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Help with possible RAM fault on new build PC

By prancer22
Feb 18, 2012
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  1. Hi,

    I've been having trouble with my PC, which was built for me by a friend, and the issue appears to be with the RAM. I was hoping someone could advise me on what steps I can take.

    The problem is that every so often (sometimes 3 times a day, sometimes once a week, it's very intermitent) my computer will just freeze, seemingly for no reason. When it's about to freeze, my mouse cursor will turn to the blue circle, and for a few seconds I can still move my mouse around, but I can't click anything. After those few seconds, the animation on the mouse cursor stops and I can no longer move the cursor around. Nothing works whatsoever, I've tried opening task manager, alt+tabbing between programs etc but it's just completely frozen.

    As I said, this problem is intermitent - the computer has been fine for a week or so at a time, but sometimes this will happen 3 or 4 times in a day. I've tried leaving the computer for up to 3 hours after it froze to see whether it would recover (had some unsaved work that I was desperate to keep lol) but it just stayed the same.

    This has been happening ever since the computer was built about 4 months ago, and I've tried to look for patterns which might be causing it, but I haven't found any. Sometimes it happens within a minute of Windows starting up, other times my computer can be on for 12 hours without it happening, playing FIFA 12 which most likely uses a lot of resources. It seems to be completely random.

    There was once, but only once, where rather than just freezing up a BSOD appeared, which I hope may be crucial to diagnosing the problem. The error in the BSOD was "page_fault_in_nonpaged_area" - from googling that error, it seems to be consistent with the freezing which keeps happening, and seems to be related to the RAM.

    I spoke to my friend who built my computer, who advised me to check the BIOS settings for the RAM timings and voltage. I got these from the manufacturers website, but there only appears to be a setting for 3 out of the 4 timings (TRCD, TRP and TRAS, I can't see a setting for CAS) and I can't see anywhere to enter the voltage. All of the settings were set to 'Auto', and I changed the 3 which I could find to match the timings on the manufacturers website, but the issue remains.

    Any advice on what else I could try?

    My computer details are:
    Procesor - AMD Phenom II X4 955 3.21 Ghz
    Motherboard - Asus M4A88T-M
    Graphics - Radeon HD 6870 1GB
    Power Supply - ModXStream-Pro 600W
    RAM - Corsair VengeanceLP DDR3 8GB (2 x 4GB)
    OS - Windows 7 64 Bit
     
  2. Buckshot420

    Buckshot420 TS Enthusiast Posts: 301

    Did you use a new SATA HDD for the build or did you use an old HDD with an OS already on it?
     
  3. prancer22

    prancer22 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I used an old SATA HDD - Western Digital WD2500AAJS-60M0A0. The OS was already on it, but I had to install a fresh copy of Windows (my mate said that was because of the change of motherboard)
     
  4. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +9

    Perhaps just to rule out memory,
    but go to www.memtest.org
    and download Memtest86+, version 4.20, or an earlier version, and test all your memory per their instructions... To do it right may take as long as four hours... if your computer will stay up and running that long.
     
  5. prancer22

    prancer22 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Hey,

    Thanks for responding.

    I've tried running memtest, and left it running for 6 and a half hours, but it didn't find any errors. Had to switch off my computer so couldn't leave it running any longer, is 6 and a half hours normal? It was on Test #7 when I stopped it, but I'm fairly sure it was on #8 before that so I'm not sure whether they're in numerical order.

    On every test, it seemed to reach about 44% pretty quickly, and then take ages to do the other 56% - could that mean that one of the RAM sticks is faulty?

    Any other suggestions? Is it worth trying to run it again, or is there anything else I can try?
     
  6. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,244   +234

    No errors is good... Test times can vary but, if no errors are found, the memory is good. Have you run Western Digital's test software on the boot drive?
     
  7. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +9

    Well, 4 hours is normal... but 6+ hours is within the normal range...
     

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