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Need help diagnosing a problem

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January 1, 2004 6:40:58 PM

Elusive problem, poster close to madness:
A month or two ago my father and I put together a P4/Win XP Pro based machine and we've
been unable to get it stable. It restarts randomly, programs chrash to desktop, and occasionally
it just freezes. It usually runs prime 95 torture tests for between 1 and 7 hours before it has
any errors. The cpu temperature in bios is always between 37-40 degrees C, using stock cooling and no
overclocking. I think it's a hardware issue because we've fully updated XP PRO and the bios &
drivers are all the latest available versions. These are the specs:

mobo: Asus P4P800-VM (865pe/ich5 chipset, intel integrated graphics)
ram: 2x512meg Corsair value pc3200 dimms
hdd: 80 gig WD 8meg cache 7200 rpm
cpu: P4 2.6C, retail
modem: connexant v.92 winmodem

I've run the ram dimms one stick at a time and in different slots, dual channel and not. Nothing
seems to be able to make this system stable.
Can anybody help me? I'd really appreciate it. Thanks.

More about : diagnosing problem

January 1, 2004 6:58:34 PM

Could be either PSU or motherboard (might be something else with really weird behavior), what PSU do you have?

Got a nice overclocked overvolted system to keep you warm at night? That's great. Guess I'll have to settle for a woman...
January 1, 2004 7:11:34 PM

run memtest 3.0 and check the ram, also, what size/brand power supply? have you tried running it with only the video, i take it you are using the onboard video, take out all other cards, and re-run prime95, if it were me i would also disconnect the floppy and cd rom, so all you would be running is video,hdd,ram,cpu,etc...see what happens then. if all works fiine, reconnect one item at a time until it acts up. i know it is tedious, but it works for me when trouble shooting a difficult problem.

Fat, Drunk, and Stupid is no way to go through life Son.
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January 2, 2004 2:40:00 PM

Thanks for replying to my post.
I have an Antec SmartPower 300 watt PSU.
January 2, 2004 2:44:15 PM

Thanks for replying to my post.
I'll go get memtest and check the ram. My psu is an Antec SmartPower 300 watt, and I am using the onboard graphics. I'll take disconnect the cd and zip drives and see if the gods of stability like the offering... I'll post again after I'm done.
January 2, 2004 4:12:01 PM

So I ran memtest 3.0 with both sticks of ram in the mobo and after 3 runs of tests I had 150 errors. This sounds bad to me but I've not used memtest before so I'm not really sure what to make of the results. I'm going to try and run the test with one stick in at a time now. Thanks for the idea.
January 2, 2004 6:42:46 PM

I am not going near this with a ten foot pole.

Barton 3200+ 400MHz
A7N8X Deluxe
Liquid
2x512 KinstonHyperX PC3200
GeForce FX5900
Maxtor DiamondMaxPlus9@80Gig
SONY CD 52x
SONY RW 52x/24x/52x
SONY DVD 16x/40x
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January 2, 2004 10:26:11 PM

memtest should have 0 errors. You should be able to run it for DAYS with 0 errors.

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