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Unable to identify my problem. Losing my mind.

Last response: in Motherboards
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October 25, 2012 10:56:02 AM

Hello,


I recently put together a new computer and have been running in to some crazy issues. First off, here is all the relevant information:

- ASUS P8Z68-V LX LGA 1155 Intel Z68 ( was an open box item on newegg but not a refurb...though these issues have made me suspicious)

- Core i5 3570k at stock speeds

- Radeon 6870 (a little over a year old)

- Rosewill 600w psu (about 2 years old)

- 8gb Kingston HyperX Blu 8GB DDR3 @1600 (checked the timings and voltage)

- 500 gb WD Caviar black, SATA 3


So here is the problem: I put the computer together with no problems at all and everything in the BIOS looked right. I had to change the speed of the ram to 1600 due to a mis-detection, but that was the only setting I changed. Under these conditions, the computer worked fantastically for about a week, and games worked just as well. Then one night, I came up to my computer to see a BSOD saying "hardware malfunction" with no codes or mention of specifics. I thought it might be a one off situation, restarted, and things seemed to be fine again. After about an hour of use and just browsing the web, it happened again. Moreover, I was having all sorts of weird video issues in which the screen would be filled with vertical bars of varying sizes and colors making it very difficult to see what was going on. This happened in games as well as out of games and it was really random when it would happen (sometimes I could go hours with no sign of issues and sometimes minutes).

I began to check my temps in the BIOS as well as temps on my video card and everything else. Everything was normal (mid 40s...using a nice zalman cooler). So I thought maybe there was an issue with the ram and set the speed back to the default of what the BIOS detected. Problem persisted. At this point, I decided to download memtest as well as furmark to make sure that there wasn't an issue with the ram or with the video card overheating. Both passed with flying colors and the system was stable the entire time (about 2 hours with furmark).

Here is a list of other things I have tried since then:

-Switched out the ram completely with my wife's working ram (from her computer she uses every day)

- Re-seating my video card, changing pci express slots, keeping the fan at higher speeds all of the time, and messed with refresh rate.

- Blowing dust out of the video card and power supply (very little as I do blow through every 3 months or so)

- Removed the video card completely and used the on-board video.

- Changed my cable to my monitor

- Uninstalled and re-installed the latest drivers from ATI

- Tinkered around with settings in the BIOS: everything from voltage changes, overclocking changes, power consumption changes, and flashing it to the latest version. Everything has gone back to default since then, other than the flashing.



The only thing I have not been able to test is my power supply and a different motherboard. However, this current set up has less of a power draw than my old machine and that machine was stable up to the last minute of me using it and switching over the video card and psu. Obviously that doesn't necessarily matter but I did want to mention that tidbit. The blue screens have been a bit less frequent lately (usually once per 48 hours or so) but the video issues have been somewhat consistent. Sometimes when I'm browsing the web or just idleing, I will have small black line on the right side of my monitor show up... kind of has a constant slight movement to it.


So yeah, I know that is kind of a lengthy post but I know you guys prefer specifics. Any help you guys can provide would be appreciated.
October 25, 2012 11:00:18 AM

Tried a bios update? Have had simlar problems with new boards not always working properly with new ram untill updated
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October 25, 2012 11:01:33 AM

*** on your face.
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October 25, 2012 11:02:25 AM

"- Tinkered around with settings in the BIOS: everything from voltage changes, overclocking changes, power consumption changes, and flashing it to the latest version."
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a b V Motherboard
October 25, 2012 11:03:02 AM

Look like a VGA malfunction to me. Try clocking it down a bit to see if it makes any difference. Also, what kind of video cable are you using? If it is VGA, try a digital one (DVI/HDMI) and see what happens.
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October 25, 2012 11:07:57 AM

pretty good line up of things you checked. when you measured the temps from the BIOS, just shutting down and restarting the temps will drop quite a bit. did you pull the heat sink and fan from the processor, remove and reapply thermal paste and reassemble making sure the heat sink sits flush and all pins are secured properly ?

you said set back to normal but you didn't say reset cmos..??

did a scandisc and recovery of HD ?

all connections are tight ?

after you reset cmos check BIOS for boot sequence......... that's all........... hd/cd/none(floppy)/enable 4th

i never buy referb stuff but am sure most of it still might be good, but you never know what some over cocking "pro" did to it.

not much left to check........... didn't install any idiot gimic stuff off the mobo cd if it came with one did you ?
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October 25, 2012 11:09:18 AM

Murissokah said:
Look like a VGA malfunction to me. Try clocking it down a bit to see if it makes any difference. Also, what kind of video cable are you using? If it is VGA, try a digital one (DVI/HDMI) and see what happens.


I am using a vga cable with a DVI adapter. I should also mention that my monitor is actually a 32 inch 1080p television so I have to use either vga or hdmi. I originally tried hdmi but I couldn't seem to work out why my image was so horrible with it (this was right when I bought the video card last year). I spent about 3 hours messing around with settings but my tv/monitor just didn't play nice with it and I went the vga route. My video card has two dvi outs and a few hdmi, thus the reason I had to use an adapter to plug in to it. I tried switching to a different adapter and vga cable too to see if that was the problem.
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October 25, 2012 11:14:38 AM

swifty_morgan said:
pretty good line up of things you checked. when you measured the temps from the BIOS, just shutting down and restarting the temps will drop quite a bit. did you pull the heat sink and fan from the processor, remove and reapply thermal paste and reassemble making sure the heat sink sits flush and all pins are secured properly ?

you said set back to normal but you didn't say reset cmos..??

did a scandisc and recovery of HD ?

all connections are tight ?

after you reset cmos check BIOS for boot sequence......... that's all........... hd/cd/none(floppy)/enable 4th

i never buy referb stuff but am sure most of it still might be good, but you never know what some over cocking "pro" did to it.

not much left to check........... didn't install any idiot gimic stuff off the mobo cd if it came with one did you ?


- I've reset the cmos 2 or 3 times now, just when I was moving hardware around.

- I didn't do a scandisc/ recovery on the hard drive. I bought the drive brand new.

- Connections are tight, tried changing those out on a few things.

- Boot sequence is set to usb/ cd/ hdd, changed it one time to only check hdd.

- Only thing I installed from the cd was the sound drivers.
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a b V Motherboard
October 25, 2012 11:18:49 AM

Please try the HDMI just to see if the artifacts will go away. If that happens, it could mean your VGA has a bad DAC (digital/analog converter).

Is your TV Samsung? I have one and it had the same behaviour. To correct it, I had to change the description of the source to "PC" (source>tools>rename). It is really weird how this actually works. The image was blurry and seemed like 24Hz before, now it's perfect.
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October 25, 2012 11:20:52 AM

2 sets of sound drivers may not play nice.......... if you're using vga and not an HDMI cable, uninstall the HDMI sound from the machine and don't let windows reinstall it.

was it your goal to use an HDMI to HDMI from the computer to the TV ?
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October 25, 2012 11:21:41 AM

Murissokah said:
Please try the HDMI just to see if the artifacts will go away. If that happens, it could mean your VGA has a bad DAC (digital/analog converter).

Is your TV Samsung? I have one and it had the same behaviour. To correct it, I had to change the description of the source to "PC" (source>tools>rename). It is really weird how this actually works. The image was blurry and seemed like 24Hz before, now it's perfect.



It's a Vizio, but I tried that fix as well since I noticed other people mentioned that as a workaround. No Luck. I will give the HDMI a shot tomorrow. It's just so strange how they show up at random times when my temperatures are consistent and I'm basically at idle.
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October 25, 2012 11:27:34 AM

swifty_morgan said:
2 sets of sound drivers may not play nice.......... if you're using vga and not an HDMI cable, uninstall the HDMI sound from the machine and don't let windows reinstall it.

was it your goal to use an HDMI to HDMI from the computer to the TV ?



Originally it was, yeah. My sound is controlled by the on-board optical out to a surround system. I never wanted the sound to come out of my tv speakers if that is what you were curious about. I'll try to uninstall the hdmi sound drivers now.
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October 25, 2012 8:42:18 PM

Uninstalling the HDMI drivers as well as using an HDMI cable didn't fix anything unfortunately.
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October 25, 2012 11:13:11 PM

pull the heatsink and fan from the processor. remove and replace thermal paste and re-seat the HS&F.

try a different cable ?

send motherboard back.

kinda lost right now.
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October 26, 2012 8:12:19 PM

I think I may have nailed the problem: I started messing with my tv/ monitor's settings and noticed a change in the flickering when adjusting the "advanced luma control." This leads me to believe that the problem is in fact my tv. I will be fiddling about with it more and see what happens. I'll report back here if it is true. Still not sure about the BSODs but one thing at a time I guess.
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October 26, 2012 9:15:46 PM

Have you changed the Monitor? I remember that exact problem with the screen happening when the monitor started to die.
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