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Old 01-24-2009, 10:50 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Inexplicably freezing - Please Help...

The past week or so, my computer has been occasionally freezing, but it's happening way more often now. Usually every day, or every night more specifically. Sometimes 2 or 3 times a night.

Whatever program I'm working with locks up. I can usually minimize it or get out of it (but not close it) but can't open anything else up. Sometimes I can open another program, or click on something, but it usually takes like, a few minutes. And it usually locks up as well. Ctrl-alt-delete does not work when this happens. Happens in games too, although games tend to be able to last a bit longer before they freeze. For instance, one time In Half-life 2, the game froze, the sound looped, and there was a quick blue screen. It said a lot of stuff, definitely couldn't read it all in time, but it definitely said at the bottom "dumping physical memory". That got to 100%, then it rebooted. Usually, it just freezes. There is no blue screen, and it doesn't reboot on its own. I usually have no other choice but to restart the computer though. Also, don't know whether this means anything, but a defragging utility I use, O&O, always runs down on the task bar. It always says 0%, but when this freezing problem occurs, sometimes I look at it and it has a random percentage - like tonight I think it was 56%. Not sure if this would mean anything, but it always says 0% and only changes when this problem happens.

My brother said it might be bad RAM, so I ran memtest all day, and there weren't any errors.

This problem is so vague, it seems like it could be anything. But any help would be vastly, vastly appreciated.

Here's my system specs:

i7 920
Gigabyte UD5
EVGA GTX 260 Core 216
6 GB G.Skill Tri-Channel 1600
Seagate 640GB HD
CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W
Acer 22" V223W
Antec 1200

My BIOS version is F3 - the only other one I know of for the GA-UD5 is F4, is that right? Because I seem to remember people mentioning a bunch of different ones for the UD5, just withdifferent lower-case letters, like F4r and stuff.

I nvidia's site for drivers, and they did release new ones 1/22/09. I should probably get those anyway, but could that be the problem?

EDIT: I closed O&O defrag, and it has been running for a bit longer than it usually does without freezing. Probably just me being really hopeful though.
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Old 01-25-2009, 08:50 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Inexplicably freezing - Please Help...

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Originally Posted by Mikepsyche View Post

EDIT: I closed O&O defrag, and it has been running for a bit longer than it usually does without freezing. Probably just me being really hopeful though.

Interesting. You could uninstall the O&O utility to see if the problem goes away completely. It might be hogging memory resources. If that doesnt help then you can at least know it wasnt that. You usually want to try the least invasive action to your system when troubleshooting, yet make progress. It could still be running in the back ground.

An alternative to closing it would be to disable it in Task Manager. Just to see if it helps. As I said, the utility might still be running and eating up your memory. Curious, what does your system say you are using for memory currently? Percent-wise speaking ?
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Old 01-25-2009, 09:26 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Inexplicably freezing - Please Help...

You should switch off automatically reboot on blue screen. My bet is that the HDD is bad but I'm well out of touch with MS OSs so someone else can probably recommend a testing utility for you.
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Old 01-25-2009, 01:46 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Inexplicably freezing - Please Help...

Oh yeah, forgot to mention I'm on Vista 64. I have CPU and memory usage meters enabled on the windows side bar, the memory usage is usually only in the 20's. CPU usage is usually even lower. I wouldn't think anything I had running in the task bar (O&O, steam, aim, mounting software) could actually over-tax 6gb of ram and a core i7 920, but maybe...

But I closed O&O, and I didn't have a problem the whole night. Maybe the program was actually defragging all the time without my permission, in which I case I wouldn't be surprised if the computer crashed all the time. Any time I tried to access a file, it might have been in the process of being defragged at that second. Plus, defragging probably does take up a good bit of memory (except I didn't see any spikes in memory usage).

I really, really hope O&O was the problem, but I wouldn't be surprised if it wasn't.

I closed it again when I just turned on the computer a few minutes ago, no freezing yet. We'll see.
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Old 01-25-2009, 01:49 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Inexplicably freezing - Please Help...

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Originally Posted by kmote View Post
You should switch off automatically reboot on blue screen. My bet is that the HDD is bad but I'm well out of touch with MS OSs so someone else can probably recommend a testing utility for you.
Yeah, some part of me actually does hope it's the hard drive, and that's it. When it said dumping physical memory, that definitely made me think of the hard drive. My bro said it sounded like temporary stuff (ram stuff), like the page file, etc. The blue screen only happened twice though, usually it just freezes and I restart it on my own.

EDIT: hope it is because it has a 3 or 5 year warranty, I'll just replace it.
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Old 01-25-2009, 02:22 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Inexplicably freezing - Please Help...

Well, it just happened again, without O&O or much else on the taskbar, running. One thing that was running was steam, though. I'm downloading Medieval 2 TW. When me and my brother set this computer up, we copied over all of his steam gcf files onto this computer, so I'd have his steam games. However, when we tried to transfer Medieval 2, the computer froze up and we had to restart. So, I had to download the game again myself. Maybe something about the steam version of Medieval 2 doesn't agree with some component of my computer.

Anyway, I hastily made a decision and stopped downloading Medieval 2, and deleted all of its local content. I have the game on dvds anyway, I just thought it'd be more convenient to have it on steam.

Little bit of a shot in the dark, but it's one more thing eliminated if it doesn't solve the problem.
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Old 01-25-2009, 02:57 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Inexplicably freezing - Please Help...

I am now convinced this is a HDD problem or maybe a bad OS install. When you ran the memtest successfully you proved that the memory was fine but at the same time you cut the HDD and the OS out and you said you were able to run it all day.
When you switched your defrag app off this may have reduced the HDD activity which bought you some more time but as soon as you started downloading the problem happened again. Check your event logs just before and during the problems to see if you can find something there (a smart message maybe).
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Old 01-25-2009, 04:00 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Inexplicably freezing - Please Help...

Hmm, maybe it is a HD problem. I remember the OS install did go pretty smoothly, maybe that was all a deception though.

If it's the hard drive, I have a warranty. And if it's the OS, I kind of wanted to do XP 64-bit anyway, and I think that's like 30 bucks right now anyway.

How do I check the event logs?

EDIT: (this is a long one, sorry) I thought of something else that points to something wrong with the HD. Whenever I do a cold restart, it doesn't show any of the loading screens (motherboard logo and some other screen), it skips to the "loading DMI pool" screen. Then a message comes up at the bottom saying, "booting from CD-ROM - disc boot failure. insert system disc". And then it doesn't do anything. Most of the time I avoid this by not using the restart button, I just hold the power button until it turns off, then turn it on again. In my bios, my boot priority is 1. floppy 2. hard disc 3. CD-ROM. Since I don't have a floppy, that would mean my computer boots from the hard drive (which would make sense, that's where my OS is). Since it doesn't boot from the hard drive, that indicates there's something wrong with the HD. And since I never have a bootable CD in my CD drive, of course there'd be a boot failure when it tries to boot from it. This has been happening since the computer was built I think, not sure why it does a cold on/off fine but not a cold restart.
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Old 01-31-2009, 05:25 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Inexplicably freezing - Please Help...

Ok, resurrecting this thread with full health and mana.

I'm also pretty convinced the problem is with the HD. So, I took an old Maxtor 250GB drive I had, and put Vista 64 on it. It's working fine, got all the chipset and GPU drivers, etc.

I tried to install Medieval 2 TW on the questionable drive twice, and both times it either froze or restarted. When I tried on the Maxtor, it went fine, and since I've been using it I haven't encountered any problems at all.

I'd like to boot from the Maxtor 250GB, and have the Seagate 640GB running as a slave. Then, I'll download Seatools and run a diagnostic on the 640GB. I hope to find some errors so I can get it replaced. I thought just putting the Maxtor 1st in the boot priority in the BIOS would do it, but I can't change it. It says use +/- to move drives up or down in the priority, but when I do nothing happens. Is there something else I need to do so that it'll boot from the Maxtor as the master, and just have the Seagate sitting there as a slave?
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Old 01-31-2009, 06:08 PM   #10 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Inexplicably freezing - Please Help...

Hmm, shouldnt have to, but slave jumpers?

Is it possible to "not detect" the hd automatically in the bios?

I have to do that to install my os, as my main drive is plugged in lower than my storage drive.
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