PC Freezes randomly and Becomes Totally Unresponsive Requiring Hard Reset

Hi team, I've got a very frustrating problem with my Gaming PC and am not sure where to go from here.

After returning home from a few months away my PC has began freezing requiring a hard reset. It freezes seemingly randomly and may be ok for a few seconds or up to about 45 mins before a freeze. I also noticed one of my hard drives seemed to die at the same time as it was making a clicking noise. It's backed up so nothing has been lost.

I've tried
- Removing both HDD's, leaving just the SSD windows is installed on
- Updating window's to the latest version
- Removing and re-seating RAM
- Removing GPU and running on integrated graphics
- Disabling Wireless card
- Search for latest drivers for GPU, motherboard, wireless adapter etc
- Fresh reinstall of Window's

At present I have only the SSD with fresh windows and no other programs installed and it still freezes at random. I cannot generate any error codes to give me some clues.

Any suggestions on what I can do from here? The PC is quite a few years old and I've read online it could possibly be a Motherboard or Power supply problem. To me the Power supply seems unlikely as the PC is still on when it freezes, including all fans spinning, LED's on and power to peripherals.

PC specs

Motherboard: Asus M4A89GTD pro
GPU: AMD R9 200 series - 3gb
Processor: AMD Phenom II X4 965 Processor - 3.40ghz
RAM: 8gb (G skill DDR3 4gb x 2)
SSD: Sandisk Ultra II
Wireless Adapter: Qualcom AR9287
Power Supply: Mod X-stream[pro 600w
Windows: 10 1809 - OS build 17763.348


Seems to be one of the RAM sticks is playing up. Currently running just 1 stick and have not had issues as yet. Yesterday my PC ran for 10 hours without freezing and today has been going for a few hours with intermittent use including waking from sleep.


  • +2 votes


  • +1 vote

    I see you've re-seated your RAM, have you tried them individually?


      Currently trying with just 1 ram stick installed - will see how it goes and report back


        Lasted about half an hour before a freeze with the first stick. Interestingly the PC became a bit laggy with the mouse freezing in place for about a second at a time on a couple of occasions, which is new.

        Trying the second stick now.

    • +1 vote

      This seems to have been the issue. One of the sticks appears to be troublesome.

      Thanks for the suggestion!

  • +1 vote

    After all that, it's probably the RAM or mobo. Pretty high chance it's the RAM. Run Memtest individually on each stick of RAM and see how it goes.


      Will start preparing Memtest and see what it shows.

      Currently running only 1 ram stick and will see how it goes.


      Seems to be one of the RAM sticks was playing up. Currently running the second stick solo and my PC hasn't frozen in about 10 hours, the longest it's been running since this started.

      Will run Memtest on the dodgy stick but I suspect it's toast.


        Nice, RAM usually has product lifetime warranty, so just bring it back to the place of purchase after Memtest confirms the error, and you should be able to get a new one.


        My previous build had 4 x 8GB DDR3 G-Skill and had stability problems from day one. I persisted with them, moving them around, removing individual sticks, until I gave up. The number of possibilities of combinations was just not worth it. When I approached the retailer for a replacement, I was informed that they were no longer manufactured and the replacement RAM would not be compatible, meaning I had to buy new ram anyway. So I replaced all 4 sticks with a freeebie 8GB stick of generic RAM and had zero problems for two years.


    are you able to run task manager/resource manager before/when it freezes up
    watch for memory usage, cpu usage and disk response time

    if disk response time could be the ssd dying?


    I think I had an exact problem like you are describing and I tried everything (GPU, motherboard and RAM replacement etc.) and replaced every single part, until I tried to replace the CPU… that was the problem! And it makes sense to me because you haven't tried replacing your CPU yet.
    Get a fully 100% working CPU that matches your motherboard socket and give it a try!

  • +4 votes

    Could be thermal paste on your CPU cooler which dries up over time becoming less effective.

    It's easy to replace. You can buy it for 20 bucks or less at computer stores or eBay.

    Remove CPU cooler (if you have cheap coolers this may be the most frustrating part),

    wipe CPU with isopropyl alcohol and a paper towel or rag to remove the old paste,

    Apply a blob in the middle, reattach your cooler

    Remove cooler and made sure the entire surface of the CPU is covered. In reality it doesn't matter if it doesn't go all the way to the edges, you will lose hardly any performance, but the middle must be covered. Apply a little more paste if necessary. It doesn't matter if it get's on other parts of the CPU.

    Reattach CPU cooler.

    Youtube is your friend for any of these steps, just search for what your are trying to do with your brand of cooler and cpu.


      Should be telling him to use HWmonitor to check the temps before going to the trouble of replacing paste though right?


    I had to replace the board recently. I paid $100 for a new mb, installed it and it froze again. Then I stopped using the $12 no name headphones and the problem went away.


    Have you try removing the cpu fan and clean up the old paste and resitting with some new paste?

    Edit: someone asked already.


    I had a frustrating problem like this before and I found a faulty WiFi adapter card was crashing. Try removing that and see if the freezing stops.

  • +1 vote

    There's an app called WhoCrashed. This analyses windows dump files in the event that your issue is software related or software caught.

    If there are no such dump files, then you've got a hardware issue that can't be handled in software. That should rule out everything except your mainboard, CPU and PSU. Other issues (eg ram, GPU ) will be observed by window before the system stops, producing a bsod and or dump files.

    Good luck.


    Update graphics drivers worked for me. I was getting bsod and random freezes.


    Having a similar problem, random hardware freezes.

    Not load related as can game, encode, run torture tests no problem, but do something mundane like click on a folder and packs it in.
    Can be days or weeks between, so hard to diagnose.

    I'm thinking most likely culprit is MB, or PSU as it's quite old. I do have another PSU to try when I get the chance.

    Back to yours though, the fans etc don't need clean power so could still be the PSU if it's sending bad power to the MB. It doesn't need to shut down to be a bad PSU. Like mine the MB is a strong possibility too, or CPU.


    on the topic of RAM. i had a motherboard once fail where one of the RAM channels would cause crashing problems.
    The sticks themselves were fine, and because i had 4 slots and i was only using 2 sticks i just switched to using the other channel.
    if you do that though read your manual, not all memory channels are capable of running at the same speed


    Its weird when a mobo goes. But not surprising these days I suppose with cheap manufacturing processes.


    I have 2x 4G g skill ram for sale on gumtree if you need it. 1/2 price + postage for ozbargainer
    … hold on I just have to edit the price ;) (that's an ebay sale joke)

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