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New system reboots unexpectedly

Last response: in Systems
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May 10, 2011 10:50:26 PM

Here are the specs of a system I built for someone:

Antec True power 750W
Corsair XMS3 1GB * 2
Asus M4A89GTD Pro
AMD Athlon II X4 640 Quad
Seagate 1TB HDD
Coolermaster CM 690 II Case


Here is my problem:

The computer will reboot unexpectadly at any point in time. It might happen 5 minutes after boot, 10 minutes, 1 our, 3 hours etc... But it will reboot. It will freeze or reboot even while idle.
I check the error logs and found nothing.
I replaced the motherboard completely. Same issue.
I tested each ram stick alone. Same issue.
I dont have to do anything for it to freeze. CPU temps are normal.

Tried Windows 7, tried Windows XP. Updated drivers.

No extra hardware. nothing fancy.

I ran diagnostic tests on the pc, found nothing wrong. I even ran burn-in software and it didnt crash.

When it freezes, normally the screen will start to show artifacts very similar to this: http://www.playtool.com/pages/artifacts/screen0032fh.jp...

Im using the on-board graphics, but this happened with both motherboards, so it cant be that.
Tried with a pcie card, same issue.

I need help, please!
May 10, 2011 10:58:49 PM

My first guess would be bad RAM... but getting two bad sticks is unlikely. The power supply is your likely culprit. Antec tends to make quality PSUs but sometimes a bad one slips through.
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May 10, 2011 11:34:53 PM

Kevin88 said:
When it freezes, normally the screen will start to show artifacts very similar to this: http://www.playtool.com/pages/artifacts/screen0032fh.jp...

Im using the on-board graphics, but this happened with both motherboards, so it cant be that.
Tried with a pcie card, same issue.

I need help, please!


If you're using the same model, which I suspect you are, it is possible. The on-board VGA chips could all be from the same bad lot. If possible, use a discrete GPU and disable the on-board VGA. If that fails, test the PSU voltages. Of course, using MemTest86+ v4.2 couldn't hurt either.
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May 10, 2011 11:40:26 PM

Thanks guys, I will do what you have suggested. I ran hardware diagnostic software and it never crashed (ironically the pc never crashed under stress, only ideal or during regular software installs)

The artifact freezing also happened during the windows logo screen during boot.

I will test and report back :) 
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May 13, 2011 12:00:06 AM

Update:

So Ive been able to prevent frequent freezing by placing the memory in different ram slots. normally you place memory in Ram slot A1 and A2 first. Instead, I switched to B1 and B2 and it seems to have stopped the freezing for the most part. I attribute this to the horrible overclocking system Asus has included on this motherboard which cannot be turned off completely... thats right...You cannot completely turn off the OC software built into the BIOS.

Unfortunately today, at a random moment, the computer started to make a loud and constant beep sound (so non stop) and the pc itself roze. Only way to stop it was to hold down the start button.

Now the pc is booted and fine. Any ideas? This computer has plagued me for far too long at this point.
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May 13, 2011 12:10:35 AM

Sounds like a RAM issue. If it happens again, shut down the system and reseat your RAM; it's possible that you didn't push it down hard enough. Installing RAM requires a little more force than one expects. Remember, to properly seat the RAM, you should hear it snap into the socket; don't just push the DIMM down until the retaining clips move into place.
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May 13, 2011 12:21:17 AM

Thanks, Ill take a look. Ive never had this much trouble with a pc...ever. Ive been building them for over 10 years now and Ive had my fair share of hardware woes, but this time its been a horrible ride lol

Ill give it a shot and report back :) 
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May 13, 2011 6:31:23 PM

I just checked your MoBo manual. You should install 2 mem sticks in A1 & B1 or A2 & B2.

You have them installed in A1 & A2 or B1 & B2
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May 14, 2011 6:17:37 PM

Thanks, I did put them in the right place and although the freezing has been reduced drastically, it still happens. Im just wondering what are the odds of getting bad ram, a bad psu and a bad mobo all at the same time? :( 
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May 16, 2011 9:37:33 PM

I don't really know what the odds are, but this type of coincidence is extremely low. Have you run the tests on the RAM and PSU, yet?
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May 16, 2011 9:43:16 PM

I went out and bought a different brand of RAM today. Kingston KVR DDR3 2GB

Im testing the system now with the new ram. Im hoping it was the ram all along. If it is, then perhaps the original ram sticks were fine but were not playing well if the asus built-in overclockers.
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May 21, 2011 12:12:32 AM

So my final report:
It was the ram. Not that the original was bad (I tested it many times with different tools)
I think it simply did not do well with the motherboard overclocking BIOS.

The Kingston KVR ram which is simple and straightforward has proven to make the system very stable and lock-up free for a week now.

Thank you all for the help. I just want to warn anyone who owns an asus motherboard with the overclocking BIOS features: be careful! the original ram was cleared for usage with asus but clearly, it did not do the job at all
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