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New build keeps locking up

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March 24, 2011 2:33:57 AM

Just assembled the main bits of a new build, as follows:

-GIGABYTE GA-X58A-UD3R LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

-Intel Core i7-950 Bloomfield 3.06GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor BX80601950

-HITACHI Deskstar 5K3000 HDS5C3020ALA632 (0F12117) 2TB SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

-CORSAIR XMS3 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model TR3X6G1333C9

-Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM

-Thermaltake Black Widow PSU W0319RU 850W ATX 12V v2.3, EPS 12V v2.91 CrossFire Certified 80 PLUS BRONZE

-Older Powercolor X800 GTO vid card

I have initially set up the bits on a table, outside of the case (so I can still use the PC which is now occupying the case until all is well with the new bits). Loading went fine, got online & began loading software, when the PC locked up. In the ~3 hours I've been playing with this, it has not run longer than about 20 minutes without locking up, sometimes only 5 or 10 minutes. I've pulled the HDD & re-installed the OS on a spare 160 gig IDE drive I have, and the lockups still occur, so it's not the HDD. What components are the most likely culprits here? Any suggestions anyone might have on this situation would be greatly appreciated!

Haven't had an OS lock up since Windows ME. I'm already missing XP! ;-(

Dan

More about : build locking

March 24, 2011 5:52:42 AM

Proximon - Thanks for the reply. I went through the list you provided, none of it really applies. The thing is, the PC runs fine when it's running, it just keeps locking up. Last thing I tried was installing XP on a known good drive. It did seem to freeze in the install process, but installed fine on a 2nd attempt. I haven't had a chance to play with the XP install yet to see if it locks under normal use.

I should add that I installed about 55 updates from MS to the Win 7 installation (all available), after which it still locked.

I should also add that the Win 7 is home, 64 bit. The XP is Pro, 32 bit.

I thought the next thing I'd try with the Win 7 install is running it w/one ram stick (remove 2) and if it locks, rotate through the sticks to see if one of them might be bad.

My concern is if it's the CPU or MOBO, I don't really know how to determine that. I've got right around 800 bucks in this thing, sure would hate to see that much go down the crapper :( 

If anyone has any more ideas, I'd sure like to hear them

TIA

Dan
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March 24, 2011 10:05:38 AM

Well, memory is certainly the next thing to check.

Also, you should be checking CPU temps.
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March 24, 2011 4:01:15 PM

Sounds like a ram issue to me.
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March 25, 2011 5:14:09 AM

Thanks for the replies. The temps in BIOS are normal, CPU is about 39C. Also checked all the PSU voltage with a multimeter, both with the PSU connected & not, and they are fine. Most interestingly, the PC SEEMS to run fine in safe mode w/networking. Wouldn't this suggest the hardware is fine?

I am going to burn a Memtest boot cd & give that a try.
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March 25, 2011 5:35:24 AM

Gunga_Dan said:
Thanks for the replies. The temps in BIOS are normal, CPU is about 39C. Also checked all the PSU voltage with a multimeter, both with the PSU connected & not, and they are fine. Most interestingly, the PC SEEMS to run fine in safe mode w/networking. Wouldn't this suggest the hardware is fine?

I am going to burn a Memtest boot cd & give that a try.


Yes memtest please.

Safe mode is stripped down without many drivers. Those drivers operate hardware and so it can be either hardware or software. Hardware has to work harder with the full load, so it can also fail that way.

Frequent locks are often memory related, and I have even seen a memtest pass and yet still it was memory. Make sure your timings and voltage match what is required for the RAM.

While the multi-meter is a good check, it's not conclusive. It does not have the response time to measure faster fluctuations in voltage that can trip up the PC. Your PSU has to convert that violent AC current to DC... and there is always just a bit of that violence left over, called ripple. If ripple gets bad, the multimeter won't show it yet the comp will struggle.
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March 25, 2011 6:00:23 AM

I actually have an oscilloscope & was considering checking for ripple. I also have another, known-good PSU I could substitute, but it only has the 4 pin CPU connector, not the 8. What will happen if only 4 of the 8 have power? I was thinking of hooking it up with another 2 12v lines from one of the Molex connectors, if I can rig it up.

Can you elaborate on "Make sure your timings and voltage match what is required for the RAM"?

Thanks for the reply.

GD
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March 25, 2011 9:37:41 AM

I don't think the UD3R has an issue with using just the 4-pin. It should not hurt to try, the plug will only fit one way.

Rather than looking up the specs for your Corsair RAM, it's better to get the actual numbers the RAM modules want by looking up the SPD.

You can get this by running CPU-Z (if you can) and clicking on the SPD tab. You'll get the various settings your RAM modules want to run correctly. From there you go into the BIOS and see if the settings match one of the sets from the SPD tab.
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March 26, 2011 4:50:38 AM

Most recent developments: I again tried the Win 7 on my new SATA, but with a known-good PSU, and it froze in about 15 minutes. So it's not the PSU. After this, I loaded a 32 bit copy of XP Pro on an IDE drive, and the machine has run for about 4 hours without a freeze (I should add I loaded Win 7 previously on this same drive, and it froze like it did on the SATA). During the time the machine has been running fine under XP Pro, the PC has been surfing the internet on one monitor, while continuously playing .VOB videos on VLC with the audio muted on a remote plasma (like the older build this one is to replace, I use the computer for general PC use as well as for a HTPC), while also playing a 2 hour MP3 on Winamp. One possible conclusion from this that either the PC, or the video card, does not like 64 bits. Reading the reviews of the board on Newegg, many people seem to be running Win 7 64 bit with no problem, so I'm guessing it's not that the MOBO has a problem with that OS. Am I correct that it would be unlikely for either the RAM or the CPU to be intolerant of 64 bit Win 7?

BTW, ran Memtest for ~ 3 hours. No errors.

I'm considering replacing the vid card, since it seems a very likely suspect. I'm not a gamer (though this gear should be up to it), so I don't need anything tooooo drastic (read, EXPENSIVE). The older card I'm using is PCI E 1.0, I'm wondering about incompatibility with the PCI E 2.0 slots. Also, I've been using a X16 slot (MOBO also has X8 slots). Could the Vid card be the culprit? And opinions on this card for my applications: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Thanks again for the replies!

GD
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March 26, 2011 5:33:41 AM

Well, technically the CPU or memory can be used in a way specific to a 64-bit OS. Keep in mind that it was only 6 years ago that CPUs were NOT compatible with 64-bit. So there are pathways in the CPU that are particular to 64-bit OSes.

And more of your memory can be accessed with a 64-bit OS....

But you are installing a 64-bit driver for your video card, right? Must be a 64-bit driver.

PCI-E slots are backwards compatible.

The new card you linked is good but older design. I think you can get a newer one for the same price...
Sapphire 5450
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Gigabyte 4550
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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March 26, 2011 6:14:41 AM

Yes, the memory issue was one of the reasons I went for the 64 bit Win 7.

That Sapphire card looks particularly nice.

I did DL a 64 bit driver for the existing card, but it's "legacy", and ATI said it may not be great:

"Note: AMD’s DirectX 9 ATI Radeon graphics accelerators are not officially supported under Windows 7. If the user chooses to, they can install the ATI Catalyst Windows Vista graphics driver under Windows 7. Please be aware that none of the new Windows 7 graphics driver (WDDM 1.1) features are supported (as the Windows Vista level graphics driver is limited to WDDM 1.0 level support). "

This is the current card. I see now it is X16. Love that Newegg keeps this stuff online for reference http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Thanks again for your help.
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March 26, 2011 10:14:57 AM

What if you simply removed the drivers and ran without them? Your resolution would be limited and such but you would quickly discover if it was a driver issue.
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April 4, 2011 2:34:11 AM

Quick update, yesterday I replaced the older vid card with one of these http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814127557. Able to run both monitors with the card in a x16 slot and so far no problems, so it would seem either the old drivers or the old card itself didn't like Win7, 64 bits, or BOTH. Thanks again for all the help.

Dan
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