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New System Build Problems

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June 13, 2009 9:14:51 PM

Hey guys,

I built a computer for my brother about a month ago. It has the following parts:

GIGABYTE UD3R
i7 920
ocz fatality 550w PSU
GTX 275
WD Caviar Black 640gb
xigmatek dark knight
OCZ Platinum 6gb 1600
Vista 64bit

We had problems from the initial post...windows took a really long time to install and we got BSODed a few times. Finally, we got windows installed but it prompted us at startup with a hard drive error. The pc ran ok for a while but I was never able to overclock the CPU at all.

Recently, he started getting an endless BSOD/restart loop again. We put the vista disc in and booted from it. The 'repair' option was greyed out so we did a full re-install. Everything seemed to go smoothly and the PC ran great for a few days.

More problems arose today...everything is taking an incredibly long time to open and close. Double clicking firefox will result in the spinning circle load icon and take about 20-30 seconds to open. It hangs on closing too. This happens with pretty much every program.

I'm hoping it's another corrupt install of Vista since he was prompted with an error saying Visual Basic files were missing or something along those lines. I'm thinking we will try a full format and reinstall of vista.

What is the best method/program to format a HDD with? And do you guys have any other troubleshooting/suggestions? Thanks.

More about : system build problems

June 13, 2009 10:35:43 PM

temps are fine, CPU-Z reads everything fine...it's really odd. I feel like it's a bad mobo or HDD but I can't be sure.
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a c 83 B Homebuilt system
June 14, 2009 12:15:54 AM

1) Check the ram first with memtest86+ It should run error free for a pass or two.
2) Is there any overclocking? If so, turn it off.
3) Is the cpu cooler mounted well? If not, you could have a thermal problem.
4) Do you have all the proper motherboard drivers installed?
5) WD has some diagnostics and formatting utilities for their drives that you can download. I think they are called data lifeguard.
June 14, 2009 12:23:00 AM

Most likely culprits here are the RAM and hard drive. I would do as suggested above and use Memtest86+ and WD's Data Lifeguard program.
June 14, 2009 12:25:05 AM

foolycooly said:
temps are fine, CPU-Z reads everything fine...it's really odd. I feel like it's a bad mobo or HDD but I can't be sure.


If you get errors that read "IRQL is not less than or equal to" it's probably a RAM problem.
June 14, 2009 12:50:51 AM

try testing your PC with one stick of ram at a time to see if one of the sticks of ram might be the problem maybe.
June 14, 2009 1:00:41 AM

its most likely ram, run memtest,if memtest runs fine, try using windows xp, install the ram sticks 1 by 1 etc its most likely board/ram, ihate when that happens, family member trusts me to do a build for them and all hell breaks loose.
a c 83 B Homebuilt system
June 14, 2009 1:17:16 AM

Another thing to check: Make certain that the modular leads on your psu are properly secured.
EVGA specifies a 550w psu with 40a on the 12v rails for the GTX275. Your psu meets the 550w requirement, but falls a bit short on the 40a. It can deliver 450w on the combined rails which translates to 37.5a(450/12). I don't really think this should be a problem unless you got a marginally performing psu. VGA vendors are very conservative in their requirements to account fo the possibility of poor quality psu's.
June 14, 2009 2:18:17 AM

I had similar problems on my recent build using your mobo's cousin the Gigabyte EP45 UD3L. Was getting BSOD's pointing in five different directions.

I discovered the mobo was running the RAM at a lower voltage than it called for. I boosted the voltage to the middle of the RAM's range and half the BSOD went away. Then I kicked the voltage on the FSB up a notch, and its been 100% stable ever since.

See if your RAM is getting the right voltage, and maybe consider boosting the FSB voltage as well... I don't think these mobos like running 4Gb+ on the default settings.
June 14, 2009 2:32:35 AM

three chord sloth said:
I had similar problems on my recent build using your mobo's cousin the Gigabyte EP45 UD3L. Was getting BSOD's pointing in five different directions.

I discovered the mobo was running the RAM at a lower voltage than it called for. I boosted the voltage to the middle of the RAM's range and half the BSOD went away. Then I kicked the voltage on the FSB up a notch, and its been 100% stable ever since.

See if your RAM is getting the right voltage, and maybe consider boosting the FSB voltage as well... I don't think these mobos like running 4Gb+ on the default settings.


Nah, the board is fine, it's the RAM that was the problem in your case. To begin with, Core i7 processors don't like running faster than DDR3-1333 so you often have to boost the memory controller voltage. Then to top it off, most performance RAM now requires 1.65V, which is above the standard for DDR3 memory and requires overclocking.

So it's the memory, not the motherboard.
June 15, 2009 12:41:22 AM

ran a full memtest86+. No errors reported. HWmonitor and CPU-Z checked out normal. The temps are fine given it's in a really hot room.

Did a full re-install of vista and it's running fine right now. Everything is nice and snappy...hopefully it will stay like this but I will report in later when we have problems again :p 
June 15, 2009 12:41:29 AM

ran a full memtest86+. No errors reported. HWmonitor and CPU-Z checked out normal. The temps are fine given it's in a really hot room.

Did a full re-install of vista and it's running fine right now. Everything is nice and snappy...hopefully it will stay like this but I will report in later when we have problems again :p 
June 15, 2009 12:41:34 AM

ran a full memtest86+. No errors reported. HWmonitor and CPU-Z checked out normal. The temps are fine given it's in a really hot room.

Did a full re-install of vista and it's running fine right now. Everything is nice and snappy...hopefully it will stay like this but I will report in later when we have problems again :p 
June 15, 2009 11:28:59 PM

Well, here we are again...

boot takes a solid 5-10 minutes and everything is INCREDIBLY slow. The HDD activity light is constantly on. I feel like I've run out of ideas...do you guys think RMA the HDD as the next step? I feel like it's the most likely culprit given the bad installs and errors in windows. Thoughts?
June 16, 2009 12:03:00 AM

it should also be noted that the HDD activity light runs constantly...i'm running the WD diagnostic tool atm and the inital 'SMART status' is FAIL...
a c 83 B Homebuilt system
June 16, 2009 12:40:57 AM

It is normal for the HD light to have lots of activity soon after a re-install. It is likely the OS indexing the system. It uses low priority i/o so it should not interfere with normal activity.

That said, I think you have a hard drive problem.
1) SMART status is fail.
2) 10 minute boot is too long.
3) High i/o activity could be the drive doing error recovery.
June 16, 2009 1:30:29 AM

yeah, did the full diagnostic and it failed half way through. All other tests failed as well...in the process of an RMA with WD.
June 21, 2009 9:17:05 PM

HDD should be here tomorrow or Tuesday...looks like they're shipping a 750gb Caviar Black instead of the 640gb model I sent them....worth complaining about? I know it's a free 110gb, but isn't the 640 faster due to denser platters?

Either case, I'm really hoping this is the problem and will attempt to re-install windows on the new drive when it gets here.
a c 113 B Homebuilt system
June 21, 2009 11:06:39 PM

Yes the 640 and the 1TB are both supposedly faster. I'm sure they feel they are being kind and providing excellent service though. I would use caution :) 
June 24, 2009 10:43:41 PM

Just got the drive...installing windows now -- hopefully this solves the problems.

edit: So far, not so good...the black and white "Windows is loading files" screen zipped by nice and quick, then it got hung on the blank blue-ish windows background prior to the initial install screen coming up for a good 3-5 minutes. I input my time zone and language etc., hit next, and hit Install Now. It's saying "Please wait..." with an hourglass for quite some time now. Maybe it's too soon to draw conclusions but I can't remember how long it took to install vista on my i7 system.

I'm also seeing little to none HDD activity light.

edit 2: I think I jumped to conclusions...vista is booted, SMART status and quick test in WD diagnostics both passed and everything seems fine. Hopefully I can stop bumping this thread now :p 

Thanks guys.
!