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Maximus VIII Hero - Freeze (hard reset) when idle

Level 7
Long story short:
My PC is running Win 10 and freezes pretty much every time it's idle for a bit.
However, I've stayed home playing for several days and haven't experienced a single freeze while it is active.
I was hoping to get some input and get some fresh ideas.

-System freezes (ONLY) when idle and requires a hard reset.
-To reiterate: it does NOT freeze when it is in use (not idle)
-Event logs only show abnormal restarts, no errors or warnings before that.

OS: Win 10 Pro
CPU: Intel i7-6700k
Motherboard: Maximus VIII Hero
RAM: 2x4GB (3000Mhz) set by Corsair, setup to run at 3000mhz
HDD: (???) Somewhat old seagate 1.5TB, Sandisk Pro 240 SSD (Used only for games)
Graphics: Asus Strix GTX 980 Ti
-----External Hardware------
External Audio: Asus Xonar U7
Keyboard: Corsair RGB k65
Mouse: Razer Ouroboros

BIOS: Latest (at this point) with default settings without overclock, except for RAM frequencies and timings.

A short list of solutions I've tried that did not help:
1. Clean boot.
2. No Asus AI suite (although I do have the sound driver that comes with Asus sonic suite)
3. Disabled sleep, screen shutoff, hard drive stops shutdown ( and anything else I could find) when idle.
4. Disabled PCI power saving and USB suspension.
5. (Edit 1) Disabling all C-states for CPU in bios.

A clean install of windows 10 seems to have eliminated the problem, but at some point after getting the drivers back in freezes came back.

My list of suspects:

  • Windows 10 (obviously) - because it's new product and I don't think I had freezes before upgrading (going to install Win 7 just to confirm)
  • Gameguard - I've seen or heard it cause pretty much every "common" system instability in the book on some PCs. I'm playing a game that has it, although I'm getting freezes without actually starting the game.
  • BIOS - It has lots of settings I didn't really mess with. It might be a power related option...
  • Motherboard/Graphics card drivers - this is one of the suspects because as I mentioned, I don't think Win 10 froze without drivers.
  • Keyboard - I doubt it's causing this, because I've tried shutting supporting software down with a clean boot. Then again, It was 1 of the things I didn't have on the clean Win 10 that didn't freeze.

It's rather sad, really, a ton of "expensive" consumer hardware and it can't handle being idle....

Level 12
Please provide more details regarding your "freeze" issue.
Intel i9 10850K@ 5.3GHz
ASUS ROG Strix Z490-E
Corsair H115i Pro XT
G.Skill TridentZ@ 3600MHz CL14 2x16GB
EVGA RTX 3090 Ti FWT3 Ultra
OS: WD Black SN850 1TB NVMe M.2
Storage: WD Blue SN550 2TB NVMe M.2
EVGA SuperNova 1200 P2
ASUS ROG Strix Helios GX601

When i say a "freeze" I mean a computer lockup, where screen displays whatever it was displaying when freeze occured. All software stops (or at least seems like it, because my software driven keyboard leds stop following the pattern i set up).
I need a hard reset to get my PC to work again.

So far only pattern I see is that happening only when system is idle (no input), regardless of what is running in the foreground.

Level 15

I've got the same symptoms on my system (specs should be visible on my profile).

I'm running BIOS 1402 and I have selected the 2666MHz XMP profile for my RAM. I have also increased the RAM voltage by 0.005 (sorry, doing this from memory as I'm not in front of my system right now) as I had a 'gut feeling' it was memory voltage related.

Windows 7 Ultimate on BIOS earlier than 1302 was fairly regularly locking up (total freeze as described - the clock would display the time at which the freeze occurs, usually whilst I'm away from the PC). I disabled all overclocking (including XMP profiles) and this made very little difference.

Upgraded to Windows 10 - no noticeable improvement in system stability. Upgrade to current BIOS (1302 at the time) had much improved stability. My RAM has two XMP profiles 2400 and 2666 - the 2666 profile seemed to be much more stable for me than the 2400 with BIOS 1302 and Windows 10.

Upgraded BIOS to 1402 and the instability returned - not as frequent as it was initially, but feels more frequent than on 1302. I'm considering going back to 1302 (I didn't upgrade straight away but then had 'nag' screens that weren't easily removed telling me a BIOS update was available).

When I have time I'm planning to reinstall Windows 10 with no additional software such as AI Suite etc. and just use the XMP profile in the BIOS. Unrelated: this is because I seem to have problems with USB ports powering down and not coming back and I'm going to go back to as basic an installation as possible.

Chino wrote:
Make sure your motherboard is running the latest BIOS. Also test your system at stock default.

I am running the latest bios, but what do you mean by "stock default"? It's a desktop PC i built myself, so there's no built-in OS if that's what you mean.

As for the RAM, I've tested in with auto frequency in bios, same thing happens.

Pretty sure that Chino meant that the BIOS was at stock/default settings, i.e. no changes to tuning or other settings.

Bios defaults ram to auto and that's the same frequency, higher voltage (which by the way, doesn't help) and different CAS timings.
Doesn't do much.

I've also tried disabling C-States, since they seems to be linked to idle freezing (also same results).

I will now attempt to reinstall WinX and slowly install things 1 by 1 and give it like 30min after each thing to check if it dies or not.... As much as I hate wasting time like this...

jervine wrote:
Pretty sure that Chino meant that the BIOS was at stock/default settings, i.e. no changes to tuning or other settings.

That's correct. No changes to the BIOS. Not even XMP. Also make sure your memory modules are installed in the optimal slots.

Level 7
Quick update:
I did a clean WinX install and disabled all power saving options. Then I slowly installed small driver and software packages and after each package I let my PC sit for about 20-30 min to see if it freezes.

Although it's inconclusive, it seems like Corsair K70 "driver" and supporting software (Corsair Utility Engine) is to blame. I installed it, put default rainbow lighting effect on, drank some tea and the PC was frozen when i came back.
An odd thing is that I have strong reason to believe that CUE causes it, but uninstalling it doesn't fix the issue.

I'm doing another clean install and going to install everything (including stuff I didn't install this time) besides the keyboard stuff and see if I get the freezes.