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New Build Crashing Constantly

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October 7, 2011 7:06:18 PM

Hello, I just built my first PC and am running into some problems. It booted up okay, installed Windows 7 64 bit and the drivers for all of my components. The computer ran fine for several hours while I did basic stuff like download Chrome and browse the internet.

Then it crashed about 2/3 through downloading a game off Amazon. The image on screen just froze; there was no error message or anything. I turned it off, and when I turned it on this morning it was in a startup loop. I went in the boot menu and ran the Windows repair option, which stopped the startup loop, but now it crashes and restarts within 10 minutes of starting windows whether I'm doing anything or not. The image freezes in a sort of "snow" pattern, then a blue screen with words flashes too fast for me to read and it restarts. The cpu and system temps have always been between 20C and 30C. Windows memory diagnostic Test says there are no problems with the memory. I've tried updating various drivers/utilities but I'm repeatedly told they're up to date. As a first time builder, I don't really know what else to try so any help would be appreciated.

Here are the components:
Motherboard: MSI 890GXM-G65
CPU: AMD Phenom II X6 1090t
PSU: 700 Watts FSP Gold
Ram: GSkill Ripjaws 8 gigs 1600
HD: WD Caviar Black 1 TB
GPU: XFX HD-685X-ZNFR Radeon HD 6850 1GB
DVD: ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Black
October 7, 2011 7:11:51 PM

You could shutdown the automatic restart on blue screen -

Right click on computer > properties > Advanced System Settings (left hand side) > Advanced Tab > Startup and Recovery > uncheck "automatically restart"

You can at least read the BSOD now and see what system file or hardware is giving you an issue.
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October 7, 2011 7:19:38 PM

Thanks. I'll edit when it crashes again.
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October 7, 2011 7:31:00 PM

It crashed right after I unchecked "automatically restart" but just stayed frozen in the "snow" pattern rather than going to the blue screen.
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October 7, 2011 7:38:44 PM

Hmm - might wanna check your video card.. try reseating it - checking power cables to it. Better yet, try putting it in another PCI Express slot.

The snow pattern is kinda suspicious
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October 7, 2011 8:02:12 PM

I unplugged the graphics card and got it running with the mobo's integrated graphics card, but it's still crashing, unfortunately.
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October 7, 2011 8:06:12 PM

ok so the video card is completely removed from the computer and you are working on onboard?
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October 7, 2011 8:18:47 PM

Yeah.
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October 7, 2011 8:23:37 PM

does it do the snowy crash without the video card - or the BSOD?

also - did you check your sound card drivers?
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October 7, 2011 8:35:24 PM

No snow, just the BSOD. It just said to uninstall any new hardware that might be causing problems.

Under audio devices it has "high definition audio device" and "unknown device" and says the drivers for both were up to date. I'm not sure how I would manually check for updates to those. I've been using an hdmi cable to a TV for audio and there's an audio jack on the front of the case connected to the motherboard.
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October 7, 2011 8:46:29 PM

and grab and HDMI audio driver
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October 7, 2011 9:21:21 PM

turn off the Hybrid crossfire and make sure you have the right BIOS to run the 6core processor properly.
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October 7, 2011 11:26:37 PM

When I try to download and install BIOS updates off MSI's website, I get an error that the update is not compatible with my version of Windows and to double check 32bit v. 64bit. But MSI doesn't seem to have separate updates for 32bit v. 64bit.

Also, MSI's update utility, Live Update 5, says I have the latest BIOS for what it's worth.
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October 7, 2011 11:27:48 PM

I was able to install the audio drivers, but it doesn't seem to have resolved the issue.
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October 7, 2011 11:36:29 PM

been to windows update lately ? Did you disable the hybrid cross fire ? did you install the mother board and NIC drivers off the disc ? Go into the device manager and delete the ati audio driver if not using it. reboot. You can also try doing it in the control panel/sound or make it point to on board sound in the BIOS. could be a conflict.
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October 7, 2011 11:37:20 PM

Someone please correct me, if Im wrong, but could it be the 1600 ram? My understanding is that alot of AMD boards dont like to see more than 1333 and 1600 or higher can create or cause issues?
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October 8, 2011 12:16:32 AM

swifty_morgan said:
been to windows update lately ? Did you disable the hybrid cross fire ? did you install the mother board and NIC drivers off the disc ? Go into the device manager and delete the ati audio driver if not using it. reboot. You can also try doing it in the control panel/sound or make it point to on board sound in the BIOS. could be a conflict.


The computer crashes whenever I try to run windows update. I let the computer download the motherboard drivers off the internet because I understood those would be more up to date. The USB control driver was missing so I downloaded it off MSI's website. All the other devices and drivers seemed to be in the device manager. The crashing started several hours later.

I don't think hybrid crossfire is enabled; I didn't enable it, and I can't find the "Catalyst" program my motherboard manual says to go to to enable it anywhere.

Would I be using the ATI audio driver if I was getting my audio from an HDMI cable plugged into the graphics card?
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October 8, 2011 12:18:32 AM

epidot said:
Someone please correct me, if Im wrong, but could it be the 1600 ram? My understanding is that alot of AMD boards dont like to see more than 1333 and 1600 or higher can create or cause issues?


Would changing the ram to 1333 in the BIOS be a potential solution if this is the problem? It is detecting it as 1600.
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October 8, 2011 12:33:18 AM

pawink said:
Would changing the ram to 1333 in the BIOS be a potential solution if this is the problem? It is detecting it as 1600.



At this point with the issues your having its worth a try. It wont hurt anything to change it and if no improvement its just as easy to put it back to 1600.

Im no expert on this. But I have read many posts with recent past and older AMD MB's can have that 1333/1600 issue. My understanding is...and maybe Im wrong...but the MB may see it as 1600 but not know what to do with it at 1600. Most of the newer AM3/AM3+ boards have fixed this I think.
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October 8, 2011 12:44:46 AM

try running with 1 stick of ram. Can you try another PSU ? I don't understand why windows stops downloads. Have you run a check disc for errors/recover bad sectors. ? for your hard drive. you need to check your BIOS for that Hybrid xfire and terminate it. ....... and how's about pulling your graphics card and just using the onboard video for a bit......any progress with downloads ? and you said to use chrome. Delete that and see what happens and close all apps that are active and try downloading. .......... YES to the sound through HDMI.
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October 8, 2011 1:46:13 AM

I took out the graphics card and have been using the onboard graphics since rozz suggested it. I also uninstalled chrome pretty early on. I don't have another psu to try, unfortunately. I wasn't .able to finish any windows updates, either, and now it's crashing in the BIOS/before I get to windows, so I'm pretty limited in what I can try.

Is this pretty clearly a software issue? I don't really have the resources to test the components, and they all seemed to work at least initially. I'm just wondering for RMA purposes.
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October 8, 2011 2:09:35 AM

sounds like hardware not software. I tried looking up this board to get decent specs but can't find the board on the manufacturers page... strange. Did you try resetting the CMOS ? and do you have enough thermap paste on the processor and is the heat sink mounted right ? and you tried with 1 stick of memory at 1333 and the voltage is right ? Did you try doing a windows repair install ? Does that board support that high capacity drive ?
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October 8, 2011 2:14:57 AM

Here's the product page for the motherboard: http://www.msi.com/product/mb/890GXM-G65.html

I tried the one stick of memory but I couldn't change the voltage to 1333 because it started crashing early at that point. I'm double checking the heatsink now; any time I checked the cpu and system temps were between 20 and 30C. I'm going to try resetting the CMOS while I'm in the case. Windows repair install got me out of the startup loop earlier but didn't resolve the whole issue.

If it's hardware, do you think the motherboard?
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October 8, 2011 2:33:48 AM

I tried to get that page and it wouldn't load. I see the memory supported is 1.5 volts. if that ram supposed to run at 1.65 you could be having a problem........... the memory voltage....... not 1333, that's what I wanted you to test the ram at. ( 1600 vs 1333 ) the voltage should only be bumped a very little bit. You should see "some" options in the ram settings in the BIOS.
Now make the HD first boot device and the dvd/cd rom second..... and while I think of this........ if you have anything that says floppy, disable it, in where you make the boot sequence ( just described ) and on the first bios page..... should say something about floppy there... set to none/disable/uninstall, whatever. F10 then ENTER to save.
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October 8, 2011 2:46:48 AM

The ram says 1.5V on it.
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Best solution

October 8, 2011 2:56:24 AM

im willing to bet your mobo is defective, its not uncommon since the UPS guys handle those things so roughly. One surefire way to tell if your mobo is damaged is to look for blown capacitors, but that wouldn't be UPS fault...
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October 8, 2011 3:00:48 AM

you didn't mess with the auto over clock or flip those 2 switches did you ?......... and did you try all the stuff above yet ?
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October 8, 2011 5:45:44 PM

The overclock switches have been in the default position the whole time. I reset the CMOS. THe system wouldn't post with just one memory stick so I put both in and got it to post. It didn't say anything about a "floppy." It froze up a couple of times in the BIOS, and a couple of more times in the "expanding files" step in installing windows.
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October 8, 2011 7:21:58 PM

okay, it wouldn't post with 1 memory stick. Did you try that memory in another slot. and did you try the other memory stick in different slots ?? Did you check the HD for errors ? did you swap SATA connectors on the board ? ( plug data cable in another slot ). Even the newest boards' BIOS' I've seen have some "floppy" stuff in them. I thought I saw a floppy socket on that board ?
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October 8, 2011 8:31:43 PM

Is there a way to check the HD for errors when the system won't stay on for more than a couple of minutes?

I tried both memory sticks in the top slot with the method here: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/261145-31-perform-ste...
and I got the beeps indicating the memory was working with each stick. I also ran the windows memory diagnostic and it said there were no problems with the memory.

I didn't see anything about floppy on the screen listing the components when I first turned it on after clearing the CMOS, but I haven't been able to look around in the BIOS because of the crashing.
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October 8, 2011 8:59:53 PM

short of having the machine in front of me to mess with I'm going to give up on it. Tough to diagnose over the net. Sounds like either the ps isn't providing the right amount of power, the processor is borked or getting hot really fast or the mother board is shot... ???? Suggest RMA at this point....... I really hate giving up on this I gotta tell you, but......... keep us informed.
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October 8, 2011 9:06:18 PM

before you do the above do us both a favor....... completely disassemble the computer..... including removing the mother board. Look for high spots in the solder points and anywhere the mother board or case would come in contact with each other. perhaps something is shorting out.
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October 8, 2011 9:08:42 PM

I'm going to RMA the motherboard. The CPU looks physically okay, the temp readings have been low and it hasn't felt hot when I've looked around in the case. The PSU's definitely providing power to everything but maybe I'll pick up a volt meter to check the amount since they're relatively inexpensive.

Thanks for your help; I'll post about what happens.
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October 8, 2011 9:16:58 PM

The retailer is giving me a refund rather than replacing the board because they don't have it anymore. I could get it somewhere else at a higher price.

Any recommendations for another microATX board that would work with the other components listed in my first post? Or should I go with the same one?
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October 8, 2011 9:24:54 PM

swifty_morgan said:
before you do the above do us both a favor....... completely disassemble the computer..... including removing the mother board. Look for high spots in the solder points and anywhere the mother board or case would come in contact with each other. perhaps something is shorting out.


Just saw this post. Everything on the back of the motherboard looks in order; nothing sticking out further than the standoff screws stand high. When I set it back on the standoffs I couldn't see anything touching and there weren't any wires, screws, etc. under it while I was trying to get it to run.
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October 8, 2011 9:37:13 PM

pawink said:
The retailer is giving me a refund rather than replacing the board because they don't have it anymore. I could get it somewhere else at a higher price.

Any recommendations for another microATX board that would work with the other components listed in my first post? Or should I go with the same one?



Seeing the problems you're having, and reading the posts over at newegg I would never touch another one of those boards. I almost purchased one of those earlier this year. glad I didn't. I'll look around for a board but might not get back soon.
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October 11, 2011 3:10:10 AM

I looked at the boards the other day. I can understand why you purchased one with 2 physical 8x slots but the reality is there are few of them........ and if you look the second slot is 4x in most........ if you want a replacement board, go to newegg, search for am3 boards with 1 pci-e 16 slot ( micro axt ) and just hit the best ratings thing in the upper right. Choose whatever board you think would be best for your application. Not all are great over clocker's but I don't do that any more and don't have problems keeping up with apps anyways.
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October 11, 2011 6:34:57 PM

Thanks. I don't actually need room for 2 graphics cards. I picked the board because it was recommended in some articles (I'm sure the 2 slots were part of the reason they recommended it).
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October 23, 2011 10:34:27 PM

I got a new, different motherboard, and the system is running well now. Thanks so much.
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October 23, 2011 10:35:29 PM

Best answer selected by pawink.
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