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Old 11-01-2008, 06:56 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default PC randomly freezes. Getting tired of it!

Hi all,

This is a bit of a long winded one, as there is quite a bit of history behind it, but I'll do my best to explain!

Before I begin, my rig:

- Enermax Galaxy 850w PSU
- Quad Core 2.4Ghz CPU
- 4GB OCZ DDR3 PC3-10666 Platinum RAM
- Striker II 790i Ultra SLI Extreme motherboard
- EVGA Geforce 9800 GX2 graphics card
- Xi-Fi Fata1ity sound card
- 3 Seagate Barracuda hard disks (just configed as three standard hard drives)
- OS: Vista 64bit Ultimate.

Months ago, I decided to upgrade my system with a new graphics card, I replaced my Geforce 8800 GTS 640MB with the EVGA 9800 GX2 (a used one from ebay) - to accompany this, I also replaced my OCZ GameXtream 700w with a Quad GPU certified PSU (brand new from ebuyer), the highly acclaimed Enermax Galaxy 850w, this ensured enough power would be available for the components.

However, since installing both of these components, I'm getting random freezes whenever I'm using my PC. It's completely indiscriminate, too. I could be browsing the net, playing a game, in photoshop or simply chatting on MSN, then boom! It freezes...the keyboard/mouse is rendered useless, and if I'm listening to music when it freezes, you can hear the last fraction of the song which seems to play over and over. The only escape route is to hard reset the PC, or press and hold the power button until it powers off.

Ok, it sounds simple, either its the card or the PSU...since the problem occured since I add these components, but I'm not 100% sure. So far here's what I've tried...

1. Reinstalled Vista, I even performed a zero-fill on the hard drive, after everything was reinstalled and up and running again, the problem came back...

2. Cleaned my pc out. I've cleaned the DIMM sockets, the PCIe slots, the graphics card edge connector, the RAM connectors, the fans...everything, still the problem persists.

3. Because the 9800 GX2 card was bought used from ebay, I thought it might be a dodgy card, so I forked out for a brand new graphics card (the same model) and still the problem persists.

4. Ran memtest with all four sticks of RAM on board, returned no errors...although I only ran it for about an hour, and I didn't check each stick individually. May I also add that the RAM is used, but it never gave me a problem prior to installing the new PSU and graphics card.

5. Ran Coretemp: CPU temps range from 20c - 30c. Nothing unusal there.

6. Ran ntune - GPU temps range from about 50c to 70c - I don't think thats too bad for the card, considering its using its stock fan.

7. Adjusted the RAM and Northbridge voltages in BIOS to RAM voltage: 1.80v and Northbridge: 1.40v, which I'm told is good enough. Everything else in BIOS is untouched.

8. Flashed BIOS to latests version.

I'm really running out of ideas, and patience. I really don't know what else to try. I'm starting to wonder if its the PSU...like I said, everything worked fine before the introduction of a new graphics card and PSU. However, I'm ruling out the graphics card as I've just installed a brand new one.

The RAM is used, maybe thats the problem? But it never gave me any problems prior to adding the new PSU/graphics card...

Any ideas/advice would be greatly appreciated. Cheers all.

Jonathan.
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Old 11-01-2008, 08:46 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: PC randomly freezes. Getting tired of it!

It appears you have taken everything into consideration apart from the motherboard and the quality of the CPU and the second hand RAM, first off I would suggest looking into the motherboard as there is no reason why something couldnt be going wrong there. If it's at all possible you could try or fork out 30 for an el cheapo board of ebuyer like this bad boy:

MSI P4M900M3-L VIA Socket 775 onboard VGA 7.1 Channel Audio mATX Motherboard - Ebuyer

Looking at the RAM and it being second hand then you could pick some up, I know these solutions could be very long winded but I'm about as stumped as you are :|
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Old 11-01-2008, 11:24 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: PC randomly freezes. Getting tired of it!

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Originally Posted by Nick View Post
It appears you have taken everything into consideration apart from the motherboard and the quality of the CPU and the second hand RAM, first off I would suggest looking into the motherboard as there is no reason why something couldnt be going wrong there. If it's at all possible you could try or fork out 30 for an el cheapo board of ebuyer like this bad boy:

MSI P4M900M3-L VIA Socket 775 onboard VGA 7.1 Channel Audio mATX Motherboard - Ebuyer

Looking at the RAM and it being second hand then you could pick some up, I know these solutions could be very long winded but I'm about as stumped as you are :|
Nick, thanks for the advice.

Well, I've just done another Memtest, I put each stick in, one at a time, and did three passes - each of the four sticks passed.

As for the motherboard. It never gave me any problems prior to upgrading the PSU/graphics card. However, there's a chance if may have been affected by ESD etc when I was installing the new PSU/card.

I've actually read that the 9800 GX2 card is prone to venting a lot of heat and it's supposedly quite an unstable card. Maybe the card is ok, but rather a conflict with the motherboards particular chipset (790i).

Since memtest seems to pass the RAM without errors, I'm leaning towards maybe purchasing a cheap graphics card, to see if it solves the problem.
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Old 11-01-2008, 11:49 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: PC randomly freezes. Getting tired of it!

Ok good luck with it, post back telling us how it goes. It's a good system and it's a shame it's not running well. If you don't mind me asking did you purchase all of the parts from ebuyer ?
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Old 11-01-2008, 12:16 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: PC randomly freezes. Getting tired of it!

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Ok good luck with it, post back telling us how it goes. It's a good system and it's a shame it's not running well. If you don't mind me asking did you purchase all of the parts from ebuyer ?
Hi Nick.

Its a bit of a mixed bag. I got the motherboard from ebay, used. The memory from ebay, used and the graphics card I'm using now from ebay but thats brand new. The PSU came from ebuyer.

I know what your thinking, "yikes, used from ebay?!" but as I said, the motherboard & RAM was fine before I upgraded the PSU/card.

Another option is to RMA the PSU, but I really don't know if thats just clutching at straws.

This might seem like a silly question, but is it possible to connect a PSU incorrectly to your system so it produces poor results? I'm got all my components connected to the proper connectors, like molex to molex etc...but can a PSU degrade in performance if you say, connect a PSU molex connector to a fan, which branches off and also connects to another device, so only one PSU molex connector is supplying power to two components?....if you know what I mean?
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Old 11-01-2008, 12:21 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: PC randomly freezes. Getting tired of it!

Well it shouldn't really I mean your PSU is good, having chains of fans shouldn't effect your system unless your PSU is rubbish You could but it's highly unlikely have forgotten to put say a 4pin connector on the motherboard in but if you did that it may not POST. I suggest poking around in there, if you can RMA the PSU it is deffinately an option but I would look at other possibilites first. It has been known for some GPUs simply not working with some motherboard and chipset configurations.

Hope that was of some help...
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Old 11-01-2008, 12:52 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: PC randomly freezes. Getting tired of it!

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Originally Posted by Nick View Post
Well it shouldn't really I mean your PSU is good, having chains of fans shouldn't effect your system unless your PSU is rubbish You could but it's highly unlikely have forgotten to put say a 4pin connector on the motherboard in but if you did that it may not POST. I suggest poking around in there, if you can RMA the PSU it is deffinately an option but I would look at other possibilites first. It has been known for some GPUs simply not working with some motherboard and chipset configurations.

Hope that was of some help...
Yeah, I don't think its the PSU, nick. I've never had a problem installing PSU's in the past. But when you cannot solve a problem, and you start clutching at straws, a sense of paranoia kicks in. I thought I may have incorrectly inserted a molex connector wrong or something, lol.

I've just installed the latest GPU drivers, I'll see if it helps.
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Old 11-01-2008, 01:05 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: PC randomly freezes. Getting tired of it!

Ok good luck with that. Just looking at your sig..is your CPU overclcoked becuase that could be causing some issues.
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Old 11-01-2008, 01:18 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: PC randomly freezes. Getting tired of it!

My bad. That sigs old mate. That was my old rig. I'm updated my sig now

I've just tried running FarCry 2 with updated Nvidia drivers. I get about 3-5 minutes into the game and it either crashes to the desktop, or the infernal freezing problem stops the game dead in its tracks...its REALLY starting to get on my nerves now.
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Old 11-02-2008, 11:47 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: PC randomly freezes. Getting tired of it!

The random freezing is from nvidia drivers. The drivers and vista dont get along, me and my friend, both nvidia cards (8800gt and 9800gtx) and vista ultimate have this random freezing problem. I don't think theres a fix.

If you search "vista random freezing nvidia" ull see alot of ppl have the same problem.

I re-installed vista, but it just came back, ima revert back to windows xp this weekend.
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