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1st time builder tech help.


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#1
Didjeredoo

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Hello Geeks2go forum members. I am currently a student learning computer network systems and thought why not try my hand at building a computer. One that can run some more current games and just run smoother. I figured if I learned what goes into building a computer and build one in the long run it would be financially more sound. Instead of replacing a whole computer, sometimes you just need a new part. So I gave it a whirl. 2-4 months later I had all the pieces I needed to give it a go. I've had this problem since before I installed the gfx card where the screen would freeze and whatever sound sample was playing (be it iTunes or whatever game I was playing) would repeat. CTRL ALT DELETE would not work. Also, every now and again the display driver will just crap out (black screen for a few seconds followed by the desktop coming on screen with an error on the taskbar saying the graphics driver has recovered from an error). This error now happens sometimes as soon as I start the machine. The screen just freezes and the only way to get it back is by rebooting.
Fun fact about my IDE cable, it goes to a master drive but the slave port isn't plugged into anything. I doubt this has anything to do with the errors aforementioned but could that cause my computer to be unstable?
Also there are 2 12V Rails going from the PSU to the graphics card. The reason for 2 being the card requires 18AMPs on the 12V rail, the only way I could accomplish this was by using 2x12V rails (the man at Microcenter told me that if one rail did not have the amps required by the graphics card the combined effort of 2 rails could more than total the Amperage requirements.

My system specs are as follows:
Windows 7 64-bit
1TB HDD (2 Partitions, 1 partition deleted but still getting option to choose duplicate operating system on bootup)
CPU: AMD Phenom II x4 955 @3.2Ghz
GFX: NVIDIA GTX460 - 256-interface(by SVGA)
Power Supply: Fatal1ty 750W PSU (Modular cables, 1 12v to supply all power to MB and fans and LEDs, 2 12v rails to the one gfx card)
Motherboard: MSI 790GX-G65 (Bought off ebay used only once to update bios, or so said the seller)
RAM: 8GB DDR3 1333Mhz (2x 4GB sticks - have 2 open RAM slots, also bought off ebay - only mentioned because its a concern)

I thought this might be worth mentioning: The 1 12v rail that is attached to the main peripherals looks kind of messy, like there's a lot of things connected at once and just looks kind of messy.

I tried to give as much detailed information as possible. I hope someone will know what steps to take in getting this machine to run STABLE. I'm not afraid to try new hardware at this point because I really want this project to be a success. If no one here can help me please point me in the direction to which topic this should be under or another source of computer enthusiasts.
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#2
phillpower2

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Hi Didjeredoo :D
Good informative post :D I will break it down to make it more manageable.

I've had this problem since before I installed the gfx card

Which makes it unlikely as being the culprit.

Fun fact about my IDE cable, it goes to a master drive but the slave port isn't plugged into anything. I doubt this has anything to do with the errors aforementioned but could that cause my computer to be unstable?

Unless you have either 2 optical drives or 1 optical drive and an IDE HDD the Slave connection is not used and would not cause this issue by not being used.

Also there are 2 12V Rails going from the PSU to the graphics card. The reason for 2 being the card requires 18AMPs on the 12V rail, the only way I could accomplish this was by using 2x12V

There are different versions of your GFX card and they do not all have the same power requirements, this one requires 24A on the +12V rail http://www.newegg.co..._-14-130-591-_- the card does however require 2 X 6 pin pci-e connections this effectively makes 36A available as your PSU puts out 18A on X4 12V rails http://www.newegg.co...N82E16817341041

(the man at Microcenter told me that if one rail did not have the amps required by the graphics card the combined effort of 2 rails could more than total the Amperage requirements

This is correct in a roundabout way but as I have already said the card requires 2 power connections anyway.

1TB HDD (2 Partitions, 1 partition deleted but still getting option to choose duplicate operating system on bootup

We can deal with this later but for now I will just say there is an outside chance the issue is HDD related be it mechanical or software related.

RAM: 8GB DDR3 1333Mhz (2x 4GB sticks - have 2 open RAM slots, also bought off ebay - only mentioned because its a concern

For me the prime suspect, first off I would try one stick of Ram at a time, try them in each slot and see if the problem occurs, if it doesnt I would then first off run Windows memory test and then Memtest+86, again we can cover this later.

I thought this might be worth mentioning: The 1 12v rail that is attached to the main peripherals looks kind of messy, like there's a lot of things connected at once and just looks kind of messy.

Why not use one of the other +12V rails to power your HDD or optical drive/s, this should then allow you to tidy the wires better.
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#3
Didjeredoo

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I took out the RAM, tried one stick at a time. At first it was better (still froze) but got to a stable point after "warming up" at one point it stayed up for 4 hours strait! Well, after a while it went right back to freezing and now a new problem, it doesn't pass POST or boot properly. There is a 20% chance of success when booting, the rest of the time, I get no POST beep or just a black screen (I can hear the HDD running though). I got frustrated and took everything out minus the MB and MB connections. I rewired it all for better appearance and cleaned/ reapplied thermal paste to the CPU. I'm thinking it's just time to start swapping out parts to figure out whats bad.

I got the Memtest86.bin but it won't boot from CD, I select boot from CD when starting and I get a cursor for a few seconds, then windows loads as normal.

I'm afraid that if I do the memtest (those things take a long time if I remember) that it will freeze before any results will be found/posted. Thank you for reading my wall of text and responding so soon. If I succeed in the memtest then I will post the results in this thread. Until then, my "awesome gaming" machine will become my "dust magnet". In a few weeks I'll be buying parts for it again.

Oh, I also heard that the stock heatsink/fans that come with the CPU are garbage and that I should find a more high performance model. I do notice that it is the loudest thing in the case and sometimes it makes the case rattle (it's secured as it's supposed to be, but it's unsettling). Should I invest in a top-line CPU Heatsink/fan or are they all pretty much the same?
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#4
Didjeredoo

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PS

Also have 2 power cables from the PSU going into the GFX card. I know if I wanted to make it SLI I'd have to get a more robust PSU and a bigger case (it's a mid-sized tower).

This problem is becoming more and more frequent and aggravating, I appreciate any tips or information for this problem.
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#5
iammykyl

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Motherboard: MSI 790GX-G65 (Bought off ebay used only once to update bios


It is passable the BIOS is corrupted, so I would clear the CMOS to reset the bios to factory defaults.

Turn off the power, take anti static precautions.

I would remove the ram, clear the CMOS, boot, your computer should post and give a beep (or beeps) to tell you there is no RAM.

> http://pcsupport.abo...p/clearcmos.htm

IF this works.

Power off, take anti static precautions. Install 1 stick of RAM in the first slot. boot.. result?

Repeat above using the second stick of RAM. Result?
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#6
Didjeredoo

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Okay, I reset the CMOS and did some Memtest86
DIMM slot 1: Pass
DiMM slot 2: froze @35% Test #6 [Moving inversion, 32-bit pattern], have not tried retesting yet
DIMM slot 3: Pass
DIMM slot 4: I'm tired, I'm going to bed for now.

If it is a bad DIMM slot does that mean:
a) Buy a new Motherboard
b) Just install RAM in Slots 1 + 3 (not sure if how you space the RAM is important)
c) Retest 2 and test 4 you lazy bum!
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#7
iammykyl

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Before running Memtest86 I would like to find out if you have a bad stick of ram or a bad slot.


Okay, I reset the CMOS


Did you get a beep or beeps.? IF NO, post back. IF YES, go to step 2 and then step 3. Post back.

b) b. Just install RAM in Slots 1 + 3 (not sure if how you space the RAM is important)


You will need to find that out from the Motherboard Manual, could be by number or colour.

Edited by iammykyl, 20 February 2011 - 03:10 AM.

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#8
Didjeredoo

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Running Memtest86 doesn't check for that? I thought if it passed the memtest86 it would be a good stick (I lost the Win-7 install disc so I'm unsure of how to run the Microsoft Memory Diagnostic without that).
Currently running Memtest86 on DIMM slot #4 - It passed.

As for the coloration of the DIMM slots, there are 2 blue and 2 black. The manual says to populate the black slots first (the slots I've been using, slot #2 got stuck when testing. It doesn't say what to do if one of those slots is bad of course.

Here's an image of the MB I'm using.
Posted Image

I'm testing the 2nd RAM stick presently. I will post the results.

As for did it beep, yeah, it passes POST with a single beep.
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#9
Didjeredoo

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Tested RAM stick #2
DIMM slot 1: Pass
DIMM slot 2: would not boot (no POST)
DIMM slot 3: Pass
DIMM slot 4: Pass

I put the RAM sticks in slot 1 + 3, booted up okay, got into windows, froze, I hit reset, no POST. I power off and power on, no POST.

After attempting to test slot 2, and moving on to slot 3, I got a CMOS bad checksum error upon booting.
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#10
Didjeredoo

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I should add that [bleep] soon as each stick completed 1 pass I turned off and started the next. I read somewhere that I should let it run through 3 to 5 passes just to be sure. Should I retest everything 3 to 5 times? (Sounds like a long weekend).
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#11
iammykyl

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I put the RAM sticks in slot 1 + 3, booted up okay, got into windows, froze, I hit reset, no POST. I power off and power on, no POST.

\
For successful boot RAM has to be in slot 1 OR slots 1 & 2.

After attempting to test slot 2, and moving on to slot 3, I got a CMOS bad checksum error upon booting.


Slots 3&4 have to be populated.


---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Both sticks boot and pass in slot 1?

Both sticks do not boot or pass in slot 2?

If yes, starting to look like a slot problem OR could be a memory compatablity issue. 4gbs sticks can be a problem on some Mobos as they can be quite picky.

Go here, > http://www.msi.com/p...?div=TestReport Make sure this is your board. Click on memory modules. Check to see if your RAM is listed.

Go to the site for your RAM manufacturer. Find your board and look to see if your ram is listed.

Edited by iammykyl, 20 February 2011 - 03:49 PM.

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#12
Didjeredoo

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Its up and running again (with RAM in slots 1 + 3). Been on w/o freezing for a few hours now while running scans, checks, playing a match of LOL without interruption.
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#13
Didjeredoo

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The RAM sticks which I purchased for much cheaper than retail, have no indications of the manufacturer. The computer still recognizes them and their available memory and I've been able to go hours playing high demand games on this machine so it puzzles me how I can have bad RAM.
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#14
Didjeredoo

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The RAM sticks were tested in each slot individually, I never combined the RAM and ran the test.
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#15
iammykyl

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Its up and running again (with RAM in slots 1 + 3). Been on w/o freezing for a few hours now while running scans, checks, playing a match of LOL without interruption.


\\That's good. You will have to see if it stable when you boot the next time. My understanding is it should not run with 1 & 3 populated. I must be wrong. I would run Memtest86 with it set up as is, see what the results are.

The RAM sticks which I purchased for much cheaper than retail, have no indications of the manufacturer. The computer still recognises them and their available memory and I've been able to go hours playing high demand games on this machine so it puzzles me how I can have bad RAM.



If the RAM has specs written on them, enter BIOS and check that the timing and voltage are correct. Also check PC health for any issues.

Check that windows is actually running on 8gbs of memory.

It may not actually be bad RAM, it may not be 100% compatible, run sometimes and not others times.
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