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Random Crashing

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June 11, 2012 4:53:08 AM

I just built a new rig a few days ago and the second day of using it up until now it's been randomly crashing out of nowhere and forcing me to completely shut off the power supply to get it to power down. There doesn't seem to be any trigger for the crashes seeing as how I've never been doing the same thing twice when it happens, and sometimes I'm not even doing anything but sitting here. When it freezes any audio playing goes silent, the mouse and keyboard become unresponsive(pressing caps lock or num lock doesn't cause the LED to light up) and if I press the reset button on the tower it shuts down then doesn't boot back up. The problem isn't overheating because as of now I've let it run with an open case and the temp. has never gone above 50 C if I'm not mistaken. As far as I know all my drivers are up to date. I have no idea what is causing this and it's driving me crazy.

SPECS:

BIOSTAR TA990FXE AM3+ AMD 990FX SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard with UEFI BIOS

Seagate Barracuda ST31000524AS 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

COOLER MASTER eXtreme Power Plus RS-550-PCAR-E3 550W ATX12V V2.3

SAPPHIRE Vapor-X 100358VXL Radeon HD 7770 GHz Edition 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16

ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Black SATA 24X DVD Burner

AMD FX-8150 Zambezi 3.6GHz Socket AM3+ 125W Eight-Core Desktop Processor

G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1866 (PC3 14900) Desktop Memory Model F3-14900CL9D-8GBXL

Windows 7 64-bit

More about : random crashing

a c 78 B Homebuilt system
June 11, 2012 7:04:34 PM

Do you have an AC oscillating fan? If so point it into the case with the side off.

If you don't have one, then lay the case down on its side with the side that is off facing up and try it that way.

Also, download a program called Memtest86+ and take out one of your RAM sticks then run it on just 1 stick. After getting like 8 passes in then if there are no errors switch to the other stick and run the program again. See if there are any errors that way.

Then try at least one of the sticks in whichever slot the 2nd stick is in now to see if it is a bad slot.

If you get errors with the RAM in the first stick's slot, try switching the first stick to a different slot and see if that does anything.

My first suspects when I hear about a problem like this are everything in the core (Processor, Motherboard, and RAM) and the PSU.

If you have another PSU laying around or one that you can borrow feel free to try that as well.
June 11, 2012 9:04:47 PM

I ran the Windows Memory Diagnostic and it said nothing was wrong. Should I still try Memtest?
Related resources
a c 78 B Homebuilt system
June 11, 2012 9:14:07 PM

I don't know much about Windows Memory Diagnostic, what it tests, how well it does, or any of that. That is why I suggested you use the one I am familiar with.

What I can tell you is the RAM testers that work while you are booted into Windows (I don't know if that is one of those kind, but it sounds like it) can't test RAM that is reserved by Windows (essentially the portion that is currently running the OS).

If you used such a program and the problem in the RAM existed in the area being reserved by Windows, the program would never know it.

Programs like MemTest86+ work before Windows is loaded and therefore they are able to hit sections of RAM that Windows based programs can't.

You are free to do as you like, but I can best help you if you do what I suggest.
June 12, 2012 5:30:23 PM

I ran memtest and got 9 passes error free.
a c 78 B Homebuilt system
June 12, 2012 5:32:13 PM

Did you do it on both sticks at the same time, just 1 stick, or both sticks individually?
June 12, 2012 7:00:38 PM

Both at the same time.
a c 78 B Homebuilt system
June 12, 2012 7:04:01 PM

It needs to be done individually on each stick.

The results on 2 sticks at once will be inconclusive.

The program tests a block of 4GBs worth of RAM and you have no idea where that block is. It could be part on one stick and part on another stick, all on one stick, or whatever.

For best results you need to be sure that you are testing all of each stick, and that requires making sure it can't pick the wrong place, IE limiting the system RAM to 4GBs during the test.
June 13, 2012 12:30:19 AM

So both sticks appear to be fine.
a c 78 B Homebuilt system
June 13, 2012 12:34:31 AM

Do you have or can you get access to another PSU to test with?
June 13, 2012 1:44:07 AM

No, but I think I'm just going to RMA the one I have and upgrade to something stronger. It being too weak seems to be the general consensus.
a c 78 B Homebuilt system
June 13, 2012 2:47:32 AM

Here is a review showing the extreme power plus failing at 400w

http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/728/7

and having absolutely ridiculous nose charts. If you look at those charts at the bottom, there is supposed to be a straight line down the middle of the page. That is what a good PSU's power chart would look like.

Those lines all over the place cause all kinds of stability problems and can seriously damage hardware.

That is why I started in with the PSU questions in the first post.

I would recommend XFX as a better brand if you are going to get a new one as the next step.
June 17, 2012 9:10:06 PM

I replaced the psu with an Antec 750w model. I hooked everything up, double checked and left my computer on to run simply sitting on the desktop not doing anything and it froze up again exactly the same as before. I'm at a loss as to what is causing this and I'm about to go crazy.
a c 78 B Homebuilt system
June 17, 2012 11:10:58 PM

You just built a new computer a few days ago, did you already have one before that?

If so, do you still have it? If so, what are the parts in it?

Do you have anyone you could borrow parts from? A processor would be really nice. I am starting to wonder if it is that. It is much more common for the RAM or PSU to be the cause of freezing, but both of those have kinda been ruled out.

You may want to try downclocking the RAM in the BIOS, btw, and see if that does anything.
June 18, 2012 2:16:38 AM

My previous computer is 10+ years old so I'm not sure if there's really anything I can salvage from it. I'll try asking around and see if I can get my hands on something. Also after trying a bunch of combinations of things it almost seems like it's only freezing when I'm using the internet, or more specifically downloading something on Steam. Could anything on that end even be causing this?
a c 78 B Homebuilt system
June 18, 2012 12:49:11 PM

It is entirely possible. If it only appears to be on steam, it could be a bad install of steam or maybe a bad network card driver. You could add those to the possibility list.
June 18, 2012 9:21:30 PM

So it appears the freezing is only occurring when I'm actively using the internet such as browsing, opening up tabs, streaming video, downloading something ect. Taking a look through event viewer and there are never any error logs referencing a crash or freeze only logs telling me it was shut down and rebooted improperly.
a c 78 B Homebuilt system
June 18, 2012 10:12:47 PM

Did you try using a different network card driver?

The manufacturer's website should have a couple different options available hopefully.
June 19, 2012 3:04:25 AM

Reinstalled network driver, browser and scanned for malware. Still nothing.
a c 78 B Homebuilt system
June 19, 2012 1:37:25 PM

Try downloading a program called AIDA64 and running the CPU tests.
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