Discussion Random Windows freezes

Dawelio

Awesomeness
Original poster
Moderator
Dec 17, 2017
488
380
Hello everyone,

Lately I have beginning to experience an issue which I have not experienced before and I feel like the issue is more and more regular as time goes on.

The symptoms of this issue is that mostly while watching either Youtube or Netflix for example, I noticed a stutter in the video, which I've come to learn is an instant sign that Windows is going to freeze.

Another thing I've noticed is that Firefox completely freezes up, when in full screen mode, I can Ctrl+alt+esc to bring up task manager and the system is responsive, but the browser has tinted/faded a bit in the background and isn't responsive. The interesting thing is that when I try to close it, wether through the normal X in the corner or through a force in Task manager, the browser shuts down, but I can still see the icon in the tray showing as if the browser is still active and not fully closed.

Whenever this happens, I've looked at Task manager to try and do a force shut off, but have noticed that Task manager itself has frozen up. Whenever you look at the CPU or memory usage, you can see the animation going from right to left... However whenever this happens, it has just stopped and completely like dead.

To fix this issue in it's entirely, I've needed to press and hold the power button untill power off and then power the PC back on.

However, this isn't the best solution in the long run and it has gotten to the point that it's getting rather annoying. I've tried Googling it, but the search results only bring up potential blue screens and random freezes - none of which is indications of my own issues symptoms etc.

Hence why I'm now trying my luck here with you guys, to see if you may have any idea as to why this is happening and hopefully a potential solution to it.

I might add that I recently changed my system from an ASUS X470-I GAMING motherboard with Corsair Vengeance LPX memory to the MSI MAG B550 MORTAR, with G.Skill Trident Z Royal memory. This was also the first time I've installed Windows through the USB stick and Windows installation media.

Previously I've always done it through the hard disk drive that I purchased years ago... Considering I've never had the issue previously and learned from my experiences on forums such as this, is that if something worked previously, but doesn't now, what changed in that period, which is probably the cause of this issue.

Although I know many have recommended the USB stick installation process, so I don't think it's that. Although I can't deny feeling that bad feeling in my stomach due to never had any issues previously using the disk.

Thank you all for your potential help in resolving this issue, much appreciated for any help at all!

Best regards,
Dawelio
 
  • Like
Reactions: Phuncz

Phuncz

Lord of the Boards
Editorial Staff
Moderator
Gold Supporter
May 9, 2015
5,296
4,618
I've had this issue on multiple devices using multiple configurations. The only commons where a recent Firefox and Windows 10. I haven't seen it the last few days but I was also surprised by this.

We can't rule out Google in this, they want Firefox to be gone. Either as a competitor for their dwindling hold on people's private data (regulations and Apple make this hard on Google, Facebook and others) or because Firefox users have more control over privacy blocking features. I've seen multiple regressions on Youtube while using Firefox, but I tend to wring through.

Be sure to keep your Firefox and extensions up to date. But I'm still not sure what causes the instabilities.
 

tinyitx

Shrink Way Wielder
Jan 25, 2018
1,995
1,892
Try experimenting with enable/disable anything related to 'hardware acceleration', in your browser Firefox (and in Windows, if applicable).
A few years back, it was affecting me watching youtubes. I suppose, this feature should now be improved but you can never tell.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Phuncz

Dawelio

Awesomeness
Original poster
Moderator
Dec 17, 2017
488
380
I've had this issue on multiple devices using multiple configurations. The only commons where a recent Firefox and Windows 10. I haven't seen it the last few days but I was also surprised by this.

We can't rule out Google in this, they want Firefox to be gone. Either as a competitor for their dwindling hold on people's private data (regulations and Apple make this hard on Google, Facebook and others) or because Firefox users have more control over privacy blocking features. I've seen multiple regressions on Youtube while using Firefox, but I tend to wring through.

Be sure to keep your Firefox and extensions up to date. But I'm still not sure what causes the instabilities.

Really? That's interesting that I'm not the only one experiencing this issue then.... Although how can Google have anything to do with this, in regards to killing Firefox? As I feel like it's not Firefox in itself, seeing as the entire Windows/explorer.exe that is more or less getting borked. Fading out a bit, Task Manager completely freezes, seeing programs shut down the window, but the program is still active on the icon in the bottom left of the menu bar.
I can't click on any icons on the bar, but I can open up the start menu and shut down the PC that way. I see my lights go off, but the PC/monitor is stuck in that faded position, with the icons still activated and the Task manager is frozen.

Just a really weird and odd behaviour overall.

Try experimenting with enable/disable anything related to 'hardware acceleration', in your browser Firefox (and in Windows, if applicable).
A few years back, it was affecting me watching youtubes. I suppose, this feature should now be improved but you can never tell.

Yeah, this was something I came across when Googling around and I tried this, unfortunately it didn't help.

I even tried installing a new Geforce driver, thinking that mine was old and hence needed updating. Unfortunately didn't fix it either.
 

Phuncz

Lord of the Boards
Editorial Staff
Moderator
Gold Supporter
May 9, 2015
5,296
4,618
Really? That's interesting that I'm not the only one experiencing this issue then.... Although how can Google have anything to do with this, in regards to killing Firefox? As I feel like it's not Firefox in itself, seeing as the entire Windows/explorer.exe that is more or less getting borked. Fading out a bit, Task Manager completely freezes, seeing programs shut down the window, but the program is still active on the icon in the bottom left of the menu bar.
I can't click on any icons on the bar, but I can open up the start menu and shut down the PC that way. I see my lights go off, but the PC/monitor is stuck in that faded position, with the icons still activated and the Task manager is frozen.
Oh I'm not saying Google is trying to get Firefox to crash but they've formed the Youtube site around their Chrome browser and it has run like ass for a while now on Firefox and alternatives. But I'm sure Google doesn't care about solving problems with Firefox browsers because they lose money that way.

In the end programs can cause instabilities in Windows. It has improved a lot since Vista that most apps can't crash Windows directly, but sometimes it still happens. I've had that exact same problem as you described, about a little over a week ago.
 

Dawelio

Awesomeness
Original poster
Moderator
Dec 17, 2017
488
380
I’m ressurrecting this thread, seeing as I thought the issue went away, but have noticed it twice since. Last time it happened was yesterday and I’m on both a newer version of Windows and browser than when I posted the thread.

Wondering if it’s an stability issue with Ryzen? Have never experienced this with my Intel platforms previously.
 

Phuncz

Lord of the Boards
Editorial Staff
Moderator
Gold Supporter
May 9, 2015
5,296
4,618
I've ran the 1800X and 2700X with an Asus Prime X370 Pro and ASRock AB350M-ITX for years with Windows 10 and VMware ESXi, all builds were stable. I'm not aware of a specific instability but it could very well be a RAM OC not being stable anymore. I've seen reports of RAM overclocks not being stable after months of use. I'd dial it back as a troubleshooting measure, especially Ryzen 1000 and 2000 were very finnicky with memory overclocks.
 

Dawelio

Awesomeness
Original poster
Moderator
Dec 17, 2017
488
380
I've ran the 1800X and 2700X with an Asus Prime X370 Pro and ASRock AB350M-ITX for years with Windows 10 and VMware ESXi, all builds were stable. I'm not aware of a specific instability but it could very well be a RAM OC not being stable anymore. I've seen reports of RAM overclocks not being stable after months of use. I'd dial it back as a troubleshooting measure, especially Ryzen 1000 and 2000 were very finnicky with memory overclocks.
Interesting, seeing as I'm running my memory at their rated speeds of 3200MHz, CL16. So not even overclocked or touched other than that.
 

Phuncz

Lord of the Boards
Editorial Staff
Moderator
Gold Supporter
May 9, 2015
5,296
4,618
Be mindful that DDR4-3200 at CL16 is considered an overclock, there's a difference between JEDEC rated speeds and the manufacturer saying it should run stably at DDR4-3200 CL16. I'm a sucker for correctness so I have to mention: it's not running at 3.200MHz but at 1.600MHz at Double Data Rate, for DDR4-3200 speeds.

On Ryzen 1000-series most RAM sticks that weren't Samsung "B-die" or SK-Hynix "C-die" (released after Ryzen 1000-series) weren't able to hit DDR4-3000+ speeds stably. On Ryzen 2000-series this became less of an issue but it was still possible to be needed to run at DDR4-2933 to be stable. I recommend trying that speed.

DDR4-3200 at CL16 rated is most likely not Samsung B-die or SK-Hynix C-die and will require DDR4-2933 to be stable on Ryzen 1000 or 2000-series. Be mindful that the G-series APUs have 2x00G and 3x00G are using very similar architecture and most likely have similar quirks with the memory controller as the Ryzen 1000 and 2000-series.
 

Dawelio

Awesomeness
Original poster
Moderator
Dec 17, 2017
488
380
I’m on an 3700X CPU, so neither 1000 or 2000 series Ryzen.

I’m also wondering if my issue might be because of BIOS? Have basically never updated it (still not that comfortable updating it unfortunately), so it’s probably using an rather old one.
 

Phuncz

Lord of the Boards
Editorial Staff
Moderator
Gold Supporter
May 9, 2015
5,296
4,618
Also a good recommendation to update the BIOS. Though if you've never updated, be sure to read the release notes of the newer BIOS versions. Sometimes you need to update to an in-between version to avoid issues jumping from an older one to the latest. But I'd start with reducing the memory speed first honestly.
 

Dawelio

Awesomeness
Original poster
Moderator
Dec 17, 2017
488
380
Also a good recommendation to update the BIOS. Though if you've never updated, be sure to read the release notes of the newer BIOS versions. Sometimes you need to update to an in-between version to avoid issues jumping from an older one to the latest. But I'd start with reducing the memory speed first honestly.
Yeah, have seen ASUS do that from time to time. Now they have though that you need to rename the BIOS file? Why is that even lol?…
 

Phuncz

Lord of the Boards
Editorial Staff
Moderator
Gold Supporter
May 9, 2015
5,296
4,618
Unsure, it's only mentioned in one BIOS update. I also don't recommend BIOS Flashback for updating the BIOS, just use the BIOS file on a USB stick, go to the UEFI and update from there. I'm not seeing any issues with upgrading straight to the last one, but be sure to search for "ROG X470-I BIOS update" on https://reddit.com/r/AMD for example.

BUT BEFORE YOU UPDATE:
1. Make note of every important setting you've changed.
2. RESET TO DEFAULTS, SAVE, REBOOT INTO UEFI.
3. Be sure your CPU and memory is not overclocked, so default settings and memory should be at DDR4-2133.
4. Then update.

After the update is successful, adjust the settings you've changed earlier.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Dawelio and tinyitx

Dawelio

Awesomeness
Original poster
Moderator
Dec 17, 2017
488
380
Unsure, it's only mentioned in one BIOS update. I also don't recommend BIOS Flashback for updating the BIOS, just use the BIOS file on a USB stick, go to the UEFI and update from there. I'm not seeing any issues with upgrading straight to the last one, but be sure to search for "ROG X470-I BIOS update" on https://reddit.com/r/AMD for example.

BUT BEFORE YOU UPDATE:
1. Make note of every important setting you've changed.
2. RESET TO DEFAULTS, SAVE, REBOOT INTO UEFI.
3. Be sure your CPU and memory is not overclocked, so default settings and memory should be at DDR4-2133.
4. Then update.

After the update is successful, adjust the settings you've changed earlier.
Interesting, thanks for the tips. Why the reset though? And thanks for the notice there, I've only updated my BIOS once and did that through a USB stick in the BIOS. Never used the BIOS Flashback feature, too unreliable in my opinion. I like to see the progress going etc.

And I'm currently on B550-F Gaming and will soon go on the B550-I Gaming :p
 

Phuncz

Lord of the Boards
Editorial Staff
Moderator
Gold Supporter
May 9, 2015
5,296
4,618
Oh in your opening post you mentioned an Asus ROG Strix X470-I Gaming. The reset is to eliminate any custom settings that have values or properties changed by the update, as the BIOS will be tested but not every possible setting. It's a shotgun approach but it's often recommended.
 

Dawelio

Awesomeness
Original poster
Moderator
Dec 17, 2017
488
380

It happened again, my PC froze. I managed to get a video of the symptoms. As you can see in the video, I opened Discord and then closed it, but the software is then "stuck" as opened in the task bar. This is with everything. Firefox and documents folder I had also closed prior to Discord, yet their icons show as active?...
 

Phuncz

Lord of the Boards
Editorial Staff
Moderator
Gold Supporter
May 9, 2015
5,296
4,618
Can you observe this behavior with Task Manager on the Performance tab open and see what happens ? Does CPU, RAM or disk usage spike ?

Also, have you disabled swap file ?
Run: systempropertiesadvanced.exe
Performance - Settings
Go to tab Advanced and look at Virtual memory
Recommended settings are to use the fastest storage device (NVMe PCIe SSD > SATA SSD > HDD) with initial at 2048 MB and Maximum at more than your RAM amount (I use double, 16GB = 16384, x2 = 32768 MB)
 

Dawelio

Awesomeness
Original poster
Moderator
Dec 17, 2017
488
380
Can you observe this behavior with Task Manager on the Performance tab open and see what happens ? Does CPU, RAM or disk usage spike ?

No, unfortunately I can not. Seeing as if I recall correctly, the entire Task Manager is frozen. I think I can change tabs, but nothing is actually showing correctly I believe, since all numbers etc are frozen. So not sure what their values actually represents.

Also, have you disabled swap file ?
Run: systempropertiesadvanced.exe
Performance - Settings
Go to tab Advanced and look at Virtual memory
Recommended settings are to use the fastest storage device (NVMe PCIe SSD > SATA SSD > HDD) with initial at 2048 MB and Maximum at more than your RAM amount (I use double, 16GB = 16384, x2 = 32768 MB)

No, I haven't done this. First time hearing about this, what does this do really? Seeing as I'm a bit uncomfortable doing this I am not that familiar with.
As an example, I am rather into how a BIOS update works and how it's executed. Yet I am rather uncomfortable doing it due to the high risk of it going sideways and hence potentially bricking the board in it's entirety.
 

Phuncz

Lord of the Boards
Editorial Staff
Moderator
Gold Supporter
May 9, 2015
5,296
4,618
No, I haven't done this. First time hearing about this, what does this do really? Seeing as I'm a bit uncomfortable doing this I am not that familiar with.
As an example, I am rather into how a BIOS update works and how it's executed. Yet I am rather uncomfortable doing it due to the high risk of it going sideways and hence potentially bricking the board in it's entirety.
If you have the swap file enabled, it's nothing to worry about. But some people disable it, even though some apps and Windows functions depend on it, causing various issues sooner or later.

Updating the BIOS will always be atleast a little worrying if it's your own hardware.
 

BaK

King of Cable Management
Bronze Supporter
May 17, 2016
666
641
Before updating the BIOS, you can give it a try disabling the IOMMU option in it. Or set it to 'Enabled' but not to 'Auto'.
Seems like this option doesn't go well with Ryzen CPUs.
I am experiencing some graphics artefacts with my Ryzen 3400G and found this IOMMU function could be faulty. But I'm on Linux and didn't have time to investigate any further yet so that could be completely another problem...

If the proposal above doesn't give any good results, I would try booting from a Linux Mint Live USB and check if the freezes appear there too.
That would let you know if this is hardware or OS related.
Good luck! 🤞