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My computer, which I built myself in February, is having some difficulties. When I work it too hard, everything onscreen freezes, and I can't use my mouse, my keyboard, my touchscreen, speech recognition, my gamepad, no anything.

This is annoying, because it's often right when I need it most when my computer crashes. But lucky for you, the answerers to my pleas, I am a programmer and as such know how important it is to document everything.

Here is a list of the parts in my computer:

Intel i3 540 (I know, I should have gone with the i7)

4GB Corsair Ripjaws RAM (My heat spreaders are cooler than yours)

Gigabyte motherboard (The people that desighed the box went waaaay overboard with the stickers)

Rosewill PSU (I'm Rosewill's biggest customer, and as such bought ~5 of these for other PCs)

1.5 TB HDD from Best Buy (NOTE: I saw the slow-down-freeze-and-crash issue before I bought it.) (SECOND NOTE: I actually bought this HDD, but a blue slip came in the box informing me that their factory was out of 1TB ones and as such gave me this one.)

64GB SSD (Sorry again, Newegg, but this was too good of a deal!)

NZXT Gamma computer case (It's prettier than it looks)

Windows 7 Professional (It looks the same as Premium, but sounds cooler)

21.5" touchscreen from HP/Compaq (Now I can use the Windows Phone emulator with the touch controls)

Ubuntu 11.04 (I liked the old UI better!)

Okay, there is everything in my computer. Here's a list of everything I was doing before the crashes:

  • For the first through the seventh crashes, I was running these apps (~means on average):

    • Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Professional with me working on a medium-sized app
    • Google Chrome with ~20 tabs
    • Performance Monitor tracking both my CPU and my RAM usage
    • Sticky Notes with my entire screen almost filled with stickies
    • Microsoft Internet Explorer 9 with ~5 tabs
    • The Windows Phone emulator
    • ~5 Windows Explorer windows
    • GIMP with ~2 50*50 images being edited and
    • Microsoft Paint with ~1 1920*1080 image being edited.

  • For the eighth crash, the ninth crash, the eleventh and twelfth crashes, and the 15th through the 24th crashes excluding the 20th crash, this is what I had open:

    • Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Professional with me working on a really large-sized app
    • Google Chrome with ~30 tabs
    • Performance Monitor tracking both my CPU and my RAM usage
    • Sticky Notes with my entire screen almost filled with stickies
    • Microsoft Internet Explorer 9 with ~5 tabs [except for crash #17 thru #19]
    • The Windows Phone emulator
    • ~5 Windows Explorer windows [except from #16, #11, and #19]
    • GIMP with ~2 50*50 images being edited and
    • Microsoft Paint with ~1 1920*1080 image being edited.

  • For the 10th and the 29th, the computer froze and shutdown halfway through the spinning Windows logo.

  • For the 20th and the 25th through the 28th, I was running these apps:

    • Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Professional with me working on a really large-sized app
    • Google Chrome with ~6 tabs [and on the 28th, one tab was me writing this question]
    • Performance Monitor tracking both my CPU and my RAM usage
    • Omnimo UI [a Windows 8 theme] with a full screen of panels

  • For the 13th and 14th crashes, this is what I had open:

    • Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Professional with me working on a really tiny app
    • Google Chrome with 5 to 15 tabs
    • Performance Monitor tracking both my CPU and my RAM usage
    • Sticky Notes with my entire screen almost filled with stickies
    • The Windows Phone emulator
    • ~20 Windows Explorer windows with me copying lotsa files
    • GIMP with a bunch of 50*50 images being edited
    • Microsoft Paint with ~1 480*800 image being beautified.

Note: I don't know the CPU/memory/HDD/SSD temperatures when the crashes occurred, but I know that the room temperature ranged from 60 degrees at the time of the first crashes to 90 degrees at the time of the more recent crashes. My machine's case never felt hot, though.

I am stupefied by all of this, but amid all the data, I think I see a trend: whenever it crashed, I was doing some heavy-duty work. [copying files, booting the computer in 80 degree weather, etc, etc]

Do any of you guys have any idea what is causing these crashes?

EDIT:

Well, this has stopped happening with the installation of the Windows 8 Consumer Preview. So it must be a bug with Windows 7. Interesting...

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What I mean by 'crash' is that nothing onscreen can move for about ten seconds, and then the entire system sighs and the screen goes black. –  JavaAndCSharp Jul 12 '11 at 17:49
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1 Answer

Have you turned off automatic restart on system failure, so you can actually see the blue screen if there is one?

You can also use a utility called Blue Screen View to see the BugChecks that are generated, if any.

What do you mean by crash, do you mean it freezes up, or does it freeze up and restart, does it freeze up and you have to manually reboot it?

Start with RAM, run diagnostics on your RAM with memtestx86+.

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