TechSpot

AsRock P4VM800 random shutdown.

By nismo91
Dec 4, 2007
  1. Hello all :),
    it has been weeks since my last post here.

    im back to my hometown for another quarter-year holiday...
    yet i got one annoying problem with my close cousin desktop which is about 3-4years old. the system specs is:
    Intel Pentium 4 2.40GHZ 512KB L2 Cache (i don;t know what is the "name")
    256MB DDR RAM x 2
    80GB IDE Maxtor HDD
    LG DVD-RAM drive
    Asrock P4VM800 mobo.
    Windows XP Sp2 Pro 32bit

    the power supply is crappy, so i did give another new power supply to gear it up. here is the problem:
    once in a while the system will freezes and shutdown itself eventually. No BSOD present, just a notifying windows saying that

    "system has recovered from serious error, send / don't send report"

    there's minidump present. however i cant upload it right because the whole desktop is in his house of course and i cant get internet connection in the cpu location.

    changing the power supply seems to give no effect to the problem.
    i thought this might because of PSU or lack of thermal gel present. so i did open the CPU and re-paste cpu thermal gel because the previous one was going to dry. (similar problem happen to my prev p4 desktop too last year)

    since i cant figure out the problem, i went to the "camera and scanner wizard"
    strangerly, when the wizard start the camera and prompt me to click "take picture" the computer instantly off like usual and it restarted with the old message again, saying that the system has recovered from serious error.
    the next boot, i try to went to the same window again. this time, it's not shutted down. but the computer freezes and even capslock does not lit when pressed.

    im still curious, i did open the wizard one more time, so this time it shutted down at the different window. then i ask my cousin, the owner, when does this kind of thing start happening... he said it has started from long time ago., perhaps about 2 years before. but last time it's not frequently. maybe once a week or less. he told me that previously the motherboard was ASUS, but somehow when he sent it for repair the repairman charged him for new motherboard saying that mobo is spoilt.

    (sometimes, i left the computer playing a song on windows media player. minutes after computer is either shutted down, or restarted, or freezes.)

    today i remembered that maybe BIOS update is significant for the computer health. soon im drivin to his house to install the new bios update. im not sure whether the system can be cured. however, i'll bring back minidump later.

    in the meantime, do you guys know what seems to be the problem?
    before that, i should say thank you for reading the post. hope i don't open a post in the wrong thread category... Thanks :D
     
  2. Fragrant Coit

    Fragrant Coit TS Guru Posts: 363

    I'd try running MemTest as the 1st resort - faulty RAM will cause this (mis)behaviour, and if it passes, then you've ruled out one suspect.

    Either make a Floppy, or Bootable CD from here: http://www.memtest.org/#downiso , boot from it & let it run for at least an hour {unless errors show up straight away} if there's errors and there is more than 1 stick of RAM, turn it off, remove 1 stick & run the test until you have found the culprit.

    If it passes OK, then do the same thing with the Hard Drive http://www.techspot.com/vb/topic7602.html and see if that is at fault.
     
  3. nismo91

    nismo91 TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 899   +15

    thanks for the quick reply :)
    i've just updated d bios.
    unfortunately the problem is still there. so i've got to come back perhaps the day after tommorow to check again....
    another information, when the computer freezes, the sound continue playing until certain limit (e.g. playing 1 song until that song end). the HDD led is flashing though... and there's another sentence saying dumping physical error without BSOD....

    thanks for the links though, i'll run it on that desktop asap....
     
  4. pdyckman@comcas

    pdyckman@comcas TS Rookie Posts: 527

    Make sure that your CPU hasn't been overheating. Make sure the fan is clear of dust and junk. Install a system monitoring device like 'P.C. Wizard' or 'Everest" and watch temps.
     
  5. nismo91

    nismo91 TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 899   +15

    @fragrant:

    thanks very much for the memtest.
    eventually when i run the test, there large numbers of error, more than thousand and growing. so i did shut down and test RAM A., 3xpass at 10 min,. so i check another RAM B., 15min 3 pass.. weird....

    so i guess the RAM B can be the culprit...
    i ask my cousin to do thorough check tonight and try the desktop with a single ram stick.

    thanks very much once again! :D
     
  6. Spleenharvester

    Spleenharvester TS Enthusiast Posts: 47

    are both sticks of RAM the same?
     
  7. nismo91

    nismo91 TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 899   +15

    yes it is.... both are exactly the same so they are running dual channel

    he just informed me several hours ago that both ram would passes without error as long as they are not connected together (dual channel).
    so i suggest him to use only single stick of RAM, which means he only has ancient 256mb ram on his desktop... but i don;t think he got any other choice.... perhaps its the mobo fault???

    i'll post more info as i get the news....:D
     
  8. Fragrant Coit

    Fragrant Coit TS Guru Posts: 363

    I'll go out on a limb and say the Board is on it's way out...

    The easiest solution is buy a single 512Mb or 1Gb stick and keep your fingers crossed that it is only failing in that respect.

    A lot of S478 boards seem to be failing lately, we are getting heaps through work.
     
  9. nismo91

    nismo91 TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 899   +15

    thanks for the confirmation about the issue....
    i've told him about this and he probably would get a 512mb ram.

    maybe he can use the ram on the other computer and see how it works.
    Thanks very much Fragrant Coit ! :)
     
  10. Fragrant Coit

    Fragrant Coit TS Guru Posts: 363

    My pleasure. Have a merry Christmas!
     
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