A PC problem that is driving me insane

Discussion in 'OT Technology' started by conRAD, Mar 31, 2007.

  1. conRAD

    conRAD New Member

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    Hi there. Going to go into a bit of detail here, i'll sum it up at the end for those of you who dont want to read it all.


    I am currently running the following machine...

    DFI Lanparty UT CFX3200 (radeon xpress 3200 chipset)
    1GB Corsair PC3200 XMS
    Radeon x1800 512mb
    Antec Truepower 2.0

    The problem started a few months back, when overnight my PC must have rebooted, as I woke up to the XP User selection screen. After logging in, it locked up, and never came back.

    I had just added a brand new gig stick of ram, and had three other sticks being used as follows.

    1gb, 512mb, 256mb, 256mb - all 4 sticks were Corsair XMS 3200, and I never had problems prior to this.

    I swapped them in every combination imaginable, and could still not get the system to post. I swapped video cards, same problem, checked all cable connections. At this time, I was running a new ASUS A8R32-MVP Deluxe

    I figured that it was in fact just a faulty motherboard. I Had it for exactly 6 months, and figured something must have just gone wrong.

    I replace the board with the above mentioned DFI board. Out of the box I notice a problem....

    My sticks of ram could not run together, but only certain combos. If I ran the 1gb stick alone, it worked, but adding any of the other three chips, it would not post. The DFI Board has a small LED number readout for post errors, but like a smart company, they did not include what the error numbers mean in the booklet, or on their website. Calling their tech support was useless as well.

    I could run the other 3 ram sticks together, but not the 1gb stick with them. So, I ran 1gb of ram via 3 sticks.

    This worked fine for about a month, then every few days, my system would lock up completely. No error logs to be found within windows at all. After a week, it started happening daily, then twice daily.

    I swap the lone 1gb stick in over the three sticks. It seemed fine for a few days, then the lock ups started happening again. I ran memtest for a while with no problems, and considering I had used so many sticks of ram, I figured it would be a bit strange if all 4 sticks suddenly had problems.

    On the other hand, how likely is it that two new motherboards had similar problems? I'm at sort of a loss here as to what is the culprit.

    I have spoken to a lot of friends, and I consider myself to be pretty smart with computers, but everyone seems to have their own theories and ideas, and no one can seem to pin down the problem.

    So far, the following are 100% Ruled Out...
    -Video Card
    -Heat Management

    The Following are unlikely...
    -Hard Drive Issues
    -OS Issues

    The Following seem to be likely...
    -RAM
    -Faulty Motherboard

    And The Following are untested...
    -PSU
    -CPU

    Now, what do you folks at OT think I can try? I have not swapped in any brand new ram, as I cant afford it at the moment, so I am guessing that is still a possability... However, I find it unusual that all 4 of my sticks of ram have gone faulty at the same time after a long life of servitude.

    The CPU was 5 months old once the problems arose. No heat issues, no warning of what was going to happen, it just started. Thats why I do not think it is CPU.

    Power on the other hand, more people have been telling me it may be. I am absolutely not lacking on power, but I am told it could be a faulty PSU, or may have gone bad. Can anyone back this claim up?

    Aside from that, does anyone have any ideas as to what this may be. Please NOTE ---- The daily lockups do NOT seem to be completely random. If I reboot my system twice daily, it does not lock up at random, at least it hasnt yet. But, when I do not reboot and go to bed, I wake up to a locked PC, or it freezes shortly after using it.

    Yes this is long, and I apologise for its length, but I need to fix this before I lose my mind. Thanks to anyone who takes the time to go through it and toss some ideas out.

    [[edit about hard drives -- OS is installed on a 3 month old Seagate SATA 3.0 - a few people have suggested the drive may be bad. Prior to this drive, OS was installed on a 300gb IDE drive, and the same problem was present. Just throwing that out there]]
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2007
  2. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    Change the PSU temporarily; see if that fixes the problem. Random crashes are usually a RAM problem, but if the problem gets worse over time, it's probably a failing PSU.
     
  3. conRAD

    conRAD New Member

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    thanks for the tip. I'm going to swap PSU's tonight and let it run and see if it hangs at all over the next few days. if not, then im chalking it up to RAM.
     
  4. Create

    Create :free at last:

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    Some motherboards do not like unmatched RAM pairs in a set together, or may just have problems if you do this and manually turn on DDR (overriding auto-settings).

    For example:
    [256 256] [empty empty] ok (ddr)
    [256 256] [1024 e] ok (ddr off)
    [1024 e] [512 e] ok (ddr off)
    [1024 512] [e e] error (ddr off only or not possible)
    [512 256] [e e] error (ddr off only or not possible)

    So, try running either 2x256 in ddr, or 2x256+1024 in single mode.

    Also, before tearing out a PSU, you could poke around for a BIOS fix.
     

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