Windows 7 Professional 64-bit freezing/locking up randomly

By Bott99
May 19, 2011
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  1. Sorry for the long post but I wanted to give as much info as possible.

    I recently built a new system and installed Windows 7 Professional 64 bit. Ever since I built it the system has had a problem where it will freeze at random times. When it freezes the mouse simply stops moving and the computer is completely unresponsive, requiring a hard reboot. The time that the system takes to freeze varies greatly, sometimes only a few minutes, sometimes up to 36 hours. The freezes tend to occur mostly while the system is idle. It seems to be fine during gaming and i've had no freezes whilst playing games for hours at a time. The freezes do not occur when the system is in safe mode. Apart from the freezing the system runs fine.

    System specs are as follows:
    - Intel Core i7 2600K
    - Asus P8P67 Deluxe (B3 Stepping)
    - G.Skill Ripjaws-X 8GB kit (4GBx2) DDR3 1600 F3-12800CL9D-8GBXL
    - Asus 6950 2GB VGA card
    - OCZ Vertex2-E 120GB SSD
    - 2 x Western Digital 2TB SATA2 HDD (WD20EARS)
    - Corsair HX-750 PSU
    - Antec 900 case

    So far I have tried everything I can think of. Here is a list of what I have tried already with no luck:

    - Updated all drivers to latest versions
    - Checked Event Viewer for errors but could only find a Kernal ID-41 power error indicating that the system has rebooted without cleanly shutting down first (I don't really know what to look for here so I may have missed something)
    - Performed a clean boot with all non-Microsoft services disabled, still crashes
    - Ran SFC/SCANNOW command, no errors detected
    - Disabled all display and system sleep options
    - Reinstalled fresh copies Windows 7 on the SSD (both 64 bit and 32 bit versions, both still froze)
    - Replaced the motherboard (upgraded to B3 stepping after the Cougar Point recall for the board's SATA controller)
    - Tested the RAM with Memtest for 10+ hours, no errors
    - Swapped the video card with the card from from my other computer which is confirmed working, still froze
    - Reinstalled Windows 7 x64 on a different HDD (and all other drives disconnected), still froze
    - I also installed my old copy of Windows XP Pro 32 bit on the system and this actually did run without freezing

    The fact that Windows XP and Windows 7 safe mode run successfully on the system without freezing prompts me to think it's not a hardware problem but I don't know what else to try in Windows 7 to get it run normally without freezing.

    Any help would be appreciated.
  2. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 12,113   +23

    If you can get into Safe Mode I agree it is not hardware per se but drivers.

    Since disabling all display and system sleep options what is Event Viewer showing now?

    Corsair makes excellent power supplies. However, have you tested the psu with a digital multimeter to check voltage output?

    Try running your system with 4 gigs of RAM. Any changes?

    What security software are you running?

    Have you tried swapping out cables?
  3. Bott99

    Bott99 Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    I remember seeing a Superfetch error when I checked the Event Viewer this morning so i've turned Superfetch off.

    I haven't tested the power supply (I have no idea how) but it did run XP successfully. Would XP have a lower power demand than WIndows 7 or be more tolerant of variable voltages?

    Will try running it with 4 GB RAM when I start my next test cycle.

    Haven't tried swapping out the cables but they worked for XP so i'm assuming they're ok.

    Unfortunately due to the randomness of the fault every time I change something I have to test it by leaving the system running until it freezes again. As I mentioned before this can take up to 36 hours, which is the longest uptime the system has experienced so far. This makes testing a VERY slow process so please bear with me.

    Thanks for your help.
  4. Bott99

    Bott99 Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    I recently changed the SATA mode from AHCI to IDE and reinstalled Windows again. I also disabled Superfetch as I read that this improves stability with an SSD. With only Windows installed (i.e. no 3rd party drivers or software) the system ran for a record 2 days without freezing. I then assumed that this had fixed the problem and installed motherboard drivers, VGA driver and other software (e.g. Firefox, anti-virus etc) and left it running overnight. Unfortunately the computer froze that night. This leads me to suspect that the problem is being caused by a driver issue, as a clean boot (i.e. no 3rd party programs running at startup) still freezes.

    At this point I plan to fresh install Windows again and leave it running for a longer time to confirm that it really does work properly in this state and that the 2 day uptime was not a fluke, then reintroduce drivers one at a time until it starts to freeze again.

    Any views on this approach?
  5. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 12,113   +23

    Can you boot into Safe mode?

    Do the following and note any Yellow Triangles and Red Xs and what they flag:

    Start > Run > type in EventVwr.msc > Okay


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