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Computer restarting randomly, can't reproduce

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June 1, 2010 5:49:16 PM

Hello,

I've had random restart problems for several months with Windows 7. Everything was fine and then one day it restarted. Sometimes it would last a few days before doing it again and some days it'd do it 2 or 3 times the same day.

Sometimes after the restarts it wouldn't turn back on and I'd get 3 short beeps followed by 1 long beep from the motherboard. The only way I found to fix this was taking a stick of ram out. It usually started up fine after this but would wait a few days and restart again.

I've tried using different combinations of ram slots and also using one or the other stick by itself and it'd work but would restart later. I ran memtest which found no errors after a few hours.

I then lowered the ram speed to DDR3 1066 instead of 1333 and made it so power management wouldn't put the computer into hibernate or sleep mode after a while. Not letting it sleep seemed to solve the restart problem for about a month. I needed to restart after that month and lo and behold I got the 3 short beeps followed by 1 long one. I can't figure out what the problem is.

If it helps at all I had been running Prime 95 before this all happened and sometimes it'd freeze the computer completely so that I'd have to restart. I'm a little worried that I didn't apply the thermal paste correctly when I installed the cpu/heatsink. I have a Phenom X3 720. Speedfan sometimes lists core temp at 42 C but it's usually a little lower. The restarts didn't really seem to correlate with doing anything other than web browsing or idling, however.

Any help would be greatly appreciated. This is a pretty big annoyance.
June 1, 2010 11:08:40 PM

Could be a lot of things but have to start somewhere, the default voltage of ddr3 is 1.5v but some kits are sold requiring more than that and you have to set this yourself.
I'm guessing if the core's are running at 42 c the cpu itself is about 53 C which is common for that chip under load. Try hardwaremonitor to see voltages and temps in more detail (free). Using cpu-z (free) you can check what the memory voltages and timings are as written into the chips storage under SPD settings.
The beep codes are specific to bios manufacturer
Award bios shows 3 short 1 long as keyboard error, don't know what bios you have but the code's are typically in the manual which came with it in the back under troubleshooting.
Award bios continuous short beeps power error.
June 2, 2010 1:06:03 AM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... that's the ram I have and it looks like 1.5v is correct so it doesn't seem to be that. I haven't heard the error beeps for a while so it may be possible I had the order mixed up. I'll be sure to write it down next time. I believe it is the AWARD bios. Is it possible it could still be a ram problem even though I've found no errors with memtest? It seems to fix it briefly if I pull a stick or change slots but then the issue happens all over again after a few days.
Related resources
a b B Homebuilt system
June 2, 2010 1:26:20 AM

Dl Memtest, run it for at least 8 passes.

Make sure RAM timings as well as voltage are properly set in the BIOS. In addition, make sure settings are done for EACH stick of RAM. Gigabyte for example, has separate timings for each RAM slot, so you'd have to manually set for each slot.

You should also list your full build, including exact model numbers.
June 2, 2010 10:47:27 AM

I don't think there is a setting in bios for ddr3 1066, it should say 533, 667 and such. The correct settings for that ram should be 667 and as it says 8-8-8-21. From what I read the manufacturer's representative stated that 9-9-9-24 was actually correct. The only thing you can do is decide if your going to tell us what it is set for. After seeing rep correct this I wonder what the voltage should be. After further reading the rep later states it should be set to 667 which equals 1333 and 1.65v and 8-8-8-21 for maximum performance.
June 2, 2010 11:40:02 AM

Settings in the bios were 9-9-9-24 and voltage was 1.6. I set it to 1.64 since my options are 1.64 or 1.65. The setting was also at 533 but I changed it to 667.

My build is:

CPU: AMD Phenom II X3 720
Cooler: Stock
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-MA770T-UD3P
Video: GeForce 7600 GT
RAM: Listed above
PSU: OCZ GameXStream OCZ600GXSSLI 600W
Sound: Onboard

I'm at work now but I'll have it run the passes of memtest after I get home. I appreciate the help.
a b B Homebuilt system
June 2, 2010 1:29:52 PM

roonj said:
I don't think there is a setting in bios for ddr3 1066, it should say 533, 667 and such. The correct settings for that ram should be 667 and as it says 8-8-8-21. From what I read the manufacturer's representative stated that 9-9-9-24 was actually correct. The only thing you can do is decide if your going to tell us what it is set for. After seeing rep correct this I wonder what the voltage should be. After further reading the rep later states it should be set to 667 which equals 1333 and 1.65v and 8-8-8-21 for maximum performance.


That made no sense...
Speed is not set in the BIOS, speed is determined by your block speed and memory multiplier.

Stock x3 720 is 14x multiplier and 200mhz block I think.

June 2, 2010 8:39:04 PM

banthracis said:
That made no sense...
Speed is not set in the BIOS, speed is determined by your block speed and memory multiplier.

Stock x3 720 is 14x multiplier and 200mhz block I think.



banthracis- I know your trying to help but your not keeping up. Your confusing an Intel system with an Amd system I believe. In either case were refering to ram clock not cpu clock. Additionally were talking about a motherboard in this case which is equipped with settings for the ram and cpu which are individual and separate. roonj
June 2, 2010 8:51:46 PM

leonardotmnt, after that last post glad to see you were aware of the proper setting. In any case cpu-z will tell you what the chips are programmed for by manufacturer. The 9-9-9-24 setting is ok, just not as fast as 8-8-8-24 or what I think was pushing it 8-8-8-21. Each of these settings quite likely require different voltages which is why it's good to look at the spd settings shown by cpu-z. Also Gskill has a forum where you can match up the motherboard you have and those chips to see what has worked best for others. I'm done looks to me like you've got a handle on it.
a b B Homebuilt system
June 2, 2010 9:30:38 PM

Both Intel and AMD processors work based on a clock speed and multiplier. In the case of Intel it's called the block speed, in the case of AMD it's called the BUS speed.

There is no way to set the RAM speed directly. Instead, you set the bus or block speed and based on that and the Memory Ratio sometime called the Memory Multiplier(gigabye calls it the memory clock in their BIOS), the system sets the memory speed.

For example, to use DDR3 1333 in a stock Intel i5-750, 21x CPU multiplier and 133 mhz block speed, it would work fine with a stock block speed and a memory ratio of 10.

A Phenom II x3 720 which has a 14x CPU multiplier and 200mhz bus speed, a 6.66x memory ratio would utilize ddr3 1333 RAM.

The memory ratios available for that MOBO are
x4.00 Sets Memory Clock to x4.00.
x5.33 Sets Memory Clock to x5.33.
x6.66 Sets Memory Clock to x6.66.
x8.00 Sets Memory Clock to x8.00
per the manual pg 39.

These settings are all in the DRAM configuration menu, see pg 39 of the mobo manual.

I don't get where this 533, 667 is coming from, are you referring to the memory ratio but just forgetting the decimal point?

Also, per the manufacturer, voltage should be 1.5v, timings should be 8-8-8-21
http://www.gskill.com/products.php?index=77
June 2, 2010 11:18:51 PM

My motherboard only seems to go down to 1.5v for DRAM voltage. Is it possible the higher voltage would cause a problem with the restarts? I originally had it set to 8-8-8-21 like it says but only dialed it down after the restarts happened. It didn't seem to help obviously.

Doesn't DDR refer to Double Data Rate? That's where the 533 and 667 come from. The ram is rated for DDR3 1333 and 667 is half of that. I can choose this setting in the bios.

Should I memtest each stick of ram individually or is it okay to do both at once and just do them individually if it comes up with an error?
a b B Homebuilt system
June 3, 2010 12:03:02 AM

Memtest should be run with both sticks plugged in. It'll catch errors in either stick.
June 3, 2010 2:35:45 AM

I just went to put the second stick back in to run memtest and got 2 long beeps then 1 short beep when turning it on. Right after the 2 and 1 I got 4 long beeps and then it started again with 2 and 1. I tried the second stick by itself and got the beeps. I then tried the stick I'd had in and it booted up. I couldn't even get to memtest because the error came up as soon as I started it up. Maybe it is the one ram stick afterall. Do either of you know of a good place to find the beep codes? One place I saw said the AWARD bios has different sequences depending upon who uses it. I want to see if either of these codes have to do with ram being bad. Thanks! Hopefully I'm getting close to figuring this out.
a b B Homebuilt system
June 3, 2010 2:40:52 AM

The Manual should have the beep codes. Looks like your second stick is bad.

From manual pg 91
1 short: System boots successfully
2 short: CMOS setting error
1 long, 1 short: Memory or motherboard error
1 long, 2 short: Monitor or graphics card error
1 long, 3 short: Keyboard error
1 long, 9 short: BIOS ROM error
Continuous long beeps: Graphics card not inserted properly
Continuous short beeps: Power error
June 3, 2010 2:43:08 AM

Time for bed, but tomorrow I think I'm gonna email them to RMA the ram. Thanks for the help. I thought it might be the ram for a while but sometimes either stick would work by itself so I really had no clue.
June 3, 2010 8:31:26 PM

Looks like you found the problem leonard, good job, thanks for not hassling me over punctuation. Your analysis is correct.
!