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New computer. Locks up randomly when running OS.

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March 12, 2011 3:05:29 AM

Howdy.
Just built my first computer (hardware listed at the end of the post). Assembly was fine, but now when I try to use an operating system, the computer will lock up (or freeze, or whatever) seemingly randomly. This has happened when installing Ubuntu 10.10, running it from a flash drive, installing Windows Vista Ultimate. One of my gut reactions was a hard drive issue, so I took the hard drive from my old computer and popped it in, and it locked up on me using Windows 7, on a separate drive. I ran memtest overnight, no errors there, and the CPU temp seems to stay pretty decent (around 35 Celsius). my gut is now saying it may be the GPU. I hope its not, since I didn't have to buy that one (got it, unused, for free), and I REALLY don't want to have to spend more money right now.

Anyone have any ideas at all? This is really getting me discouraged.

As mentioned, the hardware:
Antec TruePower New TP-750 750W Power Supply:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM Hard Drive:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

ASUS SATA 24X DVD Burner - OEM:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Deneb 3.2GHz Quad-Core Processor:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

ASUS M4A79XTD EVO AM3 AMD 790X ATX AMD Motherboard:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Thermaltake V3 Black Edition Computer Case:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

XFX GeForce GTX 260 Video Card:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
March 13, 2011 1:28:23 AM

UPDATE: Worked most of the day today when being idle. Locked up about 2 hours ago, and then again about 20 minutes ago. I'm completely lost at this point. If I have faulty hardware, I just want to know what it is so I can RMA it. AUGH.
a b B Homebuilt system
March 13, 2011 1:46:44 AM

Is it locking up running Ubuntu OR Windows OR it doesn't matter?

What does it do when it locks up? BSOD? Screen freezes? Do you have to cold restart? Does it just freeze no matter what it's doing, or is it only freezing when you do something? Any paticular something?
Related resources
March 13, 2011 3:51:34 AM

doesn't matter, has happened on both.

When it locks up, the screen just freezes. As far as I've noticed, it happens just at random times. Sometimes when installing/downloading something. Other times when its been just idle with few (if any) programs running.
a c 90 B Homebuilt system
March 13, 2011 4:28:50 AM

It still might be RAM related even after passing MemTest.
Try giving the RAM a little extra voltage. Like 1.55v up from 1.5v or even 1.6v if 1.55 doesnt change things. .
Suggested mostly because it's an easy thing to change and test over time.
March 13, 2011 4:34:52 AM

I'm not too sure how to do that. I assume its in the BIOS somehwere?

I'll be able to try that out tomorrow evening, the next chance I get.

Also, what exactly does increasing the voltage do?
March 13, 2011 7:43:08 PM

Tried upping the RAM voltage. Went from 1.50 to 1.54, then to 1.56, then to 1.60 and none of them worked. It ran well for a while at 1.54 but then locked up, and did it relatively quicker at 1.56 and 1.60.
March 15, 2011 4:26:42 AM

Talked with a friend of mine. His best guess is that either the motherboard has some sort of issue, or the heatsink is bad. Recommending I use something other than a stock heatsink. He didn't get a chance to look at it, so that's just a guess, though.
a c 90 B Homebuilt system
March 15, 2011 9:32:52 AM

A heat sink issue would show up in high CPU temps and a loud CPU fan.
I think if it was a MB issue it would not run at all.
A GPU problem would be most likely to show up during 3D gaming and less likely during 2D general purpose tasks.

Try booting into Windows Safe Mode (without networking). This will load minimal drivers for the OS and hopefully it will run stable enough to figure out if the problem is with the drivers.
March 15, 2011 1:44:00 PM

The issue is mostly happening running Ubuntu (though I have a Windows Vista install disc that I've tried, but it keeps locking up upon installation). I have Windows 7 installed on a hard drive from my old computer, I could see if that all works. but is it going to be a driver issue, would it really happen in both Ubuntu and Windows?
March 15, 2011 4:54:48 PM

Computer just ran very well for a while. Got through the first chunk of Portal with no issue and did some internet browsing. No problems at all. But I kept an eye on the temps, and the GPU, CPU, and MB all got to around 40 celsius and the thing locked up. Hit the reset button on the case, tried again and it locked up almost instantly after I logged into ubuntu (I opened firefox and BOOM!). Rebooted into BIOS mode and the temps are still around 40 for CPU and MB. Don't know how particularly safe or unsafe that is, though.
a c 90 B Homebuilt system
March 15, 2011 7:27:16 PM

CPU & GPU temps are fine.
That motherboard temp is quite a bit higher than you'd expect to see.
Try taking the side panel off the case to see if the MB temps improve.
a c 90 B Homebuilt system
March 15, 2011 7:29:14 PM

Does the Asus manual say where the MB temp probe(s) is located?
If it's on the motherboard socket it's probably OK.
April 5, 2011 3:49:43 PM

Had the same problem with my new Gigabyte G31M-ES2L, and I run Ubuntu 10.10. Frankly, I've been struggling with this issue for about a year. But today, while I was searching ( as usual ) for the solution on Google, and I found a thread that maybe useful and worth to try. It said to disable ' smart and quiet ' fan in BIOS. Its how it is in my BIOS setting, and I don't know about your BIOS. But whatever ' smart and quiet ' should be OK. And I've been running Ubuntu 10.10 for five hours without freezing. I really hope that it'll remain as it is. Thanks.
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