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Machine Check Exception and Random Power Loss

By FortranMan
Jan 17, 2007
  1. I've been getting a large amount of Machine Check Exceptions since building my current system. With one exception, every single time I have gotten an MCE I was playing a video file (26 total in the last three weeks). When I don't get MCEs, the power simply shuts off for no apparent reason. So far that has never happened when I was actively doing something, only when I left the computer with a few programs running. I have a 600 watt power supply and no graphics card, so I refuse to believe its an issue of not having enough power.

    Here's the rundown of my system specs:

    MB - Foxconn 6150K8MA
    CPU - AMD Athlon Dual Core 3800+ (Socket 939)
    RAM - 1GB DDR (4x256, two are generic, two are Kingston)
    PSU - OKIA 600W
    HDD - Seagate Baracuda 160GB
    OS - XP Pro (no service pack)
    DVD -Toshiba S-DR5372, NEC ND-3520AW

    I've gone through all of the common sense things, like rebuilding the page file, running chkdsk, getting rid of dust, etc. Memtest86+ says my RAM is fine (for whatever that is worth) and Everest says my CPU is not overheating. I'm not overclocking either.

    Any help with either or both problems has my thanks in advance.
     
  2. FortranMan

    FortranMan TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Any ideas? Any at all?
     
  3. cpc2004

    cpc2004 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,994

    Mixed Ram problem

    The problem is connection time out and it maybe related to mixed RAM (ram with different brand).
     
  4. FortranMan

    FortranMan TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I tried using one stick of RAM in different DIMM slots and I'm still having the same problem. I have the problem with both the Kingston and generic RAM. Do you have any other suggestions?

    Oddly enough, I haven't experienced any power loss while using one DIMM.
     
  5. cpc2004

    cpc2004 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,994

    >>>
    I tried using one stick of RAM in different DIMM slots and I'm still having the same problem
    >>>

    Do you mean you used a stick of Kingston and a stick of generic in different DIMM slots?

    >>>
    I haven't experienced any power loss while using one DIMM.
    >>>

    Do you mean if you use the same brand of RAM, you haven't experienced any power loss?
     
  6. FortranMan

    FortranMan TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I only used one stick, period. I have used all four sticks individually and still had the MCE which each stick. I have tried putting RAM in different DIMM slots and still had the same problem. So far I have not experienced any power loss when using only one stick of RAM, regardless of which brand it is.
     
  7. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,244   +234

    Unknown module/image on all minidumps? Hard drive possibly? Virtual memory?
     
  8. cpc2004

    cpc2004 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,994

    Do you mean if you use more than one 256MB memory module, windows will crash? If yes, tr downclock the ram and use 4 x 256MB memory module. It may fix the machine check problem.
     
  9. FortranMan

    FortranMan TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Tmagic650, I've rebuilt the page file twice, so I'm willing to rule out virtual memory. I've had the same problem with a new Seagate Barracuda and a new Western Digital drive. I'd have a hard time believing there was a problem with both of them out of the box.

    cpc2004, I mean I still have the problem if I use 1, 2, 3 or 4 memory modules. I haven't tried to downclock the RAM, but since all of my modules are PC-2100 I'm not sure how much it would help.
     
  10. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,244   +234

    Just guessing FortranMan. I started reading minidumps today, and cpc2004 is much more experienced in this, so unknown module and unknown image are strickly memory related? Are you running the default memory timings for your motherboard?
     
  11. FortranMan

    FortranMan TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I appreciate your suggestions. If I came off brass that was not my intention. I'm open to any and all suggestions at this point. As a Minesweeper Certified/Solitaire Expert, not being able to deduce this problem myself has already wounded my pride beyond repair.:dead:

    I don't know what else unknown module and unknown image could be, but then again, this wasn't covered during my certification.

    I'm running default everything on my motherboard. Based on reviews I've read it seems like it's a great board for overclocking, but since it does everything I need on the default settings I haven't bothered with it. I went into the BIOS and reset everything to the factory defaults last week just in case something was changed, so I'll willing to rule out BIOS settings as the cause.
     
  12. FortranMan

    FortranMan TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I tried downclocking 4 x 256MB to 100MHZ and that actually made the problem worse. Instead of crashing during video playback, it now crashes during audio or video playback. Any other ideas?
     
  13. cpc2004

    cpc2004 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,994

    This is a hardware problem and it is no need to study the minidump.

    >>>
    So far I have not experienced any power loss when using only one stick of RAM, regardless of which brand it is.
    >>>
    It seems that you don't have problem if you use one stick of ram.

    >>>
    I mean I still have the problem if I use 1, 2, 3 or 4 memory modules.
    >>>
    You still have problem if you use 1 memory module. It confilicts with your first statement. Can you explain why?
     
  14. FortranMan

    FortranMan TS Rookie Topic Starter

    The power was not shutting off with 1 memory module, although I was still getting the Machine Check Exception with one memory module. I believe that was just a coincidence, as I have now lose power with one memory module. They are two different problems I have having at the same time. Sorry for the confusion.
     
  15. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,244   +234

    So "random power loss" for this actually means "failure to start or boot" or random reboots"?
     
  16. FortranMan

    FortranMan TS Rookie Topic Starter

    No, it doesn't "fail to start or boot" or randomly reboot. I'll leave the computer running doing very little (like downloading something or having Mozilla open) and come back to find the power off. It has never failed to start or boot. The closest thing to a random reboot I've had was an immediate reboot after a Machine Check Exception.
     
  17. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,244   +234

    So it's a computer "shutdown" and not a true power loss. How are the shutdown parameters set in the bios of this computer?... Something just doesn't seem right here :confused:
     
  18. FortranMan

    FortranMan TS Rookie Topic Starter

    My shutdown parameters in the BIOS are basically "never shutdown." Windows is also configured never to save power.

    While it does happen once or twice a week, the Machine Check Exception is a far larger problem. That happens at least 2 or 3 times a day.

    I don't know if this would have anything to do with the problems I've had, but I've noticed that when XP starts the screen flashes black twice for 2-3 seconds each time. I always assumed it was just something that the onboard video did, but I never experienced that with my old GeForce 2.
     
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