Why does my PC keep locking up?

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Ekona
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Why does my PC keep locking up?

Postby Ekona » Mon Feb 10, 2014 11:55 am

Spec is i7 something
12GB RAM
GeForce GTS450
800w PSU
ASUS mobo of some kind
Win7 on SSD
2x SATA data drives


For some reason, the damn thing keeps locking up at random intervals. When I say lock, I mean that the desktop will freeze and the whole PC becomes unresponsive including the caps/num/scroll lock lights on the keyboard. Only a push of the reset button fixes it.

Sometimes it will be okay for a week. Other times it'll do it once a day. Sometimes it'll be three times a day. Sometimes it happens when the screen is locked and I'm not even using it (PC stays on 24/7).

Doesn't matter if it's hot/cold/low load internet or high load gaming.

Only thing I have noticed is that sometimes the gfx driver gets stuck and closes itself down, only to restart immediately but with slightly odd effects (some solid menu bars are now transparent, the cursor becomes a text line rather than an arrow). Related?



I've not done a damn thing to try and solve this yet :lol: My thoughts are:

RAM stick dodgy?
GFX card on way out?
Heat?
SSD dying?


Any others? Where should I be looking first?
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Re: Why does my PC keep locking up?

Postby Tinlad » Mon Feb 10, 2014 12:25 pm

Probably worth upgrading your graphics driver to try and rule that out. Although, as you've noted, Windows 7 is generally pretty successful at recovering from a driver crash.

Heat typically results in a hard-cut off, as the hardware just switches off to protect itself. The fact that it's happened when the PC is idle makes this quite unlikely too.

How old is the SSD? Is it anywhere near full? Is SMART reporting any errors?
Can you check the Event Viewer to see if there are any suspicious looking errors being logged prior to a freeze?
Dodgy RAM is a possibility - you could try reseating them, removing sticks etc., or run MemTest to check for errors.

At any rate, I'd start by ruling out the basics: open up the case and get rid of any dust, reseat RAM, GPU and check for any loose cables.

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Re: Why does my PC keep locking up?

Postby Savara » Mon Feb 10, 2014 12:26 pm

You checked any syslogs to see if a panic was written to the logs before it froze?

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Ekona
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Re: Why does my PC keep locking up?

Postby Ekona » Mon Feb 10, 2014 1:13 pm

Tinlad wrote:Probably worth upgrading your graphics driver to try and rule that out. Although, as you've noted, Windows 7 is generally pretty successful at recovering from a driver crash.

Heat typically results in a hard-cut off, as the hardware just switches off to protect itself. The fact that it's happened when the PC is idle makes this quite unlikely too.

How old is the SSD? Is it anywhere near full? Is SMART reporting any errors?
Can you check the Event Viewer to see if there are any suspicious looking errors being logged prior to a freeze?
Dodgy RAM is a possibility - you could try reseating them, removing sticks etc., or run MemTest to check for errors.

At any rate, I'd start by ruling out the basics: open up the case and get rid of any dust, reseat RAM, GPU and check for any loose cables.

Graphics driver is the latest, WinUpdate did that for me.

My thoughts about heat, too.
SSD is a couple of years old, sitting just before the red marker when you view the capacity on Win7 IYSWIM. So not massively full, no.
Event viewer I've not checked, good shout.
Memtest I think I've ran before, need to confirm.
Airflow is good, dust has been cleared, will reseat stuff though.

Savara wrote:You checked any syslogs to see if a panic was written to the logs before it froze?

I have no idea what you just said :oops: :lol: Where would the syslogs be?
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Re: Why does my PC keep locking up?

Postby Tinlad » Mon Feb 10, 2014 2:10 pm

:lol:

He's talking in *nix/Mac language: sub 'critical error' for 'panic' and 'Event Viewer' for 'syslogs'.

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Re: Why does my PC keep locking up?

Postby Ekona » Mon Feb 10, 2014 2:11 pm

Ah, much more betterer! :lol:

Cheers guys, will have a play tonight.
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Dan
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Re: Why does my PC keep locking up?

Postby Dan » Mon Feb 10, 2014 2:28 pm

I wouldn't be entirely convinced that Windows Update is managing the graphics drivers correctly. Probably worth installing the official nVidia versions to see if that makes a difference?

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Re: Why does my PC keep locking up?

Postby Polito45 » Mon Feb 10, 2014 3:40 pm

As above... Win update used to be notoriously bad at 3rd party drivers, especially graphics drivers.
Don't know if it's any betterer now, I wouldn't dream of using it for that.

Also check your AV is a current version (as your PC has been in a cupboard for several years). :D
Avast has an emergency update thingy that runs outside the programme and has been reported to cause lock-ups.
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Ekona
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Re: Why does my PC keep locking up?

Postby Ekona » Mon Feb 10, 2014 3:56 pm

Interesting, as I use Avast. Definitely the current version, but I'll check that and grab the drivers from nVidia too just to be sure.

See, this kinda shit is why I don't use my PC for gaming, far too flaky.
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Sam
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Re: Why does my PC keep locking up?

Postby Sam » Mon Feb 10, 2014 4:06 pm

Take it apart, remove dust, put it back together, do a fresh clean install.

That's what I'd do anyway.
:-)

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Re: Why does my PC keep locking up?

Postby siteguru » Mon Feb 10, 2014 5:52 pm

Tinlad wrote:Can you check the Event Viewer to see if there are any suspicious looking errors being logged prior to a freeze?

Someone from Microsoft will call you to help you through this - be sure to have your credit card ready. ;)

:mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

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Dan
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Re: Why does my PC keep locking up?

Postby Dan » Mon Feb 10, 2014 6:30 pm

Ekona wrote:See, this kinda shit is why I don't use my PC for gaming, far too flaky.


Ekona wrote:I now have two Xbones 8)

But only 'cos one broke and I had to get MS to send me a new one :lol:


:P

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Polito45
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Re: Why does my PC keep locking up?

Postby Polito45 » Mon Feb 10, 2014 6:48 pm

siteguru wrote:Someone from Microsoft will call you to help you through this - be sure to have your credit card ready. ;)


And don't keep them on the phone for an hour... they don't like it. :roll:

Also, don't take directions for 20 minutes and when the guy says - "Now, you see all those files in that folder? They are all virus!!!"
And you say - "Sorry, did you want me to turn the computer on?" :?
They really, really don't like that.

If you do manage to keep the guy from Microsoft International on the phone for an hour and then tell him that there
isn't really a Microsoft International, is there? You're just some cunt trying to steal my Jelly Baby money, aren't you?

You are guaranteed a very healthy "Fuck Off!" from the operator. :mrgreen:
"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." — Aristotle

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Ekona
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Re: Why does my PC keep locking up?

Postby Ekona » Mon Feb 10, 2014 8:50 pm

No signs of anything in the event logs, apart from some critical errors saying the PC rebooted without shutting down cleanly first. That'll be hitting the reset button, then.

A couple of other errors on there just before the lockups (one of which does relate to the gfx drivers), but nothing that's repeated to give a pattern.
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Re: Why does my PC keep locking up?

Postby Tinlad » Tue Feb 11, 2014 2:42 pm

What SSD have you got? Some have been known to cause freezes - could be worth checking for a firmware update?


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