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Random lock-ups with realtively new build

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April 26, 2011 8:51:30 PM

Hi, I’m new to this forum, and would like to know if anyone can provide their insight/perspective of a problem that’s occurring with a relatively new build. The computer with the specifications detailed below has been experiencing random lock ups. When the random lock ups occur I have to perform a cold boot, and each occurrence of this cold boot is logged in Event Viewer with a (Kernel Power) message.

Build:

• AMD Phenom™ II X3 Tri-Core 720 AM3 2.8GHz. Processor
• Asus M4A78-E HDMI® Motherboard w/ 790GX Chipset
• 2GB DDR2 800MHz Memory
• Western Digital Caviar® SE16 320-GB SATA II Hard Drive
• ATI Radeon™ 4850 512MB Video Card -CrossFireX™ Compatible
• 8 Channel HD Audio, Optical SPDIF Out
• Gigabit LAN, USB 2.0, IEEE-1394, DVI Enabled, HDMI® Available
• Lite-On 24X SATA DVD+/-RW Dual Layer Drive w/ SmartErase
• 52-in-1 Internal 3.5" Card Reader
• Apex PC-Series Mid-Tower Case w/ 450 Watt Power Supply
• Microsoft Windows® 7 Professional


So far, to mitigate many possibilities I performed the following actions:

• Had a grounded outlet installed (the host was previously connected to a surge protector but to an ungrounded outlet, which essentially made the surge protector useless).

• Updated all drivers (BIOS, Chipset, Video Card, and for other peripherals) and fully patched the system.

• I reseated all internal cards on the motherboard, and removed two RAM sticks that did not meet the established qualified vendor list for the ASUS motherboard. In addition, after removing the two memory sticks I left two of them in and manually set the RAM in BIOS to 800MHZ. Also before I removed the two that were not specified in the qualified vendor list, I ran MemTest86+ and Windows 7 built in memory tester to verify that the memory sticks were good, and the scan results displayed no errors.

• Prime95 was installed and a Torture test was performed. The machine never locked up and all tests passed.

• Performed a malware scan with three different anti-malware applications: (ESET Nod32 running from RAM, Malwarebytes on the local machine, and Norton 360 as the primary antivirus software), which displayed no infections.

• Ran the computer in safe mode and it didn’t lockup, which is making me believe it’s something to do with software; however, the Windows 7 event viewer logs are not displaying any critical or warning messages relating to software or hardware.

• I installed ASUS PC Probe to view the internal temperatures/voltages, which are displayed below. PC Probe is set to trigger an alarm when a threshold is passed but it never triggers before it locks up. The provided temperatures/voltages were logged twice when the computer locked up once at 5:30AM Central Time (Sunday April 24, 2011) and 6:15 AM Central Time (Tuesday April 26, 2011). One reoccurring factor that I’ve noticed is the CPU RPM level remains the same each time the computer locks up.

Reading on Sunday April 24, 2011
Vcore 1.33v
+3.3V 3.34v
+5V 5.16v
+12V 12.29v
CPU 61 degrees C
MB 48 degrees C
CPU 3110 rpm
Chassis 2102 rpm

Reading on Tuesday April 26, 2011
Vcore 1.05v
+3.3V 3.36v
+5V 5.16v
+12V 12.39v
CPU 38 degrees C
MB 49 degrees C
CPU 3110 rpm
Chassis 2099 rpm

I’ve performed research that states to raise the Vcore voltage in the BIOS to a higher level, should I perform this action or can it harm the CPU? Before I raise the Vcore value or perform a fresh install of Windows 7 Professional, any help will be well appreciated. Thanks
April 26, 2011 9:39:00 PM

Don't cha just hate stupid os's, Hazarding a guess here I would think that there is a conflict between your audio and your video, AND if that is so then consider a discreet audio card like the ASUS Xonar ds , cheap and it works great,, the reason for my suggestion is that I think , that I seen the same problem not too long ago on another site, maybe you will get lucky..:) 
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April 27, 2011 4:47:58 AM

Great thanks for your haste reply I will try to disable to audio driver, verify that the settings are correct, and possibly give the ASUS Xonar a shot after preliminary diagnostics.
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April 27, 2011 3:45:15 PM

Did you manually set your memory voltage or did you just leave it on Auto?

I don't see anything relatively new in that build, all those parts seem to be 3yrs old or more except the OS.

Apex power supply really would bother me.

Looks like you have a temperature problem. Surely those are not idle temps right??

The difference in days is simple. The cpu clocks itself down when it's not being used much, then speeds up to full speed when it's under load. This would explain the big difference in temps. 61c is nearly the limit for that cpu.

Download CPUID HW Monitor and have it open when your running prime95. Let it run at least 20 minutes and then tell us what the MAX cpu temp is during the test.
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April 27, 2011 6:50:08 PM

I should have mentioned, if temps hit 65c, stop the test immediately and address your cooling issues.

Do not raise your Vcore, that will make it run hotter.

The Sunday temps indicate your cpu was under heavy load hence the temps and higher vcore.

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April 28, 2011 5:46:44 PM

The build itself is relatively new however the components may be a bit old  :)  . I left the memory voltage to auto but I changed the speed of the memory to 800MHz as specified in the qualified vendor list of ASUS. I didn't change the memory voltage since I didn't see the attribute in BIOS. Also, those are not the idle temperatures, once I get some available time tonight I will post the idle temperatures and the output of CPUID HW Monitor while running Prime 95 for 20 minutes. Thanks
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April 28, 2011 10:35:34 PM

Need to look at one of your memory sticks, there should be a sticker on the side that shows the voltage. That's what you need to set dimm voltage too in bios.

If you have 2.1v ram and it's on auto which is usually 1.8v, that could cause major problems. In my experience, running 2.1v ram at 1.8v would not even install windows without errors.
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