BSOD / Hangs / High Pitch Tone & Crashes

Hello all… I hope there’s someone out there who can help???

I have been having a lot of issues with Cubase 8 Pro recently, I get a mixture of BSOD’s, complete hangs (where my computer freezes and I have to force shut down), and sometimes when this happens I get a very high pitch tone too.

My PC is a dedicated machine for my home studio, it gets used for nothing but music and has very little installed apart from Cubase, Reason (which I hardly use) and other related software programmes. It’s only a few months old, and I have had a few issues which I have manages to sort out, but now this is becoming much more frequent, here’s the spec…

Windows 7 Pro 64bit

ASUS M5 A97 R2.0 motherboard

4gb 8 core AMD 8350 FX

32gb RAM

MSI R6670 (AMD Radeon) Graphics Card

MOTU 2408 mk3 sound card, with PCI / Firewire

Cooler Master case with 3 120mm case fans and the CPU cooler (which has 2 fans).

I don’t even think I’m making it work too hard, my latest project is still at the “loop” stage, I have 8/9 instrument channels, not really working the CPU and about 7/8 audio with very few plug-ins running.

I do keep an eye on the CPU and it very rarely hits the top, although it does spike from time to time. Initially I had a massive issue with the CPU spiking every few seconds but I found that enabling the ASIO Guard fixed that, I have it set to maximum as it seems even less stable on the medium setting, without it enabled I get random clicks and pops quite regularly which is no good.

At the moment I can’t get more than a few minutes of use from Cubase without my machine crashing, I’ve had a look about and tried a few things but it’s not getting any better.

If you have any suggestions that may help I would be eternally grateful!!!

Thanks, Dan.

I am not a technician, but I believe that BSODs are usually hardware related? Since so many people are running Cubase without crashing, it must be an issue specific to your system that is the root cause.

I for example have an AMD 8350 and it runs sweetly. BSODs and freezing can often be connection related, such as a loose S-ATA lead, or loose PCIe board / memory. Try disconnecting the power and go carefully over every connection point. I have in the past had issues with hard drive connections. Everything runs sweetly, then suddenly freezes up, BSOD, all sorts of different symptoms, but all related to a bad connector. It seemed at the time like a completely illogical fault.

Good luck anyway, no doubt other people will have ideas and tests that you can apply

Thank you, I’ll have a look over all the connections in the machine tomorrow and report back.

Which graphics card are you using, I read a few posts where users had had issues with graphics cards causing random CPU spikes???

On the machine where I am now the graphics card is modest: 2048MB ATI AMD Radeon HD 5450. I can’t remember what’s in the other machine, which is elsewhere. It will be a budget card though. I haven’t had problems with spikes, although scrolling big projects fast does reveal that the card is struggling a bit. I plan to upgrade at some point, but it’s generally not enough of a problem to need a quick fix.

Hi there

I always chime in when BSOD’s are mentioned as it happened to me. In my case it was a fan on the CPU that got clogged and it overheated. I only really solved my problem when I got a liquid cooling fan. It may not be that at all in your case but you can easily download CPU temperature monitor programmes just to check, it’s worth a go.

Best Regards


I’ve had it in bits today, cleaned all of the connections up, disconnected everything in the machine that doesn’t need to be connected and then ran Cubase, it worked fine so then I left it running and went to do a few bits, came back an hour later and it had blue screened!!!

I think that the next step must be to go for liquid cooling, which I should have got in the first place when I specced the machine, I wish the guys at Computer Planet were a bit more knowledgeable and helpful and I also wish that I’d have got an Intel processor, it was the extra £500 that was the sticking point with that though!

Download some kind of system monitor first. Like Piriform Speccy and see if you have high CPU temperatures. Might save you some money!

After weeks of BSOD errors I finally tracked my problem down to a hard disk starting to fail.
Crystal disk info software found this for me. I replaced the disk. And had a backup image and all ok again.
Could be something completely different for you of course.

Ive had BSOD problems now and then…

Only thing i can add that hasnt been mentioned yet… is to check your RAM modules… even if 1 is going bust… or is loose you can get a bsod problem…

Usually if high pitch tone accompanies your bsod, it is a RAM issue…

All the best!

Agreeing with Beanstalk40, you have plenty of RAM, so you could run with half taken out for a trial period and then switch over to see if you can eliminate it as a cause. RAm issues will certainly cause freezes and BSODs, all sorts of messed up behaviour.

Sounds like a CPU cooling issue and/or a CPU voltage setting in the BIOS or UEFI.

Are you overclocking or running at the stock multiplier?

What kind of cooling do you have? I would strongly consider even an inexpensive liquid cooling solution over air, even if you’re not overclocking.

Try leaving the case as open as possible. Open air design cases are in fashion right now, anyway. :smiley:

If you’re getting a BSOD, it’s more likely that the CPU is not getting enough voltage, rather than a CPU cooling shutdown (though the two are related), as the screen usually just goes black and everything shuts off for overheat events.

If you can find a gaming nerd with overclocking experience, have them try bumping the voltage up to increase stability (be sure to have proper cooling in place).

Make sure your BIOS or UEFI is up-to-date. Try resetting to its “optimized defaults.” ASUS BIOS updates have solved this exact issue for me.

A DAW can easily put a load on a CPU that is not typical, even for gaming. The CPU cooling / voltage is usually where to look first.

It’s probably not RAM related, but do make sure you’re supplying enough voltage to the RAM, too (whatever it’s spec’d for).

You can usually bump the voltage a bit higher to help increase stability of both the CPU and RAM.

More voltage = more stability (and less BSODs), but requires more cooling.

I haven’t OC’d AMD in a while, but the newer Intel chips are hard to burn out. They’re pretty smart about shutting down if the voltage is set too high.

It can take a long time to tune a DAW when you’re not running at stock clock (and sometimes even when you are).

If you want to throw money at the problem, and are ready for a new build, get the new Intel CPUs (at the time of this writing), they are super stable even when OC’d. They’re built to run hot.