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BSoD/Vertical Lines: Phenom II x2 550/Radeon HD 5770/Asus M4A78 Plus

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January 17, 2010 1:33:54 AM

Here's my system:
Mobo: Asus M4A78 Plus (latest bios version 1214, also latest chipset update)
Processor: AMD Phenom II X2 550 BE (i planned on OC'ing, but have not yet because of the crashes)
Overclocking: Not yet because the system is already unstable.
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. (which I have already taken off, removed the paste, and reapplied much more carefully).

I've got the latest of all drivers/software (all Win 7 64 bit compatible). I have completely reseated every component.

Problem: Annoying gray vertical line/restart (various colored vertical lines suddenly appear and then the system restarts) OR BSoD which can be counted on to occur VERY often. The gray vertical line issue has been widely reported by other ATI 5XXX owners. I ruled out this problem by first trying all of the proposed tweaks in that thread, and finally by replacing my Radeon by an old nVidia... the crash persists but manifests itself as only a BSoD and not vertical line crash (I assume the difference here is just the same crash but different expressions of it because of the vid card switch).

Testing:
*Memtest86+ v4.00 ran overnight (12hrs) with 0 errors.

*Prime95 crashes for small FFT's, in place large FFT's, and Blend. At first it gave me the Fatal Error: rounding was 0.5, expected less than 0.4. I manually set the ram to 400 frequency and 5-5-5-15 with 2.0 volts (the specs recommended). The rounding error goes away but the system still crashes (either lines or BSoD) before 15 minutes pass.

*Since Prime95 crashes quickly, it isn't surprising that all games i've tried also crash.

*All temperatures are normal: GPU never above 65C, CPU never above 39C, mobo never above ~33C.

My Guesses:

My problem here is that I purchased all the components from Newegg Dec 21... 30 days is coming up way too quickly and my system still doesn't work. So since it doesn't work now anyway, should I just try to RMA all three below and hope for the best?

1. PSU (hopefully)
2. Mobo
3. CPU (least hopefully)

Ideas, input, answers, or comments are very welcome. Also, much more welcome, is any known issues with my components that I don't know about.











a b B Homebuilt system
January 17, 2010 5:02:35 AM

I had the same problem when i was gaming, With a HD5750 though.
Does the problem happen with non graphics intensive programs too?

Lower your refresh rate to about 60-65 and see if that helps, It stopped my problems with mine.
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January 17, 2010 2:46:53 PM

I highly doubt it is the video card because I swapped cards and it still occurs (but like I said the gray lines don't appear, just a blue screen of death). Anyway, I checked my refresh rate and it has been at 60 Hz the whole time.
Quote:
Does the problem happen with non graphics intensive programs too?


Answer: Yes, it has occurred with only the startup programs open sitting at desktop.
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Related resources
a b B Homebuilt system
January 18, 2010 5:39:52 AM

Try installing Windows XP running the drivers off the disk, But just install it using any hard drive you have laying around so you don't loose your data.
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January 18, 2010 3:30:36 PM

That probably would have solved the problem, but I wouldn't have known the exact cause. Check here to see what fixed it in detail.

Turns out it was a driver issue ( vsdatant.sys, specifically ) which was installed by ZoneAlarm. Think it is specific to Win 7, but not sure. I just had to uninstall ZoneAlarm to fix it.

This problem plagued me for a couple weeks, but I'm glad it's fixed now. Thanks for your help idejason.
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a b B Homebuilt system
January 19, 2010 4:30:49 AM

Didn't really help but no problem.
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October 24, 2010 11:22:33 PM

Same problem as OP here (well, same symptoms in any case).

Mobo: Gigabyte MA785GM-US2H
Processor: AMD Phenom II X2 550 BE (not OCed)
Vid Card: On-board video; ATI Radeon HD 4200
RAM: Kingston 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066
PSU: diablotek 450 w ATX power supply
HDD: OCZ Vertex SSD 64gb
OS: Ubuntu 10.04 x64

Same symptoms; random crash into vertical bars. When I put in an nVidia card and hooked it up instead of the onboard ATI, crashes persisted, but it was no longer bars, just frozen screen.

The diff between our setups is everything but the Phenom II x2 550, which tells me that's the most likely culprit.

Luckily, I also have various components lying around, so I was able to switch stuff out one/two at a time to verify each piece. Crashes persisted after switching out

1. OS (tried ubuntu 9.04, 9.10 and 10.04)
2. HDD (tried an OCZ Agility 30gb SSD and a Western Digital 5400rpm)
3. PSU (tried an Ultra 450 w power supply)
4. Ram (tried some Crucial 2gb sticks, as well as Patriot DDR3 with a separate Mobo)
5. Video card (tried an nVidia GeForce 9500 GT)
6. Mobo (tried MSI 770-G45, also did a BIOS upgrade to the latest to both boards)

I'll try to look around for a comparable Ubuntu driver to vsdatant.sys and delete it. I'll try to drop the refresh rate too, but it doesn't sound like it would do anything. The only other thing I could think of is underclocking. If that doesn't work, I'm getting another goddamn processor (my Phenom chip is still under the manufacturer warranty, so that'll do it if nothing else). I guess it could potentially also be my SATA cables, which I haven't tried switching out, but that doesn't seem terribly likely.
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January 27, 2011 9:08:43 PM

Wasn't an issue with the CPU either; crashes persisted after I switched it out. I tried OS switches again (moving over to Debian linux from Ubuntu), but it kept happening every day or two.

Finally, I tried doing a minimal install and using XFCE4 instead of Gnome for my desktop environment. That seemed to do it; I'm at 4 days of uptime at the moment, which is the longest I've ever had with this system. I'm guessing this was a hardware conflict with something Gnome was running, but I have no idea what specifically.

EDIT: Uptime is at 8 days (7 days, 19:49) and counting. This is about quadruple the longest time between failures I had under Gnome. I don't have solid evidence (or an idea of what specifically went wrong), but it's hard to conclude that the issue wasn't a hardware conflict with the desktop environment.
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