Win10 PC Freezes, necessitates reboot, repeatedly

I've got an older win10 pc, upgraded from win7 with

  • Intel Corporation DH67BL ver. AAG10189-208 mobo
  • intel core i7-2600 cpu @ 3.4ghz
  • on-board intel 82579v gigabit network connection
  • amd radeon r9 380
  • hitachi hgst 2tb drive: hds722020ALA330 HD
  • seagate 2tb drive: st2000DL003-9vt166 HD
  • hl-dt-st bd-re wh12ls39 dvd/cd-rom

Over the last month, i've repeatedly come back to my always-on pc and discovered that it had a black screen and a message asking for a boot drive from which to load. I'd turn the machine off, wait a few seconds, and turn it back on. It would enter back into windows and run just fine.

Recently, I've been increasingly getting situations where I return to machine, wake it from it's "blank" screen saver, then discover that when I go to do something, like change tabs in my browser or change directories in a windows explorer window, that I get an hourglass that doesn't return to a pointer, and after up to 5 minutes of waiting (10 minutes in 1 case), eventually turned the machine off and rebooted, afterwhich, it acts like nothing unusual had happened.

Twice, I found a blackscreen with text saying something about having maybe experienced a power fault and did I want to Y/N something about Hyperboot. Uncertain of what that was (apparently something with the motherboard), I initially told it no, but after being unable to reboot otherwise, eventually told it yes. It rebooted happily, albeit slightly slowly, as if nothing had happened.

This made me believe that something was going wrong with my OS disk. Of the 1.81TB (usuable), I have about 464gb free. I have run the disk-properties --> tools --> error checking routine a couple of times. It takes up to 45 minutes to complete, but has more than once told me that there is nothing to find. I have also tried to optimize/defrag same drive, but it seems to think that there is nothing to do there also.

I ran CrystalDiskInfo and learned that it considers the health status of both drives to be "good" with temps of 38C and 32C. Nothing notably abnormal jumped out at me in the rest of the data.

After a while, I started to wonder if some of the bg processes that run: Microsoft's system defender, google photo, adobe's cs5 updater/downloader, etc., might somehow be getting greedy with cpu, disk, or memory resources during a long-term blank screensaver session and somehow causing it to be unable to respond after being awakened.

Windows updates on its own (I've given up on trying to control it) and I know that it has nothing left in it's queue. My saphire nitro also doesn't have any new updates for me.

In short, I don't know how to diagnose this older machine. I'm assuming that rebooting during a long-term freeze means that it hasn't written any crash data to any log files. I think that there must be some sort of auto-written records related to the several times when I found it at one of the black screens, but I am uncertain what/where to find and how to interpret.

Can anyone offer advise as to what I should do next. Just for the record, buying an all new replacement machine is not currently within my budget.

Thank you, in advance, for your helpful feedback.


Subsequent Addendum

I finally discovered how to look at the windows "reliability monitor", which, besides detailing all the windows updates that have been successfully installed, itemized the times I have had to turn the unresponsive computer off. It noted these as unexpected shutdowns.

2016/05/25 8:27:45 PM
2016/06/04 1:00:18 PM
2016/06/08 4:10:23 AM
2016/06/08 7:29:28 AM
2016/06/08 8:02:37 AM
2016/06/08 4:34:42 PM
2016/06/08 8:21:04 PM
2016/06/09 2:20:23 AM
2016/06/14 9:37 PM

2016/06/26 update

Thank you to all who provided such excellent feedback.

I have not yet proceeded to do the re-install of windows, but something seems to have changed. After my initial feedback/advise request, while attempting to figure out how to read/understand the logs, I was wading thru some of the win10 Control Panel >> All Control Panel Items >> Troubleshooting dialogs involving Hardware and Sound, Network and Internet, and System and Security. I let it search for problems with the "apply repairs automatically" checked. It reported that it didn't like something about my desktop's power management configuration and fixed it automatically. I have no idea what this was, but now, instead of going to my presumed lowest-cpu-overhead choice of the "blank" screen saver with lengthened times before it turned off drives/monitors etc., it goes to an extra this-is-an-image-microsoft-thinks-you-might-like screen, then the enter-into-my-already-logged-in-account screen first. All I know is that when I come back to the computer after it has entered it's screen-saver rest state, I can get back in.

I'm thinking/hoping that this, in addition to the positive result disk tests, indicates that the issue was with the os/sw config rather than my disks or other hardware. For the moment, unless things go bad again, I'm holding off on the more thorough re-install of windows.

Thank you to all who gave feedback, especially those that clued me in to the option of re-installing my upgraded OS.

I would test the drives further. Download Seagate Seatools for Windows (good with any brand) and run a long generic test, which should take a couple of hours.

From my personal experience, I found that clean install rigs were by far , less problematic than upgrades. You could run around in circles for a long time......shorter to re install clean. AFTER being sure that no other factor could play. I find that an install and a few updates is a good real-time test for the rig. (IMO)

MKK, thank you for that advise. I downloaded and ran the Seagate Seatools you recommended. For both drives, all tests passed. The tests were for

  • S.M.A.R.T.
  • Short Drive Self Test
  • Short Generic
  • Long Generic (this took almost 3 hours)

I didn't run the "advanced" tests as it warned that they could erase data.


A clean install would be nice, but having upgraded this machine to windows 10 from windows 7, I have a "Digital Entitlement" as opposed to a "Product key" and think that I would not be able to re-upgrade my re-installed windows 7 for free a 2nd time.

Pull your license key with something like

and then create clean install windows 10 media

in some cases older hardware may suffer from driver issues that you will have to sort out or just wait for an update from win 10 so having driver disks or a seperate harddrive with working updated drivers is kind of handy

unchecking reboot on error in bios might help some ? I would say the older the hardware the more driver issues you may have. Tracking down updated drivers for everything on your system is worth the effort.

There is also an option in windows 10 to basically do a reinstall where it overwrites everything in the registry and reinstalls the OS files to their original condition. You would have to reinstall any programs you had before the clean slate reinstall. I had to do that to fix my PC when I kept having a Broadcom wireless AC driver bug that would make my wireless card completely inoperable. Even after doing several system restores, the problem would always come back in a couple of weeks.

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You can just do a clean install of Windows 10 now that you have done the upgrade. This is because it has associated your Windows 7 key with your Microsoft account. It will recognize your hardware and automatically activate. Follow the instructions here:

Batojiri and Aezen

I didn't know that I could re-install win10 from my original win7. That's good to know. I will check that out.

Thank you

Yes, I can confirm. I have done this a couple of times now. Once the initial upgrade to Windows 10 is complete Microsoft stores a unique identifier for your PC based on your motherboard. Once this is done and your Windows 10 PC says it is licensed you can do as many fresh installs on that PC as you like.

If you still have issues after this the first port of call is

Computer management > System tools > Event viewer > Custom Views > Administrative Events

to see what errors are captured.