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Trying to diagnose why my computer keeps crashing


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#1 rbhambha

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Posted 03 June 2009 - 11:36 PM

Hey all,

One of my good friends recently put together a computer for me (he's very experienced with the process), and with his help I picked out a bunch of different parts for the computer. He checked to make sure everything was compatible before I purchased any parts, and once he gave me the thumbs up, I made my purchase. The following is the list of the parts I purchased, and am using inside of my computer now.

- Cooler Master Centurion 534 RC Computer Case
- Gigabyte GA-MA790X-UD4P Motherboard
- AMD Athlon X2 7850 Black Edition Kuma 2.8GHz
- MSI Radeon 4670 HD R4670-2D1G/D3
- Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD3200AAKS 320GB HD
- G.Skill 2x2gb DDR2 1066
- Samsung CD/DVD Drive SH-S222A
- Tuniq Potency 650W Power Supply
- Windows XP Home 32-bit


The very first time I turned on the computer it crashed within 2 seconds. It didn't even beep to acknowledge that it had started up. When I say it crashed, I mean it totally crashes (like someone pulls out the power plug cold on it). To get it to start up again, I had to cycle the power switch on the back of the PSU from off to on with a 1 second interval (basically reset the PSU or something, as instructed in the manual). After the first crash, I started it up again, and it worked fine for the rest of the night (~3 hours). I installed the mobo drivers (ethernet, energy saver, some other stuff), transferred some files from my old computer to my new computer, browsed the internet, downloaded some files, installed a few games and played them, and installed some other programs. Nothing caused the computer to crash. This was yesterday.

By the way, this is what I found in the PSU instruction manual:

"To safe guard the power supply and the system, the Tuniq PSU is built in with comprehensive protection functions; Over Voltage Protection, Under Voltage Protection/Over Current Protection, Short Circuit Protection, and Over Load Protection/Over Current Protection/Over Temperature Protection.

If the PSU latches into shut down status, the PSU shall return to normal operation only after the fault has been removed and PS-on has been cycled off/on for a minimum of 1 second, or replug the AC power from the PSU."

This morning I turned on my computer, and everything was working well for about 30 minutes, but then it crashed again. I wasn't using it intensively or anything, just had Firefox open and 2 other applications (Pidgin, Pokerstars). My friend told me to check and make sure that all of the fans were working inside of the case, so I opened it up to check and make sure that all of the fans were working and they ALL were (side case fan, back panel fan, CPU fan, GPU fan, and PSU fan). I then proceeded to install a program that came with my mobo CD called EasyTune 6 so that I could monitor all of the temperatures inside of my system and all motherboard information real time. The program told me that all of my fans were spinning at their respective speeds, and the CPU/System temperatures NEVER went above 40 degrees Celsius.

Once again I cycled the on/off switch on the back of the PSU, and I was able to turn the computer back on. I used the computer for another 2 hours, but then it randomly crashed again. I decided to let it sit for a while this time because I didn't want the computer to be crashing constantly, so I figured I would try it again later. I waited for a few hours, and then turned it on again. This time it booted for about 10 seconds, and then crashed. I tried again, and it crashed in like 20 seconds. Now, the longest I've managed to keep the computer running is about 5 minutes without it crashing on me.

I've double checked all of the connections on the mobo and all of the connections to the peripherals to make sure everything is plugged in properly, and they are. The computer crashes at random times (2 seconds after hitting the power button, 2 hours of use, 30 seconds of use, intensive use, non-intensive use) and I have not been able to identify a pattern that points to the cause of the problem. The only thing my friend and I can think of is that the PSU is faulty, and one of the sensors inside of it is malfunctioning and as a result it's shutting down randomly because it's detecting something that isn't there, but we aren't sure. By the way, the PSU has this technology on it that keeps the PSU fan running for 120 seconds after the computer has been shut down. After the computer crashes, the fan still runs for the 120 seconds and shuts down on its own.

What do you all think is the cause of this crashing?

Thanks so much for your help!

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#2 rigacci

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Posted 04 June 2009 - 09:10 AM

It would be fairly easy to try another power supply. Some times those fancy power supplies are "defective", just like the cheaper ones can be.

I am sure it is tested at the factory but things can still go bad. They say if your TV turns on and stays on OK for a day or so, it should last for a long while.
In other words, bad units either go bad quickly or can work well for many years.


Good luck.


DR

#3 rbhambha

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Posted 05 June 2009 - 03:10 AM

Rigacci,

Thanks for your reply. I'll certainly be replacing the PSU and will see if that works.

Does anyone else have any other ideas/suggestions/comments?

Thanks!

#4 fairjoeblue

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Posted 05 June 2009 - 11:25 AM

New build, new components.

Go into the BIOS & check the settings very carefully ,or at least load the default settings.

One of the problems may be that you have 4GB of memory & Windows XP Home 32-bit.

Windows 32 bit won't recognize more then about 2.75GB of memory.
Try removing 1 of the memory sticks & try it.

As for the motherboard startup problem,
I've had a couple of new motherboards that gave me fits getting started the 1st. time.

BTW, If rge motherboard is new & under warranty update it to the newest BIOS .
That may solve some of the problem & the time to grab the newest BIOS is when you can RMA the motherboard if the BIOS update fails.
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#5 rbhambha

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Posted 02 July 2009 - 02:31 AM

Problem has been solved for a little while now. Replaced the PSU and everything's working great! Thanks for the help guys.

#6 case.bolt

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Posted 02 July 2009 - 07:20 PM

fairjoe... you're way off base on your memory claim... the amount of memory XP recognizes varies by hardware/software config, but that does not mean the memory is not being used.

Also, XP will recognize 3.5GB, if you have less, then you are using shared video ram, probably about .75GB to be exact.

XP WILL use all 4GB, but will still only show less than 4 on unpatched systems: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/929605


oh, and btw, xp's failing to recognize all 4gb of memory will NOT make it crash... that's just silly...

Edited by case.bolt, 02 July 2009 - 07:22 PM.


#7 hamluis

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Posted 02 July 2009 - 07:26 PM

FWIW: This system has 4GB installed (32-bit XP Home), with My Computer/Properties reflecting 3.37GB (after onboard video).

Louis

#8 case.bolt

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Posted 02 July 2009 - 07:34 PM

a lot of it really depends on your sys config and how your components use/report to the win UI. Regardless of what it reports, 32-bit systems WILL use 4GBs, but no more. They simply cannot address more than that. But, the case of it not showing all 4gb is a problem with the UI and how the amount of ram is reported.

This article is better: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa366778(VS.85).aspx




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