[RESOLVED] Computer randomly freezes in POST, BIOS and Windows

Q

qotifrez

New Member
#1
I have been having these problems with my computer freezing lately. It happens to freeze randomly - sometimes in POST, sometimes in BIOS or sometimes in Windows. When it freezes, nothing is really possible to do other than reset the machine. The keyboard and mouse is completely frozen. The LED in the Num-pad is unchangable. Sometimes it won't even really boot at all, meaning: It doesn't show anything on the monitor, together with the NUM LED never appearing on the keyboard. Sometimes the computer even manages to load Windows all fine, and I can stay on working for several hours until it randomly freezes.


System specs:

- Motherboard: MSI K9N SLI Platinum nForce 570.

- Harddrives: Samsung SpinPoint P120S 250GB SATA2 7200RPM, and Western Digital Raptor 74GB SATA 10000RPM.

- RAM: Corsair Value Select PC5300 DDR2 2048MB (kit with two matched Value Select 1024MB).

- Prosessor: AMD Athlon 64 X2 4600+ 2.4GHz Socket AM2.

- Graphics card: Gigabyte Radeon HD 6870.

- Power supply: Tagan TurboJet 900W.

- Sound card: Creative SB X-Fi Elite Pro.

- Monitors: Samsung 22" LCD SyncMaster P2250, and Samsung 19" LCD Syncmaster 940BF.

- Operating System: Windows XP.


This set has been functional until lately.


What I have attempted during the past recent days:

- Updated all drivers.

- Monitoring temperatures, which were all below any critical level.

- Checked for damaged capacitors, all intact.

- Cleaned my cabinet and all hardware particles completely of dust.

- Re-attached every single hardware together with their desired cables.

- Installed new SATA cables.

- Tried using only one of the harddrives (manually installed Windows XP on both).

- Reset BIOS settings.

- Reset CMOS.

- Tried different slot, and PCI Express cables for the graphics card.

- Tried booting without the external Creative sound card, with only one monitor connected, and without the DVD-ROM connected.

- Google and forum searching, which finally brought me to the point where I figured I needed additional support.

- Tried making myself a chicken sandwich while hoping the damned thing would magically fix itself.


None of the above attempts gave me any particular clue of what could be the issue - not even the chicken sandwich.


I guess software is not the primary issue, as the computer fails both in POST and BIOS. However, just for the hell of it, I tried to disable all start-up applications from msconfig, followed by the computer freezing in POST. Like noted, it seems to be quite random where it freezes.


If any of you guys have some ideas, further questions, remarks, etc., it would be greatly appreciated!

I will be following this thread closely, and as often as possible.
 
Ratt

Ratt

New Member
#2
Welcome to HWC.

I suspect that one of the RAM sticks may be faulty. Try using only a single memory stick first, after that swap it with the other one and see if it makes any difference.
 
Q

qotifrez

New Member
#3
Hi, and thanks for the reply :)
Sorry, I forgot to mention that I have tried with both memory sticks singlehanded. Also made sure I used the appropriate slot(s) which is 1 (primary) and 3 (secondary) for my motherboard.
I an thinking of testing them whatsoever with memtest. However I will need another computer to do so, obviously. Any other tips, while I try locating a test-machine would be most appreciated :)
 
jimbo1763

jimbo1763

Moderator
#4
Memtest will not need Windows to run. You can download it to boot from a CD, etc.
 
Q

qotifrez

New Member
#5
I am fully aware of that :)
However, Windows is not the issue. Please read my first post prior to my following replies, and you'll see the picture ;)
 
Shinma

Shinma

____________
#6
If memory passes Memtest86+ in another mobo
and
Since the Tagan power supply is unlikely to be source of issue,
Suspicion would be the mobo.
 
Q

qotifrez

New Member
#7
I was thinking the same, however I just got my hands on a multimeter, so I can check the PSU as well!
I have checked every single capacitor, which are all in good shape, together with CMOS reset. Is there anything I could do to manually check if the mobo is okay?

I will come back later with PSU results, and perhaps memtest results as well.

Thanks so far for the replies :)
 
Q

qotifrez

New Member
#8
Hi again guys.
Now with the update as promised. I haven't had the chance of testing the memory yet though.

I've checked every single pin of the power supply, and it seems there is nothing wrong with it. One thing out, at least. The graphics card is excluded on the list of faulty hardware as well.

What I am left with now, is that it has to be something wrong with one of the three following; CPU, RAM, MOBO (or am I wrong?)

- I have no idea how to check if the cpu might be the problem, other than installing another AMD socket in the computer and see if the problem persists. Any ideas about other ways?
- I will have both the memory sticks checked eventually.
- The motherboard I am really lost with. I have a bad felling that it actually is the root of my problem. Do you guys have any tips on how I could check the mobo out, without having to replace it with another one?

Any replies are much appreciated as anyways! :)
 
Last edited:
The CandyMan

The CandyMan

Chocolately LAN Goodness!
#9
From my experiences with systems freezing at post, bios and/or windows it usually ended up being the motherboard after checking/testing and replacing from other systems all the other hardware. The only way I ever was able to determine is was the mobo was by taking one out of another system and using all the same hardware (psu, memory, cpu, etc) in the current problem system. I don't know if that's an option but it will tell you for sure if they motherboard is bad.

Just for fun though you can take the system apart and on a non-conductive surface put only the motherboard and psu together and see if even the mobo post lights (see your manual for each combination code) are working correctly. Then add in the cpu, then ram, then video card (with monitor) and see if it even detects them and posts correctly. Last add the hard drive. Keep in mind this type of testing is for advance users so if you're not comfortable having all the hardware out of the case then find someone who is or try other options. This has worked for me in determining bad motherboards as well (girlfriend's system last year for example)
 
dannyboy27

dannyboy27

Lazy
#10
That was my understanding too - that if the num lock/caps lock lights don't respond then it's the mobo that's faulty.
 
whutsupdoc

whutsupdoc

Master of my Domain
#11
does your Mobo have onboard video...??? if so remove your graphic card and initate onboard video in the BIOS.. see if that post/helps
 
Q

qotifrez

New Member
#12
Thanks alot for all the replies guys!

The CandyMan:
I guess I will have to test my motherboard on another computer to really have it checked then! Prospectively if I get hold of another AMD socket mobo that supports my other hardware, I could try that with my set and se if it boots OK. Out checking my friends' computers for a compatible mobo card!

dannyboy27:
From what I can recall from my earlier days of hardware analyst, there could be other hardware issues causing the exact same problem with the keyboard Num lock LED freezing. Or am I wrong - is it really coming down to being a confirmed issue with the motherboard?

whutsupdoc:
My motherboard doesn't have an onboard video chipset, so I'm not able to try to boot without the graphics card. However; note that there is nothing wrong with the graphics card. I recently bought and added this less than a week ago, as my old one was getting out-dated. The card has been tested OK on two other computers. I have also tested with another graphics card on my computer, and the problem persisted, so the Radeon HD card should not be the root of the problem.

Thanks again for the replies guys, really helping me on the way here :)
 
whutsupdoc

whutsupdoc

Master of my Domain
#13
try this... remove your CPU and clean off the adhesive and reapply thermal glue.. could be over heating... i had this happen a few yrs back, the cpu was burnt.. which gave me an excuse to buy a whole new system .
 
Q

qotifrez

New Member
#14
Hi again, and thank you you the follow-up!

I did monitor all the core temperatures for over two hours while the computer was active though. The cpu cores never went past 63 degrees celcius, which should be safely away from the danger zone.

Also; the processor couldn't gain a 'too hot temp' that fast and freeze in POST, or could it? I suppose it would prospectively cause the computer to shut down as well if that was the case. Correct me if I'm wrong.
 
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Q

qotifrez

New Member
#16
Thanks for the reply and lookup Shinma!

I understand I have overlooked the fact that my processor has been operating at temperatures it cannot withstand. Just to confirm the information found in CPU-World, I checked AMD websites, and found a little deviation (Max temperature 55-70°C, see link below). However the same conclution; the CPU has been overheating, and probably for a long time.


Is there anything that could tell me right away if the CPU is unusable and has to be replaced, or will I simply have to try to cool it down as much as I can (replacing thermal compound and installing an external CPU fan) and see if the computer works?

Edit:
Some of you guys mentioned that the motherboard probably was causing the problem, as the num/ caps lock LEDs were freezing. Can this happen also if the CPU is being overheated?
 
Last edited:
Shinma

Shinma

____________
#17
qotifrez said:
... Is there anything that could tell me right away if the CPU is unusable and has to be replaced ...
No.

qotifrez said:
... will I simply have to try to cool it down as much as I can (replacing thermal compound ...
Correct.
If using the original retail HSF, aftermarket HSF worth consideration if processor is undamaged.
 
Q

qotifrez

New Member
#18
Thanks for the quick reply and followup Shinma!

I am using the original retail HFS. I have actually never bought a standalone CPU before, I always bought a whole package - and the HFS was always included somehow. If I was to buy a brand new CPU now (AMD socket AM2), would the CPU pib include a new HFS?

I was a bit late editing/ updating my previous post, so I re-post it here hoping it is no hassle :)
"Some of you guys mentioned that the motherboard probably was causing the problem, as the num/ caps lock LEDs were freezing. Can this happen also if the CPU is being overheated? "

Thanks again for the response!
 
jimbo1763

jimbo1763

Moderator
#19
All sorts of strange things can happen if the CPU is overheating. Redoing the thermal paste and reseating the heat sink is not hard to do and does not cost much. Try it and see what happens.
 
Q

qotifrez

New Member
#20
Ordering thermal compound (image link) now, it will take a couple of days before I receive it. I will also install an external CPU fan (image link) just to increase the chances of having a stable low-temperated CPU.

If you guys have any other ideas of how to help lower the temperature of the CPU, any suggestions are greatly appreciated!

I will update this thread once I have received the thermal compound and made the change to the CPU and HFS.

Thanks again guys! :)
 

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