Hanging - how to track down the problem

So here's my sob story. After a decade of tinkering with prebuilts, replacing every part but the kitchen sink (er processor), I felt comfortable enough to try to pick and choose my pieces separately and build a system from scratch. Mind you, I am not a gamer, I'm a computer vision engineer, so my heavy use is Visual Studio and Matlab. So I picked out my parts:

core 2 quad q6600
4GB (2 X 2GB, Dual Channel) PC2-6400 DDR2 800Mhz 240Pin (don't have it here to check brand)
Inno3D Geforce 8600 GT 512mb HDCP+HDTV Sli PCiE
Hitachi 500GB SATA2 U300 7200rpm 16MB
A-Power 500W

Seemed pretty compatible, worked pretty well, occasional half-second hang, until the video crapped out. In a weird way, too. If I changed the monitor, it worked on first boot, but never again. Changed video card, worked first boot, not again. Plugged the monitor into DVI instead of VGA, worked first two boots. Taking pieces out and putting them back in didn't fix it. I was able to test the video card into another box at work, so that wasn't the problem. Note that the mobo doesn't have integrated video (I overlooked this upon purchase as I assumed it did and didn't read for that carefully). Any tips on this would be appreciated, but that's not my current problem.

I went ahead and purchased a new motherboard:
ECS EliteGroup G31T-M V1.0 ECS Mainboard
Kinda cheap, but at least it has onboard video. I can boot into windows, but I get severe 1-3 minute hangs almost immediately until it completely stops responding. I'm just running on onboard video so far, I'll plug in the video card when I get something stable. Any ideas on what to do? I don't want to just keep throwing money into it until something works, and I don't have a lot of compatible extra parts to swap around to see what works.

For quick reference on the parts' specs:
6 answers Last reply
More about hanging track problem
  1. Power supply ? if you have a spare one try swaping to check
  2. I vote power supply as well.

    Then try memtest 86.

    Then test your hard drive.
  3. A power supply with a 15 day warranty woulnd't have been my first choice. You might want to spend a few more dollars and get something with a little higher quality, or at least one with published specs.
  4. And I thought power supplies were all about the same, as long as you had the wattage. ok, I'm checking out a new one.
  5. Wow, there's a lot to read about power supplies, I never knew. Yay for learning, and you guys are helpful. I found eXtreme Power Supply Calculator Lite v2.5, and it estimated I only need 268 W, which isn't suprising since I don't have a lot going on.
    So I'm thinking I don't need a more powerful supply, just a higher quality one. Suggestions? I'd still like to stay on the cheaper side.

    And also I'm hoping I can go back to my original motherboard. How hard is it on the processor to be switched back and forth? Should I first try swapping in another PSU? (I do have some of those around) Should I see instant results if that's the culrpit?
  6. no it dose not hurt the cpu to bounce it around as long as you are careful and can afford to replace the tim each time,and,,yes,, if the psu is the culprit,are you sure of the compatibility of your ram for your mobo....
    note, although you are not a gamer you would most certainly benefit in your work from a better video card,the capability of a say an 8800 is way above an 8600,in every way but mostly in the speed in which things would get done,,remember you only get what you pay for,and sometimes not [plus you will have a higher value item to sell when you upgrade the 8600 is the pci-e equivalent to yesterday's 7600 agp more or less]..:)
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