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dark pallys

Random computer freezes :(

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So this has been happening for a while now, but recently it has been more frequent, not sure why.

 

Sometimes when I am playing games (Guild Wars 2 is the most recent example I've got) or watching videos (MKV 720p x264 on VLC Player) the computer sometimes freezes for a few seconds and makes this angry buzzing noise from the speakers, I suspect the noise is just a side effect of the freezing though.. these freezes seem to be getting more frequent, sometimes just very short buzzes.. sometimes long ones

 

The hardware:

  • Asus P7Z77-M

  • Intel Core i5-2500

  • 650W PSU

  • 8GB RAM

  • NVIDIA GTX 560 Ti

  • 2TB HDD - Operating System (Win7 Pro)

  • 1TB HDD - Data

  • 500GB HDD - Data
I haven't been able to narrow down what is causing this problem. I currently have the bios setup to this "smart overclocking" which basically bumps it up on demand, I think.. I have a temperature monitor always running so I know it's not overheating..

 

I can't recall correctly, but I think that when the lock up occurs, there is a spike on the CPU usage, which might be caused by the system (I found this using Process Explorer).

 

All drivers are up to date.

 

EDIT

 

I Forgot to mention that I'm also using a 64GB SSD in a RAID 0, to work as a cache drive for the 2TB drive (Intel Rapid Storage Technology)

 

EDIT 2 Also, another problem that I have encountered is that the computer completely freezes, at any given time, seemingly randomly. I have my computer on basically 24/7, and I've seen it freeze a few times completely without return, where the only solution is to reset. When this happens, if there is sound playing, it simply stops. I've noted that it has frozen even when no one is using. I don't think it's sleep-related problem because this has happened even when I am actively using the computer.

 

 

 

EDIT 3:

 

I ran Hyper Pi on 32M for 10 minutes, I had my music playing during it as well to check if it'd interfere with the audio like I previously described, but nothing interesting happened besides some lag. – darkpallys Apr 5 at 4:40

 

The length of the spikes vary quite a bit, anywhere between a split of a second to about 3 seconds or so.. I've had the longer ones when gaming

 

Completed chkdsk with no errors

 

I had the SSD running as a cache drive(RAID), I disabled to see if that could be the problem.. but nope! It's still happening.. :((

Edited by dark pallys

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Does the problem replicate when you are not doing anything graphic intensive?

It could be a bad graphics driver, sounds more like faulty memory.

What PSU are you using? Is it old?

 

Update your BIOS and reset your clocks /voltages to default and then test.

Reset any graphics card overclocks, put it to default, test.

Try basic hardware tests, memtest, seatools. (give memtest a few passes at least)

Try a clean graphics driver install: http://forums.guru3d.com/showthread.php?t=218988

Run a GPU stress test with furmark ect, see if it forces artifacts and/or crashes. Are you monitoring GPU temps?

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Everything except for the GFX card is quite new, purchased everything just over one year ago. The freezes happen at any given time, it's quite odd, pretty sure I ran memtest for the entire night and nothing failed. I'm not overclocking, I have a Core Temp running, but nothing monitoring the GPU temperatures.

 

I'll re do a bunch of tests just in case though

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I thought I'd update you guys on the situation.. the random lock ups have been occurring up today, and I came across a new problem. The computer would fail to boot, only staying on for a split second and shutting itself off immediately.

 

My suspicions were that one of the three were failing, the graphics card, the PSU or the motherboard. After some troubleshooting, I found that the problem only occurred with the graphics card molex connectors plugged in.

 

I managed to eventually get the computer to boot by unplugging one of the graphics card molex connectors, letting it boot properly, then turning the computer off, plugging the connector back in and 9 times out of 10 the computer would boot normally..

 

So I ended up trying 2 other graphics card, one that required no additional power, and one of the same model as mine.

 

The one that required no additional power worked just fine, and the one of the same model as mine produced the same behaviour, so just now I plugged in a brand new PSU from work, and it seems to be working perfectly. I haven't had any lock ups since, but I haven't had much time to test since the lock ups are pretty random..

 

 

TL;DR;

Computer wouldn't boot properly, seems like the PSU was the cause of this problem :)

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Yes, PSU. Sorry I didnt see this thread earlier, I'd have gotten to that ASAP :( sorry.

 

To answer your queries, that buzz when it freezes is the audio buffer containing data. It kinda loops the junk data thats in it with no new instructions.

 

Depending on the freeze, often after a few hours, as it plays out its buffer at super slow mo, it will eventually shut up. But why leave it frozen for hours just to see? lol. (unless you're me with like 4 PCs in 1 room)

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So the freezes are still happening with the new PSU :( They are only temporary lock ups though, never lasted more than just a few seconds.

 

I imagined it would be something like that, I figured it was just a side effect of the lock ups :/

 

My next best guess would be the motherboard or CPU having some sort of fault that would cause the freezes..

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Hmm I guess they are like pauses, yes!

 

I have a filter setup to show all Critical, Warning and Error events but I can't see any HDD related errors.. I'll check it next time as soon as it happens though.

Edited by dark pallys

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this sort of error is usually caused by a HDD controller going bad in my experience.

What modes are they in, in the BIOS? IDE Legacy? or AHCI?

 

If they're set to IDE, look up how to switch that (windows needs a regedit first) then change them over.

If however, they're already AHCI, still try switching them, because a failing board will sometimes work fine in legacy mode.

 

basically those pauses are hardware interrupts taking too long. You'll often see them with IDE CD-roms, when the disk spins, the whole PC stops, then resumes once its spun up.

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Now that you mention it, I think I did get a BSOD a while ago saying something about Hardware Interrupt. Is the HDD controller part of the HDD or the mobo, I can't recall! >.<

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Try turning the CPU monitoring program off and only use for checking temps, knowing some programs do cause issues.

 

In GW2 i know that it operates by using the CPU not GPU for graphics ,so it could be graphics are too high too.

 

Also have you checked the Heatsink on the CPU to see if it needs re-mounting?

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hard drive.

 

But the settings I'm talking about are in the BIOS, so mobo.

I thought so :)

 

Try turning the CPU monitoring program off and only use for checking temps, knowing some programs do cause issues.

 

In GW2 i know that it operates by using the CPU not GPU for graphics ,so it could be graphics are too high too.

 

Also have you checked the Heatsink on the CPU to see if it needs re-mounting?

The problem doesn't just happen with GW2 though, it's basically anytime.. I can be doing anything, and it sometimes happens.. I'll try out the BIOS adjustments and see how that goes, as for temperatures, it never goes above 50C, we'll see though.

Since the temperature doesn't go very high I can't see why the heatsink would need reseating.

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Something else to try; turn off stuff you're not using in the BIOS.

So, Sata ports you dont have drives connected to, Serial ports, LPT port, IR port. Just disable them.

Also check for any missing drivers in Device Manager in windows.

 

As I said, its a hardware thing of SOME sort. Could be network? could be CD drive? Likely a HDD thing, but could be GPU or sound?

Its hard to know without a lot of experimenting.

Something is asking for an interrupt in system performance. This is normal, its how computers 'get things done'. Problem is, its not using it, and its timing out, or its using it for junk because its misbehaving.

 

This is why not just your app freezes but your mouse pointer and everything. Its a full system hang while it waits to see why 'item X' needed to interrupt for; which turns out to be nothing.

 

Monitoring apps can cause this, because they probe the hardware for specs (such as heat etc).

 

 

 

Actually; lets rule out a good deal of software:

Windows + R

msconfig

switch to 'Startup' tab.

untick EVERYTHING.

reboot.

 

you've just disabled all your startup apps, you can still launch them manually once you're in windows. If something complains (unlikely):

reboot tapping F8

select 'safe mode'

windows + R

msconfig

re-tick everything.

 

You cant break anything doing this, and it'll rule out a software startup item from causing it.

If you have an antivirus that starts itself ANYWAY, disable it for now, and don't surf porn or warez.

(and if its not Microsoft Essentials AV, or Avast! AV, switch to one of them).

 

 

Good luck, let us know.

 

In GW2 i know that it operates by using the CPU not GPU for graphics ,so it could be graphics are too high too.

Eh? What you talking bout willis? Do you mean the CPU assists with decoding? because I guarantee the GPU will still take the most weight.

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Something else to try; turn off stuff you're not using in the BIOS.

So, Sata ports you dont have drives connected to, Serial ports, LPT port, IR port. Just disable them.

Also check for any missing drivers in Device Manager in windows.

 

As I said, its a hardware thing of SOME sort. Could be network? could be CD drive? Likely a HDD thing, but could be GPU or sound?

Its hard to know without a lot of experimenting.

Something is asking for an interrupt in system performance. This is normal, its how computers 'get things done'. Problem is, its not using it, and its timing out, or its using it for junk because its misbehaving.

 

This is why not just your app freezes but your mouse pointer and everything. Its a full system hang while it waits to see why 'item X' needed to interrupt for; which turns out to be nothing.

 

Monitoring apps can cause this, because they probe the hardware for specs (such as heat etc).

 

 

 

Actually; lets rule out a good deal of software:

Windows + R

msconfig

switch to 'Startup' tab.

untick EVERYTHING.

reboot.

 

you've just disabled all your startup apps, you can still launch them manually once you're in windows. If something complains (unlikely):

reboot tapping F8

select 'safe mode'

windows + R

msconfig

re-tick everything.

 

You cant break anything doing this, and it'll rule out a software startup item from causing it.

If you have an antivirus that starts itself ANYWAY, disable it for now, and don't surf porn or warez.

(and if its not Microsoft Essentials AV, or Avast! AV, switch to one of them).

 

 

Good luck, let us know.

So I've currently got my SSD as a cache drive for the 2TB drive using Intel Smart Response Technology on RAID 0, so on BIOS it's set to RAID instead of AHCI or IDE.

 

I had this disabled for a while but I didn't change the BIOS setting, yet the pauses still happened. So I'm going to disable it, and also change the BIOS settings and see how things go..

 

I have also disabled all the start up programs, but I've a feeling it won't really change things.. but we'll see!

 

I'm currently running ESET Smart Security 5.2.9.1 as my anti virus, firewall, etc..

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ESET is a great product :)

I'd wager its the 'new' ISRT option you're running. As you say, try running the drive without it :)

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Thing is I have tried running without it, and I'm pretty sure it was still happening :/ I've just rebooted, now running without it.. since the pauses are unpredictable so far, I'll just do the usual and see how it goes.

 

I am still running it with RAID mode instead of IDE/AHCI though, should I change it?

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I've tried switching to both IDE and AHCI but I keep getting BSOD.

 

I have changed these registry settings:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\servic es\pciide

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\servic es\msahci

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\servic es\iaStorV

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\servic es\iaStor

 

Set the "Start" key to 0 on all of them, but it still won't do it >.<

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