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Bad Motherboard or PSU? Crashes, Won't Boot sometimes.

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July 20, 2010 10:40:18 PM

Approximately a month ago I built my girlfriend a nice gaming rig.

Her specs are as follows:
GIGABYTE GA-MA78LM-S2H AM3/AM2+/AM2 AMD 760G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard
SAPPHIRE Vapor-X 100273L Radeon HD 4850 1GB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card
AMD Athlon II X3 440 Rana 3.0GHz 3 x 512KB L2 Cache Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Desktop Processor
OCZ Platinum 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model OCZ2P10664GK
SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive
SECONDARY 200GIG HARDDRIVE
And a suspicious modular power supply that I recognize as being my computer's PSU... Except it isn't in my computer right now, nor can I find evidence on newegg of an order for a PSU. So I don't know why I have a different PSU in my computer. Maybe this suspicious PSU has gone to farm, or is underpowered??

Now, she has had 5 problems with her computer!

7/6/10 Her computer froze while she was watching a video with VLC. It worked fine after a restart, and was on for another 3 or 4 hours of the same usage. I didn't find out about this until recently :( 

7/16/10 Her computer was moved from her house to mine. It started up and made it to the desktop, and operator error led to the power strip becoming unplugged. Afterward, it would not boot into windows. It would complete POST but then hang before the windows logo appeared. Restarting a few times (4) remedied the situation.

7/18/10 Her computer was moved back from my house to hers. This time, it failed to see her two harddrives connected and would progress through POST and then say that the windows installation was invalid when the logo screen would normally appear. continued restarting lead to the harddrives being seen, and the computer would hang AFTER POST like what happened on the 16th. After a supposed 8-11 restarts (yikes) the computer made it into windows and worked 'as usual'

7/19/10 Her computer froze while she was surfing the internet. After restart, it worked fine and was on for another 3-4 hours of varied usage.

7/20/10 Today, her computer froze after maybe 2-3 hours of usage. This time, she was playing LOTRO full screen. Again, a restart proved to be all that was required. So far.

I have a few leads in my head so far --

One, that PSU might have something wrong with it, and maybe that is why it isn't in my current rig, which is of about equal power to hers except it has a quad core 2.5 processor. Of course, I might be committing a terrible newbie sin, and her PSU might not be adequate. I believe I have a powerful spare somewhere around here, which I plan on swapping this next weekend.

Of course, a cable could have worked lose due to the computer being moved 7 times thus far. Girlfriend isn't comfortable doing a wiggle test, and its on the list for this weekend.

Finally, I have suspicions about the motherboard due to a newegger's comment that 'every once in a while' the computer will hang for 2 minutes between POST and the windows logo. We did only wait for 50 seconds, and I have asked that she sit it out if it happens again.

During this last weekend, we played a good 8 hours of borderlands without issue, and that game is extremely stressing on computers... and yet her computer remained stable as a rock...

I'm having a really hard time researching about this problem, because it happens relatively infrequently, and I might not even be on the right track... Help!
July 20, 2010 11:24:07 PM

caeloth said:
Approximately a month ago I built my girlfriend a nice gaming rig.

Her specs are as follows:
GIGABYTE GA-MA78LM-S2H AM3/AM2+/AM2 AMD 760G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard
SAPPHIRE Vapor-X 100273L Radeon HD 4850 1GB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card
AMD Athlon II X3 440 Rana 3.0GHz 3 x 512KB L2 Cache Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Desktop Processor
OCZ Platinum 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model OCZ2P10664GK
SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive
SECONDARY 200GIG HARDDRIVE
And a suspicious modular power supply that I recognize as being my computer's PSU... Except it isn't in my computer right now, nor can I find evidence on newegg of an order for a PSU. So I don't know why I have a different PSU in my computer. Maybe this suspicious PSU has gone to farm, or is underpowered??

Now, she has had 5 problems with her computer!

7/6/10 Her computer froze while she was watching a video with VLC. It worked fine after a restart, and was on for another 3 or 4 hours of the same usage. I didn't find out about this until recently :( 

7/16/10 Her computer was moved from her house to mine. It started up and made it to the desktop, and operator error led to the power strip becoming unplugged. Afterward, it would not boot into windows. It would complete POST but then hang before the windows logo appeared. Restarting a few times (4) remedied the situation.

7/18/10 Her computer was moved back from my house to hers. This time, it failed to see her two harddrives connected and would progress through POST and then say that the windows installation was invalid when the logo screen would normally appear. continued restarting lead to the harddrives being seen, and the computer would hang AFTER POST like what happened on the 16th. After a supposed 8-11 restarts (yikes) the computer made it into windows and worked 'as usual'

7/19/10 Her computer froze while she was surfing the internet. After restart, it worked fine and was on for another 3-4 hours of varied usage.

7/20/10 Today, her computer froze after maybe 2-3 hours of usage. This time, she was playing LOTRO full screen. Again, a restart proved to be all that was required. So far.

I have a few leads in my head so far --

One, that PSU might have something wrong with it, and maybe that is why it isn't in my current rig, which is of about equal power to hers except it has a quad core 2.5 processor. Of course, I might be committing a terrible newbie sin, and her PSU might not be adequate. I believe I have a powerful spare somewhere around here, which I plan on swapping this next weekend.

Of course, a cable could have worked lose due to the computer being moved 7 times thus far. Girlfriend isn't comfortable doing a wiggle test, and its on the list for this weekend.

Finally, I have suspicions about the motherboard due to a newegger's comment that 'every once in a while' the computer will hang for 2 minutes between POST and the windows logo. We did only wait for 50 seconds, and I have asked that she sit it out if it happens again.

During this last weekend, we played a good 8 hours of borderlands without issue, and that game is extremely stressing on computers... and yet her computer remained stable as a rock...

I'm having a really hard time researching about this problem, because it happens relatively infrequently, and I might not even be on the right track... Help!



well the VLC crash is a driver issue. i had the same problem when i installed my 5770
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Best solution

a b B Homebuilt system
a b V Motherboard
July 20, 2010 11:45:36 PM

I can't say exactly what is wrong with your gf's computer, but I though I'd add to the list of things to check.

I personally had a Gigabyte board (a 690G model) with that exact same heatsink on the northbridge chip. With my board, I had a lot of instability because #1 the heatsink is garbage and #2 the way it is secured to the board allows it to wobble and break contact with the chip. I had instability with my system until I changed the heatsink, used some good thermal compound, and I think I even pointed a fan at it.

Also, for the long boot time-> does this computer have a memory card reader plugged into a USB header? Another Gigabyte board of mine (this time, a 785G model) would hang for about two minutes after POST and before the win logo because of a setting in the BIOS. It was a setting for something like: 'allow legacy USB hard drive boot' or similar. Basically, on boot it would look for a USB device to boot from on the card reader even though no cards were installed and it would go until it timed out.

What's the brand/model of the PSU?
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July 21, 2010 12:11:34 AM

Thanks for the additional things to check!

I'll have to get back about the power supply on friday, when I can get back into that case.

Update:

Her computer crashed again tonight, after only 20 minutes of use!!!
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a c 122 B Homebuilt system
a c 156 V Motherboard
July 21, 2010 1:56:28 PM

Random crashes frequently are caused by the PSU.
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July 21, 2010 9:29:42 PM

Her computer crashed again today, followed by a very lengthy hang between POST and Windows logo, we waited 5 minutes this time before restarting.

After restart, chkdisk popped up, and was allowed to run, afterward, within the login screen of windows XP, and without ever seeing the desktop, she got multiple error messages:

Delayed Write Failed
C:\\$BITMAP

Windows Registry Recovery (i)
One of the files containing the systems registry data had to be recovered by use of a log or alternate copy
The recovery was successful

Delayed Write Failed
C:\\Windows\System32\Config\fysEvent.evp

Delayed Write Failed
C:\\windows\system32\wbem\LOGS

Delayed Write Failed
C:\$Extend\$USNJRNL:$J

And then it crashed.

I had her leave it off, and I went over and picked her up as well as her computer.

The PSU on it is a cooler master 460 watt supply,

RS-460-PMSR-A3

Which might not be adequate...

Nor is it a modular power supply, so ignore all that... I don't know how I got that confused. It was a new spare that my dad gave me to use in whatever.

However!!!

The chipset cooler located right under the tail end of the large PCI-E graphics card is totally crapola, I am able to lift it off the chip with one finger. However, due to its location, it doesn't appear that an aftermarket chipset cooler would fit.

I am at the point where I am ready to RMA the board due to that, and possibly just buy a replacement in the meantime.

Thoughts?

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July 26, 2010 10:06:47 AM

Best answer selected by caeloth.
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