Computer keeps freezing, brand new
October 21, 2011 5:46 PM   Subscribe

Brand new computer is freezing, how do I make it stop? So I just built a new computer myself for the first time, its worked great so far, but it occasionally freezes. Nothing happens it just stops responding and I am forced to do a hard restart. What could be the problem? Could my CPU be overheating, I only ran my computer for a few hours (its happened more than once though with less use).

My specs are listed below:
ASUS Black Blu-ray Drive SATA Model BC-12B1ST/BLK/B/AS - OEM

XFX HD-697A-CNFC Radeon HD 6970 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity

COOLER MASTER HAF 932 Advanced Blue Edition RC-932-KKN3-GP ATX Full Tower Computer Case with USB 3.0, Black Interior and ...

Intel Core i7-2600K Sandy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I72600K

CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX750 V2 750W ATX12V v2.31/ EPS12V v2.92 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC High Performance Power ...

Intel 320 Series SSDSA2CW080G310 2.5" 80GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) - OEM

Western Digital Caviar Black WD1002FAEX 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

ASUS P8Z68-V PRO LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard with UEFI BIOS
posted by johnx to Computers & Internet (15 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I would think that overheating would lead to a shutdown, not a freeze.

In my experience, freezes requiring a hard restart are often RAM issues. Have you run any memory tests ( RAM errors are notoriously difficult to diagnose using test software- maybe try removing some memory (you don't say how many sticks you've got) and see if that fixes things. Perhaps you could narrow it down to a particular memory stick?

How long does your system run before shutting down?
posted by jeffch at 6:14 PM on October 21, 2011

Have you updated all the drivers?

Find a CPU temperature program and monitor it while you use the computer.

This sounds like a power supply problem.

Try re-seating all the components (RAM especially).
posted by lohmannn at 6:16 PM on October 21, 2011

One thing it could be is the memory timings. Sometimes the BIOS doesn't figure out the right memory timings for DIMMs. First thing is to see if there is an updated BIOS. If there isn't see if you can find the right timings for your combo of CPU and memory and set them manually.
posted by Good Brain at 6:22 PM on October 21, 2011

Make sure your RAM is correctly seated.
posted by sonic meat machine at 6:34 PM on October 21, 2011

If you do a hard restart and boot up immediately after, isn't the CPU just taking a break for a second or two? It probably wouldn't boot within 5 minutes of a hard restart if the CPU was overheating.

Reset memory sticks. Unplug everything from power supply except boot drive and video card, and see if problem stays. Reconnect one device at a time and wait for problem to occur.
posted by santaliqueur at 6:38 PM on October 21, 2011

I say ram. Try each stick in each slot one at a time to determine if its a stick or a slot. I've been seeing a LOT of bad, new ram recently. Overheating in a modern CPU will usually just cause it to get slower and slower. PSU is possible, but ram is more likely.
posted by TomMelee at 6:40 PM on October 21, 2011

I'd try making a bootable ISO using Memtest86. I believe it's a little more comprehensive than the Windows version linked above as it can test more of the memory. It's what I always use to rule in/out memory problems.
posted by thewumpusisdead at 6:41 PM on October 21, 2011

If I had to guess, it's RAM. What you need to do, however, is start removing components one and a time until you find the thing that's causing it. Take out unnecessary devices and go into BIOS and turn off everything you're not using (e.g. Parallel ports, extra HDD controlers, etc). Good luck.
posted by jeffamaphone at 7:15 PM on October 21, 2011

Try windiag form MSFT to test your ram.
posted by jeffamaphone at 7:16 PM on October 21, 2011

I only see one PCI card installed -- the video card. Usually freezes are from RAM (mentioned by others) or poor card seating, or card contact with other components.

Since you built this computer yourself, make sure that that the motherboard isn't accidentally touching the case.

I'd try removing components (if possible) or moving them to other locations (if possible).

You could try forcing the error by running it in a warmed room (or let the sun shine on the case).
posted by Land Ho at 7:16 PM on October 21, 2011

I can vouch for memtest86+. Let it run overnight. If you get no errors (red), the memory is probably good.

When you say it stops responding, do you mean that the mouse won't move and the capslock light doesn't respond? If that's the case, I will disagree with the crowd and say it is heat or voltage related. When it happens, power it off and open the case and carefully feel the components. Nothing should be burning hot. The chipset (heatsink that isn't the processor) will likely be quite hot, such that you wouldn't want to touch it for more than a couple of seconds, and the processor heatsink should be merely warm.

Also, when this happens, does the processor fan run up to full speed? If so, you definitely have a heat issue. Make sure the heatsink is properly attached to the processor.

You aren't overclocking, right? If you are, stop.

What kind of memory is it? (Perhaps I am biased, but) if it isn't Kingston, Crucial or Corsair, I would suspect it.

Could also be a bad board. (In my work, those symptoms are always a bad board.) Or bad power supply.
posted by gjc at 8:26 PM on October 21, 2011

Sorry I forgot to include my ram:
Patriot Viper Xtreme 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model PX538G1600LLK

It might be important to note that I first had a problem with a defective motherboard, I took it into a repair shop and they said that that was the case and I ordered a replacement. They helped wire it as well and said it looked fine.
posted by johnx at 9:11 PM on October 21, 2011

I'd also lean towards a memory issue. In addition to everything else suggested here already, check that the voltage settings for the RAM and memory controller are high enough. A few months ago, the hackintosh I built started having kernel panics multiple times a day, with no one apparent cause for them. Windows ran fine, so I assumed it was something wrong with the OS X install, but eventually I got sick of constantly rebooting the machine and started trying to track down the problem. I tested each RAM stick individually and they all passed, but gave all kinds of errors when tested in pairs. It turns out the memory controller and RAM voltage settings were .2-.3V lower than they should have been, which was enough to cause problems when trying to power all 8GB worth of memory.
posted by Venadium at 7:21 AM on October 22, 2011

I checked my RAM with MemTest, it passed with no errors. The problem persists. My mouse freezes, and does not respond, the keyboard is non responsive, no caps lock or ctrl alt delete or anything. If I have my headphones attached a sort of glitchy sound occurs than silence.

Computer fan speed runs normally during the freeze. Any help?
posted by johnx at 9:27 AM on November 23, 2011

Scratch that RAM memtest comment, I'm going to retest it properly later, I didn't do it fully before. But any more suggestions?
posted by johnx at 9:28 AM on November 23, 2011

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