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PC freezes maybe a RAM issue?

By Draven_X
May 7, 2006
  1. Hello everybody. I just recently built my first pc and finally got everything straightened up with my windows. However I am finding that it freezes at random. Also I loaded Painkiller and NASCAR onto my pc and it installed fine and both went through the intros but when it came to the menu my pc freezes. Both games same spot everytime. I did a search and read something about possible CPU overheating. Here is my BIOS readout.

    Current System Temp 33c/91f
    Current CPU Temp 37c/98f
    System Fan Speed 0 rpm
    CPU Fan Speed 3125 rpm
    Northbridge Fan Speed 0 rpm
    CPU Vcore 1.42V
    +3.3V 3.26V
    +12.0V 11.67V
    +5.0V 4.96V
    Battery 2.94V
    +5VSB 4.99V

    I assume this is at idle speed. Everything is updated. I am running Window Media Center.

    MSI K8N Neo4-F NVIDIA Socket 939
    AMD Athlon 64 3000+ Processor
    Crucial 1024MB PC3200 DDR
    XFX GeForce 6800 Xtreme 256mb
    Plextor 18x dvd burner

    I also read it could be my RAM. My motherboard had 4 slots for RAM.

    [​IMG]

    I installed my memory sticks into the green slots. I am starting to think it may be wrong. Then again if I knew what I was doing I wouldn't be asking. Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,000   +15

  3. Draven_X

    Draven_X TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 18

    Great write up. However I don't get any errors. It shows the proper amount of RAM. My boots up and runs but freezes at times and has the issue with those two games. Just not sure if it was maybe the RAM or something else.
     
  4. Draven_X

    Draven_X TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 18

    UPDATE: I am almost 100% sure it's not the RAM. I ran memtest86+ 3 passes and no errors. The freezing occurs on the games main menu and but mostly at random on the desktop. Once it did it as I moved the cursor to the Start button when it finished loading. I cannot figure out what it could be. Everything is updated and all the drivers are loaded. Any suggestions?
     
  5. benken2202001

    benken2202001 TS Enthusiast Posts: 114   +16

    memory on your video card is failing. Try rolling back your driver on that
     
  6. Draven_X

    Draven_X TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 18

    It's a brand new card. So there is nothing to rollback to. The whole computer is new including all the parts and cases. Is there a way to set it up or something? I thought it might be in my power supply. I was going to buy an Ultra 500W PSU at Circuit City. Since it has 24 pins and the current PSU I have is 20. Plus the current PSU only has enough connections for the Graphics Card, HDD, Side Panal Fan, and the CD ROM. So maybe it is maxing out when I try to do to much with the CD ROM. Or the video card. This is just really annoying.
     
  7. Draven_X

    Draven_X TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 18

    One thing I have noticed is that in my BIOS I have my graphics card set are normal settings. There is an option to set it at performance settings but if I do that it shows the power I have isnt enough to power it. I planned on changing the PSU anyway but when i do should I switch this setting?
     
  8. Draven_X

    Draven_X TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 18

    Update: I bought a new PSU at Circuit City 430W. Although it is a lot quieter and has more power my problem still remains. The games go through thier intros but as soon as it comes to the menu they freeze. It also froze during the bootup. I also noticed a hum that was louder than normal. Not sure where it came from. Almost sounds like an old CD ROM trying to read a scratched cd. Is it possible my Burner may be the cause of my troubles since the games read off the disk? I was able to play the original Rollercoaster Tycoon with no problems. I am thinking of buying a cheap cd rom just to try and run the games. Any other thoughts?
     
  9. kirock

    kirock TS Rookie Posts: 1,221

    Are you sure that 430W is enough. I have similar system and I blew up a 45oW generic crappy while playing HL2. Smoke literally poured out the back of the PSU.

    The other thing to check is your temps and ensure the HSF on the CPU is installed correctly and that you used enough thermal compound. You can download Speedfan and in a few minutes configure it to display the CPU temp to the tool bar. This way you can check active temps while running a game. An idle CPU with a bad HSF interface might not spike too high in temp, but add some 3D game you watch the temp sky rocket.

    Try removing the second RAM stick. Are you sure the RAM is compatible with that mobo? Check the mobo manual for instructions of RAM installation. They do pair up in particular slots. Also reboot into BIOS and load fail safe defaults just in case.
     
  10. Draven_X

    Draven_X TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 18

    I went to Crucial before purchasing to see if it was compatable with the mobo I was looking at. This is what I purchased

    Crucial RAM

    I installed both sticks in the green slots. I am not the most computer illiterate guy in the world but the way the directions was worded it seemed like you needed to insert the sticks into the green slots. Which is what I did. Everywhere I looked it says I have 1024 of ram. So I assumed it was right. I did notice in the bios it sayed my RAM was running at 180MHz and where I bought it, it was advertised at 400MHz. So maybe something is backwards.

    Advertised 400MHz

    The PSU I just bought is a lot more than what I had. Everything is over so I thought it has more than enough.

    The PSU I bought at Circuit City

    At idle my CPU is between 95F-98F. My MOBO came with a utility that lets me monitor the temps but the problem is when everything freezes up I cannot see what the temp is. Also sadly I didnt put any thermal paste. I didn't know I was suppose to and I didnt see it in the directions. Also There was this white film on the bottom of the HSF. I figure that was to cool the processor and keep it from damaging. I will need to go and buy some, where can I purchase this at? Also I will try removing a RAM stick to see what happens. I will try to plug and play and see what works. I really appreciate everybodies help and suggestions. Keep them coming I will get this working someday.
     
  11. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,000   +15

  12. Draven_X

    Draven_X TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 18

    UPDATE: I looked in my BIOS and under my Cell Menu I can see my Current DDR Clock. As it was it was 167 MHz. I took out one stick as suggested and looked at it and it was at 200MHz. I loaded my PC and everything worked fine. So I started to plug and play. Leaving the one stick in the first slot and moving the other down the line this is what I got. When the other stick was in any of the purple slots my DDR Clock was 201 MHz (The first stick being in the first green slot.) When I did both purple slots it was the same as being in the green 167 MHz. I switched it back to where it read 201MHz and it worked fine with no freezing. Now my next question is the advertised 400MHz overclocked? Because I did every combo and only achieving 201 MHz and with a single stick it's 200MHz. Thanks in advance and I appreaciate the tip about the removing the one stick.
     
  13. kirock

    kirock TS Rookie Posts: 1,221

    All is good now! You have DDR RAM which means 2X200=400MHz. Your FSB is running at 200MHz now, like it should.
    Now the only other issue is this:
    I'm guessing the white film is a thermal pad, I hope. But these don't work very well in the first place and let it age a bit you are only going to have overheating issues. I recommend you remove the thermal pad and purchase Artic Silver paste (best on the market). You'll have way better temps and no problems under heavy load.

    Edit: PS. The PSU looks ok, I think you're fine in that department now.
     
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