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computer randomly crashes

Last response: in Systems
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March 19, 2007 3:02:54 AM

Hi all.
It has been almost a year I had this computer from hell. Here are my specs:

430W Thermaltake PSU
ECS p4m800-pro v 1.0A VIA chipset
6600GT eVGA AGP video card 128MB
Audigy 2 5.1 sound card
litescribe dvd-rw
sony cd-rw
(1 stick) 512MB DDR 3200 kingston valueram
pentium D 775 dual core processor 1.6ghz
320gb seagate SATA

This computer would randomly crash anytime it wants and it seems like it does not depend on how much load it is encountering. It would crash during games like FEAR, Supreme Commander and it would even crash when I'm just browsing the net with firefox.

I ran the memtest and the ram is good.
I ran seatools to see if my harddrive is bad but that was good.
I really don't know what the problem is since random crashes are generally linked to faulty ram.

any thoughts?

Thanks.
March 19, 2007 3:28:29 AM

Run a couple virus and spyware checkers. Are you running multiple programs, how full is your hard drive? 512mb is hardly enough RAM to run XP much less a few programs like a browser or decent game. Did this just begin or has it been gradratly getting worse. My guess hardware wise is heat related, maybe power supply.
March 19, 2007 3:34:48 AM

Do you have the latest bios updates for your motherboard? I've got a couple of those boards and they run fine, but I've also had several ECS boards in the past that were buggy, to say the least, and nothing would fix it. From the sound of it, it has been acting this way from the start. True? If not, then you might try a different PSU, to see if that stabilizes things. Otherwise, if it's still in warranty, you might send the m/b back, as all of your other components seem fine.

edit: one of the bios fixes for that board involves inaccurate temperature readings. If you've got a temperature limit shutdown enabled in bios, the combination of that and faulty readings could cause the board to restart or shutdown.
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March 19, 2007 3:56:09 AM

Yea, the virus scan crashes my computer alot actually so i had to eventually run it in safe mode and there seems to be no viruses.

I had this problem since the beginning and even the windows xp install crashed but this was before i had to get new ram since my first stick was faulty.

I did update my bios a few days ago but it actually made the system worst since i wasnt even able to get watchHDTV to open. I ended up doing a system restore.

There is about 140gb of room left on my hard drive so i doubt it's too full to stabilize itself.

Temperatures run around
CPU ~35C
System ~40C
Video card ~60C idle ~70C-90C gaming

I heard 90C for a video card is really bad but the system crashes even when just browsing the net.
March 19, 2007 4:34:09 AM

I actually switched the fan on the cpu recently.

Also, I ran the AquaMark test a few times and they all resulted in my computer crashing.

I guess I should switch the psu or mobo. Thanks all for the help. If there are any other ideas let me know.
March 19, 2007 5:04:44 AM

If it runs for a limited time before crashing, I would swap the PSU first. Get a decent 500W or more so it will last for a couple upgrades. That said, I agree with Madmurph, ECS motherboards are always a crap shoot you might get 2-3 good ones then 1-2 bad ones, does not stop me from buying them as they are always in the combo of the Week at Fry's so I buy a CPU at regular price and get a free ECS mb, which is about the right price. Only ones worse are PCchips.
March 19, 2007 1:10:11 PM

Quote:
does not stop me from buying them as they are always in the combo of the Week at Fry's so I buy a CPU at regular price and get a free ECS mb, which is about the right price.
Exactly!
March 19, 2007 2:26:49 PM

Quote:
pentium D 775 dual core processor 1.6ghz


Are you underclocking your processor?
March 19, 2007 5:26:56 PM

Yea, those fry deals are awesome but i guess you get what you pay for.

I think I might misprinted the processor speed as I did not underclock it, I'll check the speed when I get back home.

Here's my plan before i start replacing parts:

- I'll use the integrated graphics to see if the computer crashes and if it doesn't there probably is not enough juice running into the 6600gt.

-try a new harddrive to see if it is a software issue

If none of these work, i guess i have to resort to new parts. Man i thought i can make a rig for under $500 to play top notch games and watch HDTV but this thing can't even browse the net. Thanks for the help all.
March 19, 2007 6:44:18 PM

<Video Drivers> check them out! :idea:
March 19, 2007 8:06:04 PM

Yea, I actually did use different video drivers. The computer still crashes the same way.

On another note, it's weird that the computer use to crash with a blue screen and freeze at the blue screen but now the computer just restarts.
March 20, 2007 1:49:50 AM

Here are some tips:

1.Try placing the video card into another slot (if possible). But before you do this, uninstall the video drivers in safe mode.

2.If you have sound card, Network card or a modem, take them one by one out at a time and observe to see if these devices are giving these crashes or restarts. Placing the components in other slots would be a good thing to do too.

3.Check the event viewer under system to find the error that caused the crash to take place. Send the error code if possible here, in this forum.

4. Re-install Windows XP Pro. SP2 and proceed from there.

That's all for now, later!
March 27, 2007 2:58:16 PM

nope, ignore this and see my posts down there.
March 27, 2007 3:23:08 PM

Quote:
pentium D 775 dual core processor 1.6ghz

Come again?
March 30, 2007 9:13:06 PM

bahh!!! The computer crashed-restarted when I was using Vista. I decided to use my 320gb hard drive with XP on it and took out the "bad" video card. It was running fine for about 3 hours (i was running a .avi movie) and it crashed giving me (Thank God) a BSOD so i can write down the error message.

Here it is:

***STOP: 0x0000008E (0xC0000005 0x00000000, 0xF4F34B08, 0x00000000)

Beginning dump of physical memory
Physical memory dump complete.

I thought it was a RAM problem but i had my bad RAM taken out, and was using my good 512mb stick.

Any thoughts?
April 1, 2007 5:52:57 AM

The common theme seems to be the motherboard. Knowing ECS, it's probably the memory controller on the board. Hard to tell unless all your other components check out fine on another system, but that's my guess. It's a $45 replacement on NewEgg. Or you could try a different flavor, but with the same chipset, like Gigabyte for about $30:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
April 1, 2007 7:54:26 AM

Quote:
The common theme seems to be the motherboard. Knowing ECS, it's probably the memory controller on the board. Hard to tell unless all your other components check out fine on another system, but that's my guess. It's a $45 replacement on NewEgg. Or you could try a different flavor, but with the same chipset, like Gigabyte for about $30:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


THanks, yea I actually ordered an Intel mobo open box for 30 bucks on newegg yesterday. If it still crashes I'm going to send the motherboard back and probably have to end up buying a new Dell system online. I just don't think the headache is worth the trouble since most of my parts were bought used and refurbished. Plus, I will have a working system that I can use to troubleshoot other future parts. It'll be $500 but hopefully I can sell some of of my parts online or craigslist and make $300.
!