Help me troubleshoot this PC freezing issue!

So I’ve been having an issue with sudden total freezes of my PC while gaming. ‘Freeze’ here means everything—no mouse cursor movement, sound freezes (same sound played continuously), unresponsive to anything but hardware reset. No error messages, nothing. Nothing in event viewer, either, except for the system noticing that it’s rebooting after a crash. Jostling the case once led to a recovery (although that may have been unrelated), reading out the memory dump told me nothing but that the kernel crashed.

This occurs mostly while gaming, although I believe it’s happened once or twice in other situations.

The computer is running Windows 10, the CPU is an AMD FX-8300, it’s clocked at 3300MHz, it has 16GB RAM, and the graphics card is a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1030 (I think—looking at the product listing, it says that model has 2GB RAM, I thought mine had 3GB, but I might have that wrong). I can post more detailed specs later if needed, since I’m right now running a memory test on the machine that I don’t want to interrupt.

What I’ve tried, so far:
[li]Ran the memory testing utility that comes with Win 10. No errors.[/li][li]Monitored CPU heat production. Even while gaming, the temperature seems to hardly ever exceed 70°C.[/li][li]Monitored GPU heat production. Did a stress test with FurMark, it didn’t go up further than 83°C.[/li][li]Running Memtest86 right now. So far, no errors.[/li][/ul]

As far as I know, these temperatures are OK, right?

Presuming that the second memory test also comes up empty, what should I try next? I consider myself moderately computer literate, but I’m not much of a hardware guy. In particular, I don’t really know a good way to diagnose motherboard issues, but I haven’t looked into that so far.

Try testing other software besides the game. This sounds more like a software issue

Also check the processes running. You should be able to isolate which processes are using up the CPU. If they are related to the game, it is most likely the software.

In my experience (25+ years) system board failures are rare outside of manufacturing defects (which would show up immediatly) or abuse.

Good luck

Thanks for your answer. I will have an eye on possible software issues, but it’s happened with multiple games, and there don’t seem to be any resource issues connected to the crashes.

Also, I always thought that things like the mouse failing to respond and no bluescreen being shown, no crash dump being written, make it unlikely to be a software issue—is that not the case?

I have not found Memtest to be a good test of RAM. Try running Prime95.

Try a different mouse.

I had an issue with a computer freezing and crashing and for the life of me, I couldn’t figure out what it was. One day I picked up the mouse to move it and got a blue screen of death. That set off a light bulb. I got a new mouse and all was well. Since it sounds like you do a lot of mousing in your game, that’s something to look at.

Another time, I solved a similar problem by reseating the memory modules. There were memory errors, so I wanted to figure out which module needed to be replaced, so I unplugged them one at a time. When I put them all back, the problem disappeared.

In my experience this kind of issue is almost always the software, if not the application then a driver.

Before ripping out the hardware scan the OS for malware.

That being said, it cannot hurt to try a different mouse. Be sure to disable the current driver and do a cold reboot before installing the new one. Be sure windows recognizes the new one, make sure the drivers are current.

Also turn off the wifi or unplug the cat 5 cable, then disadle the network I have seen this kind of issue when the machine is trying to execute an application command while searching for a dropped connection

If this fails try uninstalling and reinstalling the app.

Tedious and time consuming yes but necessary. Dealing with this kind of problem requires a paying, systematic approach.

If all else fails you can always reinstall Windows

You have backups right?:joy:

I mean patient.

I "really* hate autocorrect :rage:

I just went through something similar. Programs would freeze, not open, computer took forever to boot up, sound card iffy. I called my computer guru. Took him 30 seconds to diagnose: Failing hard drive.

If your symptoms are similar, I’d strongly urge you to check for bad sectors on the drive and if warranted, get that thing replaced tout de suite.

My first suspicion is always memory, whether it be system RAM or video RAM.

Power supplies are also a common culprit, fluctuating voltage can and will cause hardware to malfunction.

The suggestion to try a different mouse is good, in fact simplify as much as possible. Unplug all unnecessary items, reboot, then try the games and see what happens.

ETA: Also a clean uninstall/reinstall of your video card drivers and DirectX can’t hurt.

So unfortunately, it seems like it wasn’t the mouse—the replacement lastet just long enough for me to get my hopes up, before the whole thing froze again.

Also, after running two tests on the RAM, I think I’ll exclude it for the time being, as well.

I’m turning my attention to the graphics card RAM next, but I’m not sure what utility to use for testing, so I’m open for suggestions!

I with I had more of a GQ answer for you, but you’ve already tested the stuff I’d go after. Checking the hard drive is a good idea. I’m betting it’s the GPU – if it mostly happens during gaming, that would point to the GPU.

OK, this is a reach. The most mysterious problem I had that I was able to fix was a frequent blue screen when the computer went from idle to non-idle – turns out it was an old firewire external drive that wasn’t starting up fast enough. I guess firewire is buried pretty deep into the bus or motherboard or something. On the off-chance that you have an external firewire drive, try disconnecting it. When you’re gaming, it may go idle, but occasionally get pinged and not respond fast enough. When you’re doing other stuff, maybe it never goes idle.