Windows 7 locking up and resuming every few minutes

Colonel_Panic

Limp Gawd
Joined
Oct 5, 2009
Messages
328
Over the weekend I've built a new system as an HTPC but have been unable so far to get past a very annoying random lock up issue.

Parts:
  • ASUS P8Z77M-Pro motherboard
  • Intel i5-3330 CPU
  • ASUS GTX550 Ti GPU
  • Corsair CX600 PSU
I'm using a CoolerMaster120mm cooler. After rebooting/starting, the system is excellent for a few minutes, but then it completely locks for a minute or two at a time. By lock up I mean unresponsive mouse and GUI freezes completely. I ran ScanDisk, and MemTest86+ without any errors, and restoring to various stages of driver installation doesn't seem to solve anything.

Could it be hardware? It doesn't seem to happen more often when CPU usage is high (I tried Prime95). CPU temperatures seem good (30C) but is it possible for the CPU to spike for a split second, causing the lock up, and then doesn't register an increased temperature.
 

Inches

Weaksauce
Joined
Jan 4, 2013
Messages
69
Try a different PSU. Even though it may "provide" enough power to the system it may not be clean. That or I would try it with one stick of RAM. Passing memtest is one thing but it could be something in the subsystem. Good luck with the TS
 

Inches

Weaksauce
Joined
Jan 4, 2013
Messages
69
Ah, that is a good point as well. Should've thought about that since I just had a few systems that were having that problem as well.
 

Demon10000

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Aug 20, 2006
Messages
4,502
Have you installed the correct Mass Storage Drivers?

This reminds me of a problem I had with Win7 on my laptop with the microsoft storage driver. Once it was updated, everything ran smooth as butter.
 

Colonel_Panic

Limp Gawd
Joined
Oct 5, 2009
Messages
328
Thanks, everyone, for the suggestions. I'm going to try the single RAM chip as well as reinstalling Windows so I can learn if it was a motherboard chipset driver error.
 

Colonel_Panic

Limp Gawd
Joined
Oct 5, 2009
Messages
328
Did you disable the onboard graphics?

No, mostly because I'm not sure (I'm guessing somewhere UEFI BIOS) but also because my main purpose for choosing these parts is because I want to output 2 monitors with the GTX and 1 with the onboard graphics.
 

Colonel_Panic

Limp Gawd
Joined
Oct 5, 2009
Messages
328
So now I've enabled the ASUS BIOS setting for both onboard and dedicated graphics (the setup I wanted originally) as well as moving RAM chips around and the problem persists.

I'm also getting the "driver has recovered" error message for GeForce 310 drivers, so that's the next avenue I'm going to go down.
 

Fooshnik

2[H]4U
Joined
Oct 6, 2004
Messages
2,922
Did you check event viewer for any errors before/during/after the lockups?

You can always try booting to a linux live cd and use that for a while and see if it crashes. Might give some indication of whether it's OS or hardware.
 

Inches

Weaksauce
Joined
Jan 4, 2013
Messages
69
Download CrystalDisk and see what it says on the drive, as for the driver recovering I've had that happen to me quite a bit if I use the hardware acceleration feature in Fire/Waterfox. Disabling that keep the graphics driver from crashing
 

fdiaz78

2[H]4U
Joined
Oct 6, 2007
Messages
2,123
Over the weekend I've built a new system as an HTPC but have been unable so far to get past a very annoying random lock up issue.

Parts:
  • ASUS P8Z77M-Pro motherboard
  • Intel i5-3330 CPU
  • ASUS GTX550 Ti GPU
  • Corsair CX600 PSU
I'm using a CoolerMaster120mm cooler. After rebooting/starting, the system is excellent for a few minutes, but then it completely locks for a minute or two at a time. By lock up I mean unresponsive mouse and GUI freezes completely. I ran ScanDisk, and MemTest86+ without any errors, and restoring to various stages of driver installation doesn't seem to solve anything.

Could it be hardware? It doesn't seem to happen more often when CPU usage is high (I tried Prime95). CPU temperatures seem good (30C) but is it possible for the CPU to spike for a split second, causing the lock up, and then doesn't register an increased temperature.

Check the crash dump with this utility and report back.
 

Colonel_Panic

Limp Gawd
Joined
Oct 5, 2009
Messages
328
Check the crash dump with this utility and report back.

I've been checking those whenever there is a BSOD, and the error says something about anodlwfx.sys, which appears to be related somehow to my Dlink DWA-548 wireless adapter (it mentions something about a filter driver). If I uninstall or disable the wireless card, I don't get BSODs but the lockups continue.

Additionally I've now removed the GTX550 to run on integrated graphics, and removed the entire wireless card. The problem continues, so it's pointing more and more to hardware, with the motherboard looking like the prime culprit. It was open box at the store, but didn't appear to have any physical abnormalities.

Thanks for the extra suggestions, I think I might try a Linux live disc to do some hardware testing, and maybe reset to blank Windows 7 to see if any of the motherboard drivers could be at fault.
 

ThreeDee

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Sep 5, 2001
Messages
11,176
I bought a WD Raptor 75GB drive from these forums .. drive was shipped in a box just big enough to hold the drive .. no padding or anything of the sort . no static bag .. no insurance .. box sat in some water somehow while it was being transported via USPS .. I made a thread awhile back with pics of this and how not to ship a hard drive ..

anyhoo ... it's been sitting in a junk drawer for ever now .. while I was waiting for a 750gb drive to show up, I plugged it in to an AM2 box and to my surprise .. bios seen it .. and it passed the S.M.A.R,T. boot up stuff .. So I loaded up Vista...

..that took forever to complete. Installing updates or moving files, the system would lock up for 20 seconds or so .. I thought maybe I just need to get all the drivers installed .. changed memory settings (onboard video using shared memory) .. ran error checking on the hard drive and it passed ..

swapped out the hard drive with the new 750gb drive when I got it .. smooth as butter .. Vista loaded up in about 1/4 of the time and no lock ups/hitching ..
 

Inches

Weaksauce
Joined
Jan 4, 2013
Messages
69
^^ This.. change you're HDD. With windows locking up randomly and with you testing everything else it's most likely the hard drive. I've had scan disk say a drive was fine, but as soon as crystaldisk loads and checks it, it either gives caution or bad. Typically caution is when you're starting to get high on reallocated sectors, which is what was happening on my home server.. caused the same type of lock-ups when i would remote into it.

As far as the wireless adapter. I haven't bothered with one since I ran into issues with a Dlink one I had that would crash anytime I had steady throughput on it (BFBC2). If the system has to be wireless I would go either with a wireless extender or configure a compatible one with DD-WRT to be one
 

Colonel_Panic

Limp Gawd
Joined
Oct 5, 2009
Messages
328
^^ This.. change you're HDD. With windows locking up randomly and with you testing everything else it's most likely the hard drive. I've had scan disk say a drive was fine, but as soon as crystaldisk loads and checks it, it either gives caution or bad. Typically caution is when you're starting to get high on reallocated sectors, which is what was happening on my home server.. caused the same type of lock-ups when i would remote into it.

As far as the wireless adapter. I haven't bothered with one since I ran into issues with a Dlink one I had that would crash anytime I had steady throughput on it (BFBC2). If the system has to be wireless I would go either with a wireless extender or configure a compatible one with DD-WRT to be one

Ok, good suggestion. Swapping drives is easier than motherboard at the moment. I'm using an OCZ Vertex 4 right now, I'll try CrystalDisk and then swap in a spare 2.5" HDD.
 

Tom_S

Limp Gawd
Joined
Dec 30, 2011
Messages
323
I've been checking those whenever there is a BSOD, and the error says something about anodlwfx.sys, which appears to be related somehow to my Dlink DWA-548 wireless adapter (it mentions something about a filter driver). If I uninstall or disable the wireless card, I don't get BSODs but the lockups continue.

Additionally I've now removed the GTX550 to run on integrated graphics, and removed the entire wireless card. The problem continues, so it's pointing more and more to hardware, with the motherboard looking like the prime culprit. It was open box at the store, but didn't appear to have any physical abnormalities.

Thanks for the extra suggestions, I think I might try a Linux live disc to do some hardware testing, and maybe reset to blank Windows 7 to see if any of the motherboard drivers could be at fault.

I have a very similar problem and have researched other people's posts talking about nearly identical problems. The common thread seems to be ASUS Z77 MB's, Intel integrated graphics and in most cases a recent Intel HD 4000 update the Microsoft pushed out, also no specific entry in the event viewer and no mem dump.

I suggest that you download the Intel video driver from the ASUS support page for your MB, fully uninstall the Intel graphics driver currently load on your computer, and install the driver downloaded from ASUS. This may not fully cure the problem but it will most likely change the failure mode.

OR

Uninstall the Intel integrated video driver, disable the onboard video and install your descrete GPU.
 

Colonel_Panic

Limp Gawd
Joined
Oct 5, 2009
Messages
328
Well, I was all set to claim victory after replacing the Vertex 4 with my spare 2.5" Hitachi drive, but during my usual Ninite installation, the same thing has happened. Now it appears the symptoms are pausing/locking up for a minute or so, before the system slightly recovers with the "display driver has crashed and recovered" message in the taskbar.

Interestingly I'm only using the integrated HD2500 graphics (removed graphics and wifi cards) so there appears to be something wrong with the lower level graphics subsystem. Sounds like motherboard. I guess I'll be bringing it back tomorrow.
 

Tom_S

Limp Gawd
Joined
Dec 30, 2011
Messages
323
Before you return th MB you might consider that the bulk of the hardware for the onboard graphics are actually in the CPU.
 

Snowknight26

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
May 8, 2005
Messages
4,271
I had a similar issue on a server motherboard, and as it turns out a bad stick of ECC RAM was to blame. Might be worthwhile to run a memory test.
 

Colonel_Panic

Limp Gawd
Joined
Oct 5, 2009
Messages
328
I had a similar issue on a server motherboard, and as it turns out a bad stick of ECC RAM was to blame. Might be worthwhile to run a memory test.

I looked into it by at first swapping out both memory chips one at a time, then ran a gamut of tests including MemTest86+ and a bunch of programs from a rescue cd called Hirens. All came back clean.
 

Inches

Weaksauce
Joined
Jan 4, 2013
Messages
69
Had i known you were using an SSD i would have skipped the drive swap advice, but from the looks of it you've got either a core hardware issue (MB, CPU) or something in the software. The display driver crashing is something that I've had recently on my personal computer and work computer, both related to hardware acceleration in Firefox.. both ATI and Nvidia cards.. so I'm at a lose here.

Have you checked for BIOS updates for your board??
 

Colonel_Panic

Limp Gawd
Joined
Oct 5, 2009
Messages
328
Have you checked for BIOS updates for your board??

Yep, I moved it up to the most recent version.

I think at this point it must be low level hardware, because I get a graphics driver error when running on either integrated or dedicated graphics. It's possible it could be CPU, but I would hope that a CPU graphics issue wouldn't show itself when running on the dedicated graphics system.
 

Colonel_Panic

Limp Gawd
Joined
Oct 5, 2009
Messages
328
Well so far so good. I replaced the motherboard, reinstalled Windows, and installed drivers from ASUS' website rather than the original DVD. Before, running Ninite would often trigger a lock up, so I dialed back the number of installations, and it seems better. Whether the motherboard replacement was required, I have no idea, but at least it eliminates a potential variable. I'll definitely be doing some more stress testing to confirm everything, though. As far as I can tell, the problem must be some kind of obscure driver conflict with the parts I've selected, so hopefully the software I have installed now will play nice together.
 

Demon10000

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Aug 20, 2006
Messages
4,502
and installed drivers from ASUS' website rather than the original DVD

My money is in this being your fix. Never use the disc that came with your motherboad. In fact, unless it's a very specific piece of hardware, I usually go to the chipset vendors site to get the drivers.
 
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