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My computer started freezing out of nowhere... help please

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April 3, 2009 12:21:00 PM

Alright this is really starting to piss me off. I built my system back in January, so it's fairly new. It's been working GREAT, until about a week ago when it started freezing at random intervals (could be 15 minutes or 8 hours after boot).

I had this problem when I initially built the computer, but (I thought) it was because my ram wasn't properly set up in the bios. Once I had that set up stable and passing memtest/windows mem diagnostic in flying colors, the computer acted perfectly.

I was playing Crysis one afternoon, when suddenly out of nowhere, the screen goes gray and the computer completely freezes. No task manager, no nothing, 100% unresponsive. Reboot, everything's fine, when suddenly that blue screen popped up with all the jabber on it (no I'm not an experienced user) among which I remember "windows memory dump." Rebooted again, and ever since, the computer has started freezing at random intervals.

I checked the ram again, which appears to be 100% fine. I then suspected overheating, but this is in an Antec 1200 case. Tons of ventilation. The CPU cores are at 35-40c, GPU at 52c. As far as I am aware, this system is running cool.

Which led me, with my lack of experience, to blame Windows. I've now reinstalled windows and it still freezes... so naturally, I'm a little pissed as I went through the hassle of a reinstall.

Do you guys have ANY idea what could be causing the freezing? Possibly the GPU? I'm really not sure. Are there other tests I can run on my hardware? As I have now reinstalled windows, I have ruled out any system drivers/files being corrupted or something causing the issue, although I'm not sure if that is even possible.

Computer build is as follows:
Intel Q6600 2.4 ghz quad core processor
8gb G-skill DDR-800 ram
WD 500gb hd, WD 1tb hd
EVGA GTX-260 core 216 gpu
Antec 1200 case
Antec 1000W quattro power supply
Gigabyte EP45-UD3R motherboard

nothing is overclocked, the ram is actually set on slightly lower voltages to guarantee error-free performance.

thank you for any help

More about : computer started freezing

a c 113 B Homebuilt system
April 3, 2009 12:40:17 PM

"nothing is overclocked, the ram is actually set on slightly lower voltages to guarantee error-free performance. "

/facepalm

Memory testers do not look for the correct settings. They check for physical errors in the RAM chips.

If you wanted to adjust the voltage on your RAM to be error-free, you would have INCREASED it.

Download and run CPU-Z:
CPU-Z

Look at the SPD tab. Write down the information from the column that matches what your RAM should be set to.

Go into the BIOS and adjust all the settings to match those, except increase the voltage. If the SPD said 1.9V, make it 2.0V.

You cannot populate all 4 slots of a P45 board without increasing the voltage beyond the stock setting.

If you need more help, please include the exact model of RAM. G.skill makes 4-6 kits matching that description.
April 3, 2009 1:10:45 PM

Haha thanks for the enlightenment.

As I mentioned I am not at all an experienced user, and trying to apply what logic I can to this problem.

I am at work right now, but I will do as you said when I get the chance.

Do you have any speculation as to what may be causing this though? Hardware vs software? What I don't understand the most is how the computer would run absolutely perfect for almost 3 months and then suddenly start freezing like this.

My ram:
G.Skill F2-8000CL5D-4GBPQ

There are a ton of voltage settings for the ram, do you mean to increase all by a little?


Related resources
a c 113 B Homebuilt system
April 3, 2009 1:41:01 PM

Speculation is that your RAM is under-volted. If it doesn't get enough power it will freeze or BSOD the computer.

There should be only one DRAM voltage setting.... possibly two.... no I looked it up and there should just be one for your to worry about.

It should simply say "DRAM Voltage"

The model number you gave me is for DDR2 1000 RAM. If that is the case don't try to set it to those values. Use the 266 or 400 values, not 500.
April 3, 2009 1:58:32 PM

Ok, thanks. I get off work in about an hour, I will apply the changes you've listed above.

I'm going out of town for the weekend so I'll see if the computer can stay on without freezing during that time.

Thanks for the help thus far, hope I can resolve this issue. I didn't spend 1G on a freezing system...
April 3, 2009 3:15:46 PM

Here is what I got:



I honestly don't know what I am looking a here. I adjusted the Dram voltage a little over as you advised. Does this look like it should?
a c 113 B Homebuilt system
April 3, 2009 10:46:33 PM

Yep.

Your FSB (Front Side Bus) should be set to 266.

Your CPU then applies a multiplier of 9, so 266X9= 2.4Ghz.

Your RAM can apply a multiplier of 2 (or higher) to the FSB for it's speed.

So, it can run at 533 (266), 800 (400), 1000 (500).

There is no real advantage to running your ram beyond the basic speed of the FSB. This is true for all LGA 775 boards.

If you overclock, you will raise the FSB, so your RAM speed will increase by necessity, as it cannot operate on a lower multiplier than 2.

Although it's not listed, you could run your RAM at 333 or 298 or whatever... you would just have to guess the settings. The settings you see above are suggestions supplied by G.Skill and included inside your RAM sticks as a guide to your motherboard. Your motherboard might not know how to read the guide however.

Even if your board knows how to read the G.Skill SPD, it might not understand that it has to supply extra power because you are using 4 sticks of the RAM.

So, in your BIOS it will give some indication of your DRAM frequency.

In my motherboard for instance, after I assign my FSB (400) I have to go over to a drop-down menu for my DRAM frequency, that does the math for me:

800
1000
1200

See, it presents me with various frequencies I can run my DRAM at now, based on the FSB of 400 and the available multipliers... I think I have more multipliers than that in reality.

So instead of that, you might have a list of available multipliers:

2
2.25
2.5
etc.

Since 266 X3 happens to be almost 800, you might want to configure your settings for 800. That is JEDEC #2, 400Mhz. See, that takes the guesswork out of your settings. It also gives you a voltage to aim for... 1.85V or 1.9V.

I hope this helps. Every time I explain it I get a bit clearer, so maybe someday I'll be able to write it all down in a way everyone will understand.
April 3, 2009 11:53:52 PM

I had this problem a long time ago, all I did is just bump the voltage .1v and that solved my problem.

I always make sure there is adequate cooling in the PC case as well.

It's been running almost 6 years non-stop now, with no problems really except a hard drive that went bad last year which was to be expected.
April 3, 2009 11:56:21 PM

I was thinking a list of the stop codes would be nice too.
April 4, 2009 12:06:14 AM

Ok, you have 8G of ram you will need to overvolt it .1 or .2 over factory recommended for 8G to get enough power.
April 4, 2009 6:16:58 AM

Proximon said:
Yep.

Your FSB (Front Side Bus) should be set to 266.

Your CPU then applies a multiplier of 9, so 266X9= 2.4Ghz.

Your RAM can apply a multiplier of 2 (or higher) to the FSB for it's speed.

So, it can run at 533 (266), 800 (400), 1000 (500).

There is no real advantage to running your ram beyond the basic speed of the FSB. This is true for all LGA 775 boards.

If you overclock, you will raise the FSB, so your RAM speed will increase by necessity, as it cannot operate on a lower multiplier than 2.

Although it's not listed, you could run your RAM at 333 or 298 or whatever... you would just have to guess the settings. The settings you see above are suggestions supplied by G.Skill and included inside your RAM sticks as a guide to your motherboard. Your motherboard might not know how to read the guide however.

Even if your board knows how to read the G.Skill SPD, it might not understand that it has to supply extra power because you are using 4 sticks of the RAM.

So, in your BIOS it will give some indication of your DRAM frequency.

In my motherboard for instance, after I assign my FSB (400) I have to go over to a drop-down menu for my DRAM frequency, that does the math for me:

800
1000
1200

See, it presents me with various frequencies I can run my DRAM at now, based on the FSB of 400 and the available multipliers... I think I have more multipliers than that in reality.

So instead of that, you might have a list of available multipliers:

2
2.25
2.5
etc.

Since 266 X3 happens to be almost 800, you might want to configure your settings for 800. That is JEDEC #2, 400Mhz. See, that takes the guesswork out of your settings. It also gives you a voltage to aim for... 1.85V or 1.9V.

I hope this helps. Every time I explain it I get a bit clearer, so maybe someday I'll be able to write it all down in a way everyone will understand.


Hi Proximon... I have a problem. My Computer folder is currupted. When I double click it, all it say is, cannot find /Recycle .. so on. Maybe some virus has change the name. I use anti-virus removal and it cannot find the virus. Do you or anyone know how to fix this problem? My friend said that no matter how I format my hard drive it will still be like that. This happen when he put his damn USB SD thing into my PC, I think he effective mine... Thanks alot.
a c 113 B Homebuilt system
April 4, 2009 8:05:22 AM

Open a new thread please. If you would like me to help, send me a PM with a link to the thread. Don't hijack others threads.
April 4, 2009 6:32:53 PM

It seems that I am having the same problem as djfsolo and based on the information that you have provided this is what I get (3 bitmaps I'll leave out the last since it is the same, almost, as the 1st)



Now I am sure that the memory is just fine but the settings conflict with each other. I will leave that up to you to decide.
a c 113 B Homebuilt system
April 4, 2009 11:16:47 PM

Set both sticks to the loosest timings listed.... but there is no guarantee. You should be using matched RAM.
April 5, 2009 11:06:25 PM

I have done as suggested but the system still freezes. Any other ideas?
Following the advice I received, this is what my bios looked like:

Robust graphics booster [auto]
cpu clock ratio [9x]
cpu frequency: 2.4ghz (266x9)

***Clock chip control***

CPU host clock control [disabled]
x CPU host frequency (mhz): 266
PCI Express frequency (mhz) [auto]
C.I.A.2 [disabled]

Advanced clock control [press enter]

***DRAM performance control***
Performance enhance [standard]
Extreme memory profile (X.M.P.) [auto]
(G) MCH Frequency latch [auto]
System memory multiplier (SPD) [4.00A] set multiplier for ram speed
Memory Frequency (Mhz) 1066

DRAM timing selectable (SPD) [Manual]
>>>Standard timing control<<<
CAS latency time 5- set timings as guided by RAM
tRCD 5
tRP 5
tRAS 15

>>>Advanced timing control<<<
Advanced timing control [press enter]

Load-line calibration [disabled]

Voltage type Normal Current
CPU Vcore 1.32500V [auto]
CPU termination 1.200V [auto]
CPU PLL 1.500V [auto]
CPU Reference 0.760V [auto]
>>>MCH/ICH
MCH core 1.100V [auto]
MCH Reference 0.760V [auto]
MCH/DRAM Reference 0.900V [auto]
ICH I/O 1.500V [auto]
ICH Core 1.100V [auto]
>>>DRAM
DRAM Voltage 1.800v [1.820V] (increased voltage per advice on here)
DRAM Termination 0.900V [auto]
Channel A Reference 0.900V [auto]
Channel B Reference 0.900V [auto]

********************************************************

THe computer is STILL freezing. Freezing a LOT more. Failing memtest. One question i have is that if these memory tests are only testing for structural faults, then why do I fail under certain settings and not under others?

The only way I could get the computer to stop freezing (as frequently) was to DECREASE voltage on DRAM, and also the MCH core, whatever the hell that even is. I've been experimenting, just trying to get a setting where it doesn't freeze, anyhow lowering that a little bit stops it from freezing.

I am absolutely clueless, and could really use some clearcut advice to solve this issue. Everyone makes it sound so simple and easy "just up the voltage a little" - that is not the case here. Upping the voltage solves nothing, and overall I still don't know half the *** in the bios and what any of it means

thanks for the replies thus far, please keep them coming.

a c 113 B Homebuilt system
April 5, 2009 11:11:41 PM

djfsolo, you seem to still have the DRAM frequency set to 1066. This would make it worse. you need to set this down to 667 or 800
April 5, 2009 11:14:20 PM

Thanks, forgot to mention I changed that as well. The memory speed is rated at DDR1000 so I initially thought that I should bring it closer to that, but since the computer wouldn't even boot after making that change, I set it back to 800.

CPUZ says "DRAM frequency is 400mhz", correct?

Computer still freezes.
April 5, 2009 11:15:33 PM

There are so many voltage settings in the BIOs I just wanted to be sure there is only one I needed to increase. I don't know what MCH core does, but lessening this increases stability and passes memtest, can anyone explain? Should I set it back to [auto] and tweak elsewhere?
a c 113 B Homebuilt system
April 5, 2009 11:28:23 PM

Yes the timings are correct. You can safely bump the voltage up to 1.9V... see if that helps.

To sum it up,

800Mhz, 5-5-5-15, 1.8V - make sure your FSB remains at 266 - and if that doesn't work, and the RAM passed memtest, then I think we can rule out the RAM as the problem.
April 5, 2009 11:33:20 PM

okay, thank you. I'll come back if I incur more problems, and if I'm silent, then assume the freezing ended
we'll see...
April 6, 2009 2:54:18 AM

Can someone please tell me what MCH Core is??? If i leave this on [auto] the system fails to boot and fails memtest, if I increase voltage, same results, if I decrease voltage from default 1.1v to 1.05, memtest passes, and the system runs a little longer

STILL freezing. DRAM is at 1.84v (from 1.8v)

Is memory really the issue here? Any other ideas, or do I just need to keep experimenting with different voltage settings?

I would also like to note that the computer takes a much longer time to start up now, even though there's just about nothing on the system drive. This worries me, as it seems like it's "injured" pretty badly. . .

Again this was all very sudden. What the heck is this..
a c 113 B Homebuilt system
April 6, 2009 4:57:59 AM

1.9V, not 1.84.


Have you tried running with just 4GB?

April 6, 2009 1:39:00 PM

I have thought about it and will give it a try if nothing else works.
April 6, 2009 3:53:33 PM

I have set to 1.9V. If the computer still freezes, do you suggest I take out 4gb and see how it performs?

Also I'm taking that as a "No" for my question concerning MCH Core and it's function in the bios and with ram???


a c 113 B Homebuilt system
April 6, 2009 9:05:39 PM

This MCH thing seems to be specific to Gigabyte, and I haven't had time to try to get an answer on it. I wouldn't mess with it until I knew though.

Yes, it's possible that your board just can't handle your RAM in an 8GB config. I would try 4GB and if that didn't work I would swap in the other 4GB. If neither set worked... well, I would open up a ticket with Gigabyte at that point.
April 6, 2009 10:49:42 PM

This time the computer froze during gameplay (mirror's edge to be specific)
BLUE screen, didn't have a chance to grab the info off of it, is there anyway I can see or recall this information? So I can see what file messed up?

Are there system-file updates that I may not have for vista? Certain patches that you could recommend?
a c 113 B Homebuilt system
April 7, 2009 3:21:17 AM

You can look in the control panel under "Problem Reports and Solutions" to see if there is anything recorded there.

If you have been running Windows Update, it should be up to date.

April 7, 2009 3:31:10 AM

rest assured though, that this blue screen is not due to memory right?
a c 113 B Homebuilt system
April 7, 2009 3:36:17 AM

MCH is apparently the same thing as your northbridge. I can't say why this would improve anything, unless your CPU and RAM were overclocked already.

You said you had already updated the BIOS, right?
April 7, 2009 3:41:44 AM

The only bios updates currently out have to do with pentium 4/celeron processor support. WIth my lack of knowledge, I'd rather not attempt it, as I think I will only make things worse.

I was advised on another forum to change MCH to 1.28v and DRAM to 2.06V, we'll see how that turns out.
a c 113 B Homebuilt system
April 7, 2009 3:48:17 AM

If that worked it would be a clear sign of motherboard issues.
April 7, 2009 6:47:14 PM

why is that? Any explanation for slow windows load time?
a c 113 B Homebuilt system
April 7, 2009 10:30:17 PM

Needing to overvolt the MCH would indicate either some serious resistance somewhere or just a bad northbridge.

You have a very common motherboard and very common RAM. There is no reason to look for unusual solutions at this point.

If you have tried both sets of RAM individually and there is no change, then you should open up a support ticket with Gigabyte and get an RMA. This is some sort of motherboard issue from your description.
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