Receantly purchased parts for a new build, and after I got everything set up, I am greeted by a freezing computer.
Here is the part list
Intel Quad Core Q6600 2.4GHz
XFX 8800 GTS 512 MB DDR3
2x2GB Mushkin Ram DDR2 6400 800Mhz
LG DVD burner
Seagate 500GB Sata
Scythe Mugen CPU Cooler
Ok, so I am still in the process of trying to figure out what exactly is the problem, but was wondering if I could get your guys' experience to help me narrow it down with what it most likely is. First off, there is a VGA Bios update for this motherboard which solved a lot of problems I had earlier on. When I first installed windows (even during windows setup) my computer would freeze, it would usually take me 2-3 freezes, either at the post screen or at the black screen right prior to windows login screen, is when they would occur. That doesn't mean they never occured after windows was loaded though. Anyways, so I downloaded that bios update and flashed my bios. To say the least it fixed my problem, for about 1 day and a half. Then I started getting random freezes again. I don't really ever get them on the post screen, or prior to windows loading up anym ore, but they are still there.
I have downloaded a few apps, and have been testing several parts of my computer. The first perp I suspected was the ram, so I download memtest86 and prime95. Now when I first starting testing with prime95 after I flashed the bios, I was only able to do the smaller tests. When I tried to do the larger "torture test" it would come back and say, harware error, after a minute or so of testing. So I thought I would give memtest86 a go to see if it was indeed the ram. I ran it for about an hour and a half, it did 3 run throughs and found nothing. Although I am sure I am supposed to run it for longer, I found it odd that it didn't find anything off the bat. As it turns out Gigabyte has just released a new beta bios for "more compatibility with ddr2". I checked the ram compatibility link on there site, and indeed mushkin is no where on it. Being a brand name and ddr2, I assumed it would work, that was my error.
Although I myself am quite sure this could be the culpriate of my instability and random freezes, I was hoping to get your guy's opinion on my situation, and what you feel is the best course of action I should take to ensure that it is the ram. I would hate to go and pick up some kingston or something and have the same issues.
Is ram the most common cause for these kinds of freezes, or could it be something else?
I am currently reinstalling windows just to make sure it was not anything I had installed. I have only done the vga bios update atm, but there is older one that just says "performance boost" and the new beta one. Would you recommend I get both of these and flash the bios, or just the latest one? I am quite new to the concept of flashing the bios.
Any help you may offer in solving this issue will be greatly appreciated.
I did one stick of ram, and it was looking good, I was able to run prime95's torture test for about 30 -40 min, I stopped it to play some cod4, and sure enough while I was playing it froze on me.
I have not yet tried different ram slots / swapping out for different ram, but that is likely what I will try next. My friend has some kingston value ram, so I will try that and if it doesnt freeze anymore then i'll know what the problem is. If not I think your right and it may the motherboard. I'll probably go with an asus one if it turns out that I need to replace it, but I really hope that is not the case.
It sounds like a driver issue for one of your hardware components. Since you didnt list a sound card, I can assume your using the onboard sound? I had a similar issue with using the creative audigy 2 sound card and a previous version of their driver. The new driver release fixed the issue.
Its almost a safe bet its a driver version of an add on card. Try using onboard video/sound if your mobo has video and uninstall all of the drivers and software for the video card. This should at least rule out the video card if it still freezes. Try playing a movie or whatever you can to stress the system to see what happens.
ok so I was testing one of my ram sticks in slot 2A, everything was working nicely for about 30 min. I then decided to run memtest for the night before I went to sleep. It ran for 6 hours, and this morning I stopped it, no errors. lol, then when my computer was restarting, it froze.....
lol this is getting old
I havent tried uninstalling video card drivers but I will do that next.
Have you set your RAM to its required voltage in the BIOS? The BIOS default is probably 1.8v, but your RAM may want considerably more. I like Mushkin RAM, and seem to recall most of it will work on 1.8v, although possibly at slower timing.
the correct voltage is 1.8 which is what it is at. Cpu temps are good, not sure offhand, but I am almost positive it is not the cpu temps, since sometimes I can go an hour - two ours or more without a freeze. I will double check this tonight, but I am quite sure it is either a flaky motherboard or bad ram.
However, the fact that they have released a bios beta for "more compatiability with ddr2" could suggest that it is a an incompatability with my ram. On the weekend I plan to run memtest on both sticks for the whole day. If I go for 15 hours + is it safe to assume the ram is not the issue, and its mobo/bios/driver related?
Are there any other tests I should be running aside from prime95 and memtest86?
What exactly do you mean it could be the firmware in the dvd drive? are they known to do this kind of thing, it is sata as opposed to ide. My friend's 780i comp that I built for him had an issue with sata dvd drives which there was a driver fix for thankfully. But that was causing bsod, not freezing.
It seems to random to be something like the dvd drive, but I will test the stability of the comp with it disconnected.
Sometimes they don't sell the DVD drives with the lastest firmware. They will usally have a program on the manuafctures site to tell you which one you have. Its rare but it does happen. If memtest shows up nothing it has to be something else.
Can you swap your graphics card with a mate to see if this is the problem?, My faulty ram gave me BSOD's and my faulty graphics card gave me black/frozen screens, Its worth re-seating your cpu as well just to be sure.
I would also uninstall your graphics card drivers and get the latest drivers to re-install, I use ccleaner to get rid of the rubbish after i uninstall them and before i re-install.
ya hopefully i will be able to go over to a friends on the weekend so I can swap things out, I think that is the easiest way to narrow it down. Problem is because it's random, I really have to test it out quite a bit before I know if it's stable or not. If it is faulty ram or flaky motherboard, is there anything I can try and do to make it freeze. At the moments its done it on start up, in games, once in the bios, during xp installation, during a cd rom installation, all these things could suggest something specific, or it could just be completly random.
Although I don't know much about the inner workings of the parts, I fail to see how it could be completely random, there must be something that triggers it.
Might be heat, This does sound like a graphics card problem as ive had the same symptoms with my old 7950GT, Its a case of testing one component at a times which is a pain but its the only way.
Also have a look in control panel/system/administrative tools/event viewer and look at each group, these error messages might give a clue to the problem. Is your graphics card overclocked? plugged into the psu?
as you are not reporting any windoze errors we are left to assume that you have a hardware incompatibility ,,the simplest protocol for this is to uninstall any non windoze drivers audio/video etc and run some simple lo rez tasks with each stick of ram singly and together then if there are no failures/freezes you might then install your video and other drivers,wherever/wherein you get freezes that is your area of trouble,btw make sure that any auxillary power plugins ,,mobo etc are correct and firmly seated..??..
for what it's worth there have been a rash of mobo's with shortages to the cpu fan connector,various manuf's....