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Thread: Computer Freezing in Windows

  1. #1
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    Computer Freezing in Windows

    Hello,

    Right well basically the situation is my main computer has started to freeze up quite often, never in games, just in windows. What normally happens is I'm either starting to install a programme or opening a programme, I normally think the computer is taking longer than normal to do something. But then I click the mouse a few times and I hear a single bleep from the case speaker and the mouse pointer stops moving as well, so I have to reboot. It works fine then until the next freeze and games seem unaffected, although admittedly I’ve only been playing the one (Vice City). This has happened doing pretty much everything, from typing a URL in IE to installing some spyware scanner software. It doesn't seem to be any particular programme or process that does it, just windows based. There were no error codes or anything in the windows log and the voltage didn’t go low or anything (according to Asus Probe) during the freeze.

    Computer Specifications:

    AMD 3500+ Winchester (Socket 939)
    Asus A8N-E
    BFG 7800GT OC
    G.Skill 2GB DDR ZX PC3200 (2x1GB) CAS2 Dual Channel Kit
    Antec NeoPower 480
    Creative Audigy 2
    2 x Western Digital WD800JD’s in Mirror Raid
    Windows XP SP2

    Nothing is overclocked, all at stock settings etc.

    Now when this first happened I tried all the normal things in the following rough order, obviously some of them wouldn't have sorted the problem but I was trying to cover all the bases:

    Defrag
    Windows Update
    Check Temps (all fine)
    Check Voltage (all solid, +12v=12.096, +5v=4.945, 3.3v=3.36 and they rarely move from those numbers)
    Memtest (5 passes)
    Prime and OCCT tests (all fine, the pc didn’t freeze or reboot)
    3DMark2006 ran several times one after another
    Scan of both hard drives using WD’s own diagnostic Software
    Reseating of both the graphics card and memory, along with the power connectors to the motherboard
    BIOS Updated to the latest version
    Clear BIOS with CMOS battery and re enter settings

    I also had a few BSOD Nvidia errors so I uninstalled the graphics drivers, cleaned with driver cleaner in safe mode and reinstalled the latest ones. That solved the BSOD errors but not the freezing problem.

    I also did the above with the Nvidia chipset drivers, which didn’t solve anything.

    I was running out of things to do so I finally bit the bullet (as the saying goes) and reinstalled Windows. Not something I enjoy doing (who does) but I gave it a shot, that was a few days ago and everything was fine until today. I had a few freezes while upgrading Azureus (a bit torrent client), these freeze ups were the same as the ones I experienced before. Now I read on the G.Skill website that the tests they do to ensure the memory isn’t faulty were done using 2.6v to 2.75v memory voltage. So I increased the voltage hoping that would sort it out, I’m pretty sure it was on Auto before at 2.5v but it didn’t solve the problem.

    I then decided to remove one of the memory modules, regardless of what memtest said I still thought it could be memory. So with one left and the voltage at stock this time, I started the computer and it froze up again, this time starting the Full Spectrum Warrior Ten Hammers demo. The demo didn’t even open fully, just a small black section of the screen on the windows desktop. So I rebooted, switched the modules round and it seems to be alright, I switched it back to the module that caused the freeze up and it seems fine as well. I then had another freeze on both modules when starting the FSWTH demo, so I'm thinking it might not be the memory after all, I think it's unlikely that both are faulty. Not sure what else to do, any suggestions?

    I also have a few questions:

    has memtest ever passed faulty modules before for anyone?

    Has anyone has any similar experiences to mine, with the computer freezing up and emitting a single bleep after you click the mouse a few times?

    Any help would be much appreciated!

    Thanks in advance and apologies for the long post, just letting people know what I’ve tried.

    Regards,

    Mark

  2. #2
    Senior Member just_laze's Avatar
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    I have experienced a freeze that follows the same route you've explained, in terms of identifying the problem, it does seem like you've done everything i'd suggest and i think the majority of people on this forum would struggle to suggest another avenue of identifying the problem.

    The only path to follow now is replacing (by borrowing from a friend or another machine) components until you identify what the cause is, no single component could be to blame but the combination of the components listed may result in the instability you're experiencing.

    G.Skill make some very good memory, it runs at good timings and overclocks well and i'm sure that's much of the reason you bought the G.Skill, but in terms of compatibility if you look around the web it does seem to have more problems than other main stream brands.

    I'm sure if you do not have a friend with similiar memory or another machine that a kind member on the forum may have a module they can post you for testing for the price of postage.

    I am gearing toward a memory problem as the rest of my post suggests and i apologise if i missed it when reading your post but you have ran the system with bare components, i.e. a single hard-disk, your graphics card and a single module, not connecting any dvd/cdrom drives, add-in cards that aren't essential to the PC being able to run, secondary hard-disks etc...

    If you carried on using windows after configuring the machine in this way and experienced no freezing, then you could at least begin to reconnect the disconnected devices one by one until the freezing returned in an effort to identify the culprit!

    Sorry i can't be a little bit more helpful other than to offer an opinion and a single suggestion, good luck.

    laze.
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  3. #3
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    • Speed's system
      • Motherboard:
      • MSI Z270 Gaming M5
      • CPU:
      • Intel i5 7600K
      • Memory:
      • 16GB (2 x 8GB) Corsair 3200MHz DDR4 - CMK16GX4M2B3200C16
      • Storage:
      • Samsung 960 EVO 500GB M.2 NVMe SSD
      • Graphics card(s):
      • EVGA RTX 2080 XC 8GB
      • PSU:
      • Seasonic 1300W Platinum PSU
      • Case:
      • Phantek Enthoo Evolv ATX - Grey
      • Operating System:
      • Windows 10 Pro x64
      • Monitor(s):
      • Dell P2715Q 27" 4K IPS
      • Internet:
      • Virgin 350 Optical Fibre Broadband
    Hello,

    Thanks for your reply.

    I have just in fact trying some memory from another working computer in this problematic computer and after trying to start that FSWTH demo I got the same problem. Before that, I tried various memory slots with the G.Skill (thinking that one might be faulty) along with various single and dual module configurations. This other memory I tried was two 512MB modules in dual channel configuration and while the speed of the memory is the same it is a totally different brand and type, this being value memory. Along with the memtest results I had previously I'm pretty happy to rule memory out as the problem, which is annoying as the problem (like you say) does seem to suggest a memory problem.

    I've also done a blaster worm check (which someone suggested) and that came up clean, the same as the standard virus check I did (which I forgot to mention).

    The other suggestion you make is to unplug everything that isn't essential and if I'm honest, doing that slipped my mind so I will try that out. If that doesn't solve the problem then I guess I will have to build the computer outside of the case and swap out components, although that is a slow and costly process so I guess I will leave that till last.

    Did you find a solution to your similar problem? out of interest.

    Anyways thanks again for your reply, you've certainly given me more things to try which can never be a bad thing!

  4. #4
    Senior Member just_laze's Avatar
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      • nVidia 9600GT 512MB
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      • Tagan T430-U15 430W
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    I did, by tweaking the bios but my problem was self-inflicted due to pushing my hardware too far and having to return back to established 'safe' speeds.

    It's definitely a faulty component or two components that do not like each other. Let me know how the minimalist approach turns out.

    laze.
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  5. #5
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    • Speed's system
      • Motherboard:
      • MSI Z270 Gaming M5
      • CPU:
      • Intel i5 7600K
      • Memory:
      • 16GB (2 x 8GB) Corsair 3200MHz DDR4 - CMK16GX4M2B3200C16
      • Storage:
      • Samsung 960 EVO 500GB M.2 NVMe SSD
      • Graphics card(s):
      • EVGA RTX 2080 XC 8GB
      • PSU:
      • Seasonic 1300W Platinum PSU
      • Case:
      • Phantek Enthoo Evolv ATX - Grey
      • Operating System:
      • Windows 10 Pro x64
      • Monitor(s):
      • Dell P2715Q 27" 4K IPS
      • Internet:
      • Virgin 350 Optical Fibre Broadband
    Well I tried to remove as many things as possible. I disconnected the DVDRW, Floppy Drive and removed the Sound Card and 1 of the 2 ram modules. However this didn't do anything and I still had the same problem. I then remembered I had a PCI graphics card in the loft, just a basic R7000 PCI card which I tried and so far I haven't had a freeze as of yet. I put everything but the 7800GT graphics card back in and all seems to be fine. I don't think this is conclusive however, while it may point to the graphics card being the problem it still raises questions and problems. For example, having a low end card in there means that I cannot run the FSWTH demo that seems to have been causing the system to freeze when it's opened. While most of the freezes I've had happened with other programmes this demo did give me a quickish way to find out if the change fixed the problem.

    If the graphics card really is the problem then the freezes (from the way that I'm thinking of it) could be any of these things:

    1. A faulty PCI-E slot, as it's a non-SLI board so only changing the motherboard would I be able to tell for sure.

    2. Faulty graphics card, while this does seem possible why are games unaffected? Normally cards show problems while being used and stressed in games.

    3. Drivers, I've heard that the latest Nvidia drivers have caused problems but could they cause something like this? Any older drivers worth a try?

    4. Power supply, with a low end card the power supply isn't being taxed as much so maybe it could be a partly faulty power supply.

    It also raises the question why has the graphics card suddenly gone like this, it's been working fine since October. Then the problem is then trying to find out which of these four problems (or more if I've missed some) it is. Of course buying all new parts would be an easy way to find out, but I just don't have the money to do so. The temps of the card are fine, so it's not overheating and it hasn’t been overclocked ever so does anyone have any suggestions? Things I could try that might route out source of the problem?

  6. #6
    Senior Member just_laze's Avatar
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      • Motherboard:
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      • CPU:
      • Intel Core 2 Duo E5200
      • Memory:
      • 4 x Corsair 1GB 6400C4 800MHz
      • Storage:
      • Samsung Spinpoint F1 1TB x2
      • Graphics card(s):
      • nVidia 9600GT 512MB
      • PSU:
      • Tagan T430-U15 430W
      • Case:
      • Cooler Master ATC-201B SXT
      • Operating System:
      • Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
      • Monitor(s):
      • LG L227WT
      • Internet:
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    Perhaps you could ask a friend to test your 7800GT for you in their machine, continue using their machine as normal and report any problems.

    Also, are you aware that the Neopower has compatibility problems with the SLi variation of your motherboard and other Asus boards also? Do you have another PSU with a -5v rail that you could pop in, basically anything that isn't an Antec Neopower?

    http://forums.hexus.net/showthread.php?t=68248

    laze.
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  7. #7
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    • Speed's system
      • Motherboard:
      • MSI Z270 Gaming M5
      • CPU:
      • Intel i5 7600K
      • Memory:
      • 16GB (2 x 8GB) Corsair 3200MHz DDR4 - CMK16GX4M2B3200C16
      • Storage:
      • Samsung 960 EVO 500GB M.2 NVMe SSD
      • Graphics card(s):
      • EVGA RTX 2080 XC 8GB
      • PSU:
      • Seasonic 1300W Platinum PSU
      • Case:
      • Phantek Enthoo Evolv ATX - Grey
      • Operating System:
      • Windows 10 Pro x64
      • Monitor(s):
      • Dell P2715Q 27" 4K IPS
      • Internet:
      • Virgin 350 Optical Fibre Broadband
    Quote Originally Posted by just_laze
    Perhaps you could ask a friend to test your 7800GT for you in their machine, continue using their machine as normal and report any problems.

    Also, are you aware that the Neopower has compatibility problems with the SLi variation of your motherboard and other Asus boards also? Do you have another PSU with a -5v rail that you could pop in, basically anything that isn't an Antec Neopower?

    http://forums.hexus.net/showthread.php?t=68248

    laze.
    Well I don't know anyone with a PCI-E motherboard, I do however have another pc that uses the same motherboard (Asus A8N-E). That being said it's a business computer and I don't want to mess up a setup that has yet to give me any problems. So I will have to think it over.

    I wasn't aware that the Neopower has compatibility issues with the A8N-SLI Premium, something that I will look into however. I don't have another power supply, however I have been meaning to purchase a Antec Phantom 500W power supply. Know of any issues with that?

  8. #8
    Senior Member just_laze's Avatar
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    • just_laze's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3R v1.0
      • CPU:
      • Intel Core 2 Duo E5200
      • Memory:
      • 4 x Corsair 1GB 6400C4 800MHz
      • Storage:
      • Samsung Spinpoint F1 1TB x2
      • Graphics card(s):
      • nVidia 9600GT 512MB
      • PSU:
      • Tagan T430-U15 430W
      • Case:
      • Cooler Master ATC-201B SXT
      • Operating System:
      • Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
      • Monitor(s):
      • LG L227WT
      • Internet:
      • 8Mbit
    Well, i didn't know of any issues with the Neopower until recently (http://forums.hexus.net/showthread.php?t=68248), if i were to suggest a PSU i'd most likely direct you toward Tagan, i do own an Antec PSU myself, the TrueBlue 480w but it's rather dated (served and serving me well though).

    Tagan, Enermax, FSP & Seasonic seem to be getting a lot of good press recently, Antec have fallen into the shadows a little bit as of late.

    laze.
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  9. #9
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    • Speed's system
      • Motherboard:
      • MSI Z270 Gaming M5
      • CPU:
      • Intel i5 7600K
      • Memory:
      • 16GB (2 x 8GB) Corsair 3200MHz DDR4 - CMK16GX4M2B3200C16
      • Storage:
      • Samsung 960 EVO 500GB M.2 NVMe SSD
      • Graphics card(s):
      • EVGA RTX 2080 XC 8GB
      • PSU:
      • Seasonic 1300W Platinum PSU
      • Case:
      • Phantek Enthoo Evolv ATX - Grey
      • Operating System:
      • Windows 10 Pro x64
      • Monitor(s):
      • Dell P2715Q 27" 4K IPS
      • Internet:
      • Virgin 350 Optical Fibre Broadband
    Well I'm looking for utter silence, hence the Antec Phantom 500W power supply being the top of my list. I have had both an Antec True Blue and Tagan power supplies, I also own an Antec Phantom 350W. I'll just have to see how it goes I guess.

    Oh the joys of the computing!

  10. #10
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    • Speed's system
      • Motherboard:
      • MSI Z270 Gaming M5
      • CPU:
      • Intel i5 7600K
      • Memory:
      • 16GB (2 x 8GB) Corsair 3200MHz DDR4 - CMK16GX4M2B3200C16
      • Storage:
      • Samsung 960 EVO 500GB M.2 NVMe SSD
      • Graphics card(s):
      • EVGA RTX 2080 XC 8GB
      • PSU:
      • Seasonic 1300W Platinum PSU
      • Case:
      • Phantek Enthoo Evolv ATX - Grey
      • Operating System:
      • Windows 10 Pro x64
      • Monitor(s):
      • Dell P2715Q 27" 4K IPS
      • Internet:
      • Virgin 350 Optical Fibre Broadband
    Just a quick update, the problem has been solved, but I'm not 100% certain what did it. In one sitting I reseated the after market HSF which I have on it (cleaned the core, fresh thermal grease), I cleaned the gold contacts that fit into the slot. I then removed the drivers and reinstalled older ones 77.77's if I recall correctly and used compressed air in the PCI-E slot to remove anything that might stop a good contact. And its been working fine now (touch wood), so I can't be certain what solved the problem. I really should have done the things I tried one at a time but I was getting annoyed so I did it all at once.

    I thought it might have been the drivers, so about a week or so ago I uninstalled the older ones and install some newer ones (78.XX). That didn't cause the problems to come back so a few days ago I installed the latest 8X.XX ones and again the problem didn't come back. So I don't think it was the drivers, I'm not sure it was the HSF either as temps were fine.

    I guess I'll never know, I just hope it doesn't happen again.

    Thanks to those who helped.

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