to see that going into the BIOS and overclocking the CPU exacerbated the problem, while returning the CPU to stock settings just brought me back to square one. Is this an indication that maybe the CPU is going?
 
Oct 13, 2021
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And if all of that wasn't bad enough, suddenly I'm not getting a signal to the monitor from either the GPU or the integrated graphics.
 

Bob.B

Respectable
And if all of that wasn't bad enough, suddenly I'm not getting a signal to the monitor from either the GPU or the integrated graphics.
Another wag.
If you have a spare monitor/cable swap and test.
If no help remove the bios bat and leave it out for 15 mins.
Press and hold the power button for 20 secs.
Install the bios bat...test.
 
Oct 13, 2021
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Another wag.
If you have a spare monitor/cable swap and test.
If no help remove the bios bat and leave it out for 15 mins.
Press and hold the power button for 20 secs.
Install the bios bat...test.
Tested the monitor/cable with another system, both are good

Removed battery for 15min, held power down afterwards to count of 20, reinstalled battery, no change, still no signal.
 
Oct 13, 2021
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Can you swap the type of inf the monitor is connected with?
If using hdmi try dp or vga just to see if the monitor will get a signal.
Wasn't able to try other connections, unfortunately.
Today I replaced the motherboard and CPU and everything is working. I don't know if both of them were the issue or just the motherboard, but either way, I saved the CPU and the motherboard still had a month left on its 3-year warranty, so they will send me a refurbished replacement, which will allow me to test the CPU.
 

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