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Strange system problems - please help

Last response: in Overclocking
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August 28, 2011 8:11:01 AM

Hello,

i'll post here since i haven't found a more suitable section, and i believe the problems are related to overclocking.

so i've built a new pc for myself. i encountered some strange errors and i wanna ask for advice.

for example, i play "team fortress 2" for more than 15 mins, the game would crash to desktop. after this, audio playback is broken (i hear strange noises from time to time, distorted mp3 playback at each 4-5 seconds)
the video playback is also broken (vlc player displays image like it would lack the proper codecs - but before error it would play nice)
the system becomes pretty unusable, if i try to open some application/program, it would run with errors or not run at all: tried opening a program to make a screenshot, it crashes with strange errors, tried opening google chrome - when it displays a flash content, it freezes and eventually crashes.

don't know if it's related to this problem, but my hdd already died (mechanical failure, i guess, it just clicks repeatedly and nothing else). now i'm using my older hdd, seagate barracuda 7200.10, 160GB. i'm a bit scared this one will also die.

i'm using windows vista business 32bit. don't believe it's os-related, encountered the same problem on windows 7 prof 64bit also.
also don't believe it's video card's fault - it's not new, i used it for about 6 months on an older system and never had a problem with it.
so, please, any advice? need aditional details? just ask.
thanks

my specs:
processor: phenom II x4 955 black edition
mobo: asrock 760gm-gs3
ram: kingmax 4gb DDR3 1600 (one piece)
hdd: samsung spinpoint f3 1TB 32MB buffer
psu: raidmax 500w 12cm fan
video: powercolor AX4650 1GBK3-H (radeon HD4650 1GB DDR3)

some more details + screenshots, maybe it'll help
so, screenshots:
#1 - the game crashes, i hit ctrl-alt-del to go to desktop http://postimage.org/image/fi7546p0/
#2 - strange things happening to the desktop icons http://postimage.org/image/fiqzkcmc/
#3 - not only the icons, but the taskbar also (it's not usually red). the whole interface actually http://postimage.org/image/fisn3p44/

videos:
#1: resource monitor goes crazy (look at the charts) : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Enpa6NhJbdY
#2: desktop icons, video playback, windows explorer errors: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=brZ4UKNTCmw

also i need to mention: after restart, system works OK for some time.
could it be RAM's fault? processor? motherboard?

edit: i have to mention how's this related to overclocking. well, my motherboard seem to overclock by default the CPU and the RAM. since i encountered problems with CPU fan spinning too fast (and eventually too loud), i manually set the voltage, basic freq and multiplier.
with RAM it's something else. it should run at 1600MHz, at least that's in the specs of the memory module, and the motherboard should support it (also in the specs), but it seems it run at a slower freq. i'm posting screenshots of the BIOS:
http://postimage.org/image/fm8oeq5g/
http://postimage.org/image/fmaby2n8/
http://postimage.org/image/fmbzhf50/
August 28, 2011 11:14:10 AM

"it just clicks repeatedly and nothing else" means most likely the ondisk controller failure, not mechanical

You may test your RAM with Memtest.
You may test your graphics card using the DirectX testing tool, if there's something wrong with it this test should reveal it.
Testing the CPU will be more complicated.
August 28, 2011 11:19:58 AM

i assumed it was mechanical failure from what i've read on some websites. it makes "click, click... click click..." continuously and mainboard won't detect it.
anyway, now i'm using the other HDD. i need help with that more annoying problem
Related resources
August 28, 2011 11:47:08 AM

If it's mechanical of the spinning platters, like damaged bearing, they wouldn't turn. If they was broken /an extreme condition/ you'd probably see this from the outside :) , if they brake while turning they pretty much may damage the enclosure. If the head's arm is damaged, it probably wouldn't move. But the clicking sound comes from it moving from extreme left to the extreme right and back. So, IMHO, probably a circuit condition.

"You may test your RAM with Memtest.
You may test your graphics card using the DirectX testing tool, if there's something wrong with it this test should reveal it.
Testing the CPU will be more complicated."

Best solution

August 31, 2011 10:27:58 AM
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Test your CPU with this program /Prime95/: http://www.mersenne.org/freesoft/
September 7, 2011 4:25:26 AM

thanks a lot. tested it with prime95 and after 2 minutes 'the problem' occurred, and prime95 crashed.
i've read in the prime95 instructions what should i do: increase the voltage for CPU - and that's what solved the problem.

i have lowered it before, due to overheating problems, beceause i've read about it here: http://in.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20100903...
unfortunately, after lowering the voltage i didn't test it with prime95 as it was suggested, and my 'problem' appeared after two days - that's why i didn't associate the problem with the cause.
so: i increased the voltage from 1.275 to 1.375 and the problem is gone.
and i installed an additional case fan for my overheating problem.

thanks again.
September 10, 2011 4:33:29 AM

Best answer selected by ezekiel87.
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