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Help me Diagnose my Problem

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by Mysteria, 2 Jul 2007.

  1. Mysteria

    Gangster

    Joined: 10 Dec 2003

    Posts: 122

    Location: Im here, where are you?

    Recently my system has been locking up, rebooting and getting BSOD's whilst playing games and sometimes just in windows, I was also experiencing a few graphical anomilies, during gaming and windows use i would experiance a breif screen flash on my primary monitor like an overlay of a different screen that only appeared for a split second.
    I decided to narrow down the problem so i began by running memtest86 for a couple of hours with no problems, thinking it may be a faulty drive I used a self booting HD Diagnostic utility which found no errors, I removed all non Essential hardware from the system (Sound card, NIC, Raid HD's & optical Drive) but the problem persisted.

    I decided to do a fresh install of windows but now as soon as the installation gets to the Loading windows dialog the system hangs (2 or 3 mins from the start of the install) now the system will no longer boot past the part where it should load the GUI.

    SYSTEM SPEC:
    ASUS A8R32-MVP Deluxe
    AMD A64 X2 4200+
    Connect3D x1900XTX 512Mb
    2Gb Crucial Balistix RAM
    320Gb Western Digital Caviar HD ATA-100
    2x80GB SATA drives Raid0
    Corsair HX 520W PSU
    Audigy 4 soundcard
    Linksys WIFI PCI card
    2x Optical Drives
     
  2. Admiral Huddy

    Caporegime

    Joined: 17 Feb 2003

    Posts: 29,592

    Location: Chelmsford

    You've taken the right steps but you need to eliminate af ew other components:

    Firstly, the PSU.. Check the PSU is supplying correct and sustained voltages using the latest ASUS probe which is availabe from their download section.

    Try the system on load and see what readings you get.

    Allow for some deviation. For 5volts between +4.8volts and +5.2volts and for 12volts between +11.5volts and 12.6volts.

    Anything outside these there is certain to be a problem with the power supply.

    Then check for the quaility of the cables using a multimeter:

    Ensure there is no power supply. Unplug PSU completely then set the multi-meter to ohms and touch probes to test.

    To test cable for example, place one probe into one cable (say pin 1) and the other into the other end. You should get a signal.

    This will eliminate any problems with PSU.

    Your next port of call is the CPU.

    run an instance of [email protected] on each core. Since [email protected] is CPU intensive any problems will soon be aparent. If this works fine after a few hours, then there's nothing wrong with your CPU.. If it fails and you've already tested your memory and PSU.. then it looks like a faulty CPU.

    Next, and now more likely, it's the GPU... Check both the chipset and graphics drivers are up to date. The only way you'll see if it really is the graphics card is to swap it out for a known working model or test it in another machine.

    Try also lowering the GPU/memory speed below defaults just to see if it makes any difference.

    Hope that helps.
     
    Last edited: 2 Jul 2007
  3. BAMBI

    Hitman

    Joined: 25 Jun 2007

    Posts: 584

    Location: Oxfordshire

    Also check your CPU temperature for overheating.
     
  4. Mysteria

    Gangster

    Joined: 10 Dec 2003

    Posts: 122

    Location: Im here, where are you?

    As i stated in my last paragraph the system will now no longer boot in to the GUI of either the installation or the OS and even hangs on Ubuntu booted from CD.

    As for Temps of the CPU I have never had a problem the system is well cooled 3x 120mm Fans, Idle temp is 38-44C Load is about 50-55c Ambient temp around 25-30c.

    Voltage Fluctuations, (Unable to test under load)
    VCORE: 1.391 -1.393
    3.3V: 3.212 - 3.228
    5V: 5.004V - 5.032
    12V: 12.107V - stable
     
  5. Admiral Huddy

    Caporegime

    Joined: 17 Feb 2003

    Posts: 29,592

    Location: Chelmsford

    ok, when you say hang.. do you get any message. If the GUI part of the boot is stalling then there's normally a problem with the NTDLT file.

    See if you can get your hands on boot disk from XP then copy the NTDLR, NTDETECT and BOOT.INI file onto your C: drive, then try again. You'll have to do this via DOS or the recovery console.

    However, you mention Ubuntu which is linux which I've no idea about - sorry.

    You temps look fine.. I'm wondering if there is a problem with that HDD.. I know you said this has been checked but I had a HDD failure brought into me last week.. HDD diagnostics showed no errors but there was. It was replaced and everything was fine.

    It might be worth grabbing a copy of UBCD from somewhere. Boot from this.. It's got a handfull of usefull tools which i swear by.
     
  6. Mysteria

    Gangster

    Joined: 10 Dec 2003

    Posts: 122

    Location: Im here, where are you?

    the system hangs with no error message the screen just sits there
     
  7. Admiral Huddy

    Caporegime

    Joined: 17 Feb 2003

    Posts: 29,592

    Location: Chelmsford

    you need to action the points I raised above... Let me know how you get on.
     
  8. Mysteria

    Gangster

    Joined: 10 Dec 2003

    Posts: 122

    Location: Im here, where are you?

    Done still the same,

    NP

    Hard Drive is brand new, did a complete reinstall when I installed it just over a month ago.

    Thanks for the tip, downloaded this and ran through most of the diagnostics apps with no apparent errors although the system did reboot itself twice on different tests, which ran fine previously.

    Since I started this thread I RMA'd my graphics card OCUK tested it and found no problems with it, so my next line of thinking is my PSU, I know there are only a few cases of this PSU failing on the forums but its the next logical step. My GF's brother has a spare relatively new Enermax 550W PSU of which he is lending me to test at the weekend, so until then thanks for your help.
     
  9. Admiral Huddy

    Caporegime

    Joined: 17 Feb 2003

    Posts: 29,592

    Location: Chelmsford

    I think that's a good call on the PSU.

    As a technician, it's one piece of equipment that's always worth having a spare hanging around..
     
  10. Mysteria

    Gangster

    Joined: 10 Dec 2003

    Posts: 122

    Location: Im here, where are you?

    Tried the PSU and managed to finish the re-install of windows, booted to windows but crashed just a few mins later with BSOD. IRQL_NOTLESS_OR_EQUAL was the error. Now it won't boot into windows just as before.
    Tried another hard drive with previous install of XP that also failed.

    So PSU changed, HD changed and OCUK tested GFX-still same problem. Ideas? Please. :(
     
  11. keogh

    Mobster

    Joined: 22 Jun 2004

    Posts: 2,761

    Location: Bangkok, Thailand (formally London)

    Hmm Ive had a similar problem with my PC... random BSODs and when I installed XP it would install fine, but on the first load up to the Windows I would get a BSOD no matter how many times I rebooted.

    I managed to get into windows mind, by removing 1 stick of my RAM. It then got into Windows, and I then shut down, put the stick back in and it worked fine and never had any probs since... try that?

    I recently upgraded to Vista and the BSODS where always happening in there, but I recently made a few changes to my overclock, and I am using another HDD atm (as I didnt want to remove my copy of XP on my real HDD otherwise I would have to install it again) it seems to be ok now (touch wood).

    Try removing one stick and booting and see if you get to windows?
     
  12. Mysteria

    Gangster

    Joined: 10 Dec 2003

    Posts: 122

    Location: Im here, where are you?

    Tried that just after making previous post-tried both sticks (one at a time) with both HD's that have windows installed. Couldn't boot into Safe Mode any time. And tried different RAM slots. Still dead. :(
     
  13. Mysteria

    Gangster

    Joined: 10 Dec 2003

    Posts: 122

    Location: Im here, where are you?

    Bit of an update, I installed an older processor A64 3500+ and the system booted in safe mode once then wouldnt boot at all again, with the systems persisting throughout the hardware changes the only common factor that i can see is the motherboard.

    I have only one problem with replacing the motherboard and thats the data that i have on my raid array, How would i go about recovering this. would the array be compatible with another chipset etc...
     
  14. Admiral Huddy

    Caporegime

    Joined: 17 Feb 2003

    Posts: 29,592

    Location: Chelmsford


    This error is normally RAM related and I've had this many times when the vdim is incorrectly set. Make sure the RAM is getting the correct voltages. Check the manufactureres website and find out what voltages your memory requires.