Fix For ASUS P8P67 Deluxe Freezing & Locking Up Randomly

My current desktop computer is a custom built gaming rig, built in late 2011 with a few minor upgrades since then.  It has the following hardware:

The computer is very fast, and with one exception, I am very pleased.  However, the exception is a big one.  Since day 1, my build has been plagued with random lock ups.  In the middle of a task, with seemingly no provocation, the screen will freeze and the only solution is to shut down the computer.  Then, when this happens, the computer will not restart until about 30 minutes have passed, and then only if you hold down the power button for 10 seconds, release, and again press the power button normally.  The computer would do this approximately every other day.

My early diagnosis was the three Mushkin solid state drives that I had in a striped RAID configuration.  After researching them heavily, I discovered that the firmware on those particular drives was prone to freezing up the computer in various ways (blue screens, freezes, random shutdowns, et cetera).  So I lived with this for quite a while as I had invested heavily in those drives, and wasn’t keen on laying out more cash to replace them.  Eventually I did replace them with one of my favorite series of hard drives, Western Digital’s enterprise collection (RE4).  They are not solid state drives, but they are extremely fast, and seemingly impossible to kill.  Unfortunately, this did not solve the problem and I kept getting more and more frustrated.

After extensively Googling the problem, I found that someone with similar symptoms had solved it by running ASUS’ auto overclocking software (AI Suite II), and telling it to go for maximum performance.  This, unfortunately, did not work for me, but it did cut down the frequency of the computer freezes.  Now instead of every other day, it happens maybe once a week, and rarely when I’m in the middle of something.  So, I let it sit like this for a while.  It was annoying, but tolerable, and I was afraid that the solution to the problem would require an outpouring of cash to replace the guts of the computer, something I did not want to do.

 

However, I wasn’t satisfied with the status quo forever, and eventually got frustrated enough to try my hand at tracking down the problem again.  I started by thinking about what exactly ASUS’ overclocking changed exactly.  Unsurprisingly, it ups the clock frequency of the CPU, but I found it unlikely that increasing the clock speed would reduce the frequency of freeze ups.

But, something else commonly done when overclocking a processor is overclocking the RAM.  These are inextricably linked, and are thus often adjusted together.  Again, I had my doubts that simply pushing the RAM harder would reduce the freeze ups, but I figured that perhaps it made some subtle voltage increases which increase stability.  I knew that the RAM, prior to overclocking, was set to the proper voltages and speeds in the BIOS as I had to set those manually when first setting up the computer.  But maybe those stock settings weren’t good enough.  So I removed all overclocking, and began messing with RAM voltages to see what would happen.  Without any overclocking, and at the proper voltages, the computer would freeze as it did early on, every other day.  After ramping things up, the stability increased, but the computer would still eventually freeze.  I did manage to dramatically reduce lock ups, but they would not go away, and I was uncomfortable with pushing the voltage any higher.  So there was my diagnosis!  RAM!

Eventually I may replace the RAM, but again, I don’t feel like laying down any money to do so right now.  So, for the time being, I have lowered the RAM timing’s by a notch, and have the voltage raised by one increment above the default.  As of well over a week later, the computer is still stable and hasn’t locked up.  Fingers crossed.

ASUS P8P67 Deluxe UEFI BIOS Screenshot - RAM Latency

First 4 latency numbers all incremented by 1. Default for this set of RAM is 7-7-7-21.

ASUS P8P67 Deluxe UEFI BIOS Screenshot - RAM Voltage

DRAM voltage set 6.25 mV higher than the default 1.5 V.

 

If you have an ASUS P8P67 Deluxe motherboard suffering from random lock ups, try messing with your RAM voltages and timing.  It seems to be working for me.

Comments & Discussions

    • John Morris

      Hi! Glad it is helpful. I never completely got rid of the lock ups, but they decreased to once every several months rather than several times a week. Not too long ago, I upgraded my RAM to 16GB of 1600MHz Corsair Vengeance, and this problem went away completely.

      I hope it completely eliminates the problem for you!

      Reply
      • Sawood

        Hi John,

        Just touching base here, as my lockups have sadly increased in frequency to once every couple of hours.

        Did the replacement RAM completely eliminate the issue?

        Thanks!

        Reply
        • Sawood

          I’d just like to follow-up this post. New RAM did not fix this problem for me, but disabling ‘deep sleep’ C3 and C6 modes in the BIOS CPU settings entirely eliminated the problem.

          Thanks.

          Reply
          • John Morris

            Hi Sawood,

            The new RAM completely fixed the random lock-up problems. The only remaining frustration with this motherboard is that every once in a while, the computer won’t wake up from sleep properly. When I try, it will show a USB overcurrent error, then shut down. I then have to do whole 30 minutes nonsense.

            But the random lock-ups are completely gone.

  1. back_pain

    Thank you so much for posting this. I have the exact same problem with a similar setup. same motherboard and RAM but instead of the i5 2500K I have an i7 2600k. I’ll try out your “fix” and hopefully it will work.

    Reply
    • John Morris

      I hope it helps! As I mentioned to Sawood, it never completely got rid of the problem for me, but it reduced the frequency of the problems immensely.

      Reply
  2. Andrew Walker

    I’ve been having similar issues with random lock-ups. I can go for days and it never happens and sometimes it happens a couple times a day. I’m trying the C3 and C6 state disable mentioned above by Sawood, hopefully it works. For me the odd thing is the fact that even when running everything at a very low overclock, even stock speeds, it still happens.

    I’m curious as to what the general consensus is regarding the best BIOS currently available for the P8P67 when running an i7 2600K? I would appreciate any input.

    Reply
    • John Morris

      Well, as I mentioned to Sawood above, a complete RAM replacement fixed the issue for me. The “fixes” detailed in this article simply reduced the frequency of the problems.

      I have never noticed any difference in the BIOS’ tried (and I tried several) with regards to this problem. They all worked equally well (or poorly actually). I would simply use the latest BIOS update available from ASUS.

      If the C3/C6 state fix works, definitely mention it here so others with the problem know of it. It’s an incredibly frustrating problem.

      Reply
      • Sawood

        It’s been over a week since I disabled the C3/C6 states and I’ve gone from 6+ freezes a day to none at all. John’s original posted suggestion did reduce the problem initially though.

        This deep sleep issue possibly also explains why most freezes happened whilst the machine was idle.

        I had to disable these states before I could complete a freeze-free Windows 10 installation, so this seems to have been the culprit.

        Regards.

        Reply
      • Nick

        I built my computer back in 2013, Asus P8Z77-M with a 3570k. When I set the computer up I left most of it to auto or whatever all the values for the CPU and the ram looked correct however, I got the random lock up problem. It drove me nuts for months on end and finally I discovered disabling C3/C6 fixes the problem but runs the computer at full power 24/7. I guess this isn’t a problem for folks that turn their computer off when their done but I do not.

        I built the same computer at my work for my desk computer and had the same problem so figured maybe it was an issue with these boards and the c3/c6 trick worked but it sell locked up about once a week. I got new RAM and upgraded from 8GB to 16GB and now it seems the problem has disappeared.

        I may try and switch out the ram on my home computer and then re-enable C3/C6 and see if it doesn’t lock up anymore, it would be nice to get the power savings features back..

        Reply

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