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Next Step in Troubleshooting

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March 13, 2006 9:44:58 PM

Posted in the PSU forums as well, since I'd like to explore other possible issues besides a faulty PSU (since it IS Fortran Source, I would hope that the PSU wouldn't be bad):

Hi. Maybe you might remember my problem from before, its been a couple weeks since I posted (2 weeks to RMA my processor).

I ordered these parts from Newegg:

AMD Athlon 64 3700+
ASUS A8N5X
2x512mb Corsair XMS
ATI x1900XT
Sound Blaster X-Fi Xtreme Music
Windows XP Home, SP2
500W Fortran Source (FSP Group) Blue Storm Power Supply.

Here is a rough timeline:

Day 1: Worked Fine
Day 2: Began shutting off while playing games, like a total power loss
Could play games for about 20 minutes before shutdown, no error
Ran Prime95 to see if it was video card, crashed on Prime95
Day 3: System won't boot up anymore, get blue screen with random errors
each time.
Attempt re-install of Windows, get consecutive blue screens during
during file copy (either repairing or fresh installing without
reformatting).
Swap out all memory modules (running 1 of each of my old sticks
and new sticks, same crash on attempting to install)
Day 4: Run out and buy a new mobo (DFI LanParty NForce4 Ultra)
Hook it all up, reinstall windows, reinstall runs fine, computer begins
working again.
Day 5: Same shutdowns as before, fits same previous profile. Before it
gets to the point that it will not boot-up, I RMA the processor to AMD
Day 6-20: AMD processes RMA including shipping there and back
Day 21: Get new processor, this time a Newcastle core 3800+. Pretty
pieved about the different core, I paid for the 90nm die and 1g
cache so I feel a bit cheated. Open it up anyways, maybe it was
a flaw in the core design interfacing with...well who knows.
I hook it up to the old A8N5X I originally ordered (as its half the price of the DFI Lanparty and I wish to return that since that is not the problem)
Crashes when I attempt to sign into Windows XP, blue screen.
Attempt to reinstall windows, get blue screen wether I attempt a repair or a fresh install (without reformatting)

I'm about to RMA the PSU (if its not outside the RMA time period). Any other ideas? Maybe a bad controller screwing up the HDD or a bad HDD?

I'm all out of ideas and if the PSU RMA doesn't work then I don't know what I'm gonna do.

Any ideas, input, and suggestions would be greatly appreciated before I kick off another 2 week fiasco RMAing the PSU.

FTR, the PSU has TWO 15A +12V rails, so +12V power supply shouldn't be the issue.

Thanks in advance,
Russ

More about : step troubleshooting

March 13, 2006 11:12:44 PM

I would go to a store that has a nice return policy, buy a new PSU and try it out. If it doesn't help, return it.

All PSU's die... All PSUs can be DOA. I've heard of Antecs that are DOA. It happens, don't be too shocked.

I would also try just running 1 stick of RAM and see if you can isolate the issue to RAM.

You can try a diff HDD if possible.

As prozac26 said, scan for that stuff. Or just reformat and reinstall and make sure your computer is isolated from the internet.
March 13, 2006 11:24:11 PM

I'm inclined to think its a hardware issue since he said

"Day 3: System won't boot up anymore, get blue screen with random errors
each time.
Attempt re-install of Windows, get consecutive blue screens during
during file copy (either repairing or fresh installing without
reformatting). "

Especially during the re-install, I don't think any software viruses/etc can kill it if its from CD-ROM (which I assume it is, not launched from XP).
If it is launched from XP, then yeah, I agree w/ prozac26, scan first.
Related resources
March 13, 2006 11:45:25 PM

nor,

This is sounding alot like an intermittent failure of the HDD. It is not likely the HDD controller since you have swapped Mobos and are still having the errors.

Do you have access to the HDD's Diag program? Run this and verify you are not having any issue or errors thrown.

I would guess it is not the powersupply. Before RMA'ing anything you need to try your best to do problem isolation so you avoid costly shipping fees or possible restocking fees.

I would start by taking out anything not necessary to boot/load windows. Additional hardrives, CDROM, DVDROM, card reader...... Only keep the things you need to startup and load. Then add devices back. If it is a Power supply error it could be on overload. Your problem could also be an individual device that does not play nice with others. By adding back devices (after stable) one at a time it will help you to isolate the problem.

If you have a second hardrive put it in the box (standalone, as in no other hard drives) and try the Windows install from there.
March 14, 2006 12:04:20 AM

Switched the memory already, same problem, memory is not the issue.

It happens when booting WinXP install from CD, so can't be malware, etc.

I've disconnected the new HDD (RAptor 10k SATA) and am reinstalling winxp now on one of my old ATA100 drives. I'll keep you updated. This may take a while though, installs are only 30 minutes on the raptor I imagine this will be 1 hr+
March 14, 2006 12:06:16 AM

OK, I had this small problem the first time I was reinstalling. It comes up in the file copy process saying "Such and Such file cannot be copied, retry skip or exit" So I hit retry and it continues along to another random file it cannot seem to copy and comes up with the error again. I just keep retrying until I'm all the way through.

Only happened once on this reinstall.
March 14, 2006 12:09:04 AM

BOOM

Crash and Burn, blue screen of death while copying install files from CD to HDD (not the new Raptor that I've BEEN having all the problems on but one of my old trusty ATA100s).

I will try swapping CDRoms now....will keep posted.....developing.........

and beginning install with my old CDROM..........
March 14, 2006 12:12:28 AM

After the CD-ROMs, i think the last part you haven't done is the PSU. :? Also if the PSU isn't providing good power, you're going to have to use a known good CD-ROM, since bad power can lead to CD-ROM errors. (pull it outta your friend's machine!) :p 
March 14, 2006 12:26:47 AM

If this is a standard BSOD (blue screen of death) from Windows there is a lot of information to be found in the error that it throws.

Can you type the error letter for letter in this forum?

If so we can search the Knowledge database for the error condition and a possible fix.
March 14, 2006 12:31:14 AM

Hmm, after installing the new CDROM, Windows (installer off of CDROM) refused to recognize the HDD, even though the BIOS recognized it fine.

In fact, windows was offering to REPAIR the previous install, but when I go to do that or intall new copy it says no HDD found.

Disconnected the ATA drive and hooked back up the Raptor, tryhing reinstall again.
March 14, 2006 12:32:22 AM

I will try, its a generic blue screen with a hex code at the end.

Sometimes there are random other error including Page Faults in unpaged area, and another I can't remember.
March 14, 2006 12:45:29 AM

Just got a file copy error again with the old CDROM and the new Raptor HDD, at 84%.

It might make it through the file copy without blue screen this time, but it doesn't mean that the problem is fixed. Thats why I hate this kind of crap. So hard to find the issue.

updating...........
March 14, 2006 12:49:35 AM

A problem has been detected and windows has been shut down to prevent damage to your computer.

If this is the first time you've seen this Stop error screen, restart your computer. If this screen appears again, follow these steps:

Check to be sure you have adequate disk space. If a driver is identified in the Stop message, disable the driver or check with the manufacturer for driver updates. Try changing the video adapters.

Check with your hardware vendor for any BIOS updates. Disable BIOS memory options such as caching or shadowing. If you need to use Safe Mode to remove or disable components, restart your computer, press F8 to select Advanced Startup Options, and then select Safe Mode.

Technical information:

*** STOP: 0x0000007E (0xc0000005,0x8058BFE9,0xF79F71B0,0xF79F6EAC)
March 14, 2006 1:09:20 AM

Removed the Creative Labs soundblaster card, and retried. Had 1 file copy error at 54%, and no more. File copy complete, currently rebooting to continue install off of HDD.

Developing,.........

CRASH on reboot, blue screen as follows:

STOP: c000021a {Fatal System Error}
The Session Manager Initialization system process terminated unexplectedly with a status of 0xc000026c (0x00000000 0x00000000)

hmm........what next?
March 14, 2006 1:24:39 AM

OK. Rebooted back to CD and progressed to next phase of WinXP install. Its running right now.
March 14, 2006 1:40:39 AM

OK. Wouldn't let me do that, so I took out my new RAM and put in 1 stick of my old RAM I know works.

Choose the repair option, lots of file copy errors and then BAM

A problem has been detected and windows has been shut down to prevent damage to your computer.

PAGE_FAULT_IN_A_NONPAGED_AREA

----====all the crap I listed above about drivers, safe mode, etc.====----

Technical information:

*** STOP: 0x00000050 (0xF000E81A,0x00000000,0x00000000,0x00000000)

So what could it possibly be?

PSU then?
March 14, 2006 2:02:49 AM

Well since we all seem to be out of options, I'm calling it a night and will RMA the PSU sometime tomorrow or Wednesday :( 
March 14, 2006 2:34:49 AM

Quote:

PAGE_FAULT_IN_A_NONPAGED_AREA


So what could it possibly be?

PSU then?



Being that you've tried so many things already, and not the PSU that would probably be the next logical step.

the error you noted above is a bad error, I had the same thing along with a few others just a couple of days ago and it turned out to be bad ram.

It's quite possible you could have more than one bad thing. Also when memory starts to go bad it can work fine until you place a load on it or it will give you very erratic results. [Work one minute, crash the next]

There's many many things this error can be caused by, anything from USB devices, to memory, motherboard, HDD, PSU etc. pretty much anything can cause it.

Once you get windows loaded and stable enough you should run a memory tester, scan your HDD's for errors etc.
March 14, 2006 5:01:19 PM

Have you considered my idea of just buying a PSU at a store then returning it? Sure, its not that great, but stores are nice. Just don't go to Frys.

Another option is just getting your hands on another PSU to try it out. It sounds like you had another computer with you there. If it can install Windows without any hitches RMA the PSU.

I have a feeling its the PSU. My experiences with a bad PSU was alot like yours, but with Windows working. Random crashes, reboots, lockups. Replaced everything in the computer except the PSU (like you). Finally got a PSU tester and found that the PSU was fluctuating... That took about 4 weeks to find. Ugh! Horrible memory, but a good learning experience.
March 15, 2006 1:46:04 AM

New Antec 550W PSU, same error upon trying to re-install Windows.

I'm all out of ideas.

Only thing I haven't removed is the video card, ut would a video card create problems like this?
March 15, 2006 2:04:44 AM

Quote:
New Antec 550W PSU, same error upon trying to re-install Windows.

I'm all out of ideas.

Only thing I haven't removed is the video card, ut would a video card create problems like this?


I would set the RAM timing to cas2.5 and 2T and bump voltave to at least 2.7 volts in BIOS.
March 15, 2006 6:11:32 AM

Working so far........
March 15, 2006 6:16:14 AM

Quote:
Working so far........


Leave the voltage at 2.7, set 1T then test. If everything is still working then, lower to cas2 and test. Most likely, the lack of voltage for RAM(accounted for more that 80% of all memory problem I've seen..) is what cause you problem.
March 15, 2006 5:01:42 PM

I hope that RAM fix will work. Sorry on being wrong on the PSU! :( 
March 18, 2006 12:50:36 PM

No problem at all nobly, I'm happy that I can FINALLY use my $2,000 computer after 1 month of troubleshooting it.

I've only had 1 blue screen so far, and that came from doing "switch users" with stuff running on one account, as soon as it tried to go back to the account select screen I got the blue screen. I haven't done that since and nothing wrong yet.

Haven't tried Fable which is what seemed to cause all the problems initially. Just sticking to FEAR and WoW and a little King Kong.
!