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Simple problem?

By cjcross001
Jul 13, 2005
  1. My computer randomly freezes for apparently no reason, and sometimes after i choose reset in windows it will restart with a black screen yet everything is still powered on(however, it doesn't actually go into windows it just sits there). i've tried different ram & different power supply same result. i can try another video card, but do i have enough to go on right now to assume its the mobo? also my cpu temp is 49 c at normal operation and nothing smells burnt or seems to be burnt out.
     
  2. Justin

    Justin TS Rookie Posts: 942

    49C is nominal.

    I would suggest you run your machine under memtest86 (http://www.memtest86.com, both a cdimage and a floppy image are available) and allowing that to run for several hours.

    If that produces no errors after several hours, the RAM and most likely the processor are fine. At that point I would suggest stripping the PC down to a single stick of RAM, a video card, the processor and keyboard. Remove all other peripherals including all optical drives, all other PCI cards, and all hard drives except the one you use to boot from. Then continue to use your PC. If it occurs again you've narrowed the problem down greatly... assuming you've swapped the video card by then, it would either be the motherboard or your hdd.

    Although it doesn't sound like a video card issue, it can't hurt to replace it.
     
  3. cjcross001

    cjcross001 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Well, i've pretty much exhausted every test i can think of. heres what i've done so far: swapped hard drives-video cards-memory-power, removed all unessential equips like pci cards. Here is a list of recurring problems. After resets the power remains on but the monitor goes into power save mode and nothing appears to be happening, during windows installation it will blue screen with driver_irq_not_less_than_or_equal and then usbport.sys is shown at the bottom(regardless of hardware), freezes during hard drive formatting(only did that once). this next problem is interesting, i can't explain it as being the rams fault: placed both sticks of my kingston pc 3200 512mb ram into dimm slot 1 and 2 respectively, ran memtest86 from bootable cd, the damn thing freezes at test 2 or 3 i believe with 14% every time. theres no error reported, the system freezes completely(i have to switch it off in the back or hold the power button for 5 seconds, never tried the reset button). after that happened i tried the first stick in dimm slot 1 with nothing in slot 2 or 3. everything was fine.....no errors no freezing. same thing with stick number 2 solo in slot 1. i then put both sticks back in slot 1 and 2 and tried it again. freezes the exact same way on test 2 or 3 at 14%. next i tried both sticks in slot 2 and 3. ran for hours no errors or freezing. the only thing i can't replace to test the board is the cpu. do i have enough to go on to assume with close to 100% certainty its the mother board? also i was curious about something. whats the correct voltage for the cpu? mine is like 1.4x(x < 5 i think). also the tech support at asus helped me set the correct memory timing(i'm still very newb about computers). the board detects everything plugged into it just fine, correct memory size and speed, correct processor and speed, and correct hard drive and cd-rom. if this helps at all here is what i have in my system: k8n4-e deluxe asus mobo, amd 64 3400+ processor, 2 x 512mb kingston pc3200 single sided ram, maxtor sata hard drive, xfx 6600 gt pcie graphics card, and an antec 500 watt power supply, and a tdk cd/rw. any suggestions would be appreciated. also i reflashed the bios to the newest non beta available from asus's website.
     
  4. Merc14

    Merc14 TS Rookie Posts: 171

    cjcross-

    The first thing you need here is to get the board to post.
    First we'll reset the BIOS:
    1. Unplug your PC from the wall. Open the case and put on your ESD strap.
    2. Remove everything from the mobo except CPU and HSF, RAM and video card. Make sure RAM is in the proper slots as per your instruction manual and preferably just one stick of it (vital that a single stick is in the proper slot according to your manual).
    3. Unplug ALL the drives FROM the mobo and disconnect power from the drives themselves. it's important that the drives are unplugged from the board and unplugged from the PSU.
    4. Find "Clear CMOS" in your manual and do that. Basically you remove the battery from the mobo and then locate the 3 pin jumper which is usually right next to the battery. Normally pins 1 & 2 are covered by a blue cap. Put the cap on pins 2 & 3 for a few minutes and then move it back to pins 1 & 2 . Reinstall the battery and your BIOS should be back to default settings. That is the usual way to reset but your board may have a special procedure.
    5. Make sure both power cords are properly seated in the mobo and that the RAM and video card are completely seated and video card has power (if required). Make sure monitor cable is fully connected.
    6. Plug the PC back into the wall and turn it on.

    You should be back in BIOS now and it should be stable. If not then your problem is either the mobo itself, CPU, RAM or video card. If stable then set all the BIOS things you are sure of and if unsure leave at auto. If everything is stable after a reboot then plug in the Floppy and reboot. If all is still well then plug in one CD ROM Drive and reboot. Still stable then plug in your remaining RAM DIMMs. If still healthy then plug in your hard drive(s), set the correct boot order (hard drive, cdrom, floppy) and reboot.

    At some point in the above I'd expect that you will run into the cause of your problems. That is why it is important to do things in the proper order as listed above. You'll be able to tell where the problem are if you do things slowly and methodically. I'd suspect that your PSU is not up to the job or one of the drives (CDROM/Floppy or HArd Drive) is not functioning correctly.

    Let us know how it goes.
     
  5. Justin

    Justin TS Rookie Posts: 942

    You've definately narrowed it down to one of three things:

    1) Memory not working properly in dual channel. Are these matching modules? Since they bothed pass individually this most likely NOT the scenario if they are matched.

    2) Bad board. Most likely scenario. It happens, it happens often. Luckily you have an ASUS mobo and those come with excellent warranties assuming it is retail. I'd put my bet on the board being defective.

    3) Bad CPU. Unlikely, but possible.



    I would suggest RMA'ing the motherboard.
     
  6. cjcross001

    cjcross001 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Well, by psu i hope you mean power supply (remember i'm kinda newb). i actually bought a new one just yesterday. reason being is i called asus tech support and the guy told me i needed at least a 500 or 550 watt atx power supply with a 24 pin mobo connector as well as the 4 pin. its an antec smartpower 2.0 500w power supply( i actually like it cause you can choose which power cables you want to avoid clutter). i wouldnt think it isn't up to snuff, i mean i only have 2 devices plugged into it(as well as some fans) and my video card doesn't require extra power. as far as the ram goes, i bought a 1gig dual channel kit of kingston pc3200 ram. my guess is the mobo is causing all these problems. i'm starting to get annoyed with asus, this is the 3rd mother board i've bought bearing their name and it just might be the 3rd to not work properly. has anyone else had bad luck with asus? i feel like every time i go to purchase a new mobo i should buy asus because of all the good things i hear, but i've had nothing but bad luck. its like i'm playing the lottery with them every time i purchase one. will i get a good one? or a crappy one? regardless of whether or not they repair it or replace it, i hope the damn thing works when i get it back. this is the last time i buy a mobo online :(
     
  7. cjcross001

    cjcross001 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    interesting turn of events....i missed the rma hours by 5 minutes yesterday so i decided to test a few more things, mainly the ram again. after reflashing the bios to factory settings i ran memtest on both sticks individually and here is what happened. i never went much further than test 5 as i'll explain. first dimm slot found errors on both sticks of memory in test 5. second dimm slot found a higher number of errors than slot 1. 3rd dimm slot found 0 errors!?? i dont get it. for fun i tried my old ram in the board, micron pc 2700 512. first slot 0 errors. at that point i was like great maybe my ram is bad, but because of the conflicting results from the previous day and yesterday i decided to try and run windows installation. after it formatted my hard drive it did its automatic restart, the thing hung again with the monitor in power save mode yet all the fans and lights were still powered on. i was tempted to go to fry's last night and purchase a new board just so i could test to see if it was my main board after all, but i wmiped out. i guess i'll just rma the thing and hope that is the cause of all this frustration. i am going to use my old system to test my new ram, hopefully the results are good.
     
  8. Merc14

    Merc14 TS Rookie Posts: 171

    If using only 1 DIMM of RAM you must use it in one specific slot only. You'll get errors if you try the other slots. I specifically addressed this in my previous post and said to make sure that you read the manual regarding where to place the 1 DIMM. Usually it is the third slot which is where you, surprise, received 0 errors.

    I don't mean to be an jerk but if you don't follow troubleshooting instructions fairly closely then you are just going to keep chasing your tail around in a circle. Chances are you have some kind of setup error that you are missing. I am saying this because the chances of you drawing three bad boards (as you stated above) in a row from Asus are slim to none.

    Maybe Soul Harvester will disagree with me but I have to assume there is some fundamental error you are making while configuring your system that is causing these ongoing problems to continue across three different boards. Asus is a fairly high end company that generally provides a pretty good product. 3 bad boards in a row is really a long shot unless you are getting them from the same reseller and they are selling broken product.

    Have you tried my suggestion from above? Did you run memtest86 on each DIMM in the third slot?
     
  9. Justin

    Justin TS Rookie Posts: 942


    In modern boards you can typically populate any bank you want with a single stick and not run into issues.

    However, being this is the third board he's picked up and it is still having problems, I would first ask what is the common denominator between them all (such as the CPU), and barring that, yes, I would say the issue may be a configuration issue.
     
  10. Merc14

    Merc14 TS Rookie Posts: 171

    SH-
    My A8N SLI D reacts nastily to RAM in the wrong slot, much like an old g.... never mind. LOL.
     
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