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Last ditch effort to stop XPS 730 Lock-ups

Last response: in Systems
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November 10, 2011 4:20:07 AM

OK.. so the gist of this is that about 3 years ago a i bought a XPS730 system from dell because i loved the case and they were going for a price that was about $100 over the component value. From day one it has been in some state of broken. The specs are below.

CPU: Core 2 - Q9550
MB: 790i Ultra SLI (Dell manufactured i assume) (Replaced by dell)
RAM: original (DDR3 4 x 1gb) (Some cheapo brand) Replaced 2 x 2GB Gskill ripjaw-x 1600 mhz
GPU: original 2 x 9800GT's (Dell manufactured), replaced 2 x GTX275 gigabyte
HD: 2 x seagate 1 TBs and a seagate 2TB (Origninal 750GB WD died)
PSU: 1000W 80 plus certifed (unknown brand)

The problem is not very specifc and crops up randomly, always causing a hard lock-up requiring a reset. This only happens in games never when the system is idle or just running windowed applications... though once it occured when watching a HD video.

Things i have looked at/tried
-- Bad gpus: Replaced same problem
-- SLI: Happens regardless
-- Bad RAM: Replaceds same problem
-- Windows/Software problem: Tried running countless combinations of xp/vista/7 with all possible drivers installed/unistalled 99.99% sures its not software
-- Heat: Fan on 100% (Sounds like a jet taking off) monitering all temps... cpu does not exceed 50C and gpus dont exceed 60 to 65 (one is warmer) still locks up
--SMART HDD Monitoring -- disabled no change
--Voltages: tried various combinations based on advice and other users experience, no change... Though indicated voltages by CPU-Z and other monitoring are always lower by 0.05 volts... and the 12V line drops to 11.8V on occasion.. i dont know alot about that so i dont know how typical that is... but that all the time with no change recorded as it locks up
-- Memory timing and frequancy: Tried various combinations as per advice, no diffrence
-- Tried disabling network/sound on MB: no diffrence
-- MB was replaced by dell early on no change
-- Stress testing with P95 -- Runs for 48 hours no problem...
-- Mem Test: again 48 hours no problem
-- PCI-E connectors (power supply): used all possible combinations with one or two cards

At the moment the last thing that i can think of is the PSU (or its haunted) as generally low load games dont crash as often... ie minecraft or half-life... though certain games crash at certain points and the problem goes and comes randomly, might be able to pull a few hours then it locks up, reset and only last a minute... im planning a new build atm but i thought why not try and resurrect it one final time... ideas? (Ghost busters is a possibliity)
November 10, 2011 5:12:35 AM

I am not familiar with a PSU freezing your computer. I suppose it is possible, but it has been my experience it just shuts down. Have you tried taking your computer out of RAID to see if that is the problem? Have you ran any scans of the HDDs to make sure there are no bad blocks and anything that can cause it to crash?

I know you said this is randomly occuring, but does it happen every day you play games, once a week, once a month, etc?
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November 10, 2011 5:19:51 AM

Forgot to mention but yes raid is disabled, i have tested the drives and have installed windows on two diffrent drive, the freezes occure atleast once a day... typically between 15 min and 2 hours after starting a game... on ocastion with some games its up to 5 hours... certain games dont freeze at all
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November 10, 2011 8:52:22 PM

Huh, then I'm fairly stumped. If you've replaced everything, etc... I'm not sure what it could be. Maybe just a crappy Dell MB?
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June 25, 2012 5:08:02 PM

ya im having same problem with sli gts250x2 and 4 sticks of mem 8 gig i tryed everything to worked fine in windowns load lotro it freezes....i had toi take out one of the cards and only use 2 sticks of 2gig each to make it work---stable in games now hope that helps...its a load thing ...once theres a load on the pc it locking up
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