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Problem diagnosis, please HELP

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
Going to start off with my system spec and components:

CPU: Intel Core i7-920 2.66GHz LGA 1366
Mobo: EVGA E758-A1 3-Way SLI (x16/x16/x8) LGA 1366 Intel X58
RAM: [x2: 12GB total] CORSAIR DOMINATOR 6GB (3x2GB) DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)
GPU: EVGA GeForce GTX 260 Core 216 SC Edition 896MB 448-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16
PSU: CORSAIR 620HX 620W
HDD1: WD Caviar Black 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s
HDD2/3: [x2: being used as internal data storages] WD Caviar Black 2TB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s

OS: Win7 Ultimate (just clean installed a week ago; has SP1 and latest updates)
BIOS: Latest BIOS flashed
GPU: Using v197.45 drivers (heard it was most stable for gtx260 since it was the last drivers that actually updated this card)

Memtest86 ran with no flags
Prime95 ran with no flags
GPU stress/benchmark ran with no flags (no overheating either)
WDHDD Diag ran with no flags (all drives passed SMART test)
Diskchk ran with no flags
Other miscellaneous drivers updated to the latest version (sound, network, chipset, etc)

Issue:
The system continues to freeze completely at RANDOM times with any ONE or MULTIPLE conditions (it is a hard freeze meaning I am forced to hit the reset/power button to reboot):
- Aero theme enabled and wallpaper changes (although it could change 10 times without freezing also)
-any gaming program running (sometimes it'll run perfectly fine for 10 hrs and others it'll hard freeze instantly or within 10 minutes)
-any video playing (sometimes it'll run perfectly for a 12 hr marathon watch and sometimes it'll freeze while the video file is just loading)
-surfing the web (youtube will freeze it occasionally and randomly; sites with multiple picture loads such as wallpapers or background images although it might not ever freeze too)
-starting up random programs (it froze twice when I launched MSN messenger and the profile picture frame appeared and the rest of the time it ran the messenger perfectly)
-doing absolutely nothing on the desktop (this has happened regardless of Aero themes being enabled or not)

As you can see I've ran extensive tests already on all the hardware to the point where I don't even know what I can do to eliminate the problem. It is also a fresh (week old) clean install of a new OS with up to date drivers. I am out of ideas of tests to perform.

From all these incidence events, I am forced to believe it is my video card although I don't understand how it could be when it passed multiple stress tests and benchmarks. My current option is to replace my current video card but I want to make sure that it is my video card that's producing this issue before I buy a new one (for reference, I do not have another card lying around to test run; I wish I did).

Anyone willing to help me out with this or give me their opinions?

-Edit-
This has been occuring since the start of June. I've tried multiple "solutions" and it still hasn't gone away this issue. Last replaced component was RAM. Previous RAM and current RAM both pass Memtest86 and Windows Memory Diagnostic Tool (on various test levels).


-Edit x2-
The LED on the front panel for the HDD access/working may either be not lit up at all when the freeze occurs or lit up until I hit the reset/power button.


-Praetor/Tony
Edited by praetor19 - 10/4/11 at 9:51pm
post #2 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by praetor19 View Post
Going to start off with my system spec and components:

CPU: Intel Core i7-920 2.66GHz LGA 1366
Mobo: EVGA E758-A1 3-Way SLI (x16/x16/x8) LGA 1366 Intel X58
RAM: [x2: 12GB total] CORSAIR DOMINATOR 6GB (3x2GB) DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)
GPU: EVGA GeForce GTX 260 Core 216 SC Edition 896MB 448-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16
PSU: CORSAIR 620HX 620W
HDD1: WD Caviar Black 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s
HDD2/3: [x2: being used as internal data storages] WD Caviar Black 2TB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s

OS: Win7 Ultimate (just clean installed a week ago; has SP1 and latest updates)
BIOS: Latest BIOS flashed
GPU: Using v197.45 drivers (heard it was most stable for gtx260 since it was the last drivers that actually updated this card)

Memtest86 ran with no flags
Prime95 ran with no flags
GPU stress/benchmark ran with no flags (no overheating either)
WDHDD Diag ran with no flags (all drives passed SMART test)
Diskchk ran with no flags
Other miscellaneous drivers updated to the latest version (sound, network, chipset, etc)

Issue:
The system continues to freeze completely at RANDOM times with any ONE or MULTIPLE conditions:
- Aero theme enabled and wallpaper changes (although it could change 10 times without freezing also)
-any gaming program running (sometimes it'll run perfectly fine for 10 hrs and others it'll hard freeze instantly or within 10 minutes)
-any video playing (sometimes it'll run perfectly for a 12 hr marathon watch and sometimes it'll freeze while the video file is just loading)
-surfing the web (youtube will freeze it occasionally and randomly; sites with multiple picture loads such as wallpapers or background images although it might not ever freeze too)
-starting up random programs (it froze twice when I launched MSN messenger and the profile picture frame appeared and the rest of the time it ran the messenger perfectly)
-doing absolutely nothing on the desktop (this has happened regardless of Aero themes being enabled or not)

As you can see I've ran extensive tests already on all the hardware to the point where I don't even know what I can do to eliminate the problem. It is also a fresh (week old) clean install of a new OS with up to date drivers. I am out of ideas of tests to perform.

From all these incidence events, I am forced to believe it is my video card although I don't understand how it could be when it passed multiple stress tests and benchmarks. My current option is to replace my current video card but I want to make sure that it is my video card that's producing this issue before I buy a new one (for reference, I do not have another card lying around to test run; I wish I did).

Anyone willing to help me out with this or give me their opinions?

-Praetor/Tony
[x2: 12GB total] CORSAIR DOMINATOR 6GB (3x2GB) DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)

Why do you need two sets? Try it with one.
    
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post #3 of 21
Id think its not the video card if u can get through a stress test im guessing its a cpu crash.
Check your cpu temps with core temp or real temp make sure they arent too high then run prime 95 for 30 mins see if it crashes if it does than u can be sure its memory or cpu related

are you overclocked at all>?

edit

nvm missed the prime 95 was clean too huh
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post #4 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by hertz9753 View Post
[x2: 12GB total] CORSAIR DOMINATOR 6GB (3x2GB) DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)

Why do you need two sets? Try it with one.
I have tried it with 1 set (3x2GB) and with another different set totalling 6GB (6x1GB). Both setups still incur hard freezing (as in I am forced to hit the reset or power button in order to get the system to reboot).

I have two sets totaling 12GB because I got it from a price deal at newegg, I thought I might as well fill my ram slots.
Edited by praetor19 - 10/4/11 at 9:45pm
post #5 of 21
I feel like it is unlikely but with all the other options seeming to be exhausted, why dont you try a sfc /scannow in command prompt. To further eliminate it being a corrupt file. I do think it is unlikely since you said it was a clean install from a week ago but I don't see what else it could be.
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post #6 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevevace2 View Post
Id think its not the video card if u can get through a stress test im guessing its a cpu crash.
Check your cpu temps with core temp or real temp make sure they arent too high then run prime 95 for 30 mins see if it crashes if it does than u can be sure its memory or cpu related

are you overclocked at all>?

edit

nvm missed the prime 95 was clean too huh
The only OC there is on the system is on the RAM with pre-set XMP profile from Corsair setups. I have tried with standard profile and XMP profiles and they both result in hard freezes.


-Edit-
Core temps hit 65C and actual cpu temp only reach at a max of 55C even after 2 hours of running Prime95; I stopped glancing at it at this point in time of the test a couple of days ago.
Edited by praetor19 - 10/4/11 at 10:04pm
post #7 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by schuman0 View Post
I feel like it is unlikely but with all the other options seeming to be exhausted, why dont you try a sfc /scannow in command prompt. To further eliminate it being a corrupt file. I do think it is unlikely since you said it was a clean install from a week ago but I don't see what else it could be.
I ran sfc /scannow on previously installed OS (Vista 64bit) and it came clean. I ran sfc /scannow immediately after installation of new OS (Win7 Ulti 64bit) and it came clean. I'll run it again now since I guess it was after installation of all drivers and etc. Results should be in within 15 minutes.

-Edit-
Wouldn't a corrupt file most likely lead to a BSOD instead of a hard freeze?

-Result Edit-
No integrity violations were found by Windows Resource Protection scanner.

Any other suggestions? I'm all ears before I break down a buy a new video card (I am really holding out because I hope not to spend what I do not need to).

Will check up on this in the morning.
Edited by praetor19 - 10/4/11 at 9:56pm
post #8 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by praetor19 View Post
I ran sfc /scannow on previously installed OS (Vista 64bit) and it came clean. I ran sfc /scannow immediately after installation of new OS (Win7 Ulti 64bit) and it came clean. I'll run it again now since I guess it was after installation of all drivers and etc. Results should be in within 15 minutes.

-Edit-
Wouldn't a corrupt file most likely lead to a BSOD instead of a hard freeze?

-Result Edit-
No integrity violations were found by Windows Resource Protection scanner.

Any other suggestions? I'll try my best to be responsive to this as best as I can.
I would agree with you there. To be honest it was more of a shot in the dark than anything since I didn't see that you had listed it as done.

How about trying an an online analysis of SMART from speedfan. download speedfan here and then open and go to the S.M.A.R.T. tab run an extended test then click on "perform an in-depth online analysis of this hard disk" and see what it says. Sometimes the hard drive can come back fine on a smart test but still have quite a few reallocated sectors which can be a sign that a hard drive may be failing, especially if that number increases
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post #9 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by schuman0 View Post
I would agree with you there. To be honest it was more of a shot in the dark than anything since I didn't see that you had listed it as done.

How about trying an an online analysis of SMART from speedfan. download speedfan here and then open and go to the S.M.A.R.T. tab run an extended test then click on "perform an in-depth online analysis of this hard disk" and see what it says. Sometimes the hard drive can come back fine on a smart test but still have quite a few reallocated sectors which can be a sign that a hard drive may be failing, especially if that number increases
I'll get back to you on that in the afternoon tomorrow. I never thought that a SMART test could gloss over small amounts of reallocated sectors. I learned something today. We'll see what happens tomorrow, thanks for your ideas, will post results asap.
post #10 of 21
My system is similar to yours. The majority of the time my computer hard locks like that is when I have a GPU related issue. Specifically, it's when I overclock my card too high and run certain applications. For example, I can pass benchmark and stress tests without any problems, but when I play BFBC2 or BF3, I can experience that hard lockup. Reducing the overclock solves the issue.

There are a couple of ways to help you determine what may be causing the issues in your system. First, after a lockup, go to Control Panel -> Administrative Tools -> Event Viewer. Under Event Type, look at any Critical, Error, or Warning events that just occurred. If you double-click the event, it will show you more information related to the error. In my case, I will see a Display error referencing the nvlddmkm driver, indicating that the NVIDIA driver crashed.

Another way is to check your crash dump files. Depending on your Windows configuration, they may be saved in either C:\\Windows\\Minidump or C:\\Windows\\LiveKernelReports\\WATCHDOG. You can use a program such as NirSoft's BlueScreenView to read these dump files. The possible drivers that caused each crash will be highlighted in pink. If you see nvlddmkm.sys or another driver starting with "nv", an NVIDIA driver was related to the crash.

One thing you can try, if you haven't already, is to remove your card from the computer, give it a good cleaning, and reseat it.

The only other thing I can think of is that it could be a power issue (PSU). I'm not really sure how to test that since I've never had to do it.
.
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