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Help trying to figure out what's happening?

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January 5, 2012 1:05:57 AM

Hello all,

First, I want to apologize for the length of this post. So I recently purchased an OEM Phenom II x4 975 from the Egg and installed it into my motherboard. Reset CMOS, applied thermal paste, etc. Windows started up fine and everything, but that's about where the smooth sailed stopped. Immediately upon launching steam I started receiving errors like not being able to connect to the servers and games not launching. After about 30 mins of looking on the web for treatments for other various random issues I was having, I decided to reinstall Win 7 and start from scratch.

After secure erasing my SSDs and ensuring that the BIOS was set up correct, I proceeded. After getting Win7 installed, I started installing applications. Noticed that steam was giving me the same errors (specifically Error: Failed to remove "SteamUI_1763.pkg ERRNO), it start to download then just go to "suspended" with even the smallest of games, skype couldn't contact their servers to download and wouldn't launch the full installer, and other similar issues.

Starting to get frustrated, I decided to try installing onto a completely separate HDD I had laying around and and even then had issues installing Windows and applications. After finally getting Win7 installed, upon reboot CHKDSK decided that something was wrong and decided to go through my entire 1TB storage drive and went through an hour long process of inserting entry indexes and migrate files, etc. So I decided to replace the 975 with my old Phenom II x3 720 and unfortunately had to re-install Win7 yet again. However, this time, everything has gone swimmingly (thus far). Steam connected and is downloading games, skype is working, files are transferring smoothly and life is good.

Except now I'm not sure what this means for the "new" processor. Do the symptoms I was plagued with sound familiar to anyone? At first I thought my PSU might not have enough juice but after using a PSU calculator, I think my wattage is alright. I also looked into the compatibility of the proc with my mobo and its on the list of compatible ones. I have the most current BIOS version as well. If anyone has any ideas/comments/suggestions, please let me know. Thanks!

My Rig:

Phenom II X3 720/X4 975
Gigabyte GA-MA770t-UD3P
G.skill 8GB DDR3-1333 RAM (2GBx4)
MSI GTX 560ti-448core
Antec Earthwatts 650w
OCZ Vertex 3 60GB/Vertex 2 90GB
WD Caviar Black 1TB

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January 5, 2012 1:55:27 AM

When did this start? Steam has been down all day. I wasn't able to play any of my games except Killing Floor and even then I couldn't view my achievements and even though I'm level 6 across the board I'd always start a game as level 0.
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January 5, 2012 2:12:13 AM

Well that is odd, The TDP of your P2x3 720 is 95w while the new chip is 125w, so its very odd that you run into these problems if its power, if your PSU is teetering at its limits and this 30watts was the straw that broke the camels back. But using a power supply calculator may not give you the entire picture as there is much more beyond the watts of your PSU.

Like if you have a very high end, 80 Plus Gold/Platinum power supply at 500 watts, it may actually provide more power than your generic 650watt power supply (i dont know what your running). But i recently saw a VERY detailed and interesting article but i cannot remember where i saw it, it was about power supplies and their efficiencies and various loads etc.

So did you reinstall windows between each time you put in the new Processor? Because i'm curious if you can get the system to work/load windows after swapping out the PSU. Did you try swapping out the Tri for the Quad and test Steam etc, then after it failed, load up the Tri core and check to see if it worked on the same windows installation? Then once again on that same windows install go back to the quad?

But if it is this power envelope, you should try taking out a couple sticks of RAM, or only plugging in one hard drive (use your SSD and temporarily disconnect any HDDs), actually just disconnecting one of those standard hard drives should be around the 30 watt difference. That said i've never seen it be that finicky. I could understand if everything in 2D or normal windows mode worked but you came across the errors when trying to play a 3D Game.

Also try to unplug any un-necessary internal and external devices, so if you have any external USB hard drives or printers installed, make sure they are disconnected.

So you had reinstalled windows once with the quad core, when you installed Steam did you load the exact same version of Steam as the subsequent installation of windows and your original Tri-core cpu? How about any other software titles? did you have Antivirus loaded on one and not the other?

Were you using the same Heatsink/Fan for both processors or could you tell if one was running much hotter than the other one?

How about trying a CPU Burn-In test after you install windows to see if you have any problems?

The Steam error that you received seems to have everything to do with your network connection or drivers which is why its very odd that its the CPU and why i wanted to see if you could go back and fourth between the CPU's without a reinstallation. Are you running behind a router? if so try it connected directly to the Modem. Are you getting any other errors when the Quad Core cpu is installed? because windows wouldnt discriminate against Steam if it didnt like the processor and your Quad core CPU likes Steam just as much as your Tri Core does!

--Unrelated--
Why did you have to reinstall windows 7? Were you unable to boot? You should not have to reinstall when swapping motherboards even (With different chipsets/drivers etc), not to mention a simple CPU upgrade. Windows 7 is VERY accommodating to running in a new system, i've even run a windows 7 installation from a newer Llano Fusion AMD system to an Intel Xeon CPU System and it loaded just fine.
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January 5, 2012 2:26:07 AM

tinmann said:
When did this start? Steam has been down all day. I wasn't able to play any of my games except Killing Floor and even then I couldn't view my achievements and even though I'm level 6 across the board I'd always start a game as level 0.



Yeah, but there were other issues as well that we're going on at the same time as Steam lol
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January 5, 2012 2:38:33 AM

jgutz2006 said:
Well that is odd, The TDP of your P2x3 720 is 95w while the new chip is 125w, so its very odd that you run into these problems if its power, if your PSU is teetering at its limits and this 30watts was the straw that broke the camels back. But using a power supply calculator may not give you the entire picture as there is much more beyond the watts of your PSU.

Like if you have a very high end, 80 Plus Gold/Platinum power supply at 500 watts, it may actually provide more power than your generic 650watt power supply (i dont know what your running). But i recently saw a VERY detailed and interesting article but i cannot remember where i saw it, it was about power supplies and their efficiencies and various loads etc.

So did you reinstall windows between each time you put in the new Processor? Because i'm curious if you can get the system to work/load windows after swapping out the PSU. Did you try swapping out the Tri for the Quad and test Steam etc, then after it failed, load up the Tri core and check to see if it worked on the same windows installation? Then once again on that same windows install go back to the quad?

But if it is this power envelope, you should try taking out a couple sticks of RAM, or only plugging in one hard drive (use your SSD and temporarily disconnect any HDDs), actually just disconnecting one of those standard hard drives should be around the 30 watt difference. That said i've never seen it be that finicky. I could understand if everything in 2D or normal windows mode worked but you came across the errors when trying to play a 3D Game.

Also try to unplug any un-necessary internal and external devices, so if you have any external USB hard drives or printers installed, make sure they are disconnected.


So you had reinstalled windows once with the quad core, when you installed Steam did you load the exact same version of Steam as the subsequent installation of windows and your original Tri-core cpu? How about any other software titles? did you have Antivirus loaded on one and not the other?

Were you using the same Heatsink/Fan for both processors or could you tell if one was running much hotter than the other one?

How about trying a CPU Burn-In test after you install windows to see if you have any problems?

The Steam error that you received seems to have everything to do with your network connection or drivers which is why its very odd that its the CPU and why i wanted to see if you could go back and fourth between the CPU's without a reinstallation. Are you running behind a router? if so try it connected directly to the Modem. Are you getting any other errors when the Quad Core cpu is installed? because windows wouldnt discriminate against Steam if it didnt like the processor and your Quad core CPU likes Steam just as much as your Tri Core does!

--Unrelated--
Why did you have to reinstall windows 7? Were you unable to boot? You should not have to reinstall when swapping motherboards even (With different chipsets/drivers etc), not to mention a simple CPU upgrade. Windows 7 is VERY accommodating to running in a new system, i've even run a windows 7 installation from a newer Llano Fusion AMD system to an Intel Xeon CPU System and it loaded just fine.


Sorry, but I have to use points here to keep track of important questions lol:

1. The order that I used the procs were: original setup, x3 originally then installed x4, which lead to steam acting up. Then re-installed on SSD with x4, same issues then swapped out for x3, worked seemingly ok. re-installed on HDD with x4, still same issues. Finally, re-installed on original SSD with x3 (where I'm at now).

2. Whenever I tried out different applications, it was always right after windows installed the first 90 or so updates, and always with the same application installers (steam, skype)

3. I didn't take out the other sticks of RAM, but I did disconnect the other SSD/HDD and all external connections to USB, etc.

4. The thing with steam happened only when I used the x4. For example, when I first put in the x4 on my original setup, that was when it first started to freeze and give me that error. On all subsequent installations of windows and steam, it gave me the same error. Whenever I swapped out with the x3, steam would run, update, and download games normally.

5. Initially, I didn't re-install windows when I first put in the x4. It was only after steam started messing up (gaming is really the only reason I own a computer lol) and then other random errors then I decided to re-install. The other installs were just to minimize any potential software conflicts.

Thanks for the reply!
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January 5, 2012 2:47:05 AM

Also, same heatsink/fan (Arctic Cooling 64). Tried a couple of different voltages (BIOS default set it @ 1.425, lowered to 1.4, 1.375, all still messed up. Temps ranged from ~50ºc(idle) to 70ºc (max load temp).

I also ran Prime95 for about 50mins at stock speeds when I first installed it and was stable.

You think that there is a possibility (even in the slightest) that my wattage consumption? I mean, Its an Antec 650w 80+ Cert with 12v rails @ 22,22,and 25A:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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January 5, 2012 12:39:26 PM

Well I'm running a dual proc Xeon motherboard with 48gb Ram, SSD OS drive, 4x15,000rpm drives and another 1.5TB drive, Radeon 5870GPU, Pcie Sound Card and it all runs just fine with an 800w 80plus Gold PSU ( http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ) But i had to replace my first PSU and temporarily had a Generic 630 watt PSU (Xion)to power all of this for a while and no problems and i'm pretty sure my system is more power hungry than yours is.

So as for your Windows 7 Disc, is this a SP1 Disc or the pre SP1 disc, Are you letting windows run its updates first or are you manually installing the Service Pack first and then let it download? I would be curious to see if this is related to the windows updates/Windows Firewall or networking issues. If you get a wild hair, Try to not run the windows updates prior to trying steam and skype out.

Is this CPU still within the warranty? as in is it able to be swapped in for refund/replacement still?

I couldnt say with 100% certainty that your power supply is or is not the culprit short of you getting another power supply to test out. You could go to a local Best Buy and pick up a PSU to test it out, if it works Great and if not, no harm as you can just return it. OR maybe you return it regardless and find yourself a new PSU online for less.

So first i would try the X4 with just 1 of the 4 RAM sticks, if you get the same thing, Try another Ram stick and so fourth.

Also from the BIOS, are you doing any sort of overclock? you did mess with undervolting which can cause problems but i'm guessing you did this only after the problems happened. have you loaded the optimized defaults for the BIOS or at least let the bios configure the Proc to its own preferences?

So basically try out the x4 with Skype/Steam prior to windows patches just for kicks. IF its the same results, then try a larger PSU temporarily, if that doesnt solve the problem then i would really try for a new CPU if thats possible.

If you have this at your disposal, throw your CPU into a buddies system if he has one that supports your chip and or toss whatever CPU he has into your system. Thats a longshot but if you have a buddy with a similar system and his suddenly starts to crack out like yours did with your CPU, then youve found the source. I've just never seen a cpu that worked just fine with everything with the exception of 2 applications.
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January 5, 2012 1:47:31 PM

jgutz2006 said:
Well I'm running a dual proc Xeon motherboard with 48gb Ram, SSD OS drive, 4x15,000rpm drives and another 1.5TB drive, Radeon 5870GPU, Pcie Sound Card and it all runs just fine with an 800w 80plus Gold PSU ( http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ) But i had to replace my first PSU and temporarily had a Generic 630 watt PSU (Xion)to power all of this for a while and no problems and i'm pretty sure my system is more power hungry than yours is.

So as for your Windows 7 Disc, is this a SP1 Disc or the pre SP1 disc, Are you letting windows run its updates first or are you manually installing the Service Pack first and then let it download? I would be curious to see if this is related to the windows updates/Windows Firewall or networking issues. If you get a wild hair, Try to not run the windows updates prior to trying steam and skype out.

Is this CPU still within the warranty? as in is it able to be swapped in for refund/replacement still?

I couldnt say with 100% certainty that your power supply is or is not the culprit short of you getting another power supply to test out. You could go to a local Best Buy and pick up a PSU to test it out, if it works Great and if not, no harm as you can just return it. OR maybe you return it regardless and find yourself a new PSU online for less.

So first i would try the X4 with just 1 of the 4 RAM sticks, if you get the same thing, Try another Ram stick and so fourth.

Also from the BIOS, are you doing any sort of overclock? you did mess with undervolting which can cause problems but i'm guessing you did this only after the problems happened. have you loaded the optimized defaults for the BIOS or at least let the bios configure the Proc to its own preferences?

So basically try out the x4 with Skype/Steam prior to windows patches just for kicks. IF its the same results, then try a larger PSU temporarily, if that doesnt solve the problem then i would really try for a new CPU if thats possible.

If you have this at your disposal, throw your CPU into a buddies system if he has one that supports your chip and or toss whatever CPU he has into your system. Thats a longshot but if you have a buddy with a similar system and his suddenly starts to crack out like yours did with your CPU, then youve found the source. I've just never seen a cpu that worked just fine with everything with the exception of 2 applications.


Jeez that is a monster rig lol. I honestly don't think its a PSU issue, having talked to some tech buddies (who are running high end components like yours on not much more than my PSU).

As for my windows disc, it is pre-sp1 and I did let it go through the first good size batch of updates, but not SP1.

The CPU is still under warranty and placed an RMA for replacement should it be defective.

By removing extra sticks of RAM, would that indicate that the PSU isn't providing enough juice to power everything? Or is there a possibility that the motherboard is doing something similar?

My BIOS was completely reset before my first reinstallation of windows. And yes, my undervolting was only after issues started occuring, though now I am tempted to try raising the stock voltage ever so slightly to see if that helps stabilize it.

I do have an access to another AM3 system from a buddy, but it'll take some convincing lol.

So here are some questions:
Does this sound at all like the CPU might have a bad core?
Would overvolting it just a smidge be worth the effort?

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January 5, 2012 2:01:54 PM

Ok so, removing the sticks of ram are not for power consumption, but in the event that there could be one that is messing up, even if its working with your other processor, I dont know enough into the engineering part of it but it could be that the X4 is trying to access blocks of memory in a different order from your x3? This may be completely obnoxious, and if/how it would use the memory differently is beyond me, i just know that random/wierd errors occur most frequently when dealing with a RAM issue.

I dont know if it could be a bad core, or if its a cache issue onboard with the chip but it could be one of those. If you can get your buddy to kick the tires, i say go for it as that would tell you one way or the other if its your CPU because if for some reason its not the CPU, your chasing rainbows and i've never been able to catch one of those pesky things myself.
Overvolting would probably have nothing to do with anything IMHO.

But running at the stock volt and maybe decreasing the multiplier/FSB to underclock it could weigh in possibly?

I would still like to see the x4 with a fresh windows install and give steam/skype a shot. And then when you are ready to do the installation, just download the SP1 offline installation and run that yourself as its just a rollup of all those 90 or so patches + some more. So downloading those patches and then SP1 is redundant and unnecessary.

Man, its hard to say its got anything to do with the CPU but it would be an amazing coincidence if it was.
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January 5, 2012 6:28:37 PM

jgutz2006 said:
Ok so, removing the sticks of ram are not for power consumption, but in the event that there could be one that is messing up, even if its working with your other processor, I dont know enough into the engineering part of it but it could be that the X4 is trying to access blocks of memory in a different order from your x3? This may be completely obnoxious, and if/how it would use the memory differently is beyond me, i just know that random/wierd errors occur most frequently when dealing with a RAM issue.

I dont know if it could be a bad core, or if its a cache issue onboard with the chip but it could be one of those. If you can get your buddy to kick the tires, i say go for it as that would tell you one way or the other if its your CPU because if for some reason its not the CPU, your chasing rainbows and i've never been able to catch one of those pesky things myself.
Overvolting would probably have nothing to do with anything IMHO.

But running at the stock volt and maybe decreasing the multiplier/FSB to underclock it could weigh in possibly?

I would still like to see the x4 with a fresh windows install and give steam/skype a shot. And then when you are ready to do the installation, just download the SP1 offline installation and run that yourself as its just a rollup of all those 90 or so patches + some more. So downloading those patches and then SP1 is redundant and unnecessary.

Man, its hard to say its got anything to do with the CPU but it would be an amazing coincidence if it was.


So this morning I decided to give the processor another go and put it into my system. Set the stock settings in BIOS and gave it a whirl. So far today, I've updated steam, used skype, transferred several gigs of data too and from the SSDs and HDD, played a couple of hours of Dungeon Defenders and Shogun 2, ran Prime95 for about 50mins, all with no incident. CPU idles around 46ºC with the highest temp at about 60ºC during Prime95.

So what does this mean? I have no idea. idk if something was messing up whenever updates were installed or if there was something else going on, but as of right now, my regular usage of the processor is going swimmingly *knocks on wood* I'll update this thread in a week if everything is still going ok, otherwise I'm sure I'll be back here if it messes up.

Thanks jgutz for all of your help thus far and your suggestions, you've definitely kept me from going insane these past couple of days lol. I'll be sure to select you as best answer!
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January 6, 2012 6:06:56 PM

haha well i honestly think it was nothing to do with the CPU but just a wacky coincidence when it occured, unless like i said, that this processor signals/communicates with other components differently and maybe accessed a bad block of ram or some crazyness. But likely a driver or compatability issue.

As for what it means? Take it for what it is, and that is a working computer. So dont try to fix something that isnt broken!

So only other place i could think to look would be your event viewer to see if there were any errors or anything leading up to the system crashing, but many times when you get a BSOD/auto restart, you may not get much in evidence.

Glad your up and running, at least for now.!
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January 7, 2012 1:09:04 PM

jgutz2006 said:
haha well i honestly think it was nothing to do with the CPU but just a wacky coincidence when it occured, unless like i said, that this processor signals/communicates with other components differently and maybe accessed a bad block of ram or some crazyness. But likely a driver or compatability issue.

As for what it means? Take it for what it is, and that is a working computer. So dont try to fix something that isnt broken!

So only other place i could think to look would be your event viewer to see if there were any errors or anything leading up to the system crashing, but many times when you get a BSOD/auto restart, you may not get much in evidence.

Glad your up and running, at least for now.!


so i think i may have spoken too soon lol. Upon turning on my computer last night, both steam and skype gave me errors again... With skype it was something with temp files and steam was giving me corrupt installer errors. So i decided to run memtest86+ and sure enough i have over 200 errors somewhere between the 4 sticks of ram. Now my queation is is would the new processor change ram settings to the point of failure? With my x3 my ram passed so this is a new development.
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January 7, 2012 1:46:32 PM

After running memtest86+ on a single stick of ram and having it pass, I tried to install steam again, same error. tried to extract the .msi, says its still corrupt. I'm really losing it here lololol
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January 8, 2012 7:32:26 PM

well if you installed steam with corrupted files that could still possibly be a problem.

Just curious if you ran a hard drive scan either? that could be source of problems.

Your X4 CPU would not cause the RAM to go bad, i was just thinking that it may just utilize more of the RAM or in a different order, so that stick has been bad for a while but possibly the other processor was never trying to use it.

I had a feeling that it was a memory error
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January 8, 2012 9:09:53 PM

Hi Sabre181

...feel your pain and just had similar issues with my wife's X2 6000+ as that's a 140w part coupled to a 4850 GPU. Threw up heaps of random software errors after it crashed and failed to boot. Had me scratching my head for quite a while, but in my case I could not get Windows to load successfully. But I checked out the RAM, HDD, CPU, and mobo thinking that maybe the BIOS had been corrupted, but no it was just a failing PSU. Changing the video card from the 4850 to an Nvidia 7600GS allowed Windows to install and start, but random errors re-appeared shortly there-after.

Long and the short of the story was the PSU, a 550W Thermaltake, should have been enough, but over time did not deliver the clean consistent power the system needed.

Looks to me that the extra power draw of the CPU is hitting the limit of your clean power supply, spiking and dropping causing random errors. You could try disabling one or two cores on the new processor or swapping over to a less power demanding video card to test if the system settles.

The 975 is at least/best a 125W draw up from the 95W of the X3 so it's up by 20-25% depending on the apps running. The multitasking element, running that extra thread, will also spike the power usage.

With the X3 in place you say you experience no errors, and with the 975 in socket totally random behavior....I'd be checking the PSU/Wall outlet IMO....
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January 9, 2012 8:46:33 AM

jgutz2006 said:
well if you installed steam with corrupted files that could still possibly be a problem.

Just curious if you ran a hard drive scan either? that could be source of problems.

Your X4 CPU would not cause the RAM to go bad, i was just thinking that it may just utilize more of the RAM or in a different order, so that stick has been bad for a while but possibly the other processor was never trying to use it.

I had a feeling that it was a memory error


Well I ran Memtest again yesterday and this time nothing came up with an error... and I don't think I changed anything since the first time I ran it other than reseatting all of the DIMMs. Any ideas why they would show up as ok this time?? I'm soooo confused at this point lol.
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January 9, 2012 8:50:30 AM

harna said:
Hi Sabre181

...feel your pain and just had similar issues with my wife's X2 6000+ as that's a 140w part coupled to a 4850 GPU. Threw up heaps of random software errors after it crashed and failed to boot. Had me scratching my head for quite a while, but in my case I could not get Windows to load successfully. But I checked out the RAM, HDD, CPU, and mobo thinking that maybe the BIOS had been corrupted, but no it was just a failing PSU. Changing the video card from the 4850 to an Nvidia 7600GS allowed Windows to install and start, but random errors re-appeared shortly there-after.

Long and the short of the story was the PSU, a 550W Thermaltake, should have been enough, but over time did not deliver the clean consistent power the system needed.

Looks to me that the extra power draw of the CPU is hitting the limit of your clean power supply, spiking and dropping causing random errors. You could try disabling one or two cores on the new processor or swapping over to a less power demanding video card to test if the system settles.

The 975 is at least/best a 125W draw up from the 95W of the X3 so it's up by 20-25% depending on the apps running. The multitasking element, running that extra thread, will also spike the power usage.

With the X3 in place you say you experience no errors, and with the 975 in socket totally random behavior....I'd be checking the PSU/Wall outlet IMO....


Thats what jgutz2006 suggested in the beginning but after looking around the webs, I feel that the total power output should be sufficient for what I'm running, unless it is infact dying :(  If it was to be the PSU, if 650w isn't enough, then what should I be looking for? I mean, my current Antec Greenwatts has 69A across 3 12v rails, so I know its not an issue with that either.
I also ran memtest again and this time it didnt come up with any errors. The only thing that I did since the first run through was I reseatted all of the ram.
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January 9, 2012 4:49:02 PM

Correction, I'm still getting memtest errors with the x4. Will begin to remove RAM sticks and hopefully narrow down which one it is. With that, would this indeed mean that my PSU isn't up for the challenge with the new components? Thanks-
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January 10, 2012 11:53:15 AM

So, I tested my ram in sets of 2, and both sets turned up with errors, so I'm guessing now its either a mobo-related issue, or infact my PSU isn't up to the challenge. What do others think? Thanks again to all of those who have responded; I appreciate it!
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January 16, 2012 11:36:04 PM

Best answer selected by sabre181.
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