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Screen Keeps Locking Up, Please Help!!!

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  • New Build
  • Systems
Last response: in Systems
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January 2, 2010 3:39:31 PM

I recently built a new computer with:
Antec 900 case
2x2GB G-Skill RAM
Intel Core2 Quad 2.66 (Q9400)
Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3P Motherboard Rev. 1.6
EVGA Nvidia GeForce 9800 GTX+
Corsair 650W Power Supply
running Windows 7 64-bit.

Now on to the problem: At seemingly random intervals (sometimes every 30 minutes, sometimes every 2 hours or so), my screen/computer just fails, and I have to reboot. The screen either:

-Freezes with my windows/desktop still there, can't move my mouse or type, and there is a buzzing noise coming from my speakers.
-Goes black, and there is a buzzing noise
-Displays this, no buzzing:

-Displays something like this, no buzzing:



I've yet to overclock, run any games, or anything like that: I'm just listening to music, chatting, and browsing the web. My core temps are all under 45C and my GPU is under 40C. Also, when the screen locks up, I lose connection to my iTunes stream to my laptop and can't connect via TeamViewer, so this may be more than a graphics problem....
My BIOS is version FB for the Gigabyte mobo, but the latest version FD doesn't really address anything i would think is associated with my problem, so I've yet to update that. (Description of the BIOS versions from Gigabyte) http://www.gigabyte.com.tw/Support/Motherboard/BIOS_Model.aspx?ProductID=3137


Does anybody know what might be the cause of the problem and any possible solutions to try?

More about : screen locking

January 3, 2010 3:38:22 AM

Well first and foremost is to update any/all drivers, including the BIOS. The BIOS descriptions don't always state everything that they fix.

Secondly, I'd double check temperatures in the BIOS. If the CPU is idling at 45c than you have problems. You should be around the 24-30c range when idling. I'd also double check your seating of the CPU HSF. Maybe you didn't get one of the pins snapped in right and so you have uneven pressure on the CPU.

Third, I'd try testing your RAM. Use Memtest+86 for testing.
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January 3, 2010 8:47:34 PM

i've installed the latest chipset, lan, audio, and raid drivers from the gigabyte website, and the latest nvidia driver. besides flashing the bios to FD, are there any other drivers/updates i'm forgetting?

and i've tried memtest86 and memtest86+, but i get as far as the loading screen and it just stops there, and i have to reboot.
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January 4, 2010 1:06:50 AM

I think your CPU HSF isn't sitting well on your mobo. I'd double check it and make sure you have a good fit. I had a similar problem like this before and it was the CPU HSF wasn't seated evenly on the CPU. The CPU would heat up quickly and then it would shut down, because of the thermal limits were exceeded.
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January 4, 2010 1:09:31 AM

I'll be checking it out asap, but would an overheating of the CPU lead to the artifacts on the screen?
Also, I was wonder what "extreme" temps would be for the CPU, since none of my cores were exceeding 50C, which I believe is not that high.
Thanks for all of your help so far.
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Best solution

January 4, 2010 1:13:03 AM

50c isn't bad under load, but if that is the "Idle" temps, than you definately have an issue with your CPU/CPU HSF. It's possible that your GPU has issues. The only way that I can think to verify this is to try a different GPU in the system. If the new GPU works fine, than you have found your problem. If you still have the same/similar issues, than I'd probably suspect the mobo.
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January 4, 2010 1:16:13 AM

My friend is coming back into town this weekend, and he uses the exact same graphics card as me, so that should be easy to swap and test.
After a test with that and making sure the HSF is all good, would you say it's safe to say it's a problem with the mobo?
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January 4, 2010 1:20:25 AM

That would be my guess, but you still need to get Memtest to work first. If you can't get it to work than maybe you have some bad RAM sticks. You could try just 1 stick at a time and see if one of them is good/bad. If you find a bad stick than you just have to RMA the bad one.
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January 4, 2010 1:26:13 AM

Will do. I've gotten a bit fed up with the system for now, and I have other work I need to take care of this week, so when my friend gets back I'll handle all the testing and fixing over the weekend. I'll get back to you with the results.

Thanks for all the help!!
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January 9, 2010 9:58:35 PM

So I haven't been able to trade video cards yet, but it turns out many people have issues with the GSkill F2-8500CL5D-4GBPK RAM and the Gigabyte mobo. So I moved applied the voltage and clock settings as listed in a sticky on the gskill forums, and I'm still getting the same issues pretty much. I was able to run Memtest86+, and it turned up 0 errors over 5 passes. Does that mean that the RAM and Gigabyte mobo are working together in harmony fine, or does that just mean there's no issue with the RAM itself (strictly hardware), and that an incompatibility could still be the culprit?
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January 10, 2010 2:08:35 AM

I'm not sure on the compatibility issues, but at least your RAM is running fine. I would think that your mobo would be fine too, but that is pretty early to decide yet. I'll be anxious to see if the GPU swap does any good or not.
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January 10, 2010 5:19:16 PM

update: traded video cards with my friend, and my system failed after 3 hours, and his system has yet to (and I don't expect it to) fail with my card. looks like I'll be doing some RMAing with newegg. Opinions on the matter? RMA both the mobo and RAM? just the mobo? just the RAM? RMA for a refund and buy a different brand of RAM/mobo?
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January 11, 2010 1:12:44 AM

Well with the RAM passing Memtest, I would think it's the mobo. I'm not 100% though, but looks like the possible problem.
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January 11, 2010 3:59:51 AM

I've run prime95 for about 7 hours, and no errors, so it looks like the processor should be ok. The GSkill RAM I have now has some bad reviews on newegg of people getting unlikely and receiving DOA or just bad sticks, so I feel fortunate enough to have two working ones, according to Memtest, and my GPU hasn't failed on my friend yet. So it looks like the mobo's gotta go.

My system actually hasn't failed since that one instance earlier today, but it couldn't hurt to eliminate the chance of future problems by getting a mobo that has my RAM listed on its QVL, right?

http://usa.asus.com/product.aspx?P_ID=c19zNYHCAXhCqBPq
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January 11, 2010 4:57:07 AM

It doesn't hurt it. I'd just try and get RAM that runs at stock voltages (1.5v), so you don't have to go into the BIOS and adjust the voltages up to meet the RAM specifications. If you have 2 good sticks and a good GPU than I'd just RMA the sucka, but that is just me.
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January 11, 2010 9:39:58 AM

So you're saying you'd RMA the mobo?
And what do you know of the ASUS mobo I posted the link to?
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January 11, 2010 11:39:02 AM

Well you could get a hold of tech support first and see if they know anything else, before you RMA the mobo. The Asus mobo looks good, but make sure you have all of the bases covered before RMA the mobo.
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January 11, 2010 5:54:19 PM

gigabyte tech? I've heard so many bad things about them. What bases are you talking about? .... RAM checks out on Memtest86+ no errors, Processor checks out with Prime95 no errors, GPU has been running on my friends comp error free. Am I missing something?
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January 12, 2010 4:38:34 AM

I was talking about getting a hold of Gigabyte (since you are using a Gigabyte mobo) and let them know your problem. Maybe they know about this problem and there is BIOS fix or something else to check, to verify the mobo is bad. I don't know, but that is just what I'm thinking. Maybe they have a beta BIOS version that is supposed to fix this issue, I don't know.
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February 1, 2010 6:20:02 PM

Best answer selected by jxu101.
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February 1, 2010 6:20:39 PM

Thanks for all the help! I just swapped out my Gigabyte mobo for an ASUS and everything has been working smoothly.
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