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Random PC freezes! Please help!

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February 8, 2010 1:16:44 AM

Hi all! I recently bought a new PC but I've been getting random PC freezes, forcing me to reset if I want to use it. I've reinstalled Windows but it hasn't gone away. A few nights ago, everytime I'd restart it, after I would click on my profile to log in, it would play the windows start up sound and then at the end of it, the sound would lock and then it would automatically restart. It did this for a few consecutive times. The next day when I powered it up, it loaded up fine. Then last night, I got another PC freeze loading up a game (iRacing 1.2) in the loading screen and then when I reset and loaded it up again, my PC froze again in the loading screen and then started beeping and when I reset it, the beeping was still there so I switched it off from the switch and then waited a bit and then turned it back on and the beeping stopped and it ran fine then. Then, again tonight, I loaded it up and it did the freeze again after log in but only once. I installed AVG and I'm planning on doing a scan but like I said, I just did a Windows reinstall last night (formatted the drive and everything) so thats what is worrying me now.

I haven't overclocked my CPU or GPU at all, just as they are out of the box. I've checked the temperatures of each and found that the CPU is idling at 40C and the GPU at 48C so they can't be overheating. I'm really worried now about it and although I haven't overclocked my CPU, I installed AMD OverDrive to monitor the temps of the CPU and see the speed the fan is running at (I read that loading up OverDrive voids the warranty :( ) but on that note, does it void the warranty if I haven't overclocked it or just if I overclock it?

Here is my build:

CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition (C3 / 125W)

GPU: XFX 1GB ATI RadeonHD 5850 XXX

MB: Gigabyte GA790XTA-UD4

PSU: Corsair TX650W

RAM: Corsair Dominator 4GB

Case: ASUS TA-K51

More about : random freezes

February 8, 2010 3:10:44 AM

Make sure in your bios, you set the memory voltage to 1.8v and your timings are set correctly. The default might be lower and causing you some issues. Download memtest 86+. http://www.memtest.org/#downiso

Create a boot disk from the iso and run that. Random issues like you're having tend to be memory related. So I'd start there first.

If you get the beeping again, write down how many, they can be used to see what the mobo is telling you is wrong.
February 8, 2010 3:57:07 AM

Ok, I've adjusted the voltage and timings to match that according to the specifications of the ram (1.8v and 9-9-9-24).

I ran a benchmark tool called NoveBench 2. I got an overall result of 295 (CPU: 117, Graphics test: 3, Hardware test: 42) so is there a problem there? Seeing the Graphics test at 3 is what really concerned me :( 
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February 8, 2010 5:22:13 AM

Running benchmarks really won't do much and I've never used novebench, so I couldn't be any help whether thats good or not.

What you need to run is stress test software. Memtest 86+ for memory. Windows memory diagnostic can work too. OCCT or Prime95 for CPU stability and furmark for GPU. Run those after you OC and see if they report any errors. If not, then the OC is stable.

What was the default voltage for the ram?
February 8, 2010 5:42:40 AM

The original voltage was 1.5v
February 8, 2010 6:24:39 AM

That should take care of your problem. Undervolted ram running at rated speeds will almost always cause random crashes and errors. I'd still run a mem stress test, but you should be good now.
February 8, 2010 8:12:37 AM

Ok, now it froze once and then it has randomly restarted twice by itself now :(  (The second restart after I had disabled automatic system restart). This is starting to worry me now :( . Are there any programs I could use that serve as a diagnostic program to know which part is causing the problem?
February 8, 2010 8:26:57 AM

No, not one stop shopping if thats what you mean.

Use Memtest first for the ram
Then Prime95 or OCCT for the CPU
GPU shouldn't be causing these types of issue but possible. furmark

February 8, 2010 9:10:28 AM

Ok, I have OCCT running now on it now but system seems to have frozen because the timer at the top has stopped at 58m 59s (test was set for 1 hour) and the mouse isn't responding.
February 8, 2010 9:59:18 AM

That just tells us your system is still unstable. Lets start by checking the ram first. It can lock up the OCCT test also.
February 8, 2010 2:23:05 PM

Ok thanks, I'll do that but the problem is, I don't have a CD\DVD Writer or floppy drive so is there any other way I can boot it? I have a USB flash drive so would it be possible to boot memtest with that and if it is, how would I go about that?
February 8, 2010 3:59:26 PM

Yes, you can run Memtest86+ from a USB stick. Did you even click on the link skora provided above? It lists a download for "Download - Pre-Compiled EXE file for USB Key (Pure DOS)". You install that onto your USB stick and boot from the USB stick. Memtest86+ will automatically start running.

Here's the link again:

http://www.memtest.org/#downiso
February 9, 2010 12:24:11 AM

I did but I don't know how to set up my USB stick as a boot device, thats my question for it.
February 9, 2010 3:53:23 AM

Follow their directions for installing onto the USB drive. You'll also have to go into the BIOS and set your boot options to boot from a USB device.
February 9, 2010 6:35:56 AM

I think my fears have been confirmed :( . I let Memtest do two test sessions and there were no errors, all passed fine. I downloaded Prime95 but I didn't know how to use it so I've reverted back to OCCT and it froze again. I've opened the case and pointed a regular fan at it to see if it could be temperature related but it still froze again.. As soon as it starts testing after it monitors for a minute, it freezes. I've also noticed that it can't detect the original processor speed, it just lists it as an unknown but it does list the current speed which is 3415Mhz so it must be the processor. I ran FurMark last night and it was able to test the GPU fine so the only factor that seems to be the problem now is the CPU. I wanted to ask about something though, in the BIOS when I was adjusting the voltage for the RAM, it listed certain voltages in red and the text on the right said something like "Warning: using these voltages may cause damage to the chipset/memory/CPU or shorten their life" so is running 1.8v as opposed to the original 1.5v damage my motherboard?
February 9, 2010 7:38:45 AM

Voltage - No, the mobo can take it. Not all ram is designed for that though, and thats what the warning is for.

It very well could be a bad CPU. I'd contact Scan about an RMA. The bios that shipped with that board supports both steppings of the 965, so I wouldn't recommend flashing the bios with a touchy CPU. Might brick your mobo. If Scan tells you to and will replace it if it does fail, thats up to them. Might be worth asking them that.

I've had one bad CPU in my years of building, so it does happen. Its no fun when you want to play with your shiny new toy is it.
February 10, 2010 12:07:29 AM

No, it isn't :( . The frustrating thing is that this machine is a huge step up from my previous PC (AMD AthlonXP 1.8 / ATI Radeon 9250). I'm just worried Scan is going to tell me "Did you run AMD OverDrive?" and I say yes then they'll say "tough luck then". I guess its the only logical step now. The problem started occurring before OverDrive anyway so its not as if OverDrive messed it up and I haven't overclocked it or anything, just monitored temperatures and checked the fan speed (set it to manual just for a test to see what capacity the fan was running at in auto) but nothing else, came out of the box as is.
February 10, 2010 10:30:00 PM

I wouldn't worry about Scan asking about overdrive. If you mention you looked at temps and fan speeds, tell them you use HWmonitor. You can't adjust fan speeds with that, so don't mention that part.

I've never used OCCT, but can you select just one CPU Core to test at a time? I'm curious if there's one thats the problem that can be isolated. If so, can you turn it off in the bios, like a reverse core unlock and then use your system until it gets figured out with Scan? If all the cores fail one at a time, it could be some of the shared resources that's the problem.
February 10, 2010 10:38:03 PM

Usually you want to do at least 5 passes with memtest86 to get decent results. Just because it passes memtest doesnt mean the ram isnt the problem. Letting it run overnight while you sleep though is a great way to test it.

Also when you get your new CPU, try reseating EVERYTHING, just to make sure.
February 16, 2010 6:02:28 AM

btw, something I was curious to know about, just to make sure that it isn't the GPU. After I took the cover off the case to point the fan at it and then connected the wires up, I accidently put in the monitor cable into the second DVI connection on the GPU. When I turned on the PC, the screen was all blue so is this normal? I can see all the text in the POST screen and I can distinguish everything except its just all in the one colour (blue). I put it back into the first slot and it was fine then but I'm just thinking if its meant to be that way because maybe FurMark isn't really telling the whole story about the GPU and the problem is with the GPU.
February 16, 2010 6:04:47 AM

I'm also using a DVI-I/VGA converter since the GPU outputs DVI-I and my monitor is DVI-D so would this be the cause?
February 17, 2010 4:01:22 AM

I've gotten the color phase shift if my connector isn't properly seated, so I can't say the GPU isn't the issue or not.
February 17, 2010 7:03:44 AM

Well, I've sent the GPU with the MB and CPU yesterday. Hopefully, it'll all be sorted soon :) 
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