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I need help badly!

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June 1, 2010 6:08:34 AM

I have recently put together a new desktop (first time assembling myself).

Asus P6T Deluxe v2 (says windows 7 ready on the box, and supports i5s and i7s)
Intel i7 920 2.67 CPU (stock fan)
12 gigs of RAM comprised of 6 sticks of Patriot DDR3 PVT36G1333LLK
nVIDIA EVGA GTX 295 GPU
Win 7 64
everything else, only listed the important things.

Now I have a serious problem here. At random times, for no reason (nothing in event logs, nothing consistnetly preceeding the problem) I will either get a hard freeze (sustem freezes in place, lights on keyboard, if on, go out, cursur will freeze in position, no three finger salute opton, not ALT-TABing out from a program, NOTHING, whole thing just FREEZES SOLID with scratchy audio), or less freqeutnly than that my system will just decide to take it uponse itself to soft reboot, for seemingly no reason. after any of these issues, upon the next reboot, oddities arise, like internet explorer lost all my browsing history and sites in the address bar, as if I told it to do that, but I didn't (indeed, when I turn on and off normally or reset properly, I don't get that issue). I don't know what is causing this problem! I think I messed up when putting everything together.

I do not know what DRAM timings are. I'm a BIOS moron. I look at that p[art of my BIOS and it might as well be Greek. I no longer have the manual for my motherboard, nor do I have the two boxes my memory came in (bought two kits of 6 gigs to get my 12). I only learned AFTER I PUT IT ALL TOGETHER that certain memory sticks have to occupy certain slots. Also, supposedly this damn motherboard and these memory sticks I have support XMP... Well when I choose the XMP option, my computer just decided to kill itself tight as Windows 7 tries to load. The only way I can get my system stable for an extended period of time is to just set what my bios calles "ai tweaker" to auto.

it's got to be my BIOS, there's got to be something in there that I did not set right. I don't know how to set those numbers for my memory (my sticks say "DDR3 1333MHz 7-7-7-20 1.65V on them... where the hell do I enter these...?!). Also, I downloaded a PDF that shows the qualified vendor list for my mobo... and there is one entry for Patriot memory, and it'sNOT the model I have... I don't want to buy memory again! this system cost enough already!

I'm going insane with this. I just want to be able to use my 12 gigs of memory and enjoy my power gaming, without random but inevitable hard freezes and soft reboots. I didn't pay attention when I built this thing. it has to be an issue with my mobo, and mroe than likely with how I did my memory. please someone out there.... HELP!

More about : badly

June 1, 2010 6:18:38 AM

and now i read somewhere that it's not a good idea to use two kits of ram even if they are exactly the same, ugh! how badly am I screwed?!
a b B Homebuilt system
June 1, 2010 6:30:58 AM

Pull out 6 gigs of memory. Make sure you place the 3 remaining sticks in the 2 4 6 slots (slot 1 being closest to the CPU socket)

Put those 6 gigs into an anti-static bag. Turn on your computer see if it's stable. If it's having the same problem, take the 6 gigs out of the bag, and replace the current 6 gigs with the 6 from the bag. (Basically trying to isolate if there is a bad batch of sticks)

But in actuality, you should really look into this thread: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/261145-31-perform-ste...

Even tho you arent having NO BOOT/NO VIDEO problems, what you're describing could be caused by some of the items isolated in that troubleshooting thread.
Related resources
June 1, 2010 8:07:09 AM

going through that now. thank you for pointing me in that direction
a b B Homebuilt system
June 1, 2010 8:13:42 AM

No problem, good luck!
a b B Homebuilt system
June 1, 2010 4:24:28 PM

Download MemTest+ burn to dvd
load from cd
test each stick of ram seperately
If you see errors you have a bad stick
I had a bad stick in a 8gb set-up
Endless freezing and bsod's until the offending stick was removed and rma'd
June 1, 2010 5:28:05 PM

davcon said:
Download MemTest+ burn to dvd
load from cd
test each stick of ram seperately
If you see errors you have a bad stick
I had a bad stick in a 8gb set-up
Endless freezing and bsod's until the offending stick was removed and rma'd



So we're clear, you are saying burn MemTest to disc, remove all sticks except 1, run memtest from off the disc with a single stick in, repeat for all sticks?
a b B Homebuilt system
June 1, 2010 5:43:40 PM

Yep! definitely worth the effort!
June 1, 2010 6:12:20 PM

I recently had a similar problem with a homebuilt system. Memtest86 reported no errors in overnight runs. But the system would freeze once in a while, not running memtest but in normal operation, in a manner much like what you described. In my case, I found that prime95 was very effective at triggering this crash, usually within 5 minutes.

Since these crashes can wreak havoc on the filesystem, it's worth running off a live CD especially when running prime95. I don't have a good suggestion for this (what I did was convoluted) but perhaps others here have links handy?

Anyway, using this to probe the failure led me to lower the memory clock speed. I have DDR3 1600 memory, and lowering this to 1333 caused the failures to take a little longer before surfacing. I went all the way down to 800 and haven't had a problem since. I'm a little irritated that I spent some extra $ for faster memory and a MB to support it which turned out to be worse than a waste of money, but at least I have a stable system once more.

Whether or not your problems have a similar cause, I can at least point out that memtest doesn't catch all memory-related problems.
a b B Homebuilt system
June 1, 2010 7:10:41 PM

what power supply do you have?
June 1, 2010 8:30:54 PM

antec, 1000. i don't think i have bad memory, it always reads 12 when I have all 6 sticks in. i'm really thinking I have something incorrectly set in BIOS. that is to say, I have set nothing manually, and even though my mobo and memory say they support XMP, when I select that then my system just doesn't want to load!

also I tried booting up with just one stick of ram... well it wouldn't boot. everything would power up but it wouldn't post, my screen was black and the power light was flashing as if to say "hey, I'm on, but I'm not getting a feed." so now I don't know how I'm going to test single sticks of ram if it won't post with just one inserted! maybe it was in the wrong slot? I have six slots that, starting closest to the CPU. alternatve black and orange (B O B O B O).

a few more things:

I am wary with messing with voltage in my bios. I have messed with all the different voltages you can change, and every time i change one, my system will not post on next boot. so now I leave any voltage at whatever it will default to.

I don't think power is an issue. I have a very nice antec power pack, 1000.

edit:

okay right now I am running with just 6 gigs. last night i tried just 6 as well, but i noticed my system only read 4. thinking this was because i placed them in incorrect order (3 sticks sid by side by side), i now have 3 sticks in the 2nd, 4th and 6th slots (maybe this means the reason why I couldnt boot on a single stick was because placing it in slot 1 was wrong? and maybe last night it only read 4 because it read slot 1 and 3 but not 2?)
a b B Homebuilt system
June 2, 2010 2:48:35 AM

For intel boards you want sticks 1 slot apart. 2 4 6, or 1 3 5
June 9, 2010 6:53:07 AM

my computer has been 100% stable for a few days now, I am runniong with 6 gigs of my memory rather than the 12, and so far I have had no issues.
a b B Homebuilt system
June 9, 2010 7:26:16 AM

THat could mean you have a bad stick, or it could mean in order to run 6 sticks, you need to adjust the voltage up by a little bit.
June 9, 2010 9:21:15 AM

I know it sounds stupid but i used to get this problem running bf2142. Couldnt for ages work out what it was.
was like a jitter and the audio would skip making robot sort of sounds then just lock up the system.
Eventually i found it was my usb wireless dongle (dont ask me why) replaced this with a pci network card and everything was fine.
I still dont know why that happened but all was fine after replacing it. Try running your computer without internet connectivity for a while, prime it and see if you still get crashes.
a b B Homebuilt system
June 9, 2010 11:03:44 AM

^ you most likely had a Gigabyte motherboard. They have a history of USB devices causing severe problems. If you check the motherboard forums under Gigabyte there is a very enlightening sticky
!