Help with PC freezes

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by emperorsfist, Oct 21, 2019.

  1. emperorsfist

    emperorsfist Master Guru

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    Hello!

    I've been dealing with an interesting brand of PC freezes on an old PC. What happens is that occasionally the PC slows down to a crawl (you can move the mouse around, but clicking/ pressing keys does nothing), as if it's waiting on something to happen, and after a while it freezes, and has to be reset. Now, after a reset, the BIOS won't see the system disc during disc check (it will wait for a while, and then simply load the remaining 3 data HDDs). It usually helps to turn the PC off (holding down the power button - that way the disc detection goes normally after starting up again). The specs are these:

    MB: Gigabyte GA-Z68P-DS3 (rev 1.0, latest BIOS)
    CPU: Intel i5 2500k (normally OC to 4,3GHz, problem prevails even at stock "fail-safe" settings)
    RAM: 8Gb DDR 3 @ 1333 (XMP profile is off)
    GPU: Gigabyte Nvidia GTX 970 (no OC)
    Windows 10 (latest official release, no previews) on an Intel 520 180 Gb SSD (latest firmware - version 400i)

    I have thought at first, that the SSD was failing, but the current Intel Toolbox diagnostics software for this SSD said (after a full check) that the SSD is in good condition, and that it didn't detect any faulty sectors, or r/w issues. It did freeze once when I tried to run the Windows disc check yesterday (through file manager) - it slowed to a crawl and became unresponsive immediately after I've started the test. I also performed the Windows integrity check through command line (sfc /scannow) - it found and repaired some corrupt files - and after completing the test it also did the same freeze. After getting to Windows again, I performed both tests again, but this time they ran fine with no issues, and the PC worked after that. I also reinstalled Nvidia drivers (in safe mode and with the help of DDU).

    Can anyone offer any idea on what may be happening? It wouldn't surprise me if some other part was failing (CPU/MB/RAM are all old parts that have been in daily use since day one), but it's hard to pinpoint the issue.
     
  2. krazymagic

    krazymagic Member

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    the very first thing I would do is boot to memtest86 on a usb stick and run all 4 loops of the test. If you get NO errors then I would investigate the hard drive. If you had some disk errors or corruption in some files as you say then you have something failing. Bad RAM is probably the most common culprit of corruption, along with the hard drive itself going bad. The way you figure out these types of issues is by a process of elimination. I would not do anything of importance on this machine until you locate the problem.

    If you get even a single error in memtest86 then your memory is not stable, and potentially bad. If you are running 2 sticks of ram and you get an error, then test each stick by itself with the same test, see if it is only erroring with 1 stick, if so then you found your poblem. If both error then try a different motherboard DIMM slot. I have had a DIMM slot go bad in a board before. You have to keep drilling down till you isolate where the issue is coming from. The computer failing to recognize the hard drive in boot though really makes me look hard at the hard drive or motherboard as the culprit, but I would eliminate the RAM first because its so easy to test RAM.

    Have you had any blue screen crashes?
     
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  3. SweenJM

    SweenJM Master Guru

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    Gotta agree with Krazy, need to start looking at hard drives and memory. Clearly getting data corruption somewhere, and those are the most likely culprits.
     
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  4. emperorsfist

    emperorsfist Master Guru

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    Thank you both for the input. @krazymagic No, I have had zero BSOD's this entire time. I'll run the tests when I get back from work, although currently I've plugged the system ssd into another sata connector (all other discs have always been recognised during the initial disc check) and am trying to replicate the problem. So far, my eyes are on the motherboard being the culprit here.
     

  5. Astyanax

    Astyanax Ancient Guru

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    Last edited: Oct 22, 2019
    K.S. and emperorsfist like this.
  6. emperorsfist

    emperorsfist Master Guru

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    Thanks for the input, though the SSD here has no RGB lighting, and stays stable during gaming (when there is the most heat in the case). I'll keep testing once I get home from work (not that far off). I want to test the mobo hypothesis now, but luckily (if the SSD is indeed failing), I have all the data&documents stored elsewhere - this disc is "just" for the OS. The firmware is 400i, btw. (so says Intel Toolbox).
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2019
  7. Tat3

    Tat3 Ancient Guru

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    Check Event Viewer what happens before computer freezes.
     
  8. Astyanax

    Astyanax Ancient Guru

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    Yeah, i was just using the heat output on that SSD as an example to explain how it sounds like a thermal throttling is occuring, if the thermal sensor is going bad it can report extreme temps and the device eventually just seizes like in the video.
     
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