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Computer freezing - suspect hardware

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by NameChangedClosed, Jul 23, 2010.

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  1. NameChangedClosed

    NameChangedClosed Account Closed Thread Starter

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    Hello all,

    I've got mostly all new hardware that I bought and put together myself. I initially installed Windows XP x64. The system ran fine for about a day, but then it started to freeze. Unfortunately, I can't tie it to any particular activity. I've had it freeze while copying files from an external USB drive and I've had it freeze while playing a video in Windows Media Player. The image on the screen freezes and I get a sort of pixelated shadow image (It kind of looks like really poor quality cable TV where the colors are too bright and kind of blurry), then the computer becomes completely nonresponsive (mouse/keyboard don't work) - though I am able to turn it off via the power button. Sometimes it happens right away and sometimes it'll run fine for an hour or so before it freezes. I could be wrong, but I don't think I've seen it freeze when I just leave it idle.

    I have since formatted and installed Windows XP SP3 x86, but I'm still getting the same problem. I've disconnected all unnecessary hardware, though I'm stuck with a usb mouse/keyboard (as opposed to PS2). I currently have only the default drivers installed. I've tried using the drivers from the NVIDIA disc that came with the mobo but had the same problems. I'm currently running the system with the side panel removed in hopes that it's not a heat issue. I also ran Memtest-86 v3.5 at the default settings from a boot disc. It ran for an hour and completed 2.5 passes with no errors before I stopped it. I've also tried using an old CRT monitor thinking that maybe my flatpanel was the problem, still the same problem.

    I'm pretty much out of ideas and I'd REALLY appreciate any and all advice. Thanks in advance!

    Hardware specs:
    Motherboard: MSI GF615M-P33 [Integrated video, sound, ethernet]
    CPU: AMD Phenom II x2 550
    Memory: Super Talent 2GB DDR3-1333 (Single) [Model W1333UB2GM]
    HDD: Seagate Barracuda 500GB 7200RPM SATA [Model ST3500410AS]
    DVD Burner: LG super multi SATA [can't find the model]
    Logitech USB keyboard
    Dell USB mouse
    ProView flat panel monitor connected via VGA


     
  2. Frank4d

    Frank4d Retired Trusted Advisor

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    What is the manufacturer and model for the power supply?
     
  3. NameChangedClosed

    NameChangedClosed Account Closed Thread Starter

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    Power Supply is BFG [Model: BFGR450WGSPSU]

    One more tidbit...so far I haven't been able to get it to freeze in Safe Mode (not sure why I didn't think to try that earlier). I set the computer to reboot using a Diagnostic Startup, it froze after about 2 minutes while I was creating a copy of a folder.
     
  4. NameChangedClosed

    NameChangedClosed Account Closed Thread Starter

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    Well scratch that, I just got it to freeze in Safe Mode as well. Am I looking at a hardware issue? How can I pinpoint the problem?
     
  5. father-brown

    father-brown

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2006
    Messages:
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    You mentioned running with the side panel for temps, do you know what temps your hardware is running at? I use core temp for CPU temperatures and Ati Tool for GPU temps.

    Also, you could try stress testing with something like Orthos or super Pi to see if the error is related to putting components under stress. But I'd make sure it's not a temp issue before that.
    Do you overclock at all?
    Have you tried running an ubuntu livecd just to see if it is driver related?
    I would try swapping out components just to try and isolate a hardware issue.
    Oh, also, resetting the CMOS might help.
     
  6. NameChangedClosed

    NameChangedClosed Account Closed Thread Starter

    Joined:
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    CPU temp according to BIOS and SpeedFan sits around 44C. I don't overclock. I kicked off Orthos and I got the same freeze after about 30 seconds of running the blend test. I rebooted into safe mode and tried the CPU test, 5 mins and no errors and I was inpatient so I stopped it. I tried the "Large, in-place FFTs - stress some RAM" test and it literally froze after 1 second.

    Earlier today I let memtest-86 run and after 9+ hours there were no detected errors. However, as soon as I opened the memtest configuration options and then closed the options, it popped an error and froze. I'm not sure if that's indicative of a hardware issue, or if that was an error from the memtest software.

    As for components, there's not much to swap out. I've disconnected all the non-essentials and I'm down to mobo, cpu, memory, hdd, monitor, PS2 keyboard.

    Ubuntu Live CD is a really good idea. I'll have to grab a copy and see how that goes.

    Any ideas on how I can confirm a memory issue? And if so, any idea how to determine if it's the actual DDR3 ram, or if it's onboard?
     
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