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Freezing/BSoD and ASUS M4A88TD-M, what's the cause?

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August 2, 2011 6:44:30 AM

Hi there,

My computer has been having issues for a long while, and several times after I thought I'd 'fixed' the issue, the crashes return only little while later.

The problem: My computer is intermittedly freezing or getting the blue screen of death. These crashes have been getting progressively more frequent, to the point where it's difficult to get my computer to run at all. They occur mostly when the computer has just started up after several hours of being off (i.e. when I turn it on in the morning).

What I've done about it: For a while I believed it was an overheating problem. Every time the crashes would get too frequent I would remove my heatsink, apply some new thermal compound and then reattach it. This would clear up the crashes for a short while, but they'd return a little while after. At this point I don't think that overheating is the issue (or at least, not the main one). I checked this morning in the brief window my computer was working, and at startup, the CPU was idling at 37 degrees.

The next thing I did was to run memtest86 to see whether or not faulty RAM might be causing the problem. The results were as follows:

SLOT 1: RAM 1 got 1 error in 1 test, RAM 2 got 0 errors in 1 test
SLOT 2: RAM 1 got 1 error in 1 test, RAM 2 got 0 errors in 1 test
SLOT 3: RAM 1 got 0 errors in 1 test, RAM 2 got 0 errors in 1 test
SLOT 4: RAM 1 got 1 error in 1 test, RAM 2 got 0 errors in 1 test

I then ran a test with RAM 1 in SLOT 3 and RAM 2 in SLOT 1, and got 4 errors across 2 tests. As a result, I removed RAM 1 from the computer hoping that would fix the problem. However, when I started my computer this morning, the crashes were as bad as ever.

After that, I began investigating the motherboard. For a while I thought it was an ASUS P5P41T-LE, but then I realised that wasn't possible, as I'm running an AMD processor. I then discovered I actually have an ASUS M4A88TD-M, and that I'm not the only one experiencing these problems with this particular motherboard.

The next step was to try and identify the error codes that I was getting. I used a program called 'Blue Screen View' to recover some information about previous blue-screens, but since I can't tell which information is useful, I took a screenshot.

I haven't been able to identify what model my power supply is. It's either a AeroCool E85-550, or an E85-700, but I can't tell which.

I don't think that the graphics card is the source of the problem. It's a MSI N560GTX-TI, which is quite new (as are the motherboard and the CPU, although those are a bit older than the GPU).

My system specs:

CPU – AMD Phenom II X4 965
GPU – MSI N560GTX-Ti TwinFrozr
Motherboard – ASUS M4A88TD-M
RAM – 4GB Kingston DDR3 (well 2GB now that I've removed the potentially faulty stick)
OS – Windows 7 64-bit

I'm not particularly experienced with the inner workings of my computer, much of what I've said here has come from following the advice of friends or the internet. Any advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated, so I can stop these crashes once and for all.

At this point, I suspect the easiest solution may be to simply buy a new motherboard, what do you guys think?
August 3, 2011 12:34:18 AM

Resetting and flashing the BIOS seems to have helped, I haven't had any crashes this morning.
August 3, 2011 9:05:39 PM

Ugh... I really thought it was fixed for a second there. Nope, it's as bad as ever.
!