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Hand me down part computer, freezing and restarts

Last response: in Systems
August 26, 2009 8:19:21 PM

I put together a new system, and I know enough to slap the things together correctly, and how to solve minor to moderate issues, but this one has me confused, haven't run into something like this before.

ECS NForce 570 SLIT-A v5.1 (W/ Core 2 processor)
Radeon x700 Graphics card PCIe
4 gb DDR2 Ram (2 sticks)
Pioneer DVD drive
2x Seagate HDs (250 and 300) IDE
500 W Powersupply

The last two times I turned on the machine, I got a 2-5 second black out, and I have not often had a choice in turning the machine off. It will at a random interval freeze. I've had it do it right away, I had it doing it several hours into being on. Even when playing games that require alot of processing power, its been random. My main use for my computer is entertainment, not work or anything important, and since these were mostly hand me down parts from different people, and I don't have spare similar parts to swap around, I can't pinpoint the issue. A friend of mine said it may be a power supply issue, but considering my other friend used that power supply, with that board, 2 vid cards, and several drives without issue, I disagree. Also, the middle chip on the board... The manual does not name it, but the plug next to it for the fan that goes ontop of the chip is the Northbridge Fan Connector, no idea if that is of any use or not. Well that chip heats up far beyond the rest of the board, so not sure if there is an issue there or not. If there are any details I have ommited that could help, please feel free to ask for it, I will supply what I can.

Oh, after putting together the new machine, I tossed in my harddrives, and did a fresh install of windows, updated the bios on the board, downloaded and installed the ECS audio drivers/codec for on board sound, installed Omega drivers for the card, as the ATI ones seemed to be disfunctional, and I am using an Ativa USB wireless card.
August 26, 2009 8:48:15 PM

For starters, get CPUID HWMoniter and see if any of the mobo temps are high. Run Prime95 and see if the CPU temperature gets too high.
August 26, 2009 10:31:00 PM

1. Is the PC restarting by it self or just locking up?

2. What brand of PSU?

3. What EXACT CPU?

4. Temps? Use RealTemp for CPU and HW Mon for GPU/Motherboard.
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August 26, 2009 10:35:38 PM

It would also be nice to know the exact model of RAM installed. Did you manually set the RAM speed/timings/voltage to the manufacturer's specs in the BIOS? Have you run memtest86+ overnight to test for RAM errors?

I would check those things, but I agree with the previous posts. It seems like a CPU overheating problem. What are your idle/load CPU temps?
August 26, 2009 10:47:10 PM

Sorry I was out for a little bit, actually the temps are rather low, only the northbridge is putting out any real heat. 39 / 41 from the program I was using, but I can check using the ones you suggested. I also made a pit stop at the computer shop next to me, told me to test out the ram, so I am gonna pull one stick, and then swap, see if the issue is resolved via that. I'll get the rest of the spec info as well and post in about 15.

Oh also in reply, its mostly locking up, I think it did a self restart once or twice though.
August 26, 2009 11:09:48 PM

Ok, I'm back checked both sticks, getting the black out on both, northbridge is burning hot to the touch again after just a few minutes of use though. Infact, while typing this it passed 130 farenheit in the section HWMonitor has labeled "TMPIN2" and forced me to manually cool it again (Cracked open the side, big ass box fan blowing on it). Turning on the box fan got it to flicker back on... I was informed the northbridge handles onboard video processing, so the black outs make alot of sense if that is the case.

CPU is Intel Core Duo 2 E6600 @ 2.40Ghz
RAM is Super Talent T8UX4GC5 STT DDR2-800 PC6400

Also, I apologize, what do you mean by PSU?

In response to Shortstuff, no I did not manually set any settings, I don't attempt to overclock or change anything from factory defaults. I am going to download the memtest86+ program though. *NOTE* I don't have the floppy running yet, can't use memtest just yet.

Its looking like I should get a better fan for the northbridge chip, it appears to be a primary issue.
August 26, 2009 11:14:26 PM

PSU = power supply unit.
August 26, 2009 11:26:10 PM

Ultra Xfinity ATX Switching Power Supply
Model No: ULT-XF500
and its 500 watts

It has a variable input voltage it says 115/230v its on what it was before, 115.
August 26, 2009 11:46:27 PM

Poking through device manager, I have one "other device" also, the SM Bus Controller, not sure if this would play into effect or not, but figured I'd list it.