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Computer freezes

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November 2, 2008 11:35:05 PM

Hi everyone. Me and my friend recently built a computer. It was all working fine, we tested it thoroughly by running multiple tests on CPU, RAM, etc.

Stability was fine, as we even left it running tests for long hours... But then when I started using the pc, and running a few heavy apps, like photoshop, dreamweaver, illustrator, watching HD video all at the same time, pc would just freeze, and there was no way of recovering from it. Mouse and keyboard wouldn't work and if music was playing during the freeze, some weird sound would keep "screaming" from the speakers. The only way to get out of it was the Reset button on the tower...

I thought, never mind, it happens, but then it started happening more often, so we decided to investigate. And we found out that it was my graphics card.

Here is my specs btw:

Asus P5E3 Premium/WiFi@n S775 PCI-E(x16) DDR3 1066/1333/1600/1800 SATA II SATA RAID ATX Motherboard
OCZ 4GB DDR3 PC3-12800 Intel Gold Plated Edition (2x2GB) Dual Channel OCZ3X16004GK
Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550 S 775 2.83 Ghz 1333MHz FSB 12MB Cache Retail
Asus ATI Radeon 512MB HD4870 PCI-E 2.0 (x16) 3600MHz GDDR5 GPU 750MHz 800 Cores 2x DL DVI-I/HDTV HDCP Graphics Card
OCZ GameXStream 600w Silent SLI Ready ATX2 Power Supply

So we swapped the ATI graphics card for GeForce 8800 GTS. We tested it by running same software (nearly all adobe cs4 products + HD video + Music, etc) and it was all working fine. Previously it would freeze straight away. We also tested ATI graphics card at my friend's pc and it was working fine for him, so we thought it must be a compatibility issue, BUT after a few days running without any problems, same problem has started happening again. I was playing a game just now and it froze. When I opened photoshop after the freeze, it gave me a message that said: "Photoshop has encountered a problem with the display driver, and has temporarily disabled GPU enhancements. Check the video card manufacturer's website for the latest software. GPU enhancements can be enabled in the Performance panel of Preferences." I have the latest drivers, I tried uninstalling and reinstalling, but it doesn't fix anything...

I thought it's something to do with Vista, but it happens even on XP 32 & 64, and Vista 64....

I know it's not because of overheating, my temps r 30-50C, i keep looking at them when the freeze happens... I have a massive ASUS Silent Square Cooler...

Probably not because of RAM either, as we tested RAM with various test and diagnostic tools...

It's like if my pc screws up every graphics card I put in...

Sorry if it's a bit too long, I tried to give as much details as possible. Found this forum on google, saw how many posts and users it has and thought this is the place where I will find a solution to my problem... lol Sorry if it's in a wrong section, I couldn't find a Help Section...

Any ideas or suggestions r appreciated. Thank you... :) 

More about : computer freezes

November 2, 2008 11:56:25 PM

I would start by look at the drivers. What you discribed sounds like a issue with drivers. If you downloaded the newest ones, delete them and try the ones that came with it. If you are using the disk that came with the card, delete and download the newest ones.
November 2, 2008 11:59:53 PM

I have tried running drivers that came with graphics card (ATI Catalyst 8.1) and latest ones from official webiste (ATI Catalyst 8.10), but the problem occurs on both versions of drivers...
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December 2, 2008 3:43:16 PM

Anymore suggestions anyone?

Since posting this, I have bought a new power supply (OCZ 900W ModXstream), as I thought I might be underpowered, but I still have the problem...

I have also tried taking out the motherboard and putting it back into the case, in case there was a shortage or something, but that didn't help either...
December 3, 2008 6:58:49 AM

Try pulling out one of your RAM sticks and run the system and see if the freezing continues... if it does, plug the stick back in and take out the other one... does it still freeze?

December 3, 2008 12:27:12 PM

Slomo4shO, I have tried that, but it still freezes with one stick at a time. Also tried running memtest86 with just one stick and both sticks passed the test...

starry, try all suggestions that were given to me. Maybe u have a different problem...
December 3, 2008 12:37:08 PM

Uninstall your video drivers and reinstall them.

Also, run disk defragmenter while your at it.
December 3, 2008 1:36:23 PM

Slomo4shO, I uninstalled and reinstalled video drivers plenty of times. Removed old drivers with Driver Cleaner Pro, then tried installing latest drivers and drivers that came with my card, but the problem still exists...

Also updated all other drivers...

Just did a defragmentation, although analysis said it wasn't needed. The hard drive is brand new. I checked it for errors, but it seems to be fine...

What else should I try?

Someone else suggested that it might be the voltage setting in BIOS. At the moment DRAM Voltage is set to Auto, should I change it to 1.9V? As that's what it says on the manufacturer's website:

http://www.ocztechnology.com/products/memory/ocz_ddr3_p...

I never set my RAM to 1.9V before. I usually have it at 1.5v-1.7v, 1.9V seems too high to me. I have never overclocked RAM... What do u think?
December 3, 2008 2:02:37 PM

The ram is designed to run at 1.8v which is the standard setting on most motherboards. But try setting the voltage manually to 1.9v or 1.95v and see what happens.

Since you have tried 2 different GPUs we can try and ignore the GPU in the analysis of the problem.

Have you tried seating the ram in different slots?

The only common denominator we have found thus far is that when you start using large amounts of RAM your system locks up. This issue is seems to be independent of GPUs.

Have you tried running a RAM benchmark yet?
December 3, 2008 5:48:30 PM

I have changed the voltage to 1.9V and I think that fixed the problem. I did my best to freeze it by running (2 full high def videos, photoshop, flash, illustrator, dreamweaver, winamp, firefox, winrar decompressing 8GB file, gears of war and fallout 3) all at the same time.... lol CPU was at 80% and RAM usage at 2.1GB. That would usually freeze the PC, but it worked fine...

I will give it a few more tests to see if the problem exists, coz it happens randomly...

But for now I'm happy... :) 
!