Freezes Intermittently -- No Prior Problems

April 29, 2011 at 08:53:14
Specs: Windows 7 x64 SP1, Intel Q6600/GSkill 2x2GB
I've been running this rig I built for at least three years now without any issues, and all of a sudden, after being shutdown for three or four days over the weekend, now it will intermittently freeze (and occasionally blue screen), usually when the computer is under a bit of load (grabbing the edge of a window and rapidly moving it up and down while Aero is enabled is usually enough to do it) but in any case, before too long when using the computer for general computer stuff (internet, Quicken, etc). I've also had it freeze during boot, when the Windows 7 colored blobs are animating -- basically it will go down for no apparent reason.

I tried removing the hard drives, video card, and anything extra to see if it made a difference, but no luck. I also tried different hard drive(s), ran System Restore, a new Windows 7 install, installed Ubuntu to the HD, booted from the Ubuntu Live CD, BIOS reset to defaults, about everything software-related I could, but they all resulted in no change (although clearly the Ubuntu tests didn't blue screen -- just freezes), so now I'm assuming it's a mobo/CPU/memory issue. I put the power supply (Antec Earthwatts 380W) into another PC and had no similar issues with it there, so I've more or less ruled out the power supply.

Of note: I can't get MemTest to run successful tests -- either it throws thousands of fails, or simply freezes up solid.

Also, the mobo (EVGA NF75 630i) has been back to EVGA once for service. I don't recall what the issue was at that point, but I never had any issues with it after that.

I don't have a way that I know of to test the remaining hardware -- no other computers to swap hardware with -- and I'm looking for any suggestions on how to further diagnose the problem before I scrap it and buy a new CPU/mobo/RAM. I would prefer to simply find the one piece of failed hardware and replace it, instead of scrapping it all, when most of it is probably fine. I just don't know how to determine root cause on this one.

Thank you for any help you might be able to offer.

GSkill 2x2GB, Intel Q6600, EVGA NF75 630i, Antec Earthwatts 380W, WD Caviar Blue 160GB, Samsung WriteMaster, Windows 7 x64 SP1


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#1
April 29, 2011 at 09:14:12
HINT!
Of note: I can't get MemTest to run successful tests -- either it throws thousands of fails, or simply freezes up solid.

Memtest not only tests memory but it may be failing on some associated hardware. Normal way is to replace memory with known good sticks.

1/3 of highway deaths are caused by drunks. The rest are by people who can't drive any better than a drunk.


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#2
April 29, 2011 at 09:19:09
These sticks were known good -- until last Thursday. :-) I did try two older 1GB sticks I had used previously in this build, and got the same results, which leads me to believe it is not the memory, but I'm not super savvy on the hardware side, either.

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#3
April 29, 2011 at 13:34:39
As far as the memory goes. Good RAM can generate errors if the contacts are dirty (oxidized). Try snapping each stick in and out 4 or 5 times to burnish the contacts.

That said, If you still receive RAM errors then try running the memory test with only one stick installed at a time. Move a good stick to another slot and run again to check the slots as well as the RAM.

You may also want to clear out your temporary cache. I recommend downloading and using Ccleaner portable from the link below.

http://www.piriform.com/ccleaner/bu...


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#4
April 29, 2011 at 14:08:36
Unless you have a defective version of Memtest or a special dell server it has to pass.

Re-check bios settings for your ram. May even try failsafe or default settings if you had tried to overclock.

As I said memtest is not only for memory. If you feel that memory is OK then prove on other system. Or replace.

1/3 of highway deaths are caused by drunks. The rest are by people who can't drive any better than a drunk.


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