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56 posts

Master Geek
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Topic # 112325 5-Dec-2012 07:17 Send private message

I have a 3 year old PC that has started freezing randomly and I'd appreciate help figuring out how to fix it.

The problem started when I moved the PC to a different location in the house. The PC freezes only when it is doing something. That is, if it is left sitting at the desktop with no applications open and with the screen saver off, then it is fine. It is also fine when left sitting in safe mode. But if it is doing something - like installing Windows, web browsing, or even just running the screen saver with no applications open - then it freezes at seemingly random times.

When it freezes, the screen is unresponsive, the hard drive is inactive, and the mouse's light has switched off.

Things I have tried, with no effect:
- Swapped to a different hard drive.
- A fresh install of Windows 7 64-bit on the different hard drive. Minimal software installed, though with 100+ Windows updates.
- Swapped to a different video card.
- Removed and reinserted the RAM.
- Disconnected the network cable.
- Changed to a different keyboard and mouse (first set was wireless, second set is USB).
- Run the Windows memory test, which was OK.
- Run burn-in software that tests the CPU and RAM at 100% for 8 hours (with screen saver off), with no errors.

Any suggestions about what the problem might be and how to fix it?

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Hawkes Bay
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  Reply # 727185 5-Dec-2012 07:55 Send private message

Google the heck out of all your components looking for known freezing issues.
Try a different brand of operating system and see if the problem occurs.
Try a different PSU.
Check your BIOS settings - anything funky? Overclocked? Maybe reset BIOS settings to factory.
Check motherboard carefully in good light - any foreign objects, burn-out marks, excess dust etc.
Check all fans are working.




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  Reply # 727186 5-Dec-2012 07:57 Send private message

I had this problem awhile ago, did all the tests like you did, right down to checking the temps of CPU etc. 
All were good. After a bit of searching, I ended up changing the power options in control panel to high performance and since then haven't had any more freezes. 






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BDFL
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  Reply # 727187 5-Dec-2012 07:57 Send private message

Make sure the fans have no obstructions, no dust accumulated on anything, no obstructions in vents, thermal paste applied on processor...





gzt

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  Reply # 727188 5-Dec-2012 07:59 Send private message

The only ram test I will trust must run outside the operating system - http://www.memtest.org. Recommend bootable iso.

What is the exact model of your pc and or motherboard?

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Master Geek
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  Reply # 727192 5-Dec-2012 08:02

Possibly a heat/ventilation problem. I only mention it because the problem occurred after you moved the PC.

Check that all the fans are running ie. CPU, case and power supply. Also check that there's no dust build up inside the case.

There's some good reading on the subject here:

http://static.highspeedbackbone.net/html/guide_Basic_PC_Cooling.html

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  Reply # 727265 5-Dec-2012 09:46 Send private message

seems you have done everything you should do... id be looking at the CAPS on the system board, check for bulging tops or signs of leaking. google search your system board and badcaps and see if its known for poor quality CAPS.

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Wannabe Geek


  Reply # 727307 5-Dec-2012 11:00 Send private message

Make sure you have a power supply that can handle all of your components, make sure the CPU isn't overheating (There is usually something in your bios that lets you see the temperature), make sure there is no dust inside your case, otherwise this sounds like a motherboard problem to me.



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Master Geek
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  Reply # 727614 5-Dec-2012 20:04 Send private message

Thanks for your suggestions.

The PC is a custom build that was worked fine for 3 years. The fans and temperatures are OK. It did get noticeably warmer when running the CPU at 100% for hours, but had no stability problems when doing so.

Neither the CPU nor the GPU have been overclocked. The memory test was OK. The motherboard is clean, with minimal dust and no obvious burn marks or other flaws. I've tried various Windows power settings and turned off things like wake on mouse/keyboard/network.

I also reset the bios to defaults - which caused Windows to say that a floppy drive had been found and installed. Rather odd, given that the PC doesn't have a floppy drive. But apart from that, no effect.

And yet it still freezes randomly.

I'm out of ideas, other than a suspicion that it is probably a hardware fault (possibly caused when I moved the PC). Unfortunately I don't have suitable spare parts to swap out the PSU, RAM, CPU or motherboard, so I suppose the next step is to let a professional PC repairer have a go.

gzt

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  Reply # 727616 5-Dec-2012 20:09 Send private message

Ouranos: The memory test was OK.


You used memtestx86+ ?



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Master Geek
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  Reply # 727632 5-Dec-2012 21:04 Send private message

gzt:
Ouranos: The memory test was OK.


You used memtestx86+ ?

Yes. No errors.

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