Computer Freezes Randomly

Discussion in 'Tech Chat' started by 13thforsworn, Sep 7, 2013.

  1. 13thforsworn

    13thforsworn Achievement Hunter

    I'm not a tech guy, so maybe this is an easy fix, but I have no idea what is going on.

    Everyone has had their computer freeze at some point. It's happened to me many times, but lately, the circumstances behind why it's been happening are unlike anything that's happened before. In the passed, I'd be running a program that would stop responding and then my entire computer would just freeze up. But in the last month or so, at least once a day, I'll be randomly browsing the internet and then BAM, my cursor stops moving, my keyboard stops typing, and the entire computer freezes, forcing me to hard restart my computer. I know this isn't just a problem with my USB ports connecting to my mouse/keyboard because even the blinky thing that indicates where you're typing either ceases to flash or is permanently visible (meaning the screen has frozen). It's so bizarre. I'm not doing anything CPU intensive and out of nowhere, everything just stops. When its frozen whilst using Skype, instead of just freezing on the last screen, it just switches to black. This happens EVERYDAY, and I have no idea why, can anyone help?
     
  2. VintagePC

    VintagePC GodModePC (One-man Show) VF4-S (Server Operator) Forum Operator Minecraft Operator Global Moderator Staff Member DMC Tester Jailbreak Admin TF2L developer

    First place I'd start is make a USB bootable Memtest86 and let that run for a few hours. (http://www.memtest86.com/)

    If you see ANY errors after at least 2+ passes complete, you've got flaky memory in your system. Sounds exactly like the symptoms I was having (although they weren't as extreme). Basically... everything works fine until your computer tries to use the "bad" part of the memory. Hell, it might even work for a while until it tries to store something critical there. Then... pow - locked up/program crash/whatever.
     
  3. lonesome killer

    lonesome killer Banhammered

    Have you installed anything questionable recently? Maybe do a system restore to 2 months ago. After doing Vintage's memory test of course
     
  4. 13thforsworn

    13thforsworn Achievement Hunter

    Didn't think of this, and thus I may leaving something out important. The freezes started happening after I updated a bunch of drivers. I don't know which ones though, because I use a program called Driver Scanner that scans my drivers for updates and does it all at once. I think it updated like 7 or 8.
     
  5. VintagePC

    VintagePC GodModePC (One-man Show) VF4-S (Server Operator) Forum Operator Minecraft Operator Global Moderator Staff Member DMC Tester Jailbreak Admin TF2L developer

    Good point. It's been so long since I've had to deal with flaky drivers in Windows. My approach there is usually "if it ain't broke... don't update."
     
  6. lonesome killer

    lonesome killer Banhammered

    Lol I'm starting to come to that realization also.
     
  7. 13thforsworn

    13thforsworn Achievement Hunter

    So I ran it for 2 hours but no errors were detected. Maybe it needs to run longer (I'll leave it on tomorrow while I'm at school), but the website says that it scans for the most likely problems first or whatever. If it's not an error with memory, what could it be?
    [​IMG]
     
  8. VintagePC

    VintagePC GodModePC (One-man Show) VF4-S (Server Operator) Forum Operator Minecraft Operator Global Moderator Staff Member DMC Tester Jailbreak Admin TF2L developer

    Generally if it doesn't find anything in the first pass, you should be okay. It tests each bit of memory in several ways, so it isn't likely to have been "lucky" that it passed because the flaky bit wasn't acting up at the time.

    Time to start looking at flaky drivers, like lonesome suggested. If you can pin it down to something specific you're doing it might help narrow the culprit but not always. E.g. is there music playing when it crashes? audio is then a possible culprit. If not, it's less likely.

    If drivers are indeed the cause, you've learned the hard way why those "driver scanner" tools are generally a bad idea. They claim to be a one-size-fits-all solution and can cause problems like this.

    Best approach is to start from the ones you remember being updated and work your way back. Go direct to the website of the manufacturer and get the latest one they offer for your particular model. Install, test for a few days to see if the problem recurs, and if so, next item on the list. You could shotgun and do all of them but it opens the door for more problems (and if something REALLY goes wrong... you won't know what thing to uninstall/revert!)
     
  9. 13thforsworn

    13thforsworn Achievement Hunter

    Definitely not the memory, left it on 14 hours and no errors appeared. I'll look into the drivers as you suggested.
    [​IMG]
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  10. 13thforsworn

    13thforsworn Achievement Hunter

    So I unistalled this motherfucker because I know for a fact it was one of the drivers that was installed and the 18th of August sounds about right in terms of when I started getting this problem. Fingers crossed.
    [​IMG]

    EDIT: Nope, froze 20 minutes later (the 5th time today FYI).

    I have no fucking clue, computer, why don't you love me? T_T
     
  11. 13thforsworn

    13thforsworn Achievement Hunter

  12. lonesome killer

    lonesome killer Banhammered

    Someone tell lava I made a smart post
     
  13. 13thforsworn

    13thforsworn Achievement Hunter

    Is it possible that I'm getting this problem from my computer overheating? I opened up the case to see if there was any difference.
     
  14. lonesome killer

    lonesome killer Banhammered

    Do a system restore to a time that this wasn't happening, like 2 months ago.

    Or a clean install could work. When I tried to setup my Eyefinity display it would not work. I must've messed something up over the 2 years I had my computer because once I did a clean install it started working.
     
  15. VintagePC

    VintagePC GodModePC (One-man Show) VF4-S (Server Operator) Forum Operator Minecraft Operator Global Moderator Staff Member DMC Tester Jailbreak Admin TF2L developer

    Could be, but given what you've told us probably not likely since it doesn't seem to be happening when you're doing anything overly intensive alone. if it was heat related you'd probably see it happen way more often during games and such.

    Still doesn't hurt to give the 'ol PC a good cleaning now and then.

    TBH at this point we've probably exhausted all of the "general" fixes and the most time efficient way to go forward is indeed either a system restore or a fresh install to see if the problems persist. That doesn't mean there isn't a way to fix this without resorting to that, but rather that it'd take longer to do the "check X,Y,Z" back and forth until we hit the problem, than it would be to just do a fresh install.

    It's the one thing that bugs me about online tech support - things that are easy for me to check in person take a lot longer when you have to explain them, wait for a response, and then determine additional information you need based on what came up. :/
     
  16. 13thforsworn

    13thforsworn Achievement Hunter

    So I think the problem was overheating. It would overheat and the sensors or whatever would stop the computer before any real damage happened. I've come to this conclusion based on the fact that my computer has been on all day with the case open and it hasn't frozen/crashed. The thing is dusty as shit so I'll have to clean it. Thanks a lot for your help guys, I really appreciate it.
     
  17. VintagePC

    VintagePC GodModePC (One-man Show) VF4-S (Server Operator) Forum Operator Minecraft Operator Global Moderator Staff Member DMC Tester Jailbreak Admin TF2L developer

    If it gets to that point you might also want to remove the CPU fan/heatsink and reapply the thermal paste. That stuff tends to get hard, crusty, and nasty when baked, so it's not gonna be that efficient anymore.
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
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