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ASRock X79 Extreme9 random freezes/lockups

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September 17, 2012 11:08:22 AM

Since I built my system about 4 weeks ago I'v been getting random freezes, Sometimes it can happen directly after startup and sometimes it wont freeze up for 3-4 days of 24/7 running. It seems to be happening under all stress loads but mainly when the CPU is under 10% load. It doesn't give me a BSOD or anything, it simply just freezes and repeats the last sound before the freeze until I shut it down by the power button.

I'v re-seated everything in the system except the CPU, Cleaned the RAM sockets and gold fittings though I'v been unable to run memtest86 because the BIOS refuses to let me select any of my optical drives as priority boot drive (Infact it doesn't even show them under the selectable boot drives)

None of the components have been clocked above their factory settings as of yet, don't want to overclock them until I sort out these freezes.

Temps are all well under the rated max temps, the highest the temps have been are below
CPU:
Low load: 16-21°C
Full Load (100%) 40-43°C
*(From HWMonitor by CPUID)

GPU 1:
Low Load: 25-30°C
Full Load (100%): 45-50°C

GPU 2:
Low Load: 23-27°C
Full Load (100%): 45-50°C
*(GPU Temps from Catalyst Control Center)

General Case temps
Rear: 18-20°C
Mid: 20-21°C
Front (HDD/SSD Bays): 14-19°C

(Case temps may be a little off as it's from the Kaze master pro fan controller)

I have Un-installed EVERY driver for Motherboard, GPU & Soundcard and Re-installed twice.

Windows is all up to date.


OS: Win7 Professional 64bit
Motherboard: ASRock X79 Extreme9
CPU: i7 3930k 3.2GHz
GPU: Sapphire 7950 OC Edition V2 (2 card Crossfire)
RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws Z F3-17000CL11Q-16GBZL 16GB (4x4GB) DDR3
Boot Drive: OCZ Agility 4 128GB
Data Drive 1: Western Digital Black 2TB
Data Drive 2: Western Digital Black 2TB
Data Drive 3: Western Digital Green 3TB
Power Supply: Corsair AX1200 Gold
a c 715 V Motherboard
September 17, 2012 5:14:53 PM

Run Memtest from a bootable USB if the ODD cannot be selected. My bet is on the RAM.

Q - What BIOS settings are you using above 'Load Optimal Defaults'?
September 18, 2012 8:19:55 AM

jaquith said:
Run Memtest from a bootable USB if the ODD cannot be selected. My bet is on the RAM.

Q - What BIOS settings are you using above 'Load Optimal Defaults'?


Ran Memtest86+ for 3 passes for a result of 0 Errors

None of the BIOS settings are above the Optimal defaults, Just double checked everything in BIOS and the only thing thats been changed is the Boot drive order and the SATA Controller is turned on.

I read somewhere that if it's not a windows issue it'll take several seconds for the sys to power off because it's shutting down the win processes, though when I press the power button after a freeze it's instant to power off. Does this mean it's likely a Windows issue?

Also, my RAM is rated to 2133 but I have it running at 1600, turning the clock up to it's rated speeds wont change the freezes will it?
Related resources
a c 715 V Motherboard
September 18, 2012 3:06:17 PM

In general I only install the OS on the X79's one way: SATA -> RAID and only use the Intel SATA ports unless I run out of ports. My Guide -> http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/303873-30-wont-resume... ; the reason is overall stability, and if Drive 1 & 2 are in any form of RAID it's the only way. Note: only use the WD RE4 for RAID any other WD drives lack TLER.

As far as the 'time' if those drives are in any form of RAID then errors can stop a PC in its tracks (error timeout; error recovery control). Instant 'off' is a sign of either a Windows issue or hardware. Open the Event Manager and look at the [+] Critical errors listed and let me know; see - http://i1013.photobucket.com/albums/af254/Jaquith/Event...
September 18, 2012 4:20:57 PM

jaquith said:
In general I only install the OS on the X79's one way: SATA -> RAID and only use the Intel SATA ports unless I run out of ports. My Guide -> http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/303873-30-wont-resume... ; the reason is overall stability, and if Drive 1 & 2 are in any form of RAID it's the only way. Note: only use the WD RE4 for RAID any other WD drives lack TLER.

As far as the 'time' if those drives are in any form of RAID then errors can stop a PC in its tracks (error timeout; error recovery control). Instant 'off' is a sign of either a Windows issue or hardware. Open the Event Manager and look at the [+] Critical errors listed and let me know; see - http://i1013.photobucket.com/albums/af254/Jaquith/Event...


None of the drives are in RAID and I couldn't actually tell you if they're in intel SATA ports

Event viewer does show me a critical error which the amount of times it's occurred in the past 7 days would actually add up to the amount of freezes I'v had, It's Event ID 41, Source Kernal-Power, None in the past 24 hrs (No freezes in the past 24 hrs) 5 in the past 7 days (Would be about right for the amount of freezes I'v had) which would make sense since this is recorded when sys isn't shut down properly, I'm guessing this means Windows was running fine when it restarted.

Also, I probably should add that twice when leaving the sys on overnight I'v woken up and been unable to get the sys out of sleep mode.

What would be the best way to Pinpoint faulty hardware?

Best solution

a c 715 V Motherboard
September 18, 2012 5:07:33 PM
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(Top) - see page 12 of your manual.
[Intel SATA2] 2-3/X79 ; <- WD 3TB + ODD (DVD)
[Intel SATA2] 0-1/X79 ; <- WD 3TB (2)
[Intel SATA3] 0-1/X79 ; <- SSD
[Marvell SATA3] ; M4-5/SE9172 ; unless using disable all Marvell SATA Ports
[Marvell SATA3] ; M2-3/SE9172 ; ""
[Marvell SATA3] ; M0-1/SE9220 ; ""

(rear)
PS/2 ----> [eSATA; 2 ports]
Though it's not listed, at least I cannot find it, I assume the eSATA ports are 'shared' by one of the Marvell chipsets. So it's 'possible' if you Disable (see below) the Marvell those two ports might turn-off, and also 'possible' if your HDD's are on one of the 'shared' ports it's causing as problem.

Therefore because of booting, bandwidth & sharing problems, in general I don't recommend third-party SATA ports unless there's no other choice. The Marvell ports are indeed shower in both bandwidth and latency so I never recommend them for a primary booting SATA port.

Use the Intel SATA ports as I've indicated above, and for now Disable the 'Marvell SATA3 Operation Mode' in the BIOS.

(41/63) are hardware failures of one sort or another, and other Critical errors may shed some light on the failures; otherwise it's a guessing game.

Form the manual
Marvell SE9220 chipset supports
Serial ATA3 (SATA3) hard disks and RAID (RAID 0 and RAID 1) functions for
SATA3_M0 and SATA3_M1 connectors. And Marvell SE9172 chipset supports Serial
ATA3 (SATA3) hard disks and RAID (RAID 0 and RAID 1) for SATA3_M2, SATA3_
M3, SATA3_M4 and SATA3_M5 connectors. You may install SATA3 hard disks on
this motherboard for internal storage devices. This section will guide you to install
the SATA3 hard disks.

Marvell SATA3 Operation Mode
This item is for SATA3_M0 to SATA3_M5 ports. Use this to select Marvell
SATA3 operation mode. Configuration options: [IDE Mode], [AHCI Mode],
[RAID Mode] and [Disabled]. The default value is [AHCI Mode].
Marvell SATA3 Bootable
Use this to enable or disable Onboard Marvell SATA3 Option ROM. If
Option ROM is disabled, UEFI cannot use the SATA device to connect to
Marvell SATA3 controller as Boot Device.


So looking at what I posted above I need to know all of the SATA and eSATA port information.
September 20, 2012 6:13:31 PM

jaquith said:
In Goggling, not the best way, the eSATA ports are supposedly shared by the Marvell SE9172 controller.

ref - http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/printpage/ASRock-X79-Ext...


Just moved my SSD and my HDD's over to the intel SATA ports and turned boot controller off, Also re-organized my ram to use Quad Channel instead of Dual Channel (No idea why I had it in Dual channel in the first place :S)

I put my SSD and 1 Black 2TB into the 600 ports and the other 2 in 300 ports, Seeing they're not SSD I don't think I'll notice too much of a difference here. Also after moving my ODD to the chipset controlled ports it's showing up in BIOS -.-

Also learnt how much of a pain it is to remove graphics cards when they have water blocks to get into the SATA ports.

hopefully this will fix the freezes, thank you for your help so far jaquith, I just assumed they were all chipset controlled ports (Last time I looked at SATA ports it was on a PC from like 2005 using a ECS Nettle2 HT2000 Motherboard xD)
a c 715 V Motherboard
September 20, 2012 7:43:24 PM

I assume everything is in working order and is running faster. If so I'm happy to hear if not please let me know and Good Luck! :) 

Examples:
SATA3 Marvell SE9220 ; x1 PCIe 2.0 (shared, latency from PCIe switching) 500MB/s / 2 = 250MB/s each
SATA3 Marvell SE9172 ; x2 PCIe 2.0 (shared, latency from PCIe switching) 1,000MB/s / 4 = 250MB/s each
SATA3 Intel ; DMI 2.0 (not shared, direct path to CPU) 1,200MB/s or 600MB/s each
SATA2 Intel ; DMI 2.0 (not shared, direct path to CPU) 1,200MB/s or 300MB/s each

Now if you only had (1) device on the Marvell it still is slower and adds latency. The SE9220 with (1) SATA3 tops ~380MB/s. As mentioned the third-party often aren't bootable and to add to that typically don't support ATAPI devices (e.g. ODD 'DVD').

Never confuse an 'interface' with actual bandwidth or the real speed without reading the fine print. A typically HDD is 120MB/s~150MB/s, anything more is from cache and once the cache is full the native speed of a HDD saturates SATA1 or half SATA2 or a fourth of SATA3.

Oddly enough with two drives the Intel SATA2 are faster than the Marvell SATA3.

September 21, 2012 1:28:27 AM

jaquith said:
I assume everything is in working order and is running faster. If so I'm happy to hear if not please let me know and Good Luck! :) 

Examples:
SATA3 Marvell SE9220 ; x1 PCIe 2.0 (shared, latency from PCIe switching) 500MB/s / 2 = 250MB/s each
SATA3 Marvell SE9172 ; x2 PCIe 2.0 (shared, latency from PCIe switching) 1,000MB/s / 4 = 250MB/s each
SATA3 Intel ; DMI 2.0 (not shared, direct path to CPU) 1,200MB/s or 600MB/s each
SATA2 Intel ; DMI 2.0 (not shared, direct path to CPU) 1,200MB/s or 300MB/s each

Now if you only had (1) device on the Marvell it still is slower and adds latency. The SE9220 with (1) SATA3 tops ~380MB/s. As mentioned the third-party often aren't bootable and to add to that typically don't support ATAPI devices (e.g. ODD 'DVD').

Never confuse an 'interface' with actual bandwidth or the real speed without reading the fine print. A typically HDD is 120MB/s~150MB/s, anything more is from cache and once the cache is full the native speed of a HDD saturates SATA1 or half SATA2 or a fourth of SATA3.

Oddly enough with two drives the Intel SATA2 are faster than the Marvell SATA3.


Was running great, boot speeds were half the time as they previously were, unfortunately it just froze about 10 minutes ago, but ran great for about 12 hrs with 6 hrs of prime95 running on the normal clock speeds, no errors came out there.

In the past few weeks i'v tried testing ea graphics card on it's own without the other in a PCIe slot, cleaned DIMM slots and re-arranged memory, moved SATA ports around so they're all in chipset controlled ports, so from what I can workout I'v narrowed it down to 3 things, Drive issues, CPU issues or Motherboard issues :S
a c 715 V Motherboard
September 21, 2012 1:07:50 PM

Well it's not because of the SATA ports. I would enable XMP using Profile 1, but keep in mind DDR3-2133 isn't my top pick for either SB or IB -- too many errors and problems. Some kits don't run too well unless their XMP setting is enabled.

I'd test using AIDA64 Extreme with all options - http://www.aida64.com/downloads and I assume that you're looking at all of the temps.
September 26, 2012 1:55:34 AM

jaquith said:
Well it's not because of the SATA ports. I would enable XMP using Profile 1, but keep in mind DDR3-2133 isn't my top pick for either SB or IB -- too many errors and problems. Some kits don't run too well unless their XMP setting is enabled.

I'd test using AIDA64 Extreme with all options - http://www.aida64.com/downloads and I assume that you're looking at all of the temps.


Sorry for slow reply, I was out of town for a University exam, By all temps do you mean all CPU temps across 6 cores or something else?

How do I test all with AIDA64, System Stability Test or something else?

Also, I took the Video card Waterblocks off and put the old Fan coolers back on as well as replaced the CPU Apogee block with an old Antec kuhler I had lying around so easier for trouble shooting and removal of the components so the temps are a bit higher now.

Edit 26/09/2012:

Just remembered the joy of using a boot drive, I'm going to re-install Win7 and see how that goes, I'll get back to y'all.
a c 715 V Motherboard
September 26, 2012 2:32:11 PM

BennyF said:
How do I test all with AIDA64, System Stability Test or something else?

Picture is worth a thousand words, note all items are checked on the left and it's location...then simply start the test. I recommend at least 24 hours for proper validation and 48 hours if used in a work capacity.



Then assuming it passes then run Memtest86+ overnight before re-installing the OS. Create a bootable CD/DVD/USB using the (.ISO) image, and press (F8) during the boot to select the location of Memtest and it should automatically start; link - http://www.memtest.org/#downiso

Assuming everything 'PASSES' then I'd recommend following my guide to re-install Windows 7 especially if you'll ever now or in the future use RAID; see - http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/303873-30-wont-resume...
September 28, 2012 8:57:12 AM

Unfortunately I didn't have time to run it for 24 hrs before re-installing Windows, Re-installed windows 2 days ago and have had the PC Running since then, Ran Aida94 overnight with no issues and I'm yet to see a freeze.
a c 715 V Motherboard
September 28, 2012 1:11:46 PM

So then I assume the SATA ports was the 'problem' and as far as testing then that's your call -- if you are having no new issues then I assume all is good.
September 30, 2012 12:57:36 PM

Started Freezing up again so I guess it is a hardware fault somewhere, I'll run Aida64 For 24 hrs and then memtest for 12 hrs and see what happens.
a c 715 V Motherboard
September 30, 2012 2:02:00 PM

Just an observation here, but it seems too coincidental:
(freeze period 3-5 days) - http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/320565-30-extreme6-dr...

(freeze period 3-4 days) - http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/320548-30-asrock-extr...

Common elements:
ASRock Extreme X79 series MOBO's
G.SKILL RAM ; though I am not certain that's the problem

What I think is the root cause is the MOBO and or it's BIOS. After running straight for days at a time a MOBO can have heat issues in that if there's something weak e.g. VRM or other components then you can have a dropout (failure).

If you search (Google) 'asrock extreme x79 days freezing' you begin to see a pattern.

So if the problems continue, ASRock's Tier 2 level support may have better insight into the problem(s).

--

Now I'm not trying to bash any MOBO, but there have been so many issues with the X79 platform from Gigabyte, MSI and others that since I adopted this platform even for myself -- the only X79 that has been immune from many issues including OC, Temps and for the most part Stability has been ASUS in the consumer level MOBO's. Most of the key components in any series of MOBO are essentially the same, and in being the same if there's similar root issues (design/component) flaws then the problem can be systemic including bad batches.

Therefore, if the problems continue then my next step would be to contact ASRock and discuss the problems and RMA options.
September 30, 2012 2:31:03 PM

jaquith said:
Just an observation here, but it seems too coincidental:
(freeze period 3-5 days) - http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/320565-30-extreme6-dr...

(freeze period 3-4 days) - http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/320548-30-asrock-extr...

Common elements:
ASRock Extreme X79 series MOBO's
G.SKILL RAM ; though I am not certain that's the problem

What I think is the root cause is the MOBO and or it's BIOS. After running straight for days at a time a MOBO can have heat issues in that if there's something weak e.g. VRM or other components then you can have a dropout (failure).


Well it's frozen up 2 times today, Within about 3 hrs of each other.

I will run these tests then I will begin ripping stuff out and testing it all 1 by 1 and hopefully I can find the culprit.

Only reason I really got the ASRock over an Asus board was the reviews the X79 ASRocks had for overclocking. I was initially going to get the ASUS Sabertooth, hopefully I wont regret getting the ASRock.

Thank you for your informative information.
a c 715 V Motherboard
September 30, 2012 2:48:55 PM

Hmm...OC'ing - http://valid.canardpc.com/show_oc.php?id=2320509

I hold off 'labeling' until the OP can rule-out other potential issues.

Q - Are you OC'ing? ; if so what and what BIOS changes over BIOS 'Defaults'?

Again, I'm not belittling any MOBO, the 'problem' in a review is 2-4 hours of use vs users full-time use. I listened once to a TH review on the GA-X58A-UD3R and discovered a fundamental flaw with their implementation of the ICH10R and had to replace 10 rigs I put together with a different OEM MOBO.
October 1, 2012 5:08:35 AM

jaquith said:
Hmm...OC'ing - http://valid.canardpc.com/show_oc.php?id=2320509http://...

I hold off 'labeling' until the OP can rule-out other potential issues.

Q - Are you OC'ing? ; if so what and what BIOS changes over BIOS 'Defaults'?

Again, I'm not belittling any MOBO, the 'problem' in a review is 2-4 hours of use vs users full-time use. I listened once to a TH review on the GA-X58A-UD3R and discovered a fundamental flaw with their implementation of the ICH10R and had to replace 10 rigs I put together with a different OEM MOBO.



Nothing is overclocked at the current time due to these freezes, I'm not going to overclock it until the freezes are fixed or until I at least know 100% what is causing the issue in case it turns out to be the CPU/GPU as I can't afford to purchase either of these again and don't particularly want an RMA to be turned down due to the component/s being overclocked.

Aida64 been running 15 hrs so far and none of the temps seem to be overly high, All below the 'die point' of the components by at least 20 degrees Celsius. I'll allow another 7 hrs then if nothing drastic happens I'll move onto the Memtest.

God I hope I can diagnose this without having to buy too much more stuff, as a full time student it was hard enough to purchase the components for this PC let alone have to buy more components just to trouble shoot :( 

After seeing the CPU-Z I wish I had gone with the Sabertooth, To be completely honest the moment I opened the ASRock Extreme9 box I was a little let down straight away by where the included sound card had to go, it's a really tight fit between the compression fittings for the waterblocks. I probably should have researched both boards a little more then I did I guess.

I can understand what you mean by 2-4 hrs vs 2-3 yrs for a review, Shame I didn't consider that.
October 2, 2012 1:08:54 AM

Ok, Aida64 and Memtest's completed. Memtest did a total of 6 passes for no errors.

Aida64 temps are:

Motherboard: Minimum: 32 Maximum: 43 Average: 39
CPU: Minimum: 18 Maximum: 53 Average: 49
CPU #1 / Core#1: Minimum: 25 Maximum: 52 Average: 42.9
CPU #1 / Core#2: Minimum: 24 Maximum: 51 Average: 44.6
CPU #1 / Core #3: Minimum: 25: Maximum: 48 Average: 42.7
CPU #1 / Core #4: Minimum: 18 Maximum: 53 Average: 48

(Only showed 4 cores of the 6, forgot to write down HWMonitor temps for the other to cores but they were in the same range as these.)

Cooling Fans
System: Minimum: 2166 Maximum: 2213 Average: 2186
Power Supply: Minimum: 1404 Maximum:1473 Average: 1446

Voltages
CPU Cure: Minimum: 0.832 Maximum: 1.216 Average:1.183
+3.3 V: Minimum: 3.232 Maximum: 3.296 Average: 3.248
+5 V Minimum: 4.872 Maximum: 4.968 Average: 4.898
+12 V Minimum: 11.986 Maximum: 12.144 Average: 12.019

Powers
CPU Package Minimum: 20.47 Maximum: 107.25 Average: 105.86
CPU IA Cores Minimum: 4.16 Maximum: 87.41 Average: 86.17

No idea if these are right or not (The power consumption)

If i'm correct the Max recommended temperature for a CPU is 70 Degree celsius, Which mine is well below even at full load.

The max temp for a GPU is 90 Degrees Celsius which both of mine are well below with an average of 70 Degrees, Minimum of 38 and Maximum of 73 on 1 card and on the second an average of 66 Degrees, Minimum of 36 and Maximum of 70

(These temps are with the Fan coolers on the GPU and an old Antec Kuhler on the CPU)
The temps from when i ran Prime95 were much lower then this when running the Custom water loop. Please don't make me reconnect that :(  Really could not be bothered to set the loop back up until I trouble shoot this issue as It's a pain to add and remove stuff.
a c 715 V Motherboard
October 4, 2012 2:49:57 PM

Sorry I lost track of your thread; TH has a notification bug.

The max CPU temp is 91C, but anything above mid 80C is too hot and either your CPU will drop out or throttle down.

AIDA64 stresses your GPU's vs Prime95 is CPU only so the GPU(s) are just sitting there idle.

If you continue to have trouble then Disable the Marvell SATA ports in the BIOS. Updated BIOS and updated drivers 'should' have fixed that problem by now.
October 5, 2012 2:49:51 AM

jaquith said:
Sorry I lost track of your thread; TH has a notification bug.

The max CPU temp is 91C, but anything above mid 80C is too hot and either your CPU will drop out or throttle down.

AIDA64 stresses your GPU's vs Prime95 is CPU only so the GPU(s) are just sitting there idle.

If you continue to have trouble then Disable the Marvell SATA ports in the BIOS. Updated BIOS and updated drivers 'should' have fixed that problem by now.


All good.

I think running Aida64 for 24 hrs might of killed the issue what ever it was as it's yet to freeze again and this is the longest I'v had it going.

(Also, Ahead of you with disabling the Marvell SATA ports, Disabled them when I moved all my stuff over to intel controlled ports the other week)

Thank you for your help, you've been great.
October 5, 2012 2:50:54 AM

Best answer selected by BennyF.
a c 715 V Motherboard
October 5, 2012 1:35:53 PM

Cool! :sol: 
!