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New Build Restarts Intermittently

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March 10, 2012 3:56:13 PM

Hello all,

Sorry to bother you guys with yet another "my computer restarts and I don't know why" post, but I've browsed these forums as best I can and can't seem to get anywhere with my problem.

First off... specs:
-Intel i7 2600 3.4 @ 27C
-Asus P8Z68-V LE Motherboard @ 18C
-N Spire 750W PSU
-MSI N560GTX-Ti GPU
-8 Gigs Corsair xms3 ddr3 ram
-Samsung 500g sata HDD
-Windows 7 ultimate 64bit
+ enough cooling fans for two cases
+ All drivers are up to date, no blips or yellow exclamation points in device manager

So here's the deal:
This is my third build, and for about the first week things were going swimmingly until out of the blue the computer restarted itself. I was in the middle of a game, and the screen simply went blank and switched back to the 'windows loading' screen as if I had hit the restart button on the system case.

Since the first time this has happened, it has continued in a completely random pattern. Sometimes it'll happen when I'm playing games, other times it'll happen while the computer is just sitting idle on the desktop screen. Sometimes it takes days for it to happen again... has me finally thinking "okay the problem has gone away" and then it'll come back and happen twice within a 10 minute time period.

I've done a lot of investigating on this issue (especially here on these forums where you guys really seem to know what you're talking about) and it seems in each case the first thing to check is the memory.

I've two extra sticks of the xms3 ram laying around, and I've swapped them in, trying each of the four slots and each time the computer still restarts.

I have the 'automatically restart' option disabled as I was hoping to get a blue screen that could provide me with more information... ANY information at all, but to no avail.

I think my next step should be to try the memtest (which I've no experience with, so I was hoping someone on here might guide me through the process).

I check the event viewer each time the restart occurs and it simply confirms that it is a hardware issue 'Source: Kernal-Power... Event ID: 41... Task category: (63).

In another post here on tom's hardware, a guy that seemed to be having my same problem was told to disable "vdroop" via the motherboard bios.. I too tried that but didn't notice any changes :( 

I greatly appreciate any and all feedback/support. Thanks for taking the time to read my post... I hope to hear from someone soon.

March 11, 2012 6:00:01 AM

My gut reaction is to blame your PSU, but a faulty mobo can sometimes do this too. I had an dying mobo that would restart my system randomly. Anyway, do you or your friends have any spare quality PSUs you could test on your system?

As for Memtest, you can just download Memtest 4.0a from the website and burn it to a CD following their instructions. Then you go into your BIOS and boot from the optical drive to run Memtest.

What are your RAM voltages? If it's over 1.5V, it might also give your system problems. Here is a relevant thread about RAM in Intel systems: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/333313-31-intel-speed...
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March 11, 2012 12:25:49 PM

I thought it might be the PSU also, but like hpdeskjet commented, the whole 1.5v thing is also important. I noticed in the Asus' QVL listings that alot of the Corsair ram is above 1.5v (of course if they're in the QVL you'd think that would make them acceptable)! A "on-its-way-out" HDD could also cause this problem so I'd test that too. I wouldn't assume that it's the mobo until I eliminated everything else though. :)  Good luck.
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March 11, 2012 8:27:35 PM

@hpdeskjet:
Thank you for the reminder, I actually do have a spare 650w psu. I thought it lacked a few proper cables but it looks like it can handle this motherboard so I'll swap it in tomorrow and get back with you. I also read from a few other places that users of this MB had some luck disabling a few of the onboard overclocking options.

I checked the ram voltages, and as it says on the side of each ram stick.. its holding steady at 1.5v, but I'll take it one step at a time and try memtest after switching psu's.

So I'll tinker with a few of the MB's options, manually set the ram to it's correct speed (as opposed to 'auto'), and let it run overnight to see if there are any restarts... 8 hours is usually enough time to get at least one. Thanks for your response.

@chaz21:
My HDD does seem to make a bit more noise than it should when the system shuts down, but I may also be investigating a little too closely. I have a spare that I will swap in after I get the PSU changed. I appreciate the advice.

I will keep the two of you posted!

In the meantime, I do remember the MB flexing inward under the pressure of the after market cooler as I screwed it into the case... so much so that the bottom end of the board was lifted off the metal standoffs and would've stayed like that if not for the screws (I never anticipated the cooler being that heavy). I don't see many stories of MB flex causing any damage, but is that something worth looking into? I hate to sound nit-picky, but at this point I'm just trying to narrow it down as best as possible... I'm beginning to pick up on how tricky this problem might turn out to be.
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