I have a weird problem with my desktop:
i7 920 Gigabyte EX58-UD3R 3GB DDR3 WD 400GB drive for OS in AHCI (mixture of other drives for data) ATI Radeon HD4850 Windows 7 x64 (all stock settings, no overclocking of any kind) Avira Antivir (free version) Comodo firewall UAC at max setting
Every 24-48 hours, my computer silently freezes up. Programs and windows that are already open continue to work, but I can't start anything new. Can't start task manager or any explorer related tool. Start menu works but clicking on a program icon has no response. Ctrl+Alt+Del doesn't work either, all I get is a black screen and this error after about a minute:
The only thing left to do is close any open programs and hit the reset button. Because open programs continue to work, it's hard to pinpoint exactly when the problem starts. I've wasted hours pouring over the event log and there is nothing. The only item logged is one regarding an unexpected system restart. Since there is no BSOD, there is no crash dump or event logging. The problem can happen while I'm at the computer, or even if I've left it idle for hours. Also, it happens at random times.
I started by running a full system virus and malware scan. That came back clean. I used
msconfig to strip down all startup programs except the AV and firewall. The problem still persisted. I stripped off all non-Microsoft services and programs from startup, the problem still remained. I booted into safe mode, the problem still appeared after a day or two.
So I turned my attention to possible hardware problems. I ran an overnight CPU stress test. The system was stable. I ran a single pass of memtest86+ and that was clean (I plan on doing an overnight memtest86+ tonight). My chipset isn't overheating and my case (CM 690) is well ventilated. Next I turned my attention to my HDDs. I disconnected all but my OS drive. Once more, the problem showed up within 24-48 hours after system startup. I used WD's disc scan software (on a bootable UBCD) to scan the drive. It passed SMART but failed the short Drive Self Test.
The WD tool recommended a long DST to fix the problem (it was bad sectors iirc, but I can't recall for sure). At the end of the scan, the tool claimed to have fixed the drive, but I ran a short DST which failed again.
Do you guys think the HDD is to blame for all my troubles? Is there any chance it could be something else? It could be a virus, but I've been very careful on that front. Please help, I've had this problem for weeks now and its driving me nuts :(