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February 4, 2010 2:37:29 AM

I'll try to be as thorough and concise as I can with this but I'll apologize in advance for the huge post.

My system:
Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550S 2.83 Ghz Processor
Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3L Motherboard
XFX Radeon HD 4870 1 GB Video Card
8GB Corsair XMS2 DDR2 Ram (4 2GB sticks)
WD Caviar Green 500 GB Hard Drive
Windows 7 Home Professional 64 bit

The problem:
I built the system about a month ago. Starting during windows installation I've been getting random bsod's the entire time. For the install ones there was no specific point in install... sometimes it would happen right away, sometimes 50-70% through the install, eventually I was able to install all the way. Once it was installed I've continued to get random bsod's, again with no specific instigator. There are times it will bs 3 times in a row while starting windows, or it's happened while online, using itunes, or playing World of Warcraft. The game is definitely the heaviest user of system resources I use but sometimes it will work fine, and others not. It doesn't seem to be related to how hard I'm pushing things with that as I can run the game at it's highest graphic and audio settings, and be in some of the highest graphic or lag parts of the game and it will operate fine for hours.

Troubleshooting I've done:
All bios and drivers have been updated regularly
Using a bootable cd I've run memtest86 with the following results:
4 sticks of ram in: Computer freezes at 5% into first test
3 sticks of ram in: Computer freezes at 7% into first test (I have tried every configuration placing ram in different slots)
2 sticks of ram in: Computer retstarts at roughly 50% through first test (again I've tried every configuration of ram in
different stots)
1 stick of ram in: Every stick passed with no errors, and every slot has passed with no errors
I've contacted Corsair about the ram and they've said that if every stick passed fine individually it's not a problem with the
ram, and at their suggestion I checked to make sure that all timings, voltages, etc. are set how they should be in the bios.
I've contacted Gigabyte for troubleshooting and the only new thing they've come up with so far is that the FSB on my proc is
1333 MHz and my ram is 1800 MHz. Following their instructions, I set the ram to 1066 to see if this made the system more
stable. When I tried to boot with this it gave me a series of beeps and restarted several times trying to load bios... then it
finally went into bios and gave me the chance to turn the settings back to default.

My conclusions so far: (feel free to tell me which ones aren't likely or add your own)
Bad processor
Bad Ram even though memtest checked out ok and Corsair said with the results that this wasn't a problem with the ram
Bad Motherboard
Ram incompatible with motherboard - i'm not sure if it would give these results or not, so I"m curious to hear your thoughts
Some sort of incompatibility between Windows 7 and some of my hardware - I don't think this is likely... as all parts are pretty
major brands I would think they'd have fixed any incompatibility problems by now.

I'd love any and all thoughts on this and any suggestions you might have. It would be fantastic to be able to use my computer and know that it's stable. Thanks!

More about : good

February 4, 2010 4:01:55 AM

Just a couple of basics you may have already tried.

First : Have you brought the system up in a SAFE MODE to see how long it will run ?

Second: Is your Virtual Memory Swap file hard set to at least 1.5 times the memory (12Gb) or dynamically manged by the OS ?

I know these are pertty basic but sometimes over looked.
a b } Memory
February 4, 2010 4:02:38 AM

first off your ram did you mean corsair XMS cause if you did i cant find an xms chip that is even 1066 all i see are 800. And second off that board only supports upto 1066 on the ram are you sure you are changeing the right settings in the bios i think you are changeing the FSB.
Related resources
a b } Memory
February 4, 2010 4:10:59 AM

overclockme said:
Just a couple of basics you may have already tried.

First : Have you brought the system up in a SAFE MODE to see how long it will run ?

Second: Is your Virtual Memory Swap file hard set to at least 1.5 times the memory (12Gb) or dynamically manged by the OS ?

I know these are pertty basic but sometimes over looked.


Swap file would have nothing to do with this it is a hardware issue and im almost 100% sure its a bios setting that is not set correctly

Overclock you cant even figure out your memory problem and your gonna try and help others that it so obvious that its a memory problem LMAO
a b } Memory
February 4, 2010 4:21:09 AM

If it is the XMS2 corsair that i think it is it should be set at 800 mhz first off voltage is 1.8 and latencies are 5-5-5-18.
February 4, 2010 4:58:04 AM

saaiello said:
If it is the XMS2 corsair that i think it is it should be set at 800 mhz first off voltage is 1.8 and latencies are 5-5-5-18.


It is the XMS2 Corsair... XPS was a typo... sorry about that. the 800 mhz, 1.8 volt, and 5-5-5-18 is exactly what it defaulted to. Gigabyte had me put this up to 1066... thats when i got all the crazy beeps and put it back to default.

I have tried safe mode and it seems to blue screen randomly there too... i've had differing results there, the quickest being somewhere around 5 min in if I remember correctly.

I'm not sure on Virtual Memory Swap... I'll check that, but I would have to agree with Saaiello that memory swap shouldn't affect something like this... it seems like it has to be bios or hardware because of the blue screens during windows install.

Out of curiosity as I was thinking about the bad advice gigabyte gave me, I decided to underclock my ram to see how it would run... so far so good, but as this is a random thing I'm not sure how far to trust that.

Any other thoughts floating around out there? Thanks for your help!
February 4, 2010 5:34:18 AM

acguitarplayer said:
It is the XMS2 Corsair... XPS was a typo... sorry about that. the 800 mhz, 1.8 volt, and 5-5-5-18 is exactly what it defaulted to. Gigabyte had me put this up to 1066... thats when i got all the crazy beeps and put it back to default.

I have tried safe mode and it seems to blue screen randomly there too... i've had differing results there, the quickest being somewhere around 5 min in if I remember correctly.

I'm not sure on Virtual Memory Swap... I'll check that, but I would have to agree with Saaiello that memory swap shouldn't affect something like this... it seems like it has to be bios or hardware because of the blue screens during windows install.

Out of curiosity as I was thinking about the bad advice gigabyte gave me, I decided to underclock my ram to see how it would run... so far so good, but as this is a random thing I'm not sure how far to trust that.

Any other thoughts floating around out there? Thanks for your help!



what are the BSOD error codes

one thing you have forgotten to mention was the powersupply, to me it seems like a over load issue on one of the rails

your video card is a power hungry monster and it needs a decent powersupply to constantly give the juice it needs...


google burn in test pro and let us know..


loading applications takes up more power resources than people relalize - hard disk , cdrom , processor are all used to max so it seems to me a power issue.
February 4, 2010 5:59:33 AM

i'll gladly post some error codes... what's the best way to do that and what info would help the most? i know that running them through a diagnostic they come up as ntfs or ntkrnl problems... which could be anything really...

my power supply is an azza (same manufacturer as the case so it was an easy if not the best choice) 650 watt. I believe that azza's website puts it running at about 79% efficiency, and most of what I read suggests that around 80% is good.

i'm assuming that by google burn in test you mean run a burn in test? I'll probably get to that tomorrow since it's getting pretty late, but if it will help me figure out what's going on i'll run whatever tests i need to.
February 4, 2010 6:10:44 AM

I think because since you have all 4 ram slots populated that it may be putting more stress on the northbridge. What's the MCH Core voltage set to? 1.100v is probably the default. Try upping it slowly like by 0.1 increments dont go passed 1.400v

make sure you manually set the speed and timings of the Ram. Also try the ram voltage at 1.9v
a b } Memory
February 4, 2010 11:01:09 AM

Azza! Thats your problem! (sorry, couldn't resist.) I would try a different PSU just to rule that out. General rule of thumb, NEVER use the PSU that comes with a case. There are some exceptions to this rule such as Antec cases with Antec PSUs, but you usually don't want to do this.

I also suggest upping the NB and RAM voltages by .1.
February 4, 2010 3:31:30 PM

Before I change anything else here's a question... I lowered my ram down to 667 mhz last night and things seem to be running stable so far. I'm not ready to say it's working quite yet because I've gone this long without bluescreens before, but it seems to be stable. Would that make sense as something that would fix this issue? Should I still be upping voltages?
February 4, 2010 4:10:17 PM

With the evaluation version of Burn In Test everything passes with no errors (this is still with the ram down to 667 Mhz) and using CPUID's hardware monitor all temperatures stayed stable. They all went up about 5-10 Celcius, but I'd expect that with the extra work it was all doing for the test.
February 4, 2010 4:14:34 PM

acguitarplayer said:
With the evaluation version of Burn In Test everything passes with no errors (this is still with the ram down to 667 Mhz) and using CPUID's hardware monitor all temperatures stayed stable. They all went up about 5-10 Celcius, but I'd expect that with the extra work it was all doing for the test.



the realtime difference between 667 and 800 ram is minimal..

infact speed wise its nothing.

It sounds like a stock incompatibility with corsair ram and your motherboard...

try running it at 667 and run burn in test pro. Turn the sound test off tho as that gets right on my man b00b5
February 4, 2010 4:42:28 PM

Downloaded and ran the pro version with the ram at 667... still passing with no errors. Would I be right in thinking that whatever was causing my bluescreens should have been set off in there, or at the least shown up as an error of some sort? Which if true would make me think that running with the ram at 667 should do it? Otherwise I'm open to next steps with this.
February 4, 2010 4:45:15 PM

Oh... and hellboy... what's your take on the PSU? if I'm passing the tests fine (and it seems like with the increased heat that the test is probably upping the power usage of my system) I'd think that means the PSU would be adequate? I'm all for testing stuff out, but since I don't have another PSU laying around and I'm sure my friends would prefer dismantling their systems to let my borrow theirs... I'd love to try to rule that out if it doesn't seem to be the problem.
February 6, 2010 9:22:41 PM

acguitarplayer said:
Oh... and hellboy... what's your take on the PSU? if I'm passing the tests fine (and it seems like with the increased heat that the test is probably upping the power usage of my system) I'd think that means the PSU would be adequate? I'm all for testing stuff out, but since I don't have another PSU laying around and I'm sure my friends would prefer dismantling their systems to let my borrow theirs... I'd love to try to rule that out if it doesn't seem to be the problem.



What is your current PSU... If its a generic - go for a corsair a 600w would cover everything and some upgrades - a new board and chip later on too.
February 7, 2010 4:23:04 AM

Current PSU is an Azza Dynamo 650 watt. According to their website it has a power rating of 78% or greater.

And as an update, with the ram's frequency lowered to 667 Mhz I've had no problems at all, and have had it set this way since Wednesday evening. Would that make sense as something that would have been causing all the problems I was having?

Thanks again for all the help!
February 7, 2010 5:22:58 PM

never heard of a Azza Dynamo..

I would only stick to corsair or ocz power and cooling.... i got a msi motherboard ( which i must rma btw) as its got 12gb of ddr3 and if it runs at the default (automatically set ) 1066 speed it only recognizes 8 when i set it to 1333 mhz it runs at 12 gb ( wierd i know )... I would suggest you keep it running at 667 as it sounds like there is some compatibility issues with your ram and the motherboard.

maybe there is another setting somewhere which is not correct.

check the following in the bios

Cas Latency 5
Timing 5-5-5-18
Voltage 1.9V


set this page to bios defaults and check again.
!