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PC freezing without crashing, coming back up

  JonnyBlackadder 09:05 16 Jul 2019
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TLDR: PC freezes randomly for 10-20 seconds with sound glitched, but never crashed/turned off/BSOD'd, always comes back on and works for a few more hours/minutes/seconds before freezing again.

System:

  • Motherboard: ASUS PRIME H270-PLUS MINING
  • CPU: Intel Pentium G4560
  • RAM: Patriot Viper Elite gray (2x4GB) DDR4 2666 (running on 2400 due to MB restrictions)
  • SSD: Kingston Now A400, 2,5" - 480GB
  • GPU: GIGABYTE R9 270X 2GB
  • PSU: EVGA 450 B1 - 450W

All part except the GPU are new and I put the rig together myself.

The PC freezes from time to time. It seems to happen more often when gaming, but it happens when using browser or just Windows too. Sometimes it doesn't freeze for hours, but usually it happens on average every 5-10 minutes in-game and less frequently in Windows.

It stays frozen for about 10-20 seconds and then comes back on, working normaly until the next freeze. So far it has never crashed or displayed any error whatsoever. There are no graphical anomalis, the picture just freezes. But there often are sound anomalies, meaning the in-game music will loop for a few second before the whole system freezes and the sound is often looping even while the system is frozen. Interestingly when this pre-freeze sound thing happens, I can stil move my mouse and the game still runs, even displaying in-game information when I mouse over it, but once I click something, it immediately initiates the freeze (if I don't click anything, the freeze happens after a few seconds anyways).

The freezes seem quite random in-game, I've been unable to trigger them by doing system-demanding actions and they happen even when I'm not doing anything and the game just runs on its own. I've tested them in Crusader Kings II (low demanding game with avg. 140 FPS) and Dishonored 2 (high demanding game with avg. 45 FPS). There is no FPS drop before the freeze (I have FPS counter displayed), no evident performance issue. In Windows they do seem to be related to my actions as it almost never happens when doing low demanding actions like typing this post. When trying to locate something that might cause it in BIOS, it ever froze in BIOS - though my MOBO has some Asus BIOS utility/interface, so I'm not sure if it wasn't cause by this ASUS thing instead. However in this case it didn't come back even after a minute and I had to hard reset, thankfully nothing broke and the PC booted up.

Now what might be the issue? I'll go through my thought process:

  1. Motherboard - in my eyes most likely, especially after the freeze in BIOS. But wouldn't the PC crash, freeze permanently or not even boot up if MOBO was the problem?
  2. CPU - quite possible, but there was no change in the nature of freezing when I switched from my dedicated GPU to Intel-integrated GPU - which is something I would expect, but I'm no expert. And again - wouldn't CPU problem cause crash or permanent freeze instead of temporal freezing?
  3. RAM - probably fine, I ran the Windows memory test with no errors.
  4. SSD - maybe? But the freeze in BIOS probably rules it out?
  5. GPU - definitely not as the freezing continued in the same manner after I took it out and used the Intel integrated GPU instead. Also there are no graphical anomalies and the picture sometimes still moves when the sound anomaly already began.
  6. PSU - maybe? But once again, I think the PC would crash if PSU was the issue.

I've ran all the basic Windows diagnostic on RAM and SSD and Intel diagnostics on CPU. All the drivers are updated. No bloatware, no unnecessary programs or utilities installed or running in the background. I don't have an option to test individual components in a different PC.

Thank you for any suggestions or help in finding out what the problem is.

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