Need help troubleshooting intermittent crashes!

Got a shopping cart of parts that you want opinions on? Get advice from members on your planned or existing system (or upgrade).

Moderators: NeilBlanchard, Ralf Hutter, sthayashi, Lawrence Lee

Post Reply
hybrid2d4x4
Posts: 310
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2007 1:45 pm
Location: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Need help troubleshooting intermittent crashes!

Post by hybrid2d4x4 » Mon Mar 15, 2010 11:20 am

Hello all. A computer I built for a friend is acting up intermittently (but often enough to be bothersome). The obvious symptoms are background app/process crashes usually right after boot, and BSODs (esp while shutting down - the "Windows is Shutting Down" screen). Basically it's a lottery whenever you power it on. Sometimes everything works perfect, other times you get odd app behavior and crashes and you have to try again. Before I go on, here are the specs:

Gigabyte P55M-UD2 (F8 BIOS- latest as of a week ago)
i5 750 @ stock speeds, auto voltage; cooling via CoolerMaster 212+
2x2 G.Skill Ripjaws rated for 1333MHz 8-8-8-21@1.5V but running 9-9-9-24@1.5V
ATI 4770
WD 160GB SATA (old)
LG IDE CD burner (old)
Antec 300 case /w Antec EarthWatts 380W PSU
Temps are really good: idle- high 20s for CPU, ~45 GPU; load- high 40s CPU, low-mid 50s GPU /w vRAM+VRMs in the 60s. Ambient= 18-20degC


Currently running Win7 HP x64, but the issues occurred on the previously installed WinXP OS, so I'm leaning towards hardware issues.
I spent most of one entire day doing HDD diags including full surface tests, mostly using WD's Data Lifeguard utilities, and there was not a single error.
I ran the Windows Memory Diagnostic (extended test, 10 loops) and it was going fine for ~8hrs until I plugged my ipod into the USB to charge and it did a hard reboot. Reseated RAM,etc at this point.
I've been running Memtest86+ v 4.00 for the past few days, but it's been inconsistent. Initially running both sticks threw me errors within 3 hours. Running one stick at a time was error-free for 3.5-4hrs for both sticks. Running both threw errors, especially when trying to run 2 stick in single-channel mode (in fact it didn't even detect the 2nd stick when running them in the 2 adjacent middle slots slots, #'d 1&4). Tried reseating CPU and ran P95 torture test to make sure heatsink seating is ok (for temps). Temps were great, but one thread failed in ~1hr.
Went back to running Memtest, and it went for a lil over 8hrs on both sticks without errors before I called it a night. The next day I let it go at it again and it survived over 20hrs in Memtest without any errors.

This inconsistent behavior in benchmarks/diags is pissing me off. Other than testing with known-good RAM (which I'll hopefully be able to do if a friend "trades" me their RAM for a few days), I'm starting to run out of ideas. It looks to me like it could be the RAM, mobo or CPU, but can't really tell which. Anyone have any further ideas or any CPU-specific benchmarks/diags to run (preferably outside an OS environment)? Any help would be appreciated...

corrion
Posts: 50
Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2010 10:47 pm
Location: CA

Post by corrion » Mon Mar 15, 2010 12:28 pm

I hate Gigabyte motherboards for doing this, but "Auto" voltages is not the same as "Stock" voltages. They will dynamically change the voltages to "stabilize" the processor. Apparently they thought making my Q6600 reach 100C is the way to do it.

Check all your voltages and change it to "Stock" if you can, or manually specify them.

nomoon
Posts: 201
Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2005 8:35 pm
Location: Allen, TX US
Contact:

Post by nomoon » Mon Mar 15, 2010 2:27 pm

If you haven't already, it may be work a look at the Gigabyte forum at tweaktown.

In the past, some (many?) Gigabyte motherboards were picky about the brand of memory. The first memory with my GA-EP45-DS3R board had to be returned. I've been running Mushkin memory and it's been happy since.

Jason

kittle
*Lifetime Patron*
Posts: 336
Joined: Thu Nov 09, 2006 4:44 pm
Location: San Jose, CA

Post by kittle » Mon Mar 15, 2010 2:53 pm

Usualy intermittent problems point to power or PSU issues.

Does he have a surge protector on the PC? if so - how old. if not go get one Immediately.
after 2-3 years surge protectors start to loose their effectiveness, so they should be replaced.

The other part with power issues is they will slowly fry pc parts and stuff starts going bad in fits and starts -- exactly what your seeing.

stuff you can try:
Loan your friend a different PSU -- see if that makes any difference.
try with 1 stick of ram for a while.
try with 2 different sticks of ram.

hybrid2d4x4
Posts: 310
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2007 1:45 pm
Location: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Post by hybrid2d4x4 » Mon Mar 15, 2010 4:45 pm

corrion wrote:I hate Gigabyte motherboards for doing this, but "Auto" voltages is not the same as "Stock" voltages. They will dynamically change the voltages to "stabilize" the processor. Apparently they thought making my Q6600 reach 100C is the way to do it.

Check all your voltages and change it to "Stock" if you can, or manually specify them.
Thanks for the idea. I'll give this a try. Anyone know where I can find out what the stock voltages should be on an i5 750? I remember when I tried to find the same data for my Q9450, the intel resources I found only specified an operating range, not a specific, nominal value.


nomoon > Thanks for the link. I was aware that this board was picky about RAM and that led me to run all those RAM tests. They even released a BIOS revision (F7) supposedly increasing compatibility, but it didn't do it for me. What bothers me about it is that used to fail reliably on Memtest, but lately it's been sneaking by even on very long test runs.

kittle > I don't know if he was using a surge protector, but the issues happen at my house too and the system is currently hooked up to a 1month old, good-quality protector. I've considered the PSU, but wouldn't that usually result in hard-reboots, and not minor application errors or even BSOD's?

Thanks for the input/ideas guys. Keep it coming, plz, I probably have a long week ahead of me and I can use all the help I can get on this one...

corrion
Posts: 50
Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2010 10:47 pm
Location: CA

Post by corrion » Mon Mar 15, 2010 8:51 pm

I know for sure on my friend's P55-UD3R, there is a "Stock" option. Just leave it at that, or around 1.15V, I think. Just need to specify a voltage, doesn't really matter what it is at this point.

nomoon
Posts: 201
Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2005 8:35 pm
Location: Allen, TX US
Contact:

Post by nomoon » Wed Mar 17, 2010 7:05 am

nomoon > Thanks for the link. I was aware that this board was picky about RAM and that led me to run all those RAM tests. They even released a BIOS revision (F7) supposedly increasing compatibility, but it didn't do it for me. What bothers me about it is that used to fail reliably on Memtest, but lately it's been sneaking by even on very long test runs.
When I was having memory problems, I was never able to make it fail using Memtest, but I could never get Windows installed without crashing. I was beginning to think that my power supply was dying, but I swapped memory and then it worked fine. I don't know if that is your problem, but I thought that I would mention it.

By the way, I now use all of the Gigabyte power saving features on my board without any problems.

hybrid2d4x4
Posts: 310
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2007 1:45 pm
Location: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Post by hybrid2d4x4 » Wed Mar 17, 2010 9:22 am

That's odd. Well, I hope it's something similar in my case, nomoon. It'd be nice if putting in some different ram would suddenly fix everything.

Post Reply