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Old 05-23-2011, 01:23 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Dead Motherboard? RAM trouble? More than one thing...

So I will try to be as specific and detailed as possible. I'm getting very lost hunting this problem down and I'm wondering if I'm missing something simple, or perhaps I've been compounding the problem as I went.
A few weeks ago I accidentally threw the breaker while my system was running (currently playing a 3d game - so my hard drive was likely reading or writing to the swap file my ram was on and cycling and my graphics card was engaged.)
Everything seemed to start up fine. I can't honestly remember what happend next, but shortly after I started having trouble getting the machine to boot - particularly after having it running for some time.
The system refused to post. I had to hard boot it to get it to post (power switch on psu off (press power) then power everything back on, and even then it only worked a quarter of the time. Once I had it up it worked though. Until I needed to reboot.
After reseating hardware and disconnecting drives and accessories and swapping ram slots I figured it was a memory error. It would run reliably with a single dimm in slot 1 (previously I had two in slot 1 and slot 3)
I bought some used ram off a local site and it seemed to fix the problem.
For a while.
Then I figured it might be a bad dimm slot (I could explain how I narrowed it down, but it seemed to work fine if I had ram in slots 2 and 4).
I did a pile of reading and evrything still seemed to point to the RAM even though I replaced it and had the system booting normally.
Then I got a virus (After I upgraded the ram I also decided to upgrade the bios and the downloader on the mfr website I think gave me a virus).
I reinstalled windows updated all my drivers and everything was working fine for about a week.
Then it died. It would boot windows to a blank screen with just a mouse pointer, nothing else. I tried repairing windows I tried reinstalling it and even during this process I would get blue screen errors. I thought maybe it was ram, maybe motherboard, maybe hard drive.
Anyway, Yesterday I went and got a new motherboard.
It posted fine with 2 Dimms, but not all 4.
I got a power supply alarm, and it didn't seem to matter which dimm I pulled either by slot or by stick. I wasn't sure what to think about that, so I got a new power supply just to rule that out.
Same weird error.
Suspicion shifted back to the ram.
I started going through it running 6 pass mem tests using win diagnostics.
I found 2 modules that tested faulty - one gave me the power supply error every time I put it in even by itself and another tested 3000 errors in the 6 passes.
Now I know 6 passes doesn't mean I have good ram, but it leads me to think that it isn't the problem.
So with new motherbaord new power supply and new hard drive partition (ruling out bad physical space on the drive [but not read/write errors] I proceeded to rebuild the computer and run windows)
Everything was great. Multiple reboots all posted fine BIOS settings were correct controllers and hardware detected and installed properly. No viruses. Disk checks all passed and I had a working computer.
I then put the old power supply in and moved the computer into it's home.
I played on it for hours last night.
I rebooted it even for good measure.
Everything worked great until today.
I booted to three consecutive blue screen errors.
All three were different.
And I can't for the life of me remember what they were. I'll post more details later if I can get it to error again.
Anyway I kept posting fine and booting to bluescreen in windows.
I finally rebooted into a memory test and one of the modules failed like 39000 failures in 2 passes.
I hard booted again and everything came up fine again.
I ran some checks and everything looks great again.
I cannot figure out what is causing the instability.
Is it hard drive? Still suspect memory?
Graphics card?
Windows?
I am pretty sure one of the dimms on my other motherboard was faulty, but I can't prove that for sure, but there is still something else wrong here.
Thoughts? Ideas? Other tests I can run? This computer was running stably no overclocking for 3 years, and now I can't get it to go a couple of days.
I want to return the motherbaord and power supply if neither of those is the issue.
Please help. Specs to follow.


CPU: Core 2 Duo E6550 2.33 Ghz
RAM (old): 2 x 1 GB crucial pc6400
RAM (new): 4x1 GB crucial balistix 1066 2.2v
Current RAM 2x1 GB balistics 2x1 BG pc6400 (yes I know I'm sacrificing speed, two of the balistics modules tested bad)
Motherboard (old): ASUS P5K premium black pearl edition (I love this motherbaord and hope nothign is wrong with it - warranty expired 3 months ago)
Motherbaord (new): Gigabyte S series P43 ES3G
Graphics card: Asus Nvidia 8500 GT silent
Internal card reader
Sata LG dvd burner
IDE DVD rom
2x 250 GB caviar hard drives
Antec sonata 3 case.



Please help.
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Old 05-23-2011, 03:34 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dead Motherboard? RAM trouble? More than one thing...

Try another hard drive in post you stated partitioning but better off when a clean one if you want you can always take your hard drive and see if it will work with another comp without error for 24hrs. Keep us updated
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Old 05-24-2011, 01:19 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dead Motherboard? RAM trouble? More than one thing...

I will try the hard drive out. I actually have a spare drive, but it is my backup drive and has the duplication of my entire life so I'm hesitant to use one of the partitions on that drive to install windows, but I do have enough free space to give that a whirl.
The hard drive error wouldn't explain the random RAM test fails. Perhaps I'll take out the "bad stick" and run with 3 gigs for a bit see how that goes.
Still doesn't explain why the old motherbaord wouldn't post for a while.
I am growing tired of working with this computer, but if I can find the time maybe I'll try to go back to the other motherboard a bit later this week. Wish I had more time before I had to return the new motherboard.
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Old 05-24-2011, 03:12 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dead Motherboard? RAM trouble? More than one thing...

Quote:
Everything was great. Multiple reboots all posted fine BIOS settings were correct controllers and hardware detected and installed properly. No viruses. Disk checks all passed and I had a working computer.
I then put the old power supply in and moved the computer into it's home.
I played on it for hours last night.
Did you say you have a new power supply and used the old one again, and now you get bsod's?

I did not see where you posted what your old psu was and what the new psu is
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Old 05-24-2011, 10:12 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dead Motherboard? RAM trouble? More than one thing...

Yeah, once I figured out the power error on boot was related to the ram module I had installed I went back to the old PSU.
Old PSU Antec Earthwatts 500W (also current)
New power supply 500W Cooler Master

So I got the BSOD again
Wrote down the errors:
Page fault in a non paged area

Second boot fail
A process thread crucial to system operation has unexpectedly exited

I restarted and ran win diagnostics - and again error came up on the same DIMM.
I pulled it, so now we'll see how it handles being off overnight and then booting tomorrow.
I still think the original problem was the motherboard.
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Old 05-24-2011, 11:35 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dead Motherboard? RAM trouble? More than one thing...

Do you have another computer you can try the memory in and run memtest Memtest86+ - Advanced Memory Diagnostic Tool

That will help you rule out/in the possibility of the memory being bad.
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Old 05-25-2011, 07:43 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dead Motherboard? RAM trouble? More than one thing...

I do not have another computer.
I can however run memtest 86 on my current config.
Everything runs so stably now, just doesn't seem to boot unless I power cycle the PSU.
Also after I removed the stick of ram that was id as bad by win diagnostics I encountered the same page fault in non paging area BSOD.
I ran win doagnostics again and it show 1000's of errors, but could not identify which dimm<s> where causing the errors.
I am still suspicious of the HDD, but why does it run so stably once it boots (I can do anything for hours) and why would power cycling appear to fix it?
I am going to try the new hard drive tomorrow.
If that doesn't work I guess I return everything and start seriously looking into a new build.
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Old 05-25-2011, 09:23 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dead Motherboard? RAM trouble? More than one thing...

Have you tried running it with the new power supply for a while?
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Old 05-28-2011, 10:59 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dead Motherboard? RAM trouble? More than one thing...

After the circuit break, there was probably a lot of data that was lost or dumped as temp files. You are better to do a defrag or, at least, an Analyse to see if it needs defragmentation.

Whenever there is a loss of power, it is always good practice to do a chkdsk of all drives.
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