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Random Lockups

Last response: in Windows Vista
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July 16, 2008 10:16:03 PM

Hey guys,
I know this is a pretty general question, but I have been having consistent but random lock ups since i first installed vista64bit yesterday. They can happen at any time and are only fixed by a manual reboot. They can either leave a highpitched noise, a repeating sound, or silence. They happen 2-3 times a day and almost always overnight. Im not really sure where to start in figuring out the problem. I have tried changing my video card driver, since it was causing other issues, but that didnt fix it. Where do I start?

Here are my specs
nforce2 680i
Intel Core 2 duo e6700
3gigs Corsair RAM
500gb WD drive
150gb Raptor drive
Soundblaster X-Fi Xtreme gamer
Windows Vista 64 bit
8800GTX 768mb

More about : random lockups

July 17, 2008 1:52:20 AM

Quote:
Where do I start?


Set up your RAM correctly in BIOS. Three gigs of PC6400 at 2.0-2.1v will work. Your default is 1.8v which is not enough voltage for three gigs (4 DIMMS). Check your Corsair specs for recommended voltage. Set the timings to 5-5-5-15 and adjust from there. Also, set the Northbridge voltage to 1.4-1.5v. Your 680i MB is notorious for instability like you describe. You will be lucky to ever have a stable, dependable system with it. Vista 64 is not your problem. Lose the 680i for an x38/48 and the 'instability' problems you are having will cease to exist.

http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/nVidia680i/
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July 17, 2008 2:31:47 AM

badge said:
Quote:
Where do I start?


Set up your RAM correctly in BIOS. Three gigs of PC6400 at 2.0-2.1v will work. Your default is 1.8v which is not enough voltage for three gigs (4 DIMMS). Check your Corsair specs for recommended voltage. Set the timings to 5-5-5-15 and adjust from there. Also, set the Northbridge voltage to 1.4-1.5v. Your 680i MB is notorious for instability like you describe. You will be lucky to ever have a stable, dependable system with it. Vista 64 is not your problem. Lose the 680i for an x38/48 and the 'instability' problems you are having will cease to exist.

http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/nVidia680i/



What he said.
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July 17, 2008 3:12:54 AM

I adjusted the RAM timings and voltages. Unfortunately I am not familiar with adjusting the northbridge voltages? How do I go about doing that in the bios, does it have an unfamiliar label?
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July 17, 2008 4:21:29 AM

Quick update:
While I havent changed the northbridge voltage yet, the system has locked up again since changing the ram timing and voltage. Also, I have run memtest for 3 and a half hours with no errors so bad ram is probably not the cause.
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July 17, 2008 4:24:21 AM

Your MB manual should outline the voltage settings in BIOS. Default will be 1.3v or so. Try 1.4v-1.45v. Which MB do you have, what brand and model number?
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July 17, 2008 4:26:39 AM

Have you installed the MB chipset drivers for Vista 64? Latest MB drivers should be listed on your MB online product page. Otherwise, the installation CD should have chipset drivers for Vista 64.
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July 17, 2008 4:29:16 AM

When it locks up, does it just lock or give a Blue Screen OS stop error message and restart?
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July 17, 2008 5:10:18 AM

the board an an EVGA nforce 2 680i (122-CK-NF68). I looked into the manual as well as the bios under voltages and found nothing similar to northbridge.

The only things listed were CPU Core, CPU Load Line Rate, CPU FSB, nForce SPP, nForce MCP, HT nForce SPP<-> MCP. I have installed the latest chipset

drivers, and I updated the firmware before I reformatted to install vista. I should note that this lockup didnt occur under XP, only vista. I do not get

any blue screen errors, just a lock up with silence or a repeating sound. Also, since I adjusted the timings and voltages on the memory, the lockups

have been happening about every hour so I changed it all back to the defaults for the time being
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July 17, 2008 5:29:44 AM

Googling '680i HT nForce SPP' I came across this information.

NB (northbridge) is represented by the SPP voltage, and the SB (southbridge) is represented by the MCP. The SPP (NB) comes stock @ 1.35v. never put NB higher than 1.55v (whch I would agree with, 1.4-1.45v should be fine).
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July 17, 2008 6:16:26 AM

Alright I will give those timings and voltages a shot and let you know how it goes. Thanks for your help.
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July 17, 2008 5:02:56 PM

Update: The machine ran stable while I played some Bioshock last night without any problems, however it froze again overnight.
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July 17, 2008 5:10:25 PM

Well, it's getting better, less freeze ups. I had freeze ups with the system in my profile. The 8 gigs of RAM needed 2.2v to stabalize and the NB was at 1.41v for a long while (I dropped it to 1.39v last nght, NB ws at 51c). I have been stable for many months. My machine ran all nght (idleing), so the slight drop in NB voltage is stable so far.

Try using just one DIMM of RAM and check for stability. I know you ran memtest. Or, try 2.2v with all your RAM. I would not go much over 2.2v. You could damage it beyond 2.2v IMO.

What about Readyboost? Try a flash drive and format it as NTFS and activate Readyboost and see what happens.
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July 17, 2008 8:43:37 PM

Hmm apparently its not more stable. The system froze again about an hour after restarting it. I am trying readyboost now. Is this a possible solution to the issue? I was thinking about getting a 4 gig upgrade for my ram to total it at 6 gigs using dual channel instead of the 3 gig single channel i think im using now. Would this help with the stability of the system and level out the voltages while theyre at default?
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July 17, 2008 8:54:14 PM

I use a 4 Gb Flashdrive Readyboost enabled. I have no stability issue whatsoever with the adjustments I have made to voltages and that's with or without Readyboost. Readyboost provides available cache for your RAM at flashdrive speed. I just wondered if it may make a difference, but perhaps not. I have been out of Nvidia chipsets for some time now. Too many instability issues over the years. Vista has a more complex and resulting more intelligent, more stably implemented Superfetch system in place as far as your RAM is concerned. XP is RAM limited or at least memory-wise politically incorrect these days when compared to Vista 64 capabilities and application.

If you happen to have some other RAM around, try it and check for stability.
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July 17, 2008 9:26:41 PM

You know your random lockups could be a defective MB or even CPU. I mean you have done a lot of troubleshooting and made a lot of adjustments and still the lockup is there. You say not so with XP though? If that is so, then your hardware would be non-defective or failing, but it would be a 'compatibility' or configuration issue. I would try some other RAM, set it up in BIOS properly and see how that goes.
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July 17, 2008 9:26:58 PM

by the way, my ram is 800mhz. do those timings match up with the rams speed? Is 800mhz supposed to be at 4-4-4-12? Im not sure. Also, I am thinking about doing a ram upgrade, and Im not sure if I should go with 6 gigs of 800mhz ramf for 100 bucks, or I could get corsair dominator at 1066mhz for 100 bucks per 2 gigs, maybe get 4 gigs. I know this is off topic but its on my mind at the moment. Also, I sent a link of this forum to EVGA support to see if they could give some input, ill let you know what they say.
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July 17, 2008 9:47:35 PM

If your Corsiar PC6400 is rated at 800Mhz. 4-4-4-12 it is guaranteed to run there at the Mfg.'s specified voltage. You could also run 5-5-5-15 (or similar) if you need to loosen those timings for OC purposes or increasing the RAM speed or RAM data transfer rate. Premium PC26400 800MHz DIMMs will run well over 1000MHz. or near or at PC28500 1066MHz. DIMMs if you loosen the timings and increase the voltage.

PC28500 1066MHz. RAM is in reality PC6400 800MHz. RAM that is guaranteed to run at PC28500 1066MHz speeds. JDEC standards do not rate RAM at PC28500, only up to PC6400. All PC28500 MUST be configured in BIOS to run at advertised speeds, otherwise the RAM will default to 800MHz. and show up as PC6400. In buying PC28500, you may lose the ability to run 4-4-4-12 timings. Not always, depends on the capability and quality of the PC28500 you buy. The PC26400 Corsiar you have will probably run at 950-1000MHz if you need them too.
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July 18, 2008 1:41:28 AM

Well the computer froze up again while I was at the gym. So the readyboost didnt fix the problem. I am running out of ideas on who to try and get help from. You have been very helpful but I may end up reformatting tonight to see how that goes. EVGA hasnt responded yet, and microsoft wont even talk to me unless I give them 80 dollars up front. Any ideas on where else I could go to find help? Idk how I feel about slapping another 300 dollar mobo into a computer that is only 1 year old so I really just want to fix this.
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July 18, 2008 1:52:08 AM

Well, it could be the MB is going south, exactly how so I'm not sure. I have an A8N32-SLI like that. It runs once in a while and doesn't when it feels like acting up. I tried everything, ask everywhere. No definitive answer. Thermal crack? Ok.

How about the PSU? The only thing you can do OTHER than reformat and try again is to start swapping out the hardware. That would include PSU, video card, RAM HD, etc. I post to so many of these I can't remember if you said you broke the system down to the basics. CPU/HSF, video card and 1 DIMM of RAM and MB only. I have built mine outside the case on a table. No hard drive or optical drives, just let it POST and set there a while. If all is well hook up the HD and DVD and install the OS. These kinds of things drive you mad. A couple of years ago I posted here with a guy with system failure problems and he tried everything. Finally, he RMA'd his CPU and the system was cured. Anyway, swap out the PSU, RAM and video card if you can and your up to that kind of work. You need spare parts to troubleshoot any further. Maybe you have a bad MB. CPU maybe, I don't know, you have tried a lot of troubleshooting. Could be. I had a CPU lock up on of my systems a couple of weeks ago. I thought it was the MB and tried to RMA it under warranty. Support said it might be the CPU. I happened to have another CPU and installed it. That was it. MB is working fine. That system totally crashed though, not random lock ups.

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July 18, 2008 4:16:28 AM

Well I got fed up and tried reformatting. I only did the quick format since that seems to be the only option vista offers. Funnily enough, the system froze once right after installing the motherboard drivers and once again after restarting and loading vista. I decided to be patient and install all the necessary updates before calling it quits and going back to XP.
I dont see how this could be a hardware failure issue if XP worked just fine. I can't decide if I should just by a non-oem version of vista, pay 80 bucks to call microsoft, or just throw vista in a drawer for a much later date, if not Windows 7.
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July 18, 2008 5:36:15 AM

Quote:
I dont see how this could be a hardware failure issue if XP worked just fine.


I would agree with that. I think the 680i is Vista certified. I still think it is possible your Corsiar RAM is not cooperating with a Vista installation. I use the nVidia Vista 32 drivers with my 9600GT and SLi'd 7800GT's no problem. Really, you have done a lot to find a remedy. I had to install VISTA 32 on my ASUS A832NSLI deluxe after Windows XP SP3 crashed it to the ground. The MB will not boot to the windows XP3 installation, but runs VISTA 32 fine. So, there you go.

I used this Free online Microsoft support offer when I ran into Windows SP3 crashing my A8N32SLI recently. Microsoft assisted me promply and totally free. Maybe you can use the link for M$ support and 'sneak in' the fact that Windows XP SP3 'seems' to work fine (hint, question XP SP3's workability 8) ...then sneak in a VISTA 32 question or two. BTW, whne the M$ tech learned I had innstalled Vista 32 and had the machine running better than it did with XP Pro, He said good, leave it that way, case closed! LOL.

http://support.microsoft.com/oas/default.aspx?ln=en-us&...
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July 20, 2008 12:01:33 AM

So I have officially dual booted so I can tinker with vista trying to get it to work, but fall back to XP when I get frustrated. I loaded SP1 onto vista and got a BSOD whenever I tried to load windows afterward, so I had to do a system restore. I am going to try again, but apparently there is a known bug that causes BSOD when on a dual boot system. Anyway XP is working flawlessly so Im pretty sure its a vista compatability problem somewhere.
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July 20, 2008 2:09:59 AM

Well, I have had a couple of dual boot Vista/XP systems and had no such problems like yo are having. Have you tried turning off Superfetch via RUN/ services.msc? Also, what graphics card are you using? Try the latest driver from Nvidia/ATI and if it still freezes up, try the tested Vista driver that came with the video card's installation CD.
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July 20, 2008 2:26:15 AM

I got vista working with SP1. Just another case of microsoft not knowing what theyre talking about. Seems to be running smoothly too. It did hang once while installing sp1 but i restarted and it hasnt frozen in a few hours. I have no reason to believe this is anything more than luck though, so we'll see.
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July 20, 2008 4:10:15 AM

Are you sure you didn't install WINDOWS 95 by mistake? LOL! I'm kidding...
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August 29, 2008 5:43:33 AM

I know its been awhile but I thought I would update this since the problem isnt resolved. Hopefully people still read this. Anyway, I went through some support with microsoft. I got them to support me because I said it was caused by service pack 1 even though I know it wasnt. They offer free support with that. Anyway, they didnt help all that much. The guy said it was probably a hardware conflict that only causes problems in vista and not xp. I disabled some hardware that I dont think i use like some mobo networking features and it seemed to get better. Now it happens in spurts. It can not freeze for 2 or 3 days then freeze once, then again and again for awhile then stop and behave for a long time. He suggested flashing the bios again even though they are up to date, just to refresh the motherboard seeing the hardware. What do you think badge?
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August 29, 2008 7:52:10 AM

I would agree with Microsft tech in as much as some part of your hardware is causing the system lock up with Vista 64. XP is still problem free? Well, that leaves the following hardware:

CPU
RAM
Video Card
MB
PSU
HD

Quick answer, I would suspect three things and I think the problem is not limited to these three:

1. RAM. For gosh sakes if you have some other RAM give it a try. A 680i and RAM compatibility or non compatibility are common place. I know memtest shows no errors. My number one suspect. RAM.

2. Video card. What are the temps? The VC memory may be overheating cause the lockups. Download GPUZ (google) and check the temp. Also, the VC driver. Try another driver, older newer. Finally, your 8800GTX draws more power than most cards. maybe try a different video card all together.

3. Power supply. This is how you troubleshoot a hardware problem, swap out the hardware. What can I say.

I also suspect the MB, but then the system runs perfect when XP is installed. Well, my system in my configuration used to crash periodiocally. It was the RAM and NB needed a little voltage added. These would be my best guesses. Hope you solve it (get an X48) 8)

Edit: I forgot to mention the soundcard. Have you tried running the VISTA 64 setup 'without' the soundcard?



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August 29, 2008 2:44:51 PM

badge said:
I would agree with Microsft tech in as much as some part of your hardware is causing the system lock up with Vista 64. XP is still problem free? Well, that leaves the following hardware:

CPU
RAM
Video Card
MB
PSU
HD

Quick answer, I would suspect three things and I think the problem is not limited to these three:

1. RAM. For gosh sakes if you have some other RAM give it a try. A 680i and RAM compatibility or non compatibility are common place. I know memtest shows no errors. My number one suspect. RAM.

2. Video card. What are the temps? The VC memory may be overheating cause the lockups. Download GPUZ (google) and check the temp. Also, the VC driver. Try another driver, older newer. Finally, your 8800GTX draws more power than most cards. maybe try a different video card all together.

3. Power supply. This is how you troubleshoot a hardware problem, swap out the hardware. What can I say.





I also suspect the MB, but then the system runs perfect when XP is installed. Well, my system in my configuration used to crash periodiocally. It was the RAM and NB needed a little voltage added. These would be my best guesses. Hope you solve it (get an X48) 8)

Edit: I forgot to mention the soundcard. Have you tried running the VISTA 64 setup 'without' the soundcard?


What he said. Particularly the RAM.
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September 6, 2008 2:07:55 AM

so i think i figured it out. I disabled my belkin wireless card and used a usb device to get my internets instead, and viola! no more vista freezes. Just to let you guys know. Thanks for all your help!
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September 6, 2008 3:53:08 AM

Wow. Kewl! I'll have to remember to pay homage to my three D Link WDA-2320's I use everyday, and flawlessly I might add, with my Vista 64 systems. Well, one of the three is still in the unopend box waiting to put in to service. I scouted these out well before I installed my first V64 application and have never had a problem of any kind with my three wireless networks. But, I'm an exceptional person. :sol: 

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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!