Computer keeps crashing - motherboard problem?

vizeor

Junior Member
Nov 26, 2018
2
0
6
#1
Hi everyone,

I am completely computer illiterate so forgive me for not including relevant information in this post, but I need help!

My friend helped me build my computer from scratch around 3 years ago. It was working perfectly at first, but around 6 months ago my computer started freezing randomly. It was usually during a game, and the game would completely freeze, and the last sound that was being played would continue. Alt+F4 and other commands couldn't solve it, and a hard restart was the only thing that would fix it. This happened a couple of times, and eventually I ended up downloading new drivers for everything (graphics card, etc), which at the time solved the problem.

Over the past week the problem has reared it's ugly head again. I once again downloaded new drivers, but this time it didn't seem to help. Based on some research I did, I tried increasing the virtual memory of my computer, but that also didn't work. It has happened 3-4 times over the past week, and I don't even know how to start diagnosing the problem since I don't know the first thing about computers.

Any help would be much appreciated. Please let me know if I can include any other relevant information, and I would be happy to to update this post.

Here are some specs I pulled off of my computer information: OS Name Microsoft Windows 10 Home

Version 10.0.17134 Build 17134
Other OS Description Not Available
OS Manufacturer Microsoft Corporation
System Name DESKTOP-RBMNATJ System Manufacturer To Be Filled By O.E.M.
System Model To Be Filled By O.E.M.
System Type x64-based PC
System SKU To Be Filled By O.E.M.
Processor Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-4590 CPU @ 3.30GHz, 3301 Mhz, 4 Core(s), 4 Logical Processor(s)
BIOS Version/Date American Megatrends Inc. P1.80, 7/27/2015
SMBIOS Version 2.8 Embedded Controller Version 255.255 BIOS Mode Legacy
BaseBoard Manufacturer ASRock
BaseBoard Model Not Available
BaseBoard Name Base Board
Platform Role Desktop Secure Boot State Unsupported PCR7 Configuration Binding Not Possible
Windows Directory C:\WINDOWS
System Directory C:\WINDOWS\system32 Boot Device \Device\HarddiskVolume3 Locale United States
Hardware Abstraction Layer Version = "10.0.17134.285"
User Name
Time Zone Pacific Standard Time
Installed Physical Memory (RAM) 8.00 GB Total Physical Memory 7.95 GB Available Physical Memory 5.29 GB Total Virtual Memory 9.82 GB Available Virtual Memory 6.67 GB Page File Space 1.87 GB Page File C:\pagefile.sys Kernel DMA Protection Off Virtualization-based security Not enabled Device Encryption Support Reasons for failed automatic device encryption: TPM is not usable, PCR7 binding is not supported, Hardware Security Test Interface failed and device is not InstantGo, Un-allowed DMA capable bus/device(s) detected, Disabled by policy, TPM is not usable Hyper-V - VM Monitor Mode Extensions Yes Hyper-V - Second Level Address Translation Extensions Yes Hyper-V - Virtualization Enabled in Firmware Yes Hyper-V - Data Execution Protection Yes

Thank you all very much in advance!
 
Aug 25, 2001
42,755
316
126
#2
While those specs give us the CPU and amount of physical RAM, that's not enough to go on to troubleshoot, other than to tell us the approximate technology vintage of the hardware.

I'm going to go out on a limb here, and say that, in most cases, crashes are due to power supply problems, or overheating, either of the CPU or the GPU (more likely?).

Can you find out what graphics card model and VRAM size you have, and what power supply (PSU) you have, and what wattage, and approximate age or how long you've had it in the system?

If you've had your system for three years, and the power supply was purchased new at the time, and it only had a 1-year or 3-year warranty (aka lower-grade PSU), then it could be the PSU flaking out, and needing to be replaced.

Btw, did your friend purchase a refurbished / used rig / tower off of ebay, and soup that up for you to make a gaming rig? I've done that for friends, and while it's often cheaper overall than buying new, especially if it comes with a COA sticker for Windows on it, it also can mean that the overall longevity of some parts, like the PSU, is going to be less than a brand-new made-from-scratch-with-new-parts rig.

That said, it could be the motherboard, but that technology is still new enough, that I wouldn't expect to see a mobo failure just yet from "old age". Those boards should be good for another 5 years at least.

Edit: Oh yeah, and last but not least, how long has it been since you've dusted it out, or used a can-o-air on it?

Edit: It could be the storage device (HDD or SSD) too, if you are getting "pauses" while using it, before it freezes up solid. Usually when that happens, though, the mouse keeps moving, while the sound loops, then eventually you get a BSOD (blue screen of death).

If it's just suddenly hard-locking, it could be the mobo, PSU, or GPU.

Get back to us with info about your GPU and PSU models, and their approximate ages.
 

vizeor

Junior Member
Nov 26, 2018
2
0
6
#3
First of all, thank you so so so much for your reply!! I will do my best to answer the questions you have.

Can you find out what graphics card model and VRAM size you have, and what power supply (PSU) you have, and what wattage, and approximate age or how long you've had it in the system?
To make it easy, I can copy + paste the exact items my computer is built from.

CPU : Intel Core i5-4590 BX80646I54590 Processor (6M Cache, 3.3 GHz)

RAM: G.Skill F3-12800CL9D-8GBXL 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3 PC3-12800 RipjawsX Series for Sandy Bridge (9-9-9-24) Dual Channel kit Desktop Memory Module

Storage: Samsung 850 EVO 250GB 2.5-Inch SATA III Internal SSD (MZ-75E250B/AM)

Motherboard: ASRock Super Alloy H97M-ITX/ac mini ITX DDR3 1333 LGA 1150 Motherboards

Power: Corsair CX Series 600 Watt ATX/EPS Modular 80 PLUS Bronze ATX12V/EPS12V 552 Power Supply CX600M

Graphics: EVGA GeForce GTX 960 4GB SSC GAMING ACX 2.0+, Whisper Silent Cooling w/ Free Installed Backplate Graphics Card 04G-P4-3967-KR

All of these items were purchased brand new in Dec 2015.

If you've had your system for three years, and the power supply was purchased new at the time, and it only had a 1-year or 3-year warranty (aka lower-grade PSU), then it could be the PSU flaking out, and needing to be replaced.
Is there any way to confirm that the power supply is the problem?

Btw, did your friend purchase a refurbished / used rig / tower off of ebay, and soup that up for you to make a gaming rig? I've done that for friends, and while it's often cheaper overall than buying new, especially if it comes with a COA sticker for Windows on it, it also can mean that the overall longevity of some parts, like the PSU, is going to be less than a brand-new made-from-scratch-with-new-parts rig.
Nope, I bought everything new off of Amazon and he just put it together for me.

That said, it could be the motherboard, but that technology is still new enough, that I wouldn't expect to see a mobo failure just yet from "old age". Those boards should be good for another 5 years at least.
I tried flashing my BIOS as well yesterday to update it in case that was the issue. Again, I have no idea what flashing one's BIOS even does, but I followed a step-by-step guide. I haven't had a chance to use my computer extensively since then, but thus far I haven't had any lock ups.

Edit: Oh yeah, and last but not least, how long has it been since you've dusted it out, or used a can-o-air on it?
It hasn't been tooooo long...I tried spraying off some of the dust when this first started happening but I suppose it couldn't hurt to do it again.

Edit: It could be the storage device (HDD or SSD) too, if you are getting "pauses" while using it, before it freezes up solid. Usually when that happens, though, the mouse keeps moving, while the sound loops, then eventually you get a BSOD (blue screen of death).
Yeah, no BSOD. Next time (hopefully there isn't a next time, but if there is!) I will make a short video and upload it to YouTube.

Is there any way to check the temperature of the computer in real-time while working to see if that is associated with the lock ups?

Again, I cannot thank you enough VirtualLarry. You've have given me a glimmer of hope with this ridiculously frustrating issue. You have no idea how grateful I am to you for taking the time to help.
 
Aug 25, 2001
42,755
316
126
#4
Is there any way to check the temperature of the computer in real-time while working to see if that is associated with the lock ups?
Yes, download HWMonitor, from www.cpuid.com . Also download CPU-Z.
Again, I cannot thank you enough VirtualLarry. You've have given me a glimmer of hope with this ridiculously frustrating issue. You have no idea how grateful I am to you for taking the time to help.
You're quite welcome, but I'm certainly not the only knowledgeable person here, there's quite a few of us with building and diagnostic experience. I'm sure that some of them will be along in a bit too.

Edit: And to answer the question of whether or not the PC is "getting old" - most of those components are only a generation or two old (well, the CPU is a few generations old). Shouldn't be dying of old-age, but it's possible that maybe the PSU took some electrical hit or something.

Do you own or use a UPS (battery backup) with the PC?

(That won't "Fix" PC problems, generally-speaking, but it usually works, sometimes sacrificially, in cases of power fluctuations. There are issues matching up a UPS with a PC, mostly around APFC, which should be discussed at a later point, if you don't have a UPS but plan to get one.)
 
Aug 25, 2001
42,755
316
126
#5
It was working perfectly at first, but around 6 months ago my computer started freezing randomly. It was usually during a game, and the game would completely freeze, and the last sound that was being played would continue. Alt+F4 and other commands couldn't solve it, and a hard restart was the only thing that would fix it.
I tried flashing my BIOS as well yesterday to update it in case that was the issue. Again, I have no idea what flashing one's BIOS even does, but I followed a step-by-step guide. I haven't had a chance to use my computer extensively since then, but thus far I haven't had any lock ups.

Hmm. Ideas, people? Could this be crashes relating to Windows' Spectre / Meltdown fixes, without the appropriate BIOS fixes in-place yet, that were put in place by the BIOS flash?

First things first, check temps with HWMonitor, while playing games. If the temps are not out of line, then try swapping parts.

Before swapping parts, you can try running OCCT, a stress-test, and try the "PSU Test", and run that for 5-10 minutes, and see if your rig crashes. If the PSU is flaky, it should crash right away.

If you know someone else with a PC, try removing your graphics card, if you have further freezes, and try putting it into a friend's PC, and see if running some games on his PC with your graphics card causes freezes.

Also, while the graphics card is out of the system, try just running your PC on the CPU's integrated graphics. You might not be able to play your games with it, but at least, try web browsing.

Could also run a RAM test.

If it's stable without the graphics card, try installing someone else's graphics card, that is known to work OK, but has a TDP / power draw similar to yours or more, within the theoretical load limit of your PSU. If that crashes, then your PSU may be suspect.
 
Last edited:

Iron Woode

Super Moderator
Super Moderator
Oct 10, 1999
23,376
86
126
#6
I have a very similar setup.

I noticed your BIOS is out of date. That may or may not cause issues. The newest BIOS is 2.00 that fixes meltdown/specter.

System stability is also affected by ram. I would run the newest version of memtest and see if there is an issue.

Also, perhaps a fresh install of win 10 might not be a bad idea.
 


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