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Ideas for troubleshooting a new setup?

Last response: in Systems
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December 6, 2011 7:28:20 PM

I'm posting this here although it might not be related to simply Motherboard & Memory.

My brand new system is experiencing some strange behavior and I am trying to isolate it. The hardest part is recreation of the strangeness, and I'm mostly interested in ways to reproduce it.

Immediately following my fresh build of Windows 7 and installation of the drivers and driver updates for the hardware I began to experience some lockups within windows. These would sometimes be lockups just of the application, but often the entire system, lasting anywhere from about 3-30 seconds.

I really didn't do a lot of work on this system, so most of my lockups were simply doing things like launching system tools (Catalyst command center, Asus tool bar) or in Internet Explorer while browsing for updates or other things done when typically setting up a system. At the time I thought they might be related to an application simply running for the first time, but especially since the entire system would become unresponsive I became a little concerned.

Today I hooked everything up to my new receiver and was testing by playing a DVD via WMP. In my use of the system today I continued to get these lockups on a random basis and I had 2 abrupt reboots of the system.

Nothing is being logged in Windows App or System logs with the exception of a BSOD error for the second abrupt reboot. The BSOD was a 0x000000f4 error seemingly pointing at NTOSKRNL. This is obviously a hardware/driver error - and I suspect my SSD or Mobo (or combination thereof) as the main culprits (just intuitively).

I've been playing the DVD for 30 minutes now and nothing strange, but I know this is a persistent issue and I am trying to figure out the best was to stress the system into reproducing it so that I can begin eliminating components to try to figure out the issue.

I would welcome any recommendations.

Setup:
- ASUS F1A75V-EVO board
- AMD A8-3850
- Kingston KHX1600C9D3X2K2/8GX

These are the only things connected to the system:
- OCZ Vertex VTX3-25SAT3-120G SSD (plugged into AMD A75 FCH (Hudson D3) SATA controller)
- Optical: LG WH12LS30 (plugged into Asmedia SATA)
- nMedia 6000B case with LCD panel
December 6, 2011 7:59:27 PM

Do you have any other HDD than the SSD? I have seen OCZ ssd's that would exhibit lockups.
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December 6, 2011 9:47:17 PM

I have a spare SATA 3/gbps drive I can build on to test.

I had a heap of trouble trying to install windows with this SSD drive. My goal was to keep the optical drive on the single port Asmedia SATA, and put my SSD on 1 of the 6 AMD A75 ports.

In AHCI mode, Windows setup would tell me that the drive couldn't be installed on and to check my computer's BIOS (even though the BIOS showed it in the boot list. I was able to install to my non-SSD just fine in this configuration.

So, what I ended up doing was installing in reverse - with my SSD on the Asmedia and my optical on the AMD A75. Once done with setup, I swapped, and everything seemed fine.

I am rebuilding again right now with BOTH devices on the AMD sata - so that I don't have to switch anything over to see if it is any better.

If that doesn't help, I will try to rebuild once more on my non OCZ SSD.

The hardest thing is to try and recreate the issues reliable. If I just sit there an keep opening and closing a bunch of programs I can seemingly get it to do it within about 5 minutes...but not every time - and I'm unsure when i am getting a lock up that it is of the exact same sort.

If it ends up being the SSD, I'm going to be extremely ticked off. Not only can't I return it to NewEgg (no return on SSD) but I had to already clip the upc to get my rebate in time. I have a pretty good feeling that the SSD is to blame - and if so, i plan to hammer OCZ until the end of time.
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December 6, 2011 10:08:09 PM

Apply for a RMA from OCZ. I had a Vertex 2 that I collected the rebate on, it then failed, and OCZ replaced it. Just because you got a rebate doesn't cancel the warrantee from the Manufacturer!
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December 7, 2011 3:12:02 AM

I think i might have found the culprit.

I rebuilt the system a couple of times. In the end I decided to keep both the Optical and the SSD on the AMD Sata. I seemed to have alot fewer install problems in this setup. Apparently the Asmedia SATA didn't allow for a UEFI boot of the DVD, which seemed to give the greatest success when trying to install.

Apart from the rebuild, i realized that the system was still running with the stock Windows 7 SATA driver and not the AMD. Because the AMD driver was not an installer, but just a stand-alone .inf file, and because it wasn't needed for the initial install (although when I ended up supplying it, some minor issues during install went away) I must have overlooked it in my first build.

I'm still sore at OCZ because my install to other Sata drives was totally painless in AHCI mode...so they still have some things to work out. But - I don't think the drive needs an RMA, and I haven't had any lockups in several hours of playing around.
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