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Extremely Unstable New Computer

Last response: in Systems
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January 14, 2007 6:35:41 AM

System Specs:

E6600 (Was open box off newegg, possible problem?)

Asus P5W Deluxe DH

PNY 8800GTS

Seagate 7200.10 SATA 320GB

CORSAIR XMS2 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400)

Samsung SATA DVD/CD Combo Drive

Enermax Chakra Case

Enermax Liberty 500W (Is this enough)


The problems started as soon as I turned it on. After reaching the front page that has a graphic and lists the model name, with Press DEL to go to Setup, or TAB to display BIOS post message.

Randomly if TAB is pressed here the Setup may or may not appear, if it does, loading takes a grueling amount of time (for a high end computer) and during loading the memory is read as PC2 5300 (the RAM is 6400).

In a word it is running unstable, randomly it will freeze, and often the keyboard will just not work.

When windows is started loading, and the partition configuration screen is up, the partition is supposed to be 131500MB, the one time I completed making the partition it went to the next screen and then went to a blue screen error.

The CPU is running at 35C and seems to be ok (the stock CPU fan is quite quiet so apparently it is going very slow). I got my hands on a Pentium D and ran it in the machine, same problems stated earlier happened.

I'm no computer expert but I had my father who does this as a living work on it and even he can't do anything to stop all these random freezing. We've tried a few different ways of starting it (XP Home CD, Floppy) but half the time we can't even get there so clearly it isn't the base problem...

Any help you can give me would be greatly appreciated, thanks.
January 14, 2007 6:57:16 AM

http://compatible.corsairmemory.com

Listed there as compatible, I also attempted running with only 1 of the sticks to check if it had any kind of difference.

Edit: Oh also, does the plug that I put the ODD and HDD in matter, (ie putting them on seperate rails? I don't know much about PSU's so this may be a stupid question.)
January 14, 2007 7:49:29 AM

Run this:

http://www.ocztechnology.com/displaypage.php?name=ocz_m...

Try different combinations of: 1 stick in all possible slot combinations, then both sticks in all possible slot combinations.

1 pass should be good enough, before I'd be completely satisfied with my own personal system I'd want at least 10 passes error-free.

Other things to check:

all voltages
1) ram
2) cpu
3) northbridge
4) anything else that might have voltage regulation settings

Is the hard drive new and clean? Might need to format it if it has windows boot data on it. I've seen that cause issues.

Also, unplug any unnecessary USB drives like thumbsticks or external drives. Those tend to react unfavorably with windows. I've had windows install it's boot information on my external usb drive, and I couldn't boot after that without the usb drive plugged in. For clarification:

c:\windows
g:\boot.sys or whatever hidden files it needed to boot

GG, needed to reformat to fix :roll:
Related resources
January 14, 2007 8:01:40 AM

it could be the mainboard. since you said the pentium D gave the same results. The memory might be running at a lower frequency cause the mainboard has a fault and can't run at the rated speeds.
January 14, 2007 8:18:00 AM

Try this, power off and unplug the pc. Unplug the 8800GTS from the PSU and now run it. If it's unstable still then it could not be the psu but other components. Then run Memtest on them rams for errors.
January 14, 2007 8:48:48 AM

All voltages have been set manually and set to auto, though it took me about 5 tries to get all of it set without the comp freezing up...

No time to use the program right this second, I'll try it later though ( I assume you noticed I have corsair memory, hopefully that doesn't matter?)

Hard drive is completely blank never been formatted.

Chuckshissle that video card thing may work, but I won't be able to tell, the computer gives no sign what so ever of freezing, and I can only tell by if the keyboard still works, clarify if you meant something else?

Quote:
it could be the mainboard. since you said the pentium D gave the same results. The memory might be running at a lower frequency cause the mainboard has a fault and can't run at the rated speeds.


^ Seems the closest.


Is it agreed by everyone that the memory is probably the culprit?
PSU should be adequate for my system?
Thanks again for the help
January 14, 2007 9:01:00 AM

Memory or motherboard would be my guess as well. Check those first. You should at least get another comp to burn memtest off on a cd and then run it overnight once.
January 14, 2007 11:29:20 AM

It may just be the board being picky about ram. What's the model #?

something similar happened to one of my asus board + ocz ram. It's been resolved by a bios update & later batches of ocz ram.

You can clear the cmos with power cord, 24-pin mobo, 4-pin cpu & battery disconnected.
January 14, 2007 4:27:23 PM

Quote:
It may just be the board being picky about ram. What's the model #?

something similar happened to one of my asus board + ocz ram. It's been resolved by a bios update & later batches of ocz ram.

You can clear the cmos with power cord, 24-pin mobo, 4-pin cpu & battery disconnected.


Mobo is P5W DH Deluxe, Memory is "TWIN2X2048-6400"
January 14, 2007 5:19:50 PM

could just be a dud board due to you having the same problem on 2 CPUs.

Might be a problem with RAM as others have said. Try using some other modules if you have some.
January 14, 2007 5:24:08 PM

Do you have an old PCI video card that you could just put in the computer? I would put one in (take out the 8800) and then see what happens. If the computer works, its either the 8800 or the PCIx on the motherboard.
Do you have another PC that you could test the 8800 in? If you can, do that to see if the 8800 is defective.

Corsair is usually good ram, but definitely don't rule out the ram. It could also be a PSU problem.

I am farily sure that the CPU is NOT the problem, due to what you said about the test with the Pentium D.

Best of Luck
January 14, 2007 5:58:41 PM

Hi Prsn,
You clearly said Corsair - what's all this talk of OCZ?
Listen Prsn, you have BIOS setup issues. You need to set your core-clock-to-memory ratio.
This determines what speed things run at.
You have Asus P5W DH Deluxe, right? And an E6600? Verrry nice stuff, you should be having no problems. Corsair PC2-6400, fantastic.
Now let's set it up.
Quote:
...the memory is read as PC2 5300 (the RAM is 6400).

I find it fascinating all the advice you have received, when you clearly need to setup your BIOS before anything else!
Set your memory to ~2.0V. Set all other memory timings etc. to default/spd/auto or whatever your Asus calls it.
On your P5W DH Deluxe BIOS main CPU setup page, what is the default baseclock for your CPU?
(If your rig is not stable while in BIOS setup, make sure the memory voltage is increased right away - then reboot.)
Now you can check out your ratio - if your RAM is coming up PC2-5300, that is 333MHz (667DDR) which is a 4:5 FSB:Memory ratio.
Some mobos call this 5:4 (listing the memory first), whatever - it's not a good setting.
You can specify 2:3 ratio. This is for Intel Core2 with DDR2-800 memory. 266:400 is 2:3 ratio right?
You have what I have, same idea... but YOUR stuff's actually better LoL.
I say you should start by running your rig 1:1, nice synchronous 1:1 with 2.0V memory - and then we'll see if it's stable! Rule out any memory issues right away...
Hey have you been swapping CPUs in & out? You know that is a one-time compound on the OEM cooler, right? You have to clean it all up and use ArcticSilver once you disassemble it (or even move it, breaking the seal).
Anyway, let's assume all your parts are okay and worry about your setup first.
I will read your mobo manual and see your specific BIOS setup, if you wish.
But you need to adjust those settings right away,
Regards
January 14, 2007 6:14:06 PM

There is a note on Asus regarding BIOS version:
http://event.asus.com/2006/mb/P5W_DH_DELUXE_faq.htm
Make sure you have the very latest BIOS installed. There have been many very recent BIOS releases!
I recommend the Dec15/06 version 1707.
There is an even newer Beta version but make sure you have at least the 1707.
L8R
January 14, 2007 6:19:26 PM

I have almost this exact setup, mobo, CPU, and memory-wise. My installation went smoothly without any changes in the BIOS. This should work at default settings, so you might try clearing the BIOS, resetting the memory in the slots, checking power connections, etc.
January 14, 2007 9:34:35 PM

Quote:
Run this:

http://www.ocztechnology.com/displaypage.php?name=ocz_m...

Try different combinations of: 1 stick in all possible slot combinations, then both sticks in all possible slot combinations.

1 pass should be good enough, before I'd be completely satisfied with my own personal system I'd want at least 10 passes error-free.

Other things to check:

all voltages
1) ram
2) cpu
3) northbridge
4) anything else that might have voltage regulation settings

Is the hard drive new and clean? Might need to format it if it has windows boot data on it. I've seen that cause issues.

Also, unplug any unnecessary USB drives like thumbsticks or external drives. Those tend to react unfavorably with windows. I've had windows install it's boot information on my external usb drive, and I couldn't boot after that without the usb drive plugged in. For clarification:

c:\windows
g:\boot.sys or whatever hidden files it needed to boot

GG, needed to reformat to fix :roll:


A-ha!

Pulled one stick in first position and put the stick in second position in it's place, system is running smooth and windows is nearly installed!

However, when I created the partition it still was stated to be 131000(something something something) MB. After windows is fully installed I will try putting in the other memory stick (Yes I realize this SHOULD have been one of my first plans of action...).
January 14, 2007 9:38:50 PM

The hard drive issue would be the LBA limitation or whatever it is. Try putting your HD controller drivers on a floppy and load them when installing windows.
!