Question System crash requiring CMOS battery to be reseated

Oct 18, 2019
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Hi there,

I've been having an issue in the last week with a new system that I built less than a year ago. The new build consisted of all new components which you can find the specs below. Any help or suggestions would be awesome as I'm at a complete loss as to what the cause is.

TLDR:
-While rendering a video in adobe premiere the PC froze up but didn't restart. I manually reset it using the power button but when powered on the lights on the MB and fans came on but the PC wouldn't boot into BIOS and nothing appeared on the monitor. I swapped out the CMOS battery and managed to boot the system successfully to windows after running through the BIOS setup.
-The next day while playing a game (software inc) I experienced issues where my mouse would lock up for a few seconds. This issue had been an ongoing issue which I included here because of the sequence of events and it maybe related or it may not.
-Later that day I was playing Star Citizen (3.7) and the system crashed (BSOD) and restarted automatically. During the crash a static sound could be heard. The system booted successfully into windows.
-I again loaded up Star Citizen and this time the system froze up similar to the first issue during the rendering process. It didn't BSOD or restart automatically. I had to manually restart the machine which was successful.
-Tonight I attempted to update the BIOS but didn't get very far as while on the BIOS screen it once again froze up and required me to reseat the CMOS battery in order for the system to start successfully.

The issue began earlier this week while I let the computer run while Adobe premiere rendered a video for me. I've done this hundreds of times without issue since building the computer. I walked away from the PC and came back a little later to find that the pc had frozen. The screen had frozen with the desktop visible along with adobe stuck at (roughly) 20% complete. The mouse/keyboard didn't work and the only thing I could do was shut it down by holding the power button down. Once shut down, I attempted to restart the machine by turning the power on again and the lights on the MB came on along with the fans but nothing appeared on the monitor. The system would not even post to the BIOS screen. At this point I began looking online for possible causes and I came to the conclusion that perhaps my CMOS battery had died. I thought this was unlikely given how new the MB was but I figured that maybe it came with a dud battery. Either way, I had a spare brand new batter on hand and simply replaced it.

Replacing the CMOS battery appeared to work and the PC posted to the BIOS. I went through the BIOS setup again and finally managed to get back to the desktop and the computer seemed to run just fine without issue. I even continued rendering the video and a number of other videos as well. Fast forward a day and while playing a game (Software Inc) my mouse began loosing it connection and freezing up for a few seconds before coming back online. I honestly didn't think anything of this at the time because this mouse issue had been happening for awhile (which I did read was a sign of a failing battery) but then I played around with the mouse settings and realized that i never calibrated the mouse pad (so I did that).

All appeared well after that, however, I began playing another game (star citizen alpha 3.7). Up until this week, Star Citizen ran without issue on the new PC. Granted this was on the previous version of the game, which released a new one earlier in the week (around the time this was all occurring). During this particular play period the PC BSOD and restarted. During the freeze I heard sounds coming from the speakers and the screen was flickering but nothing else was responding. I ended up having to turn the PC off using the power button. Fortunately the computer restarted without issue and I found myself back on the desktop. This series of events have occurred with each subsequent play session of Star Citizen and had I not had the earlier issue (above) I would have thought it was related to Star Citizen.

Fast forward again to tonight. I decided that perhaps updating the BIOS would be a good idea (based on other articles I found) but while attempting to do this (from the BIOS) I somehow managed to freeze up the PC again with the same symptoms where I couldn't even get it to post to the BIOS. I then ended up having to go back in and reseat the CMOS battery again. So it appears that the original battery may not have been a dud after all and something else is going on. This brings me to tonight where I've come full circle back to the original issue and I'm not sure what that is. As it stands, the computer seems to run just fine except when playing star citizen but again I don't know if its the game or if that game is just taxing the system to a point where i crashes as most other games I play do not put a heavy load the machine. Any assistance would be fantastic and much appreciated.

System Specs:
CPU - Intel Core i7-9700K up to 4.9ghz
CPU Cooling - Noctua NH-D15
MB - ASUS Prime Z390-A
RAM - Corsair Vengeance LPX 32GB DDR4
GPU - GeForce RTX 2060 AMP 6GB
OS HD - Samsung 970 EVO 250GB - NVMe
Gaming HD - Samsung 860 EVO 500GB
Storage Drives - WD Black 1TB (x2) and WD External My Book 4GB
Windows 10
 

InvalidError

Titan
Moderator
I'd start with keeping an eye on CPU/GPU temperatures to see if there may be something wrong with them when slow-downs and crashes occur, may also want to check the SMART status of all drives with CrystalDiskInfo or similar tool just in case as IO issues from a problematic drive can cause all sorts of hiccups and crashes.
 
Oct 18, 2019
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I'd start with keeping an eye on CPU/GPU temperatures to see if there may be something wrong with them when slow-downs and crashes occur, may also want to check the SMART status of all drives with CrystalDiskInfo or similar tool just in case as IO issues from a problematic drive can cause all sorts of hiccups and crashes.
Thanks for the response. I successfully rendered a video earlier and just finished messing around with Star Citizen for about 40 minutes without issue. I monitored the temps during those sessions and they appeared normal to me with no major spikes occurring. Everything appears good in Crystaldiskinfo as well. I haven't really changed anything after the last crash last night. I swapped out the mouse for an old one to see if the mouse freezes would go away and so far it seems OK. Could the mouse have been the issue? I can't imagine it causing these crashes all of the sudden. I'll keep testing various things today and update the thread as needed.
 
Oct 18, 2019
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That's crazy that the mouse might have been the issue. I'm still not sold just yet but so far I haven't had any crashes or lockups. The mouse I replaced was a wired mouse. Do you thinks its more likely that the issue is with the mouse or the usb port? Right now I have the new (old) mouse connected to the same USB port that I had the previous mouse connected to.
 
Oct 18, 2019
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Doesn't appear to be the mouse after all. The system crashed again last night again at some point while a sleep. I was unable to wake it up from sleep and had to do a hard reset to power it off. Now it's back to the original issue of not posting to the bios so I'm guessing i'll need to reseat the battery again to get it back online. Any suggestions?
 

Karadjgne

Titan
Herald
I had a post about 2 years back or so. Had roughly the same issues with freezing, bsod, shutdowns etc. OP went through every test we could imagine, even multiple tests of the same thing using different software. Passed with flying colors. Breadboarded, passed, rebuilt passed.

Then op moved his keyboard. It was wired usb. As soon as he moved it, crash. Turned out to be frayed/broken wire inside the usb head. It was either shorting, popping or grounding out, but was enough to run back through the pc and mess with the usb sub-systems, creating havoc. It was the only piece he had kept from a prior build because it wasn't that old.

If you are getting bsod, is start by going into windows event viewer and looking for the red flagged Critical Issues. While they mostly aren't an exact thing, at least they'll start you pointed in one direction.
 
Oct 18, 2019
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Hey Everyone, just thought I'd throw up an update after multiple days of various testing to no avail. Thanks for the info karadjgne. I thought about the keyboard as well but while using another keyboard I experienced a crash so it doesn't look like its the cause.

As it stands right now, I've ruled out issues with the video card as the system has still randomly crashed with another video card in and while using onboard video only. I've all but ruled out the Memory as memtest86 was unable to find errors with it (granted it still running so this isn't a def but I'm not holding out much hope at the moment).

I can't remember if I mentioned that the random crashes have occurred while in the BIOS, whether I make changes or not. That being said, I made a few tweeks to the BIOS last night in order to even boot from USB and I haven't had a crash since (granted I also haven't been running the PC all that much outside of the memory tests). I'm assuming that because the PC crashes randomly while navigating the BIOS sometime that it's looking more and more like a MB issue.
 

InvalidError

Titan
Moderator
I'm assuming that because the PC crashes randomly while navigating the BIOS sometime that it's looking more and more like a MB issue.
I wouldn't say it guarantees it but it does significantly reduce the likelihood of anything besides the CPU, motherboard and PSU. (Maybe RAM too, depending on how many complete pass you ran. I once had a DIMM with a single intermittent bit that didn't get caught until pass #5.)
 
Oct 18, 2019
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I'm on pass three right now of the memory test so we'll see if any errors appear. Fortunately, the PC hasn't crashed during the memory test which is interesting. I'm still leaning towards a MB issue and I'll probably try to update the BIOS after the memory test if all goes well there. My biggest concern with updating the bios is that it crashes during that process since it has crashed in the bios.
 

InvalidError

Titan
Moderator
My biggest concern with updating the bios is that it crashes during that process since it has crashed in the bios.
On the plus side, I don't think the motherboard manufacturer can blame you for bricking the board by attempting to update the BIOS to spare both of you the hassle of an RMA when you were already about to RMA it as suspected defective anyway.
 
Oct 18, 2019
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Quick Update - I tested the PSU last night and it seems to be working just fine. I ran the Intel Diagnostic tool and the CPU passed each test. I also was able to update the BIOS successfully without issue. I haven't been able to test the PC since updating the BIOS.

I will say that prior to updating the BIOS the system crashed again and I noticed something that I believe I failed to mentioned previously and that was that the DRAM light remained on after attempting to boot the PC after a crash. In this state, the PC wouldn't post and nothing was displayed on the monitor until after I re-seated the memory. I did complete 4 tests of the memory in memtest86 and no errors were found. However, looking back at the BIOS updates I found that version released after the one I had improved DRAM stability so I'm hoping that by updating the BIOS solved the issue.

I'll update once I've had sufficient time to test or if I experience another crash.

On a side note (but perhaps not) I also updated a few Adobe programs which had critical updates from their descriptions. I doubt this had anything to do with the crashes (since it was crashing in BIOS) but given that the majority of the crashes occurred while running premiere or simply having opened the application (and it running in the background) I figured it was worth noting in the off chance it was doing something.
 

InvalidError

Titan
Moderator
Hopefully that update fixes things for you. Memtest is a good baseline to start from but it still is only an insignificant subset of all possible address and data pattern permutations for practical reasons - already takes pretty long using only a handful of the typically more challenging patterns.
 
Oct 18, 2019
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Nope, crashed again during rendering. Will be trying to swap out the memory with new memory soon to see if that does the trick, otherwise I'm going to RMA the board.
 
Oct 18, 2019
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TLDR: Sent the board to Asus and was told that it was "Repaired". Found out yesterday (while the board was on its way back to me that their definition of Repaired is to reflash the bios and call it a day (I'd already done this prior to sending it and it still crashed.

Just wanted to post a quick update as to where I'm currently at with this issue. I ended up sending the board back to Asus a week ago and it's not due to be delivered back to me "repaired" today. I don't have much confidence that the issue will be resolved because I finally found out yesterday (while the board was en-route) what Asus actually did to "repair" the board which was to simply flash the BIOS with the most recent update. Of course I'd already done this and I informed them of this during my conversations with them prior to sending the board back. During my conversation with their support last night where they finally informed me of this (I've been trying to find this out since Friday) I again explained that I had already done this and that I don't expect this to resolve the issue. I was told to fill out a feedback form with all this information and send it along with the board back to Asus so that they could investigate. Of course I was rather irritated with this as they had all this information already and they had the board since last Wednesday and did not bother reading the info I sent. At this point I'm hoping that perhaps whatever the issue was that it will have been resolved by disassembling the PC and reassembling it again as Asus was rather useless (at least this first RMA attempt).

At this point, if the PC crashes still I'm debating whether to try and go through this process again or just get a new MB.
 

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