Recurring PC hang-up, no BSOD, audio loops. "Fixed" before, comes back

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  1. Posts : 6
    Windows 10 Home
       #1

    Recurring PC hang-up, no BSOD, audio loops. "Fixed" before, comes back


    Windows Version: 2004 (OS Build 19041.928)

    Hello! Iíve been experiencing a pretty debilitating hang-up issue on my PC over the course of the past 6 months or so. Iíve managed to ďfixĒ it twice, but it keeps resurfacing, usually giving me 1-4 months between episodes. Now Iím on episode 3 and hoping you folks can lend me a hand.

    Iíll try to include as much detail about everything without turning this into a novel. Specs @ the end + in my profile.

    PCís background

    This is the first PC I built myself. Put it together in July 2020. Did lots of research, took my time, and everything went well, until...

    First episode happened around late Oct/Early Nov 2020. Second episode: early Dec 2020. Third and current episode: started yesterday, April 16 2021.

    Description of the hang-up

    • Screens freeze entirely, no BSOD
    • Keyboard/mouse donít have input, but do have power
    • At least in this most recent case, if thereís audio happening it gets caught in a high frequency loop (did not notice this in episodes 1 or 2, but rarely did it happen while I had audio going).
    • During a hang-up, the rig sounds quiet and happy, fans running normally. No ramp ups or other signs that precede the hang-up.
    • Only way out is a hard reset
    • No known pattern of my behaviour that sets it off
    • Once it happens, typically it will happen again within 30s to 120s after singing back in, but not always. It can give me up to two hours, or even a day! Day long reprieves were more common in episode 1.
    • Has never once happened in Safe Mode


    Things Iíve tried, that do not seem to help

    • Malware sweep
    • Memtest
    • Looking for patterns in the error logs / event viewer to no avail. The only major thing it seems to detect is the forced power-off itself.
    • GPU stress test
    • Updating drivers, reverting drivers (esp. the GPU)
    • Updating BIOS
    • Defrag, disk cleanup
    • chkdsk c: /f
    • sfc /scannow
    • DSIM scan
    • Reseating most hardware (not the CPU yet)
    • Restore point to 2 days prior
    • Reset this PC (keeping personal files)
    • Signing in as a new user
    • Tons of other stuff Iím probably forgetting


    Things that ďworkedĒ in the past:

    • First Episode: Gradually deleting programs and disconnecting peripherals in batches until the hang-ups stopped. I forget which batch of programs solved it, but there were some background cloud syncers in it (e.g. Dropbox). Isolating things like Bluetooth did not stop the hang-ups.
    • Second Episode: A full fresh reinstall of Windows 10 (keeping personal files). I couldnít get this done through the simpler methods and remember going through a much more arduous process than the Reset This PC since the hang-up prevented doing things normally. I couldnít even boot from a USB and re-install Windows because the hang-up occurred during this process. There was a lot of waiting for blue loading screens, a process left to finish overnight (one that froze, but when I restarted everything was fine).


    Other details

    • When it first began, the hang-ups were few and far between. I was actually able to kind of live with it because it followed a pattern of: hang-up, restart, hang-up after 2 mins, restart, good for 1-2 days. Frequency increased, so I got to troubleshooting
    • The second episode felt a lot worse, had to go a lot further down the troubleshooting road
    • Iíve never overclocked the PC
    • I do have some weird issues with my Bluetooth adapter and a particular pair of headphones (audio buzzing/cutout occasionally). Hang-ups still happen w/ Bluetooth off
    • Tower isnít in the perfect spot for ventilation, but no fans are blocked and filters/case gets regular cleaning


    Specs

    • CPU: Core i5-9400F
    • MoBo: ASUS PRIME B365M-A LGA-1151
    • GPU: GeForce GTX 1660 Super
    • PSU: CX550M Semi-modular 550W
    • SSD: Crucial P1 1TB 3D NAND NVMe PCIe M.2 Type 2280
    • RAM: Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB (2x8GB)


    Thank you in advance for any advice or insight! Happy to post any/all suggested logs as best I canÖ can be tough with the hang-ups intruding :P
      My Computer


  2. Posts : 3,643
    Windows 11 Pro 64 Bit 21H2
       #2

    Try a Clean Boot. If that works you can keep it that way. Or you can add one startup or Service item until the computer hangs up, then you will know what the culprit is.
      My Computer


  3. Posts : 6
    Windows 10 Home
    Thread Starter
       #3

    spunk said:
    Try a Clean Boot. If that works you can keep it that way. Or you can add one startup or Service item until the computer hangs up, then you will know what the culprit is.
    Thank you, I will tinker with this and report back.
      My Computer


  4. Posts : 1,144
    win10 home
       #4

    Have a look in Reliability History for entries related to the freezes.The ---view tech details---lines 1& 2 should give searchable information.
    Also check ---dxdiag--- for entries and note down the driver version given on the Display page.Visit the maker's site only and download that or later version,if available.
    If possible,use Display Driver Uninstaller,[DDU] to completely remove the driver,in Safe Mode,and install the new one.
    Your PSU might be a little low powered for your system,a cooler and four fans consume a reasonable amount and the fact that Safe Mode is fine,shows the reduced demand is within limits.Try only using as fewer programmes as possible and see if that works O.K.
      My Computer


  5. Posts : 6
    Windows 10 Home
    Thread Starter
       #5

    Thanks for the tips joeandmarg0óI do remember the Reliability History screen now from the previous attempts at fixing. Couldn't find patterns there either, but I didn't delve too deeply into tech details. Will pay more attention to those this time around.

    Current status: The Clean Boot approach seems to be working well right now. Only one hang during troubleshooting which I'll describe below. But otherwise, smooth sailing since the evening of the 17th.

    Here's how the hang happened:

    • Did Clean boot as spunk suggested. All things seem to run fine for hours.
    • I reinstalled a productivity program called Shift.
    • It was from an older exe and once installed it asked after an update. It was also behaving oddly.
    • The hang happened.
    • On the next clean boot, I DL'd the up-to-date exe from Shift and installed that, no issues ever since.
    • Have allowed up to three previously disabled startup items back, no issues so far

    Now, in the past episodes I have suspected Shift as a culprit, but I know for a fact the hangs happened when the program was totally uninstalled, in all three episodes. I figure the issue may be related to something higher level, and that Shift trying to update/run pokes the true culprit on occasion. The hangs have happened in places like attempting to install fresh Windows from a USB boot, for example.

    Let me know if the above helps narrow down some suspects.

    In the meantime I'll keep slowly introducing things back and keep a close eye on behaviour, as well as employ some of the suggestions put forth.

    Thank you again for the support!
      My Computer


  6. Posts : 366
    Windows 10 Pro x64
       #6

    I agree with Joe. It seems to me that you may be pushing that PSU pretty hard. It may prove beneficial to get a higher output one. I'd recommend at least 750W, if not better. A PSU running out of wattage can cause a lot of weird issues.
      My Computers


  7. Posts : 6
    Windows 10 Home
    Thread Starter
       #7

    ArazelEternal said:
    I agree with Joe. It seems to me that you may be pushing that PSU pretty hard. It may prove beneficial to get a higher output one. I'd recommend at least 750W, if not better. A PSU running out of wattage can cause a lot of weird issues.
    Hm. I've run my specs through Power Supply Calculator - PSU Calculator | OuterVision using very liberal estimates re: usage time as well as adding on some extras (e.g. I've a Bluetooth adapter, didn't see an option for that in there, so added like 2 WLANs to be safe).

    Even when going nuts, I can barely get the estimate over 400W. When I estimated this all out for the build, I was in the 350W zone.

    The cooler only draws power for its fan, which is rated at less than 3W. From what I can see online, each case fan should be well under that as well.

    Am I missing something obvious with wattage?

    ~

    Back to the main topic, hangs are back with 3-4 today. Not much changed re: programs or behaviour, but I still have some troubleshooting advice to work through. Appreciate any and all insights in meantime. Shall report back.
      My Computer


  8. Posts : 1,144
    win10 home
       #8

    Being problem free in Safe Mode would indicate software causing a display adapter overload and triggering a Timeout Detection and Recovery [TDR] episode,which temporarily freezes the monitor.
    The hard resets also seems to confirm this.
    The ---view tech details---lines 1&2 should give the culprit.
    With respect to the PSU,the better method of determining power needs,is to add up the makers' quoted power requirements for every component and add on 20%.
    Then discount the PSU rated figure by the same amount.
    The nominated figures are close to the momentarily usable,not the safe constant load---sales flowery verbiage.
    Akin to the car salesman saying the vehicle can tow 2 tonnes,conveniently leaving out that is downhill,not uphill.
      My Computer


  9. Posts : 6
    Windows 10 Home
    Thread Starter
       #9

    joeandmarg0 said:
    Timeout Detection and Recovery [TDR] episode,
    The hard resets also seems to confirm this.
    The ---view tech details---lines 1&2 should give the culprit.
    With respect to the PSU,the better method of determining power needs,is to add up the makers' quoted power requirements for every component and add on 20%.
    TDR is a new term to me, and definitely helpful.

    I'll grab some of those tech details lines and share them here for analysis. Wondering if we're looking for events very close to the time of the hang or if there's merit in reporting events that are proximate.

    PSU-wise if we do +20% on all things and -20% on the 550W rating a window of uncertainty does emerge. I've considered buying a wattage meter to look into this—opinion on this move would be helpful! Such a device could have uses beyond this problem but simply grabbing a heftier PSU might be more cost efficient.
      My Computer


  10. Posts : 3,643
    Windows 11 Pro 64 Bit 21H2
       #10

    If everything works in Safe Mode and a Clean Boot, then it is a software issue. One of the disabled services or startup items is causing the issue.
    It may very well be your video driver. Try updating the Drivers then slowly add one item at a time till it hangs
      My Computer


 

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