PC freezing / crashing with loud buzzing sound loop

Hello! I am new to the community and decided to try as a last resort to post my problem specifically as I have tried an assortment of fixes from other threads that had issues similar to mine but not exactly, to no avail.

To start let me post my specs:

Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit SP1
CPU: Intel Core i7 3770K
GPU: Gigabyte Windforce GTX670 OC
RAM: Corsair Vengeance Blue C9 1600 DDR3
PSU: Silverstone 750W
MB: ASUS P8Z77-V Pro
HDD: Western Digital 1TB 7200RPM 2x500 disks.

To start with I find this problem very peculiar since from what I have read on other threads it would appear to be a hardware issue. I find this hard to believe because as of last week the computer was working better than fine. It was fantastic! I was playing all my games and getting frame rates above 60FPS on everything at 1080 resolutions. Prior to this however I had been experiencing crashes on the game Battlefield 3, which then started making my other games Crysis 2 and Shogun 2 crash as well. What I had done to remedy this particular problem was to throw in a couple new entries into regedit, update to the latest REALTEK drivers for the onboard sound, and fiddle with the sound settings in the mixer as to the specific instructions of those on the Battlefield forums. These steps combined worked like a charm and I enjoyed a blissful week breathing the biggest sigh of relief over the idea that at the very least nothing was broken in my machine, it had simply been a driver issue.

Fast forward to today. This is the 2nd day in a row where I have been experiencing crippling and very fast crashes on my system. The first place I noticed it was very obviously in Battlefield 3, probably the most system intense game I have. That game, without exception crashes within 1 minute of being launched. What will happen is the entire screen will freeze, accompanied by a REALLY loud buzzing which I am assuming is a sound loop. The only thing consistent about the crashing form BF3 is the time it takes to crash or lock up. What is random about it is the way in which this happens. Sometimes the freeze or lock up will be preceded by a sharp fall in Frames per second in the game. Then the freeze will hit with a sound loop. If I am lucky enough or fast enough to Ctrl Alt Del or Alt Tab I can sometimes regain control of the computer by terminating the game in the task manager. Other times when the lock up just happens spontaneously or instantaneously, this is impossible, as no keys or any input for that matter works. Even the reset button becomes unresponsive at times and the entire computer requires a hard boot for me to regain control.

This freezing and sound looping has also happened in other games for me, like Company of Heroes. A much older and far less demanding game than BF3. I will get frozen for one second with a sound loop, then it will resume for 2 seconds, Freeze with sound loop, resume for 2 seconds , so on and so forth. If I let this drag on long enough the computer has thrown errors my way that this is somehow driver related. Something about the drivers crashing, not being able to respond and having recovered. In the case of BF3 IF I am lucky, Ill get some error related to DirectX, saying that the crash is potentially driver related, something happened with the Kernel OR something about "GetDeviceRemoved". I am not entirely sure what to make of any of this.

Also to note, when I had remedied the first problem which was apparently audio driver related, Shogun 2 for example on high settings with DX11 on a benchmark made about 60FPS. Now when I run the same benchmark it has slipped pretty dramatically to more like 22FPS. I have no doubt that were I to run a full game or match on it that it would probably crash or freeze up sporadically like Company of Heroes I described above in the last paragraph if not crash outright like BF3.

NOTHING on my end has changed since I fixed the video driver issue last week which made my system run flawlessly. I changed no drivers, no nothing. Just for the sake of trying for a quick fix, YES I did update to the latest video card drivers as the windows errors had suggested and this proved futile. I rolled back to the same drivers I had had success with prior.

Also, the problem seems not simply isolated to games anymore, but I have recently had Flash Videos freeze up intermittently as described with Company of Heroes above.

I am at a complete and total loss. I am not the most technically savy person. Its been quite a while since I have done a build. This is my first in 4 years. Never Never had problems like this before.

I would greatly appreciate any and all help in fixing this. At this point I wouldnt even care if something was broken or what... so long as I could just fix it and be on my marry way. Its so cruel how this machine gave me a taste of what it was capable of and then without warning this starts. From what the PC says its a software problem and from what I am seeing on threads its probably a hardware problem. I have no idea where to start.

Everyone's help is greatly appreciated.



Posts: 17,233   +234
I have a Gigabyte 1155 Z77 motherboard, with an i5 Ivy Bridge CPU. The Z77 bios need to be "toned down" by disabling and/or enabling the CPU throttling options. Settings like C1E and EIST and other CPU speed and power consumption features need to be played with until game play is "normal"... A bios update might have messed with the settings causing this sudden trouble
Actually I had updated the bios around the same time as I implemented the driver fixes for the on board sound. Wouldn't that problem have manifested last week when I was playing games nonstop?

Edit: Are there any other settings that need to be played with specifically other than what was mentioned?


Posts: 17,233   +234
It's hard to tell... I had to play with these settings on my system. The display driver began to crash and my games did the same as yours are doing now. Since we have the same chipset (I have Award 3D bios) I thought it would be worth a try


Posts: 17,233   +234
In Advanced Frequency/Advanced CPU Core, disable C3/C6 State Support and CPU Thermal monitor. Also make sure that PEG is set as the Initial Display First setting
Thanks for the starting point. I am going to run a couple quick hardware scans suggested by another forum really quick to rule out faulty memory and then I will take a look see at those exact settings.


I used to have roughly the same problem with my hd 5870 when I started playing Battlefield 3. It would crash every so often and sometimes as short as 30 minutes of gaming would make it crash. The thing is the only time it really crashed a lot was when I overclocked it. I didn't even overclock it that much and it became unstable. So, #1, delete the driver completely and install a brand new one. #2. Run the video card on stock settings. #3. Install MSI afterburner to manage the fans. With my hd 5870, after installing msi afterburner and letting it run while gaming, my video card didn't crash. Later I even uninstalled msi afterburner and it still didn't crash. Like some people said, it could be a memory issue or cpu, but the fact that your pc crashes when gaming is a huge indicator it is likely your video card. If none of this works, you will want to rule out windows 7 from the problem. If you have a windows 7 disk, boot your computer from it and on the page where it says custom or upgrade, choose upgrade. If your disk does not have the service pack on it, make sure you uninstall it from your computer before reinstalling windows, or else it may not work after. Running the upgrade will refresh all the windows components but keep pretty much everything else. Not as good as a clean install but will likely be enough to rule out windows 7 being the problem if the gpu keeps failing after. After that, I'm not sure. Test everything you can, but the video card may have to be replaced. Apologies for any spelling or grammar mistakes.