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I've been struggling with a quite annoying issue on my personal computer . I run both Windows 8 and Ubuntu 12.04 on this particular machine, and the issue I'll describe next presents itself exactly the same way regardless of what operating system I boot to.

About 2 out of 3 times I turn on this computer, it will freeze during the OS loading/user log in phase. Often times it will allow me to login, but it will freeze within a minute or so. Once the computer freezes, the only solution is to physically force it to shutdown.

I initially thought this could be a driver problem, but the fact that this happens on both windows and linux probably proves that theory wrong. I also updated all drivers and the problem persists.

Note that if the computer does not freeze within the first minute after the OS loads, it will not freeze at all. I can use it for days and it will not freeze.

I'll be happy to hear any suggestion of what could be the cause of this problem.

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This sounds like possible bad sectors on your hard drive. Have you run any tests on your hardware? Or have you tried basic stuff like reseating your RAM / PCI (or PCIE) devices? –  Callen L Sep 12 '13 at 21:07
    
I ran several memory tests, and they all reported no issues. I haven't tried checking for HD bad sectors though. Would you suggest any particular tool for doing that? –  Everaldo Aguiar Sep 12 '13 at 21:13
    
I personally have had a lot of luck using MHDD 4.6, you may have to search a few how-tos to use it effectively. You can also try using 'HDtune' for a test you can run from Windows. –  Callen L Sep 12 '13 at 22:00
    
I had an issue like that on a laptop I used to have, after a while I realized that it would freeze if not placed on a totally flat surface. The case was really crappy so it would bend out of shape unless it was totally flat and that seemed to be screwing with the hardware. –  terdon Sep 12 '13 at 22:29
    
@CallenL Ran multiple HD tests (MHDD and HDtune), and neither found any issues. Thanks for the suggestions anyway! –  Everaldo Aguiar Sep 13 '13 at 1:00
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2 Answers

When computers freeze its normally due to:

  1. Memory
  2. Hard disk
  3. PSU
  4. Motherboard
  5. CPU

Thats in my opinion anyways, checking the above from top to bottom one at a time has normally resolved most issues with many computers.

In your case i suspect memory, one thing for checking the memory is a tool from http://www.memtest.org/ download a bootable CD and run it up on the rig overnight. If it passes, the memory is probably good.

For the hard disk no alternative other than deep sector scans or just swap it out for a new one.

For PSU, motherboard and CPU, the best way to test those would be running http://www.mersenne.org/freesoft.htm (runs on both Windows and Linux) or if you want to test from the console use stress (yum install stress).'

If it starts failing at this point, borrow a PSU from a friend or another rig. If its a CPU or board, in my experience it is more likely the motherboard than the CPU.

I hope this helps and hope you get your issue resolved.

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i would try these 3 things.

  1. reset your bios, or upgrade the bios firmware to the newest version.

  2. software to test ram in my experience is pointless because it might not be just the ram itself, it could be the slots that ram is held in, so moving the ram around might fix the problem, or testing different piece of ram instead could solve your problem. remember 99.9999% of the time ram does not fail.

  3. change the hard drive, testing the sectors on a hard drive is a waste of time, change the drive, get new ide/sata cables, quickly install a new os on it, and see what happens. if freezing occurs still, its prob not the hard drive.

if this doesn't solve anything, it could possibly be the CPU or the motherboard, freezing is the worst when it comes to computers, it could literally be anything.

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Thanks for the suggestions. I Updated my bios to its most recent version. That caused windows 8 to stop working (but that is a different story), though I was finally able to circumvent the issue. Long story short, it didn't fix the problem... the computer still freezes. I'll try testing the other things you mentioned and hopefully one day I'll find out what the issue is. –  Everaldo Aguiar Sep 13 '13 at 20:44
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