I am having a weird issue with a PC I built for a friend.
Here are the components:
ASUS P5N-D mobo
Intel Q9550 Quad-core
2x2GB OCZ 1066 RAM
BFG gtx 275 video card
WD 1TB Caviar Black HDD
Antec Earthwatts 650 PSU
Linksys WUSB54GC Wireless adapter
This is whats happening:
I built the pc, powered it up, installed Windows 7 Home, and everything was going smooth. I installed all the drivers for the mobo, then when i was installing the drivers for the video card it froze part way through (everything locked up, couldn't move mouse, I couldn't ctrl+alt+del or anything), so I shut it down and restarted it. Then it came up with the Windows Error Recovery screen (i think thats what it was called). I selected to let it try to repair the error, and it froze again while scanning. I restarted it and tried to get it to load in Safe Mode, but it froze before it got to the desktop. So I took out one of the memory sticks, booted it in safe mode, and it worked. I rolled back the video driver, restarted, and it loaded windows fine (normal mode). So I left the video as is using the default drivers, and moved on to installing his USB wireless-g adapter. I put in the CD, when it was installing the drivers, it froze again. So I shut down, put the other stick back in, booted in safe mode, and restarted into regular mode again and it worked. So instead of running the software that came with it, I just went into Device Manager, and updated the driver for it by telling it to look in the correct folder on the CD.
Now, everything seemed to be working fine, we were able to get on the internet, browse, etc. Then his girlfriend opened the my docs folder with some of the default pictures in it, and it froze again. I turned it off, took out the stick, and it started fine.
Then I installed Modern Warfare 2, the install went fine, so I started the game, and it froze again. After that it wouldn't boot up all the way no matter what I did. So I went home to sleep on it.
He told me today that about an hour after I left, he turned it on and was able to get online and browse. After a while he had to install Flash, and it froze when he did that.
So, anyone have any feedback or suggestions on what to try? I'm kind of stuck on what to try next.
I set the voltage and timings for the RAM, and then ran MemTest86+ on each memory stick separately, and it didn't find errors on either one (I did one pass each, didn't have time to go longer).
After the first one, when the computer was re-booting, it wouldn't boot into windows, it didn't even get to the 'starting windows' screen before it locked up.
What can I try next? I thought maybe it was a heat issue, but the heat sink is seated firmly on the processor, and when I put my hand near it it doesn't seem overly hot.
You need to let it go for at least 7 passes. Some people even recommend doing it for 10. A single pass isn't cutting it. You don't have to run it on each stick individually. Start it before you go to bed, and stop it in the morning.
So we ran MemTest86+ on it for 10 hours, and it had no errors.
Last night we replaced the PSU with a Corsair 650 watt. Started it up, and it ran for a few minutes. I also ran CoreTemp on it, and all 4 cores were running about 55C average. It ran for about 4 minutes, then locked up.
My friend said he turned it on this morning and was able to get on youtube for about 15 minutes and watch some videos. I thought maybe it was working, so told him to load up a game to see if it locked up. He loaded up Modern Warfare 2, and it locked up after about 15 seconds.
I have also gone into the BIOS and set up the timing for the RAM according to the specs on OCZ's website (did this before all the testing).
One thing that I did notice is that the P5N-D only supports up to 800mhz RAM. The OCZ sticks we have are 1066. Could this be causing the issue for any reason?
Any other ideas what it might be? I dunno what else to try at this point.
Yes, it certainly is possible. I recently encountered a similar problem. Luckily for me I had two of the same mobo to test builds with. I had moved RAM around and all that good stuff. I changed my PSU (it needed upgrading anyway). After all of my testing, I used a TA790GXE mobo, instead of a TA790GX mobo (no "E"), Corsair RAM instead of OCZ RAM, different Phenom II X4 CPU, and different PSU. After all of that, the only thing that remained was my PNY GTS 250 and my freezing problem still persisted through it all. I finally sent in my GPU for RMA. After getting my new GPU, no more freezing (except for when I tried to use the latest video driver).
Ok so here is what I did last night.
First thing I did was remove the HSF and reseat it to make sure it was on tight. Then I updated the BIOS to the most recent version on ASUS's website. I booted it and ran CoreTemp, and the temps were quite a bit lower, averaging around 37 for each core. We didn't have the wireless card hooked in so I installed Warcraft 3 and played that for about 15 minutes with no lockups. I was thinking it was fixed at this point. I then shut it down, put in the Wireless card, booted it up, and installed the driver. I turned on CoreTemp, and had it logging so I could check the temps later if anything happened. To really test it I started up Modern Warfare 2. I was able to get into the lobby and join a game. As soon as I got into the match, it locked up. I turned it off and rebooted it, and it locked up before it got to windows.
I then put in my GTX 260 card. It booted up fine. I checked the CoreTemp log, and none of the cores got above 45 during the MW2 test according to the log. I tried starting up MW2 with my card in, but got a weird DirectX error. I googled that error, and it locked up loading one of the pages. So this must not be a card issue either...
So this really only leaves 3 things. MoBo, processor, and the HDD.
Any suggestions on what to do next?
Also, the only thing that I haven't been able to adjust is the RAM Voltage. I adjusted the timing, but couldn't find the voltage anywhere in the BIOS. Am I just blind or is it hidden?
I set the voltage and timings for the RAM, and then ran MemTest86+...
Also, the only thing that I haven't been able to adjust is the RAM Voltage.
So which one is it? First you say you set the voltage, now you say you can't change the voltage.
Not having the correct RAM voltage is easily the #1 cause of system freezes, especially with OCZ RAM that is notorious for requiring ridiculous amounts of voltage to work correctly. Which RAM kit do you have? All these match your description.
You'll notice that all those kits require between 2.0v and 2.2v. Your system will most likely not be stable until you manually set all the RAM values (speed, timings, AND voltage). The RAM voltage setting will be right there in the BIOS. Double check the motherboard owners manual.
Edit: I decided to do the legwork for you. The RAM voltage is in the "JumperFree Configuration" section under "Voltage Control" and is called "DRAM Voltage".
Thanks shortstuff, I'll get that checked asap. Also what do I need to set for the speed? I assume this would be 1066? However the Mobo says it only supports up to 800 (didn't see this til after we put it together /facepalm).
Sorry for the noob questions for this, never had to set RAM stuff like this before.
1066 RAM will work just fine on that motherboard. All you need to do is manually set the RAM speed to 1066 by using a different multiplier in the BIOS at the same time you set the RAM voltage. The RAM speed rating on a motherboard means very little.
Also on a side note, which processor core temp is usually more accurate, the one shown in CoreTemp, or the one in the BIOS? The reason I ask is because CoreTemp last night showed steady readings of around 37, but one time I checked it in the BIOS and it was reading around 58.
I'd like to think the CoreTemp one is closest (just because it is a more appropriate reading, lol), but not sure why they would be so different.
I wasn't able to go over to my friends and work on his PC, but I walked him through a few of the changes on the phone.
Here's what we did:
I had him adjust the RAM voltage to 2.1, and set the RAM timing to 5-6-6-18. I didn't know where the ram speed/frequency setting was changed so that's the only thing that we didn't adjust.
After saving and exiting he said it locked up pretty soon after getting to the Windows desktop.
I told him to try putting the sticks in different slots, so he moved one of them around, and was able to boot the pc, start MW2, join a match and kill one person before it froze.
Should I try making sure the speed is set correctly too before I try anything else? Or can I move onto replacing other parts (MoBo first?)?