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various problems in new homebuild PC

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November 15, 2008 1:29:05 AM

Hello everyone and "welcome" me to tom's hardware.

System Overview:

Brain: Intel Core 2 Quad (Q6600) 2.4GHz
MOBO: XFX NForce 680i LT SLI
GPU: XFX 8800 GTX Extreme
RAM: 2 x 2 GB Corsair
HDD: 1 Maxtor 500GB and 1 samsung 750GB (insludes OS).

Background:

when I build my PC, the casing's power supply did not meet the requirements for the GPU as it required 2 separate PCI connectors, so desparately bought this power supply from a local store, don't remeber the name, as far as I can see it says "Maximum Power be cool and silent" lol. Anyway its 700 watts.

Problems:

1 - I installed Vista 32 bit first of all, it kept crashing/freezing randomly, approx 5 times a day (could not do anything except push the power button and shut down). uninstalled Vista assuming the rumours were true. installed XP SP2, was ok in the beginning but time to time when I installed loads of softwares it started crashing agian but this time it was less often (once in a week or may be month - purely random).
2 - when I plug both the Hard Drives, I can feel frequent vibration and also almost inaudible sound (it feels like the RPM's increase and decrease at same frequency). the problem disappears when any of the HDD's is disconnected.
3 - while playing FPS games (Crysis, Brothers in arms, (surprisingly not Call of Duty 4)) the computer shuts off as if some one pulled the power plug out - again very random. have tested - its not the temperature issue (Maximum temp is 84'C) and its the same when I play company of heroes, Race Driver GRID. CPU temp is 67'C max

now most of my friends know a lot about computers even I am....I guess but appearantly this machine is "out of their understandings".
I would really appreciate the solution - anybody......please HELP!!

More about : problems homebuild

November 15, 2008 1:41:36 AM

Its definitely a issue with the hard drives. Seems your system freezes when trying to retrieve information from a drive.

You said the problem disappears by disconnecting one of the drives? Are the drives SATA or IDE? Are they on one cable or two? Have you tried spacing out the drives in your case?
November 15, 2008 9:30:36 AM

thanks for replying Slomo4shO and excuse me for not being clear enough earlier on.
when I said the problem disappears I meant only the vibration in the system. Of course the freezing probelm is still there. I am running only one HDD at the moment because I did not want to take any kind of risk. System still freezes even though its just one HDD.
the power supply for HDD is serial I mean its one cable but has two outputs like molex connectors. both are SATA and well spaced, used to checked the temperatures every now and then.
did I mention, when I installed the fresh XP OS the probem did not occur for a month or so until after I installed firefox 3. I erased/uninstalled it but no joy after that what so ever.
can it be the case fo power supply?
thanks again.
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November 15, 2008 1:57:47 PM

Its very unlikely that the problem is the PSU. When you reinstalled the OS, did you change drives by chance(I am thinking no)?

I would speculate that your Samsung drive has corrupt sectors. So this brings me to my next set of questions: Do you hear the HD spinning as the crash occurs? Have you tried using a different SATA slot on your motherboard for the HD? Have you ran Disk Defragmenter lately?

Also, go into start then run and type in "chkdsk" and press enter... what are the results?
November 15, 2008 2:29:53 PM

I would say the power supply is a piece of crap. When a system hangs because of hardware or software it generally freezes or bluescreens. When it turns totally off, its because the power was interupted.
November 15, 2008 3:18:07 PM

yes i did update the drivers, infact I bought driver agent which detected and updated all my drivers.
i never paid attention whether the Hard drive's running upon crash, I will keep in mind if it happens again.
when I replaced my mothorboard I used different SATA slot but have not tried different ones since then.
and I have not done disk defragmentation yet.

Infact I have just re-formatted my PC and installed VISTA 64 bit which my friend gave me to test it as he said its quite stable. the reason of doing it was that I installed CCleaner as it was suppose to detect virus and corrupt files and fix those errors, after I ran CCleaner, it disabled most of my softwares i.e. MS office and my anti-virus (Eset). could not access word document what so ever tried to do system restore but would not let me.
since I formatted and installed Vista, it has already been crashed once; i was playing around with windows media player settings and all of a sudden when I pressed "netwrok settings" in "media sharing" it froze and the song playing got stuck its like when an audio cd is stuck at one position (continuosly repeating the same sound it was stuck on).

I will do that chkdsk tonight and let you know.

thanks

I agree with roadrunner1 also becasue most of my friend saying its power supply but then again what about the freezing that has got to be something else.
November 15, 2008 3:23:15 PM

It still can be pwer with a freeze, it just has enough current to cause a freeze and keep it there. When it loses power totally it will shut down.
November 15, 2008 3:40:36 PM

hmmmm, so I better order a new power supply then. what would you recommend? as I have two hard drives, DVD writer, 5 fans, lights, 8800 GTX really power hungry and my present PSU is 700 watts.
because I was thinking about "Hyper - Typer R II 880 watts", its a bit expensive but worthed if solves the problem.
November 15, 2008 3:41:46 PM

I agree that it is a power supply problem. The power supply is the most important componant you will put in your computer.
the reason i say this is because it can cause some of the craziest problems and have you looking at everything else. it can cause hard drive problems, memory, video just everything. need a good quality power supply from at least a tier 2 power supply. see below link to get a idea.

http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/showthread.php?t=10...
November 15, 2008 3:55:52 PM

ok here's a thought Hyper Type-R comes in Tier 2
November 15, 2008 5:01:46 PM

700 watts is enough for the components you currently have in your system. What model(or brand) is the PSU?

I simply don't believe its the PSU simply because you mentioned freezing as well as crashing. A faulty PSU wouldn't cause freezing...

Have you actually tried installing the OS on the smaller drive?
November 15, 2008 5:09:43 PM

Yes as Slomo said what do u have. 700 Watts is plenty but i personally would not go with Hyper

I would never use that list. Its too broad and they never update it. They basically say, "o, one is good so theyre all good" which is NOT the case
Look at real reviews and the Hipers are never "great" some are good but not great.
Go with a Thermaltake or Corsair much better imho
November 15, 2008 6:07:13 PM

I am at work at the moment and can't tell the PSU brand, will go home and post it.
no I have not tried installing OS in smaller drive. However I have thought about it and the only reason I could not do it because the smaller drive is filled with 470 GB of data and don't have a spare drive, maybe I can borrow from one of my friends.
November 15, 2008 10:18:31 PM

so yea, apparently when the command "chkdsk" is run it gives a short glimpse of a command window and that's it, nothing more, don't seem to be running in the background either (checked in task manager).
ok the PSU I have is EZcool (super silent) PS-1000 700watts and I have no idea if its any good. below is the link I found
http://www.ariacomputers.com/product-details.php?produc...
November 16, 2008 12:53:25 AM

I have done the HDD diagnostic using microsoft's own tool i.e. my computer-> C drive->right click->properties->tools->error checking->check now->checked both disk options and start. on restart it started to diagnose C drive and found nothing wrong at the end.
in order to get rid of data in Maxtor, I started transferring data into Samsung (750 GB, empty except OS) from Maxtor (500GB). thought to transfer in chunks but the computer froze again after transferring 6% of the first chunk (57GB), however confirmed both the HDDs running. The gadget (CPU Usage) on the sidebar showing core 1 100% and the rest 2%, 0% and 0% respectively.
Before installing Vista 64 I had to transfer all the data from Samsung to Maxtor and I did it in one go i.e. 467GB in 110 minutes without any crash or errors.
I don't know if its windows itself this time, HDD or power supply
November 16, 2008 4:12:13 AM

Transferring files from one drive to another will not crash the system. It can give copy errors though.

So since all tests thus far have said the drive is ok, I would recommend trying for a new PSU or letting Vista 64 run on the Maxtor drive to troubleshoot further...

I usually tend to use the components I have at my disposal to troubleshoot before I spend $ to replace parts to troubleshoot :) 



November 16, 2008 10:38:45 AM

ok another update.
I tried to transfer 11.7GB from maxtor to samsung, it crashed again (core 1 100%). tried to transfer same data from maxtor to an external Seagate-500GB took 10 minutes to complete.
does that mean my internal HDDs are not receiving enough power? but then agian I transfered 467GB in XP and it was from samsung to maxtor......?
November 18, 2008 10:14:53 PM

OK. After installing Vista 64 in Maxtor 500GB, tried to transfer big chunks of data in different situations and finally came to the conclusion that when both internal HDDs are connected and data is transferred amongst them the system freezes no matter how big the data is, however when either of the HDDs is disconnected the system never crashes for example I was transfering 60GB of data from external HDD, playing music and browsing at the same time, guess what? system did not crash or froze not even slowed down in performance.
I also realised that my power supply has dual 12V rail and for GPUs like the one I have require Single 12V rail, I don't say this, follow the following link (I have not read the whole thread but just the 1st paragraph) might help you understand as well.
http://forums.extremeoverclocking.com/showthread.php?t=...

planning to replace power supply, ANY SUGGESTIONS!!!!!!!
ANYWAY I had an eye on "Hiper 770W 5th Gen Type-R PSU - With 4x Integrated USB Ports, 4x PCI-E, 4x SATA". problem is it's 4 12V rail
November 21, 2008 7:12:04 PM

Ok everybody!!! I bought a new power supply this time it is Kingwin Mach 1, 900 watts, Modular, it's got 6x12V rails and has four separate PCI E modules of which two are being used and results are perfect. I had been playing Brothers in Arms for at least 2 hours and nothing happened i.e. no crash or freeze what so ever whereas before it would crash in the middle of very first video. One thing is certain my GPU was not getting enough power, all is smooth now. However when I connected the second HDD (Samsung) it still makes the same inaudible sound (the vibration), I have not tested the data transfer though (will do it later and update). I think its either HDD or motherboard........ any ideas?
cheers
!