Hardware Gurus!! Trouble with first build. Could use a hand

Long time reader (lurker) first time poster ..... I decided to try to build my own rig and selected parts that were within my budget with possible overclocking in mind. Everything works great but occasionally my system just shuts off (sometimes BSOD very quickly, sometimes blue with no text, sometimes just off). It happens when im not at my computer and sometimes during games and such, but there is no rhyme or reason to the times it shuts down (under load, idle, applications running or not). It happens sometimes after as little as 2 hours of uptime and the maximum uptime i have achieved is 3 days. Id like to figure out the problem before I try overclocks.

Heres the specs:
1. AMD Athlon 64 3700+ San Diego 2000MHz HT Socket 939 Processor
2. CORSAIR XMS 2GB (2 x 1GB) 184-Pin DDR SDRAM DDR 400 (PC 3200) Unbuffered Dual Channel Memory
3. POWERCOLOR Radeon X800XL 256MB
4. Antec LifeStyle SONATA II Computer Case 450Watt SmartPower 2.0 ATX 12V V2.0
5. Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD2500KS 250GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive
7. ABIT KN8 Ultra Socket 939 NVIDIA nForce4 Ultra ATX AMD Motherboard

I have updated all drivers to the latest versions and nothing has helped.
If anyone could provide any ideas it would be greatly appreciated!
12 answers Last reply
More about hardware gurus trouble build hand
  1. first guess the PSU, maybe a loose plug or something of that sort, otherwise i'm not sure
  2. Yeah that was my first thought but I borrowed a friends PSU and the problem continued. I also tried a different video card and there was no change. Temperatures on the processor are 24 idle and 34 under load. system temp is around 24-27 (C).
  3. First rule of troubleshooting: you must isolate the problem. Start with the most likely sources of the problem. Top of the list is memory and power supply.

    Unplug your memory cards, one at a time, and wait and see.

    If ABIT has an onboard voltage monitor, now would be a good time to start using it. See if any of your voltage rails are erratic, for example.

    Also, make sure you have the latest BIOS update for your MB.

    Grammar Nazi alert (re: the title of your post): it's "gurus", not "guru's" which would mean "guru is" or indicate possession. This drives me nuts.
  4. Most of the BSOD/random poweroff's I have experienced have stemmed from 3 issues: heat, ram malfunction and crappy drivers/old BIOS. With the inconsistancy in your uptimes I'm going to guess its not heat. It looks like you've got quality ram but running a memory testing program is never a bad idea. Are you fully up to date on your BIOS? If you've got an Abit board it might support their Abit EQ program, which will let you monitor voltages, temps and fan speeds, so that might be worth looking into also.
  5. might be

    - motherboard

    - Ram

    .. try different Ram First

    if that dont work, then its your motherboard

    or the hard drive

  6. first thing that i think of is faulty power supply, but then i see that you have an antec smartpower which quickly killed that idea. but it's still a definite possibility.

    you know the drill - test the obvious, and if fault still exists, strip her down to bare minimums and take away stuff until it works.
  7. as you say you can start you rig , and the problem happens ramdomic , probably you should first re-install your OS (probably windows XP) . Memory , MB , MB battery , can also be part of your problem , but once I had one system with Abit MB with same problem as you , and after re-install and full update later, the problem was gone... Some local forums also noticed that some Abit MB had issues with windows XP conflit with some Bios update ... hope it can help you.
  8. That sounds like a BIOs problem to me. I own an Abit mobo, and I had that problem more than once. I just switched to the newest BIOs and BAM! It was fine.
  9. i would go for memory
  10. Download memtest and let it run overnight. See what comes up.
  11. Barring what has been said before (BIOS, PSU, drivers, etc):

    The 800 series gets very hot. I had an X800 Pro that would lock up my computer at random times. I installed an aftermarket cooler (Artic Cooler) and never had the problem again.

    Just a thought.
  12. Intermittents are Nasty aint they, Well after you have finished All other possibilities, I would consider the power source, your wall socket. Do you have a good UPS? Its been the answer before! May good Skill and Luck help you find the answer, you choose which it will be! Through all this, enjoy the trip.
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