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Windows 7: Random PC Freezing - no pattern

02 Jan 2019   #21
dsperber

Windows 7 Pro x64 (1), Win7 Pro X64 (2)
 
 

This thread is identical in subject matter to this other thread, also started within the past few days. Good thoughts and observations being talked about there, so take a read.

Very interesting that this "freeze / lock-up" non-BSOD symptom is occurring so often to many of us, including myself in three different machines (two of my own, and one of my cousin). I've described my own experience in that other thread.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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02 Jan 2019   #22
dsperber

Windows 7 Pro x64 (1), Win7 Pro X64 (2)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Aardvarkly View Post
And mine as well. Asus M/B. Totally random black screen then it tries to restart but fails. Occasionally going into a loop of restarts. Happy New Year..
Me too, on two ASUS machines. One is a P8Z77-V Pro built 5 years ago, and the other is a Z170-Deluxe built not 2 years ago.

Unresponsive to mouse jiggle or power off/on of monitors or anything. Frozen Windows GUI onscreen if the lockup occurred before screensaver/power-save-mode of monitors. Finally forced to hold the power button on case in for 5 seconds to shut it down. And then restart, and pray.

Might then stay up, for an unknown period, before repeating.

I finally completely fried one (older P8Z77) of my machines this past Saturday. No longer would power on. Could be a destroyed case or motherboard or CPU. Tried a brand new PSU but to no avail. I now am in the process of replacing the machine.

The other machine (newer Z170-Deluxe) is still trying its best, currently operating for a recent record of 24 hours without a freeze... but I'm not naive, and if something's broke and you don't fix it then it's still broke and will eventually show the symptom again. I'm fully prepared to replace this machine as well, and have already ordered its likely soon-to-be-replacement as long as I was ordering the other machine's now-you-must replacement.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Jan 2019   #23
dsperber

Windows 7 Pro x64 (1), Win7 Pro X64 (2)
 
 

Just in passing I mention that on both ASUS machines (different motherboards) I noticed that the SMART information being read from SATA3 drives (either 3.5" SATA3 HDD spinner or 2.5" SATA3 SSD) occasionally would drop out from the Aida64 OSD presentation. Very curious, not frequent, but occasional.

At the same time as these SMART dropouts occurred, I had long delays getting to access the data on the partitions located on these drives. I took this to mean that the SATA/AHCI controller was "failing". Rebooting the machine always reset everything and cleared up the prior failure. The SATA controller is hardware on the motherboard, so I took this to point to a failing motherboard.

These SMART failure symptom occurrences are much rarer than the freeze symptom which was occurring pretty much constantly, 1-30 times per day. But I'm still leaning toward motherboard failure being at the heart of all of these symptoms.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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04 Jan 2019   #24
Buckalou

Windows 7 x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by F22 Simpilot View Post
Could the common denominator be a Windows update? Did everyone here with this issue install an update that was just released when these freezes started to happen?
Mine wasn't after any specific recent updates. I will say my computer is a bit old, about 7-8 years now so maybe it's just old and chalk it up to that? Really not too sure. My motherboard isn't an ASUS it's a Gigabyte.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Jan 2019   #25
Megahertz07

Windows 7 HP 64
 
 

It may be a disk failure.
Open a CMD window (as admin) and type:
chkdsk c: /f
It will say your disk is in use and if you want to schedule to next boot = yes
Reboot
Pay attention on the results, specially bad blocks and bad clusters.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Jan 2019   #26
Buckalou

Windows 7 x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Megahertz07 View Post
It may be a disk failure.
Open a CMD window (as admin) and type:
chkdsk c: /f
It will say your disk is in use and if you want to schedule to next boot = yes
Reboot
Pay attention on the results, specially bad blocks and bad clusters.
What's the difference of running chkdsk c: /f versus just chkdsk in CMD window? I've done just the chkdsk and no errors came up.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Jan 2019   #27
Megahertz07

Windows 7 HP 64
 
 

The option /f is to fix the errors. If it didn't find any, there is nothing to fix.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Jan 2019   #28
johnhoh

Win7 pro x64
 
 

Here's my troubleshooting guide for a system with a 5+ year old motherboard that has random freezes/restarts and start>run>msinfo32>components>problem devices field is empty.

1) if you have a powerful video card, try a different one or onboard graphics just for now. (If you have a weaker video card or are already using onboard graphics, its not your problem.) See if the problems persist.

2) Next, reinstall windows and run for a day or two.

3) if the problems persist, assume the motherboard has gone bad.

4) if you don't want to upgrade because you like the system (other than the freezes!), buy an identical motherboard on ebay for $50

I've been doing this for 35 years. For the first 30 of those years things like overheating cpus, failing power supplies, buggy drivers, bad memory dimms, etc would cause your symptoms. But over the last 5-10 years as everything has gotten better, an aging motherboard, which has by far the highest number of points of failure of any hardware in your machine and is by far the hardest to troubleshoot, has become the main likely culprit.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Jan 2019   #29
Buckalou

Windows 7 x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by johnhoh View Post
Here's my troubleshooting guide for a system with a 5+ year old motherboard that has random freezes/restarts and start>run>msinfo32>components>problem devices field is empty.

1) if you have a powerful video card, try a different one or onboard graphics just for now. (If you have a weaker video card or are already using onboard graphics, its not your problem.) See if the problems persist.

2) Next, reinstall windows and run for a day or two.

3) if the problems persist, assume the motherboard has gone bad.

4) if you don't want to upgrade because you like the system (other than the freezes!), buy an identical motherboard on ebay for $50

I've been doing this for 35 years. For the first 30 of those years things like overheating cpus, failing power supplies, buggy drivers, bad memory dimms, etc would cause your symptoms. But over the last 5-10 years as everything has gotten better, an aging motherboard, which has by far the highest number of points of failure of any hardware in your machine and is by far the hardest to troubleshoot, has become the main likely culprit.
Nice tips but what would you consider a powerful video card? I'm using an old one as well, it's an NVIDIA Geforce GTX 550 Ti. If I want to maintain all of my downloaded games, programs, etc before trying to uninstall and reinstall Windows would I just make an image of it and then restore the image after a fresh Windows install? Problem is I don't think I'm capable to uninstall and reinstall a motherboard.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Jan 2019   #30
johnhoh

Win7 pro x64
 
 

Step 1A is to disconnect your video card (yours is powerful enough to be the issue here. maybe) and try using a another one, or using motherboard graphics, or if neither of those are an option, to replace the driver your video card uses with the "Standard SVGA driver" that is built into windows. When a video card fails, it will often still work fine using the SVGA driver, which utilizes only the most basic of the video card hardware. Yes another option is to boot into Safe Mode With Networking and to run that way for a day or two. Safe Mode uses the Standard SVGA driver. If you have any restarts or freezes in Safe Mode, odds are pretty good your video card is fine.

Replacing an existing motherboard with an identical one is much easier than building a system from scratch, since before you start disassembly you can take a picture of exactly how it should look when you are done. The only hard part is removing and reinstalling the cpu. Its understandable if you think replacing a cpu is a bit too much for you, it is for many folks, you gotta be a handy type to take on the challenge.
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