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Computer randomly freezes and unfreezes

By PsychoDave
Nov 4, 2011
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  1. Ive tried to figure this out but the issue is escaping me so ive come for some possible help or ideas as to what the problem is.

    Ok so my computer will randomly start locking up on me while im on the web, listening to music, watching movies...whatever. It will completly freeze up for 5 to 30 seconds, mouse wont move cant type anything and if there is sound (music/movie) I get this weird echo-ie/robot sound. After a bit it will unfreeze and all will go back to normal for a few minutes and then it will freeze again. This will go on and on untill i manually reset the system. If I restart from the start menu windows will exit to the shut down screen and just sit there. I left it over night once and it was still there in the morning.

    Ive Run CCleaner, MBAM, Super Anti Spyware and a fully updated version of Avast. No virus was found and I removed some addware, but thats it. I ran Windows Disk check (error check) and the HDD is fine, im at a loss.

    Anyone have any Ideas?

    Thanks in advance
    Dave
  2. Mark56

    Mark56 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,271

    Sounds like you have covered most things in your diagnosis apart from testing the memory. Also, have you tried updating the graphics drivers.

    Follow this guide to perform a memory test and please read the quote below that about registry cleaners in reference to CCleaner.


    Tmagic650 likes this.
  3. PsychoDave

    PsychoDave TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 140

    Downloading memtest, i swear I had a copy of it already but I cant find it.

    Graphics drivers are up to date, just updated within the last two weeks. Catalyst notifies me when there are new updates but I will head to the website to double check my drivers are up to date. This is a problem Ive had for quite a while now. Id say 10+ months and this computer had its newest component installed over a year ago.

    Ill check back in when memtest is finished

    EDIT- Apparently my video driver wasnt up to date. A new version came out 6 days ago, installed. Will run memtest later, it takes forever!
  4. Mark56

    Mark56 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,271

    Ok, I'll wait to hear from you. Memtest is a slow process, the best thing to do is to let it run overnight. You should allow it to complete a minimum of 8 passes for a reliable result.
  5. PsychoDave

    PsychoDave TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 140

    So memtest ran for 9 hours and said no errors. Under Pass (in the middle of the screen) it only said 3... Where do I check to see if it made 8 passes?

    At the top right it said Pass -100% Test 9 - 5%
  6. Mark56

    Mark56 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,271

    What you see under "Pass" near the middle of the screen is the number of passes, i.e. the number of completed tests, next to it it shows the number of errors. Each test goes through 8 or more different phases which is what you see next to "Test" and the line above, "Pass", shows how much of the pass has been completed. You need to let the number of passes in the middle of the screen reach 8. Nine hours for only 3 passes is not normal.

    I can suggest a different method for checking the memory but it does mean that you will have to remove the memory sticks, do you know how to get to them?

    If you only have one memory stick this method will not work. The idea is to remove all but one memory stick and then use the PC as normal and see if the problem with the freezing continues. If it does then swap the sticks so you run the PC on each individual stick to see if the error only occurs with one particular stick.
  7. PsychoDave

    PsychoDave TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 140

    Yeah, I know how to get to them...I built this PC. Ive got 4 memory sticks, 2gb each. should have gotten another pair of 4gb sticks with the parts i ordered last week to build a new rig.

    Tried the mem test again 4 hours, 1 pass. Guess ill have to do 1 at a time.
  8. Mark56

    Mark56 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,271

    Ok, now I know what memory you are using I would suggest you just remove one pair of sticks, leaving one stick in each channel. Forget Memtest and just keep using the PC as normal and see if the freezing continues. If it does then swap the sticks for the other pair.

    This should speed up the testing and allow you to quickly verify if it is the RAM causing the problem. If you get freezes with both pairs of sticks then we can look elsewhere for the problem.

    If one of the pairs causes freezing and the other pair doesn't then just run the PC on the faulty pair of sticks using only one of the sticks at a time to isolate the one with errors.
  9. PsychoDave

    PsychoDave TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 140

    Sounds like a plan. It may take a few days to post results. Sometimes the system runs fine for a day or two before it freezes
  10. Mark56

    Mark56 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,271

    Yup, it may require a lot of patience to do this, but worth the wait.
  11. PsychoDave

    PsychoDave TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 140

    ok, I took out 2 sticks and ran memtest on the 2 still in the board. 9 passes 0 errors. took about 12 hours to complete the test. going to pull the ram and install the other 2 sticks and rerun memtest. it may be a day or two before i can post results, i didnt order a new cd drive, so if i can im going to pick one up today or tomorrow.
     
  12. Mark56

    Mark56 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,271

    Your not following what I suggested, which was this:

    It would be quicker and far more accurate to do the test this way and you can continue to use the PC as normal with a slightly reduced RAM capacity.
  13. PsychoDave

    PsychoDave TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 140

    yeah, except i only have 1 cd rom and im building a new computer. But im at a stand still wih the new comp. Installed a new mobo, i5-2500k processor, asus gtx 560 ti gp, and some g.skill ram and i cant get the damn thing to boot. says no hd deteced, then begins to load windows then i get a blue screen and the comp resets. Then it loads again and asks if i want to scan for and fix errors or start windows normally. when scanning for errors it asks if i would like to restore to a previous restore point or cancel. if i cancel it doesnt find any errors. im going to try loading a previous restore point. if that doesnt work, ill pull the hd and cd rom, put it back in the other machine and see if it works. if it does, ill do the memtest then install drivers for the new motherboard, gpu and processor, if there are drivers for the processor and try the new rig again. if hat doesnt work, i guess ill have to start a new thread.
  14. Mark56

    Mark56 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,271

    I don't understand what the other PC and only having one CD drive has to do with this, or running Memtest. I'm suggesting you don't use Memtest.

  15. PsychoDave

    PsychoDave TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 140

    oh, i thought you said to do that because it would be faster than running two sticks and waiting for the problem to happen. I guess i didnt see your entire post.

    Well im on the old comp (the one with the problem) have two sticks of ram in here and am using it right now. If something happens ill post.
  16. Mark56

    Mark56 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,271

    Ok Dave, just keep using the machine as normal for a day or two. If no errors occur then swap the pair of sticks with the other pair and continue to use the PC as normal. Try and use as many memory intensive operations as you can, games, video, etc, to put the RAM under pressure.

    Memtest can miss minor faults so this method (not using Memtest) ensures that whatever the error is it should show up so you can isolate the faulty RAM stick.

    As I have already said, if the freezes still occur during the use of either pair of sticks then we can also be fairly certain that it is due to some other fault in the system. Diagnosis can sometimes be a long process.
  17. PsychoDave

    PsychoDave TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 140

    Ok, I had to pull the main HD from the old computer to put into the new one to finish building and setting up the new machine. While I was doing that i put an old IDE drive in the old computer (No IDE ports on the new mother board) and did a clean install of Vista x64. The old computer isnt connected to the web right now, no wireless adaptor and I dont have a hardline running to that part of the house so no windows updates were installed or GPU drivers.

    I installed a game on the HD and played for a bit then left the computer on to go run some errands. When I came back the mouse would move but thats it, nothing responded to any clicks of the mouse and the clock didnt advance time so it looks like the problem repeated it self.

    My work space has been taken over (roommates are getting ready for a babyshower) so its going to be a few days, before I can set up the rig in a safe spot to continue trouble shooting with the other ram.

    Before I swap out the ram do you think I should put the main(SATA) HD back in the old computer and try again?
  18. Mark56

    Mark56 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,271

    It won't matter which hard drive you have installed as long as you have all the correct drivers (including the chipset for the motherboard) for that PC installed on the drive and none of the drivers for the other working system. You should also have Windows fully updated. Anything that falls short of this may give misleading results.
  19. PsychoDave

    PsychoDave TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 140

    Ok, ill update windows and the GPU drivers and the chipset drivers. I dont think I ever updated the BIOS on the old motherboard, do you suggest I go ahead and do that anyway?
  20. Mark56

    Mark56 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,271

    Bios updates can be risky, it's up to you.
  21. PsychoDave

    PsychoDave TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 140

    ok, finally got the computer up and running and completly updated. 2 sticks of ram are in and i will begin testing today...
  22. Mark56

    Mark56 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,271

    Ok Dave I'll wait to hear from you.
  23. PsychoDave

    PsychoDave TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 140

    Sorry for the absense, im back and im going to get through this time
  24. Mark56

    Mark56 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,271

    No need to apologise, just post back and let us know how the PC is performing when you have some results from the trial. If it locks up, swap the RAM sticks with another pair and start again.

    Have you checked the RAM timings are set to match the manufacturer's recommended setting?
    (Bit short of time, so sorry if that has already been mentioned)

    One other suggestion. If you find the lockups still happen with either pair of RAM sticks, does your motherboard have onboard graphics, if so remove the graphics card and run the monitor from the motherboard, then see if the lockups continue.
  25. PsychoDave

    PsychoDave TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 140

    Memory timings match the manufacturers recommendations. The mother board, Gigabyte EP45-UD3P, doesnt have on board graphics. So far so good, I thought it locked up this morning but its just taking a while to "wake up" from sleep mode I guess because its only operating on half the ram. Ill up date as soon as I make any progress


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