I just put together a new system and have been having intermittent issues with freezing up and the screen turning a solid color (tan, light blue, gray, etc.) Totally frozen, no response from NumLock. I'm also having intermittent issues, regardless of what I'm doing, where the screen will flicker and an error message will pop up saying that the video card driver has stopped responding and had to be recovered.
On top of that, the computer has been having trouble loading up Windows on occasion and keeps trying to run the Windows recovery program. I've let it do this twice now, which takes about 2 hours each time and haven't had any success. I even reinstalled windows completely with no luck.
I've been troubleshooting for a few days now and haven't been able to rule anything out as I can't make this happen on command. On a hunch I decided to remove one stick of RAM - no problems. Put in the other stick of RAM by itself - no problems. Put them both in at the same time - problem comes back. I've tried them in DIMMs 1&2, 1&3, and 1&4. The motherboard manual clearly states to use DIMM 1 first, so I haven't tried them any other ways. I've tried running this with optimized defaults, fail-safe defaults, and I've gone in and changed the voltage/timings of the RAM to match that of the manufacturer's specifications. No luck.
You may be wondering by now why I posted this in the processor section. Well, I had just restarted the computer after it locked up, then Windows wouldn't boot again. After a couple of attempts it finally started up. I waited a few minutes and noticed that Core Temp was reading my processor temp at 38c, quite a bit higher than the normal idle temp of about 25c. I pulled up Core Temp and see that it's only showing two cores. I thought it might be a fluke, so I started up CPU-z; two cores.
My question is this; is this a fluke that likely won't happen again, or do I have a defective processor? If the processor is defective, could it be causing the problems I've been experiencing, or do you think I have more than one bad part?
So right from the start of this new build you are experiencing intermittent problems and traced that to ram. Then you noticed in "Core Temp" that your CPU was running @ 35C then you "pull up Core Temp" and notice that only 2 cores are running?
You chose some pretty darn good components for this build.
Perhaps when you installed the M/BD a stand-off was left in the wrong position?
Ok, small update; I think I can (kinda) recreate the 2 core issue.
I left the computer off for almost two hours. I turned it back on and made sure all 4 cores were accounted for. As soon as I pulled up this thread (coincidence) it went to an all black screen and froze up. I hit the hard reset, it went through POST, then restarted again. POST. It asked me if I wanted to boot windows into safe mode - nope, start normally. It restarted again. POST. Restart. POST. It is strongly recommended that you run Windows recovery - nope, boot up normal Windows. Finally the Windows boots up with only two cores accounted for. I'm also noticing that "Cool and Quiet" will not kick in with only two cores running.
Oh, and I just checked the stand-offs. They're all accounted for.
I just got my Zalman 9900 heatsink in and I don't want to install it until this is figured out! It's killing me!
I was able to find a way to duplicate the freezing problem. It only happens when cold - must be off for an hour or more. It will boot into Windows and freeze within 2 minutes. Screen goes a solid color, although the last few times the screen has been black with gray pinstripes. This will happen regardless of how many sticks of RAM I have in there and regardless of which slots they are in.
The processor issue happens only when I have forced a shutdown and don't let it run Windows recovery on startup. I can make that happen on command, as I posted above. I'm starting to suspect the motherboard now...