TROUBLESHOOTING - Random System Freezes

miomeinmio

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Mar 24, 2013
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I'm experiencing a possible hard drive failure, but I was hoping y'all could give me some guidance.

I have a WD7500BPKT 750 GB HDD (Western Digital) and I've been experiencing random freezes on my laptop computer. My specs are:

ASUS N61Jq-X1
Windows 7 Pro
Intel i7
AMD Radeon HD5730
6 GB RAM


That's all the pertinent info I can think of, but let me know if you need anything else.

The freezes began a few months ago. My computer would completely freeze, the image on the screen would freeze, and no input would be recognized. The HDD light would shut off, I couldn't hear the disc spinning anymore, and the only way to reset it would be to hold down the power button. It would then restart immediately, with just a, "Windows did not shut down properly" message. There were no blue screens, no error log, no overheating, no system restore, nothing. Just freezing.

It seemed to happen only when I moved the computer, so some looking around indicated that there might be a loose connection or a faulty motherboard. Recently, it had began to happen more often, from once every couple of days, to once every half hour. I can only use it when I keep it completely still, but sometimes that doesn' even work. Then sometimes I have it on my lap and can move it and it's fine. Very tempremntal. Also, I've been having slow boot times ever since the freezing started, though I do have a lot of background programs that start up at boot.

I've gotten a new battery and power cable, I've updated the BIOS, all the drivers, everything I can find that's software related. I've opened it up and everything that I can see looks like it's connected securely, with not visable damage and no movement when push or pulled. And it's so clean in there you can eat out of the case.

I'm no computer wiz, but I think I've basically narrowed it down to a hard drive failure or a faulty motherboard. To check the HDD, I downloaded WD's Digital Data LifeGuard Diagnostic tool. The problem is, I can't get a test to complete. Everytime I run the quick test or the extended test, which I've done repeatedly, the computer fails and freezes. I'm never able to see the test results to see if the drive fails. I've kept it completely on the level, haven't run any other program, I've even shut off my wireless router so there's nothing transmitting in the background, and it freezes. I've also run CHKDSK, but the program just closes before I'm able to see results. I'm about to run a defrag report and see if anything happens.

I left the computer on last night with the extended test running, and this morning it was frozen. Then I had two back to back freezes this morning, and now it's been running for a few hours backing up my data with no problems. I'm backing up in preparation for replacing my HDD.

I really like my computer, it's my baby, and I would really like it if someone can put my fears to rest, tell me it's my damn HDD and I can go buy a new one and put all this behind me. Of course, if there's any other possibilities I'm open to any and all suggestions.

Thank you all in advance for any help you can offer me!
 

NCG-Sam

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Mar 16, 2013
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Run seatools or a similar HD testing application and see what it says.

I actually experienced a similar issue with a Macbook Pro that I had upgraded the RAM on. I finally figured out that the RAM was not seated properly, it was just the tiniest bit loose and would cause these crashes - particularly when I moved it. May be worth checking out
 

exban224

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Mar 2, 2011
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Does sound like the hdd is dying, doubt that kind of freeze would be the mobo. If you have got a decent complete backup then I would just replace.
Just curious but can you hear any constant grinding or scratching noise, as that would mean a definite hdd problem?
Oh, and hdds dont like movement, and ram would bsod at least a few times in as many months.
 

miomeinmio

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Mar 24, 2013
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Hey, thanks for the reply! I'll definitely open it up and take a look. Can you give me some guidance on how to make sure the RAM is in there securely? Should I just pull it out and slot it back in?



No, no noises. I know, that would make my life so much easier! I've got a Carbonite backup and one on an external, I just don't want to go through the hassle of screwing with the OS. Plus, I'm always leery or pulling things out an putting new ones in. Updating my BIOS was kind of terrifying for me. :p
 

exban224

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Mar 2, 2011
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With the ram, if you open up you will see some sodimms pluged in a stack socket. Unplug each and replug, then try again.
Do you have a win7 pro disc with your laptop? If you do, then replace the hdd (simple, it should be visible if you open up the laptop or a slot on the side should be there that you can open to access the drive, then just unscrew and unplug the drive) and reinstall, then transfer your backup to the new drive.
 

miomeinmio

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Mar 24, 2013
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Well, I managed to successfully run the diagnostic tool and everything came back green, meaning the problem does not seem to be my HDD. I'm going to try the RAM fix and post results. Thanks for the replies, guys!
 

miomeinmio

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Mar 24, 2013
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Well, I'm going effing crazy. I FEEL LIKE I'M TAKING CRAZY PILLS.

I reseated my RAM, as was suggested. I even swapped it (I have two spots), but the computer seemed to be running slower, so I swapped it back. From Sunday night until this evening (Wednesday) I had no problems. I was even able to use the computer on my lap and move it across a desk.

Then, this evening, with it on my lap desk, I shifted up in bed and the laptop tipped up and then slapped back down on the lap desk. It wasn't too hard, but I'm sure it gave the computer a bit of a jolt. The freezing happened again. So I restarted it, and it immediately froze again. I ended up reseating the RAM and the HDD, and it froze again. So I ran the Windows Memory Diagnostic Tool and it came up clean, just like the HDD diagnostic.

So far, I've had someone suggest that I reinstall the OSm and another say it might be a software conflict and I should do a clean install. I'm still open to any suggestions for how to fix this!
 

NCG-Sam

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Mar 16, 2013
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Reformatting wouldn't be a bad idea. If that doesn't work, try running the system with one stick of RAM. If it freezes again, remove it and replace with the other. See if you can isolate the issue to a single stick of RAM.


 

miomeinmio

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Mar 24, 2013
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Well. I think I've narrowed it down to some sort of hardware issue. Reseating my HDD and RAM seemed to have done the trick for a long while, and I think I had a freeze only once. I was actually just about to come back and declare success!

Then, disaster. I had taken the laptop out of my bag and set it on my desk, and then I picked up my bag to set it on the floor. One of my straps got caught under my laptop and flipped it up, it jumped off the desk, hit my leg, and then went down on its hinge side (closed top). There was no damage to the case that I could see, and I opened it up and hit the button and it came out of hibernation just fine.

That was Wednesday, and I thought maybe I'd escaped, but I was using it two nights ago (Friday) on my lap and it started freezing again in rapid succession. I had to use it on a desk and it was ok. Finally, I tried the RAM and HDD reseat again, and it worked for an hour or so on my lap and then because seriously sensitive. Right now I'm confining myself to desktop work only.



Reformatting, nooooooo...

So, do you think the stick itself is really the issue, or is it the port I want to test?

Also, do you (or anyone) have any idea how I could test a motherboard for faults or failures? Is that possible? Do I need to take it to someone who can tell by looking at it?
 

Sillyist

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Jul 18, 2013
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Hello everyone,

I've been experiencing hard freezes on this laptop for about 4 to 6 months now. It mainly happens when I run 3D graphics intensive software. I purchased it back in 2009 and have played an extensive amount of online games. I just completely reformatted and I'm still getting the same types of hard freezes. Sometimes they happen instantly, sometimes it takes over an hour, but eventually the computer freezes and I have to reboot with the power button, select start windows normally in the BIOS, etc, etc. I haven't seen a BSOD in a while (knock on wood) but they have occasionally popped up in the past.

I did memtest86 today and it gave me a score of 1307 when the benchmark for this processor should be over 3000. I'm fairly certain, in my case anyhow, that the baby is just worn out. Thousands and thousands of hours of gaming have gone into my laptop. I don't notice any extreme overheating going on, but that could be because the HDD and Vid Card just aren't powerful enough to get that hot anymore.

Not sure if you guys are in the same boat as me. The laptop performed amazingly for a long time (about 3 years), considering how much I stressed the hardware. If you purchased the laptop within a year or two of posting in this thread, you may have a faulty build on your hands because this laptop should run very well for a while.

Hope this helps,

Johnny
 

MMWolverine

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Mar 6, 2015
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Hey guys,

I'm having the same exact issues on my ASUS N61Jq. On stock config I had hdd locks when dual-booting from Ubuntu into Windows 7 Ultimate. Now I've upgraded 8GB Ram and 750GB hybrid hdd and sometimes Windows 8.1 freezes even after a normal reboot.

Has anyone located the probable cause for this, or maybe a solution. I was thinking it might be drivers or outdated bios, but when I power-off the laptop, flip it around and shake a bit, the system runs fine.

Thanks!
 
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