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Random crashes, BSODs, DRAM_LED on, no POST, randomly turning off

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Anonymous
January 24, 2013 9:11:49 PM

Hello Everyone.

I'm new to the forum, and frankly, I wish I didn't have to register, because it would mean I have no issues with my PC, but sadly, that's not the case. It's a long story, so sit back, get some popcorn out and...enjoy, I guess.

About 2 years ago, I bought a new PC. Got all the components and had my brother assemble it. My specs are as follows:

Motherboard: ASUS M4A88T-M USB3
CPU: AMD Athlon II X4 635 @ 2.9 GHz (no O.C.)
RAM: 2×1 GB Kingston 1333 MHz and 1×2 GB Kingmax 1333 MHz
HDD: Western Digital 640 GB Caviar Green
GPU: Gigabyte GeForce 550 TI, 1GB DDR5 RAM (no O.C.) *
CPU fan: Cooler Master Hyper 212+ *

The components marked with asterisk were not parts of the original configuration. Before the new CPU fan, I had the one that initiall came with the CPU. The stock cooler. Also, the previous GPU was a Sapphire Radeon 5750 (not O.C.), so please take that into account.

About six months after using the new PC (with the original parts), the computer started crashing left to right, throwing random BSODs at my face, with completely random error messages that are in no way related to each other. Here are some of the error messages I got:

0x100007f UNEXPECTED_KERNEL_MODE_TRAP
0x100000a IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL
0x00000c9 DRIVER_VERIFIER_IOMANAGER_VIOLATION
0x0000044 MULTIPLE_IRP_COMPLETE_REQUESTS
0x10000d1 DRIVER_IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL

Now, at first it may seem like a driver issue, but this can be ruled out, as I have reinstalled Windows 7 several times and installed everything from the ground up. The issue persists.

For a few weeks, the system would continue crashing at completely random times. It did not matter if it ran in Max Power Saving mode or Max Performance mode, it didn't matter if I was just browsing the web or playing more demanding games, none of it mattered. It would eventually crash, no matter what.

A few weeks later, the crashes simply stopped and everything seemed to work perfectly. I thought that it was maybe a registry issue that somehow got corrected, and continued using the PC for about another 4 months without any issues....then the crashes started again.

Same thing. Random BSODs, Windows crashing all the time, completely unpredictable behavior of the system. Since the original GPU's fan was starting to develop some cog issues, I sent the whole PC back to the place where I bought most of the components from (everything except the CPU and PSU).

About a month and a half later, they sent it back, saying it was the GPU causing all the issues. It was promptly RMA'd and that was when I got the GeForce 550 TI card. I thought everything was alright - installed Windows 7 again, set it up and had been using the comp for months with no issues whatsoever.....and then it happened again.

The exact same symptoms had started showing again, random crashes, BSODs and the like. However, some new symptoms arose as well; almost every time I had a crash, I'd press the reset button, but the comp wouldn't even make it to POST; the fans would speed up and slow down periodically, the HD and DVD Drive would give out those 'waking up' noises, but the monitor would lose signal and, like I said, no POST at all. I had to turn the PC off for several minutes in order for it to POST again.

At that point, it was obvious the issues weren't due to a faulty GPU. I thought that it might be the CPU overheating, so I replaced the stock cooler with the Hyper 212+, which keeps temperatures below 40 C at all times. The issues, however, remain. The MB, CPU and GPU all run BELOW 40 C, and NEVER go above 55 during full load, so overheating cannot be the problem. I also dust the case and clean the components on a regular basis, so it cannot be dust causing the problem either.

---------------

I had my GPU replaced and a new CPU fan installed last summer. I checked the RAM and they are compatible with the MB. It doesn't matter which slot I put them into, the comp remains just as prone to crashing as it was before. Fast forward to the day before yesterday.

The computer started crashing again after months of having no issues at all, but this time it was something completely different - it just quit Windows altogether; no crashes, no BSOD, nothing at all, the monitor just lost the signal and the fans sped up like mad. I also noticed, that the DRAM_LED lit up, it was all red, lighting continuously.

Now, the manual of my MB says that this happens if the memory modules are incompatible, but I firmly believe that if that was the case, the comp wouldn't have functioned without any errors for several months. Let me summarize the newest symptoms:

- The PC randomly crashes, but there is no BSOD at all
- The monitor loses the signal
- The fans in the case speed up and slow down periodically
- The DRAM_LED on the MB lits up and remains on until I power off the PC
- At one point, the PC simply shut itself off, as if I had pulled the plug from the AC
- At one point, a few seconds after turning on, the PC simply turned itself once again

At these points, I have to wait at least 10-15 minutes before attempting to use the PC again. It turns on, but the DRAM_LED lights up instantly, the monitor receives no signal and there is no POST at all. If I remove the memory modules, I hear periodic beeps from the speaker, so at least it recognizes the lack of memory modules.

At this point, I'm out of ideas and don't know what to do. My suspected cuplrits are the PSU and MB. Once again, here are my specs:

Motherboard: ASUS M4A88T-M USB3
CPU: AMD Athlon II X4 635 @ 2.9 GHz (no O.C.)
RAM: 2×1 GB Kingston 1333 MHz and 1×2 GB Kingmax 1333 MHz
HDD: Western Digital 640 GB Caviar Green
GPU: Gigabyte GeForce 550 TI, 1GB DDR5 RAM (no O.C.) *
CPU fan: Cooler Master Hyper 212+ *

Thank you for reading, and I hope you can help me find a solution for this.
a b V Motherboard
January 27, 2013 2:11:18 AM

You have not listed what power supply you are using, make and model please.
Anonymous
January 27, 2013 12:08:41 PM

knightdog56 said:
You have not listed what power supply you are using, make and model please.


My PSU was an M-Tech (AKA Mercury) 550W, the model is KOB AP4550XA. Here's a picture (not mine): http://n1.vatera.hu/photos/e2/f0/4936_1_big.jpg

I disassembled the PC, when I suddenly noticed, that one of the 4-pin connectors coming from the PSU was charred, and had partially melted. The cord was responsible for directing power towards the CPU.

Me and a friend installed another 500W PSU into the PC, and it POSTed AND booted up without an issue. This may explain why the PC kept saying every time I turned it on, that it had found a new CPU, and that I should enter the BIOS and check if the settings are alright.

Any opinions?
Related resources
a b V Motherboard
January 27, 2013 4:15:47 PM

Just hope you installed a good quality power supply, if you need information on a good power supply look here. http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/page/power That is why I asked for information on the make and model of the power supply, I have built systems for the last twenty years and have seen alot of systems with bad power supplies and what they can do to a motherboard or other components. Never skimp on a power supply, that is what powers the rest of the system.
Anonymous
January 27, 2013 5:25:48 PM

knightdog56 said:
Just hope you installed a good quality power supply, if you need information on a good power supply look here. http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/page/power That is why I asked for information on the make and model of the power supply, I have built systems for the last twenty years and have seen alot of systems with bad power supplies and what they can do to a motherboard or other components. Never skimp on a power supply, that is what powers the rest of the system.


http://www.chieftec.eu/en/psus/a-80-series/ctg-600-80p....

This is the PSU I've been looking at. It seems affordable, and delivers more wattage than my last PSU. The features seem to be good, and I heard some good stuff about Chieftec's PSUs. What do you think? Is Chieftec worth it?
a b V Motherboard
January 27, 2013 9:18:56 PM

Sounds like the chieftec power supply has a short cpu power cable, don't know if that will be a problem for you. I would look at a better unit.
Anonymous
January 27, 2013 9:41:50 PM

knightdog56 said:
Sounds like the chieftec power supply has a short cpu power cable, don't know if that will be a problem for you. I would look at a better unit.


The length of the cables/connectors shouldn't pose a problem. That aside, do you have any opinions on the PSU and Chieftec in general?
a b V Motherboard
January 27, 2013 10:37:49 PM

Do not have opinion on chieftec power supplies because I have no used them, I have heard that some have an issue with A/C ripple noise unde a 300 watt load or above. I use Seasonic, Corsair or Antec, I had one problem with an Antec back in 2003 it was DOA. But here is some info on Cheiftec, http://uk.hardware.info/productgroup/21/111-chieftec-po...
Anonymous
January 28, 2013 4:58:59 PM

knightdog56 said:
Do not have opinion on chieftec power supplies because I have no used them, I have heard that some have an issue with A/C ripple noise unde a 300 watt load or above. I use Seasonic, Corsair or Antec, I had one problem with an Antec back in 2003 it was DOA. But here is some info on Cheiftec, http://uk.hardware.info/productgroup/21/111-chieftec-po...


Thanks a lot! I will look into it.
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