Windows 10: My PC has unexpected hard resets

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  1.    17 Jun 2016 #1

    My PC has unexpected hard resets


    Recently my PC has begun to do unexpected hard resets. I have an Asrock Z87 Extreme 6 motherboard with a Thermaltake 900w PSU, SLI'd Nvidea 560 GTX graphics, SSD and 3 HDD's in a thermaltake Level 10 GT Case. My processor is an Intel i7 4770k, Noctua NH-D14 CPU Cooler, not overclocked and 16gb Gskill TridentX F3-2800C11Q-16GTXD RAM. I have had this system for three years without issue. I made no recent hardware upgrades prior to this issue occuring and Windows 10 has been installed for at least 12 months.

    While trouble shooting I have,
    1. upgraded the PSU from 900W to a Zalman 1350w,
    2.run a number of memory checks,
    3. Swapped the G-Skill memory for single new 4gb G-Skill Trident stick of memory,
    4.swapped out the graphics cards with one from another machine
    6 Reinstalled Windows with a clean install
    7 Upgraded all drivers.
    8. Changed hard drives. My sytem drive is a Kingston 250gb SSD which I have not changed. I did a clean install on a Seagate 500gb HDD and tried that but the restarts continued.
    I have also changed my mouse and Keyboard, but the system still resets at random intervals. Only things original are CPU, SSD and Motherboard.

    By a process of elimination I think I have arrived at the conclusion that it is a faulty capacitor or capacitors on the asrock motherboard. The issue occurs when I am doing something, typing into my browser, or playing a game, Most commonly running a Windows command such a Control Panel or Netplwiz can often cause a Hard Reset. Graphic load seems to play no part, I am running various HW monitors and temps for CPU and Graphics cards never exceed recommended levels. The system will quite happily idle for hours, the fault is entirely random and can't be replicated. There is no data recorded for the crash by windows, ever, which makes me think it is hardware and not an OS shutdown, The Windows event logs seem to indicate a number of processes failing immediately prior to the restart, but these do not seem to be the same processes each time. Can anybody give me their thoughts or suggestions before I pop for a new Motherboard.
    My PC has unexpected hard resets Attached Files
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  2. Posts : 2,616
    64bit Win 10 Pro ver 1703 Build 15063.540
       28 Jun 2016 #2

    Hello and welcome to TenForums

    I am inclined to agree with you that your MB is faulty. Let us know how you get on with a new one. Note that your current Win 10 if it was an upgrade will not activate on a new motherboard as it is considered as a new computer. It is worth calling Microsoft to explain that your MB was faulty and they might provide a new activation code.
    Last edited by philc43; 28 Jun 2016 at 14:22.
      My ComputersSystem Spec


  3. Posts : 1,648
    Microsoft Windows 10 Home
       28 Jun 2016 #3

    Hello @NormCameron.

    Yes, your description gives a fair possibility of a hardware level issue, which may be the motherboard itself. I see you are suspecting a capacitor on the board. Is it visually bad? If so, your decision is totally right.

    Otherwise, as you want to do some troubleshooting before getting a new board, IMHO it would be a good choice. Do some troubleshooting steps, at both the hardware level and the software level.

    At the hardware level, test all the possible hardware components, thoroughly.

    Hardware test Step 1: Stress testing:
    1. Test your RAM modules for possible errors.
    Run memtest86+ for at least 8 consecutive passes.

    If it start showing errors/red lines, stop testing. A single error is enough to determine that something is going bad there.
    Take a camera snap of the memtest86+ window before closing the program. Let us see it.
    Screenshots and Files - Upload and Post in Ten Forums - Windows 10 Forums

    2. Stress test the Graphics Card/s using Furmark.
    Take a screenshot of the furmark window before closing it. Upload the screenshot for us. Also let us know if you have experienced any crash/BSOD and/or artifacts during the test.

    If possible, disable SLI and test the cards individually, too.

    3. Stress test the CPU.
    It saves the result as a .txt file in the prime95's folder. Upload the file for us.

    4. Make it sure that the SSD is having the latest firmware. SVP200S3 Firmware Update | Kingston

    5. Have a test of all the HDDs. SeaTools for DOS and Windows - How to Use - Windows 7 Help Forums

    Hardware test Step 2: Elimination testing:
    1. Set all the hardware elements like RAM, CPU and graphics card at their base clock. Eleminate all possibilities of an overclocking; and disable XMP.

    2. Your RAM KIT should have four sticks. Remove all but one. Let the computer run for a reasonable time with only 4 GB RAM. See how it goes.

    3. Remove the Graphics cards. Let the computer run with the processor graphics only.

    4. Re-seat the SATA and power cables. If possible, apply new SATA cables, and try the disks on the unused SATA ports on the motherboard.

    5. Remove all the connected devices other than the keyboard and the mouse.

    Software level testing: Made easy:
    information   Information
    Before going for it ....
    • Please do in image backup of your OS.
    • Please go to ASRock > Z87 Extreme6 and get the LAN driver; save it externally.


    1. Boot into the BIOS setup. Load the Optimized BIOS defaults.
    2. Disconnect all the disks other than that one containing the C drive, I think the SSD.
    3. Perform a Clean Install of Windows 10 on it. Windows 10 - Clean Install - Windows 10 Forums
    4. Dont apply the Driver CD at all. IT IS A MUST. Forget about that one at this stage.
    5. If the installation accepts the LAN driver, good. Otherwise apply the LAN driver you previously downloaded.
    6. Get all the drivers via Windows update. Set it here: Device Driver Automatic Installation - Turn On or Off in Windows 10 - Windows 10 Forums and run windows update. Windows Update - Check for and Install in Windows 10 - Windows 10 Forums
    7. When the system is fully updated, add the necessary programs.
    8. ** Watch minutely, at which point the problem starts. It may have different meaning depending on the stage of occurrence. Let us know.


    If the tests are individually good, but the issue occurs irrespective of everything then we can blame the motherboard.

    Suggesting for all it; because if it is not a failing motherboard but something else then the issue might re-occur even after changing the board.

    But, if you really plan to/need to replace the motherboard, then if your windows 10 is retail, then there is no problem; you can do it anytime.
    If it is an upgrade form a previous OS, be sure to replace the motherboard before 29th July. Get the new board, install your Original OS, upgrade it to windows 10. Windows 10 - Upgrade Installation - Windows 10 Forums
    7. To Upgrade to Windows 10 with an ISO file

    A) If you have not already, you will need to download a Windows 10 ISO file.

    B) In Windows 8, 8.1, or 10, mount the ISO file, and go to step 9 below.

    C) In Windows 7, you will need to extract the files in the ISO to a new folder on your desktop, open the folder, and go to step 9 below.
    This process you grant a digital entitlement to your new board, and it will be permanently activated.

    After 29th July, you will need a Retail Windows 10 license to activate windows 10 on a new board.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4.    28 Jun 2016 #4

    Arc said: View Post
    Hello @NormCameron.

    Yes, your description gives a fair possibility of a hardware level issue, which may be the motherboard itself. I see you are suspecting a capacitor on the board. Is it visually bad? If so, your decision is totally right.

    Otherwise, as you want to do some troubleshooting before getting a new board, IMHO it would be a good choice. Do some troubleshooting steps, at both the hardware level and the software level.

    At the hardware level, test all the possible hardware components, thoroughly.

    Hardware test Step 1: Stress testing:
    1. Test your RAM modules for possible errors.
    Run memtest86+ for at least 8 consecutive passes.

    If it start showing errors/red lines, stop testing. A single error is enough to determine that something is going bad there.
    Take a camera snap of the memtest86+ window before closing the program. Let us see it.
    Screenshots and Files - Upload and Post in Ten Forums - Windows 10 Forums

    2. Stress test the Graphics Card/s using Furmark.
    Take a screenshot of the furmark window before closing it. Upload the screenshot for us. Also let us know if you have experienced any crash/BSOD and/or artifacts during the test.

    If possible, disable SLI and test the cards individually, too.

    3. Stress test the CPU.
    It saves the result as a .txt file in the prime95's folder. Upload the file for us.

    4. Make it sure that the SSD is having the latest firmware. SVP200S3 Firmware Update | Kingston

    5. Have a test of all the HDDs. SeaTools for DOS and Windows - How to Use - Windows 7 Help Forums

    Hardware test Step 2: Elimination testing:
    1. Set all the hardware elements like RAM, CPU and graphics card at their base clock. Eleminate all possibilities of an overclocking; and disable XMP.

    2. Your RAM KIT should have four sticks. Remove all but one. Let the computer run for a reasonable time with only 4 GB RAM. See how it goes.

    3. Remove the Graphics cards. Let the computer run with the processor graphics only.

    4. Re-seat the SATA and power cables. If possible, apply new SATA cables, and try the disks on the unused SATA ports on the motherboard.

    5. Remove all the connected devices other than the keyboard and the mouse.

    Software level testing: Made easy:
    information   Information
    Before going for it ....
    • Please do in image backup of your OS.
    • Please go to ASRock > Z87 Extreme6 and get the LAN driver; save it externally.


    1. Boot into the BIOS setup. Load the Optimized BIOS defaults.
    2. Disconnect all the disks other than that one containing the C drive, I think the SSD.
    3. Perform a Clean Install of Windows 10 on it. Windows 10 - Clean Install - Windows 10 Forums
    4. Dont apply the Driver CD at all. IT IS A MUST. Forget about that one at this stage.
    5. If the installation accepts the LAN driver, good. Otherwise apply the LAN driver you previously downloaded.
    6. Get all the drivers via Windows update. Set it here: Device Driver Automatic Installation - Turn On or Off in Windows 10 - Windows 10 Forums and run windows update. Windows Update - Check for and Install in Windows 10 - Windows 10 Forums
    7. When the system is fully updated, add the necessary programs.
    8. ** Watch minutely, at which point the problem starts. It may have different meaning depending on the stage of occurrence. Let us know.


    If the tests are individually good, but the issue occurs irrespective of everything then we can blame the motherboard.

    Suggesting for all it; because if it is not a failing motherboard but something else then the issue might re-occur even after changing the board.

    But, if you really plan to/need to replace the motherboard, then if your windows 10 is retail, then there is no problem; you can do it anytime.
    If it is an upgrade form a previous OS, be sure to replace the motherboard before 29th July. Get the new board, install your Original OS, upgrade it to windows 10. Windows 10 - Upgrade Installation - Windows 10 Forums
    This process you grant a digital entitlement to your new board, and it will be permanently activated.

    After 29th July, you will need a Retail Windows 10 license to activate windows 10 on a new board.
    Thank you for a very detailed response. I have followed each of the steps you have outlined, during the course of my troubleshooting. The problem remains. I will repeat them, in the order you have outlined, there is always a possibility I overlooked something. There is no visual evidence of a bad capacitor, but the random nature of the fault without any apparent software triggers leads me to that conclusion. I will advise the results of the tests and the resolution of the problem if I do resolve it. Thank you again.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5.    28 Jun 2016 #5

    philc43 said: View Post
    Hello and welcome to TenForums

    I am inclined to agree with you that your MB is faulty. Let us know how you get on with a new one. Note that your current Win 10 if it was an upgrade will not activate on a new motherboard as it is considered as a new computer. It is worth calling Microsoft to explain that your MB was faulty and they might provide a new activation code.
    Thank you for this advice.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  6. Posts : 1,648
    Microsoft Windows 10 Home
       28 Jun 2016 #6

    NormCameron said: View Post
    Thank you for a very detailed response. I have followed each of the steps you have outlined, during the course of my troubleshooting. The problem remains. I will repeat them, in the order you have outlined, there is always a possibility I overlooked something. There is no visual evidence of a bad capacitor, but the random nature of the fault without any apparent software triggers leads me to that conclusion. I will advise the results of the tests and the resolution of the problem if I do resolve it. Thank you again.
    If possible, document your tests, one by one. A documentation will lead to an easy nullification of a possibility, and by means of nullifying all the others, we can arrive at the proper decision.

    Unfortunately we cannot test a motherboard itself. Otherwise it would not involve such an workload.

    ** In a very short scope, if all the stress tests ran without any issue, and the issue occurs at the vanilla OS installation, then blame the board.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  7.    09 Jul 2016 #7

    Arc said: View Post
    If possible, document your tests, one by one. A documentation will lead to an easy nullification of a possibility, and by means of nullifying all the others, we can arrive at the proper decision.

    Unfortunately we cannot test a motherboard itself. Otherwise it would not involve such an workload.

    ** In a very short scope, if all the stress tests ran without any issue, and the issue occurs at the vanilla OS installation, then blame the board.
    Thank you for your attention in this matter. The tests suggest a faulty Motherboard. I have decided to close this request for help and replace the motherboard.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  8. Posts : 1,648
    Microsoft Windows 10 Home
       09 Jul 2016 #8

    Not a really good news, mate. Please have a revisit to my previous post here ....
    if you really plan to/need to replace the motherboard, then if your windows 10 is retail, then there is no problem; you can do it anytime.
    If it is an upgrade form a previous OS, be sure to replace the motherboard before 29th July. Get the new board, install your Original OS, upgrade it to windows 10. Windows 10 - Upgrade Installation - Windows 10 Forums
    This process you grant a digital entitlement to your new board, and it will be permanently activated.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  9.    10 Jul 2016 #9

    Arc said: View Post
    Not a really good news, mate. Please have a revisit to my previous post here ....
    Thank you for the info. I will take your advice.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  10.    25 Aug 2016 #10

    Further to the above
    I did the following :-
    1. Replaced Motherboard. Still got regular hard resets, usually when system had been idle for a while. Doesn't seem to depend on Graphics load. RMA'd the new board and put back Asrock.
    2. Replaced Both Graphics cards. ( No shortage of cheap Nvidea 560's out there.) Still exactly the same problem.
    3. Replaced Ram Exactly the same, no change.
    4 Replaced CPU with cheap Pentium. Still get hard resets but much less frequently.
    5 Changed out a couple of noisy Fans. No change

    I had only recently changed out the PSU as the first step to resolving this, as in my experience this problem is usually a faulty PSU, with absolutely no effect. Sent the old one away to be checked as it was an Antec 950w, they told me there was an issue with the circuit board and it could fail under load. Unless somebody has any brilliant ideas or thoughts, I am stumped.

    The fact that the hard resets decreased with a reduced CPU load leads me to a power issue?? As the PSU is nearly brand new and a good brand, what would be the odds of a dodgy PSU?? But if it is the PSU why does the amount of load or power requirement not seem to be a factor? I can play SLI'd games without a hard reset, although it does still occur while playing. I can let the system sit idle for half an hour, touch the keyboard and get a hard reset. It will occur while I am browsing and this is my second attempt to post this entry due to hard resets. Make that the third!!!! Could a faulty SSD be the cause, although I have run the system without the SSD as well, and finally is it possible Windows 10 is the culprit??
      My ComputerSystem Spec


 
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