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Budget homebuilt system has random freezes at POST and other problems.

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January 2, 2009 6:10:32 PM

Built a secondary system recently, on a pretty tight budget.
Specs:
CPU: Core 2 Duo E5200 @2.5GHz
MB: Gigabyte GA- EP31-DS3L
RAM: 2x 1GB sticks of G.Skill DDR2-800, 5-5-5-15, if you want the exact model just ask. Should be, IIRC, running at ~1.9V, smack bang in the middle of it's tolerance (1.8V-2.0V.)
PSU: Thermaltake 430W (came with a case I have)
GPU: Radeon HD3650
HDD: 500GB Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 (can't remember the cache, sorry)
OS: Windows XP with Service Pack 2

If you want more, feel free to ask me.

The problems are as follows:

#1: It occasionally randomly hard reboots (as if I'd hit the reset button), with no blue screen, no errors of any kind, it just reboots. The only error whatsoever is the "windows encountered an serious error" after it has finished rebooting, like it always does if you hard reboot. By occasionally I mean there was one day it happened about three times, some days it only happens once, and some days it never happens at all (yesterday, for example.) The number of times it occurs doesn't appear to have any correlation to how long the computer is on for.

#2: As of yesterday it has sometimes freezes at the POST screen. hitting tab to see what it run through instead of the gigabyte logo works, but nothing else does. Basically it finishes the memory check and hangs. Resetting a couple of times usually solves this. It's almost guaranteed to hang like this if I use the Restart button in windows rather than shutting down and powering on again.

Any idea why these problems are occurring? Anything at all? My only thought is that it could be the power supply. So yeah, any help at all would be greatly appreciated.
a b B Homebuilt system
January 2, 2009 6:13:21 PM

Have you run memtest86+ for a few hours to test for RAM errors? What are your CPU idle and load temps?
a b B Homebuilt system
January 2, 2009 6:23:29 PM

Up the RAM voltage to 2.0 (G.Skill is a bit picky on voltage).


*EDIT* also try a BIOS update, as some BIOS revisions are notoriously unstable. Or even power off, remove the CMOS battery for about 5 minutes, put the battery back in, and boot.
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January 2, 2009 9:45:18 PM

CPU Idle Temps are ~41 degrees C, Load Temps are ~49-50 degrees C at 100% load for a short period of time, because I don't have time to stress test it while logging temps for an extended period of time right now, though I will try to find time to do so in the next couple of days. (Using Core Temp for temperatures, btw.)

Haven't run memtestx86, but I will when I get time (too much work atm.) I would have thought I'd be getting some kind of error (i.e. bluescreens etc) if it were a memory problem, though?

Also, I'm running version F4 BIOS, I'll trying flashing it (if there's a newer version around) and see if it helps. The RAM voltage is at 1.93 right now, are you sure raising it to 2.0 is really necessary?

Cheers.

EDIT: It seems that vF4 is the latest non-beta BIOS. Because of that I'm reluctant to try flashing to F5a (a beta version.) Also, please note my board is the rev 1.0 version.
March 6, 2009 9:57:31 AM

Hi

Did you find a solution to this ? I have the same motherboard and e5200 and have the same problems. I will try a few things later, things to try include

Updating bios to f5a - if you look at cpu support list for that motherboard on gigabyte, it says the e5200 is only supported from f5a

Some people have said that on-chip sata should be set to enhanced instead of auto if you don't have any IDE drives. I have 2 HDDs on sata and 1 sata dvd.

Increasing the memory/cpu voltage. I think it defaults to 1.8v for the memory, but on the corsair website it recommends 1.9v so will try increasing it by 0.1v.

Also the cpu vcore is set to 1.22500v at the moment, the e5200 supports up to 1.3625v.

March 7, 2009 5:44:18 AM

Alas, no, I still have the same problem. I don't want to try BIOS v. f5a (as I said, it's beta, and I'd like to avoid muddying the waters), but if it works for you please let me know.

My RAM voltage as I said is at 1.93V so good luck with raising yours - it may not make much difference but we are apparently running different RAM anyway, so you never know.

I am now running just a single SATA HDD and a single SATA DVD drive - interesting about changing the on-chip SATA from Auto to Enhanced - I'll certainly give that a whirl and see what happens.

Btw I wouldn't touch the CPU vcore unless you've tried absolutely everything else first.

I don't know what GFX card you're using but I updated my drivers for my HD3650 and the crashes seem to be far less frequent now so you might want to consider that - it may be totally unrelated but no harm in trying.
a c 122 B Homebuilt system
March 7, 2009 11:55:29 AM

What are you doing when it crashes?
March 8, 2009 10:46:14 PM

I said randomly in my original post and I meant that literally. I can be doing anything - playing Warcraft3, surfing the web, running Photoshop, iTunes, or just sorting my files when it crashes. I have made pretty extensive log of it and there is no apparent correlation between what I am doing and when it crashes, nor is there any apparent correlation between how long it has been running and when it crashes.
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