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View Full Version : Help! System down for a PC user



hrgiger
09-02-2009, 07:58 AM
Something has happened to my system. A few days ago, it started freezing up right after bootup. As soon as windows starts (and it's taking a little longer then usual-the black screen stays on 3 or 4 times longer then normal), as soon as I go to do pretty much of anything, the system freezes up. Sometimes I hear the hard drive chugging away. Sometimes it just hangs and others it has actually shut down.

My system:

Mobo- Asus P6T Deluxe
i7 920 processor cooled with a Coolermaster v8
6GB Corsair 1600 DDR 3 Memory
GeForce 285OC video card
Can't remember the hard drive but I think it's your basic 500GB western digital, nothing fancy, I scrimped on the hard drive.

Right now, for me to be posting here, I'm running in safe mode with network support. Everything seems to work fine here. I've also in safe mode been able to transfer all my files from my hard drive to a secondary external drive. So the fact that both of these things have worked, can I rule out anything being physically wrong with the processor or hard drive?

What I've tried:

System Restore
Windows repair with the installation disc
Completely reinstalling windows

All to no avail. I think this started happening after a recent automatic Windows update. I'm wondering also if some of my bios settings could be amiss somewhere?

Any advice? I've got someone coming out Monday, but I really don't want to wait that long to fix this. This is my first system I've built and for the last 6 months, it's been great.

cresshead
09-02-2009, 08:04 AM
could be bad ram chip...i had a similar thing and tracked it down to a bad ram stick amongst my 8gig's in my quadcore

hrgiger
09-02-2009, 08:52 AM
Well, I just tried pulling each of my 3 DIMMS out in turn(and still placing them in the slots that the mobo recommends for 2 or 3 DIMMS respectively) and it still did the same thing so I'm not sure it's the memory.

biliousfrog
09-02-2009, 09:09 AM
What PSU are you using?

Is the computer overclocked in any way?...Do you have any software that is stressing the system at startup which would be disabled by safe mode such as software OC?

BIOS settings shouldn't have been affected by any updates..unless to actually updated the BIOS.

Have you run a complete system scan for virus's?...try the usual free ones, one at a time, as some virus's can be missed by some AV software. - Avast, AVG, Spybot etc.

Is the CPU cooler seated correctly?..does it have sufficient thermal paste and have good contact with the CPU?

Did you check the RAM one stick at a time?...have you tried running Memtest (http://www.memtest.org/)?...it needs a LOT of time to test thoroughly.

hrgiger
09-02-2009, 09:34 AM
What PSU are you using?

Is the computer overclocked in any way?...Do you have any software that is stressing the system at startup which would be disabled by safe mode such as software OC?

BIOS settings shouldn't have been affected by any updates..unless to actually updated the BIOS.

Have you run a complete system scan for virus's?...try the usual free ones, one at a time, as some virus's can be missed by some AV software. - Avast, AVG, Spybot etc.

Is the CPU cooler seated correctly?..does it have sufficient thermal paste and have good contact with the CPU?

Did you check the RAM one stick at a time?...have you tried running Memtest (http://www.memtest.org/)?...it needs a LOT of time to test thoroughly.

I'm using a UCP 700w power supply.

No, the machine is not currently overclocked. I had previously clocked it slightly higher from 2.66 to 3.2 but I tuned it back because it's a little warmer in here in the summer.

There shouldn't be anything running at startup as I just reinstalled windows and other then then my graphics driver, haven't loaded anything on the machine yet. I haven't run a virus scan but was using ESET smart security before I reinstalled windows.

I have to have at least 2 DIMMS in my motherboard or the system won't boot. I have taken each one out in turn and tried restarting. I haven't tried memtest, will that work in safemode because otherwise it won't do me much good at this point.

TheDynamo
09-02-2009, 09:49 AM
I would get into a conversation with ASUS tech support if it's still under warranty. It sounds like something might not be happy on the motherboard if your RAM is testing out fine. Usually they will send you a replacement board and you send the assumed faulty board back.

Another thing to try just for kicks and giggles is updating the BIOS.

-Rob

COBRASoft
09-02-2009, 09:56 AM
So, in safe mode everything works fine? This sounds more like a driver problem to me.

After you reinstalled Windows, you installed all updates too, or tried without the latest updates? Did you install the latest NVidia drivers lately?

The long black screen can be BIOS, did you do an update there? Perhaps try to install the previous BIOS instead and set everything to default. If you don't have the latest BIOS, try to install that first, also on default.

OnlineRender
09-02-2009, 10:45 AM
listen to the hard disk when it boots ? does it chug 2 or more times as if its strugglin, could be corrupt sectors on the harddisk and its having problems reading .
my best bet would be driver files conflicting with each other .system restore time me thinks .

" i just hope you aint got the new virus ,if you have back-up everything " it eats away at the 0 sectors .and makes the HD non readable.

Dexter2999
09-02-2009, 12:11 PM
Did you reformat before reinstall? Or did you just install over the top of the existing installation?

Anyway, somethings that were locking up my system, Vista (I assume you are running Vista or Windows7 with an i7) under Services the "SearchIndexer.exe", turned that one off. And Windows Defender was locking up on a .dll file of some sort. Turned them both off and things went back to normal.

Good Luck

hrgiger
09-02-2009, 01:32 PM
Thanks for all the input. I did the Windows memory check and found no errors. Thanks for that one Neverko, had forgotten about that one.

Well, I went out and bought a new hard drive and just finished re-installing Windows. So far so good but sometimes it went a little while before freezing up so we'll see if that truly was the culprit. I figured putting in a new hard drive would be a cheap way to rule out the old hard drive.

jin choung
09-02-2009, 05:24 PM
yeah... unfortunately, when you get a computer issue, you'll get laundry lists or random shout outs.

to me it doesn't sound like ram especially since you're ok in safe mode. and it doesn't sound like any bios thing cuz you've been running fine and you did NOT change anything in the bios to elicit these freezes right? and hard drive faults.... to me they're associated with sound or catastrophic crashes.... not lock ups.


it DOES sound like it could be a driver. maybe even a mobo driver. or graphics or something else low level.

here's a stupid one - how's the temperature in your place? could it be your graphics card is overheating?

anyway, if you freeze up again, run chkdsk to make sure it's not the drive (won't be cuz it's a new one but still).

and see how long you can run in safe mode. if you NEVER lock up in safe mode, your computer is probably fine. just a driver or heat or something mundane and non catastrophic.

luck.

jin

hrgiger
09-02-2009, 05:40 PM
anyway, if you freeze up again, run chkdsk to make sure it's not the drive (won't be cuz it's a new one but still).

and see how long you can run in safe mode. if you NEVER lock up in safe mode, your computer is probably fine. just a driver or heat or something mundane and non catastrophic.



Actually, it did lock up in safe mode but it takes a lot longer before it gets to that point.

Well, I"ve been using the computer now for a couple hours and it seems tip top so far with the new hard drive. I thought maybe it wasn't the hard drive just because I was able to transfer files off of it, but maybe there was just some bad sectors on it that were good enough to write to but not good enough to read off of. I don't know. All I know is, if putting the new hard drive in fixes it, I'm extremely happy. Cheap fix plus I get a new hard drive out of it.

OnlineRender
09-02-2009, 05:42 PM
have a look at your heat sync "just out of intrest " or did your virus scanner unusally stop workin ?.
e:/format c:/s(",)

ps first to mention HD " 1 up for OR " :ohmy:
(add smiley to add humor)

edit RAM is usually rebust .
*beeps if it's in wrong*LOL

You should maybe consider updating your bios setting aswell , always adds for exictment (",)

OnlineRender
09-02-2009, 06:21 PM
try the usual free ones, one at a time, as some virus's can be missed by some AV software. - Avast, AVG, Spybot etc.

Is the CPU cooler seated correctly?..does it have sufficient thermal paste and have good contact with the CPU?



AVG can take up to 25% Cpu usage and wads of memory"trust me" even if your running a beast ,spybot well it lives up to its name,granted they catch what they want to catch , firstly firewall even if it means poping up every click "Commodo " a good free program , and with virus it's Eset NOD 64 ,subscription "but everyone has there own ".

if you run multi virus/firewalls you start to create loopholes/open ports .

PEACE

COBRASoft
09-02-2009, 06:36 PM
About temperatures...
Get EVEREST Ultimate or similar tool. This can check your complete system to see what's wrong. It can also give you a nice gadget on your sidebar with all kinds of info (temp, speed, CPU usage, ...).

JonW
09-02-2009, 07:53 PM
Before you do anything make a copy of your hard drive, even if you take if out of the computer & put it in another computer & make the copy from the other computer.

Make sure you have a backup copy of your hard drive! Or better still even a second backup copy so if you put the first copy in the computer, you will have a spare copy.

Or at the very least an external copy of all your important stuff on an external drive or on another hard drive in another computer.

Its just best to assume all hell is going to brake loose & have a strategy in place even if it comes to nothing! The cost of a couple of spare hard drives is nothing to the loss of data.

Expect the worst & hope for the best!

art
09-04-2009, 07:23 AM
I hope things worked out for you, hrgiger, and your PC is working again.

My computer happened to die just day before yesterday. The monitor stays off (in power save mode) when I tun on the PC. No post from bios. The hard drives start spinning but there is no "read noise" coming from them, so I'm assumiing the system is not booting. Could it be.. motherboard? videocard? It's probably not the memory. I just hope the data on my hard drives is still there. Any ideas? I don't have another system where I could test the video card separately.
I have an old videocard lying around, I can probaly give it a try.

wacom
09-04-2009, 09:38 AM
I agree with the temp theory first, drivers second. Temp issues will make "weak" RAM or CPU's fail in my limited experience (in OC land that is).

Instability these days seems to be very often based on RAM and if it's not cooled right CPU. MS RAM checking is bunk- only good if you have a seriously crap tastic stick IMHO. Try Prime95 or the like and see how long it takes to get errors in the different modes. There is a difference between "internet and short gaming" stable and "rendering over night" stable IMHO- and this can help expose it.

If you DO find it's the RAM I would bet that the RAM is not bad per say, but is over rated for the clock it's running at. I had to send back so much DDR3 recently that just didn't live up to the manufacture's default specs that it's a real thorn in my side. Anyway- if it seems it's RAM stability, and not because of just temps, try lowering your RAMs speed in BIOS.

Before you cry foul, know that RAM speed has VERY little effect on 99.9% of software rendering as many tests have shown- more your CPU speed. I purposely LOWER my RAM speed a tad when I do very long renders. It improves heat a tad AND adds a lot of stability to help prevent over night crashes. If you can then OC even just slightly your CPU- you'll gain WAY more performance than you lost.

In the end though- if your RAM is not up to it's speed rating you need to send it back and find a brand that is stable. Some people even suggest getting RAM that is rated higher than you want to use, but will still work in your system, and then just setting the speeds lower in your bios to ensure some stability. The little app CPUZ will give you some basic RAM speeds and timings to start with when down clocking it.

I'm sure someone with more OC experience etc. can weigh in better on all this than me!

You can also increase the RAM voltage VERY slightly to help stability if heat is not an issue- but be careful with it!

COBRASoft
09-10-2009, 05:07 AM
hrgiger, can you fill us in what was the problem with your computer? Is it fixed?

lesterfoster
09-10-2009, 07:34 AM
Hrgiger

I just had all the same problems that you are having. I did all of the same thinks to solve the problem that you did. Even after buying a new hard drive and taking out all of my other hard drive, I still had the same problem.

What worked for me was I took my computer to work and blowed it out with compressed air. It turned out that my power supply was clogged. After blowing my system and power supply out, the problem went away.


Hrgiger, Take your box somewhere where there is compressed air and a good rubber tip nozzle and blow every thing out including your power supply.

art
09-10-2009, 07:47 AM
Whenever I use compressed air can, it loses its pressure after a few minutes of usage as the whole can cools down. I then put it under warm water for a few moments to build up the pressure again. It works quite well. Of course when you do it you have to use caution and not use water that is too hot or keep the can under warm/hot water for too long.

Edit: I have a regular construction grade air compressor, but I would not dare to use it on my PC as it may contain water particles in the air. Is that right? Does anyone know?

IMI
09-10-2009, 10:18 AM
Edit: I have a regular construction grade air compressor, but I would not dare to use it on my PC as it may contain water particles in the air. Is that right? Does anyone know?

Yeah, you definitely don't want to do that.

hrgiger
09-10-2009, 12:32 PM
Sorry, I almost forgot about this thread:D

Yup, got my problem fixed and the PC is as good as new. The hard drive was the problem. Not sure why. It wasn't a total failure, I was able to transfer all my old files off of it with little problem. But everytime the computer froze up, I could hear the hard drive working and working as if it was chewing on something so I suspected something was amiss. So, I went out and got a $69 hard drive and replaced my old one, reinstalled Windows and everything has been right as rain since. Appreciate everyones input.

COBRASoft
09-10-2009, 04:42 PM
Nice to know it's fixed.

OnlineRender
09-10-2009, 04:53 PM
Sorry, I almost forgot about this thread:D

Yup, got my problem fixed ..............

nice to know , but serious people stop using pen drives , and get a decent firewall / anti-v prefferable subscription , if not try clam , commodo , eset NOD .

this virus is killer "we can't stop it " and more and more im getting calls saying, " my computer gimped also win7 has a major bug ,bing it .

To me it sounds like your HD was either Gimped " new forum word of the day pass it on "or your windows drivers were conflicting or most likely your machine went noooooooooooooooooooo VIRUS .........CRASH ..........FREEZE .

question has anybody machine been randomly cutting out ?(") as if no power

http://www.ahajokes.com/cartoon/itell.gif
/\ Re-Edit last comment would be considerd slander.

IMI
09-10-2009, 05:32 PM
Sorry, I almost forgot about this thread:D

Yup, got my problem fixed and the PC is as good as new. The hard drive was the problem. Not sure why. It wasn't a total failure, I was able to transfer all my old files off of it with little problem. But everytime the computer froze up, I could hear the hard drive working and working as if it was chewing on something so I suspected something was amiss. So, I went out and got a $69 hard drive and replaced my old one, reinstalled Windows and everything has been right as rain since. Appreciate everyones input.

Good to hear it's all good now.
if I had noticed this thread when you first made it I'd have told you right off it was your hard drive. Been there, done that, have seen exactly what you described, several times.
Next time just PM me and save yourself some time. ;)

OnlineRender
09-10-2009, 05:37 PM
listen to the hard disk when it boots ? does it chug 2 or more times as if its strugglin, could be corrupt sectors on the harddisk and its having problems reading .
my best bet would be driver files conflicting with each other .system restore time me thinks .

" i just hope you aint got the new virus ,if you have back-up everything " it eats away at the 0 sectors .and makes the HD non readable.

everyone's a PC wiz nowadays :D ( add 8bit graphic to add sarcasm )

IMI
09-10-2009, 05:43 PM
everyone's a PC wiz nowadays :D ( add 8bit graphic to add sarcasm )

Yeah, you were the first to bring up the HD.
Good work. :D

OnlineRender
09-10-2009, 05:43 PM
About temperatures...
Get EVEREST Ultimate or similar tool. This can check your complete system to see what's wrong. It can also give you a nice gadget on your sidebar with all kinds of info (temp, speed, CPU usage, ...).

i know there smart and look smooth but try to avoid widgets , go oldskool dos . also try damn.info viewer . "bing it "

hrgiger
09-10-2009, 05:44 PM
I use ESET smart security.

IMI
09-10-2009, 05:50 PM
I'm surprised you didn't get a message from Windows. The last HD I had fail, I got a message saying my HD was about to die and I needed to back it up pronto.

EDIT:
That was in Vista Ultimate though. I don't know if other Windows have that or not.

OnlineRender
09-10-2009, 05:55 PM
BIOS settings shouldn't have been affected by any updates..unless to actually updated the BIOS.





not to P!55 " Don't know why i spelt it like that , i reckon the forum would allow" all over your post there ,but.... :)

this is a not a payloader virus , it dosnt write data .Bios are open constantly even if bounce the jumper "trust me ". . no need for updates . .
every heard of battery corruption . .

Edit ; just read drunkin ramble .sorry dude , but if you have been subsdued to my wife the last 9 months / big brother you would be on the same Lwavelength,...............

OnlineRender
09-10-2009, 05:56 PM
I use ESET smart security.

good program , updates wads , but open i got a basic redirector and i had that constant .

PEACE

COBRASoft
09-10-2009, 07:40 PM
i know there smart and look smooth but try to avoid widgets , go oldskool dos . also try damn.info viewer . "bing it "

Last time I checked, it's not so easy to check your temperatures in DOS continuously. I don't like all the widgets out there, but Everest Ultimate is doing a fine job.
For the people trying to avoid 'Widgets', get RealTemp, you can launch it when you want and doesn't use so much resources. I use RealTemp the moment I start a render on my OC computer, specially in summer. I would hate to blow up my CPU :thumbsup: