Constant sudden freezings

By Gatzu ยท 45 replies
Nov 4, 2010
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  1. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 11,984   +72

    Gatzu, unfortunantly I have to leave for a couple of hours and yes that is really strange. When I return I'll loo0k at your links.

    What is the room temperature like? Also, can you list the the things that both your systems have in common, i.e., hardware, software such as OS and security, etc.?
  2. Gatzu

    Gatzu TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 33

    Well, I'm about to head out as well to grab a bite to eat. Thanks again for taking the time to listen and aid me with this problem. It's much appreciated.

    As for my room temperature, I'm a polar bear so I like things cold. I rarely ever turn the heat on. It's currently about 42 outside and my smart clock reads 71 inside. The highest it gets in my house is probably 75.

    As for my different systems, the one I am on right now is a friend's laptop. She most does homework on it so it's nothing I can really use other than posting and surfing.

    My other computer, I just reformatted. It was built back in 00 or 01. Sadly, it's incredible old and I misplaced all of the driver discs for it. I don't think I could scrap anything out of it due to it's age. Even the PSU wouldn't be able to power my video card.

    I do have a video card and PSU on the way however, to swap in and out. It's just a matter of waiting for it to get here while I try and trouble shoot all of these problems.

    Hopefully I'll see you in a couple hours or so. If I'm still missing, it's probably because The Walking Dead is on tonight. I will be back however!

    Thanks again.
  3. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 11,984   +72

    I was able to gather more information on your motherboard and memory.

    As per the Manual your motherboard does support upwards of 4 gigs of RAM even with a 32 bit system.

    As for your memory it is designed for 1.9v - 2.1v. I suggest setting your memory in the BIOS to 2.0v. Let us know if you gain stability. If not then try 1.9v and if that doesn't help then 2.1v.
  4. Gatzu

    Gatzu TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 33

    Well crap. I was kinda hoping that would be it. =(

    I tried both 1.9 and 2.0V. Each lasted about 5 minutes before my computer locked as usual. I can't believe how much of a pain my computer is being. Its ridiculous.

    I guess the only thing I have left to go on is the video card or PSU. This kinda ruins my vacation of straight gaming, hehe,

    I guess I'll keep trying things through out the night, but I'm running low on ideas.

    You wouldn't happen to think a bad sector on the HDD could be causing all this do ya? Perhaps it continuously keeps being ran over, cause the freeze?

    The only time the computer locks up is when I do something. If I leave it running idle with nothing but the Speedfan test running, it can sit there the entire night.
  5. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 11,984   +72

    Run your system with only 2 gigs in dual channel configuration as per your manual with the memory set at 2.0. What are the results?

    At this point go ahead and run a harddrive diagnostics. It couldn't hurt.
  6. Gatzu

    Gatzu TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 33

    Thats a negative in that area as well. Dropped 2 sticks and set the voltage as you mentioned but I've got nothing still. As for the hard drive diagnostic, I've run several scan disks and defragged this morning. There were a few programs in Hadrin's that I tried as well and they all came back clean.
  7. Gatzu

    Gatzu TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 33

    Ill have to return this laptop to my friend today, so I'll be posting from my broken PC. Hopefully I don't freeze up too much while trying to make a post. =)

    I poked around a bit more this morning and later on I'll try to rule out the sound system by disabing everything in there. I'm hoping that the mail comes in today to drop off my PSU and video card so I can test those as well. I'll keep you updated.

    Thanks again for the help.
  8. Gatzu

    Gatzu TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 33

    I've got a small update after all the work I've been doing with my computer. Here it goes:

    I've tried to recreate the previous error where I could play a video game while everything has locked up. This has been completely unsuccessful so I'm marking that up for a fluke.

    Since then I've just been going over my previous diagnostics to see if I skipped anything. As far as I know, I haven't missed anything. The memtests for my RAM still come back fine and the temperatures for my CPU and GPU all read fine as well. My hard drive reports 0 bad sectors and nothing seems to be in error.
    So basically now I'm down to timing the lock ups as well as seeing what causes them to see if possibly the PSU or Video Card really is at fault.

    So far here is what I CAN do:

    I can sit at the desktop for however long I want. I can install whatever I want as long as it doesnt involve opening a browser. I can change any configuration I want and I can run any tests that I want in windows. This means Ventrillo, AVG, MalwareBytes and CC Cleaner are all completely fine to use. (As well as Wordpad.)

    I CAN'T open MOST video games. I can play some DOS base games such as Blood, Rise of the Triad and Arx Fatalis. While playing these, I let them run a good 30 minutes before thinking nothing was the matter. I will be leaving one up and running tonight, all night to ensure that I'm correct in this. (If not, you'll definitely know tomorrow morning, heh. *Note - Immediately after closing the game I played for 30 minutes, I opened a browser and locked up.)

    The games that I absolutely cannot run are League of Legends, Fallout New Vegas, and Half Life 2. I have a huge library of games, but these were the only ones that I tested. It seems that I can play for up to 10 minutes before my computer locks up.

    I also CANNOT run any type of media. This goes for downloaded videos, songs, or youtube videos. This is where things become a little strange however. For some reason, there is no consistancy to the time of lock ups for videos. Sometimes I will lock up after ten minutes of watching a video, and sometimes I will lock up after watching multiple videos for a total of ten minutes. The time is completely sporatic.

    The last time I watched a video, the length was 12 minutes long. I locked up after 7 minutes in. I continously clicked my mouse until it froze, leaving me with the annoying long drawn out beep from my PC. The sound however, played for the next two minutes. It was crystal clear, as if I were still watching the video. The video itself, was still frozen at 7 minutes.

    I will be looking into this further for the rest of the night. Again, I no longer have the laptop so this is going to be a long night.

    If anyone has had any experience with locking up while the audio continues to play, please let me know.

    Thanks again for your time.
  9. Gatzu

    Gatzu TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 33

    Well my video card came into and I swapped it out with the old one. I installed the new drivers and everything looked ready to go.

    The moment I started up Fallout: New Vegas, I was greeted with an instant lock up after 5 minutes. So now we know that the video card wasn't the problem. That only cost me $160.

    Here is where I get completely thrown off:

    I can play some very low end games without a problem. Its the high end games that seem to be where I lock up. Instinctively, I thought it was the video card at fault. But a brand new video card did not solve the problem.

    I have another PSU that I will testing here shortly after lunch. My last idea is that the PSU is not distributing enough power and when more power is needed for higher end games, my computer locks up.

    Any more suggestions are welcome. Thanks
  10. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 11,984   +72

    Once you stated the video card isn't the issue I, too, started wondering if the PSU could be the problem. Great diagnostic work on your part.
  11. Gatzu

    Gatzu TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 33

    Well, the PSU doesn't seem to be the problem. At this point I'm ready to just call it quits. I can't believe whatever is causing this lock ups can hide so well. None of the symptoms point to any one thing.

    There wasn't even any type of warning before hand. I can remember playing a few games of League of Legends the night before, and then going to bed.

    The next day I read a comic book series and then jumped into another game of League of Legends. Thats when the lock ups began and ceased to end.

    For the record, I plugged up the PSU and launched Fallout. I froze after about five minutes. I got to thinking that maybe Fallout is the cause of all this, so I tried another game - Dragonage: Origins.

    This too locked up, but in a different way. I launched the game and went to eat. I came back after an hour to find the game still running. Assuming that perhaps Fallout WAS indeed the cause, I decided to exit out of the game. The moment I tried to exit I locked up.

    Again I started my computer and retried another game. Instantly I locked up. I did however, manage to load up a low-end DOS game and put some tape over my mouse to keep the game from going idle. This lasted a good two hours before I decided to just exit out of it, which I was able to do. The moment I started a different higher end game however, I locked up.

    Whatever is doing this, is pointing at something that uses up a lot of resources. Would it be safe to assume that the motherboard is not part of the problem? It would either have to be the RAM (once again) or perhaps a bad area in my HDD or possibly something else on there that is conflicting with how things are ran? Perhaps I picked something up that I never new about - a conflicting program, a bug, virus, even though all my scans come back clean?

    I'm currently picking out some bare bones kits from Newegg. I'm kind of tired of dealing with the program so maybe it is indeed time for a new computer. It just seems like a waste to give up on this one. Maybe reformatting my drives would clear this problem. I just dread the thought of reinstalling all my drivers and games. Theres also the hassle of fixing a motherboard bug that likes to hide my internet connection from me.

    Still open to suggestions though. I'm all ears.
  12. Gatzu

    Gatzu TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 33

    Well I think things have finally taken a turn for the worst. This morning my computer won't even boot up.

    I can power it on, but nothing happens. The fans all spin, as does the video card fan, and the CD ROM kicks in, but there is no display and no beeps.

    To make sure I didn't accidentally break the video card or anything, I unplugged the PCI-E power cord from it. Normally that would cause a blood curdling beep after the next power up. No sound from that. Next I removed all of my RAM and turned my computer on to be greeted with the exact same ghostly nothingness. So in short I guess its safe to assume that the motherboard is completely dead.

    I do have another question though. I did order a new computer, a bare bones DIY kit from newegg. Is it possible to place my old hard drive in the new computer as possibly a secondary drive?

    If I do so, will the old OS conflict with my new Windows 7? Is there any safe way to retrieve my old files and transfer them to the new hard drive? (Minus the OS that is.)

    Hopefully this doesn't stray too far off course from this forum. If I need be I can always post in the appropriate forum. Thanks!
  13. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 11,984   +72

    Yes, you can put your old harddrive in the new system. But I have no experience with this especially when two OS's are different.

    Did you cheack the back of the motherboard to see if it is touching the case?
  14. Gatzu

    Gatzu TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 33

    That I did not my good sir. I shall do so immediately. Do you think it could be shorting it out to keep it from powering on all the way?

    I'll let you know how things turn out in the next 30 minutes or so.

    Thanks for the tip.
  15. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 11,984   +72

    Believe it or not this happens more often than people realize. Also, chack to see if any wires are touching items that they shouldn't.

    In addition, check your motherboard capacitors and see if any are bulging at the top.

    By the way, what barebone kit did you go for?
  16. mayokittens

    mayokittens TS Rookie

    first off on your dead computer i suspect the mobo. i have heard bad things about evga as a mobo manufacturer. (the only 2 that i will recommend are gigabyte and asus.) even more so as it now wont even POST.

    as for putting your old HD in your new machine, that will absolutely work. i wouldnt try using it to run the computer without reinstalling as very bad driver conflicts can result. as a secondary, there should be no issues. if there are files on the old HD you wish to retrieve there are some hoops to jump though.
    windows very helpfully will not allow you to access the files in the documents folder of the old hard drive right off the bat. in odrer to do that you will need to go into the security settings for the old drive and reset permissions.
    for XP home:
    EITHER: start in safe mode and continue with below instructions from number 3.
    XP pro instructions:

    1. Log in as an administrator
    2. in my computer, choose folder options, click on the view tab, scroll right to the bottom of the 'advanced settings' section and ensure 'user simple file sharing (recommended)' is deselected. OK it.
    3. right click on the drive that you want to take ownership of (in my computer) and choose properties
    4. click on the 'security' tab
    5. click the 'advanced' button
    6. click the 'Owner' tab
    7. under 'change owner to:' select your username
    8. check the 'replace owner on subcontainers and objects'
    9. click Apply (may take some time)
    10. click on the 'Permissions' tab
    11. click the 'add' button
    12. type 'everyone' for all users to be able to access the drive. Type your user name just for yourself. OK it.
    13. click the 'full control' checkbox under 'allow.' OK it.
    14. check the 'replace permission entries on all child objects...' checkbox
    15. OK it (result may take some time)
    16. OK the last window
    17. Enjoy

    the process is similar on all windows OSes
  17. Gatzu

    Gatzu TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 33

    Well, I checked on the case and everything seems tiptop. No backing touching the Mobo. I did find this strange plastic nail plug do-hicky at the bottom of my case though. Not quite sure where that goes. As for wiring, I'm a bit OCD on that and tend to keep my PSU wires overly tied up and tucked away. There are only two wires that do hang out, which belong to my onboard sound and another grey wire. I keep them tied together and away from everything else though.

    Capacitors seem fine. I went over that during the weekend. No leaks or buldges anywhere to be seen.

    As for the kit, I ordered this:

    I would have loved to have spent a lot more and splurged, but I just wasn't ready to dump $1700 on a new pc. I really wanted one of those super large cases too. But this should hold me over for the next two years or so if I remember how to put a PC together. =p

    In the meantime, I'm gonna try to find out what this little squishy plastic tube thing belongs to.

    Edit: Thanks so much Mayo! I'll be sure to pin this to my wall when the time comes. I knew that there would be driver conflicts if I straight plugged it in, but I wasn't so sure how to do it any other way. Thanks again! I'll be sure to let you know how things come out when the time arrives.
  18. mayokittens

    mayokittens TS Rookie

    that combo looks good to me except for the seagate HD
    i would run screaming from that
  19. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 11,984   +72

    Yes, definitely keep your eye on your Seagate. Thie 11 series were a nightmare for a whole lot of people with a firmware update that "brinked" the harddrive. I believe they eventually fixed it.

    Their 12 series is fine though.
  20. Gatzu

    Gatzu TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 33

    Well I bought a new PC and put her together. The only problem I ran into was the crazy set up of the CPU fan. It was a lot bigger than I imagined. It was like connecting a brick to a lego block.

    Right after I was up and running, my motherboard came in for the other computer. Popped it in and it seems my other computer is up and running. Looks like the mobo was the main problem all along.

    So now I have four computers and I don't know what to do with two of them. =(

    I just wanted to come back and say thanks for all the help and advice last week. Its much appreciated!
  21. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 11,984   +72

    Ah, Gatzu! Its great to hear from you and thanks for the update. Really glad things are working out.

    As for the two extra computers, have you considered donating them to children or charities in need? With our culture the way it is children have to have computer skills and you may be able to help in this way.

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