Problems with homebuild PC


I'm new to this forum, I read those parts of the FAQ I found relevant, that is, I read the memory troubleshooting FAQ, and the Terminology thing.

I read those, as I BELIEVE my computer has memory problems, but I'm not sure of it.

First I'll give a rundown of the hardware I have, as presented by sisoft sandra and CPU-z

Second I'll describe all the problems my computer has presented me with, since I first put it together (app 4 months ago)
I will desribe the symptoms it seems to suffer from.

Then I'll describe what I've done to test what the problem might be.

After all that I hope some one can help me out! :D

1. System:
CPU: Intel Core2 Duo E4400 @ 2.00GHz, box edition
MB : MSI P35 Neo Combo-F
Memory: 2x Corsair DDR-II, XMS2 Xtreme Performance
PSU: 630Watt Viking Power
VGA: Inno3D Geforce 8800GTS, 320mb DDR3 RAM

2. Problems (all of them!)
2.1 Sometimes when booting up, the computer halts, as if it has to catch its breath, before it can boot up. This usually happens of the computer has been turned off for several hours or days. It starts (you can hear the fans starting) for a second, then it stops for about a second or two (fans stop), like there is a power outage on the mainboard. Then is boots normally. Only ONCE has it pulled this little number twice in a row, meaning two power outages in one boot! Mostly it boots normal however.

2.2 Changing presets in MSI Dual Core center caused a system crash, from which the computer had to be rebooted using the reset button. By changing presets I mean changing the settings from 'Normal' to fx 'Gaming' or something like that. MSU Dual Core Center had some presets which you could change, like what are you using the computer for. Changing these resultet in a crash.

2.3 Memory errors in games. Particularly Oblivion, this game is prone to memory errors partly to 3rd party mods and such. But normally Oblivions crashes are just the game shutting down or the well known "oblivion.exe has generated errors..." from windows. However, mine crashed and informed of an invalid instruction in module -< insert wierd number here>-. After a day or two, while idling in windows, the computer began a reboot cycle. I was away when the cycle started, so I don't know what promted it. But I witnessed 3 reboots in a row, before windows realized there was an error and it couldn't start normally, everytime I tried to boot normally I got an error message saying something like "Invalid instruction in...", then a blue screen which showed for rougly 1/10th of a second, then reboot by the computer.

2.4 Crash while playing Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, I don't know what happened, suddenly the sound started to stutter and the picture on the screen frooze. This went on for a few seconds, when finally the computer tried to reboot. Tried as in it didn't succeed. Once the system was supposed to reboot, a fan was giving off much more noise than usual and there was no picture on the screen, and the computer didn't start to boot up. After turing it on and off a few times, it finally managed to come alive saying "Overclocking failed, resetting to defaults." or something like that. It did INDEED say "Overclocking failed" with large, red, scary letters! As far as I know the system is NOT overclocked, however I haven't checked that. I will do that using PC Wizard 2008.

3. Things I've tried: (Note 3.1 is what I've tried to solve the problem described in 2.1)
3.1 At first the computer had a 500Watt PSU, same brand/model just 500Watt instead of 630. This one didn't deliver enough amps to the gfx-card. So it was upped to 630watt. But the 'power outage' problem continued. I don't know what else to do about this.

3.2 I deleted/uninstalled MSI Dual Core Center and wrote MSI support about it. They told me to download a new version and try that. Haven't done that JUST yet.

3.3 I pulled computer apart, because I decided to check if one of the memory blocks, or one of the memory banks was defect. I took out the memory block and bank 2 and booted the computer. It worked fine. I took out the memory block from bank 1 and replaced it with the one from bank 2 and booted the computer. Worked fine. Then I took the memoryblock I had just taken out and put that into the empty bank 2. And booted the computer. AGAIN it worked fine!! After this I got Memtest86 madea bootable CD with it and started to run the memory tests. After nearly 2 hours and 5 complete tests, memtest86 had found NO errors in the memory. I figured it was just a flux in the system, and decided to go on with my life.

3.4 Just before I supposed to take the bus to go on christmas holiday I decided to play Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare and problem 2.4 arose. Panicky I tried to boot and boot and boot. And finally it came back with the red, scary letters. I wrote about it on the Oblivion forums, since I figured that its the same root problem, causing the symptoms I see in Oblivion AND in CoD4. I haven't been able to make sense of the feed back, since most just described similar problems. One did inform me that the memory blocks I have, is incompatible with my mainboard!! This is the reason I'm writing here now!

I just can't make any sense of this. Every test I've run suggests that there is nothing wrong with the memory I have, and that its fully operational. Every hardware configuration program I have (sisoft, cpu-z etc.) all count 2048mb RAM! But my comp DOES seem to have some sort of problem. Today it rebooted while playing Oblivion! But no red letters this time.

I don't see how I can afford to put new memory blocks in since the comp is already over budget. Especially because these blocks I have, was picked to make the system ready for overclocking and nothing on the compatibility list looks good to me.

Could this be a simple problem? How do I solve this/these problem(s)?

40 answers Last reply
More about problems homebuild
  1. A few things. In BIOS, set the memory voltage to Mfg. specifications. PC6400 is 2.0-2.1v. Next adjust the memory timings to Mfg. specs. Download and install the latest Nvidia driver for your 8800GTs. In addition, check the MB Mfg. website for updated system drivers and install them. HTH
  2. Ok I'l try that at first change...what is 'Mfg.'?

  3. Manufactuer. Do you have the specs or a link to the power supply?
  4. Mfg. = manufacturer. Check the required voltage for your Corsair RAM and in BIOS set the memory voltage to those specifications. PC6400 generally require 2.0 to 2.1v to run as advertised. This could very well be the reason your system crashes when running software in a windows environment. Memtest may show no errors which means no bad DIMM. When you get into windows 'undervolted' memory may be causeing the system crash when running software. It's very common problem in my experience. Bump the memory voltage to 2.1v and see if the crashing stops.
  5. Uhm...I think I found the voltage...according to the "CM2X1024-6400" (which are the ones I have, according to PC Wizard 2008) should run at 1.9V...? Link:

    I'm gonna try and check what the BIOS says about that. If it runs the memory at 1.9V I'll try to set it to 2.0V
    If the BIOS has set the voltage LOWER than 1.9V I'll adjust it to 1.9...But I it a bad idea to put the voltage higher on the memory blocks? I mean, according to what I can find they're supposed to be at 1.9V and wouldn't it be dangerous to the hardware to put it to 2.0 then?

    I guess the memory timings are (according to the link above): 5-5-5-12-T1?

    Did I find the right info?

  6. Yes set the memory in the bios to +0.1 or 1.9 and the timings to 5-5-5-12-T1. You should be fine after that.
  7. Well I just checked the BIOS...the timing was set to 'SPD enabled' or something like that, and the voltage was set I assume the settings are alright...

    Also...MSI has suggested me to update the BIOS. Should I do that? I'm not feeling good about that. Last time I updated a BIOS the MB went dead! :(

    Well...I'm gonna update the Gfx-drivers and MB drivers for now...then I guess I can see about a BIOS update...

  8. As the others have said, it sounds like your memory timings are too tight or the voltage is too low. Test the memory with prime95 or orthos blend test after making adjustments in the BIOS. i've seen memory run memtest86 for hours without errors, only to fail orthos in a matter of minutes.
    Solution for problem 2.2: don't use dual core center. if u want to overclock, do it in the BIOS. these windows overclocking utilities are known to be buggy, and i have the same experience as u with dual core center.

    I've used MSI online BIOS update on my P6N sli platinum several times with no problems. u might want to try this method to update your bios.
  9. badge said:
    Mfg. = manufacturer.

    i believe Mfg = manufacturing since there's no g in Manufacturer
  10. I've checked the BIOS, it does seem to be configured correctly. The Memoryblocks get 1.9V as said in that pdf-file I linked to. Also the PDF-file says that the SPD is programmed at 5-5-5-12-T1 values, which I figure is the timing. The BIOS is set to use the SPD. So I guess thats correct too.

    So where am I now? I'm left with the BIOS update right? I think I have to do that from windows or something like that, since I don't have a floppy drive any more. But that just doesn't sound good when there is a potential error in the hardware.

  11. Setback!! :pfff:

    I updated the audiodriver first, as part of updating all the drivers on the I don't have any sound! Yay!

  12. Jacob, the no sound issue likey stems from you not designating the audio output jacks from within the software driver to match the audio outputs from your MB's back panel outputs. Try plugging you speakers into a different output on your MB. Or set up the output in the driver software.

    I don't mean to sound fecicious, but you tend to blame the MFg's for MFG'ing shoddy, non-working products when you maybe should consder your own user error or lack of computer assembly knowledge for all the problems. Sorry, don't mean to offend.
  13. No offense taken. I just don't understand it. If you refer to the new sound problem, then its because I'm getting a little distressed. I'm not good with computers. Not at all. And I just figured the sound problem you were right. Its just me that has to set up the audio output. But I thought it would re-use my old settings.

    But I am getting a little tense when my computers starts to act up. I'm totally dependant on them in my daily work.

    Also...last time I had hardware problems, the mainboard was malfunctioning. It was set to jumper-free mode and BIOS defaults. And it overclocked the CPU to point that it burned out. And it couldn't update the BIOS. After that I've been a bit nervous when it comes to updating, especially when updating the BIOS.

  14. well, the process of updating your bios is described in your mb manual. start there.
  15. Ok, I've consulted the manual on how to update the bios. Both the printed and the download version didn't offer anything. However the LiveUpdate did. I'm going with that. It says that when flashing the bios from windows it can create a rescue disk, in case something goes wrong I guess. I'm going to do that. However I still have some questions, which I can't find the answers to in the manual.

    I haven't defined any boot sequence in the BIOS. Do I have to do that before the flashing, in case the flashing goes wrong? Is there any setting I need to set before flashing the BIOS in order to use the rescue disk?


    Edit: I've found the webpage for the PSU manufacturer: apparently I can't supply a direct link, but its under 'Performance PSU' (left menu) and then its the RX 630 Power Viking PSU.
  16. You risk ruining your MB by flashing the BIOS over the internet. Is there a way to flash the BIOS using a flash drive? Flashing BIOS over the internet is risky, I have ruined a MSI MB myself doing that.
  17. Damn...I'm unsure on how to flash it in any other way...well...I have a manually downloaded update...maybe I can make that work from a floppy disk. I still would like a backup though...anyway...thanx for the heads up! :)

  18. What does the BIOS you are planning of flashing to refer to (or fix)?
  19. I'm afraid I don't know what you mean by that. I've downloaded a BIOS update download from MSI's webpage. A BIOS update for MSI P35 Neo Combo. I suspect my BIOS version is a few version numbers older.

  20. The BIOS you have downloaded and plan to flash should have 'release notes' stating what the BIOS 'fixes'. Or stating new processors supported. Read the MB support forums. Does the motherboard have problems supporting some RAM Mfg'ers? Read where anyone has installed the new BIOS. What did it accompolish? Do the research. Can I ask, have you simply tried 'default and save' in the current BIOS you are using?
  21. Will the BIOS version I have is v1.3 according to PC Wizard 2008, and the newest online version is 1.6, the fixes are as follows:
    1.4 - Improve memory compatibility with Corsair 1333MHz 1G DDR.
    - Disabled system resume from S4/S5 function by USB device.

    1.5 - Update Marvell LAN ROM
    - Update CPU Micro Code.

    1.6 - Fixed system will auto shut down under DOS mode after soft reset.

    Searching on the 'mainboard and memory' forum under 'MSI microstar' for "p35 neo combo" didn't return any results. Searching for P35 only gave me results regarding P35 Platinum and P35 Neo2, and the topics didn't seem to cover something similar to my problems. And the BIOS does run defaults. Its been set to that after it crashed badly before christmas.

    So I guess my best bet is the BIOS update?

    You all seemed to talk about voltage in the start, and ask about the PSU, could be that the PSU is 'unstable' and lowers the voltage when under stress?

    I'm sorry for the inconvienence, but I'm not good with computers, and I'm rarely able to evaluate the information I have, thats why I present it to you guys.


    I've tried to install a Floppy Disk drive to the computer, in order to prepare for a BIOS update. Windows XP Pro recognize the flyppe-drive, but its unable to read the disks I feed it. And since its several years old, I assume it doesn't work anymore. So I don't know how to proceed anymore. I think my options for BIOS update are limited to an update from MSI Live Update, inside of windows with no back up disk! I don't like that sound! :sweat:

    Another problem has arisen, since it might be related I'm posting it here...I've reinstalled MSI Dual Core Center, I'm aware that its not so good, when it comes to adjusting performance from inside windows, I have bad experience with that too. Anyway, I installed it so I could keep track of voltage, fan rpms and temperature. However, the alarm goes off almost constantly! Everytime, the problem is the same. The CPU fan stops. It starts again after roughly a second. But it stops long enough for the alarm to go off. However, the CPU core temperature is 26 degrees celcius. Meaning slightly more than room temperature. This happens several times a minute, especially when the computer is left to itself.
  22. Quote:
    I've tried to install a Floppy Disk drive to the computer, in order to prepare for a BIOS update. Windows XP Pro recognize the flyppe-drive, but its unable to read the disks I feed it.

    The likely problem is the Floppy cable is installed wrong. The positive side of the cable goes to pin 1 on the drive itself and also on the MB connector. You should be able to flash the BIOS with a common Jump (Flash) USB drive. Check instruction for flashing with a USB Flash dive in the MB manual.

    If you have some other RAM you should try it. Be sure to go into BIOS and set the memory volatage to Mfg. specifications. Also, manually set the timings to specs. If you don't have any other RAM, try one DIMM only of your Corsair in slot 1. Set the voltage to 2.0v and adjust the timings manually.

    Also, if you suspect you have a bad or weak power supply the way to find out is to swap it out for a properly working unit.

    I can tell you I hosed an MSI MB years ago using their online update program.
  23. Hi guys,
    The option to update BIOS through Windows is solid, and will not fail.
    But there is a certain way to do it: don't ask it to upate BIOS over internet!
    First download the new BIOS file - then update from that, using the MSI interface in Windows.
    Once you already have the new BIOS file on your harddisk, it is much safer. Then you don't even need to be online when you run the MSI update tool...
    And I agree, ~2.0v never hurt anything (and helps a lot of memory).
    Sounds to me like the latest BIOS should help you though...
  24. Agree. Updating BIOS from a file on the HD using the MSI interface is fine. (I don't know how to tell OP to do this.)
  25. The printed manual and the downloaded one doesn't have any info at all on how to update the BIOS. Neither does the quicke reference guide. Everytime I start the MSI Live Update it comes with at ton of messages saying 'The service was not started' or something like that.

    Should I just try to bumb up the voltage from 1.9 (Mfg. preset!) to 2.0? I'm thinking of leaving the timings as they are, because they're presented in a completely different way in the BIOS than the timing numbers I have.

  26. Dear Jacob,

    Right now i have the exact same problem as you stated in 2.1 however it is also the only problem that i have in your list of problems.

    It all started with my purchase of an msi p35 neo mainboard combined with:

    4gb corsair pc6400 twinx2 ddr 2
    intel q6600
    8800 gts 320 mb oc -edition
    ocz 600 watt gamexstream

    at the start i also had these little power interruptions when i booted up. I didnt bothered me much until i removed my hardware to another case and i just couldnt turn on my pc anymore. Result: My mainboard was broke. Something was burned on the mainboard so i thought it was just a bad manufactured copy. I decided to buy another msi p35 neo mainboard.

    The problem was gone for a month until this morning. i pushed my power button but the pc just would not start. Strange! So i opened my case, checked everything and tried again. It came back to life but the exact same problem had returned, again the annoying power pauses at the boot up (btw my bios ver is 1.6). so what in the hell can cause this problem? Personally i think there is something wrong with my psu (however ocz is a quality psu) but there can always be something wrong with it. The last months its also kind of noisy and when i play cod4 it can be VERY noisy which is not normal because my friend has the exact same psu which is almost silent. Anyway, i receive my new corsair hx520 watt psu monday and i will update if the problem is solved.

    (Srry for my bad english)
  27. sounds more an more like a PSU/power problem than anything else...or am I completely wrong about that?


    Edit: I tried to bump up the voltage on the memory to 2.0 volts and it didn't solve the problem. I didn't change the timings, since they seem to be set correctly in the BIOS, correctly according to corsair specifications. After that I loaded optimized defaults in the BIOS. It didn't want to reboot at first. No screen picture or anything, I could just hear a fan spinning at high RPM, giving off much more noise than usual. After a few attempts at reboot the comp finally came to, and I made the change.

    I thinking two things now: Its either the PSU being bad OR perhaps the video card? couldn't that one make trouble such as these? I'm gonna try and update the driver. Is it necessary to uninstall the video driver first or can I just download the newest installer from nvidia and then make it work like that?

    Also...these crashes/bluescreen/attempted reboots are kinda scary. Isn't it ruining my computer hardware? I much torture can it take?
  28. Well...I updated the drivers for the Gfx-card. That seems to have helped. I've now played Oblivion for nearly an hours without a crash! :D

    I think the problem might be solved now

    There still one issue though...MSI Dual Core Center keeps telling me that the CPU fan stops. It also tells me that the CPU fan starts again. This problem completely disappeared when I removed the side cover of the cabinet. But everytime I try to put the cover back on, the alarm from MSI Dual Core Center goes off again! It doesn't sound like there are wires getting caught in the fan or something like that. This is very strange.

  29. Hi,
    Good to hear it's running better.
    The new BIOS's on MSI website do seem to address your issues though (including memory compliance) and I believe sooner or later you should upgrade. It is not difficult.
    MSI Dual Core Center

    Now here is a problematic software that is the answer to a question no one has asked... Lose it (as has been suggested) and perform all setup within BIOS.
    You have many settings in BIOS - to enable/disable C1E; to enable/disable SpeedStep; to enable/disable fan speed control, and also possibly a special setting for CPU fan speed control (using the modern 4-wire Intel CPU fan).
    There are decisions to be made: is it a high-perf (gamer's) rig - or is it an office PC?
    Setting the optimized defaults is great, but it's only a starting point y'know?
    Anyway it's your rig, high-perf parts and big-$$ vidcard etc. You must learn how to run it! :)
    ...a little distressed. I'm not good with computers. Not at all.

    Heheh, this is not a permanent condition and we will continue to guide you.
    MSI P35 Neo Combo-F
    Correct? I will get the book right now,
  30. Well...its main function is entertainment. That means gaming PC. Its not state of the art I think...but all parts were selected with gaming in mind.

    CPU: Intel Core2 Duo E4400 @ 2.00GHz, box edition
    MB : MSI P35 Neo Combo-F
    Memory: 2x Corsair DDR-II, XMS2 Xtreme Performance
    PSU: 630Watt Viking Power
    VGA: Inno3D Geforce 8800GTS, 320mb DDR3 RAM

    The processor was selected because of the overclocking capability. As far as I know the memory, mainboard and Gfx-card is a bit fast for the CPU, but thats because these supposed to be able to keep up with the processor once I decide to overclock it. And that won't happen untill I get a solid cooler from either Zalmann or something of similar quality.

    Well...I suppose I should rummage around in the BIOS a can reset itself right? In case I screw up? :ange:

    Anyway...I'm very thankful of the help here. I don't think I would ever have figured this one out my self! Good think I didn't start sending back parts, thinking they were bad! :kaola:

  31. I hope ppl still read this thread...because...the problems are not over it seems!! :(

    Today when I started the computer, then during the windows loading I got a bluescreen, it was there just long enough for me to know something went deeply wrong. I couldn't read what it said. The computer rebooted. But it never got past the BIOS splash screen. It just stopped there. I turned it off, and then on again.

    It tried to power up, but during that there was this power outage on the mainboard, and the computer went off again, and then it would try again half a second later. This cycle went on for about 5 times when I finally managed to shut it off again.

    Then I tried to power up again. This time there was no screen picture at all and a fan inside the computer was spinning VERY fast. I still don't know WHAT fan it was.

    Then I unplugged the computer and took the cabinet side off to make sure ALL wirerings are properly connected. And switched 12v cable for the Gfx-card. Dunno...just a test I guess.

    After this the computer finally came to again. But with those red scary letters that says "Overclocking failed returning to defaults" or something like that! I entered BIOS and loaded fail-safe defaults. And now I finally managed to get inside windows. I'm writing from it right now.

    So I'm guessing this either the powersupply that cannot keep up or a BIOS update.

    I feel I need help with the BIOS update. I have the file on the harddisk as suggested. But I'm limited to doing the flashing from windows. I just don't know how to proceed. The manuals ain't much help as I've already consulted them for help.

  32. Where can I get Orthos Blend test app from ?
  33. Does anyone keep up with this anymore? :kaola:

    Anyway...I decided to flash the BIOS using liveupdate, and flash it from windows, without back up, as I don't have any working floppy disk drive. Thank god it went over well!! I think.

    When booting up it said something like "BIOS checksum bad, press del to enter setup or press F2 to load defaults and continue." I pressed F2. I hope I was supposed to do that.

    Anyway...I hope this solves the problem...

    And a big thanks for the help! :D

  34. Just a thought. You might want to get a good PSU. The PSU that is listed(630Watt Viking Power ) is a no-name brand. I recommend you get a PSU from the top tires here:

    I recommend a Corsair 520HX or 550VX.
  35. Oh cool...thanks.

    But since the PSU I currently have is from a local shop then I suspect I should get a new one there, in case I need it.

    I'll see if I can find a good PSU from their inventory among the ones you linked to.


    Ok that shops doesn't have ANYTHING thats in the tier 1,Z or even Tier 2 or 3

    They do have an OCZ StealthXStream, but I don't know if thats a good one. Those OCZs seems to be all from excellent to moderately bad! :(
  36. Just checking in on this, did you ever try another PSU? Buy,com has some great prices on Corsairs now, like this 550 watter:
    Here's thread on xtreme about this board, might be of help;
  37. I did try a new PSU. That didn't help much. The mainboard has been sent back to the shop as I was able to track the error to the mainboard.

  38. Shadow703793 said:
    Just a thought. You might want to get a good PSU. The PSU that is listed(630Watt Viking Power ) is a no-name brand. I recommend you get a PSU from the top tires here:

    I recommend a Corsair 520HX or 550VX.

    I have a Raidmax Power Wiking 630W. It`s been in my overklocked system (Ahtlon x2 4200 2200@2700mhz, 2gb ram, 7800GS, 2HD`s) for 3 years.
    Allways been 100% Prime95 stable. All rails are within it`s ideal limits.
    Now upgraded to a Quadcore (q6600@3000mhz, 8800GTS 512, 4gb ram 800@1000mhz, MSI p35 neo2 fir) Kan get it to 3600mhz stable.
    This is an quiet and rock solid PSU.
  39. hellou everybody: Im reading this thread because I also want to update bios (p35 neo combo) thru windows, without internet connection. I got 1.2 bios version and I want to buy q9550 for FSX :)

    I think this may be helpful for ya all.

    When I bought this motherboard, the guy, who build me my rig told me to set my FSB to (Im not sure 400 I guess), so my RAM frequency could be 800. the ratio is 1 to 2 I guess. Im not a pc wizzard, but I've found ,on the internet, that P35 Neo combos have a well known problem, they are not able to recognize some RAMs correctly (or not capable of divideing the frequency to be exact). Therefore I've never been able to set the dividor (RAM frequency) by my self, I have it set to automatic. Thats why If you set the bios to deafults, the red text about overclocking comes up.

    And yes, that means my e6550 have been overclocked to 2.8 mhz. But that aint bother me.

    So I may be wrong but it probably ISNT your PSU, GPU, keyboard :P or whatever. It is the motherboard and you cannot do a thing about it.

    You cant fight it, just gotta learn to live with it. Or buy a new motherboar, or simply overclock the cpu, so your RAM can run fine.

    set the Ram voltage to the manufacturer voltages (in most cases 2.0 to 2.1), paint your rig to pink colour, buy ya self some popcorn... thats it.

    I MIGHT BE WRONG, dont want to repeat myself, but I aint a pc wizard...the issues you are talking about are the same thing that I ve been facing, therefore I think I am right with my solution.

    peace out...
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