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Windows 7: System freezes; have to manually reboot

22 Mar 2010   #1
scferg

win7
 
 
System freezes; have to manually reboot

Hello -

I have an Alienware Area-51 and I've had an ongoing problem were my system just comes to a complete halt. There isn't really a pattern to it. Sometimes it occurs while browsing the web, and other times while playing games.

I've thought for a while that it might be a driver issue, but all of them are up-to-date. However, my Creative X-Fi XtremeGamer (needs replaced) might be the cause of it. I've had multiple problems with it and have done many clean installs. Creative doesn't seem to release updates very often. Usually when my system stops, there's a weird sound that just keeps going until I manually turn of the computer via the power button. Sometimes it's a high-pitched beep, sometimes it's a pattern of repeating sounds. Both come from the speakers and not the CPU. I should also note that I've physically taken out the sound card and re-installed it to ensure the connection was okay.

I've also thought it could be that it might be overheating. I've been monitoring the cores' temperatures. They seem to stay in the range between 48C-58C. Unfortunately, many times when the system freezes, I have something up fullscreen which covers up my temperature monitor in my notification area so I can't see the exact temp at that time.

To add to the the possibility of it being a heat issue, the freezes tend to happen later in my sessions. Sometimes it lasts 5+ hours, others, maybe 2. I've noticed that when I'm playing system-intensive games, there seems to be a sort of faint hissing noise coming from where my hard drive is. What's interesting is that when this happens, the game tend to freeze for a few seconds continually, and this hissing sound follows that pattern: freeze - no hiss, motion - hiss.

My anti-virus programs, drivers, etc. are all up-to-date and have scanned multiple times with no signs of anything suspicious.

Edit: I should also add that upon manually rebooting, I get the "Windows was not shutdown properly: Boot into safe/normal mode" prompt every time. And since my keyboard doesn't workin in BSOD mode, I can't choose another choice and I have to wait for the default "normal" mode to timeout.

System specs:
Intel Core2 Extreme CPU Q6850 @ 3.00GHz
4GB DDR2 RAM
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 280
Creative X-Fi XtremeGamer
Windows 7 Home Premium 32-bit

If someone would toss some advice my way it would be appreciated. I don't know if the sound card could really be the problem, or if it could be overheating, or something else entirely.

Thanks in advance.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
22 Mar 2010   #2
Jonathan_King

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

Welcome!

If you suspect a heat issue, download Speedfan and check your temps out.

To eliminate the possibility of a sound card issue, try removing the card, and see if the problems go away.

You can also try uninstalling the drivers in Device Manager, reboot, and let Windows automatically install the drivers.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Mar 2010   #3
MadMaxData

Windows 7 Enterprise x64
 
 

You didn't fill out your system specs, but I agree that if you have on-board sound, then try taking out the sound card and going with the on-board to see if the symptoms go away. It sounds like a sound card issue.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

22 Mar 2010   #4
scferg

win7
 
 

I appreciate the quick replies.

@Jonathan_King: I downloaded and installed Speedfan, but to be honest with you, I'm not that advanced of a user and don't know a lot about what it's telling me. If you could tell me what to be looking for, it would be appreciated. I could also provide a screenshot if needed.

@MadMaxData: Sorry about that, I just filled in as much as I could. I just joined and wanted to get the post up while I filled everything in.

As for removing the sound card, I'll try that, however, I can't replicate the freeze. Sometimes it goes multiple days without occuring. And then sometimes it happens two times a day.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Mar 2010   #5
Jonathan_King

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

Here, could you please post your temps reported in this box?

Attachment 62495
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Mar 2010   #6
scferg

win7
 
 

GPU: 0C
System: 22C
CPU: 46C
AUX: 29C
Core 0: 47C
Core 1: 44C
Core 2: 43C
Core 4: 46C
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Mar 2010   #7
Jonathan_King

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by scferg View Post
GPU: 0C
System: 22C
CPU: 46C
AUX: 29C
Core 0: 47C
Core 1: 44C
Core 2: 43C
Core 4: 46C
Those temps look good to me.

Try following up on the sound card theory. Remove it if possible, and/or uninstall the drivers in Device Manager.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Mar 2010   #8
scferg

win7
 
 

Alright, removed, rebooted, and reinstalled the sound card driver.

We'll see how it goes.

Thanks again.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Apr 2010   #9
scferg

win7
 
 

So after a hiatus from the crashes, they've been reoccurring more now. Just tonight it's crashed 2 times within 10 minutes which has never happened before. I'm starting to wonder if my HD is going bad. I've noticed when my computer starts experiences these issues (such as short hangs, etc.) that I hear a hissing sound coming from where my HD is located. It has to be that because the only other thing located in that area is the disc drive which isn't doing anything. Could this possibly be the issue?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 May 2011   #10
Anusha

Windows 8 Pro x64
 
 

happens to me every now and then and i bet it is the xfi xtremegamer. crappy creative service! i am keeping it only because i have bought it, and i assume the fps in games is better than onboard realtek chip can deliver.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 System freezes; have to manually reboot




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