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Solved: Random Hard Freezes

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by jkmuller, Apr 13, 2010.

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  1. jkmuller

    jkmuller Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Messages:
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    Hello all, I hope someone will have some advice for an issue I've been having.

    I recently built a computer with these components:
    • AMD Athlon II X2 250 Regor 3.0GHz Socket AM3 65W
    • BIOSTAR VA4673NH51-B Radeon HD 4670 512MB 128-bit DDR3 PCI Express
    • ASRock M3A770DE AM3 AMD 770 ATX AMD Motherboard
    • G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600)
    • 500w power supply included with this case: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811147117
    It runs extremely well, exception for one thing: it locks up entirely on a fairly frequent basis. When it freezes, the image is static on the monitors (I'm using two), the mouse does not react, sound stops, and generally nothing happens except perhaps some hard drive activity. I have to hold down the power button to restart, which is getting old and I'm worried I will damage the system.

    I've updated all the drivers, checked the capacitors for leaks, changed various BIOS settings, and checked for overheating, but everything seems fine. There are no helpful event errors that I've found. Everything seems plugged in correctly on the motherboard. The only interesting thing I've noticed is that the hard drive seems to churn for a few seconds following a freeze, but there are no errors on reboot.

    The freezes are random. Sometimes my system will freeze right off a reboot. Sometimes I will play a game for hours without issue, then it will freeze while just sitting at the desktop. I can't figure out any pattern. I suspect the graphics card due to the way it's locking up, but I'm worried it could be the motherboard as well. Is there any way to tell why this is happening? Has anyone dealt with similar issues?

    Thanks!
     
  2. jkmuller

    jkmuller Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Messages:
    2
    Good news--I believe I have fixed the problem.

    Bad news--I'm almost certain it was the motherboard.

    The freezing progressively became worse, until it reached the point where one day the computer would not boot at all. Strangely, if the computer was laying on its side, horizontally, it would boot. But, it would freeze within a few minutes, so that was no solution.

    I'm convinced that the problem existed the entire time I had the board. I remember getting "stuck" on an installation screen at one point. I bet that was a freeze. I also remember being concerned about a freeze within the first few hours of running in Windows. But, since the problem was intermittent and I didn't know what caused it, I unfortunately kept it until it was out of the 30-day Newegg return policy.

    However, I've replaced it with a new board, the same model, and it runs perfectly. Replacing it was simple too, I just had to reconfigure BIOS settings. I still wince every time I cant see the mouse move, having had it freeze on me so many times, but I think I will get over that soon. ;) My fingers are crossed that the system stays stable.
     
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