Homebuilt Has Consistant Random Restart Problem


I built a system about a month ago

Intel i5 Quad
700W Corsair PS
1TB westerdigital SATA

The thing has run great with the exception that it shuts down randomly :fou:

I've done a lot of reading on this, unfortunately the problem is so often found with all hardware issues that narrowing it down has been a real issue for me.

The Problem:
My best description is that the computer consistantly shuts down and starts back up when it is powered on, I've seen it do so several times in an hour, and I've seen it be fine for a week and restart randomly when I go to bed (I can tell it's a bad shutdown, not windows updater or something similar), I can say that it was more frequent when the computer was new.

The shutdowns also don't seem correlated to heavy use, like many applications at once, or a heavy graphics game (bioshock, company of heroes), they seem to happen entirely randomly, I have played a game for 3 hours and been fine, then turned it off and get a restart on an empty windows desktop... Sometimes it boots then immediately restarts when Windows loads. I've really looked for patterns and haven't noticed anything notable, EXCEPT that it does appear to restart more often when I use the "ASUS TurboV EVO" appication to increase the performance of the computer, it changes CPU voltage, and a few other voltages as well, but even the default setting seems to cause them more often, I run the computer on the lowest setting I can figure out how to make in terms of overclocking... but I admittably do not know much about CPU overclocking, or RAM overclocking, I think my computer performs fantastic on the lowest setting, and I can tell by using a CPU Temp monitor that the CPU temp stays stable and cool.

Things I've Already Done:
- actively monitored CPU heat

- plugged the computer into a surge protector, and found when doing so that my previous configuration was using a bad electrical socket (it didn't appear to be grounded), so I fixed that and figured I may have found the problem, but it persisted (I am not persuaded yet that there is no electrical issue in my aparment, I do seem to lose power on certain circuits more often that I should, but I am pessimistic that it is not the computer at fault)

- ran memchk : no problems detected, although I did think that I had the culprit because my ram was improperly seated, when I seated it correctly my system found the RAM but the restarts persisted.

- upgraded from WindowsXP 64-bit, which I was hoping had a buggy problem with one of my drivers, to Windows 7 (which I've really loved, BTW), about 4 hours into playing on my new Windows 7 rig, it randomly restarted... that was a sad reminder of the problems which had, at least in recent weeks, seemed to subside and become only a minor irritation, as opposed to a constant issue (which is why i've procrastinated on this so long, the build is about 2 months old, the problem has persisted through the life of it)


I've been trying to figure out what my next step is, and I'm kind of at a loss... I don't want to just start pulling components and replacing them without some idea of which ones would be the best guess and most likely to be an issue, I'm also not sure if there are further diagnostics I can run to narrow it down further.

I'm looking for advice on what to do here.

3 answers Last reply
More about homebuilt consistant random restart problem
  1. What kind of RAM do you have installed? And how much? Do you have any other components or peripherals installed that you did not list above?

    Couple things to try:
    1. Run memtest86+ v4.00 from a bootable CD or USB stick to double check that the RAM is ok: http://www.memtest.org/
    2. Update your BIOS. Make sure you have the latest version for your motherboard. A lot of changes were made early on for issues with RAM, PCIe, etc.
    3. (After doing 1 & 2, if 1 checks out ok and crashes still occur after 2) Reset your BIOS to its optimal defaults. Do not use any software or hardware based overclocking utility. If your computer runs fine you'll know the components are ok, and that it is something in your overclock that is causing the instability.
  2. If you think there is problem with your apt's electric circuits, you might want to try adding a battery back-up. I use an APC unit. The APC software allows me to find out how many times and the reasons it kicked-in. I have reliable electricity, but the APU has kicked-in for "line noise" and power outages. You HW looks like good stuff - I think you're on the right track checking the household circuits.
  3. Walnutmon:Did u ever figure this out? This is one of those issues, that has been elusive for me also, and I am at my wits end.
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