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Computer crashes with looping sound

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July 18, 2010 3:46:50 AM

Hi everyone.

Lately I've been getting frequent computer crashes - within 10-15 minutes of turning on the computer. The computer locks up and whatever sound may be playing at the time is looped in a quick loop - half second loops.
Sometimes it doesn't crash for a while longer, but usually does within that time frame.

I've tested each individual part and have come to the conclusion that it is either the motherboard or a case short circuit - as stress tests for the GPU and RAM/CPU have not resulted in a freeze, but sometimes freezes if it happens to fall within that time frame. It usually happens when I am in game but can happen when I am in a browser.

Specs:
Intel Quad Core Q9550
PNY GeForce GTX 280
4GB DDR3 1333 MHz RAM
EVGA 790i Ultra Motherboard
300GB 10k RPM Velociraptor Hard Drive
Ultra X3 1000W PSU
Case: Xigmatec Midgard-W Mid tower

What can I do to fix this problem? It has been plaguing me for weeks!
a b B Homebuilt system
July 18, 2010 3:50:03 AM

Run memtest just to be sure its not a memory issue, the looping sound is a common occurrence with memory issues.

Have you gotten any blue screens or does it just lock up and force you to shut it down manually?
July 18, 2010 3:53:15 AM

I forgot to mention that I have run memtest and found no errors in my RAM.

I don't get blue screens, it just locks up and forces me to shut it down manually.

When I run the computer on a piece of cardboard out of the case it ran fine, so I'm guessing it could be the case. What could be causing it?

I don't think there are any loose parts, but I am not using an I/O shield, because I lost the one that came with my mobo :p 
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July 18, 2010 4:33:54 AM

Odd, maybe the case has poor airflow and something inside overheats, how many fans are running? You can always check temperatures with HWMonitor.

It could also be a grouding problem and/or static surge, is your room carpeted? You can try connecting the PC somewhere else in your house just to see.

Cheers

.C.
July 18, 2010 4:54:09 AM

The temperatures are fine, GPU going to around 70 in load, 40 idle, and CPU going to around 50 load and 35-40 idle. My room is carpeted. could that be an issue?
July 18, 2010 5:47:10 AM

If you walk over carpets you create friction, a static electricity field and some charge stores in you, later transmiting onto metalic objects and such. If you happen to transmit a charge to your case then it may interfere with the PSU and cause a crash.

Or at least that's the theory I think. It is a possibility if you say the PC works fine while caseless. You can buy an antistatic wrist wrap or use antistatic products such as Staticide, to eliminate static as a possible source of your glitch.

If you have time try Prime95's blend test for around 8 hours on your system out of the case, just to see if it's totally stable.

Off the record, do you use Windows 7? I ask because I suffer from a similar issue and while googling I've found hundreds of Windows 7 users that describe freezes, BSODs, lock ups, sound loops and such.

Cheers

.C.
a b B Homebuilt system
July 18, 2010 9:49:26 AM

You know what I'm thinking...and I've used a lot of ultra power supplies, I like them, some guys don't, but they've been decent for me. However, my question for you is what is your airflow like near your power supply?

You say it's happening within 10-15 minutes of booting the machine? It sounds like a temp issue though you say temps are fine, because it's like a hard lockup? My theory is maybe the power supply is overheating. I have had this issue before with ultras. Decent units, but the fix I've found is easy. If you don't have one there already, what I've done is get a high flow case fan(I use an 80 mm, but 120 may be better), but get a high flow case fan, and mount it directly underneath your power supply to pull a cool stream of air under the power supply.

I realize there is probably a fan inside the power supply to cool it, but I've found that after I put a fan under my power supplies to pull cool air under the unit, apparently that helps exhaust extra heat, and I rarely, if ever get those lockups. That's first thing to check, because if that does work for you, should be at most like a 10 dollar fix, and especially with it being a 1000 watt unit, that puppy's gotta be generating some heat.
July 18, 2010 12:48:54 PM

What kind of ram are you using? try each stick separately and see if the problem persists.
July 18, 2010 2:54:44 PM

@CefVil - Thanks for the help. Yes, I use Win 7 x64.
@ohiou_grad_06 - I'll try the PSU fix.
@kikireeki - I'm using Patriot RAM, 1333 MHz DDR3. I've tried running with both sticks separately and the problem persists.
July 18, 2010 3:25:02 PM

Anyway it is definitely a hardware failure so start stripping down your system, and replacing the PSU is a good beginning. as for the rams mind you that (memtest) is not reliable so do not rely on it to test the memory.
July 18, 2010 4:26:31 PM

It's quite strange. I put a piece of cardboard under the case and now it is not freezing. I wonder if it is because of carpet static?
July 18, 2010 9:47:02 PM

Sounds like that, let's hope it's fixed. Next time I get a crash I'll give it a try hehe.

Cheers

.C.
a b B Homebuilt system
July 18, 2010 10:08:12 PM

You could hit your case with a live wire and it wouldnt affect the PSU, the computer case, supports for the motherboard, and copper core of the motherboard are all connected to the PSU casing which is directly connected to ground. The exterior metal casing of any electrical object is grounded to prevent it from shocking you. There is no way static you pick up from your carpet before going to use the computer will affect it unless you carefully open up the case with rubber glove on and intentionally shock an IC.
a b B Homebuilt system
July 18, 2010 11:51:29 PM

It's possible I guess. Maybe put a small piece of wood under it?
Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
July 21, 2010 1:16:21 AM

I am having the exact same problem, with a laptop though, It seems that i can run the laptop without issue while it idles, but as soon as i enter a game or run any remotely strenuous pragramme it crashes, with the same sound loop explained. Some older games (-2001) can still run after the computer has crashed, with a noticeable drop in performance, but the sound continues to loop. As soon as you try terminating the game or try to load something new in the game it seems to get stuck.

Thanks, any help or suggestions that follow will be well received ;) 
Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
July 21, 2010 4:32:53 PM

Ive followed your link, and it looks promising, but i'm not sure what a fair value is to enter, I have no experience in this.
Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
July 21, 2010 4:36:20 PM

Note: My current value is zero, along with most of the other things in that folder. (Pagedpoolquota, Nonpagedpoolsize etc)

Excuse double post
Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
July 28, 2010 3:54:31 AM

You say it's Patriot DDR3? And looping sound/crashes. Up your memory voltage. I always run Patriots and they absolutely always need a memory voltage increase. Happened on my Q8200, happened on my i5 build and happened on my Dragon and Leo builds. Some folks will cry foul but bump the voltage to 1.70 and if that's not stable pump it up to 1.75. As long as you stay under 1.8V you'll be OK. I know the usual wisdom with DDR3 is never go above 1.65V but in this case, it's OK.

I used the ELK 1333 Kit with the 9-9-9-24 timings for my i5 build (and I grandfathered those over from my Q8200 build!) and 1.725V is what it took to get these stable. Memtest won't find any issues even with the voltage being low, just FYI. I barked up that tree before realizing it was a power issue. Give it a whirl, you got nothing to lose (the JEDEC standard for DDR3 is the device must withstand 1.975V before experiencing any permanent failures) and Patriots follow those standards as do most big memory manufactures.

Another example: I use Patriot gamer memory (1600, 7-7-7-20) and it says on the stick that it's rated for 1.7V (thats above the traditional 1.65V limit) and I had to actually pump it up to 1.785V to get it stable. And even the tech support person said it was fine and won't void the warranty.

So give it a shot and run Prime95 BLEND and see what happens!
a b B Homebuilt system
July 28, 2010 7:01:41 AM

Greeneman, you dont seem to understand where the 1.65V came from do you? Its not because of the memory chips, OCZ used to sell DDR3 kits that ran at 1.9V, its because you risk damaging the memory controller on an intel core i processor with memory voltages over 1.65 since the controller voltage was tied to the memory voltage.
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