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6 months old pc, random freezes even in BIOS!

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November 6, 2010 9:31:20 AM


Hey people,

here's my deal. i have bought a new system months ago. (we sat and chose the partials one by one, with a few friends who know about computers)
it has never been all fine and since the place we bought the computer has a crappy "support", i have always tried to figure out the problems by my own. but now, i'm done...

my system uses windows 7.
i use ASUS m4n68t-m motherboard
AMD ATHLON 2 X4 Processor (2,9 ghz)
Kingston 2 GB DDR3 Ram
and sapphire hd4650 graphics card

the ways i tried to fix the problem;
-i've done a memtest and it turned out all clean
-i have checked the DRAM Voltage valuse from qualified vendor list of Asus, it said 1.5 Voltage, i've tried several voltages. (from 1.5 to 1.7)
-i had checked the disk with chkdsk tool.
-i have updated my motherboard's and my graphic card's driver.
-i have checked the event viewer and it told that my problem is about northbridge configuration.(northbridge error...)
Component: AMD Northbridge
Error Source: Machine Check Exception
Error Type: CRC Error
Processor ID: 0
-i have updated the BIOS


so, anything else i can do on this? or should i just go and ask about the guarantee? or, do any of you have any kind of idea about what my problematic component is :( 
before, it was happening only once in a week or only once in a day but now it's totally frequent and i'M getting pissed!
p.s.: i've bought another piece of 2 gb's ram, same brand, same ddr3, same frequency. tried both of them in both of my ram sockets(i have two ram sockets) and it didn't work...

thanx a lot everyone
a b Ĉ ASUS
a b V Motherboard
November 6, 2010 2:10:15 PM

Welcome to the forum's newcomer!

The first thing you neglected to mention is, What is your PSU wattage and manufacturer? Most times then never, low voltage's can cause your chips to malfunction or they could just run on low voltages to cause a serious malfunction.

And from the above post, it shows you know your noodles :)  post back when you get the PSU details...and specs

about the frequency, did you also double check on the latencies/timings?
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November 6, 2010 2:31:56 PM

umm to be direct and honest. i'm totally stupid about technology. i'M a total dumb. i'M still using an old samsung telephone, ipod classic etc. the reason i bought this machine is because my laptop broke and i was tired of getting it fixed... (it's not in my hands at all anymore :p )

as far as i looked, my psu unit is 460watts.
i have no idea how to look on latencies and timings at all :(  could you just give me a helping hand?

by the way, HELLO TO ALL MEMBERS OF THIS AWESOME COOL WEBSITE. omg, you guys are near 1.5 millon people! :) 
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Related resources
a b Ĉ ASUS
a b V Motherboard
November 6, 2010 2:45:49 PM

sure thing!

The timings are displayed on your ram sticks. They are a number sequence separated by a " - " e.g : 4-4-4-12 frequencies are the Mhz /speed of the rams e.g : 800Mhz/1066Mhz. (so you have two sticks of 2GB DDR3 rams - 4GB can run in dual channel)

i suppose your going to open the case to look a t the ram modules, in that case please take a a look at the PSU manufacturer, cheap Chinese PSU's can cause random freezes/lockups/restarts.

Don't sweat abt the lag in technology, i ran a 550Mhz P3 for 6 years :) 
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November 7, 2010 11:29:32 AM

hello again bro.
i've just checked my ram sticks but all i've seen was that the ram sticks are totally the same. there is a sticker says "warranty void if removed" so i didn't want to remove the sticker. yeah i'M pretty dumb so should i look under that sticker to find about my latencies?

my psu manufacturer is CM Elite. i've bought the case "Cooler Master" and the PSU was included in that.

grrh i'm getting mad day by day since i can't play football manager 2011! :) 
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a b Ĉ ASUS
a b V Motherboard
November 7, 2010 11:44:44 AM

no no, don't do that...I wouldn't want to be responsible for your warranty :p  don't sweat, just a few more troubleshooting and maybe you'll be on your way!

The PSU should have a sticker showing how many W's it has :S or just take a pic of the PSU and upload it on photobucket

Edit: why didn't i think of this sooner ! - Download this

once set-up,open the program > go to the 'Memory' and 'PSD' tabs and post back what you see (screenshots would be very helpful)
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a b Ĉ ASUS
a b V Motherboard
November 7, 2010 4:09:43 PM

:)  brilliant first step, but you also forgot to show whats on your second slot.

*Your running ram in dual channel mode and you only posted whats in your first slot so here's what you do:
On the Memory tab>select slot 3(in the drop down menu to your left)>post back here

all seems fine upto now

unganged means your running in dual channel fine. Latencies show that you're modules are 9-9-9-24 and your bandwidth is (10700/8)= about 1333Mhz DDR3
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November 7, 2010 5:15:29 PM

actually i really thought about that but then i've seen they were nearly the same.

anyways, here are them :) 

any other tests or actions can i take? dude, the reason i'M not giving my pc to warranty is just because they are a bunch of stupid pric*s who won't let me use my computer nearly for 2 months! grrh.

http://img573.imageshack.us/img573/359/son.png

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a b Ĉ ASUS
a b V Motherboard
November 7, 2010 6:16:38 PM

Now that's *** support!

At this point i can see that the memory is fine as well...they have the same latencies. This random freezes is now possible to a faulty NB chip as stated in your OP. Sometimes Asus have a knack for making boards with faulty chips and its the customers that pay for it...

There only two options here:
1| RMA the board at your microcenter, but that means they'll keep it for two months
2| Rule every possibility of hardware error by at least swapping everything except the cpu/mobo into another machine and see if they work w/o the freezes, hickups.

in the event they give you another board, logically go for a gigabyte mobo.

one more thing, if your case is a CM Elite 310 then the PSU is rated at 420W's. Rule out your PSU to be faulty by getting another PSU to test the hardware...and look for hickups.
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November 7, 2010 6:19:06 PM

thanx a lot mate. i'll try everything on my way :) 
never gonna give up that early ;) 
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a b Ĉ ASUS
a b V Motherboard
November 7, 2010 6:20:59 PM

i just hope your making headway with this problem :) 
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November 7, 2010 7:18:31 PM

I see 2 likely suspects.. Crappy power supply failing, bad motherboard.
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November 7, 2010 8:41:49 PM

i'll just try my flatmate's super duper power supply. it should be around 750 watt or so with a good brand i'll post the details here when i just start using it. thanks a lot everyone btw.

oh; and lutfij; here; in turkey, the computer manufacturers don't give you a spare motherboard or a spare computer :( 
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a b Ĉ ASUS
a b V Motherboard
November 7, 2010 11:15:06 PM

TURKEY :o  ! !! ! ! ! you should've told me about that :)  i have a GF living there :D 
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November 8, 2010 3:01:44 PM

nice ;) 
wish you both a good relationship.
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a c 207 Ĉ ASUS
a c 716 V Motherboard
November 8, 2010 3:23:18 PM

RE: [random freezes even in BIOS!]

Suggests either a 'short' or a poor 'connection' or 'bad' components.

Items that can cause a random shutdown:
1. I did notice what seems to be (2) different DDR3 sticks; mixing them in the same Dual Channel can cause instability.

2. A failing PSU; seems unlikely in 6mo's without a short or power surge/spike; dirty power from the power company - varying from 60Hz. Bad PSU can cause all sorts of oddball behavior.

3. MOBO short - can ruin a PSU and causing all sorts of oddball behavior.

4. Failing component(s): anything from a bad USB mouse, MOBO, CPU, GPU, etc.

Therefore, it it were 'me' and before doing anything more - I would breadboard the MOBO and strip it down to the bare essentials {CPU, 1 Stick RAM, MOBO, PSU, PS/2 mouse, Primary HDD} everything else gets pulled-off. Next, Clear CMOS. BIOS Load Optimized/Defaults. Windows run MSCONFIG Diagnostic and reboot.

Test using Prime 95 1 hour min.
Next add the ODD and test RAM Memtest86+ {2-passes per stick}
Next add HD 4650; disable on-board GPU.

Post results.
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November 8, 2010 4:09:06 PM

hello jaquith;
i don't think it's about the rams at all. i was using only one stick of ram until last week and bought the new ram last week. i've tried the both pieces all in once(new ram/old ram/both together) and nothing has changed at all. about your second and third suspicion, i think the same way. i'll try the essentials deal but this freeze ups are not happening so frequently. so it may take a while but whatever; i'll give it a shot.

about cmos clearing and bios loading... i have no idea how to do these. i have updated my bios to the latest but it didn't give any positive results either. so i will be totally pleased if you can give me a few tips on;
1)clearing CMOS
2)BIOS Load Optimized/Defaults
3)What is ODD?


thanx a lot ciao!
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a c 207 Ĉ ASUS
a c 716 V Motherboard
November 8, 2010 5:15:58 PM

1. Clear CMOS {a. CMOS button/CMOS jumper b. unplug and remove the CMOS battery ~15 minutes}
2. Boot and press the Delete key until the BIOS menu appears -> press F5, save & exit Yes.
3. ODD {Optical Disk Drive} ; DVD drive.
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a b Ĉ ASUS
a b V Motherboard
November 8, 2010 5:47:45 PM

Quote:
1. I did notice what seems to be (2) different DDR3 sticks; mixing them in the same Dual Channel can cause instability


both are the same, even down to the latencies. Unganged for an amd board means the modules are running in dual channel just fine.
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a c 207 Ĉ ASUS
a c 716 V Motherboard
November 8, 2010 7:27:26 PM

NO, mix-match in a Dual Channel is a bad idea, no very bad. The timings are not identical and together as 'Dual Channel' -> unstable. I've seen 2(3x2GB) with the SAME Part-Number get 'mixed' when the OP inadvertently tossed them together; if it weren't for me asking the OP to notice S/N + subtle variations the problem would never be solved. It is what it is particularly worst with different IC and chips/side, and more obviously Speed, CAS, Voltage, and clearly Type.

Kingston
99U5471-002.A00LF
9905458-009.A00LF

If it were me, I would try one set at a time BUT to Clear CMOS between swamping DIMM in and out. If they're working together it's just really good luck.

In this situation Unganged is probably best. Ganged treats the memory subsystem as a single 128-bit bus, and unganged treats the memory subsystem as dual / independent 64-bit buses.

edit: RAM P/N.
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November 9, 2010 2:02:30 PM

hey back again folks,
as a total dork; i couldn't get your little argument about my ram sticks. so jaquith, what do you advise? should i get something done like a little tuning for my computer's health(not for my problem) or what?
moreover; i'll try what you both said, use a different power supply and if it doesn't work; use the computer with basics and plug one piece at a time but i'm waiting for my flatmate to go on holiday next vacation to start that experiment :) 
do you think i should clean cmos as a start? i mean, the least complicated thing to do for a start and see whether my computer is instable or not? or would it be totally dumb?
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a c 207 Ĉ ASUS
a c 716 V Motherboard
November 9, 2010 2:23:17 PM

I 'try' simple -> complex solutions; one's that take little efforts on your part -> then they get more complex to root-out the problems. 1-3 are relatively 'easy' to perform.

#1 - I would start by ruling-out your RAM "If it were me, I would try one set at a time BUT to Clear CMOS between swamping DIMM in and out."

If that fails:
#2 - Windows run MSCONFIG Diagnostic and reboot with 1 stick.
#3 - Clear CMOS, Windows run MSCONFIG Diagnostic and reboot with 2 sticks.

Last if that fails:
#4 - I would breadboard the MOBO and strip it down to the bare essentials {CPU, 1 Stick RAM, MOBO, PSU, PS/2 mouse, Primary HDD} everything else gets pulled-off. Next, Clear CMOS. BIOS Load Optimized/Defaults. Windows run MSCONFIG Diagnostic and reboot.

If it turns-out to be the RAM then replace both sticks of RAM with a Matched-Set. Otherwise post your findings...we'll take it from there.
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a b Ĉ ASUS
a b V Motherboard
November 9, 2010 3:33:26 PM

^+1 to that!
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November 9, 2010 5:49:25 PM

alright i've done the first, nothing much happened at all.
then i've done the number 2... it may sound totally ridicilous but my main test doing this thing is playing PES11. normally, instabilities mostly happen when i was playing this game in become a legend mode. i've done my same routine, opened the game, played the become a legend mode, and surprisingly; finished one match. i'll try for more but it still sounds a little bit awkward you know... because as far as i got from MSCONFIG Diagnostic, it cancels some of the components(just like ethernet, sound etc)
so, it would all made sense if i didn't get freezes in BIOS. do you think there's any possibility of these little components to be the reason of the freezes?

oh, i gotta p.s. that too: i was getting the freeze ups before adding my second ram and as jaquith told; i've just removed one ram. and started the computer.
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November 9, 2010 5:56:52 PM

oh and one more thing(i'M typing this message for the second time since i got a freeze when i was writing the first time-i was on normal operating mode with one stick of ram, still)
so; sometimes i just don't get these freeze ups for 2 or 3 days(as long as i don't play PES11) but sometimes even PES11 can be tricky for a decision. so, step number 2 may not be the solution at all too but i just wanted to give you guys a quick feedback.
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a b Ĉ ASUS
a b V Motherboard
November 9, 2010 6:26:18 PM

Work your way up through the steps jaquith pointed out. If other components of your board are failing...it just may lead to the mobo being the bad guy. But that's a point we have to wait and see.
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November 10, 2010 6:03:53 PM

yesterday's feedback:
step number 2 didn't work out at all. i was running on diagnostic mode and got another freeze. today i've woken up, cleaned CMOS but forgot to startup in diagnostic mode. till now, haven't got a freeze at all. i'll try to keep you updated :) 

but if this thing works, thanx a lot :) 
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a c 207 Ĉ ASUS
a c 716 V Motherboard
November 10, 2010 6:14:57 PM

We're keeping up! Good Luck! :) 
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a b Ĉ ASUS
a b V Motherboard
November 10, 2010 8:07:11 PM

:)  continue...
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November 12, 2010 1:27:03 PM

hey brothers,

i know it's been a while that i've spammed your mailboxes :p  but i'M still getting the freezes so i'M taking the step number four.

by the way, a friend told me that the little battery can cause this problem. do you think that cmos battery can be the reason?
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November 12, 2010 2:06:34 PM

see in the screeny of memmory its set to cr 1T lossen it a bit set it to 2T

see what happens you ram is on its higest speed .13

could try to set it to 1066 (533 x2) see if it better (more stable)



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a b Ĉ ASUS
a b V Motherboard
November 12, 2010 4:40:00 PM

Quote:
do you think that cmos battery can be the reason?

May be a reason, i have seen that on another thread. Replace it with a battery CR2032 (its also known as a button cell)

Do this after step 4. Then rule the battery out by replacing it. :)  Good luck with step 4!
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a c 207 Ĉ ASUS
a c 716 V Motherboard
November 12, 2010 7:52:31 PM

southernpride said:
... do you think that cmos battery can be the reason?

^"IF" you are not loosing BIOS settings then probably not, but cannot hurt.

I realize breadboarding is a 'PITA' but it all too often rules-out or clears the problem(s). It's not on my Top 'Fun things to do' list either.

Also, use CoreTemp 0.99.x http://www.alcpu.com/CoreTemp/

Just about everyone here has had a major & aggravating problem at some point; it is a relief once the problem is identified and solved.

-----

BTW
Step #5 - Reinstall OS (Clean).
Step #6 - Probably a bad MOBO {if the same errors continue -> Error Source: Machine Check Exception, Error Type: CRC Error}
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November 13, 2010 10:25:36 AM

jaquith said:
^"IF" you are not loosing BIOS settings then probably not, but cannot hurt.

I realize breadboarding is a 'PITA' but it all too often rules-out or clears the problem(s). It's not on my Top 'Fun things to do' list either.

Also, use CoreTemp 0.99.x http://www.alcpu.com/CoreTemp/

Just about everyone here has had a major & aggravating problem at some point; it is a relief once the problem is identified and solved.



-----

BTW
Step #5 - Reinstall OS (Clean).
Step #6 - Probably a bad MOBO {if the same errors continue -> Error Source: Machine Check Exception, Error Type: CRC Error}



aight jaquith. i'm starting the tests by breadboarding tomorrow.
but i have a single question on the use of programs you mentioned:
1)what am i gonna do with coretemp?
2)am i gonna use the default settings of prime 95 when i'M gonna test my pc with that tiny tool?
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November 13, 2010 10:27:15 AM

wiro67 said:
see in the screeny of memmory its set to cr 1T lossen it a bit set it to 2T

see what happens you ram is on its higest speed .13

could try to set it to 1066 (533 x2) see if it better (more stable)


thanx wiro67, but i'm a total dumb about pc's and i dunno where i can make these settings. i've gone to my bios screen and changed the dram frequency to 533 but i coıuldn't set highest speed and cr at all. could you gimme any clue on how to set these things?
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a c 207 Ĉ ASUS
a c 716 V Motherboard
November 13, 2010 12:05:48 PM

southernpride said:
aight jaquith. i'm starting the tests by breadboarding tomorrow.
but i have a single question on the use of programs you mentioned:
1)what am i gonna do with coretemp?
2)am i gonna use the default settings of prime 95 when i'M gonna test my pc with that tiny tool?

I want to see if an overheat is causing the problem - also you can use CPUID HW Monitor http://www.cpuid.com/softwares/hwmonitor.html it will monitor more temps and in second though is better for this. {When I OC I am more interested in only a couple of temps}

Yes, use the default settings - Prime95 is used to stress the system.

I didn't see anything in your BIOS that allowed for CAS timings to be individually.
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a c 207 Ĉ ASUS
a c 716 V Motherboard
November 13, 2010 12:14:28 PM

BTW - I still have not ruled-out your RAM; there are others with your exact combo of RAM with similar instability. Your 'oddity' is that you state the same instability with (1) stick of RAM. Which then make me focus on other causes for the 'Component: AMD Northbridge / Error Source: Machine Check Exception / Error Type: CRC Error' issues.
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November 13, 2010 5:44:20 PM

oh, gotcha.
i've done the stress test with prime 95. but i have no idea whether it has finished or not. i've left the computer open and started the test hours ago and it's still doing some stuff as far as i got because the "continue" sign is blurred and "stop" sign is ok.

and i haven't got a freeze at all. all i've done was making the ram frequency 533 using the BIOS. would you like me to post the results printscreen of prime95 and cpuid hw monitor?
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a c 207 Ĉ ASUS
a c 716 V Motherboard
November 13, 2010 5:54:55 PM

Go ahead and stop Prime94; it won't stop until you stop it or it crashes. If you were trying to run your RAM at double it's speed or more than +20%~30% then duh yeah you'll crash. Clearing the CMOS should have corrected any errors in settings -- assuming you didn't go right back in and 'fix' something; I use 'fix' loosely here.

Post sure.
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November 13, 2010 6:13:17 PM

no i was mostly using my ram or rams at default settings but i also remember rising up the ram voltage value and test the pc again and again. even at 1.6 volts, i've seen that i was still getting the freezes i've stopped doing it.about the frequencies, i don't really remember whether i have changed them before or not. now, it's all restarted and the only thing i've done as an exception to default values is changing the frequency to 533. didn't get any problems yet but still not sure whether it's fixed or not per se.

http://img259.imageshack.us/img259/9027/tempyn.jpg

http://img408.imageshack.us/img408/7466/prime95.jpg

here you go.
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a c 207 Ĉ ASUS
a c 716 V Motherboard
November 13, 2010 7:05:45 PM

Hmm, "mostly using"...Okay, looks good, but the NB is a little hot @ 85C; Intel's NB has a T_max of 105C. Ignore the {null/128C}.
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November 13, 2010 7:15:15 PM

mostly using yeah because after i started to get freezes, i started to change the voltage settings bro as i mentioned. i still haven't got a freeze by the way:p  although looking it this way may be tricky...

anyways, i wanna ask a question. when i'M gonna take the step 4, do you think i should make a stress test right away? cuz as far as i get, this is what i'm supposed to do with the programme, right?
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a c 207 Ĉ ASUS
a c 716 V Motherboard
November 13, 2010 7:31:55 PM

Everybody, except me, will suggest increasing voltage which itself can cause instability. I tend to find the 'least voltage' @ stable and then only if necessary +0.1V. DRAM Voltage. RAM has a typical operational voltage of ±0.3V. Voltage = Heat

You 'might' need extra voltage IF you're filling 4 or 6 DIMM slots or OC RAM from rated speeds 1600 rated @ 1.5V -> OC 1800 @ 1.6~1.7V, but only if necessary.

Worst people often get confused and inadvertently up the CPU to near damaging voltage instead of DRAM Voltage.

Less = More
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November 14, 2010 8:36:59 AM

jaquith said:
Everybody, except me, will suggest increasing voltage which itself can cause instability. I tend to find the 'least voltage' @ stable and then only if necessary +0.1V. DRAM Voltage. RAM has a typical operational voltage of ±0.3V. Voltage = Heat

You 'might' need extra voltage IF you're filling 4 or 6 DIMM slots or OC RAM from rated speeds 1600 rated @ 1.5V -> OC 1800 @ 1.6~1.7V, but only if necessary.

Worst people often get confused and inadvertently up the CPU to near damaging voltage instead of DRAM Voltage.

Less = More

alright bro. changing the frequency didnt help anyways.
i've removed my graphics card, one stick of ram and dvd write from the pc. it's only the basics now. opened in diagnostic mode and gonna wait till i get a freeze i suppose.
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a b Ĉ ASUS
a b V Motherboard
November 14, 2010 8:45:53 AM

Quote:
gonna wait till i get a freeze i suppose.


Doesn't that sound inviting :D 

Quote:
Component: AMD Northbridge
Error Source: Machine Check Exception
Error Type: CRC Error
Processor ID: 0


can you post your details for that error, here's where you'll find it

Control Panel\System and Security\Action Center\Reliability Monitor (just paste this in the address bar)

click on the red circle with a cross in the middle
on the lower bar, Reliability Details for: (M/D/Y)
right button and view technical details
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November 14, 2010 8:54:00 AM

:D :D 
actually, i'm getting desperate day by day. gonna get the old type writer from my hometown and leave the pc to the c...appy guarantee someday i suppose :) )
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a b Ĉ ASUS
a b V Motherboard
November 14, 2010 9:01:23 AM

Check my post again bro, i edited it
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November 14, 2010 10:59:41 AM

"The previous system shutdown at 2:08:31 PM on ‎11/‎13/‎2010 was unexpected." that's what it says bro. and mostly, for the last whole month, there was no northbridge error as far as i've seen.
only and only "the previous system shutdown was unexpected"

by the way, haven't got a freeze yet on diagnostic mode but to paste this thing here, i had to login via my own computer and now i'm on windows normal mode.
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November 14, 2010 11:12:38 AM

update: gotta shut down the pc since i had another freeze but it was different from the others. it was all lines(orange, black and white) placed in a weird way on my monitor, opened up the pc again, checked the logs like i did last time and the problem was still the same: bla bla bla shutdown was unexpected.
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!