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Homebuilt: Random Crashing

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March 12, 2012 7:37:07 PM

Hello all:

I recently build my personal computer. Here are the relevant specs:

Intel i7 3930K CPU
Crucial M4 64GB SSD http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
ASRock X79 Extreme3 Motherboard http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
2 x 8GB Patriot RAM Kit (2x4Gb) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The problem is, it randomly crashes. As in a hard freeze - the mouse does not work and the Cap/Num lock keys do not toggle the lights. I found a surefire way to cause this is to watch a YouTube video. It nearly always crashes in <3 minutes. It also sometimes crashes when rendering. However, I can use it for hours doing light web coding or Minecrafting without any issues.

I've tried thoroughly testing the RAM since both rendering and video buffering are RAM-based:
-Removing one pair of sticks at a time (checking for a bad one)
-Doing both Windows and Linux memtests (both came back clean)
-I researched and found out that the motherboard clocked the RAM incorrectly by default. This has been fixed.
-I also tested and found that the tendency to crash has no correlation to the amount of RAM in use.

It very well may be, but I'm hoping it's not the SSD, which means I have to send it back and go through a ton of hassle. Any ideas, or would you recommend getting an RMA?

Thanks,
Connor
March 13, 2012 5:58:58 PM

Bumpity bump bump.
March 13, 2012 6:21:02 PM

connor4312 said:
I found a surefire way to cause this is to watch a YouTube video. It nearly always crashes in <3 minutes. It also sometimes crashes when rendering. However, I can use it for hours doing light web coding or Minecrafting without any issues.



Since it crashes when you're watching a youtube video, have you tried using a different video card ? or at least different drivers (preferably WHQL) ?
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March 13, 2012 7:41:42 PM

I have considered it may be the Flash, but I doubt it because:
-It is a "hard" crash, not just a browser crash
-It does not only crash when using Flash, it also sometimes crashes when rendering with mental ray (which is CPU-based)

My graphics card is the GTX 560Ti, which is more that sufficient for watching YouTube videos. I've actually cleaned out my boxes of computer stuff, so I don't have an extra video card lying around any more and I can't test a different one. I've not yet tried a WHQL driver, but if you still recommend it I can. I'm using the current nVidia graphics driver.
a b B Homebuilt system
March 13, 2012 8:03:16 PM

connor4312 said:
I have considered it may be the Flash, but I doubt it because:
-It is a "hard" crash, not just a browser crash
-It does not only crash when using Flash, it also sometimes crashes when rendering with mental ray (which is CPU-based)

My graphics card is the GTX 560Ti, which is more that sufficient for watching YouTube videos. I've actually cleaned out my boxes of computer stuff, so I don't have an extra video card lying around any more and I can't test a different one. I've not yet tried a WHQL driver, but if you still recommend it I can. I'm using the current nVidia graphics driver.

Well - with no other GPU available - no on-board graphics at all - your only option is to go the drivers/bios check route. Or you could always reinstall windows (7x64 I'm guessing). It might be the ssd you're right on that - you're also right that a "bad" one is a hassle to return. I'll keep looking for you but I'm not well versed on SBe/2011. Good luck to you! :) 
March 14, 2012 12:31:08 AM

connor4312 said:
I've not yet tried a WHQL driver, but if you still recommend it I can. I'm using the current nVidia graphics driver.


I do recommend you try that first. It doesn't cost anything and takes little time. Go to nVidia's web site and download the latest WHQL certified driver and, install it after uninstalling your current driver.

There is no question that your video card is powerful enough to handle flash videos, the question is whether the driver or the video card are the source of the problem (both are suspicious because your machine hangs when video operations are involved.)

HTH
March 14, 2012 1:55:51 PM

I updated all the driver to the most recent WHQL one - no fix.
March 14, 2012 8:37:50 PM

connor4312 said:
I updated all the driver to the most recent WHQL one - no fix.


If possible, I'd try a different video card. If you don't have one handy, I'd look for an electronics recycling store in the area, they may have some very cheap ones to sell (about $10.00 in some cases.) or take your computer to a friend's and borrow his/her video card for a few minutes.

Basically, you need to start testing each hardware component one at a time which implies the availability of hardware that is known to work properly.

HTH
a b B Homebuilt system
March 14, 2012 9:15:12 PM

This instance is a good example of why every mobo should have at least one video output on it - just saying. :( 
April 3, 2012 2:37:22 PM

Well,

I have to say that I had the same problem and almost the same config.

First I switched power management to High Performance - Not Balance... freezes ended up being way less, but still kept occurring.

Tested everything - All tests kept showing it has to do wit disk drives... controller or something else disk related

Did 10 clean Win7 x64 reinstalls

tried as AHCI, as RAID... didn't wanna try IDE

Followed instructions for raid driver load via flash usb etc... you know the drill...

So last time I said f**? it let me try this - and I know it may sound ridiculous, but I noticed that my ssd shows up as SSD ATA device before installing Intel Rapid Storage Technology driver and utility from my MBO's disk.

After installation it switches to scsi - due to the controller.

So I didn't install IRST and not a single freeze afterwards. Flash, Youtube... no problems, Photoshop CS5 and AfterEffect rendering... nothing caused a single freeze and it's been 2 weeks.

I may wanna wait until they release IRST that doesn't clash with something, as I bet it's a very important piece... but never the less... that's my story :) 
!