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Random crashing and freezing after installing a dual core.


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#1 T-Neck

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Posted 19 May 2010 - 11:09 AM

Hello, everybody. I've got quite a problem that I can't seem to solve.

Recently, I've upgraded my eMachines T6412 from an Athlon 64 3700+ (and a 350W PSU) to an X2 3800+ (and later a 430W PSU). Windows detected the dual core on its own and made the necessary changes. I didn't have many issues with my computer before this, but ever since I've installed the dual core processor, I've experienced several freezes, reboots and at one point some BSODs. After upgrading my PSU, I haven't had any BSODs, but the computer still reboots. The processor was reported to be working fine when I bought it. My specs:

OS: Windows XP Home SP3
Processor: AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+
Video: MSI ATI Radeon HD 4670 512MB PCI-E
RAM: 2 GB PC3200 DDR
Sound: Turtle Beach Riviera
HDD: 200 GB HDD (with 80 GB HDD as a slave)
PSU: Antec 430W PSU
Motherboard: MSI MS-7184 (ATI RS480 SB400)

Playing a modern computer game (something like Team Fortress 2 or NBA 2K10) causes it to freeze or reboot. I can navigate through the game menus, but when I try to load a map (or start a match), it reboots. When I tried MLB2K10, it actually loaded the gameplay and ran beautifully with the power of dual core... for three minutes. Then it crashed returned to the desktop instead. Unreal Tournament 2007 made the computer reboot before the game even started.

Sometimes it doesn't have to be a game to deliver a reboot knockout. For one reboot, I merely scrubbed through an online video (albeit a high quality one) in Mozilla Firefox. Merely clicking a link in Firefox made it freeze as well, but this happened after MLB2K10 crashed to the desktop.

I've noticed that when Windows XP loads after BIOS, the loading bar takes much longer than usual. It's the same way with the Welcome screen and loading the desktop - takes a while. I tried running Chkdsk to remedy this. It seemed to improve the speed, but after I restarted, it went back to its slow ways. I ran ComboFix to eliminate any possible viruses, defragged my hard drives, ran a registry cleaner and did another virus check with AVG.

I've already ran memtest for 5 passes overnight, and there were no problems with the RAM. I've already installed the latest ATI processor driver. I also installed ATI's Dual Core Optimizer, but then uninstalled it since I thought that was causing my processor troubles. I did a Google search and saw that it caused BSODs, so I haven't reinstalled it - and I haven't had BSODs since.

I'm not sure if this is a video card issue. I have the latest ATI Catalyst 10.4 drivers, and I am able to play old games like Quake 3 with no problem. On the other hand... when I play a modern game (or do something CPU intensive), the program will crash, or the system reboots/freezes. Sometimes the game will actually play for a few minutes before the crash happens.

Temperature doesn't appear to be an issue. I bought a better case fan and a processor cooler to replace the stock eMachine fans. The processor runs at around 45 C at the BIOS, but I'm not sure how hot it runs under intense loads. The video card runs at 43 C idle, and the fan is set to 100%.

I've run out of ideas as to what the issue can be. It can only be one of the hard drives, the Riviera sound card, my motherboard (which has one blown capacitor, but still runs fine with the single core) or perhaps my copy of Windows XP is done for.

Any help or suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks a lot for reading.

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#2 dpunisher

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Posted 19 May 2010 - 11:30 AM

What BIOS revision on that board?

Unusual you got XP to recognize both cores without a reinstall.

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#3 Baltboy

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Posted 19 May 2010 - 12:41 PM

When you installed the new processor did you apply thermal paste and use the new heatsink? Sounds like your overheating to me.
Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please.
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#4 T-Neck

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Posted 19 May 2010 - 01:01 PM

dpunisher, the revision I have is W7184AE7 V0.09 (08/19/2005).

Baltboy, I did apply thermal paste and use the new heatsink & fan. Prior to that, I made sure to clean off any leftover paste on the heatsink from last time. The processor was already cleaned off when I got it, so I was able to apply paste to it easily.

#5 T-Neck

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Posted 20 May 2010 - 02:03 PM

I apologize for the double post, but I thought I should update my problem.

Baltboy was correct about it being a heating issue. I had my fan settings in the BIOS set too high. When I checked my CPU temperature with CoreTemp, it was running at 55-61 C idle... spicy.

After changing the "hi-medium-low" fan speed settings from 65-60-55 to 50-45-40, the processor is now finally being cooled properly. My CPU temperatures are now at 40-45 C idle. I ran MLB2K10 as a test and the game didn't crash or freeze 2 minutes into playing. That's one problem solved. Thanks for the feedback, guys.

On another note, I'm still having an issue where after Windows XP loads after BIOS, the loading bar takes much longer than usual. The Welcome screen and desktop both take a while to load as well. When I run Chkdsk with the repair options, it completely fixes the problem and everything loads fast like normal, until I shut down. The system acts like it's loading something when I shut down, and it takes a while to do it. When I restart, it loads slow again.

I believe I've eliminated any viruses I had, so I'm not sure what the problem could be.

#6 Baltboy

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Posted 21 May 2010 - 07:16 AM

You should start a new thread for this.
Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please.
Mark Twain




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