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 Post subject: Computer Freezing at Random!
PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 5:41 am 
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As the title says... my damned computer has started freezing at random. I think the first blow was when I had a controller plugged into the front USB of my Antec P180 and then kinda smashed it while I was vacuuming ^^ The Front USB Port is now a bit damaged, you can connect a device if you get the angle just right, otherwise it just shuts down the entire system, so I simply unplugged the Front USB connector from the Motherboard so that's no longer a problem.

After that however the real issue started. I can be in a game, playing a movie, scrolling on some webpage or playing solitaire while listening to a video on Youtube. The entire system will pretty much freeze up, except the mouse pointer tends to keep working, the sound however gets on a mini-loop of 0,1secs sound and I have to turn the speakers off until the system comes back to normal. This can last 1-15 seconds or simply keep on going for minutes and I have to restart the computer with its reboot button.

It also unplugged and then re-plugged my speakers in according to the pop-up that comes up when plugging in a new sound device, so I had to deactivate that pop-up and detection action which seemed to help at first.

Then I did a Memtest and ran it 4 cycles with no errors, I bought a new SSD (Needed more space anyway) and reformatted my other 2 harddrives which seemed to have cured the problem for the first 2-3 weeks.. but now its back with a vengeance. Not only does it freeze but I'm now also loosing my internet connection and I have to disable and re-enable my Network device sometimes after its frozen.

Its a completely fresh Windows 7 install on the new SSD, drivers are all updated to the latest... I think its the motherboard that's the issue. The problem is this computer is only 2 years old so I'm not looking to upgrade yet, but finding a 1156 Motherboard won't be as easy as most of the stores in Stockholm have stopped selling them.

It can go several days without anything happening and then all of a sudden it can freeze up like this 4-5 times in a matter of minutes (It did previous to writing this damned post!). Oh and I got new Speakers back in April (A few months after it first started doing this) so they're not the problem either.

What do you guys think, just try to get a hold of another 1156 Motherboard?

System specs are:
Intel i5 760 2,8Ghz
2x2GB Corsair Dominator
Gigabyte P55A-UD5 Motherboard
Gigabyte Nvidia 460GTX 1GB
Corsair 120GB SSD
2x1TB Samsung F1 Spinpoint
Seasonic S12 430W


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 Post subject: Re: Computer Freezing at Random!
PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 7:18 am 
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An obvious, but have to ask, question: Did you clear the BIOS?

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 Post subject: Re: Computer Freezing at Random!
PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 7:22 am 
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Heh, yes. Yes I did :) Both by resetting factory defaults and then with the battery on the Motherboard. It was better for about a week :/


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 Post subject: Re: Computer Freezing at Random!
PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 12:42 pm 
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Given the variety of issues, I agree that's it's probably something going on at the mobo level, like the bios is getting corrupted.

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 Post subject: Re: Computer Freezing at Random!
PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 2:22 pm 
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As you have already done just about everything that you can without start to swap components it looks like the motherboard is at fault, likely due to the broken front USB port.

I have seen them smashed and the pins can then touch each other, as 2 are power (5v + ground) its a real possibility.

The only other suggestion is to check you have the latest firmware on your SSD.

Sadly motherboards are so difficult to diagnose (absolute diagnosis rather than probable diagnosis) its actually easier to test every other component one at a time in another PC, but that of course means that you need access to another motherboard that fits your CPU + RAM to test those components. If you cant test the CPU for example dont bother, Motherboard failure is many hundreds of times more likely than CPU failure.

As a general rule, your symptoms sound like a classic motherboard failure, there is random freezing and odd things happening (intermittent networking failure) that suggests a motherboard failure in 9 (or more) out of 10 cases in my experience.

Is your motherboard under warranty.?


Andy

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 Post subject: Re: Computer Freezing at Random!
PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 2:46 pm 
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andyb wrote:
As you have already done just about everything that you can without start to swap components it looks like the motherboard is at fault, likely due to the broken front USB port.


could have even been an electrostatic discharge from the vacuum touching the usb and not so much the actual smashing....

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 Post subject: Re: Computer Freezing at Random!
PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 3:53 pm 
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Quote:
could have even been an electrostatic discharge from the vacuum touching the usb and not so much the actual smashing....


I will accept that is theoretically possible, but unbelievably unlikely. Having personally vacuumed several few hundred motherboards including their I/O ports and front ports of all kinds as well as graphics, sound, NIC's and other cards as well as DIMM's, I have never damaged any components. I have also received electric shocks from motherboards I/O ports (usually graphics) and even that didn't fry a motherboard.

Regardless of what caused the fault, it coincided with your USB incident, although coincidences happen all of the time it would be silly to rule that out as a cause.


Andy

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Main PC, P180, CM Silent Pro 500M, i5 3570k @ 4.2Ghz, 8-GB @ 2,000MHz, 256 GB Samsung 830, 500-GB 7K500, MSI 660Ti Twin Frozr, PC is super quiet :o
Server, 6-TB RAID-5 array, + 2 x 2-TB backup drives, 380W Enermax Pro82+, 4x very quiet fans, positive pressure only, no exhaust fans
Living Room PC, 3500+, 2-GB RAM, HD501LJ


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 Post subject: Re: Computer Freezing at Random!
PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 5:15 pm 
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im speaking from experience (tho no vacuum involved). I fried my MB plugging in a usb hard drive on a dry winters day. wool sox on carpet didnt help. saw the spark right before the usb entered the socket and instantly smelled the blue smoke genie escaping.

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 Post subject: Re: Computer Freezing at Random!
PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 8:20 pm 
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xan_user wrote:
wool sox on carpet didnt help

hehe. Stop shuffling!

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 Post subject: Re: Computer Freezing at Random!
PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 10:52 am 
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Sounds a lot like my E8400 rig. Had one bad mobo (no idea what damaged it), replaced mobo, but it had damaged the CPU, which died a slow death over the course of eight months. Random lock-ups and stuttering.

So yeah, mobo time.

Also, it pains me to ask, but... you don't have front panel audio connected, do you? My P180 had the poorest FP connectors I have ever seen, you could clearly hear the interference in the line.

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 Post subject: Re: Computer Freezing at Random!
PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 12:46 pm 
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Have you checked the power supply?


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 Post subject: Re: Computer Freezing at Random!
PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 2:40 am 
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Thanks for all the replies guys! And no, no front Audio connected, in fact I unplugged those from the Motherboard too. As for checking the PSU, you think its somehow run out of juice? Cus' 430w should easily handle my components... and its not like it always freezes under load, sometimes its when I'm just browsing the internet :/

I've been trying to find a damned 1156 Motherboard but nobody seems to have em', really annoying as I don't need to get a new CPU :/


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 Post subject: Re: Computer Freezing at Random!
PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 3:14 am 
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I think the PSU checking is from a fault perspective, but in my experience modern PSUs are robust enough to handle a little jolt. Motherboards and CPUs on the other hand are much more fragile.

PS. I had the same problem finding a replacement mobo when the E8400 went. I got mine off the local eBay variant, only to find out some months later it was the CPU that had gotten damaged.

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Case: FD Define Mini
Parts: P8Z77-M Pro µATX, i5-3570K @stock, N650Ti-1GD5/OC, G.Skill 2x4/1600/CL9 DDR3U, Xonar DX, WD G 1 TB, m4 128 GB, RX-5300 PSU
Cooling: Noctua NH-U12P SE2 + Scythe SS PWM, 2x Noctua NF-P12
Extras: Eaton UPS, Dell 24" EIPS, Ducky kb, SteelSeries m, Synology DS213j NAS
idle & load: CPU 32 °C & 44 °C @ 300/600 & 600/800 RPM, GPU 35-65 °C @ 1200-1650 RPM


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 Post subject: Re: Computer Freezing at Random!
PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 6:23 am 
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h2o wrote:
I've been trying to find a damned 1156 Motherboard but nobody seems to have em', really annoying as I don't need to get a new CPU :/

We might have a review sample. Send me an email -- mikec at....

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 Post subject: Re: Computer Freezing at Random!
PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 9:30 am 
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Location: Salem, OH
A power supply fault would cause the symptoms you have described. If you have a multimeter handy it is a simple thing to check. If it is the power supply, it can mask other symptoms, so it is good practice to eliminate it early as a cause.

While modern power supplies are robust, they can and do fail. Also, electrical lines can cause problems, as can power strips. I've had customer coomputer's that would run fine at my shop, and when taken home would have intermittent faults because of this.


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