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PC Issue: hard locks randomly, upon reset it's fine for hours

ForarForar #432Toronto, Ontario, CanadaRegistered User regular
So, this is an issue that has been cropping up for the last year and a half or so, which is to say that it's annoying but hasn't been an utter dealbreaker. Kind of exasperating, and I'd love to solve it, but if not then oh well.

Computer is a 4 year old Alienware (yes, yes, I know, I got it at a good price at the time, let's move on) that has served me well since the day I got it.

However, it has been doing this thing where if I turn it on it will generally run fine until I load up a game, at which point it will usually (not always, and not during a set event or time frame) will hard lock. Sometimes it just resets on its own, sometimes it blue screens (so weird to see those again!).

The even stranger thing is that after this issue occurs and I reboot the system, it's fine for hours, even the rest of the day. I can knock out a gaming marathon session and not hit a single issue after that first failure. It's basically part of the routine now; turn on the PC when I get home, fire up a game, let it crash, reboot, play until I'm done for the evening. It used to just be due to games, but fairly recently (a few times in the last month or two?) it has happened while just using a browser.

I can't say the video drivers are 100% up to date, but they have been updated a few times over this last year and a half. I'll try to do that again tonight to see if it helps, but I'm not optimistic.

The O/S is on a 128 gig SSD, which seems to be fuller than it should be, but every time I go hunting to see what is eating up space with windirstat, nothing obviously shows up. I've removed some stuff where I can, but it occasionally complains about lacking disk space, but when I go looking for details, it basically just shrugs at me.

If it were hardware failing, I'd expect it to be a lot more frequent. This whole "getting it out of its system, then everything is fine" part is what baffles me, and makes Google'ing for suggestions difficult.

System specs:
Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-5820K (6-cores, 15MB Cache, Overclocked up to 3.8 GHz w/ Turbo Boost)
16GB Quad Channel DDR4 at 2133MHz
128GB SSD 6Gb/s Main + 2TB 7200RPM SATA 6Gb/s Storage
Dual NVIDIA(R) GeForce(R) GTX(TM) 970 with 4GB GDDR5 each (NVIDIA SLI Enabled)
The receipt isn't obviously listing the motherboard.

I've had issues with the SLI conflicting with my ability to use both of the video card outputs (I use my TV as a second monitor at times so I can watch shows and whatnot on it), so I'm not sure it's actually enabled right now, which, you know, maybe not the best choice in retrospect, but that was a ship that sailed 4 years ago.

Any suggestions would be appreciated. I'll glance at the storage and video drivers again while I'm thinking about it, but figured I might as well see if someone had ever run into a similar issue, and if so, what they did to combat it.

I'm pondering getting a new computer, but if this one would serve me a bit longer that would be awesome. I'd ponder doing some basic upgrades, but with the minor annoyance going on I'd be far more inclined to just start from scratch. That's a 'later this year' concern, however. Right now I'd just like to have my system stop misbehaving.

First they came for the Muslims, and we said NOT TODAY, MOTHERFUCKER!

Posts

  • AridholAridhol Daddliest Catch Registered User regular
    I had this exact problem happen on a Ryzen 1600 system and it went away finally after a BIOS update.
    Nothing else worked (reinstalled windows, new HD, new PSU, etc.).

    Rip the side off and check what the motherboard model is.

  • MugsleyMugsley Registered User regular
    Also try pulling out one of the cards and see how that affects things.

  • ForarForar #432 Toronto, Ontario, CanadaRegistered User regular
    Thanks for the suggestions guys. Won't have time to do those tonight, but did take a moment to update my video card just in case (and even if that's not a fix, my drivers were half a year out of date all the same).

    Should be able to do both of those tomorrow after work.

    First they came for the Muslims, and we said NOT TODAY, MOTHERFUCKER!
  • jungleroomxjungleroomx And I said, hol up Registered User regular
    Next time it blue screens get a picture of the entire thing.

    What it reports could be a huge clue.

    Make. Time.
    BahamutZEROSynthesisShadowfire
  • ShadowfireShadowfire Vermont, in the middle of nowhereRegistered User regular
    Next time it blue screens get a picture of the entire thing.

    What it reports could be a huge clue.

    Maybe a screen grab of the bugcheck from BlueScreenView too.

    WiiU: Windrunner ; Guild Wars 2: Shadowfire.3940 ; PSN: Bradcopter
    jungleroomx
  • jungleroomxjungleroomx And I said, hol up Registered User regular
    To be clear I had an issue like this before, and the problem the BSOD was reporting was from an nVidia DLL (NVLDDMKM.SYS I think?) and I had to use REVO uninstaller during safe boot to essentially tear out every bit of the graphics driver because it was horrifically corrupted.

    Then upon reinstall in safe mode everything was happy.

    Make. Time.
  • ForarForar #432 Toronto, Ontario, CanadaRegistered User regular
    edited July 4
    Shall do!

    I opened the case, found the motherboard info (it's a Dell OEM), went to their site and found the bios update. Went from revision 03 to revision 14, so, uh, hopefully that helps.

    It was also, I must sheepishly admit, kind of dusty in there. So I gently blew it out (having watched Chernobyl recently, little flecks of dust in the air was not a heartening sight...) and will make a point of getting some compressed air tomorrow over lunch.

    The new boot screen caught me by surprise, so far so good, going to fire up some games and see what happens. Fingers crossed this does it, but if not, I'll see if I need to do the 'tearing out old corrupted driver' approach.

    Forar on
    First they came for the Muslims, and we said NOT TODAY, MOTHERFUCKER!
    Jazzjungleroomx
  • ShadowfireShadowfire Vermont, in the middle of nowhereRegistered User regular
    To be clear I had an issue like this before, and the problem the BSOD was reporting was from an nVidia DLL (NVLDDMKM.SYS I think?) and I had to use REVO uninstaller during safe boot to essentially tear out every bit of the graphics driver because it was horrifically corrupted.

    Then upon reinstall in safe mode everything was happy.

    DDU is designed to do this for you. . It's a good idea since video drivers leave all sorts of bullshit around when they update.

    WiiU: Windrunner ; Guild Wars 2: Shadowfire.3940 ; PSN: Bradcopter
    Forar
  • jungleroomxjungleroomx And I said, hol up Registered User regular
    edited July 4
    Shadowfire wrote: »
    To be clear I had an issue like this before, and the problem the BSOD was reporting was from an nVidia DLL (NVLDDMKM.SYS I think?) and I had to use REVO uninstaller during safe boot to essentially tear out every bit of the graphics driver because it was horrifically corrupted.

    Then upon reinstall in safe mode everything was happy.

    DDU is designed to do this for you. . It's a good idea since video drivers leave all sorts of bullshit around when they update.

    DDU crashed and BSOD'd even in safe mode.

    Revo is a goddamned miracle worker program. I purchased a full license copy after my BSOD adventure and it's the only thing I ever use for uninstalling programs, ever, because it gets everything.

    jungleroomx on
    Make. Time.
  • ShadowfireShadowfire Vermont, in the middle of nowhereRegistered User regular
    Oh I love Revo. Sometimes it's a bit overzealous though, I've seen it nuke things it definitely shouldn't have.

    WiiU: Windrunner ; Guild Wars 2: Shadowfire.3940 ; PSN: Bradcopter
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