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Custom Built PC Issues

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April 1, 2011 3:55:32 AM

So I did a lot of research and decided to build my own computer. After two weeks, issues started to rise. After my computer loads past the welcome screen of windows 7 it freezes and restarts. I boot easily into safe mode and everything works fine. I switched the graphics card over to the next pci-e slot. It worked perfect again for a couple days but then the same problems started to happen. I reinstalled all video drivers and i even tried to do a clean install of windows 7. Nothing worked. I deduced it to being either a mobo problem or a graphics card problem. I think this because certain times there are black artifacts across my monitor right before the computer freezes up. Bad thing is i bought all my parts from newegg and i didn't know that their warranty for certain products were voided if the rebated was mailed in. I was thinking of also taking it in to a local computer shop to see if they could figure it out. What do you guys think could be the problem??

Also can a faulty GPU, if thats the case, destroy the pci-e slot?

Mobo: ASUS M4A79XTD EVO
Graphics: SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 6870
CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition
PSU: Antec TruePower New TP-650 650W
RAM: 2x4 gb CORSAIR XMS3 ddr3 1333

More about : custom built issues

April 1, 2011 9:02:03 PM

no advice?? I need to figure this out soon since i need to see if i can afford a new graphics card if thats the problem or if i can just rma my mobo through asus..
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April 1, 2011 9:13:55 PM

First, if you OC'ing any thing, drop it back to stock clocks & voltages.

Second, ALL the parts are were great choices, nicely matched, good brands,....

First test, just One RAM stick.... then try the other to see if one stick crashes more than the other.

You need to check temperatures: Prime95 to put on a load, and FanSpeed to monitor CPU temps. Ok if your 70C or under.
GPU, FurMark 1.8.2 to put on a load, and GPU-Z to check temperature of the GPU. Ok if your 85C or under.

If one test crashes More than the other, you getting somewhere...
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April 1, 2011 9:29:44 PM

Can you swap any parts? I'd suggest trying a diff vid card that would diagnose the quickest. Even a very low end card would work, on bo...wait you don't have on board. If your freezing on windows say in the morning(if you had left it off over night)it is most likely NOT an overheating issue unless it's actually in the gpu hs. Is your gpu fan spinning? Memtest(freeware) will check your memory without having to disassemble. It could be many things....but going with the 90% rule I'd say most likely 1. gpu overheating 2. Pci lane problem(mobo) 3. Memory throwing errors
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April 1, 2011 9:32:02 PM

i tried switch the ram sticks out.. it went past the welcome screen into a black screen, froze, and restarted again. Thats what usually happens so theres no way i can get in.

I also tried uninstalling the card drivers as well a couple days ago. I could easily boot into windows without them but as soon as i installed them the same errors kept occuring. This is why i think the graphics card is the problem but i have no way of knowing unless i take it to my local tech shop which might cost me some money...
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April 1, 2011 9:46:23 PM

Sounds like a bad Graphic card to me.
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April 1, 2011 9:50:13 PM

Dg can you install your gpu on a diff comp? Take it to a friends or family members install it....if you have the same problem...there ya go. Did you check the gpu hs fan? I listed that but you didn't respond.
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April 1, 2011 9:51:57 PM

Are you installing the drivers from a disk? A website? Or via windows update?
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April 1, 2011 9:55:11 PM

yea its running, i was looking through my comp and i heard it running.. It was easy to tell since i accidently pushed a chassis fan wire into it so i could definitely tell it was working... Im at college right now and not a lot of people i know has a desktop here. Only person i know that might have one is busy for the next week or so with papers. I'll try asking him if hes free sometime

EDIT: i installed the drivers from the sapphire website in normal windows 7.
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April 1, 2011 9:55:19 PM

I think its to do with Windows itself.

I had an AMD Phenom II x4 955BE 4x DDR3 RAM ANd Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit. When my mobo dies i had to use and old MSI board with an Athlon 64 x2, my computer was doing the same thing as yours even though the cpu is 64bit compatible. I had to install a 32bit version on a separate HDD to be able to access mt computer. I think once you activate windows, any major hardware changes and win7 goes nuts! lol

I dont know how to get around this problem though!
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April 1, 2011 10:24:34 PM

actually.. i looked at the wrong fan.. the hs is inside the card right?

EDIT: forget what i said... anyways.. i got past the black freezing screen.. I don't know what i did.. what should i do now?
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April 1, 2011 10:59:53 PM

oh and is it bad to keep my computer on while this problem is still around?? Could the part in question cause more damage to the mobo or to the gpu or to any other part in the computer??
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April 2, 2011 12:07:14 AM

Going to throw a curve ball here what case do you have? I know that some have grounding issues where things will cause random crashes and restarts
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April 2, 2011 12:36:41 AM

daship said:
Sounds like a bad Graphic card to me.

I was kinda thinking the same thing........
might not be the problem though...
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April 2, 2011 1:11:11 AM

yea could be... thats what i thought too.. Too bad sapphire's warranty goes through the dealer only and neweggs warranty is voided once the mail in rebate is sent in which i didn't know until after all this started happening... If im gonna get another card im gonna buy an xfx radeon 6870.. Lifetime warranty that goes straight through them..
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April 2, 2011 1:23:37 PM

To answer your question DG yes the gpu hs is the small fan on the actual video card.
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April 2, 2011 1:27:16 PM

I have windows 7 64 bit and have replaced everything in my comp multiple times the only thing 7 (generally) has a probsky with is a MOBO CHANGE. Even then you can get around it by calling the windows activation and telling them you had a defective motherboard that was replaced under warranty.
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April 4, 2011 8:38:02 PM

So i installed the chipset drivers for my mobo. Worked fine for a couple days then the problems started to happen again.... I ran out of options so i switched the hdmi cord to another on my tv and it worked fine... Does anybody know what this means??

Also while i was on my computer i noticed some graphical issues on the desktop. In google chrome, the area with the tabs started to flicker. not significant at all but i noticed it....
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April 5, 2011 7:22:24 AM

so i ran memtest.. no issues.. ran prime95 for 6 hours and no issues. havent run furmark yet.. gonna wait on that till tomorrow... want to see if my pc starts up normally tomorrow after running all these stress tests.. any other tests i can do to see whats wrong with my comp?
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April 7, 2011 1:52:04 AM

so i ran furmark just now for a good 10 minutes... no problems at all... so i have no idea whats wrong with my pc.... i did update to the 11.3 drivers on the amd website a couple days ago instead of the ones offered at sapphire and i've been going error free except for today. i was in shogun 2 total war when my computer monitor went to a gray screen and there was no way i could fix it without rebooting my computer. It loaded into windows fine so idk what the problem was
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April 8, 2011 8:44:49 PM

Hey sorry for the quadruple post but i have one last question. If my computer works fine without the ati display drivers and begins to crash with them, does that points towards a faulty gpu or a faulty motherboard??

Just to clarify, i got the latest drivers from the amd website
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Best solution

April 8, 2011 9:33:21 PM

wow lots of replies on this one. I'm concerned that you're describing "black spots" (artifacts). Sounds like a bad card to me. If a fresh re-install didn't fix it then it's probably not software (unless you kept re-installing the same software)

if you can get your hands on a copy of DaRT for your system you could run the crash analyzer on it, might be able to tell you what is causing it.
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April 8, 2011 9:42:12 PM

internetlad said:
wow lots of replies on this one. I'm concerned that you're describing "black spots" (artifacts). Sounds like a bad card to me. If a fresh re-install didn't fix it then it's probably not software (unless you kept re-installing the same software)

if you can get your hands on a copy of DaRT for your system you could run the crash analyzer on it, might be able to tell you what is causing it.


yea they were artifacts, except these artifacts spanned the entire screen. it was ridiculous. I already ordered a new gpu which was cheaper.

I also wanted to ask if a faulty pci-e slot can destroy a gpu? I was just wondering since when i first put this build together i completely forgot that the pci-e card locks in and i tried to remove the gpu with the lock still on it. It popped out but one end of the card was still locked. Do you think i could have destroyed my pci-e slot? Every time i reset the card in the same slot it moves slightly while the other slot is a little more snug.

Just want some information so i know if i should put the new card in the same slot or the other one
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April 8, 2011 9:59:27 PM

Certainly too much force could damage a slot (or the pins) but I wouldn't think unless you were really reefing on it and it actually broke some of the solder points or somehow managed to bend the pins, which are all on the sides, or something of that nature.

I've never heard of a card-killing PCI-E slot but if you're paranoid i don't see any reason why it wouldn't work in the second slot, however I've heard that the bottom slot is sometimes a PCI-E 8X instead of 16X, i'd check with GPU-Z to make sure after it's installed.
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April 12, 2011 9:30:07 PM

internetlad said:
Certainly too much force could damage a slot (or the pins) but I wouldn't think unless you were really reefing on it and it actually broke some of the solder points or somehow managed to bend the pins, which are all on the sides, or something of that nature.

I've never heard of a card-killing PCI-E slot but if you're paranoid i don't see any reason why it wouldn't work in the second slot, however I've heard that the bottom slot is sometimes a PCI-E 8X instead of 16X, i'd check with GPU-Z to make sure after it's installed.


got my new gpu today... i had to put it in the top pci-e slot since that was the primary slot and i needed it for it to run in 16x.. im kinda scared that my card will give out again due to the slot. but we'll see if it happens. Oh and for more info when i look in gpu z it says my new card is running at 12.19 v while my old sapphire was only running at 11.913 on the 12+ v range.. Is that significant in any way?
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April 13, 2011 1:48:41 AM

dgio21 said:
it says my new card is running at 12.19 v while my old sapphire was only running at 11.913 on the 12+ v range.. Is that significant in any way?



There's an allowed variation, IIRC that's well inside the acceptable levels, i think it's +-.5V


Edit: Hopefully the card is good for you, I think you should be fine.
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April 13, 2011 8:15:28 PM

internetlad said:
There's an allowed variation, IIRC that's well inside the acceptable levels, i think it's +-.5V


Edit: Hopefully the card is good for you, I think you should be fine.


So this is something i noticed with my old and new card, when i start up my pc and it passes the post screen the screen flickers (usually a white streak) a little bit then it shows the loading bar to windows. It then goes back to a black screen flickers again (sometimes colored other times its just a white streak) and goes to the welcome loading screen for windows. Is this problem significant in any way shape or form? I'm just really paranoid because I'd rather not wait a half a month to a full month to get my replacements for both a new mobo and my gpu when my gpu gets fried again.

EDIT: I was looking through gpu z and i saw that my vddc current read to be 0.0 A.. is this normal?
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April 14, 2011 2:56:46 PM

so the flicker is happening right before it displays the windows "loading" screen and right after but before the logon screen? I've seen this happen before on other computers and it didn't seem to cause any other issues. Have you used it for gaming at all?

You picked up a 6870 correct?

I'm not familiar with the VDDC Current but I did some digging and as far as i can tell if the VDDC is 0.0 that would indicate that the video card isn't drawing any power. Theoretically this would be normal if you weren't doing anything with it, and it was just sitting at idle. Put some load on it and see what happens.
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April 14, 2011 3:01:20 PM

internetlad said:
so the flicker is happening right before it displays the windows "loading" screen and right after but before the logon screen? I've seen this happen before on other computers and it didn't seem to cause any other issues. Have you used it for gaming at all?

You picked up a 6870 correct?

I'm not familiar with the VDDC Current but I did some digging and as far as i can tell if the VDDC is 0.0 that would indicate that the video card isn't drawing any power. Theoretically this would be normal if you weren't doing anything with it, and it was just sitting at idle. Put some load on it and see what happens.


thats a roger to all your questions. when i play games everything runs smoothly. The screen just flickers during startup at those instances everytime.

I ran my card in a few games and checking gpu-z my vddc current did go up so my cards not broken.. I did check if the slot is the problem by putting in my old card... Didn't even make it past the windows logon screen so we may have found the issue. I'm just paranoid because i don't know if the mobo or psu caused it to go bad or if it was just a bad gpu to begin with.
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April 14, 2011 5:56:49 PM

Might of just been a bad GPU, unfortunately that stuff happens sometimes.
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April 14, 2011 7:32:13 PM

I'm not sure, but my theory would be that the flickering has something to do with the video drivers loading, If you're not having any issues with games or in windows then i'd think you'd be O.K.

With that being said it's not impossible that it's the board, but since you have the same version of card acting differently on the same hardware I'd make the assumption that you're good to go. I think you'll be fine :) 
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April 26, 2011 9:40:20 AM

Best answer selected by dgio21.
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April 27, 2011 2:35:28 AM

ok so everything was solved... since my warranty was voided on my other card i decided to bake it in the oven to see if i could fix it.. lo and behold it worked. I didn't have any thermal compound so i took it out and am waiting for my arctic silver 5 compound.

I want to crossfire my two cards in the same system now BUT i want to know if the faulty yet working gpu can destroy the other one in crossfire. is it possible for this to happen?

also idk if this is significant but the vddc, vddc current, vreg temp 1, and vreg temp 2 sensors in gpu-z all disappeared from gpu-z while i had the card in the machine without thermal compound. Good or bad? (and yes i know i shouldnt have had it in there without any compound. I just wanted to see if it actually booted up)
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April 27, 2011 8:54:08 PM

dgio21 said:
ok so everything was solved... since my warranty was voided on my other card i decided to bake it in the oven to see if i could fix it.. lo and behold it worked.


I've literally never heard of this before.

I've never heard of one card cooking the other in an SLI config and a quick google search doesn't show anything. I'm not sure why GPU-Z wouldn't show info, and I can't see why it would be related to not having thermal paste on your chip. That's a little worrying.

EDIT: (Pertaining to baking a video card ) "This can work, it is HIGHLY likely that it CAN work, as long as what is damaged is a bad solder joint. It basicaly does what a reflow station does, melts the joints, that way they rejoin. "

Well would ya look at that.
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April 27, 2011 9:11:20 PM

internetlad said:
I've literally never heard of this before.

I've never heard of one card cooking the other in an SLI config and a quick google search doesn't show anything. I'm not sure why GPU-Z wouldn't show info, and I can't see why it would be related to not having thermal paste on your chip. That's a little worrying.

EDIT: "This can work, it is HIGHLY likely that it CAN work, as long as what is damaged is a bad solder joint. It basicaly does what a reflow station does, melts the joints, that way they rejoin. "

Well would ya look at that.


that is a bit worrying.. Guess i'll rebake it when i receive my thermal compound on friday and hopefully that fixes it. I did only let it cool down until i could touch it which probably was a bad idea. Anyways thanks for everything.
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