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AMD system locks up, won't power down w/power button or reset

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Dec 1, 2020
OK, I'm having issues with my desktop that makes me want to pull my hair out! Constant freeze ups!!

Here is my system:
MB: ASUS M5A97 R2.0 MB
CPU: AMD FX 6300
PSU: Rosewill CAPSTONE 550M 550W (80 PLUS GOLD Certified),
RAM: Ballistix Tactical 16GB DDR3 1866 MT/s (PC3-14900) UDIMM GPU: GeForce GTX 760
Heatsink: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO
OS: Windows 7 Pro 64

I actually built this about 2 years ago but could never get it to boot properly with any consistency. It has been left untouched until a couple of weeks ago when my daughter wanted to use it for some minor online gaming, so I gave it another try.

Initially it powered on, gave the post beep and booted into Windows. However, the onboard audio didn't work (same as 2 years ago). I checked settings in Device Manager and everything looked good. Also, I was able to go into BIOS and check settings. While I was in BIOS I only changed to setting from Balanced to High Performance. I left for work and left it powered on. When I got home that night it was locked up tight - monitor was black but PSU, GPU & heatsink fans all running. When I moved the mouse it sounded like it responded but screen remained black. Above the power button on my case there was a flashing green light.

I tried to power off by holding down on the power button but it wouldn't power off. I had to turn off the power switch on the PSU for it to turn off. Then pressing the power button wouldn't do anything. I unplugged the power cord and left it for an hour. It then booted to Windows.

I read somewhere it may be an issue with sleep mode, so I began to change all the settings to never sleep. I rebooted and tried to go into BIOS to check the setting there that were - it won't go into BIOS. A couple of times it went to the screen that states Windows was shutdown improperly and gives choices of Safe Mode, Start Normally, etc. I choose start normally and tried again. It wouldn't go into BIOS again despite repeatedly pressing Delete. All the fans are running. Also, now the light about the power button on my case was a solid red. I didn't flip the power switch this time and just unplugged the power cord. I waited several minutes and experienced the same thing - black screen, no post beep and all fans running.

I've been seeing a lot of complaints about ASUS MB - they used to be the gold standard years ago. I really don't want to have to buy another MB due to limited budget and it is not out main pc.

UPDATE: I went home for lunch and after having the pc unplugged for about 5 hours since this morning I was able to boot into the BIOS. I disabled the power saver mode and enabled all the SATA drives. When I saved exited I tried to boot into the BIOS again but it did not let me but did boot fully into Windows. I started updating the driver for the GeForce GTX 760 GPU and left it powered on. I will check in a few hours to see if it is totally locked again.

UPDATE 2 - I set everything I could find to never sleep as suggested in a different forum post. I left it on for the entire time I was at work the other day and it was still booted up to Windows when I came back and checked. I shutdown overnight and booted back up fine the next day and left it on - again it hadn't locked up.

So a few nights ago, I installed a Creative Sound Blaster Audigy FX 5.1 PCIe x 1, installed the software from the included CD and rebooted. I tested the audio card by play some music videos and it was good to go. I put the side of the case back on, and then shifted the case slightly to try to untangle & arrange the cords behind it a little better. Suddenly the music stopped, the screen went blank and it was again locked up and once again I couldn't power it down with the power button. To say I'm frustrated is an understatement. :bang head

Does it now have something to do with the sound card? Is it the power cord that got wiggled when I was trying to arrange the cords? The power supply? Some other hardware or Windows 7? I am at a complete loss. I changed out the power cord but still get the lockups.

As a side note, I have built about 4 rigs now but I have never overclocked or done much with tweaking things in the BIOS and have never really had problems until this build. So, be patient with me as I probably will need to have things explained to me in a more simplified fashion that you guys are used to.
Hey Ken!

I'd start off by seeing if it is that slot/PCIe card. You're at the point where you need to test parts and such... or breadboard it (build outside of the case). But surely I would resecure everything.. power and data cables. and make sure. Rosewill CAPSTONE I believe is a good PSU model (Rosewill in general is hit and miss, used to be mostly miss), and 550W is enough... but is that PSU as old as the rig? Those PSUs are circa 2012...

First, try removing that sound card, yes... then I would start off by updating the BIOS to the newest version and seeing if that helps. If it doesn't and the sound card is out, wipe the drive (format it) and install Windows 10. See if the problems persist. If you're good, great! Then install the sound card again and see if it works....
Hey EarthDog, thanks for the reply!

The PSU is around the same age as the rig, but barely used because like I said shortly after I built it a couple of years ago, I gave up until recently because it was also locking up back then in a similar manner (even before the newly installed sound card). I will update the BIOS and remove the sound card. I will also reseat all the data & power cables. I don't have an extra copy of Windows 10, so should do a fresh install of Windows 7?

To update the BIOS, do I just download the file to a USB flash drive and use EZ Flash 2 via the BIOS?

- - - Auto-Merged Double Post - - -

Also, in addition to updating the BIOS, do I need to update anything else like LAN, Chipset, etc.? https://www.asus.com/us/Motherboards/M5A97_R20/HelpDesk_Download/
I put the side of the case back on, and then shifted the case slightly to try to untangle & arrange the cords behind it a little better. Suddenly the music stopped, the screen went blank and it was again locked up and once again I couldn't power it down with the power button. To say I'm frustrated is an understatement. :bang head

Looks like something is not seated right, if moving the case makes it lockup like that. Also check that the ram is seated and download Mem Test 64 and test the ram.
While your at it, check that the video and sound card are seated as well, these can work their way out of the PCIe slot over time from heat and the flexing of the case when moving it from place to place.
That would seem to make sense since it has been giving me fits since I built the rig about 3 years ago. WhitehawkEQ, do you think I should also remove the motherboard from the case and remount it? How do I know if it is shorting out on the case? I've heard of this but I'm not sure what to look for.
I've heard of this but I'm not sure what to look for.
One thing at a time.. reseat all your components and their power/data plugs. Tighten down any mobo screws just in case. Breadboard it last as that is more of a PITA than reseating everything.
OK so I think I figured out what is wrong with my rig. I opened the case and reseated all the power and data cables, the RAM, the GPU and the sound card. I decided to try it with the sound card installed because this issue has been happening right from the first time I did the build, which was well before I installed the sound card. I powered up and started to again play music videos, which is what I was doing before when it locked up (ideally my daughter will use it for some basic online games). The rig stayed running after about 45 minutes. I then put the side of the case back on and within about 5 minutes it locked up again. I again had to unplug the power cord because neither the reset or power button would work. I left it off for quite awhile. I also took the side of the case back off.

Then as I'm looking into the case it hit me. I noticed how the Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO heatsink looks just about flush with the outside of the case because it is so tall off of the CPU. I then wondered if the heatsink touches the side of the case when the side cover is put back on. I left the side cover off and ran music videos constantly for about 4.5 hours with no lockups and then left the pc running overnight - no lockups. SO I think the heatsink is shorting out onto the side of the case.

What is the suggested solution for this? Do I somehow glue on some sort of thin foam or other material onto the inside of the case cover or do I just replace the heatsink? I do still have the heatsink that came with the AMD FX6300 but it's not nearly as beefy as the Cool Master.

Heat sink would not be "shorting out" to the case. The heat sink should not be at any electrical potential and if anything it would be grounded already. All metal in your case, as well as MB standoff mounts are all connected to ground. If it actually does touch the side panel and does so tightly then it may be disturbing the mounting but I find this unlikely.

I see you have no case fans installed... I'm thinking maybe this system gets too hot when closed up? Add a rear exhaust fan.

Download the free version of HWMonitor and tell us idle and load CPU temps, with the case door on & off if you'd like.

OK, any idea what size case fan I would need or all they all standard?
If you can tell me what case you have I'll look it up. Or you can look it up, the manufacturers product page will tell you what size fan your case takes.

Common sizes are 80mm, 92mm, 120mm and 140mm. Yours looks like 80mm, possibly 92mm but I can't be sure just from a picture.

You should use a software tool and check CPU temps though, because even without a case fan your system shouldn't be so hot that it crashes unless you're running a high overclock \ voltage on your CPU. You may have a heatsink mounting issue or bad thermal paste application.
I downloaded HWMonitor and ran a Youtube video for awhile (side cover off). I don't know if this is considered "under load" but attached is the temps. I then replaced the cover, walked away for 5 minutes and came back to look at HWMonitor for new temps but system was already locked up tight again, just as before. So it has something to do with me replacing the cover. I will buy a case fan and try that first.

No a YouTube video would only put a load on a Pentium III ;) HWMon shows that while it was open, your CPU had a max utilization of 14% (on all cores). Prime95 is a good stress test to get max heat out of your CPU. Your temp should be at most 80C, if it is higher then you may have a problem. Your idle temp looks fine though, but load is what matters most.

Ok, thanks Ben333. Sorry for the newbie questions. I have built probably 4 rigs in the past, but I have never had issues like this to deal with and have never even overclocked or anything like that, so this is new to me.
Your temp should be at most 80C, if it is higher then you may have a problem. Your idle temp looks fine though, but load is what matters most.
Not on FX. 60c is almost too hot. Idle temp means nothing on FX. Temp does not become accurate till over 40c.
I ran Prime95 starting it about midnight last night. After a few minutes I looked at HWMonitor and the temp was 37C (100F). I left it run all night and I checked the rig about 10:00 this morning - LOCKED UP TIGHT!! :mad: I unplugged it and took a shower. I came back, plugged it in and booted up to Windows. I checked for the results of Prime95 and found the text file. It showed everything passed but I noticed the last entry only listed one self test at 7:11 (I'm guessing that is the time it locked up). Here's the last little bit of the results.

[Sun Dec 6 06:53:47 2020]
Self-test 1280K passed!
Self-test 30K passed!
Self-test 1280K passed!
Self-test 30K passed!
[Sun Dec 6 07:00:16 2020]
Self-test 32K passed!
Self-test 1280K passed!
Self-test 32K passed!
Self-test 32K passed!
Self-test 1280K passed!
[Sun Dec 6 07:05:35 2020]
Self-test 1280K passed!
Self-test 1344K passed!
Self-test 32K passed!
[Sun Dec 6 07:11:04 2020]
Self-test 1344K passed!

One other thing to note - I haven't yet updated the BIOS because I am on the current version of 2603 BUT my BIOS has a date of 2015/06/26 and the ASUS website for the version 2603 is dated 2015/07/24. Is there enough of a difference that I should update the BIOS even though the version numbers are the same. If so, could someone tell me the steps to do this, as I have never before updated the BIOS.

You do not need a bios update.

Will the machine run long enough to get a screenshot of CPUz and memory tabs?
16 gig of 1866 memory seems a little lofty for FX to me.
The IMC on FX is really only good to around 1600.
Yeah with the cover off the rig runs a very long time - it's when I put the side cover back on is when it locks up within minutes. So I should download CPUz and run it, correct? I don't understand the memory tabs reference. Is that something within CPUz or is there a separate program I need for the memory? Also, would an issue with memory allow the PC to run many hours w/o the side cover but cause it to freeze within minutes w/side cover back in place?
I think I figured out my question about memory tabs. Here is what CPUz shows: