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System freezing, Memtest86 reporting errors before glitching out

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December 14, 2012 6:09:11 PM

Lately my system has been freezing and I'm having trouble determining what the issue could be. It generally occurs when the system is under some kind of stress , predominantly if I'm trying to stream while running multiple apps, and more recently, while I was trying to load a new install of iTunes with an old (rather large) library of music it froze several times requiring a forced reboot (by means of power button). There is no BSOD or power off, nor do the fans run excessively before it happens - I am suddenly staring at a frozen image of whatever I was doing, with no response from the mouse and keyboard input.

In my limited knowledge and experience, I figure it is likely an issue with either the CPU or RAM, but I could obviously be wrong. I ran Memtest86 just now for a couple hours and it reported one error during the first pass with a message beyond my comprehension - mostly data like the test and pass number, what was issued, maybe a mem address, and the core in which the error occurred. I came back to it and it was part way through pass 2, reporting 41 errors but no new lines of error messages. I came back during pass 3 and the screen was full of strange characters, but the test was still running (could see certain values like percent complete and the spinning slashes showing which cores were currently active). I decided to escape the process and take from it that an issue exists with the memory, and the program output was at that point illegible, anyway.

Some system specs, since that's usually the first thing to do on here:

MOBO: Gigabyte 970A-D3
CPU: AMD FX-4170 Quad-Core @ 4.2 GHz
RAM: 16GB (4x4GB) Corsair Vengeance CL9 @ 1600MHz
OS: Windows 7 Ultimate SP1
GPU: ATI Sapphire HD 6770 @ 1GB GDDR5
PSU: Cooler Master Extreme Power Plus 500W
HDD: Seagate Barracuda 250GB 7200 RPM 8MB Cache (I know... so bad...)

I think that's everything you might need to know and more. A few extra points:

1) I purchased the second pair of RAM modules more recently. I think the issue began after that point. But it's only occurred <10 times.

2) Given my machine only ever seems to run 1GB - 3GB of physical mem at a time, I made the choice to disable the pagefile. I THINK the issue began before that, anyway, but I've since reenabled it at 8GB - 9GB to be safe. I know this isn't optimal. (Any idea what might be?)

3) The same time i disabled the pagefile, I unganged the memory. It remains unganged.

Any help is appreciated! I'm sure you'll likely say that one of the second pair of modules is defective. Good way to test this?
a c 241 } Memory
December 14, 2012 7:37:21 PM

Good way of testing it is to leave just the new pair in and see if you have trouble, then just the original and see if it goes away.
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a c 85 } Memory
December 14, 2012 8:00:49 PM

under load check the temps of the cpu and gpu. most times lock up under loads on a pc can be a weak power supply. may be cuting it close on the 12v line in amps. see if you can use a friends power supply that larger then yours. with ram issues start with one stick of ram and boot from memtest and run overnight.
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December 15, 2012 4:34:55 AM

rolli59 said:
Good way of testing it is to leave just the new pair in and see if you have trouble, then just the original and see if it goes away.


The problem with this approach is the scarcity of its occurrence. Its happened maybe once a week to once in every two, excluding the night with the iTunes transfer when it happen twice consecutively.
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December 15, 2012 4:37:04 AM

smorizio said:
under load check the temps of the cpu and gpu. most times lock up under loads on a pc can be a weak power supply. may be cuting it close on the 12v line in amps. see if you can use a friends power supply that larger then yours. with ram issues start with one stick of ram and boot from memtest and run overnight.


I'd thought about that as I was typing out the specs, that the PSU might not be able to handle all this hardware. I think grabbing a 750W or something would be diligent anyway. Thanks for the great response! Do you suppose that a lack of power might be why the memory will only run at 1333 MHz? When I try to run it at 1600, the boot "fails due to overclocking".
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December 15, 2012 5:23:44 AM

See mhz in board and ram.Reason mhz is the key to achive speed. if board support 1600mhz u insert 1333mhz its waste because not get full speed of ram slot. if board support 1333mhz u insert 1600mhz its also waste of money (1333mhz ram is cheaper than 1600mhz)also u not utilise full speed of ram. (4x1600mhz=6400mhz =6.4ghz) vs (2x1600=3200mhz=3.2ghz). think.
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December 15, 2012 5:25:29 AM

hytecgowthaman said:
See mhz in board and ram.Reason mhz is the key to achive speed. if board support 1600mhz u insert 1333mhz its waste because not get full speed of ram slot. if board support 1333mhz u insert 1600mhz its also waste of money (1333mhz ram is cheaper than 1600mhz)also u not utilise full speed of ram. (4x1600mhz=6400mhz =6.4ghz) vs (2x1600=3200mhz=3.2ghz). think.


The board supports up to 2000 MHz i believe.
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December 15, 2012 5:29:21 AM

u r ram is comblind. also check u r all fans in the cpu for any damage and clean dust. damaged fan not work properly so change fan or parts.
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December 15, 2012 5:39:18 AM

strongflower said:
The board supports up to 2000 MHz i believe.

Ok see in the ram how much mhz it support. the ram is overclockable or not. only oc enabled ram is oc ble.not all rams are oc.
then another reason : if u put 3 2000mhz ram and 1 1333mhz ram the mobo change all 4 ram settings to 1333mhz.reason :not allow damage to 1333mhz ram. so u get blue screen error.
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December 15, 2012 6:08:01 AM

U r power supply is not enough to satisfy all power need.
Then come to the other mistake u made it. Disable Pafefile. so i think you not know about "virtual memory"search in google. pagefile is virtual memory in hdd. So Enable the pagefile option to get speed.To see how much virtual memory u r used now open taskmanager see the graph about ram and rightside box pagefile information .Sell all rams. Buy directly rams from transcend.com 2000mhz ram with lifetime warenty. then no need to worry about u r ram lifetime. other manufacturers give only one year warenty.
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a c 241 } Memory
December 15, 2012 1:04:30 PM

Although the PSU is not the best system with HD6770 barely pull 300watts total system load.
Try running memtest on the ram kits individually.
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