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Old 07-11-2011, 07:03 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Intermittant BSODs...

I built a system last september-ish. Everything worked fine for a month or so, then it started crashing on me All the hardware checked out to the best of my ability to test it, and eventually updating drivers and CCC seemed to stabilize it. Of course it was temporary, it seems like every 1-2 months the system gets unstable and starts crashing while gaming or watching videos.

So far it seems to coincide with AMD's updates of catalyst control center. It starts crashing, I check the site and sure enough there's usually an update within the previous 2 weeks.

It's such a rare issue that so far it's been liveable, but it kinda bugs me, just in that I want to understand what exactly is going on, so I've been poking at it again recently even though it's been stable for a while. I'm pretty sure it's closing in on a month and a half, so it's due to act up anyway.

So far I've run 3dMark for over an hour to test for over heating. The CPU never went over 56c, the card hit 77.5c. Little on the high side, but still within tolerances as I understand it. I'll be running memtest for kicks and giggles later, but I'm feeling suspicious that won't turn up much either.

Basically I'm just wondering if anyone here is familiar with the problem, has suggestions, or can think of something I'm over looking here. It's also probably worth noting that the system is not, nor has ever been overclocked.

The build is:

Motherboard: ASUS M4A89TD
CPU: Phenom II 1090T
GPU: ASUS built Radeon 5830
RAM: 8GB Geil Ultra Plus and 8GB Corsair Vengeance.
PSU: Silverstone ST1200 1200W
HDD: Western Digital Caviar Black 7200 rpm 1TB
Optical: Lite-on 24x DVD burner

I'm sure someone will notice that the ram is 2 different brands, but I'm fairly sure they aren't conflicting and causing the issue. The Corsair sticks were a recent addition, I believe the place I got my ram from stopped selling Geil so I went with the closest match I could find. It's been stable since the ram was installed a little over a month ago.
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Old 07-11-2011, 07:16 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Intermittant BSODs...

My 1st guess would be that you were just having driver problems. ATI has never been great at drivers but they are much better than they use to be, at least nowadays that release hotfixes until they get them right

And I'm not bashing ATI, my opinion on Nvidia drivers isn't what it use to be. Nvidia use to release a steady stream of drivers and now were lucky to see a new driver every 2 or 3 months. I think they've laid off their software support to make up for lost profits.
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Old 07-11-2011, 07:19 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Intermittant BSODs...

Yeah, I'd check out that RAM.

As long as the RAM is the same speed and is compatible by your board, you are fine.
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Old 07-11-2011, 07:31 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Intermittant BSODs...

That's what it seems like to me (and most of the people I've spoken to) as well, and no worries. The build might make me look like an AMD fanboy, but I just wanted to try out a 6 core processor. Pricetag was more or less the determining factor, beyond that I figured keeping everything as "in-house" as possible would be the best way to assure compatibility.

It's just mildly annoying that my card chooses BSOD as a way of telling me ATI released a new driver set. At any rate, I thought it would be worth the effort to double check the hardware portion to be sure it's ok. And since this is more of a part time hobby for me, and I've got a lot to learn, I figured maybe someone here might know something I don't.

Edit: The Geil sticks were a bit of a gamble...it wasn't on the board's compatibility list. I think it paid off though, when I originally ran memtest in november the ram passed several tests. It runs up to 2000 Mhz, clock speeds are 9-9-9-28.

Closest I could find was the Corsair, 1866 Mhz, clock speeds 9-10-9-27. I figured the Geil would just tone itself down to match the Corsair, or vice versa. I've read over clock speeds for dummies and I'm still not sure I understand how all that works.
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Old 07-11-2011, 08:21 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Intermittant BSODs...

The RPM, it will clock down to the lowest variable. For timings, I'm not sure.
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Old 07-12-2011, 10:05 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Intermittant BSODs...

Small update, I let Memtest do it's thing all last night and through work today. 6 passes and it didn't find any errors. Guess that makes it software related, and something I'll have to deal with for as long as I have the card. I did appreciate the surprisingly fast replies though.
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Old 07-26-2011, 07:48 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Intermittant BSODs...

So, the problem came back with a vengeance this weekend. Something about Dragon Age Origins was seriously upsetting my PC lol. Figured I'd just bump the old thread rather than starting a new one.

Well, I think I may have finally found the problem. My First thought was Drivers. I updated them all, even the ones for crap I don't use. No effect. Then I circled back around to the ram. It had already passed Memtest...maybe something in the BIOS settings? I check and it's set for 1.65v, frequency 1866. An interesting find, so I toned it down to 1.45 and 15xx mhz for kicks.

This seemed to help for a while, but inevitably it crashed again. More Bios prodding led to the discovery that the voltage and frequency were reset to the old values. Ok...maybe the ASUS overclocking software that came with the board was accidentally activated? Uninstalled every scrap of overclocking friendly software I could find, went back into BIOS and loaded all defaults. Restart, everything looks normal. Load to windows, immediately restart and check BIOS because I'm still suspicious.

Not only are the ram options reset to the OC values, but this time I also notice it thinks my 3.2 ghz processor should be hitting 3.8 ghz. WTF is going on here? Then I remember that little Overclock unlocker switch on the motherboard...the one I thought I turned off so I wouldn't have these issues. It wasn't off, and was causing the BIOS to try and overclock my pc for me.

Here's hoping the system wasn't hurt by all the faults that caused...DOH!
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Old 07-26-2011, 08:22 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Intermittant BSODs...

So, is it working now? Funny thing a little OC would hurt your system.
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Old 07-27-2011, 12:48 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Intermittant BSODs...

Well, if it isn't done correctly I'm sure it can cause stability issues. And I have no clue what parameters the mainboard was shooting for. Even if I did, I don't know much about overclocking.

So far it's been stable though. Best measurement I have is how long it would tolerate Dragon Age without crashing, since something about that game prodded all the right buttons for a blue screen. 3 hours tonight as opposed to the hour or so it would play on Sunday. It's an improvement, but I don't trust it just yet. I've lost count of how many time I thought I had it stable only to find out I was wrong. =p
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