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Death to blue screens

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December 7, 2011 7:42:11 PM

My old system:
790XTA-UD4
4GB (2x2GB) G.Skill F3-12800CL7D-4GBRM
HIS 5850
AMD 425 CPU
Earthwatts 650w

My new components:
8GB (2x4GB) G.Skill F3-14900CL9D-8GBXL
2x Sapphire 6870
AMD 970 Black
PCPC 750w

My issues:

As you might have guessed, I'm having a lot of trouble with my new setup. Only problems I had with my old setup were corrupt firmware on the 5850... replaced and fixed. Can't as easily find the issue, now. I'm hoping some of you nerdy geniuses can help me out.

Blue screens galore. Haven't been able to work out a pattern yet, but I will lay out the facts. Associated files of the crashes ranged from straight error codes to fltmgr.sys to atikmdag.sys. There isn't, that I've found, any given action or process that will cause it to lock up. Sometimes the screen will go black for a quick second and a windowed error will pop up informing me that 'Windows Desktop stopped working and has recovered', but not always. I ran a pointless memtest with both of the new sticks in and got the 'hardware problem' message, and am now currently in the process of running memtest on each stick in each of my 4 slots with fail-safe defaults loaded in bios. I will update as any news from this comes forth. In the meantime, any ideas?!?! Thanks you gyuys!

More about : death blue screens

a b B Homebuilt system
December 7, 2011 7:51:34 PM

I think you are on the right track. Bad RAM will cause problems.

Even though memtest86+ takes a while to run, you should test each stick of RAM at the rated speed, latencies, and voltage. Errors at the rated settings are not acceptable - RMA for replacement!
December 7, 2011 9:36:38 PM

Memtest is clearly showing one of my new sticks of RAM to be faulty. I did some reading and it sounds like it is possible for faulty RAM to cause mem. leaks and such, obviously leading to blue screens, even after said faulty RAM has been removed. If that's true, that could explain a lot of the confusion I had about crashes even after I had taken this particular stick out. However, what actually led me to believe that I had a RAM issue in the first place (and subsequently why I went on to consider this a false theory) is whilst in the middle of attempting to reformat recently, my computer froze during Windows' 'Setup for first time use' process. This led me, after a few restarts with more crashes, to being completely unable to power the comp without it locking up in one of a couple ways. I left it alone for a couple days, came back to work on it and one of the very first things I did was (randomly) take out the stick that memtest is now showing to be faulty. I was immediately able to power my computer normally, proceeded to install windows successfully, and about 24 extra hours of proper function. Until, while my RMA request was process, it crashed in the same way it had been. The frequency of the crashes was getting much greater, as well, without any change to software of hardware.

The fact that this RAM is faulty makes me want to believe that it's the only issue, so I powered the comp down, switched the power unit off, unplugged power to the motherboard (I know the probably does nothing, but hell, why not?), placed the working RAM in slot 1, and am in the middle of reformatting again. Perhaps I jumped the gun, but damnit this should work.

Now, I'm sure there are other things to consider here. What, as an amateur, am I COMPLETELY skipping? Thanks again!!
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December 7, 2011 9:59:22 PM

Blue screen after downloading and beginning to install the first of however many windows updates after fresh reformat was done. Where to from here? :( 
December 7, 2011 10:10:55 PM

I'm now thinking back to an earlier issue that came up. Found out that regardless how fast your RAM is, your are limited to 1333 if you processor is an AMD x4, and can also cause crashing if not sinced with the CPU. For the purposes of Memtest I set RAM to default bios settings which puts the RAM at 1600. I just switched back to what I had found to be stable before and am attempting again.
December 8, 2011 3:53:58 AM

Quick update... Things are normal so far, no more crashes since I timed the RAM as I had it last. Hopefully it sticks!
a b B Homebuilt system
December 8, 2011 11:40:55 AM

You didn't mention in your original post if you also replaced the motherboard, so I'm assuming that you still have the same one.

According to the CPU Support List for that motherboard, it accepted your original CPU without out a BIOS update. However, with the AMD 970, that board requires version F4A of the BIOS. Did you update that when you started?

-Wolf sends
December 8, 2011 5:22:35 PM

Wolfshadw said:
According to the CPU Support List for that motherboard, it accepted your original CPU without out a BIOS update. However, with the AMD 970, that board requires version F4A of the BIOS. Did you update that when you started?


Indeed I did. This and a couple other small issues (like the RAM timings) gave me a lot of headaches when I first put the system together, but I learned a lot during the fixes! Thanks for the idea.
December 12, 2011 7:27:14 PM

Another piece of the puzzle solved... The crashes are becoming much less frequent.

Stock RAM voltages aren't quite enough for G.Skill sticks when used with an AMD system, apparently. For my sticks, 1.5v is stock, right now I have it set at +0.105v. This is also why BF3 sometimes caused a hard-crash and sometimes just closed itself, I have found. With any luck, this will have been the last of my issues. Keep shooting ideas at me if/when they come, and thanks again for everyone's help.
December 13, 2011 8:08:59 PM

Alrighty, everything seems to be running great! No more crashes, great FPS, nerd-boner returned. For those of you considering an AMD system, and furthermore G.Skill RAM, let my pain be a lesson to you! AMD processors (perhaps not including the new FX line) are limited to 1333, so no point in buying RAM with greater capability (especially with where socket technology is going). If you do get RAM with a higher rating you need to manually sync it in BIOS to 1333 and find the timings that work for you, and if said RAM happens to be made by G.Skill then you need to increase the voltage!!

It turns out I pretty much talked my way through this myself, but thanks again to everyone.
!