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Lockup / Hang When Computer Is Vertical, Fine When Horizontal!

Here's one for all of you tech savvy gurus out there. I'm running a homemade rig, which worked fine on my 42" TV as a "HTPC/Gamer." Moved it from its spot in the entertainment center to my desk and BAM! Locks up or hangs during gaming. Zero activity, temps on my Strike-X drop to ambient, no Ctrl+Alt+Deletes, power button press resets, or power button hold resets. Only option is to flip the power switch on the PSU. Now, here's the kicker, when I lay the case horizontally, it works without a hitch. What gives? Any ideas?

ASUS M4A79T Deluxe
AMD Phenom II X4 955BE
G.Skill Ripjaw Series 8GB (4x2GB) @ 1600
XFX Radeon 5970HD
Liteon DVD Burner
LG Blu-Ray Burner
Aerocool Strike-X Fan/Temp Controller
6x120mm fans, 4 on the Strike-X, other 2 straight to mobo headers (fans are not LED or anything fancy)
Rosewill 600W PSU
All stuffed in a Cooler Master Centurion 590.

Now, I've ran a compliment of stress tests with the PC laying flat, no problems or spikes or anything. Furmark, Prime95, Unigine Heaven DX11, even CustomPC (a UK magazines') benchmarking suite for hours, no problems.

I've already updated BIOS for the Mobo and Video. Up to date drivers all around (as of 1/28/2012).
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More about lockup hang computer vertical fine horizontal
  1. Hi :)

    Something is loose inside...

    All the best Brett :)
  2. ^+1 Check for missing motherboard screws, back of the GPU popping out, I suppose its also possible you could be messing up your cooling. How are your fans oriented? I would have them facing different directions if i had it laying down vs standing up because of where the fans are on that case.

    This is completely unrelated, but rosewill generally makes horrible PSU's and I assume with that CPU and card you are overclocking. Just a thought.
  3. Brett928S2 said:
    Hi :)

    Something is loose inside...

    All the best Brett :)

    ^^ What he said, check every connection... twice
  4. @Brett928S2:
    Completely rebuilt the system, checking and rechecking connections. No joy.

    Checked for the mobo screws, all that can be installed are installed. GPU is sitting flush in it's x16 slot, not protruding at all, and is held in place via actual screws, cause those blue clips are crap. Using the clips I noticed the card would sag, but that was noted well before these issues started and screws were put in place. As far as fan orientation, the front panel and left side are intakes, top and rear exhaust. Not going to swap configuration due to the case being set horizontal as I'm trying to not keep it that way, kinda hogs space. Negative on the overclocking, performs just fine for what I do as is.

    Does it count if this is the 2nd time I've completely rebuilt the computer checking for connections? :sol:
  5. Can only echo what others have said, sounds like a lose connection, you did check the cables connected to the power and reset buttons? Sounds like there is a lose connection that get just enough contact when you have the case horizontal.

    I once had to diagnose a somewhat similar PC, turned out the CPU heatsink was lose, though I do not believe that to be the issue here, from what you describe.
  6. You may have a cold solder join on the MOBO. You could apply pressure to the various main parts that may stress when repositioned (CPU, RAM, Video) while trying to run the system.
  7. @LothDK:
    I have one of those Q-Connectors, tried with and without to no avail. Removed heat sink, cleaned and reapplied paste, and threw it back together, no go.

    Cold solder joint? As in? And how would I identify/fix that? (I have some micro miniature repair capability.)

    For general info, unksol had me thinking, so I rigged a piece of string to the Video Card and the top of the case to prevent any card sagging when the case was horizontal, no go there.
  8. Sounds like you have a picky Hard drive. I have seen some hard drives that don't reliably work when turned sideways before. Specially since it looks like a software issue.
  9. @jamie_1318
    I'm at work right now and get off around 11:30pm EST. So should be able to have the hard drive cage rotated and see what we come up with by around 12 12:30ish. Check back and see if your the lucky winner!!
  10. I literally had EXACTLY this issue before. My problem turned out to be a CPU heatsink that wasn't seated properly, causing it to lift off the CPU partially when it was vertical. When it was horizontal, it rested on the CPU, so it wasn't an issue.

    It was with the stock Intel cooler on an i5-750 and the PC was shutting itself down because the CPU hit its thermal threshold. I was quite lucky the CPU wasn't fried, but I guess that's why the thermal threshold is there.

    Not sure that's too helpful as you seem to have gotten 2 cents from a lot of other people with other possible issues, but I thought I'd throw my own pennies in for you too.

    EDIT: Just noticed that the thread was for hangups, not for a full shutdown. /facepalm. And I hate people that post without reading the OP. Either way, it's worth checking the heatsink seating, although I feel like that's probably not the issue here.
  11. I don't like it being called luck. Let's call it skill. Although I'm glad I could add something relevant+original to the thread, even if its not the solution.
  12. @bavarians6:
    Seems to me the bad connections/mounting is a trend with everyone, so I will definitely add this to my list of things to recheck regardless. Granted I've redone this, there is still the greatest error of all, me! To back up you're theory (and @LothDKs) on this ghost of a problem, I have NOT watched my CPU temps. My Strike-X temp lead is merely in the fins for the heatsink and obviously not a good judge of actual core temps. Should have results from this for you by around 12:45am EST if you'd like to check back :D
  13. just check the northbridge if it is loose on the card had the same trouble with my first card
  14. @jamie_1318:
    No go on the hard drive cage re-positioning.

    No go on the CPU heat sink.

    The chipset heat pipe is tight and has no play.

    So, I'm on it right now, its vertical, has only my OS Drive and Video connected. Gonna try a game and see what we get. Bouncing back to what unksol said about the GPU back popping out, get this. I broke the system down and laid it all out. Looked for cold solder joints which I assume was just broken solder points, get down to the last thing and I'm sticking the GPU back in and bam...not sure what it was, but on pins 7 - 9 is some sort of corrosion I assume. Cleared it with a needle, going to see what I come up with, and put it back together piece by piece. Soon as I figure out what the wife did with the camera cord I'll post a picture of it. Let the testing begin!
  15. Well gang, in closing, I've got nowhere unfortunately. I just ran Prime95 with the tower both vertical and horizontal with SpeedFan 4.45 running to keep an eye on temps and voltages. Literally no difference across the board. I did notice a few things though, but due to the computer working on one orientation and not the other, I don't see it being the culprit. Sitting at idle my temps and voltages via SpeedFan are:

    HD0: 28*C
    CPU: 43*C
    MB: 27*C
    GPU: 47*C
    Core: 43*C

    Vcore1: 0.00V | -12V: 4.01V | +3.3V: 3.45V
    Vcore 2: 1.57V | -5V: 4.05V | +5V: 5.11V
    +3.3V: 0.00V | +5V: 6.85V | +12V: 12.25V
    +5V: 5.11V | Vbat: 3.38V | GPU Vddc: 1.06V
    +12V: 16.32V | Vcore: 1.41V |

    with Prime95 running the following changes happen (temps shown at max):

    HD0: 31*C (+3)
    CPU: 57*C (+14)
    MB: 27*C (0)
    GPU: 28*C (+1)
    Core: 64*C (+19)

    +3.3V: 1.17 (+1.17)

    Otherwise there is virtually no change. Readings are the same with the computer upright or on it's side. I was thinking maybe my 16.32V "+12V" or my 0.00V "+3.3V" readings might call out the PSU, but it doesn't explain why it works flawlessly on its side vs. upright so I'm at a total loss. Gonna go ahead and let this post die out, but if anyone thinks of anything else, or if this info changes any theories thus far, by all means. Thank you everyone for the help and your time!

  16. since you got voltage reading that are not usual when it flip lokthere is something in psu loose,check another psu and rma this one if it still under warranty,a thing i would try take it out the case and flip it with the mobo connected to see what it does
  17. @scout_03:
    Voltage readings do NOT differ based on orientation. Should I still try it?
  18. Best answer
    you could so when you rotate it you will be shure that the psu is safe ,just had another thing does something touch the back plate on the board and case could be tiny metal piece and this is not usual +3.3V: 1.17 (+1.17)
  19. I don't ever rely on Speedfan to give accurate voltage readings. The system would NOT work were you actually getting that voltage. It wouldn't ever boot up because the motherboard wouldn't receive the power-safe signal. If you want to measure Power supply voltage, you are going to have to whip out a multimeter and stich the prongs where they should go According to ATX specifications, I'm sure you can look that up.

    You can measure the +12V and +3 V by using the older hard drive 4pin molex and putting one lead from the multimeter to yellow and one to any to black for 12v, and one from red to black for +5V. It doesn't particularity matter which way you put the leads, because we know for a fact that voltage is positive in those pins.

    @scout getting those kinds of readings using Speedfan is however usual. Speedfan tells me that my 12v is 8.8, when I know for a fact it is 12.1V
  20. Well gang, my computers been vertical and running since I left this afternoon for work. Wife ran the Prime95 blended series twice and it's still rocking. <pause for effect> The power supply! Was doing testing for @scout_03 with it sideways and it ran fine. Noticed in the process a tiny switch I've never seen before on the back, the Low, Auto, High fan speed switch. Switched it to high and it's been rocking. Guess in auto with it sucking air from under the case (granted it did next to the TV so not sure what gives) that it wasn't staying cool enough under serious load. Setting the case on the side opened it up for free-flowing air. Figure I'll investigate some bigger case feet for it and get the jet burner of a fan turned back to auto for my ears sake! Again to everyone, thank you a ton for all of the theories and help. I tried every last one and had my fingers crossed every time! Keep up the help gang!


    (Given that scout_03 was technically the closest, do I throw that down as "Best Answer" or? How does that all work?? Keep in mind I'm a Tom's Hardware forum new guy...)
  21. who gets best answer is really up to you, it all comes down to who was most helpful.
  22. Best answer selected by Azunder.
  23. the final point is to resolve the issue best answer or not we all try to help you the best we can
  24. This topic has been closed by Nikorr
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