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PC Locking Up - AMD 6400+ the Culprit???

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September 28, 2009 1:15:29 PM

Yo,

I wasn't too sure where to put this, but here we go:

I have a self-modified/upgraded Dell 531 Inspiron. My system goes as follows:

Vista
AMD 6400+ (w/fan in kit)
4 GB RAM @ 800 Hz
9800 GTX+
550W PSU
Bios 1.0.12 (I think)

I upgraded the PSU, CPU, and GPU about 5 months ago. No issues until recently. I sometimes get random lockups after days of use, sometime after 4-8 hours. Sometimes I'll lock up repetedly after using for only an hour...sometimes I'll lock up on the Vista loading screen right after rebooting. Then it goes away for a few days...

My "lock up" is just that. No blue screen. All computer programs freeze. Everything non-responsive.

I did a full memory check - no problems found.
I did a full hard drive check - no problems found.
I did a full virus check - no viruses found.

I know that the 6400+ runs hot and I've seen the other posts on the overheating issues with the 6400+. I went back in and made sure I applied the correct amound of thermal paste...everything looks good. I've monitored my temps and I've seen lockups after boot vary ~10°C. I've seen crashes anywhere from 58°C to 68°C so I'm not sure that's the issue.

Is my windows bad? Do I need to repair/recover?
Do I have a weird driver issue with the mouse or my headset?
Is my PSU dying? (how would I know or how could I check?)
Am I really overheating?
Is my Motherboard dying? (I don't see anything melting on it)

Those are the only other guesses I think could be the root cause of my lock ups.

I plan on ordering an upgraded cooler for the CPU today.

Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

Late,
Nick
September 28, 2009 5:27:25 PM

/bump

Can anyone help?
September 29, 2009 11:28:37 AM

/bump

Can anyone help?
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a b à CPUs
September 29, 2009 12:12:30 PM

Graphics driver reinstall required at the least though after 5mths of heavy use it might pay to do a reinstall ... at least try registry mechanic or some other registry cleaning application as that often helps.

Diskclean & Defrag ... do the usuals as well.

Also, have you cleaned the dust out of the case fans etc and made sure the cabling inside is neat so as to maximise airflow?

I'd start with the graphics drivers, and a registry cleaning application first.

To monitor the temps try something like HW Monitor or Coretemp ... leave it up on one screen while maxing out the cpu using a stress testing application.

Hope this helps

September 29, 2009 1:28:19 PM

Reynod said:
Graphics driver reinstall required at the least though after 5mths of heavy use it might pay to do a reinstall ... at least try registry mechanic or some other registry cleaning application as that often helps.

Diskclean & Defrag ... do the usuals as well.

Also, have you cleaned the dust out of the case fans etc and made sure the cabling inside is neat so as to maximise airflow?

I'd start with the graphics drivers, and a registry cleaning application first.

To monitor the temps try something like HW Monitor or Coretemp ... leave it up on one screen while maxing out the cpu using a stress testing application.

Hope this helps


I'll try the reinstall on the graphics driver tonight. I think I'm using the latest for Nvidia which is 190.62...I'll check for latest.

Case is clean from dust...also cabling is pushed off to the side in order to maximize airflow, but I'll optimize again if possible.

Registry cleaning...any reccomendations on which one to use?

I have speedfan which does pick up my temps (yet can't change anything due to the dell531 Bios lockdown :(  ). Might run a prime95.

Also, I used the Vista memory check program...I may try running that Memtest as well.

I'll update tonight/tomorrow.
September 30, 2009 11:39:53 AM

I optimized the routing of all the power cords coming off the PSU. There were a few that were laying on the board/memory...not sure if this would be an issue or not.

I reinstalled my GPU driver to rev. 190.62 (Nvidia).

I used the ccleaner software to clean up my registry.

I ran a diskclean (no defrag yet).

I ran a Memtest to 100% coverage with zero errors.

After all this, I ran for about 6 hours straight of hardcore gaming/PC load with no lockups! Not sure if this is coincidence or not...

It seemed like I ran cooler at first...my CPU was still spiking to ~68°C-69°C at sometimes. I use speedfan...I can post a screenshot if anyone is interested. I'm still going to install that new CPU cooler/fan tonight to hopefully get the temp down ~5°C or so (at least that's what I'm hoping for).

If anyone has a comment and/or more suggestions, let me know!

I'll update again tomorrow!
a b à CPUs
September 30, 2009 2:54:50 PM

Getting the temps down much lower is hard without an uber cooler.

One of my 6000+ PC's here runs similar speeds in Summer - it is Winter here so not so bad.

I use AS5 ... seems ok.

Check the 9800+ isn't choked up with dust as well ... just use a light artist brush to gently clean around the fan or an aircompressor.

Then you have pretty much done a 6mth service ...

Good luck.

Remember the 6400 is right in the thermal cliff in terms of the voltage, speed and process.

Bit like the last of the Pentium Prescotts ... hard to keep them cool enough to game reliably stock ... let alone overclocked.

October 1, 2009 11:40:02 AM

Argh! Bad day for the PC...

So I thought after the long period of working well the night before and with my new fan coming in, I was going to be fine...man, I was wrong.

First off, noob PC builder/part installer guy alert! LOL! I bent pins on my CPU while replacing the fan...yea, long story short, somehow the CPU pulled out of the ZIF socket for the CPU and bent pins in the process. Thank god I had a the old/spare AMD 4000 laying around so I replaced it with the old CPU.

In doing so, the new fan was installed plus I got significantly reduced temps. The temps though seemed a little too low. I use Speedfan and the temp on the Core was in the teens to sub teens! That's not right...

So, I started to game, do stuff on the PC, surf the web, voice chat, etc... and about 30-45 minutes in, I started to lock up...repeatedly. I couldn't really get any good up time after reboot. I would lock up getting back into the game, just after loading windows, sometimes just after opening/closing a few things, stuck on windows loading screen, etc... basically anywhere.

So, almost back to square one. I've tried using the "Windows Repair" but it always says that it couldn't repair my PC.

I used a Dell Bios utility that when I hit F12, it took me to some tools. They had a specific check for "System Lockups" that I ran...everything came back as "pass" except for 4 errors where it said it could not read my CD drive...weird. I used my CD drive last week and just yesterday while in windows and no problems.

I'm ready to about to do a full system reinstall...I don't think a restore will do well and/or work. I'm thinking now that Windows is the issue. I just need to get the PC up and running a few minutes to get all the important files off the PC and onto a laptop before I wipe it all. I was afraid I was going to have to try this step...

PS - I tried putting in the system reinstall CD and rebooting...I have the boot priorty for the CD drive 3rd but it didn't seem to find the CD? I also tried hitting the F12 key before getting into Windows to get into the boot stuff, selected the CD drive, and said that it still couldn't find a CD? FYI - the drive works just fine in Windows. I just used it multiple times last week, this week, and last night.

PSS - I'm really thinking now it may be a dying HD. Full checkdisk came back OK...is there any other HD tests that I could do? I'll be trying that system reliability thing in Vista, but I think I'm all out of tests. Could be a PSU, but PSUs are either bad or good, no? I found no burned components on the mobo as well.

PSSS - any other help/suggestions would be GREATLY appreciated...especially at this time.

Thanks again,
Nick
October 1, 2009 4:54:30 PM

/bump

Can I get a pro to reply today? Need some help b4 I go kablamo on the PC after work.

a b à CPUs
October 1, 2009 5:51:47 PM

well there 2 think that could be it. Either the HDD or the OS.

how old is the HDD? If it old like say 3 to 5+ years old, it maybe wearing out.

As for program checking hardware, you cant get the full story with a program. They can only do so much.

Now if it the OS, then i would say first backing up the data and then do a fresh reinstall of vista. This may solve the problem.
October 1, 2009 6:15:11 PM

warmon6 said:
well there 2 think that could be it. Either the HDD or the OS.

how old is the HDD? If it old like say 3 to 5+ years old, it maybe wearing out.

As for program checking hardware, you cant get the full story with a program. They can only do so much.

Now if it the OS, then i would say first backing up the data and then do a fresh reinstall of vista. This may solve the problem.


Thanks for the reply...

The core of the PC is ~2-3 years old. The GPU and PSU were updated in the last 6 month. I use this PC hevily...sometimes 50+ hours of hardcore use a week.

I'm going to wipe what I don't need off the HD and doing a defrag as my final attempt. If that doesn't work, then I'm moving all essential data to laptop and reformating HD. Again, it's a dell, so I will do that "return to factory condition" option.

For some reason, I don't think I can do a format c: and then use the reinstallation CD because of it being dell.

Late...
a b à CPUs
October 2, 2009 12:55:10 AM

Yes a reformat is the way to go.

You have covered everything else bar reinstalling the mobo / chipset drivers - try that first.

How bad are the bent pins on the 6400+ ?

October 2, 2009 4:29:38 AM

Update!

I blew everything off the HD that didn't need to be there.

I did a defrag and ran ALL NIGHT with no issues.

I think reinstall is the way to go but this seems to have worked and I'll try this for now.

In regards to the bent pins on the CPU...it's pretty bad. Not sure if it's fixable. I tried using tweezers...may use the butterknife technique...we'll see. If anything, I'll spend $70 for the 3.0Ghz 6000.

Thanks to all and I'll update again...hopefully with no more issues :) 
October 6, 2009 11:33:23 AM

Update!

I finally broke down and did a full format and reinstall of Vista...everything has been going great!

I also did a "Vista heath report" before and after. It showed an error with the HDD...said search times were high (I think the scores were around 2 or so) and told me to do a defrag...but I already did one? That's what the final straw was that led me to the format and reinstall. The after format health reports were just fine...except one time it gave a bad score...wonder if my HDD is going bad?

Anyways, it's been ~4 days an no lock ups...until now :) 

I had a lock up last night...same symptom. It didn't happen though until immediately after I changed one of my settings in a game I was playing (Aion). I changed the object distance setting from medium to very high (click 3 on the scale to click 5). Now I'm wondering if my GPU or GPU throughput to the MoBo was the real root cause?

I don't even know anymore :)  All I know is that if I don't touch anything, I'm getting sustained usage from my PC...no more crashes!

If anyone wants to make any more comments about the GPU, please do. If not, I'm moving on (finally).

Thanks again to all...late.
Nick
a b à CPUs
October 6, 2009 11:41:55 AM

Cheers mate ... good luck with it.

October 28, 2009 5:23:21 PM

Yo,

Lock ups came back here and there but manageable...

I replaced PSU to 630W

Looks like that fixed my issue...I was even able to put in my 3.0 GHz CPU.

No issues for 6 straight days....
October 30, 2009 12:25:41 PM

Ugggh....I had my 1st lock up last night...LOLOLOLOL!

But after that, no problems...
a b à CPUs
October 31, 2009 4:24:16 PM

Good luck Nick.

Keep us updated and I'll ask random to rename your thread to "Nick's Excellent Adventure" !!

Cheers.
November 5, 2009 3:38:32 PM

Yo...back again...

I was having some lockups here and there so...my next diagnosis was maybe the memory was bad.

So, I swapped in some low latency 800Mhz 4-4-4-12 stuff....works great!

Then, about 2 days after, I got a lock up...I was so "mad", I kicked my PC as hard as I could! But, in doing so, my lock up was gone!

Kicking my PC and it coming back from a lock up might tell me something...it's got me thinking that the HDD is bad...maybe it can get stuck or something like that? If it happens any more, I'm going to try and replace that...thoughts?
November 5, 2009 4:09:47 PM

Did you sort the pins out on the CPU? I bent mine (same CPU) and used a bank card to bend them back. I know this done help the general problem but just thought i would say :) 

Oh and reaplce HDD ! lol
November 5, 2009 5:26:02 PM

I tried to fix the pins...well, some were bent so bad and all the way down that when I bent them back, they broke off :(  Others bent back just fine...so I just bought a new CPU 3.0 GHz for $70 which wasn't bad.
!