Computer Lock ups

By Chipmyster ยท 42 replies
Jun 7, 2008
  1. Right after searching around I decided this would be the place to start the post and then work backwards if needed...

    This computer is about 1 week old now, but from the moment it was being used it has suffered from random computer lock ups which means the freeze freezes and it plays the last 0.5s of sound over and over until I reboot it.This occurs at ANY time during use, initially I believed it only happened when playing games but it then happened while surfing the net.

    My operating system is Windows Vista 64-bit and is it the cause of the random lock ups, and if not I'll have to ask else where ( Or have the thread moved ).

    Many thanks in advance,

  2. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

    Confirm all your drivers are updated from your manufactures website, including any plugged in devices (Printer; camera etc)

    Please run Memtest to confirm your Ram is ok (7 Passes required)
  3. Chipmyster

    Chipmyster TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 45

    I can confirm all the drivers for everything are up to date presently, I will be running mem test overnight and can post back the results tomorrow.
  4. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,431   +77

    Almost certainly a hardware problem and not to do with Vista. At one week old, you should already be banging down the doors of the shop, red in the face and shouting......
  5. Chipmyster

    Chipmyster TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 45


    The computer itself is built of parts and self constructed, I had no issues with my last couple and the various changes, it's ONLY been this one.

    I did the memtest for the 1 or 2 sticks of ram ( since I've been short on time ) and decided to only use that one stick for the time being ( which it passed ). Only to have it lockup for no reason once again.

    If there are any drivers other then vista, graphics card, sound card and other general updates I should check for I really don't know what the problem is...The computer has does it more this evening then in the last 3 days and I didn't have any crashes despite keeping the computer up and running all night.
  6. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,431   +77

    Well, if you have to rely on yourself, it's different. Still simple, but a long-drawn-out process.

    (1) eliminate software as a problem. You can do this by running dual boot with a linux install, but maybe it's early for that. You have a fresh install, and the software is a known problem. 64-bit Vista is one of the worst places to start from but never mind....

    (2) hardware faults are best isolated by replacement. First strip out any really unnecessary hardware (i.e. all removeable drives), and all memory strips except 1. Then test extensively, one memory strip after the other. If it still fails, borrow or replace the power supply. If it still fails, it's probably the motherboard (tough??)

    (3) If all is working at this minimal configuration, start replacing the peripherals one by one until you find the cause. It could be anything. I have know intermittent lock-ups to be down to a CD-drive (not in use, of course).
  7. be_patient

    be_patient TS Rookie Posts: 103

    i had a similar problem once, it was my power supply. so dont rule that out
  8. Chipmyster

    Chipmyster TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 45

    Right right, I'll have to dedicate some time to working out the fault it seems.

    The one thing I am tempted if I do a fresh install for everything is try a windows XP install and see if anything changes..

    Well thanks for the help, finding the time to do all the testing may be an issue mind :)
  9. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,431   +77

    Well, as I said, eliminating a software fault would normally be step 1, so installing XP instead of Vista would qualify for that !

    We should remember Vista is new to Ms, 64-bit is new to MS. By new I mean they have less than 2 years experience with it, and have not got the critical mass of 1million users beta-testing for them. In my whimsical way I am saying you could easily have a hardware combination untested and incompatible with Vista-64. Hope not though...
  10. Chipmyster

    Chipmyster TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 45

    Well oddly, all of today in which I have been using it for various things it hasn't frozen up once...I spent all last night checking every driver on the computer ( wanted to double check before hardware ) and found a even newer motherboard update and nothing has gone wrong in well over 12 hours being of being switched on...

    I'm hoping it may have just been that but if not i'll run through that list and see if I can pinpoint it!
  11. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,431   +77

    Vista....64-bit......going to take a long time for MS and driver-writers to catch on to all the ramifications. Might have just done it for you though...good luck. Don't be disappointed if it all starts again soon.
  12. Chipmyster

    Chipmyster TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 45

    Two happened today after I finished defragmenting the computer, which it sat for a whole 3 hours doing then locked up when I started talking on messenger...

    I don't know if this would help to know but often after everything has locked and I am forced to reset when vista is trying to load back up it will just freeze on the vista loading screen requiring another reboot...Is there a way to just remove vista and put on XP without having to format everything? I don't recall if there is mainly because if I am moving OS or computer I always format first...

    I wish there was an easier way to work out what the problem was here :D

    UPDATE: Looking at the Vista Reliability & Performance chart...No recorded hardware issues and only unresponsive programs (such as firefox or a game ) etc...However....There are many MANY instances of "Disruptive Shutdown" recorded which occurs after the entire computer freezes, but at the very least this monitor picks that up but not what the cause could be!

    MOREUPDATE: I have 2 Blue screen events apparently...
  13. Chipmyster

    Chipmyster TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 45

    Right I am completely at a loss now.....I really really am....

    I Went over everything with a fine tooth comb, I found out that the cable for the power supply was slightly crappy after some testings, I replaced the cable and it worked FINE for 3 days running not a single blip...then all of a sudden BAM random lockup......And now I just do not have a clue, it's just so random I can't see any pattern or what it could be.

    The only thing left for me to do is install a home ed of XP as a last resort to see if anything changes....
  14. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 11,984   +72

    Attach your minidumps.
  15. Chipmyster

    Chipmyster TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 45

    Funny story, Windows / minidump is empty....and it lockedup just before I posted this, makes 2 in about 10 mins...

    I'll list my computer specs..

    Vista 64-bit
    XFX 790I 3way SLI 2775 DDR
    Intel Q9300 Quadcore 2.5GhZ
    1GB BFG 9800GX2 PCI-E GDDR3
    Corsair Twinx 4GB DDR3 1333
    Pioneer DVR215BK x20
    500G Seagate Sata2 ST2500320
    XFi Extreme Audio Sound Card

    More Info - on temperatures using speedfan 4.34.

    System - 92c
    CPU - 41c
    Aux - 75c
    Temp - 75c
    Core 0 - 65c
    Core 1 - 65c
    Core 2 - 52c
    Core 3 - 46c
  16. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 11,984   +72

    I am wondering if you've got a heat issue. 92c is 197.6 f! i can't even begin to wonder what temperature your harddrive is at.
  17. Chipmyster

    Chipmyster TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 45

    Well after looking at that it does seem high, but my GFX card averages around 50c on its own due to what it is.

    Despite that I have a massive tower with 3 fans and room for a 4th as well as others dotted around.

    If you want to look it up it's a Cool master Cosmos Case
  18. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 11,984   +72

    Perhaps one or two of your hardware pieces has issues with such high heat. Are one of your fans directly blowing onto your harddrive? I know in my Thermaltake Xazer II case has a fan blowing directly on my hd.

    By the way, nice case and nice system.
  19. Chipmyster

    Chipmyster TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 45

    It would be an awsome system if it didn't have the random lockups!

    In answer to your question, no none of the fans are blowing onto the HD the air is being channeled throught the computer from underneath over everything and out the top and back. l'll probably get a liquid cooling system anyway, but I won't know if that was the issue till I A) can afford it and B) it arrives ^.^.

    Like I said, it's been fine for 3 days and just randomly started again...Utterly confusing me!
  20. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 11,984   +72

    Could it be your SLi set-up and the 790I chipset?
  21. Chipmyster

    Chipmyster TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 45

    Not sure, too late to be checking anything sensitive but I am collecting a small list of stuff I still haven't really checked!

    I'll add this onto that, I wish there was someway of just knowing what it was rather then debugging stuff the long way by trial and error!

    Note: My mate has a similar but slightly less powerful system same operating system etc etc, but has a liquid cooling system, his computer runs 50c LOWER then my system.....Might need to make an investment...
  22. Chipmyster

    Chipmyster TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 45

    Still the crashes are randomly timed, todays example being the computer was on for an hour or so then booted when I tried to play a game, but hasn't do anything since then!

    Also what would be considered a "normal" temperature for computers etc...
  23. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 11,984   +72

    So for clarity reasons, your latest BSOD occured only when you tried to play a game, correct?

    How far into your game before the crash?

    Taking a guess here, two possibilities at this point: a) driver issue or b) heat issue for your graphics card under a load.
  24. Chipmyster

    Chipmyster TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 45

    It's not a BSOD thats the point, the computer just stops it freezes/locksup everything stops working and responding and the only way to get it back is to reboot.

    It did the same yesterday it stopped when I tried to boot a game up for the first time or so and then again shortly after but didn't do anything all night. Then did has done the exact thing again...

    Update: Just had one while idling surfing the internet!
  25. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 11,984   +72

    I am still wondering if you hyave a heat issue. Try this: Take off your side pannel and have a fan blowing directly into your case and attempt to play a game. See if you get any crashes.

    I am also wondering if your psu is bad. Have you used a multimeter to test your voltage/amp levels?
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