Computer freezes with a loud continuous noise ("screech of death")

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#1 Posted by underdark944 (1368 posts) -

Hello,

My computer sometimes (maybe once every 3 or 4 days) completely locks up and there's this loud buzzing noise coming through the speakers. The only thing to do is a hard reboot. This happens mostly when i'm on the internet, sometimes with iTunes running. It happened I think once of twice while I was playing a game. Every piece of hardware in my PC was bought this summer except my power supply, my graphics card and my hard drive. At first I thought my hard drive was the culprit, so I ordered a new one. The problem hasn't changed. I know it's not that problematic seeing as it doesn't happen alot. I don't think this is due to overheating, there's no dust in the case and temperatures at boot are fine.

From the research I've done in Google, some people suggest it's a memory problem, some suggest it's power supply related. Since my power supply is the oldest piece still in my computer (it was installed more than 3 years ago) it might be it.

Specs: Core i7 2600-k, 8Gb DDR3, GTX 260, ASUS P8P67-M, 750GB Sata3 HDD, and I don't even remember how much Watts my PSU has...

1) What could be the cause?

2) If it's RAM, how to test it?

3) If it's PSU, how to test it?

Thanks !

PS: Sometimes I get another problem, my computer will go on the some kind of unscheduled sleep but my mouse and keyboard are offline (lights on them are off) and there's no way to get it back to work. So I hard reboot. This also happens once in a while, maybe 2-3 days. My friend on Steam tells me my status is set to away during this "sleep", so my computer is not locked-up.

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#2 Posted by zaku101 (4638 posts) -

Put your computer in safe mode with networking

Download and run prime95

http://files.extremeoverclocking.com/file.php?f=205

Run a Small FFT's test for 20-25min, if it all passes then your good there and u can stop the test~

Next run a Blend test for 20-25min, if it all passes then your good there and can stop the test~

Now you have offically limited out hardware.

It now means that your installed version of windows is most likely corrupt which would also explain the weird sleep modes.

Also like to note I am 80% sure it's not your powersupply since it happens when your doing very basic things.

Can prevent your computer from sleeping by searching sleep, then click change when computer sleeps and put to never.

Can also allow it to turn back on with keyboard and mouse, check by going to device manager, finding either and making sure they have the option selected allow device to wake computer, your computer should acutally also turn on from sleep mode by clicking the power button.

Doing a clean isntall of windows 7 will most likely fix your problem for sure if your computer passes everything but let me know what happens. Heck there might even be a bio update that addresses the issue.

Bio updates that might be related~

P8P67-M PRO 0709 BIOS 1. Fixed system hang if the HDD is NTFS format and the allocation unit size is not 4096 bytes

P8P67-M PRO 0413 BIOS 1. Fix Blue Screen of Death when plug Graphics card installed into pciex16_2

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#3 Posted by underdark944 (1368 posts) -

Hello zaku101, thank you for giving me such a complete answer.

I did the hardware tests this morning, here are the results:

Small FFTs: Tortured Test completed 12 tests in 17 minutes - 0 errors 0 warnings
Blend: Tortured Test completed 12 tests in 20 minutes - 0 errors 0 warnings

I stopped both tests after about 20-25 minutes and my computer never froze or locked up. It went real smooth, CPU temp was about 79-81 during tests.

So I guess my hardware is fine, this is good news. However I doubt my Windows installation is the problem, I have completely formatted about 2 or 3 times since I changed my hardware and the problem never changed. (I had to format when I bought my new hard drive, for instance).

My computer is scheduled to sleep after 2 hours, this is why I was calling it "unscheduled". Sometimes I'll plug in my Xbox on my PC screen, play for about 30 minutes and during this time, the computer goes into this unscheduled sleep that it cannot come back from. It is weird because when it goes in regular sleep after 2 hours, the lights around my PC power button are flashing, and then I press the power button and it comes back to life. When it's the unscheduled sleep, those lights aren't blinking and pressing the power button does nothing.

As for the device manager, I cannot find the option to set the mouse and keyboard to wake up the computer.

Any more insights?

Thank you!

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#4 Posted by zaku101 (4638 posts) -

Hello zaku101, thank you for giving me such a complete answer.

I did the hardware tests this morning, here are the results:

Small FFTs: Tortured Test completed 12 tests in 17 minutes - 0 errors 0 warnings
Blend: Tortured Test completed 12 tests in 20 minutes - 0 errors 0 warnings

I stopped both tests after about 20-25 minutes and my computer never froze or locked up. It went real smooth, CPU temp was about 79-81 during tests.

So I guess my hardware is fine, this is good news. However I doubt my Windows installation is the problem, I have completely formatted about 2 or 3 times since I changed my hardware and the problem never changed. (I had to format when I bought my new hard drive, for instance).

My computer is scheduled to sleep after 2 hours, this is why I was calling it "unscheduled". Sometimes I'll plug in my Xbox on my PC screen, play for about 30 minutes and during this time, the computer goes into this unscheduled sleep that it cannot come back from. It is weird because when it goes in regular sleep after 2 hours, the lights around my PC power button are flashing, and then I press the power button and it comes back to life. When it's the unscheduled sleep, those lights aren't blinking and pressing the power button does nothing.

As for the device manager, I cannot find the option to set the mouse and keyboard to wake up the computer.

Any more insights?

Thank you!

underdark944

It should look like this http://dl.dropbox.com/u/611614/dev.jpg

That's really weird then especially since you did a clean install and you haven't messed with the bios at all. The only other possible thing I can recommend is updating your motherboards bios. Heck your motherboard might even be bad but I can't say for sure and most likely isn't.

http://www.asus.com/Motherboards/Intel_Socket_1155/P8P67M/#download

The newer ones seem to fix issues with windows crashing and improves System Stability.

Update to the latests bio version and let me know how things go from there.

If all else fails it's most likely the motherboard, but you could give another OS a try like 64bit XP and see if the same thing happens.

Another thing you might want to make a note of. Sata port could be bad and causing the HDD to act funny and shut off or freeze windows.

http://event.asus.com/2011/mb/Identify_B3_Motherboards/

Could get the newer model for free if you have the older one.

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#5 Posted by underdark944 (1368 posts) -

Hello zaku, I have checked the device manager and my mouse already has the option checked, and the option isn't there for my keyboard.

As for the bios, I checked in msinfo32 and my version is from 02.2011. I have downloaded the latest one but it's .Rom file and honestly I'm not sure how to install it. I'd rather not mess up anything.

As for the motherboard, it's the "Rev 3.0 - New P67 B3 Revision" as written on the box.

Thanks!

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#6 Posted by dpeter45 (156 posts) -

Download Memtest 86+, burn it to a disc, and run it. Prime 95 doesn't rule out bad RAM, and it really tells you almost nothing about the RAM. It's primarily meant to test CPUs.

You may also have a bad hard drive. Download HD Tune. See if your HDD is throwing off SMART errors or has a lot of bad/reallocated sectors. The "health" section should flag anything really ominous as soon as you start up the program.

www.memtest.org

www.hdtune.com

What kind of power supply are you using? That could also be the problem.

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#7 Posted by zaku101 (4638 posts) -

Hello zaku, I have checked the device manager and my mouse already has the option checked, and the option isn't there for my keyboard.

As for the bios, I checked in msinfo32 and my version is from 02.2011. I have downloaded the latest one but it's .Rom file and honestly I'm not sure how to install it. I'd rather not mess up anything.

As for the motherboard, it's the "Rev 3.0 - New P67 B3 Revision" as written on the box.

Thanks!

underdark944

It's really simple and safe. Just put it on a cd or flash drive. Go into bios you should see a flash option, it will let you select the cd or flash drive. Just select the rom it will compare it to your current firmware and flash it. Don't worry about messing something up, newer motherboards can recover from ban flashes.

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#8 Posted by underdark944 (1368 posts) -

The power supply is an Ultra (i think) and it must be about 600 to 700W. It is 3 or 4 years old.

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#9 Posted by zaku101 (4638 posts) -

Download Memtest 86+, burn it to a disc, and run it. Prime 95 doesn't rule out bad RAM, and it really tells you nothing about the RAM. It's primarily meant to test CPUs.

You may also have a bad hard drive. Download HD Tune. See if your HDD is throwing off SMART errors or has a lot of bad/reallocated sectors.

www.memtest.org

www.hdtune.com

What kind of power supply are you using? That could also be the problem.

dpeter45

Prime95 blend test is made to test mainly ram..

FFT mode is cpu testing.

It's not his PSU because it's crashing while just browsing the web and doesn't crash in game.

It's not his HDD because he's got a new one and it also happened with his old one.

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#10 Posted by underdark944 (1368 posts) -

So I just put it on a USB key, restart the PC, go into BIOS and the USB key will appear in my boot options? Can I do the same thing with Memtest or a CD is required?

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#11 Posted by dpeter45 (156 posts) -

I'm really thinking the HDD might be the culprit. I had similar issues awhile ago with a failing HDD.

Run HD Tune and tell us what the "health" tab says. If it flags anything in yellow, your drive is crap. I've seen tons of failing HDDs lately. They're just not built to the same standard now that SSDs are all the rage.

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#12 Posted by zaku101 (4638 posts) -

So I just put it on a USB key, restart the PC, go into BIOS and the USB key will appear in my boot options? Can I do the same thing with Memtest or a CD is required?

underdark944

Press f2 or delete to get into your bios which ever the two it is.

Go to advance settings then tools then Asus Ez Flash

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#13 Posted by dpeter45 (156 posts) -

Also, Ultra is not a good brand. In the future stick to Corsair or Seasonic. That could be your problem right there.

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#14 Posted by underdark944 (1368 posts) -

Ok, I have ran HD Tune, if it works like I think it does (no test to start right? it check automatically by itself?), in the Health tab, everything is ok, it says "health status: ok".

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#15 Posted by dpeter45 (156 posts) -

Probably that ghetto PSU then.

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#16 Posted by underdark944 (1368 posts) -

I'm still looking for the USB key of mine so I can check Memtest and the BIOS. As for the PSU, I had thought this might be the problem before but what perplexes me is that those crashes don't happen in power extensive moments. Most of the time, it happens while I'm away from the PC or simply browsing the web. It has crashed only once or twice while playing games in about 3 months.

Is there any way to be sure of a faulty PSU?

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#17 Posted by zaku101 (4638 posts) -

I'm still looking for the USB key of mine so I can check Memtest and the BIOS. As for the PSU, I had thought this might be the problem before but what perplexes me is that those crashes don't happen in power extensive moments. Most of the time, it happens while I'm away from the PC or simply browsing the web. It has crashed only once or twice while playing games in about 3 months.

Is there any way to be sure of a faulty PSU?

underdark944

It's most likely not the PSU since a faulty one would fail to boot and totally crash under a lot of stress not idling.

The simplest way to test it would to be to get another PSU.

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#18 Posted by dpeter45 (156 posts) -

[QUOTE="underdark944"]

I'm still looking for the USB key of mine so I can check Memtest and the BIOS. As for the PSU, I had thought this might be the problem before but what perplexes me is that those crashes don't happen in power extensive moments. Most of the time, it happens while I'm away from the PC or simply browsing the web. It has crashed only once or twice while playing games in about 3 months.

Is there any way to be sure of a faulty PSU?

zaku101

It's most likely not the PSU since a faulty one would fail to boot and totally crash under a lot of stress not idling.

The simplest way to test it would to be to get another PSU.

Failing PSUs can cause all kinds of weirdness and not always in ways you would expect.
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#19 Posted by underdark944 (1368 posts) -

Ok Memtest86 was passed without any errors. I will now try to flash the BIOS.

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#20 Posted by spittis (1875 posts) -
[QUOTE="zaku101"]

[QUOTE="underdark944"]

I'm still looking for the USB key of mine so I can check Memtest and the BIOS. As for the PSU, I had thought this might be the problem before but what perplexes me is that those crashes don't happen in power extensive moments. Most of the time, it happens while I'm away from the PC or simply browsing the web. It has crashed only once or twice while playing games in about 3 months.

Is there any way to be sure of a faulty PSU?

dpeter45

It's most likely not the PSU since a faulty one would fail to boot and totally crash under a lot of stress not idling.

The simplest way to test it would to be to get another PSU.

Failing PSUs can cause all kinds of weirdness and not always in ways you would expect.

This is true. Electronics in general can behave extremely weird when components in them start to break. I'm not saying for sure it's the PSU but sure is a potential option. Easiest way to test it is with another PSU like already mentioned, if you can get your hands on one for free just for testing.
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#21 Posted by underdark944 (1368 posts) -

Ok I have now updated my BIOS via the Asus EZ Flash utility. It was done successfully, now it remains to be seen if the problem is fixed. If it crashes again in a few days, I guess the only option left will be to get a new PSU.

Thank you all!

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#22 Posted by xxchadxxchad (199 posts) -

My rig was having the same issue. I ran the small fft test and my pc froze up less than 3 minutes in. What does that mean? Thanks.

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#23 Posted by zaku101 (4638 posts) -

My rig was having the same issue. I ran the small fft test and my pc froze up less than 3 minutes in. What does that mean? Thanks.

xxchadxxchad

Did you run it in safe mode? If so it's most likely overheating if you haven't overclocked anything.

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#24 Posted by underdark944 (1368 posts) -

Well, after 5 days, my computer froze while I was away on the Xbox. So I guess I should get a new power supply?

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#25 Posted by zaku101 (4638 posts) -

Well, after 5 days, my computer froze while I was away on the Xbox. So I guess I should get a new power supply?

underdark944

Was it in sleep mode,BSOD or just a freeze? Well you can try but I'd bet my ballz it's not the PSU. I'd bet its something with the motherboard or OS. If you really want to remove the OS/drivers out of the way download yourself a copy of windows XP and use it for a few days. Also actually try running blend test for an hour to totally remove ram from the picture.

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#26 Posted by underdark944 (1368 posts) -

Well since yesterday it started to crash alot more regularly. When I'm away, when I'm playing, when I'm surfing, it's much more frequent than before. I have bought this: http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139021&cm_sp=Cat_Power_Supplies-_-Best_Sellers-_-17-139-021

I hope it will fix my problems.

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#27 Posted by Nugzkraka (25 posts) -
This exact thing happens to me. I also read online and thought maybe my cpu was overheating so I bought a new heatsink/fan and that didnt help. Other things I tried was to remove my 2nd Graphics card but no help. Another thing I tried was to reformat my HDD and reinstall windows but no help. I am almost at a lose and thinking of buying a new motherboard/cpu/hdd/windows copy. Did anyone find any new information on this? My freeze occurs when I watch flash movies on the internet using both chrome and ie. It doesnt freeze playing FFXI with 3 char's up, but only when I watch a streaming video online, usually more often when in full screen mode. Like the OP said it doesnt happen everytime but rather very random it seems. Like I can watch days of video without freezing but like today I froze 4 times in 3 hours.