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Bad Motherboard or CPU? Any Ideas?

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a b B Homebuilt system
December 3, 2012 1:14:20 AM

Hey guys got a question. I've got somebody who asked me to take a look at their gaming build.

Specs.

AMD FX-6300 6 core processor
ASUS Crosshair V Formula-Z AM3+ AMD 990FX motherboard
16gb Corsair Vengeance DDR3, unsure of spec
Corsair TX 750 watt power supply
Unsure of video card, it is a very large 3 fan card with 2 power connectors and is manufactured by Gigabyte, I want to say though it's probably at least a GTX 670 or a Radeon 7950
Western Digital 320gb SATA hard drive.
DVD Burner

Here's the deal. They built this themselves about 3 months ago, had some parts for a few months before building however. The guy has Windows 7 for it. Long and the short, they built it, it ran for about 3 months and starts bluescreening. The guy wiped the hard drive, and tried to reinstall Windows. Still gets the blue screen. They called me wanting help. Here's what I've done.

1. Confirm the issue by trying to install Windows 7 from a different disc. Same result.
2. Reset Bios to defaults. Same result.
3. Was able to boot with Parted Magic Linux Live CD. Same result
4. Test with a known working hard drive. Same result.
5. Swapped Video card for a known working tester. Same result.
6. Moved sata cables to different ports on the motherboard in case the board didn't like the placement. Same result
7. Tried a tester power supply that is nearly new and known to be working. Same result.
8. Am currently running memtest86+ from a boot cd and it's showing no errors after 15 minutes.


At this point my options are pretty well exhausted, the system did run for 3 months. All components seem to be top of the line. At this point I feel like it is either the Processor or the motherboard, some of the blue screens show an error having to do with a clock interrupt error. Of course since they built it, they are probably going to want to go through whoever they bought their parts through to get replacements. So I don't have a way to test as I don't just have a new motherboard and CPU sitting around. However, I've built at least a dozen systems or so and have been a tech and network admin for a few years, never seen a system act this way, and I have seen a lot of systems. Am I right by following my gut and telling them it appears they've got either a bad processor or bad board? As far as I can tell I'm not missing anything and have eliminated pretty much every possibility but those 2. I know it boots to Linux, but I question how much of a load it puts on that processor to make it heat up. They are running stock cooling on this chip. I do not know if it has been overclocked or not.

Situations like this are why if I build a system for someone, I do not allow them to use their own parts, they tell me what they want, I get the stuff at Microcenter with 2 year warranties, that way, take it back and swap parts, no questions.
a b B Homebuilt system
December 3, 2012 1:20:43 AM

Where does is bluescreen at?
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a b B Homebuilt system
December 3, 2012 1:25:01 AM

Blue screens during Windows install. Will happen either when I attempt to partition or format the hard drive, or when it gets to where it is copying or expanding Windows files during the Windows 7 setup.

As I said, thought they might have a bad drive, so I pulled a known working drive that I have, and attempted to install on that, as even though the other drive passed a quick diagnostic test, I wanted to be sure. But still acts the same with a known working drive.

*Edit* Memtest now at 40 minutes and no ram errors.
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a b B Homebuilt system
December 3, 2012 1:28:14 AM

CPU's hardly ever go bad, so it might be a bad motherboard.
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a b B Homebuilt system
December 3, 2012 2:09:53 AM

Yes my opinion also. My thoughts are since Microcenter is a few minutes away, basically rma cpu/board, get them a combo from MC with 2 year warranty and sell the replacements from rma's and be done. But yes, my thought also, in the time I've been working with things, I think I've seen one bad processor. But I don't know if who worked on it knew what they were doing, how it was run, etc. But I'm just going to tell them they've either got a bad board or processor, but I don't have spares to check, I'm not about to unmount my v6 gt from my gaming system just to test my quad in that board.
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a b B Homebuilt system
December 4, 2012 3:44:27 AM

Best answer selected by ohiou_grad_06.
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a b B Homebuilt system
December 4, 2012 3:48:47 AM

Hey just wanted to say I found out what was wrong. Another tech guy had a processor we could test with. So we popped out the FX 6100(Thought the guy had a 6300 but anyway), but popped the 6100 out and dropped in an 1100T. Board fired right up, installed Windows, everything works perfect. FX chip had slight scorch marks and thermal paste didn't appear correct. Paste was stock and was with stock cooler. The paste didn't even cover all the chip, and the FX slowly cooked itself.
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a b B Homebuilt system
December 4, 2012 5:32:52 PM

Glad you figured it out!
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!