I've just finished putting together my new system and now I am experiencing some difficulties.
Randomly, but mostly under high load, Windows Vista 64 will freeze on me. This does not blue screen, or reboot, instead it just freezes the screen to the current content, and remains like this for 2 minutes, at which point it unfreezes. Pressing control alt and delete simply turns the screen black, leaving just a mouse cursor (which I can now move). However I can't do anything else at this point. The clock also freezes at this time, so if the crash occurs at 11:13, when the PC unfreezes at 11:15 the time on the pc will still be 11:13.
Once the PC unfreezes, any keys I pressed will be registered and acted upon, and the system acts like nothing happened.
During the freeze, one of the fans (either my CPU fan or the nVidia fan next to one of the gfx cards) starts to make a louder noise, as if it is hitting something (which it isn't).
I carried out a mem test (using motherboard bios function and inbuilt Vista diagnostics) and it came back fine, however there was high pitched noise coming from my motherboard during these tests. I also carried out stability tests on my graphics cards, along with installing the latest drivers for Vista 64 from nVidia site, and no problems were found.
A seperate problem (which may be related) is that there is a crackling from one of the case fans (at the front) where it meets one of the Hard Disks. The fan is lit up in blue and I can see what looks like lit up dust particles flying down when there is crackling. This problem occurs randomly, but is not linked (apparently) to the freezing of the computer.
My first thoughts (and only ideas) are that this is a PSU problem, maybe it is overheating and cannot provide stable voltages under high load? The PSU fan IS blowing out warm air, but before I replace it I'd like to get a second opinion.
System is as follows:
1 x QX6800 @ 3.2GHz
2 x nVidia Geforce 8800 Ultra @ 1250 MHz
OCZ StealthXStream 600W PSU
2 x 1024GB PC2-10000 Corsair Dominator DDR2 RAM Complete with 3 extra fans on Airflow unit (@ 1200Mhz)
2 x 10,000 150GB Western Digital Raptors Raid 0
2 x 320GB Hard Disks Raid 1
1 x Zalman Heatsink/Fan (CPU temp ranges from 40 to 55)
3 x 120mm case fans
1 x 250mm case fan
Dell 30" Monitor
Logitech G15 Keyboard
Microsoft Habu Mouse
I found out there was a loose screw which was lodged, connecting my hard disk to my motherboard to my fan, which was causing the sparking and throwing the PSU all off (causing the strange noises - fan and capacitor)
Doesn't freeze at all now and just got over 19,000 in 3D Mark