Motherbord - EVGA nForce 680i SLI - Flashed with latest BIOS
Processor - Intel Core 2 Duo E6600
Video Card - EVGA GeForce 8800 GTX Superclocked - Using latest drivers from Nvidia
Memory - Corsair 2GB (2 x 1GB) DDR2 1066Mhz (PC2 8500)
Power Supply - OCZ GameXStream 700W
Sound Card - Using onboard
NIC - Using onboard
Hard Drive - SATA 300GB
Operating System - Windows XP Professional x86 with SP2 and fully patched
When I first built my system, I tested it, benchmarked it, made sure it was stable and temperatures were acceptable. I did some minor over clocking over the processor from it's default 2.4Ghz to 3.0Ghz by increasing the FSB from 1066Mhz to 1334Mhz using a 5:4 ratio which left the memory at a standard 1066Mhz. Again, I tested, logged temperatures under load and found the temperatures to be excellent and the system was stable with no lock ups, no hands, no crashes, no artifacting, ran beautifully.
Two weekends ago I began to have problems. I was playing a game and the system hung. Tried to do a CTRL-ALT-DEL and after hitting those keys a few times to see if I could kill the process, the system simply emitted a single loud beep out of the speakers. Sounded like a standard system beep, but instead of coming out of the back speaker in the tower, it came out of the actual speakers. I thought it was just a simple game crash. Had to do a hard reboot. Didn't have any other issues that day.
Next day, I experienced the same problem in other games. I actually began to experience hard lockups the moment a game would launch. System would emit a single loud beep if I clicked the mouse a few times, or hit a few keys on the keyboard. Would have to perform a hard reboot.
Throughout the course of the week, lockups began to happen more frequently, and I began to experience the same immediate lockups even when simply viewing a video in Windows Media Player.
Finally, this last weekend, I had a buddy of mine over, he brought his system and we were looking forward to having a fun time doing some Company of Heroes multiplayer. Every single time I would try to launch the game, it would immediately lock my system up. Same system beep when hitting some keys or clicking the mouse, and would have to hard reboot.
I decided that it was time to determine whether this was a software or hardware problem. There is no easier way to do that than by simply reformatting the machine.
So Friday night, I reformat my machine completely. Reinstalling Windows XP with SP2, reinstalling my mainboard drivers, sound drivers, and the latest NVidia video card drivers.
THE PROBLEMS PERSISTED. Hard lockups when launching any games or watching any videos.
Now the problem has escalated to other symptoms. Occasionally my system will not make it through POST. I'll see a portion of the POST data and then the reboot process will stop. The worst symptom actually occurred when I got home from work (I leave my system on 24/7). When I got home, I got on my laptop, decided I wanted to look at something on my (problem) machine and tried to remote desktop into it. Strange, I couldn't connect. Tried to manage it, couldn't manage it. But I could ping it. Odd. So I get up, go into my room where the computer is located, the monitor is powered off as it should be after being inactive. Moved the mouse around, monitor didn't wake up. Strange. Picked up the mouse, and the laser was not on. Wow, really weird. Hit CTRL-ALT-DEL. Monitor lit up. Logged in. I now notice a small (1 inch by 1 inch) block on the screen in which the graphics were washed out. Not a monitor issue, it's too perfectly square, must be a video output issue. Everything else looked normal. So I decide to try and reboot my system in Windows. The machine gets to the point where it says, "Logging Off...", and it just stops. I eventually decide to do a hard reboot, and now the system will not get past POST at all.
All I see when I try to boot my system is the basic BIOS version, CPU, memory, and then it just stops.
WHAT I'VE DONE...
* Completely reformatted system using up to date drivers for everything.
* Tested memory two different times over the past week using MEMTEST86+, ran the test for 6+ hours both times. Not a single error.
* Reduced the clock speed of my CPU back to defaults from my minor overclocked settings.
The most I've ever gotten out of the event log was an NV error in which the display driver was caught in an infinite loop. This event was only written once in awhile when my system would lock up. I originally thought this was a video card issue, but am beginning to think it may be something else since I am now being prevented from even getting past POST.
Completely reformatted system with up to date drivers to ensure it's not a software issue.
Problems have escalated over the course of the last week and a half from occassional hard lockups when playing games, to always hard lockups when playing games and watching videos, to now not even being able to make it past POST. Memory tests out ok after two 6+ hour tests.
Any thoughts on what could be the issue? I wish I just had motherboards, CPUs and power supplies laying around so I could swap stuff out, but sadly that's not the case.
Edited by ben.watson, 07 June 2007 - 08:13 AM.