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Partial system build with a couple problems


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#1
Jaekus

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A couple weeks ago I began upgrading my existing system. The upgrade isn't complete, however I've had a few issues. All parts are brand new.

Hitachi 500G SATA 7200RPM
Gigabyte HD5450 PCI-E 2.1 1GB DDR3 DVI HDMI D-Sub DX11
Gigabyte GA-MA785GT-UD3H MB-AM3 785G/SB710 5.2GT/s,DDR3
AMD Phenom II 550 DualCore 3.1GHz 7MB CACHE 80W
OCZ 3G (3x1G) DDR3 PC-10666 Platinum 3G Triple Kit 1333Mhz
Windows 7 Ultimate (64 bit)

The currently installed PSU is a Omnix (I think) 460w, the CD-RW is good but getting old and the case is about 15 years old with one fan.

OK. So, my problems are this:

1) Sometimes on boot it will get to the Windows loading screen, 3 of the colours will stop moving and it will hang there indefinitely (I left it for 1.5 hours once and it hadn't changed.
2) When I attempt to unlock the hidden cores to make the CPU a quad, it only works half the time and when it doesn't I have to go back into the BIOS to change the setting back to what it needs to be (All Cores) to use all the cores.
3) I had a BSOD (Blue Screen of Death) the other day, after the computer went into power save mode and I came back to use it again.
4) When I have error 1 or 3, I need to reset on the machine itself and it recommends to do a Windows Startup Repair. I've attempted this many times and it always comes back as an unresolved issue, but it boots fine sometimes anyway.
5) When I first boot up the system for the day there is a short-low beep followed by the normal short-high beep. When we first put the system together it would beep once followed my lots of really low beeps, but this hasn't occured since the first build.

Ok, so my theory is my PSU isn't powerful enough and is creating these problems. I've run a virus scan and all drivers and BIOS are up to date. I can't figure out if it's a hardware compatibility issue or if there's more to it


Please help!


To conclude, to complete my upgrade I'm going to buy an as new case (2 months old) with an extra case fan from a mate, plus these components:

LiteON IHAS324 SATA DVD-RW 24X Black Retail
XFX ATI HD5770 1G Dual DVI DL HDMI DP (to replace the 5450)
OCZ ModXstream Pro 700W modular PSU (to one day crossfire two HD5770s)
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#2
Jaekus

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Please, does anyone have any suggestions?
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#3
123Runner

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Have you looked at our "beep" guide HERE?

There are numerous beeps depending on board and system manufacturer.

With the varied issues you are having, I would start with memory checking.


Broni's Instructions:

If you have more than one RAM module installed, try starting computer with one RAM stick at a time.

NOTE Keep in mind, the manual check listed above is always superior to the software check, listed below. DO NOT proceed with memtest, if you can go with option A

B. If you have only one RAM stick installed...
...run memtest...

1. Download - Pre-Compiled Bootable ISO (.zip)
2. Unzip downloaded memtest86+-2.11.iso.zip file.
3. Inside, you'll find memtest86+-2.11.iso file.
4. Download, and install ImgBurn: http://www.imgburn.com/
5. Insert blank CD into your CD drive.
6. Open ImgBurn, and click on Write image file to disc
7. Click on Browse for a file... icon:

Posted Image

8. Locate memtest86+-2.11.iso file, and click Open button.
9. Click on ImgBurn green arrow to start burning bootable memtest86 CD:

Posted Image

10. Once the CD is created, boot from it, and memtest will automatically start to run.

The running program will look something like this depending on the size and number of ram modules installed:


Posted Image

It's recommended to run 5-6 passes. Each pass contains very same 8 tests.

This will show the progress of the test. It can take a while. Be patient, or leave it running overnight.

Posted Image

The following image is the test results area:

Posted Image

The most important item here is the “errors” line. If you see ANY errors, even one, most likely, you have bad RAM.
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#4
Jaekus

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Hey, thanks :) I'll give this a shot when I get home tomorrow. A couple questions in the meantime:

1) Do I test the RAM one stick at a time, eg. boot from one, shutdown then replace it with another and boot from there?

2) When running the memtest, should I do it one stick at a time or install all 3 and then run it?

3) A mate thinks it could possibly be the HDD, what are your thoughts concerning this?

4) Lastly, you say to run 5-6 passes. Does this mean rebooting using the CD each time?

The RAM is brand new and is triple channel, though I don't think my motherboard supports triple channel. I was under the impression this wouldn't affect the performance adversely.

I did read read the beep codes a few days ago. I sometimes have 2 beeps, but the system will start up fine sometimes then too. Other times I have one beep and it hangs. It's confusing for me.


Thanks, looking forward to testing this out.

Edited by Jaekus, 28 March 2010 - 07:08 AM.

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#5
123Runner

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Install 1 ram stick
Boot and run the computer to see how it works.

Then do each of the other sticks the same way.

We need to isolate the problem. It could be a bad ram stick, but we would only know that by checking 1 at a time.
The other complicated scenario would be a bad slot.

If you run the memtest, we still need to get it to 1 stick. You could run it with all 3 in, but if there are errors you aren't going to know which stick. You would then need to run it on each stick.

The memtest will continue to run till you stop it. In the upper part of the screen you will see "PASS x", where x is the number of passes.

NOTE: This could take a while because you have 3 sticks.
=============================================================================================================
Regarding the hard drive. We can test for that by running the manufacturers diagnostics.
I would probably start with chkdsk /r and then move to drive diagnostics (link in my signature)

Go to Start and then to Run
Type in Chkdsk /r Note the space between k and /
Click Enter ...It will probably ask if you want to do this on the next reboot...click Y

If the window doesn't shutdown on its own then reboot the system manually. On reboot the system will start the chkdsk operation
This one will take longer then chkdsk /f

Note... there are 5 stages...
It may appear to hang at a certain percent for a hour or more or even back up and go over the same area...this is normal...
DO NOT SHUT YOUR COMPUTER DOWN WHILE CHKDSK IS RUNNING OR YOU CAN HAVE SEVERE PROBLEMS
This can take several hours to complete.
When completed it will boot the system back into windows.

The RAM is brand new and is triple channel, though I don't think my motherboard supports triple channel. I was under the impression this wouldn't affect the performance adversely.

I know nothing about this. I would have to do some checking, unless someone else looks at the topic and can answer it.


123runner
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#6
Jaekus

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Just to update, I haven't tried any of the above yet, as I've replaced my PSU and for the past 2 days everything has been running well. I'll report back again in a few days, or if the bootup problem occurs again.
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#7
Jaekus

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I was at my mate's place, who built my system. We tried several things: ghosting the C: drive over to another HDD that is known to work well, tried uninstalling various programs, changed BIOS settings, even booting in safe mode with boot logging enabled - the Windows loading screen hang problem still occurred at least 30% of the time.

Finally, we updated the BIOS from version F5 to F6 and voila! After at least a dozen reboots, and a couple cold startups from complete shutdown the hang hasn't come back and what's more the unlocking of the dormant cores to quad using the BIOS is stable and doesn't revert back to a dual core. That's the most consistent result we've had since buying and putting the system together about a month ago, so I'm quietly confident we've solved this issue.

Thanks geekstogo :)
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#8
Jaekus

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I'd just like to report that after two weeks of using the new BIOS the problem still remains fixed.

A note to anyone with a Gigabyte motherboard who has the problems I experienced and comes across this topic via searching the web: Make sure you update to BIOS version F6!

Thanks again, problem solved :)
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