I have the latest drivers installed. All Windows updates are in place as well. The PC locks up at random times and all usb devices stop working. Lights on my usb keyboard and mouse go out. The first time it happened, Vista problems solution tool showed that I need to install chipset driver in compatibility mode and gave link to an old driver. I did install the latest Intel x38 chipset driver, version 188.8.131.522. I didn't get any errors or anything during the installation. It also locks up when I start FIFA 09 and when I click Format of one of my HDDs. Moreover, the same thing happens when Windows Update tries to install Extras and Optional Updates.
I don't have any overclock. The only thing I changed in BIOS is I set memory frequency, timings, command rate, and voltage as specified on DIMMS: DDR3-1333 / 9-9-9-24 / 1.60v / 2N.
Some people on Corsair's forum have reported the same issue with the same memory type and P5E3 Deluxe. The fix was to increase DRAM voltage to 1.70 even though the DIMM says 1.60.
After increasing DRAM voltage to 1.70 I got a blue screen in Vista right after loading. I then booted off my Memtest86+ 2.01 CD, and it found a lot of errors. Then I put DRAM voltage back to 1.60 as showed on DIMM and ran Memtest again. After 13 passes there were no errors. No more blue screens. So raising RAM voltage didn't help.
What I noticed was that when I uninstalled video driver everything started working perfectly fine. No lockups at all. I can install updates, format hard drives, etc. First I tried the latest drivers from ATI website. Then I tried the drivers provided by VisionTek. The same thing keeps happening with both.
I have also read that people have problem trusting Rosewill PSUs. Even though techs at ASUS and at VisionTek told me that my PSU is more than enough for my system, I went to Fry's and picked up Antec TPQ-1000W. That one is on the ATI's certified PSU list for 4870 x2. I installed it, and the system locked up again and USB went down right after Vista loaded. The little speaker inside kept on beeping just like during the previous lockups. Sometimes it does, sometimes it does not.
VisionTek did replace my video card just to rule it out. I also sent my MB to ASUS for repairs. According to the records they have, it has been fixed and the BIOS was flashed. I had to update the BIOS though since the one that they put on was old and didn't even support my CPU.
One last thing. After the system locks up I have to reset the PC by pressing the button on the case. Sometimes I just turn it off. When I do, something really odd is happening. The Internet goes down in my apartment. When I look at my router, the light that shows my desktop activity flashes really fast. I can't ping anything from any of my laptops. As soon as I unplug the network cable from my desktop or just simply turn the PSU off, the Internet comes back right away
I am using the same version of Vista from the same DVD on my laptop. No problems whatsoever.
ASUS confirmed that my memory is supported by the motherboard.
I have tried my video card in both PCIe slots. It didn't help. The card doesn't get hot. Sometimes PC freezes right after Vista loads (after being off all night). So I don't think it is overheating problem. No warning lights come up on the video card.
I bought all my parts in September of 2008. I still can't get the system stable...
I think it is either that some of the drivers don't get along or that I have to change something in BIOS like PCIe frequency and all that stuff.
Has anybody experienced the same problem? Please advise.
Thanks for your suggestion! I took out the battery for 10 hours and did the jumper reset. It didn't help. I've been trying different things here. I decided to play with the RAM. I got 2 sticks. 2Gb each. I tried my memory in both channels with the same outcome: system locked up. Then I took out one stick. The system has been up for 2 hours now! I can play FIFA 09. I ran 3DMark06 on the best settings with a result of 15K. Everything works perfectly. As I mentioned earlier, I did run Memtest86+ v2.01 with both sticks installed for 13 passes with no errors. Now I am going to run Memtest with only one stick installed and see if any errors come up. If both sticks don't show any errors, then as Corsair techs mentioned, the issue might be with memory controller on the motherboard...
I'm having the exact same problem as you were having, also with a 4870 card - although otherwise my computer is rather different (brand new Dell Studio XPS 435T, 12 GB of ram, also running Vista 64).
I'm currently on my second installation of Vista 64, and this second time everything was working fine until I installed the latest ATI drivers. After I installed the drivers I installed CS4 Master Suite, which is a long install, but not long after it finished I got my first freeze on this installation. It seems likely that the video card and the drivers are at fault.
In any case, did you find a solution to your problem? I'd love to hear about it if you did, as it might help me out too.