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HP Recommended
Microsoft Windows 10 (64-bit)


Hello! I have an HP Z420 workstation that seems to freeze up/crash overnight, just about every night.

I'll come to use the workstation and the screen will come on but the desktop is stuck and you can see that it crashed like 5 hours ago, for example.


If it hasn't crashed after not using it overnight, it will be running impossibly slow. Opening task manager it will be running at 100% CPU even though I don't have any active programs running.


The process called System is often using alot of CPU when this happens.


When the workstation runs, it runs fine- but this problem is bugging me.




Processor Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU E5-1620 0 @ 3.60GHz 3.60 GHz
Installed RAM 64.0 GB
Device ID E34CF396-287E-49B1-B2CF-2D4D00D21BF9
Product ID 00330-80000-00000-AA233
System type 64-bit operating system, x64-based processor
Pen and touch No pen or touch input is available for this display


Edition Windows 10 Pro
Version 20H2
Installed on ‎8/‎5/‎2021
OS build 19042.1586
Experience Windows Feature Experience Pack 120.2212.4170.0

HP Recommended

This sounds like a problem with "fast startup" and "hibernate" in your power settings... turn both of those off and leave the other two on.  You need to go into your Control Panel in W10 and down to the Power Options app.  Once in that select "Choose what the power button does" and click on "Change settings that are currently unavailable".  The 4 settings will be grayed out until you do that, as shown in the pic below.


We always turn off both of those in all workstations... they are not worth the problems they can cause.


In addition to that you should upgrade your video card drivers to the latest for W10... from the card's vendor.  In some cases this will fix such odd issues.


Finally it may help to set your sleep settings to those shown in the second pic below...  but I'd try the first step for a while before doing that:


Always turn off Fast Startup and HibernateAlways turn off Fast Startup and HibernateSet Sleep to "Never" only if needed...Set Sleep to "Never" only if needed...




HP Recommended

Hello! Thanks for the response.


I don't have the options for fast startup or hibernate.

I clicked the "change settings that are not available."

I have the workstation set to never sleep, and never turn off the display.



HP Recommended

Well, that might be related to your problem. Something important is missing...


Every single one of our W10 workstations has those 4 check boxes available, and I know because I went around and turned those two items off on each one.  These builds all are based on clean installs of W10Pro64; they are not just W7Pro64 upgrades to W10.  It is fine to do a W7Pro64 upgrade to W10 first to get your W10 licensing taken care of, but once your computer's UUID from the motherboard is auto-registered with the Microsoft W10 licensing servers you can then do a clean install from scratch any time you want on that workstation.  We don't like to run upgraded W7-to-W10 builds because there can be W7 bits and setting leftovers that get carried forward.


Some of our builds are on identical workstations, all W10 registered, so on those you can clone a clean build from one to the others.  But, a bunch also are individual clean installs.  All show all 4 check boxes in that Power Options app.  So, my guess is that you don't have a true clean install and something is missing or a leftover setting is off.


One thing to try is to run this set of two system clean utilities built into W10:


You need to run this from an elevated command prompt... look that up if you don't know how.  You can copy/paste these two lines and paste that onto the elevated CMD prompt in the open CMD window:


DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth
sfc /scannow



DISM will run first with a progress track showing.  Then scannow will show up, and sometimes it will self launch but usually not... you just need to see that it is ready to go and hit enter on your keyboard.  This is worth a try... lot better than doing a clean install of W10Pro64 and all your apps.

HP Recommended

i've also seen the OS (windows tasks) and random software glitch, causing a slow memory leak that over time crashes the OS preventing it from returning from sleep. this is why we do a base windows install with just the necessary OS drivers for the installed hardware then test the sleep function, and if good do a restore image, then install MS security updates and again test sleep, then create a restore point and proceed to application install and again do restore snapshots.


this way if sleep or anything weird happens we know at what point things went south and have a fallback point to recover a working OS

HP Recommended

Hello, thanks for following up!


I ran the DISM and got this message:


and the sfc/scannow:



Still got the CPU overload after the workstation sat idle for an hour or so.



HP Recommended

Something else is missing... Well, live with it or do a clean install... it is not so bad of an experience.


I'd not trust that workstation for the work we do.

HP Recommended

I bought it refurbed from Amazon two years ago, just wanted the RAM to run music recording software. You think this thing is just not a viable machine?


I feel like I did a system reinstall maybe a year ago. Nothing seems to stop this guy from getting overwhelmed and freezing after not being used. 

HP Recommended

The Z420 and Z620 workstations have been very reliable under W10.  Your symptoms and the missing parts of the OS point to an OS problem rather than a hardware problem. I learned long ago that wiping a boot drive down to raw status and starting from scratch resulted in freeing me from such problems and was the best investment of my time.


I'll assume you have a high quality SSD, an excellent enterprise class video card, and good matched RAM, and the latest firmware.  I'd be running with an Intel 545s or a good Samsung SSD, a nVidia K2000 or for higher video performance a K2200, and enough quality RAM sticks.  I'd then do a clean W10 install and check for these issues again. The fact that you can't remember if you did this "maybe a year ago" implies you may/likely did not.


It would be easy for me to get a good used 256GB or 512GB SSD off eBay, low level wipe it with a bootable DBAN CD, and then MBR partition and long-type NTFS format it, and do a clean W10Pro64 proper install while keeping your current boot SSD out of the workstation, and do this experiment.  But, for you, that might not be easy at all. Maybe get a good computer shop involved?

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