New build freezes up

Hi all,

I need help with a new PC that I have recently built. It keeps freezing up at random times.
Here is what I have tried:
1. I ran the installation of Windows Vista Home Premium OEM -> it froze up during install
2. I tried the Vista setup again and this time it was successful.
3. After install, Vista kept freezing up at random times when I was using it (seems linke there is no pattern at all).
4. I ran a Windows XP Professional clean install after reboot -> froze up during install
The above leads me to believe it is a hardware issue.
What do you think?
How can I troubleshoot it?
BTW, I went to BIOS, loaded "Fail-safe" defaults and it made no difference.

Below is my setup:

Motherboard: MSI 790FX-GD70
CPU: AMD Phenom II X2 550 Black Edition (stock fan installed)
RAM: Corsair XMS3 TW3X4G1333C9 4GB DDR3 2X2GB DDR-1333 CL 9-9-9-24 Dual Channel
Viedo card: Gigabyte Radeon HD 4850 PCIE
Power supply: Antec Earthwatts 650W Power Supply ATX12V V2.2 EPS12V ActivePFC 80Plus
Case: Antec 300

Any comments or suggestions would be appreciated.

5 answers Last reply
More about build freezes
  1. System freezes are often caused by RAM problems. Have you manually set the RAM speed/timings/voltage to the recommended values in the BIOS? Have you run Memtest86+ overnight to test for RAM errors? That would be the first two things I would do.

    Your RAM is rated at DDR3 1333 with 9-9-9-24 timings at 1.6v.

    It could also be a temp problem. What are your CPU temps? If you don't have an OS installed right now then just check the CPU temp in the BIOS. If you have an OS installed, you can download something like RealTemp to check your idle and load CPU temps. Use software like OCCT or Prime95 to put the CPU under load.
  2. I have not changed anything in BIOS yet. In fact, I have loaded "Fail Safe" defaults (MSI BIOS had this option) when I noticed these issues but it did not make any difference.

    I have checked the CPU temp in BIOS and it is below 40 C so I guess CPU overheating is not likely the issue.

    For now I have changed the hard drive to an old 80GB Sata and installed Vista Home Premium 64 no problem. I will check if it's still running when I get back from work and install drivers, windows updates etc. (if it doesn't freeze up half way through)

    I will try your suggestions about RAM timings. Hopefully I can find these settings in the BIOS as I haven't done this before. Also, running the Memtest86+ might be a good idea regardless. Can I run it without an OS?

    Thanks for your help
  3. Yes, Memtest86+ runs outside the OS. You download the ISO image, burn the image to a disk, and boot from the disk.

    I would still check the load CPU temps since you currently have an OS installed. 40C in the BIOS is pretty high. How long did you monitor the CPU temp in the BIOS? Was the temp constant, or was it rising?
  4. First I reset the timings to 9-9-9-24 in BIOS. I couldn't figure out how to change the voltage. The option says "Auto" and is greyed out.

    Then, I ran Memtest 86+ over night and no errors were found. Will playing with the voltage still make the difference given that no errors were found with the current settings?

    Problem is still there.

    I will update the BIOS, I have 1.3 while the latest is 1.5
  5. shortstuff_mt:
    My account got reset because I never got the confirmation email. Strangely, I was still getting the thread reply emails.

    Anyway, I think I got the issue resolved.
    Whenever I ran OCCT with medium or large data sets, it locked up immediately after the test started (1-3 seconds). CPU did not even have time to warm up. Small data set ran fine.
    I figured out how to set the timings in BIOS to 9-9-9-24 2T. This did not help. Then I increased voltage to 1.7. It still locked up. But since I increased voltage to 1.8 it has been stable. I ran OCCT for both medium and large datasets and no errors/lockups. I was able to install windows updates no problem (before, it was guaranteed to lock up).

    My RAM is supposed to be rated at 1.5V (says right on the chip). Is it sufficient grounds for a return? Would you bother?
    Are there any drawbacks to running it at a voltage so much higher than the manufacturer's rating?

    Thanks for your help
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