Windows 10: Windows hard freezing when left idle. Solved

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  1.    25 Jan 2016 #1

    Windows hard freezing when left idle.


    Edit: Fixed. Turns out it was a bad/corrupted file in one of my games that was freezing the defrag process. It was slipping past the scans and the game in question was running perfectly fine. There's a more detailed explanation on page 3 of the thread.

    What the title says. This has been going on for months, I've even reinstalled Windows 10 a couple of times, the the issue still persists.

    Windows 10 64 bit, Radeon HD 7970 Ghz Ed 6gb x2 [crossfire is usually disabled and makes no difference either way], i7 3770, nothing is overclocked, all power settings are disabled and should never sleep or shut down, I'm using a wired internet connection and all wireless is already disabled, I have a SSD that is set to not power down ever, and all HW monitors [CPUz, Open Hardware Monitor, Sapphire Trixx, HWinfo] show everything is running well within acceptable temps and running smoothly with no spikes or issues.

    Windows 10 keeps freezing hard on me, but only if I leave it alone for a few minutes. This happens without fail every time I leave the PC alone for more than 10-15 minutes or so.

    It will run fine for days, as long as I'm right in front of it and actively doing something on it, playing a game, watching a video, browsing the internet, whatever. As long as there's some kind of active input, it works fine and doesn't freeze.

    I step away for a few minutes, and it freezes hard. No input works, not the mouse, not ctrl-alt-del, nothing. I have to hard reset the stupid thing. I go make something to eat and leave the PC running, take the dog out, or go to the bathroom and I come back to a locked up hard frozen PC every time. It never happens when I'm sitting right in front of it and using it, only when I step away for a few minutes to do something and don't make it back within a few minutes.

    I've tried all sorts of fixes. Nothing is overclocked, and my GPU driver has had several new versions while this has been going on. This has been a persistent problem for months and I've spent quite a few hours over that time trying to find a fix. I've seen various threads that refer to this issue, and some of them claim to have fixed it, but none of the solutions work for me. Sometimes it'll get better for a short time, the freezes will be less frequent or take a slightly longer time to hit me, but eventually it just goes right back to this behavior again without fail.

    I've adjusted all the power settings several different ways, including setting it so everything never shuts down, made sure the HDD is set to not shut down, clean booted with only the essential bare bones Windows programs running at Startup, checked and rechecked every disk using command prompt commands, run in safe mode, scanned for viruses, malware, and adware repeatedly, disabled the wireless card, unplugged every piece of extra hardware, tried several different keyboards and mice, adjusted the Bios settings in various ways having to do with power and the HDD, uninstalled and reinstalled every driver, rolled them back, used administrator privileges to disable and enable various things, disabled and enabled my AV and firewall, uninstalled my AV, reinstalled it again, adjusted every startup option and tweaked the task manager all sorts of different ways, isolated my PC away from the network and internet, my page file is set up properly for a SSD and I've tweaked it several different ways, nothing works.

    It still freezes if I step away from it for more than a few minutes no matter what I do, but only if I step away. I can also prevent it from doing so by playing a video and letting it run while I'm away.

    If I pause a game or leave one running while I step away from the PC, it freezes as well. Only video seems to prevent it from crashing like this for some reason, Youtube or a video player running an MP4 or MKV file will keep the PC running if I have something playing and step away, but that's the only reliable way I've found to keep it from locking up.

    I shouldn't have to do that though, and I inevitably forget and come back to a frozen PC often losing posts, progress, and it's super annoying. I can't figure out what the hell the issue is despite months of on again off again troubleshooting. Playing with the power settings made it get better briefly, but it never fixed the issue and the PC eventually went right back to behaving the same way regardless of how I set my power settings.

    This has been going on for months, so it's not hardware failure. If that had been the issue, whatever it was would have long since died. Everything runs perfectly fine while I'm actively using the PC as well.

    Near as I can tell, Windows 10 is ignoring some sort of power setting and trying to go into some sort of sleep mode or something even though I have it set to never do that, and it's causing a hard freeze. That's my best guess here given that it only ever happens when the PC is idle and I'm away from it.

    I am currently using an older version of CCC for my GPU, but I am aware of it. I have an Oculus Rift DK2 and the latest drivers do not work with it. They are intentionally rolled back currently and I have already tried the newest drivers. They don't change anything and the PC still freezes if left alone even with the newest Crimson Drivers from AMD.

    This is super frustrating and I'm at a bit of a loss here about what to do. Nothing has worked, not even a clean install of Windows 10 with everything wiped from the drive. It persists and refuses to stay running if left idle too long no matter what I do.

    Any ideas here? I'm at my wits end. My PC works, but I can't leave it to download anything over a long period of time or pause a game to go do something. That's a bit of a problem and extremely frustrating.

    DXdiag attached below.
    Windows hard freezing when left idle. Attached Files
    Last edited by Contrabardus; 23 Apr 2016 at 17:01.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. hTconeM9user's Avatar
    Posts : 2,551
    Windows 10 Home x64: 1607 Redstone (1) Build 14393.953
       25 Jan 2016 #2

    Have you checked your BIOS is up to date as that can cause the same problem.
    I had that when I had 8.1 updated BIOS and no trouble since.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. davidhk's Avatar
    Posts : 4,765
    windows 10 Home threshold2
       25 Jan 2016 #3

    Do a Re[pair Install, otherwise known as in-place upgrade install.

    Use one of the 2 links below and download the iso file

    Media Creation Tool (MCT)
    http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/softw...load/techbench

    Tech Bench
    http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/softw...load/techbench


    Using MCT as example................
    Download the Tool and run it.
    Then select
    Create installation media for another PC
    That will begin downloading the ISO file to your computer.
    When download is completed, RIGHT click at the ISO > click Mount > click Setup.exe.
    That will begin installing Windows 10.
    You have the choice of keeping settings, files and apps, or keeping nothing.
    No product key is required.
    Activation will be automatic.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4.    25 Jan 2016 #4

    hTconeM9user said: View Post
    Have you checked your BIOS is up to date as that can cause the same problem.
    I had that when I had 8.1 updated BIOS and no trouble since.
    Yeah. I have the latest Bios for my Mobo already. Didn't fix the issue. I updated them about a month and a half ago due in an attempt to fix this problem.

    I've also tweaked the settings in them and it's had no effect. Everything is set up as optimally as it can be in my Bios and the issue still persists.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5.    25 Jan 2016 #5

    davidhk said: View Post
    Do a Re[pair Install, otherwise known as in-place upgrade install.

    Use one of the 2 links below and download the iso file

    Media Creation Tool (MCT)
    http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/softw...load/techbench

    Tech Bench
    http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/softw...load/techbench


    Using MCT as example................
    Download the Tool and run it.
    Then select
    Create installation media for another PC
    That will begin downloading the ISO file to your computer.
    When download is completed, RIGHT click at the ISO > click Mount > click Setup.exe.
    That will begin installing Windows 10.
    You have the choice of keeping settings, files and apps, or keeping nothing.
    No product key is required.
    Activation will be automatic.
    I've already done both this and a complete uninstall and reinstall of Windows 10. I did it a few times actually and I've gone through pretty much every reinstall option available for Windows. Neither attempting to repair Windows, performing a scan and repair, or a complete reinstall worked.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. davidhk's Avatar
    Posts : 4,765
    windows 10 Home threshold2
       25 Jan 2016 #6

    Have you done a system file check to look for corrupt files as well as image health restore ?

    Right click at Start button > click Command Prompt (Admin) > at the flashing prompt, copy/paste this.......
    sfc /scannow

    > press Enter.
    It will take quite sometime.
    When finished, it will give you one of the 3 reports...............(paraphrasing)
    1. No integrity violation.
    2. Found corrupt files and repair successful.
    3. Found corrupt files but unable to repair.

    If the report is #1, your solution lies elsewhere.
    If the report is #2, check if your problems have been resolved.
    If the report is #3, use this method................
    In the same Command Prompt (Admin) windows, copy and paste this command...........

    dism /online /cleanup-image /restorehealth

    > press Enter.
    Again it will take some time.
    When finished, it will give you a report.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. davidhk's Avatar
    Posts : 4,765
    windows 10 Home threshold2
       25 Jan 2016 #7

    If none of the above solves the problem, time to run a disk check to look for bad sectors etc etc.

    http://www.eightforums.com/tutorials...ndows-8-a.html
    It's applicable to Win 10 OS.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8.    25 Jan 2016 #8

    davidhk said: View Post
    Have you done a system file check to look for corrupt files as well as image health restore ?

    Right click at Start button > click Command Prompt (Admin) > at the flashing prompt, copy/paste this.......
    sfc /scannow

    > press Enter.
    It will take quite sometime.
    When finished, it will give you one of the 3 reports...............(paraphrasing)
    1. No integrity violation.
    2. Found corrupt files and repair successful.
    3. Found corrupt files but unable to repair.

    If the report is #1, your solution lies elsewhere.
    If the report is #2, check if your problems have been resolved.
    If the report is #3, use this method................
    In the same Command Prompt (Admin) windows, copy and paste this command...........

    dism /online /cleanup-image /restorehealth

    > press Enter.
    Again it will take some time.
    When finished, it will give you a report.

    I've done this before, but I'll give it another go just for the hell of it. Can't hurt.

    I've also run several Chkdsk /r /v scans.

    EDIT:

    Done, no errors. Ran a DSIM scan anyway just because I know it's a good idea even if SFC doesn't find anything. It may take a bit before I can tell if this has helped. Sometimes I'll do something like this and the PC will work fine for a day or two, and then go back to freezing up again.

    As I said, I think it might be a bug having to do with power settings. Messing with those settings has had the most effect on the issue in the past and temporarily improved the situation. In the past, setting them at a very high value rather than disabling them has helped, but it only worked for a little while. I think it may be ignoring one of those settings and trying to go into a sleep or power down mode anyway despite being disabled and freezing as a result.

    I'm not certain of that though. It's just my best guess based on how it behaves. Might be a display driver crash of some sort too, but again, I've had several versions installed and the problem has persisted across several different versions of my GPU drivers including the latest.

    It is weird that playing a video specifically prevents the freeze when doing things like leaving a game or browser running does not. This is another thing that leads me to think that it's a power settings issue as there is a 'do not power down when playing/sharing media' option seems to be what is keeping it from happening.

    I'm pretty convinced it's a bug that is causing a power option setting to be ignored when it shouldn't for some reason, but I can't say that with 100% certainty either or explain exactly which one or why that is. It's just a best guess based on the way it happens, particularly having media playing keeping things going the way it does while that setting is enabled. If I disable it, the freeze will happen even if a video is running.
    Last edited by Contrabardus; 25 Jan 2016 at 13:13.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9.    25 Jan 2016 #9

    This just a guess off the top of my head. Do a ram test.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10.    25 Jan 2016 #10

    Winuser said: View Post
    This just a guess off the top of my head. Do a ram test.
    I've run Memtest a couple of times before and it came up good.

    Just now ran mdsched.exe just for the hell of it and everything is good. No memory errors detected.

    Also have my page files set up properly. It's on a separate drive from my SSD, and not a huge oversized partition for it.

    My memory is good, the issue lies elsewhere.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


 
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