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Help please I'm puzzled

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April 15, 2008 8:56:42 PM

Ok, here is the problem. My new build boots fine however it randomly turns itself off.

It varies the time the computer stays on from just about 30sec to 15min. I've tried 2 different sticks of RAM, same problem. Reseated the CPU same problem (CPU temp hasn't rose above 50C). HD works fine... stole it from my old build. Cleared CMOS several times with no luck. Haven't reseated the bios battery yet, will do when I get home.

Needless to say I haven't been able to install windows yet.

I have noticed, it seems the more I have connected the longer it stays on... for example with no video card lasted longer than with 1, with 1 stick as opposed to 4 sticks of ram.

I will post the results of the bios clear and my system specs in my next post.

Help me plz!!!!!

More about : puzzled

April 15, 2008 9:49:08 PM

Mobo : XFX nForce 790i Ultra SLI Socket 775
Vid : 2x XFX GeForce 8800 GT
CPU: Intel e8400 3.00Ghz
Ram: 4x 1GB sticks OCZ Gold Edition 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory
PSU: Ultra-X X3 1000W
April 15, 2008 10:12:08 PM

Increase RAM voltage.
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April 15, 2008 11:17:45 PM

Shadow703793 said:
Increase RAM voltage.

Agreed... sometimes the mobo doesnt supply sufficient voltage in auto for higher bandwidth memory. My 2X2GB OCZ reaper needed 2.2v to even boot.
Go to manufacturer website... maybe they have a forum... but they should have voltage specs. Set it to the maximum voltage the memory is rated for (for warranty purposes dont exceed max) and set it to that and you should be good. Also if you are overclocking the memory beyond spec you may need to loosen timings even more than the higher latency DDR3 specs.
April 16, 2008 3:32:58 AM

Hmm, well without changing the memory voltage I reseated everthing 1 stick it worked, another stick worked, 4 sticks worked, then SLI worked. Whole system was running (Given this was the 3rd time I went through this so it was irritating)

I managed to install windows all drivers and everything, then randomly I put in the DVD to install a game and screen goes black, fans and everything still going, I was able to open and close drive to get the DVD but had to power it off myself because no video was appearing.

Upon booting again I get the error "A disk read error occurred
Press Ctrl+Alt+Del to restart". This error would not go away even after a system restore.

I'm currently reinstalling windows on the HD, still think there is something fishy going on here. I will take your advice and up the RAM voltage.

Any other thoughts? I will let you know the results of my new install.
April 16, 2008 4:06:56 AM

Sigh, while reinstalling windows my computer turned off randomly again, now I have the same problem I have been having, doesnt get very far then turns off. Given I have had it one for about 6 hours before this started happening.

Then I increased the RAM voltage to 1.9V and instead of just turning off now I get a blue screen and it says this "page fault in non page area".
April 16, 2008 5:08:12 AM

Hey stash,

A long time ago, I built a simple system that used 2 sticks of RAM. I tried installing the OS, and kept getting weird and random errors. Sometimes operations would work fine, other times the system barfed. Turned out one stick of RAM was bad. I have run memtest86 ever since, and have identified a couple of bad sticks of RAM at build time before they caused me grief.

I didn't see you mention doing a memory test anywhere. Using another computer, download memtest86 onto a floppy or a CD-ROM (burn the *.iso image). Make sure the memory voltage is set properly, as discussed in previous posts. Boot your new system with the memtest disk - it is self-booting and doesn't require an OS. Run memtest until you get several complete passes with no failures. Only then should you attempt to install the OS.

If you get failures, try one stick at a time, and then combinations to help you locate the source of the problem.

Good luck!
April 16, 2008 7:07:57 AM

I would try what Altazi said first... However I think worth mentioning... I have had PSU's do some funky things. Very similar to what you are experiencing. I have had two PSU's go bad... the first one would freeze my computer up (freeze screen) about 15mins into gaming. Only gaming though. Eventually after months of hard frustrating T/S I decided to swap PSU's and to my surprise it was the PSU. Not a prob that one would auto think the PSU but you know?
Second time my rig would turn on for about a few seconds then crash. Sometimes BSOD sometimes just no video and all fans spinning. This second time I was convinced it was the mobo or memory. So I ordered all new parts for a new rig (considering the mobo I had was old 939 socket) and when new parts came thought I would see if my new PSU would fix the problem since someone suggested it on a thread I had started. To my surprise again... the PSU fixed it.
So try the memory (memtest) and then if all else fails dont forget about the PSU.
April 16, 2008 8:47:06 AM

Ok do the mem test and swapping the PSU , also double check that you board aint shorting on the Mobo tray of your case , and make sure all your Molex connections are solid in the HD,s dvd drives ect , and if all fails jus trying booting with just the board , cpu , and a old PCI video card and see if you can get longer up time by swapping out parts to find the problem part.


Computers are Evil and they love frusturating the piss out of us poor shmucks , but with patience and a certain lvl of intoxication you can overcome , jus remain calm and eliminate the obvious .

Cheers and good luck
April 16, 2008 11:58:52 AM

Well I don't have another DDR3 board I can swap the memory into. Is the windows memtest good enough? I will try that, if it runs smoothly I will try to install again and get memtest86
April 16, 2008 2:54:32 PM

Stash, not sure how well a memory test program running under a potentially corrupt install of Windows would work. That's why I recommended using the self-booting version. It might be a little more trouble, but I feel that it's worth it.
April 16, 2008 7:27:33 PM

^Agreed. Use the bootable Memtest86+. The Windows version gives you incorrect results.
April 16, 2008 10:39:43 PM

stash said:
Well I don't have another DDR3 board I can swap the memory into. Is the windows memtest good enough? I will try that, if it runs smoothly I will try to install again and get memtest86

You shouldnt have to use another board. Use your current rig as is and run memtest during boot up. You wont even have to have windows installed to run it.

Dont forget about what I said with the PSU... Potential culprit all the time.
April 17, 2008 5:46:32 PM

So I was swapping RAM in and out while testing it and touched my case with the power being on and was shocked. Turned the power off and on... was shocked again(I'm ok don't worry, shock games have trained me well). I took the comp out of the case and booted it up on cardboard. To my suprise comp did not turn off so quickly as before.

I was able to install install windows and drivers, without problems with 1 stick of RAM. After installing the windows updates, restarted the computer and waited about 35min on the "Configuring Updates" screen. Comp kept trucking along and I was able to login. While in windows the comp would freeze up a little bit (for about 3 seconds), every 5 seconds. I turned off the computer and let it rest for 5minutes. Booted it back up and had no problems (Did some light browsing talked on AIM) for about 2 and a half hours. Then computer froze up and I to turn it off. Turned it back on and within 5min of the boot up froze again.

Still puzzled here, I just made a memtest disc will run it when I get home. What do you guys think?

Oh and when the comp froze after the 2.5 hours I did here funny noise coming from HD.

Sorry for length of this trying to be thorough.
April 17, 2008 8:10:52 PM

^If you get shocked when the PC is off you have a serious PSU problem.
April 17, 2008 8:17:29 PM

PC was on when I was shocked
April 17, 2008 8:41:10 PM

Stash... I hate to sound like a broken record... but I've said it again and again. It's your PSU! :non: 
April 17, 2008 9:26:21 PM

I looked above and it looked like you were using a 1,000 watt power supply.

Some of the Video cards have specific ways they have to be plugged into the power supply.

If your power supply is not unplugged, then your motherboard is probably still getting Power. It is always a good idea to unplug the power supply before working on a computer.

What does your motherboard MANUAL say about using 4 Ram Sticks? Sometimes you get poor results using 4 sticks of RAM. Is your RAM compatible with your motherboard?
April 17, 2008 10:01:03 PM

piasabird said:
I looked above and it looked like you were using a 1,000 watt power supply.

Some of the Video cards have specific ways they have to be plugged into the power supply.

If your power supply is not unplugged, then your motherboard is probably still getting Power. It is always a good idea to unplug the power supply before working on a computer.

What does your motherboard MANUAL say about using 4 Ram Sticks? Sometimes you get poor results using 4 sticks of RAM. Is your RAM compatible with your motherboard?

I think we can all agree that this is not a memory problem. He has used one stick of memory for hours of use. Memory usually doesnt show intermitent problems. A PSU however does. Dependent upon heat, consumption, and many other factors.
Your best bet stash would be to start RMAing parts starting with your PSU then onto the motherboard, memory, cpu, hard disk unitl the problem subsides.
This is called the shotgun method. Some problems with electrical equipment in my line of work cannot, no matter how well experienced the individual troubleshooting the problem is, be determined... that's when your start shotgunning parts and replacing items until your problem is gone.
April 17, 2008 10:29:17 PM

stash said:
PC was on when I was shocked

Even then PSU shouldn't shock you.
April 23, 2008 10:29:10 PM

I was on vacation sorry about that but, here are the updates of what I've done.

I installed a 600W powersupply that is known to be reliable. The problem that is occuring is when I put any of my memory sticks in DIMM slot 0, for whatever reason the computer gives me a long beep that repeats infinitely, and code "C1" is displayed from the motherboard LED (which I found means First block memory detect OEM Specific-Test to size on-board memory. Early chip set initialization, Memory presence test).

However all four of them work in DIMM slot 2. When I put 1 stick in DIMM 1 and 1 stick in DIMM 3 it works sometimes.

I ran memtest86 from a floppy, I was able to get 3 passes with no errors with each of the sticks.

The comp is pretty stable with one stick of RAM in that DIMM 2 slot, I've had it running without problems for about 36hours. I installed a decently demanding game and played for about 10min, and the comp powered off without warning.

Also, now when I try increasing the RAM voltages in the bios upon restarting system doesnt boot and code "5d" is shown, which I found means "Initializing onboard superIO", so then I have the clear the bios for it to work again.

I'm thinking this is a bad board.

PS. Also noticed CPU temp was running at times up to 68C without load. But I wasn't having this problem before when it was in the case. I ordered some grease and will use that instead of the stock pad.

Any opinion's? I'm about ready to start the RMA process.

Thanks for all your help already.
April 24, 2008 12:39:57 AM

If you cant get the heat issue to be resolved with a better mount job or thermalgrease and get problem to subside than the motherboard ought to be replaced next. Sorry... I really thought it was going to be the PSU. The next culprit in line though would be the motherboard.
April 24, 2008 3:02:04 PM

It sounds like a bad MOBO.

BTW: You don't have to unplug the PSU from the MOBO before swapping cards. All you have to do is unplug the PSU from the wall and then turn on the PC power button. That will drain any residual charge left in the PSU and MOBO caps.
!