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Computer locks up randomly

Last response: in Systems
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May 14, 2009 3:41:09 AM

Hey Folks,
last year I built a computer for light use (surfing, VoIP, managing digital photos etc). It's running great except for the random lockups. The computer just freezes (no error messages / BSODs or such), sometimes when in use, other times just all by itself). It might lock up right after startup or after two days of use, sometimes once a day and sometimes 5 times a day.

Here's what is in it:
GIGABYTE GA-EP45-DS3L LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard
Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 Wolfdale 3.16GHz LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor
mushkin 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit
CORSAIR CMPSU-650TX 650W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready
XFX PVT88SFDD4 GeForce 8800GS XXX 384MB 192-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16
Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD6400AAKS 640GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive
in a COOLER MASTER Centurion 5 CAC-T05-WW, using onboard sound, nic etc.

Windows XP Pro SP3, latest patches and drivers (I know, XP doesn't use all 4 GB)
Zonealarm
AVG antivir
PC Doctor
occasional Spybot / Adaware scans

I tried:
- virus scans etc: tried a host of scanning softwares without finding anything nefarious. cleaned up a bit with Regseeker
- memtest: ran all night without any errors
- memory: ran with either of the two sticks only, tried different slots
- temps: kept temp monitor up to see status when it locks up - temps are normal (never higher than 54c cpu / 70ish GPU under load). Keeping case open makes no difference.
- fans: all fans are clean and seem to operate properly
- OS: reinstalled XP, no change
- logs: no messages in windows error logs when lockup occurs

What else can I look at ?
a c 113 B Homebuilt system
May 14, 2009 4:10:39 AM

Did you verify that the RAM was configured correctly in the BIOS, specifically with correct voltages?
a c 122 B Homebuilt system
May 14, 2009 9:27:30 AM

Good place to start. Most of the CAS5 Mushkin RAM runs at 1.8 volts. Some CAS4 needs 2.0 - 2.1 volts.
Related resources
a c 122 B Homebuilt system
May 14, 2009 9:31:46 AM

And even if the RAM does run at 1.8 volts, you might try increasing the voltage 0.1 volt just to see what happens.

Oops.
May 14, 2009 10:01:40 AM

If you can get a hold of a fairly new copy of EVEREST it has a selection called config,,in which there is an event log that might turn up something..
I see that you have a fairly decent psu but,,if you can try another one,that will eliminate that..
I sort of am hesitant to suggest the following,maybe there is/are bad spots on your hdd [logical that is not physical] sometimes ghosting the primary partition and formatting it before re-ghosting will catch the problem,manufacturers daigs are fine as far as they go,,but,,methinks that if there are bad logical spots on the hdd they will never see them,after all windoze dosen't..:) 
a b B Homebuilt system
May 14, 2009 1:16:08 PM

RUN PROPPER BURN IN TESTS

does everyone not do it properly these days?????

And always MANUALLY set everything in the bios - dont use the auto crap
May 14, 2009 10:41:40 PM

Thanks for all the suggestions. The problem just showed up a few months after I built it. All stress / burn in tests were fine, and are fine even now (see memtest etc).

Manufacturer's recommendations for the type of RAM are 2.0-2.1v. I had it set to 2.0 ever since I built the box. I've changed it to 2.1 now, hopefully it helps.
May 15, 2009 1:51:58 AM

I agree to MANUAL every volts in bios. OCed or Not OCed .. Manual is the best way to go.

Manual your volts, use Prime95 or ITB ( intelburntest ) to stress the hardware.
!