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Help, new build is freezing, where did I go wrong?

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December 20, 2008 2:55:01 PM

I've build my own systems for years but lately have been more caught up in network administration and lost track of hardware. So I may have screwed up in picking stuff out.

This year I wanted to upgrade my old 1.6 ghz AMD to a nicer for some gaming and playing with virutalization. So I went for some new equipment, my old Antec case and hard drives seemed up to the task. So I just bought the following stuff.

GIGABYTE GA-EP45-UD3R LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard

Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 Wolfdale 3.16GHz LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor

EVGA 512-P3-N861-TR GeForce 9600 GT 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16

Antec earthwatts EA500 500W ATX12V v2.0 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80

CORSAIR 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800

I kept in two Seagate SATA drives, on 80 gigs and the other 250 and a generic DVD/RW.

So the system keeps freezing up an me and I'm trying to decide what the problem component is.

From the symptom one would first guess a CPU temp problem but its frozen up while I'm in the BIOS watching the CPU temp at 29-30 and there seems to be no excessive heat anyplace. When I try to reboot it acts like a car with a bad starter and won't post until its sits for a while. But still, no excessive heat and it did this while the CPU was underclocked.

So that leaves me with the power supply. Calulators I used said this would be just fine and I'm not going to ad much more. But I wonder if I misjudged the video card. It says it needs a 400 watt supply with 26 amps on the +12 rail. This one has a dual +12v with each rated at 22A. I thought that meant the total would be fine but di I misunderstand the calculation?

Could the PSU be getting overwhelmed?

More about : build freezing wrong

December 20, 2008 3:12:28 PM

Make sure your ram is getting its required specs and bump the volts up .1 or .2

Run memtest 86 for 8 hours minimum, if it passes then your PSU is probably defective.

A bios update never hurts either.

One quess is your ram probably needs 2.1v and your board defaulted it to 1.8. Upping the volts to what it requires should fix it, if that is the case.
December 20, 2008 3:16:06 PM

The computer doesn't stay on for more than 8 minutes unfortunately.

But I'll try the memory tweaks.
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December 20, 2008 3:29:50 PM

I bet them memory isnt getting enough volts then.
December 20, 2008 3:45:30 PM

Deffinately sounds like a memory issue.
December 20, 2008 4:13:32 PM

The memory is rated for 1.9 and it defaulted to 1.8. I changed that and it still froze.

I went to failsafe defaults and it's more stabe but then it froze during memtest.
I've had bad CPU's do that so I'm not sure if it tells me anything.

Last night I had installed Ubuntu 64 and everything seemed ok until I started using the propriety drivers. Then I started getting sytem freezes. But it wasn't Ubuntu because it freezes in bios and memtest as well.

But that was why I was wondering about power, it seemed that accessing the card fully started this.

Right now it is running longer than it was but if its freezing during memtest how can I be sure what the problem is?
December 20, 2008 4:29:17 PM

Give the ram 2.1volts.

If that dont fix it you have a bad stick. Run memtest on 1 stick at a time.
December 20, 2008 5:12:11 PM

But if Corshair rates the RAM for 1.9 volts aren't I risking frying something putting it at 2.1?
December 20, 2008 5:17:34 PM

got an old pci graphics card hanging around?

give that a go instead of the 9600, then we can hopefully rule out the psu being the issue.
a b B Homebuilt system
December 20, 2008 5:28:33 PM

+1 for running memtest86+ with one stick installed. I'm guessing you've got a bad stick of RAM based on the symtoms. If that stick of RAM won't run memtest, swap it out and try the other one.
December 20, 2008 5:30:32 PM

No unfortunately I have lots and lots of AGP but no PCI.

I have two cheaper PCI express cards in my PC at work that are probably worth the test. I don't remember the models but neither take extra power.

The memory in that should probably work as well albiet at a lower speed so I can check some stuff when I can get to it. I think I put a beefier PSU in that as well.

Unfortunately my office is under a foot and a half of snow and growing right now and it may be Tuesday before it finally stops.

Anyhow, the system has been running stably under Ubuntu Ibex 64 for a couple of hours now so failsafe mode definitely helped in spite of the memtest freeze.

I'll have to see if I can manage to get XP on this and try some games and see what happens.
December 20, 2008 5:34:54 PM

"If that stick of RAM won't run memtest, swap it out and try the other one. "

Yeah, its just that the last time I had memtest freeze it turned out to be the processor and not the RAM. It was an old AMDXP that got sudden heat spikes and froze.

So how can I be sure that its not a processor problem still?

How does one test the process for trouble?
a b B Homebuilt system
December 20, 2008 5:39:21 PM

CPU's are VERY rarely the problem. It's much easier to rule out the RAM as the problem than assuming the CPU is bad. I've never had a bad CPU, but I've had plenty of DOA RAM.
December 20, 2008 9:19:48 PM

Give the ram 2.1v. It wont hurt it. It got more stable by going from 1.8 to 1.9, now get to 2.1 and enjoy.
December 21, 2008 12:12:46 AM

Definitely try one stick of RAM at a time and see what happens. Might have just got a dual channel kit that doesn't play well together.
December 21, 2008 6:01:27 PM

I did and still had troubles. I'm pretty certain that the problem is mobo/cpu or power now. I drove through the snowstorm to get my work rig and swapped out the know good memory and video card and it froze right away. I have newer memory in the other system running memtest right now and it looks ok. I don't have time for 8 hours right now so I'm going to try and put in the big assed video card and see how it goes. If I can run that and then swap out power supplies and find that my work system is now a stable gaming system I'll be pretty clear on where I am at.

Either I have a nasty BIOS misconfiguration or there is a problem with the motherboard or processor.

Any supergeeks out there willing to go over some settings with me?
!