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Random Odd Computer Lock Ups (Vista)

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September 13, 2009 5:18:32 AM

Hi there,

Recently I've been having some odd lock-ups on Windows Vista 32-bit.

It started when I was running Resident Evil 1 on PSX emulator (Don't flip people, I own the game, my PS1 just died).

Since then, I've done 3 or 4 complete reformats, but the problem persists.

The problem I can't seem to link to a specific issue, it happens under any type of use, light or heavy. I can stress test fine, yet using Firefox, it can crash (No specific websites), or my TV tuner, where when it locks-up, the sound starts stuttering rapidly.

The lock-up is that the screen freezes, I can't use Keyboard, Mouse, anything, except the Reset/Power button. Harddrive activity ceases.

I've used Seatools DOS Boot Disc to check both my Seagate 500 and 1000 GB HDDs, Short and Long tests passed.

I tried memtest86+ for 6 hours with no errors, and Window's version of a memory check for 6 hours with no errors.

Temps are fine, it isn't overheating, generally CPU is 42-45, and NB is 35-40

There is no rhyme or reason to these lock ups, as I've said, it just stops, if there's sound, it stutters, no mouse/keyboard, and no HDD activity.

It can happen from every few hours to once every few days.

Can anybody please offer some ideas? I'm at wits end here.

Any input/advice appreciated

Here's the specs:

ASUS P5N-D Motherboard
Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 (Stock)
2 GB Kingston DDR2 667 (Stock)
Ultra LSP 750 Watt Power Supply
Seagate Barracuda 500 GB (OS)
Seagate BArracuda 1000 GB (Data)
2 XFX 8800 GT Alpha Dog Edition Video Cards (Stock)

I just recieved one moments ago with Task Manager open, and nothing seemed to be out of the ordinary, 950 MB of RAM was being used, CPU was 10%, Page File was 1114/4332M, at the moment of crash.

Can anybody help me find a solution, or even just single-out the problem?
September 13, 2009 5:55:20 AM

Sorry about the double post, I tried 3 times and the page said I didn't have the rights to edit the post.

Anyways, with SpeedFan, I noticed that my temps for Graphics cards are 50ish degrees, a bit on the hot side, but I doubt overheating.

As well, I found this interesting. I know nothing about power or even what this represents, but it seems off to me

VCore1: 1.17V
VCore 2: 3.34V
+3.3V: 0.02V
+5V: 5.11V
+12V: 12.16V
-12V: -16.89V
-5V: -5.66V
+5V: 5.05V
Vbat: 3.20V

+3.3V is only 0.02V, if that means anything to anybody. I'm not sure really what exactly it does mean, if it is anything important
September 13, 2009 2:45:10 PM

I was leaning towards bad PSU and those numbers confirmed it.
Related resources
September 13, 2009 5:16:04 PM

As was I, I was thinking it would be that, or Motherboard. Thanks daship :) 

Before I replace it though, I'd like to get another opinion, just in case :p 
September 13, 2009 6:56:43 PM

Apparently Speedan may not be so accurate, Motherboard and Asus Probe II say that everything is normal. Any other ideas? Runign Prime95 now
September 13, 2009 7:13:57 PM

don't ever count on software for voltages, that is something you should be using a digital mulimeter on the PSU

try testing you memory (first in memtest then in prime 95 using large fft's) also it may be a good idea to look into the windows log and see what it says about crashes
September 13, 2009 7:18:05 PM

That's the issue, the windows logs say nothing, except for when I had to do a hardboot, it saw it as an error. Its like the system doesn't know it has a problem at all, but recognizes when I manually reboot.

The problem came on suddenly, with no hardware changes, just happened once, and ever since.

There are no bluescreens, everything just suddenly stops.

Even Performance/Reliability Monitor says nothing.

So I have very little to go off of :\
September 14, 2009 11:06:42 PM

I managed to completely replicate the issue by another means.

While flashing a friend's Xbox 360 (Backups only, he assured me, hope he doesn't go back on that :(  ), I tried to use a program called JungeFlasher, which tells me to turn on power to the BenQ drive while Windows is running.

I did this, and, exactly the same issue, though I know they're unrelated.
September 15, 2009 3:54:39 AM

A development, I just got another Lock-Up, when using my TV Tuner with VirtualDub. The system got incredibly slow, but mouse was still moving, nothing was really responding. Only after a minute or two of this did the complete lock-up occur.
September 15, 2009 11:53:05 AM

I know this one.

nforce based mobos have a really nasty tendency to experiance hard locks under certain conditions [P5N-D = 750i]. Don't know exactly what the trigger is, but I know a few steps that ALMOST eliminates the problem. [I fought with my 790i Ultra for over a year :D ]

1: Set FSB-RAM ratio to 1:1.
2: Increase voltage to Northbridge/RAM

I went from a lockup per day to 1 lockup in the past 8 months or so. One of these days, I'll get around to figuring out exactly what set off the problem in the first place...(As I'd love to actually use the QX9650 I paid over $1000 for...)

Also, make sure you have the latest BIOS.
September 15, 2009 8:07:07 PM

Tried 2 different BIOS revs., 1001 and 1101, no difference.

Running stock too, which is odd. I never had these issues before, but that board was RMA'd, this new one is when it started, but ran fine for 2 or 3 weeks prior, though, when I think about it, I don't think I had left it on as long before (Again, only happening after long use).

I'll try to OC my ram to 1:1 though, thanks :) 
!