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Anyone??!? Please help!!

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May 22, 2012 6:53:17 PM

I'm not even fully sure where to put this, because I can't figure out what the issue is or involves. I starting building a new system in early April. Initially, for a week or 2, it ran almost flawlessly. EXCEPT...for a rare, but noticeable crashing right when I first put it together. It has since become unusable. Let me first post the components, then I will explain the issues, since they changed with the components. Well..changed except for the not working part.

Motherboard: BIOSTAR TA990FXE AMD 990FX AM3+ SOCKET MOTHERBOARD
Processor: AMD FX-6100 X6 3300MHZ 14MB 95W AM3+
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 64Bit DVD OEM
RAM: Corsair High Perform Vengeance 8GB DDR3 1600Mhz 2x4GB
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper N520 Copper Heatpipe CPU Coole
Primary Hard drive: Corsair Force GT Series 120GB Solid State Drive
GPU: Visiontek Radeon HD 5670 1GB DDR5 PCIe, DVI & HDMI
Power Supply: Corsair Enthusiast Series TX750 V2 750W 80+ Bronze

OK. That was the initial setup. And it ran OK, except for me noticing when I first started installing Windows and even working in the BIOS it crashed a couple of times. Right out of the box. Once I got it up and running though, there were no issues. None at all. It ran fine and was smoking fast. No thermal issues. The CPU never got over around 38 degrees under heavy load with a Prime95 torture test, and the motherboard never got over 40 or so.

So...my original intentions with this system were to be able to scale it up. Which is what I did. I added double the RAM. The exact same as above. And I added a second hard drive. A WD Caviar Green 1TB 64mb/ SATA-6G.
I also wanted to add a secondary video card. The 5670 was no longer in stock..anywhere, so I got a Visiontek Radeon HD 5750 1GB DDR5 PCIe.
The exact same drivers. The same GRAM. Just a slightly different model. I was intending to run them as a CrossFire setup, but I was never able to get the AMD..formerly the ATI engine to allow me the option to do so. Both cards were recognized, but it wouldn't run the CrossFire.
So...I removed one card. And kept going. But not for long.

I shortly afterwards started experiencing black screens. Very rarely a BSOD. But mostly black. Checking the error codes, they would range from usually...a probable driver error...to eventually a hardware error. So...I started changing things out. I eventually have changed out everything except the processor, the processor fan and the case. I mention the case, because I was joking around with someone about changing out the case, and it made me realize that maybe I was inadvertently grounding something out on the case. I have removed every single thing. And rebuilt it. I have acquired a new motherboard, just in case the BioStar one was bad. I put in a
Gigabyte 990FXA-UD3 AMD 990FX AM3+ Motherboard. And that is what I have in now. Now..since I changed out the board, I have gone from crashes...black or blue screens, or just seemingly random reboots, to outright freezes. That is the only difference.

Well..and the difference also being, that freezes don't usually generate an error code like a crash can. I have tried using both hard drives as my main while unplugging the other one. I have reformatted multiple times. I will soon have Microsoft knocking at my door if I try to activate many more times. I've already been threatened by my A/V subscription people for reloading it so many times.

This issue happens on a clean drive. Or I can get Windows fully installed and then have it crash. But that's as far as I can go. I can't do anything else with it. I'm at my wits end. The chances of getting 2 bad motherboards from 2 different companies are extremely unlikely. I have tried running only 2 sticks of RAM with no luck. I have tried both GPU cards separately without and luck. I've changed power supplies. I've updated and flashed both BIOS. I've run both drives as I've already said. Nothing helps.

It could be the CPU, but this isn't a normal CPU type problem. That I'm aware of at least. And yes...I have proper thermal compound on it. And I just changed it a few days ago...just to be sure. When I changed the board.

I've tried reasoning with this. I've pandered to it. I've pleaded with it. I've threatened it. Yelled at it. :fou:  Still....with no luck. Does anyone have any suggestions at all? Even bad ones!! And I'm serious. There may be something very seemingly inconsequential that I have not done...or forgotten to do.

Please!!! Help me!!! I don't even really have anyone in the small town where I live to call. I'm the person who the town usually calls. :cry: 


More about : question

May 22, 2012 10:03:07 PM

The first thing I want you to do is download a program called MemTest86+ (the + is important). It will come as an ISO and you will have to use a program that can deconstruct an ISO and copy the original files to a CD.

Do so and restart the computer with 1 stick of RAM in slot 1 and the CD in.

Let it get through 10 passes and tell me if you see any errors listed.

If you do not, proceed to replace stick 1 with stick to and restart with the CD in.

As always, ensure that any time you are working with internals the power cord is unplugged from the PSU and that you touch the metal part of the case early and often to prevent ESD.
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May 23, 2012 7:34:23 AM

Hello !

I, too, think that you should start by testing the memory. However :

Raiddinn said:
It will come as an ISO and you will have to use a program that can deconstruct an ISO and copy the original files to a CD.


It might be simpler to create a bootable USB flash drive instead of using a CD. Whatever the method you use, be sure that your Boot settings are set so that it tries to both from the USB/CD first, and not from your HDD. Memtest86+ should then start automatically running the tests #1 through #10.

Raiddinn said:
Do so and restart the computer with 1 stick of RAM in slot 1 and the CD in.


The RAM must be in the slot #0, not #1. The layout for the memory modules is usually thus, from left to right : #2-#0-#3-#1.
Since you only have 2 memory modules, you must place them in the slots #0 and #1 (The red ones).
If you're not certain, simply put the memory stick in the red slot closest to the CPU.

Raiddinn said:
Let it get through 10 passes and tell me if you see any errors listed.


I think what you mean here is wait until the Test #10 is done. However, for initial testing, I'd stop once the Test #8 is finished.
Doing 10 passes (10 times the tests #1 through #10) is useless at this stage. The OP is not testing to see if his memory is stable for long periods of time : from what he's said, his PC crashes almost immediately.
Also, you should know that since you've got 4GB memory sticks, the test could take some time. I'd say about a half-hour per stick, if you run tests 1 through 10.

Good luck,
al360ex
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May 23, 2012 12:57:35 PM

al360ex said:
Stuff


More people have CD drives than USB sticks, so it is a better bet the OP has one of those. They are also more easy to get computers to recognize as boot devices. When giving instructions to many people at once (we are on a message board with a search function here) its best to go with the most applicable in the most cases, even if it is (arguably) tiny bit harder than some other method.

RAM - You should really know what you are talking about before you contradict me.

RAM slots are numbered however the maker wants to number them. They are not any rules regarding how to number RAM slots in the specifications and nowhere remotely close to all do it the way you are suggesting. I can tell you for a fact mine isn't 2, 0, 3, 1. Mine goes A1, A2, B1, B2 so that just blows your whole concept out of the water.

That doesn't even touch on the fact that humans start counting from 1, not from 0. If you tell a human to stick a RAM stick in slot 1, they will almost always do it on the farthest one to the left regardless of what the manual says because people read left to right and count 1, 2, 3, 4 instead of 0, 1, 2, 3 or A1, B1, A2, B2.

That again doesn't even touch on the fact that what slot the RAM is in really doesn't even matter most of the time. I could put 1 stick of RAM in any of my slots and it would boot just fine, which is all I really need it to do right now for the purposes of this test.

That again doesn't even touch on the fact that if you are testing something in a logical way, say trying to test all the RAM slots for functionality for instance, that its much easier and less confusing to go in this order 1, 2, 3, 4 from left to right when you are testing rather than trying to go in this order 2, 0, 3, 1.

At least you finished off by completely contradicting yourself and saying to do what I suggested anyway. I have to give you that at least.

10 passes vs 8 - I have an interest in this being done right the first time. I don't have any interest in a scenario where the OP stops the testing in the 8th round when a real problem exists that would have showed up in the 9th or 10th round and then we all go around assuming that there is no RAM problem when there really is one.

The tiny amount of time saved for the OP now by doing 8 passes could result in a lot more time wasted down the road. Maybe it is unlikely, but I don't want to spend weeks on this problem because you wanted him to save a few hours on RAM testing that doesn't even need to be monitored.
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May 23, 2012 2:49:29 PM

Raiddinn said:
RAM slots are numbered however the maker wants to number them. They are not any rules regarding how to number RAM slots in the specifications and nowhere remotely close to all do it the way you are suggesting. I can tell you for a fact mine isn't 2, 0, 3, 1. Mine goes A1, A2, B1, B2 so that just blows your whole concept out of the water.

That again doesn't even touch on the fact that what slot the RAM is in really doesn't even matter most of the time. I could put 1 stick of RAM in any of my slots and it would boot just fine, which is all I really need it to do right now for the purposes of this test.


You should have read his motherboard's installation manual. I agree that I was wrong on the numbering part, but the principle remains the same : In most cases, in a dual-channel memory setup, when you have only 2 sticks you must put them in the 2nd and 4th slots for the PC to boot :



So in the OP's case, his slots are numbered thus, from left to right : A1, A2, B1 and B2. A2 and B2 are the red slots.

Raiddinn said:
10 passes vs 8 - I have an interest in this being done right the first time. I don't have any interest in a scenario where the OP stops the testing in the 8th round when a real problem exists that would have showed up in the 9th or 10th round and then we all go around assuming that there is no RAM problem when there really is one.

The tiny amount of time saved for the OP now by doing 8 passes could result in a lot more time wasted down the road. Maybe it is unlikely, but I don't want to spend weeks on this problem because you wanted him to save a few hours on RAM testing that doesn't even need to be monitored.


I must say that I've honestly never seen an error be detected in the test #9 or #10.
Also, as I've wrote before, when using Memtest86+, the OP should do only 1 pass and ideally finish the 10th test with any error.

One thing I think we both have forgotten to ask the OP is if he has put his memory sticks in the right slots : A2 and B2 (the red ones). If he put them in A1 and A2 for example, this might explain his computer crashing when he tries to start windows.
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May 23, 2012 5:41:39 PM

Are you talking about enabling dual channel mode or booting at all?

Dual channel mode doesn't matter if you only have 1 stick of RAM in and it doesn't have anything to do with testing RAM sticks.

Also, what the manufacturer suggests has nothing to do with what is required in order to boot a PC. A complete idiot has to be able to follow the manufacturer's instructions so it pays to cater to the lowest common denominator in the manuals.

That is completely different from giving instructions to technicians with many years of experience or for technicians giving instructions to other people.

If he has his RAM in slot B2 and slot B2 is bad or his RAM stick is bad, that would be a good reason why he couldn't boot into Windows.

I haven't seen very many instances at all where a computer will not work at all if the RAM stick is in slot A not in slot B except when slot A is a broken slot. Then it won't work if A has anything in it ever, not just B has to be filled before A.

There are exceptions to everything, so his motherboard could be the exception, but I highly doubt it, regardless what the manual says.
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May 23, 2012 6:18:35 PM

Thanks all for answering. I finally figured it out last night. The answer was on my desk all along. I had tried all of the memory tests, processor tests...every thing is possibly is to try.

I knew by the time I posted this, it had to be something either really really huge or really small. And it was extremely small, but oh so important.

I had begun to think something was shorting out my system, but never could figure out what it was. It finally dawned on me, and made me feel like both a genius and a Forrest Gump idiot all at the same time! :pfff: 

If I had taken it somewhere they never would have been able to reproduce the problem. I have a monitor with a VGA plug on the end of it. To connect to most video cards now a VGA-DVI adapter is required.

Long story short.... a DVI-I dual link and DVI-A adapter are NOT compatible. I just had left the one on my monitor from my old computer and plugged it straight in to the new one like an idiot. :non: 


Not thinking.

I was at a slitting my wrists phase with this. lol.....jokingly of course.

It wasn't the system at all. It was an external adapter causing all kinds of random crashes and errors. Sorry for the trouble for my own stupidity! :pt1cable: 
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May 23, 2012 6:50:19 PM

I suppose that would make sense too.
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