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PC freezes randomly:

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April 9, 2012 8:14:03 PM

SPECS:
OS: Windows 7 Professional, 64-bit
Case: Cooler Master CM 690(II) Advance
Mobo: ASUS P6X58D-E
CPU: Intel i7-950, 3.06GHz
GPU: XFX Radeon HD6970
RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws Series; Two Triple-Channel 12GB kits (24GB total) - Model # F3-10666CL9T-12GBRL
Boot HDD: OCZ Vertex2 SSD, 90GB
Storage HDD: Western Digital Caviar Black, 1TB
Optical Drives: Lite-On LightScribe 24X DVD+/-RW and Samsung 20x DVD-RW, SATA
PSU: Corsair Professional Series HX750; previously a Xion AXP "Lan-Party Edition," 1000W ATX12V V2.2

I built this desktop last April and it ran flawlessly for at least 8 months... my wife would tell me that it took multiple presses of the power button to get it to turn on sometimes. Once it was on, it was fine though. Then, around December, it started to randomly lock up. Sometimes under load (gaming, Revvit, Photoshop), sometimes while just web-browsing or idling at the desktop, I've even had it lock up in the BIOS and at the Windows log-in screen. Mouse and keyboard would become unresponsive and it required a hard reboot or shutdown. Also, after it's been off for a few hours I usually have to press the power button a couple times before it'll power on and stay on. The first few presses each cause the fans to start spinning and the LEDs to power on--but they all power back off after a second or so. A few presses and eventually the system will power on. No BSODs and the Event Viewer has yet to give anything other than a "system was shutdown unexpectedly" note. I've had it freeze while playing a game before and shadows / etc. in the background continued to move--but aside from that one time, it's typically a static image (in games, video, etc.). I've tried waiting it out, but nothing has ever happened other than the monitors eventually going dark (if I turn them off or then enter sleep mode--they won't recognize a signal when I turn them on or try to wake them).

Things I've tried:
--I took it to a PC repair place and they kept it for about a week and, allegedly, tested everything. Said they couldn't find anything wrong and that it had been on the last 24 hours without any problems. This doesn't help since the lock-ups are intermittent; sometimes after a few seconds (or even in the BIOS)--sometimes not for 48 hours or more.
--I've RMA'd the RAM and motherboard
--Replaced the PSU (about a month ago)
--Re-seated the CPU a few times
--Made sure all components were seated and locked in properly
--Bought a new Thermaltake FRIO CPU cooler
--Rejiggered some of the fans on the off-chance that might help
--Formatted and did a clean reinstalled Windows 7 twice
--Updated drivers (though this hasn't been done since the last reinstall
--Cleared CMOS
--Updated to latest Asus BIOS
--Clean virus / spyware scans (using AVG, Spybot, and Windows Security Essentials)
--Tried running it without being plugged into the UPS or surge protector
--No hardware was installed or changed around the time that the problems began. The same goes for significant software--though I uninstalled everything around that timeframe and have since formatted and done a clean install of Windows 7
--I ran the Windows Memory Diagnostic and left it alone for a few hours. I came back to find that it had locked up at 90% through the first pass.
--Just tried running Memtest86--it made it through 2 passes without errors before locking up
--Tried manually setting the RAM to 9-9-9-24 / 2N but it wouldn't load Windows (kept telling me that "OC failed!" and to adjust settings. Had to set everything back to "Auto" before it actually would load Windows. As is, the settings "Auto" was putting were closer to 7-7-7-20 / 2N. I'm not knowledgeable enough to know if that makes a significant difference.

Yes, I know the 24GB of RAM is way more than the average user needs--but some of the programs my wife uses for her job actually get into that tier of stupid-high memory consumption.

It feels like I've been trying to fix this thing almost every free moment since December and I'm at my breaking point. Literally. I want to smash this damn thing. Any help would be appreciated.

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a b B Homebuilt system
April 9, 2012 8:27:46 PM

My first thought was a power supply issue, but seems maybe you replaced it?

Yes the memory timings and voltages mean something.

The sticker on the side of the ram will tell you what the settings are supposed to be.

Make sure the timings (9-9-9-24), speed (1333mhz (667x2) and voltage (1.5v) are set correctly in bios. Trying to run it at 7-7-7-20 at the same voltage will certainly cause issues.

Once you have the settings correct you can try these things:

Try 9-9-9-24/1333/1.6v

Try running just 3 sticks of memory.

Try running memtest on each stick individually.

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April 9, 2012 9:09:37 PM

geekapproved said:
My first thought was a power supply issue, but seems maybe you replaced it?

Yes the memory timings and voltages mean something.

The sticker on the side of the ram will tell you what the settings are supposed to be.

Make sure the timings (9-9-9-24), speed (1333mhz (667x2) and voltage (1.5v) are set correctly in bios. Trying to run it at 7-7-7-20 at the same voltage will certainly cause issues.

Once you have the settings correct you can try these things:

Try 9-9-9-24/1333/1.6v

Try running just 3 sticks of memory.

Try running memtest on each stick individually.


Yes, I replaced the PSU to the Corsair one not too long ago thinking / hoping that the XION had been the issue. Unfortunately, the freezes have not stopped.
When I set the RAM timings manually in the BIOS, it refused to save them. I took out three sticks of RAM and now it's running at 9-9-9-24 / 2N. Have to wait and see if it's stable with that. It'll suck to lose the RAM...but it's not doing me any good if it's unreliable.
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April 11, 2012 4:03:07 PM

Hello,

I have a similar problem for a system I just built a few days ago, it freezes randomly, mouse and keyboard included and needs a forced shut down and reboot. I was also thinking of a SSD problem...did you exchange your SSD as well?
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April 11, 2012 11:59:56 PM

enos753 said:
Hello,

I have a similar problem for a system I just built a few days ago, it freezes randomly, mouse and keyboard included and needs a forced shut down and reboot. I was also thinking of a SSD problem...did you exchange your SSD as well?


I haven't as of yet. I took out 12GBs of RAM (3 of the 6 DIMMs) and after that the mobo decided to actually use the manual timings and voltage I'd put in (factory spec). Since then the PC has been stable... no freezes yet, at least. It still takes more than one press of the power button to actually boot which is a remaining concern.
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