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Troubleshooting a New Build

Last response: in Systems
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May 11, 2010 9:08:49 PM

So a couple weeks ago, I upgraded my computer by essentially gutting and replacing most of the parts. After assembly, here are the specs I am working with:

*Corsair 650W PSU
*Phenom II X4 955 BE (C3)
*MSI Hawk R5770
*4GB G.Skill Ripjaws DDR3-1600
*ASRock M3A770DE Mobo
*Windows 7 x64

Having put everything together, I started it up and did a fresh install of Windows 7. Everything installed perfectly, I began installing and updating drivers and for the first night, everything was peachy. The next day, I started getting problems.

Occasionally, within ten to fifteen minutes of booting, I would get a random BSOD and restart. I got IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL, DRIVER_IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL, BAD_POOL_HEADER, BAD_POOL_CALLER, and SYSTEM_SERVICE_EXCEPTION that I was able to keep track of (this is over the course of the whole escapade).

In addition to the BSODs, sometimes Windows Explorer would crash. Firefox and Chrome crashed with fair frequency. Sometimes Windows wireless driver would simply stop and need to be restarted before I could reset my internet connection. Also, upon most (maybe seven out of ten times), it would load to the log in screen and wait another ten to twenty seconds before my keyboard would light up and allow me to type. And rarely (maybe thrice through this whole thing), my monitor would shut off, and come back saying the driver display recovered from an error. Once it never came back on and require a restart.

First issue... my RAM. It's rated for DDR3-1600, but starts at 1333. I used the recommended settings from G.Skill (1600, 9-9-9-24, 2T) in BIOS. I also tried setting the voltage (1.5 or 16.5) to what I saw was suggested on their forums. Sometimes it'd make my machine work for awhile, but inevitably the next time I fired it up... problems arose.

So I ran memtest with the 1600 settings. Literally thousands upon thousands of errors. On every test. I assumed my RAM was the problem. G.Skill's phone support is unavailable on weekends. It eventually wouldn't start up... it'd just sit at the Windows 7 screen.

So I waited. And on Sunday, I did one more reinstall of Windows figuring, what the Hell. Installed, updated the drivers. Set the RAM settings. Worked perfectly all night. Used it for several hours, and left it running overnight. Shut it down this morning, and tried again when I got home... and more problems.

**EDIT: So I don't look like a total fool for continuing after the first memtest. After this install of Windows 7, I ran memtest for several hours with no errors. This was using the 1600, 9-9-9-24 settings with auto voltage.**

So I tried driver verifier... which initially gave me a BSOD every time I booted. So I ran safe mode, checked it out, and adjusted the setting for only non-MS drivers. Tried again, and it booted. Worked for a few minutes, and then all the various problems started again.

I am frustrated. I have down four home builds now. None have ever given me problems. Knock on wood, I've never gotten a DoA piece or had issues with my machines really... until this one. I figured before I gave G.Skill a call and asked for new RAM, I'd see if anyone wiser than myself had any ideas what the source of this problem might be.

It's tough to have such a nice, shiny new toy and not be able to use it for more than once... ugh.

More about : troubleshooting build

a b B Homebuilt system
May 11, 2010 9:42:53 PM

This type of problem can be caused by a faulty power supply, swapping in a known good one would be the first thing I would try. The reason I suspect the power supply and not the memory is that the computer works sometimes and not others where as faulty memory would be faulty or working all of the time.
May 11, 2010 9:50:44 PM

pjmelect said:
This type of problem can be caused by a faulty power supply, swapping in a known good one would be the first thing I would try. The reason I suspect the power supply and not the memory is that the computer works sometimes and not others where as faulty memory would be faulty or working all of the time.


When I first put the build together, it would start up (the fans and LEDs) but not post. I've since switched to the Corsair 650W PSU, which allowed me to start and install everything the first time. Do you think I still need to go with a bigger PSU? Or just that my PSU might be defective?
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a b B Homebuilt system
May 11, 2010 10:34:18 PM

I think that the power supply is big enough, but could be defective, substitution is the only test. I could of course be totally wrong and that it is the motherboard or RAM that is at fault but I would start with the power supply first.
May 12, 2010 11:40:17 AM

pjmelect said:
I think that the power supply is big enough, but could be defective, substitution is the only test. I could of course be totally wrong and that it is the motherboard or RAM that is at fault but I would start with the power supply first.


So last night I swapped out the RAM to see if it was the culprit (got a hold of some other memory from a buddy). It ran memtest for a couple hours without error. Started up and ran for a few hours, no problem. I left it overnight to see how it did, and within an hour of my going to bed, it BSOD'd. BAD_POOL_CALLER.

I'll try swapping the power supply today and see what happens, I guess.
!