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New system plagued with crashes

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January 12, 2010 2:41:55 AM

Hi all, first post here, but long time reader of the forums.

Just kindly inform me if i'm formatting this request for help wrong, and I will gladly fix it.

Here's my system:
Mobo: Asus M4A78 Plus
Processor: AMD Phenom II X2 550 BE (i planned on OC'ing, but have not yet because of the crashes)
Vid Card: SAPPHIRE 100283L Radeon HD 5770 (Juniper XT) 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16
RAM: G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel
PSU: Thermaltake toughpower W0103RU 600W ATX12V / EPS12V
HDD: Western Digital Caviar Black WD5001AALS 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5"
OS: Windows 7 64-bit

I've got a 3rd party ZALMAN CNPS10X Extreme cpu cooler on the phenom II.


*Prime95 runs fine for 10 minutes (haven't run it longer than that yet, but I have played 2 instances of Eve as well as Spore all at the same time for more than an hour)
*I just finished running memtest86 for an hour with no errors.
*I know my mobo does not run dual channel ram at 1066, so I have verified that they are set to 800 with memtest86.

The problem I experience is always the same: The screen goes all crazy with vertical different colored lines running to the left and right for a few seconds and then the system restarts. I haven't been able to identify any obvious repeatable cause. At first it occurred while doing both non-intense and intense tasks, and now it seems to be only limited to intense tasks.

The steps I have taken so far: updated ATI Catalyst drivers immediately (version 9.12 i think), I flashed the bios to version M4A78 PLUS BIOS 1214. I've cracked the case and made sure everything was seated properly. I've updated all the other drivers I can find online for the mobo.

Could it be a lack of power? I felt like 600W was definitely enough for a non SLI setup.

Help, please... the system runs games so pretty when it works.

More about : system plagued crashes

a b B Homebuilt system
January 12, 2010 6:07:52 AM

Nice CPU , i have the exact same one.
Is the Zalman fan properly installed? Monitor your temps to see how much you get on Idle and Maximum. As for the crazy vertical lines through the screen during game play, Does this happen during normal non graphic intensive programs too?
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January 12, 2010 11:57:08 AM

I think the fan is installed properly. Idle temps are around 29 C and 34 C is the highest i've ever seen the cpu. Mobo is also within that range.

Yes the lines do happen when just browsing the internet sometimes, but much more often during a game.
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Related resources
January 12, 2010 10:20:52 PM

Any other ideas? It is still occuring. This morning I played on it for about 3 hours with no problems. Then I come back this afternoon and it constantly crashes...
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a b B Homebuilt system
January 12, 2010 10:25:20 PM

You have to run Memtest86+ for a lot more than an hour. It's best to let it run overnight. I've had systems pass the first 8-10 passes with no errors and then start getting errors. You should also manually set the RAM speed/timings/voltage in the BIOS.
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Best solution

January 12, 2010 10:57:18 PM

Your issues sound alot like what ive been reading with some of the new 57xx and 58xx cards. Im currently running a Saphire 5870 and did alot of research before I traded in the GTX280 for the 5870. It seems there is a number of people having crashes with symptoms like yours since they upgraded to the 5000 series cards. Seems it happens at almost idle or just doing simple windows tasks, nothing GPU intensive. They suspect the issue is voltages changes in the card as it goes in and out powersaving modes. Not sure if there is a total fix for it, other then using an OC type tool and setting the lowest clock up or possibly flashing the bios. Good Luck Hopefully this can help you to finding a solution. Google ATI 5xxx issues and you should be able to find some more information.




bsimps3 said:
Hi all, first post here, but long time reader of the forums.

Just kindly inform me if i'm formatting this request for help wrong, and I will gladly fix it.

Here's my system:
Mobo: Asus M4A78 Plus
Processor: AMD Phenom II X2 550 BE (i planned on OC'ing, but have not yet because of the crashes)
Vid Card: SAPPHIRE 100283L Radeon HD 5770 (Juniper XT) 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16
RAM: G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel
PSU: Thermaltake toughpower W0103RU 600W ATX12V / EPS12V
HDD: Western Digital Caviar Black WD5001AALS 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5"
OS: Windows 7 64-bit

I've got a 3rd party ZALMAN CNPS10X Extreme cpu cooler on the phenom II.


*Prime95 runs fine for 10 minutes (haven't run it longer than that yet, but I have played 2 instances of Eve as well as Spore all at the same time for more than an hour)
*I just finished running memtest86 for an hour with no errors.
*I know my mobo does not run dual channel ram at 1066, so I have verified that they are set to 800 with memtest86.

The problem I experience is always the same: The screen goes all crazy with vertical different colored lines running to the left and right for a few seconds and then the system restarts. I haven't been able to identify any obvious repeatable cause. At first it occurred while doing both non-intense and intense tasks, and now it seems to be only limited to intense tasks.

The steps I have taken so far: updated ATI Catalyst drivers immediately (version 9.12 i think), I flashed the bios to version M4A78 PLUS BIOS 1214. I've cracked the case and made sure everything was seated properly. I've updated all the other drivers I can find online for the mobo.

Could it be a lack of power? I felt like 600W was definitely enough for a non SLI setup.

Help, please... the system runs games so pretty when it works.

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a b B Homebuilt system
January 13, 2010 12:34:06 AM

I was about to say just by your problems to look to the graphics card.

Looks like DMD71 has something very specific to look at concerning that. It seems to me that that shouldn't happen. You could also try using the actual driver on the disc (I know, I always pick up the disc that comes with toss it over my shoulder, and install one from online instead.) or from the actual makers' website. They may have done something specific that needs their own drivers to work right.
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January 13, 2010 1:16:35 AM

Though the problem seems to be related to the graphics card, the real problem might be the PSU. It might not be powerful enough for your computer, or it might be putting out an irregular signal. Unfortunately, the TT Toughpower 600wt hasn't had that good a ratings in the past. At 600wt, it might get overwhelmed by overclocking.

I'd suggest first trying your video card in someone else's computer, if possible, to check if the card is a problem or not. If it works fine elsewhere, then it isn't the problem. If the problems follow the card, then you found the culprit. As for the drivers, the latest ones from AMD/ATI would be the best to use. If the card does check out good, then look to the PSU. Its either not putting out enough power for your computer or its faulty.

By the way, I have a similar computer using a 955 BE and have it overclocked to 3622mhz with 4 gig of OCZ ram. I'm using a PC P&C 750wt in it and have had no troubles whatsoever, whether using a 5870 or GTX 275 card.
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January 13, 2010 1:57:42 AM

Ok, thanks everyone for your responses. Here is an update which makes me question whether or not the video card is actually to blame.

I ran prime95 again, this time for longer, and on all 3 torture tests my system experiences the exact same crash after about 15 minutes. Wouldn't prime95 only involve the cpu & ram (or does the cpu pass some of the work off to the gpu too?).

This was my first time applying thermal paste to a CPU and after further reading I may have applied too much of Zalman's "Super Thermal Grease". Would this cause my problems? One weird thing is, I watch the cpu/mobo temps while running prime95 and neither ever get above 35 C, even the instant before the crash (but I guess it could be happening too fast for my monitoring software).

Ideas?
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a b B Homebuilt system
January 13, 2010 2:17:13 AM

No, you usually can see it slowly climb. The only fast thing with temps is when you remove the load and they fall to idle temps almost instantly.


By "experiences the exact same crash" you mean the colors warble out and the system reboots right? Not that it just tells you, 'well, it f'd up' (which its supposed to be able to do if something goes wrong, but I've never seen it).

You could try memtest longer. You could try different slots for the RAM. When I see things saying stuff about 1066 RAM, they tell you to do one per channel. You could try it with slots 1&3 or 2&4, then run them at that speed. Then make sure the voltage it's giving your RAM matches the specs.
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January 13, 2010 10:33:06 PM

Ok I think I have resolved the problem. This is just tentative but i'm very optimistic. Prim95 just ran for 2.5 hrs, when before it would only go 15 minutes before my computer experienced the vertical lines crash.

The steps I took are:

1. Changed my ram sticks to slots 2 and 4 and upped the voltage to 1.9 from 1.85 in the BIOS.

2. Added an extra fan in the side of my case to blow directly on the back of my video card to cool the memory on the card.

#2 was suggested on the forum that DMD71 suggested, so thanks very much DMD71. The thread is here.

It seems the 5xxx series have hot memory sometimes, and extra cooling is needed. The reason I think #2 is the actual resolution is that on that forum i've linked above, people describe my exact problem and how to fix it.

Thanks to everyone who took the time to help me.
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January 14, 2010 1:33:23 AM

Ok. I am sad to say that the problem persists. Prime95 and memtest86+ v4.00 run with no errors. Yet when I go to play any game I receive the vertical line crash. I should have tested out a game before my last post.
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January 14, 2010 1:54:04 AM

Sorry to hear its not solved, Check out these threads.

http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/showthread.php?t=24...

http://forums.amd.com/game/messageview.cfm?catid=260&th...

Your problem still sounds GPU related to me and it matches all most of the problems in those 2 threads.

I want to pickup another 5870 for Crossfire but I hate to drop another 400.00 on the chance I end up with a poor boat anchor.

Iwaiting it out until I hear some resolution on this stripes issue before I buy another one. Good Luck.

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a b B Homebuilt system
January 14, 2010 1:54:25 AM

You could always try to RMA the graphics card.
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January 14, 2010 2:46:21 AM

I've been reading a really long thread on the amd forums: link. Sorry that link is in the middle of the thread pages so if you read it you should go back to beginning. It seems that it is 5xxx cards affected, and the problem seems to have become known as "grey vertical lines" or just "vertical lines". It seems widespread and not dependent on mobo/cpu/ram (but it could still be related).

There are a few potential things to try to fix the problem, and if any of them work i'll update this thread just so someone following in my footsteps can know.
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January 14, 2010 11:15:16 PM

So one of the hopeful tweaks to fix the problem involves changing some power-saving feature to make 2d applications run with the card's 3d settings and avoid the switch from 2d <---> 3d settings (voltages, fan speed...), thus using more power but making it more stable... and it actually does make it more stable. But not completely stable.

I've been in contact with the vendor of my card and am going to RMA it.
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January 18, 2010 3:34:16 PM

In case anyone experiences my same issue and is reading this thread, i'll post the solution.

Check here for the details. Basically it was a driver issue caused by ZoneAlarm (think it is specific to Win 7). I only had to uninstall ZoneAlarm (disabling it doesn't make the driver go away).

Prime95 Blend torture test just ran for 15hrs 22mins... much longer than ever before.
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