When Your PC Gives You the Cold Shoulder: Deciphering Freeze and Crash Codes



I am seeking expert advice on a perplexing issue with my newly assembled PC, which has begun to exhibit freezing behavior. The problem typically manifests after reaching the login screen; upon entering my password and attempting to proceed, the system reverts to the main screen. Repeated attempts result in the same outcome, followed by a complete freeze where only mouse movement remains possible. Occasionally, the system operates normally for up to two hours before the freezing recurs, and it also occurs during startup, displaying the ASUS logo.

Moreover, I have encountered multiple blue screen errors, including ‘clock watchdog timeout,’ ‘driver_irql_not_less_or_equal,’ ‘kernel security check failure,’ and ‘page fault in nonpaged area.’

Despite reinstalling Windows 10, which was challenging due to freezing during the process, and the system recovery mode experiencing similar issues, the BIOS remains unaffected. Memory checks returned normal results, all drivers are up to date, and I have reseated all components, including the CPU. System performance appeared optimal prior to these events.

Given these circumstances, could the issue be attributed to a faulty motherboard or CPU?

I appreciate any guidance you can provide.

My system configuration includes an Asus B760-f gaming wifi, Intel i7 14700-kf, NVIDIA RTX 4070, 32 GB Corsair Vengeance RGB Pro RAM, and a 2 TB Samsung Evo 990 Pro SSD.”

This version maintains the original message’s intent while presenting it as a query to a technical expert.


Dear PC Builder,

The freezing issues you’re encountering with your new PC build are indeed a cause for concern, but rest assured, they are not uncommon in the realm of custom PC assembly. The symptoms you’ve described provide valuable clues that point us towards potential solutions.


Freezing at Login Screen:

The recurring freezing at the login screen, which sometimes allows for brief periods of normal operation, suggests an intermittent issue that could be related to software, drivers, or possibly hardware conflicts.


Blue Screen Errors:

The variety of blue screen errors you’ve experienced are critical indicators of where the underlying problems may lie:

  • Clock Watchdog Timeout:

    This error often points to processor-related issues, possibly involving the CPU’s inability to handle interrupts properly.

  • Driver_IRQL_Not_Less_Or_Equal:

    This error is typically associated with driver conflicts, particularly with new installations or updates.

  • Kernel Security Check Failure:

    This error can arise from memory issues, corrupt system files, or incompatible drivers.

  • Page Fault in Nonpaged Area:

    This error usually indicates problems with memory or storage devices, such as your SSD.

  • 3.

    Stability in BIOS and Memory Checks:

    The fact that your system is stable in BIOS and has passed memory checks is a good sign, suggesting that the basic hardware components are likely functioning correctly.

    Expert Recommendations:

    To address the issues you’re facing, consider the following expert recommendations:


    Driver and Software Review:

    Ensure that all drivers, particularly those for your motherboard and graphics card, are not only up to date but also correctly configured for your specific hardware setup.


    Operating System Integrity:

    Since you’ve already reinstalled Windows 10, consider performing a clean installation, ensuring that the installation media is not corrupted.


    Hardware Diagnostics:

    While the CPU and motherboard are potential culprits, it’s also worth examining other components:

    • Test your RAM with tools like MemTest86 to rule out any defects.
    • Check your SSD with the manufacturer’s utilities to ensure it’s functioning correctly.
    • Inspect the motherboard for any signs of damage or unusual behavior.
    • 4.

    Thermal Management:

    Monitor the temperatures of your CPU and GPU under load to confirm they are within safe operating ranges.


    Power Supply Evaluation:

    A faulty or inadequate power supply can cause system instability. Verify that your PSU is providing stable and sufficient power to all components.


    While it’s possible that the motherboard or CPU could be at fault, it’s essential to methodically rule out other potential causes first. By following the steps outlined above, you should be able to narrow down the source of the freezing and resolve the issue.

    Your build is impressive and should provide excellent performance once these initial hurdles are overcome. I wish you the best of luck in troubleshooting and hope you’ll soon enjoy the full capabilities of your new PC.

    Kind regards,

    A PC Hardware Specialist

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    Privacy Terms Contacts About Us