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Computer Freezes Intermittently

by profpotatohead / November 8, 2010 9:49 AM PST

Thanks for reading my post.

My problem is an intermittent computer freeze which occurs every 15 minutes or so and stays frozen about 5minutes... Typically the mouse will not be frozen during this time. Some tasks cued up may occur while frozen. Pressing Ctl Alt Delete may, sometimes instantly, sometimes several seconds later, pull up the main menu, however regardless of anything I do in task manager, it will unfreeze arbitrarily. It seems to happen more frequently when I have multiple windows open, and more cpu/video-intensive programs.
Pressing CTL ALT DELETE in many instances causes the display to go black for some time, and I have from one program, received an error message claiming that the video drivers were being used exclusively by another program, so I have a suspicion that the video card may have an issue to be troubleshot.

The system worked without a hitch when it was first built, however since I first reinstalled windows 7 I have been experiencing this issue.

My initial thoughts are that there is a problem occuring with the installation of windows 7, although I have reinstalled it several times and the freezing issue remains. Oddly enoguh, on one random occasion, windows 7 claimed to not be authentic. Another thought is that the video card may have issues. Finally, perhaps a setting in my bios or another system setting needs to be changed? I don't believe there is an issue of overheating, as the cpu usage appears to be pretty low, but I can't rule that out either. I believe I've ruled out malware/virus by reformatting the hard drive and reinstalling windows.

Here's my Hardware/OS

Integrated Raedon HD 4200 w/ amd quad core (Gigabyte)(latest video card drivers are installed)
Windows 7 pro 64 bit OEM
4gig 1600 ddr3 (already ran diagnostic to verify that it is working fine/memory claims to be compatible with the motherboard)
Raptor 500w
Western Digital 1 Tera Hdrive

Thanks in advance for your insight,


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My initial thought
by Jimmy Greystone / November 8, 2010 10:18 AM PST

My initial thought is a bad HDD. If it were an older IDE drive, I'd also be thinking it's a DMA issue, but that shouldn't affect SATA drives.

It sounds to me though, like your HDD is bad. Every 15 minutes or so is a pretty plausible time for when Windows might do a delayed memory dump, writing things to disk that it's been holding in memory. And that can in turn trigger your AV program, compounding the issue.

Download the Ultimate Boot CD distribution, and run some of the HDD diagnostic programs. There's one or two that will run a full surface scan and also report any SMART issues the drive's internal diagnostics are reporting. Worst case scenario, it's not your HDD, and you wasted some time. But, you did rule out one more component, so it's not a total loss either way.

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by profpotatohead / November 17, 2010 9:29 AM PST
In reply to: My initial thought

Thanks for the advice. I tried Ultimate Boot CD and ran several of the diagnostics including for the HDD and Memory. All showed no problems but at least now I can look elsewhere.

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by PKsteven / November 8, 2010 10:34 AM PST

First, I was going to suggest HD as well but Jimmy covered that well.

My other thought was the PSU, "power supply unit" may be having some issues.

If WD is Sata, try different Sata port.

Now, with OEM systems, others have the same problem with the "not genuine" message. OEM is cheaper to purchase but also has it's baggage. Is it possible it could be a bad installer? Yes. I've seen happen and people exchange their Windows disk for a good one. The problem, and I may be wrong here, OEM cannot be returned or exchanged. One it's open, it's yours.

I still agree first though, that the HD may be going bad.

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You keep mentioning re-installing Windows ...
by Edward ODaniel / November 8, 2010 11:38 PM PST

but the only driver I see mentioned is for the Video card. Have you installed ALL the motherboatrd drivers?

I ask because Windows supplies some generic chipset drivers that don't always function adequately.

Have you checked the Event Viewer System and Application logs to see if they can pinpoint any errors?

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Upon the quoted paragraph of your initial post:
by LucJPatenaude / November 12, 2010 5:14 PM PST

"Another thought is that the video card may have issues. Finally, perhaps a setting in my bios or another system setting needs to be changed? I don't believe there is an issue of overheating, as the cpu usage appears to be pretty low, but I can't rule that out either. I believe I've ruled out malware/virus by reformatting the hard drive and reinstalling windows."

I get to say that you are absolutely right. The Bios version is to blame here. Go to Gigabyte's web site's Support page and find out if they have a newer bios for that mainboard of their making. You should also inform yourself if you have a 'Dedicated' GPU for your onboard video/graphics chipset. It might very well not be so.

Using the onboard PCI-Express 16x slot will probably be the best chance at cancelling this RAM gobling problem. That means getting a 512Mb GDDR3, minimum, of an expansion card for this ever evolving in computing power of a PC.

Hope that info. will help solving such common problem of today's PCs.

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Sounds intriguing
by profpotatohead / November 17, 2010 9:32 AM PST

I've spent some time doing as others have suggested to no avail unfortunately, however I'd like to determine if OEM has installing issues however I'm not exactly sure of how to test whether this is the problem outside of installing XP and even then it may still be a compatibility issue?

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Thanks for the recommendation
by profpotatohead / November 17, 2010 10:28 AM PST

I've tried chkdsk, have constantly updated MS security essentials, & possess active antispyware software, however I haven't detected any viruses or malware in months. I wouldn't write it off, however nothing I am using has detected it thusfar, if it exists.

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Thanks for the idea
by profpotatohead / November 17, 2010 10:33 AM PST

Yup, I've definately got the latest drivers and I've gone through the event viewer system and there's not much to speak of, None of the experienced errors, such as operation timeout would indicate anything in particular. Thanks though

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by profpotatohead / November 17, 2010 10:38 AM PST

Thanks for your suggestions. I've been putting them to work; no success yet but I'm ruling out some possibilities. I tried out a recent Windows 7 hotfix for freezing, however that didn't do the trick either. One other thing I should have mentioned: 95% of the time when I boot up, the system wants to check ntfs. The test has never detected any problems.

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