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Computer shutting off/restarting with suspected causes contradicting each other.


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#1 Briany

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 10:01 PM

OK,

 

Hi all. New to this forum. Coming here so as to hopefully get some valuable advice on a really bizarre and hard to pin down issue with my PC. I'll put the issue in bullet points for ease of reading. I hope someone can respond, this is the most frustrating thing I've ever come across with any machine I've owned.

 

First, the specs :

 

Asrock z68 Extreme 3 Gen 3 mobo

Intel 2500k

G-Skill Ripjaws ram at 1333mhz (8GB)

Windows 7 64 ultimate

Sapphire R9 280x (formerly using a Sapphire 6870)

Crucial m4 64 GB SSD boot drive

OCZ 128 GB SSD

Seagate 2TB HD

OCZ 650w ZT PSU

 

  • Machine shuts off randomly. Could be in 5 minutes, could be in two hours, could be before Windows finishes loading. It can happen when the machine is idle or in an intensive task, doesn't matter.
  • After a shut off, the machine might only restart after the CMOS is cleared. Sometimes it it can restart itself but there is no video output.
  • Temperatures inside the machine are fine.
  • Voltages also appear to be fine.
  • Problem only seems to be triggered inside the normal Windows environment. I have let the machine sit in the BIOS for hours without issue and in Safe Mode without issue. A live Linux DVD also had no problems.
  • A reinstall of Windows did not help
  • A change of GPU did not help
  • Removing the GPU and using the onboard graphics seems to greatly suppress the problem but does not eliminate it.
  • Nothing in W7's system event log suggests why this is happening.
  • Resetting the BIOS to stock settings does not seem to help.
  • System had been running perfectly for 20 months or so before this
  • Bad power is not an issue. System had the same problem in another person's house.
  • After reinstalling Windows, the first shutoff I had was followed by an automatic restart, but this time I got video output!

 

 

The start of these problems goes back to an incident where I was playing a game and I heard the GPU fans spin up to near 100 percent and the screen went blank, forcing a hard shut down. It was after this that the trouble began but I don't know what's been damaged and all the clues are contradicting each other. Can anyone help? Please?

 



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#2 jhayz

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Posted 30 November 2013 - 12:34 AM

:welcome: Briany to Bleeping Computer Community :)

G-Skill Ripjaws ram at 1333mhz (8GB)

 

There is a long list of memory support list which might relate to your current issue at hand. Please read Notes 1 to 6 including the installed RAM speed and sizes available for your motherboard. Could it be that the Z68 is finicky on certain RAM sticks.... (?) Try using a different RAM stick to check on the difference first. Let us know of the results.


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#3 Briany

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Posted 30 November 2013 - 06:00 AM

:welcome: Briany to Bleeping Computer Community :)

G-Skill Ripjaws ram at 1333mhz (8GB)

 

There is a long list of memory support list which might relate to your current issue at hand. Please read Notes 1 to 6 including the installed RAM speed and sizes available for your motherboard. Could it be that the Z68 is finicky on certain RAM sticks.... (?) Try using a different RAM stick to check on the difference first. Let us know of the results.

Hi. Thanks for the welcome and response. :)

 

Checking the Asrock support list, I see that my memory is listed, tested at 4 pieces, according to the notes, this means that it should also work with two, installed in the requisite dual channel configuration.

 

I'll run MemTest86 at some stage. Currently do not have any RAM sticks spare which I could try. Besides, as I say, the system had run without a hitch for 20 months prior to this, so I think memory incompatibility would have manifested before now.

 

The only thing that I do have spare right now is a new PSU and a couple of GPUs, one old and one lended, one that needs PSU power and one that does not.



#4 KingdomSeeker

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Posted 30 November 2013 - 11:19 AM

Are you using 2 4GB sticks or 4 2GB sticks? I have read that G-Skill has had issues with the 4 GB sticks.



#5 Briany

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Posted 30 November 2013 - 11:35 AM

Are you using 2 4GB sticks or 4 2GB sticks? I have read that G-Skill has had issues with the 4 GB sticks.

 

It's two 4GB modules I'm using. It's this model (F3-10666CL9D-8GBXL) which is listed in the Asrock compatibility list. If it's an issue with the sticks alone, it took a long time to show itself because I've been using the computer with no issues for the last year and 2/3s. I always thought bad RAM issues lead to bluescreens before shutdowns, which is not the case with me. It's just straight and sudden shutoffs with no warning. I installed a new PSU this morning and I tested it for a couple of hours and it hasn't shut off yet, but that could easily be dumb luck.

 

Thanks for the suggestion but, at this point, I have no reason to suspect the RAM, but I may come back to it, who knows?



#6 dpunisher

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Posted 30 November 2013 - 03:12 PM

Swap in a known good PSU.  That  OCZ/Great Wall PSU was mediocre when new, and unlike a fine wine, likely hasn't improved with time.


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#7 Briany

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Posted 30 November 2013 - 09:04 PM

Swap in a known good PSU.  That  OCZ/Great Wall PSU was mediocre when new, and unlike a fine wine, likely hasn't improved with time.

 

Yeah, I've swapped in a newly bought Corsair CX 750 and I'm typing this message on the machine, so as of typing this, it seems to be running. But it could shut off at any time, still. What I hate about it is it's like a lightning strike. It's "Good, good, good, DAMN!". I really hope it remains on, anyway (obviously). Now, the Corsair is not exactly a quantum leap over the OCZ but their reputation for quality stuff is higher, even on their lower end ranges which this new PSU is. Anyway, fingers crossed....


Edited by Briany, 30 November 2013 - 09:04 PM.


#8 jhayz

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Posted 30 November 2013 - 09:50 PM

G-Skill Ripjaws ram at 1333mhz (8GB)

 

Sorry as I never thought they were in pairs on my initial post.


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#9 Briany

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Posted 01 December 2013 - 07:27 AM

 

G-Skill Ripjaws ram at 1333mhz (8GB)

 

Sorry as I never thought they were in pairs on my initial post.

 

 

Yeah, it's two 4 GB sticks. It's strange because that Asrock board is specced to support up to 32 GB RAM but I don't think there's a single 8 gig stick in their compatibility list, and which you would need to use if you were going to reach that number.



#10 jhayz

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Posted 01 December 2013 - 06:34 PM

I don't think there's a single 8 gig stick in their compatibility list, and which you would need to use if you were going to reach that number.

 

Check the list again. :)


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#11 Briany

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Posted 01 December 2013 - 06:56 PM

 

I don't think there's a single 8 gig stick in their compatibility list, and which you would need to use if you were going to reach that number.

 

Check the list again. :)

 

 

Ah, well it was only to the best of my recollection. I haven't rechecked it, but if there is, I stand corrected. ;)

 

Update since installing the new PSU, the machine hasn't shut off once so far and that's after having been on 2 hours at a time over the last 2 days and 5 hours, so I'm hopeful that it was the PSU that was the cause. On the other hand, would a bad PSU explain why a machine would shut down and only start up once the CMOS had been cleared (sometimes)?



#12 jhayz

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Posted 01 December 2013 - 07:18 PM

It is just one of the symptoms. Other possibilities are thermal event, motherboard (corroded/bad caps), overclocking (unstable) and faulty installed components in hardware perspective. A faulty or unstable PSU sometimes works on basic task but not when the computer requires more power on intensive applications or a more higher wattage output is needed when usually video cards are also upgraded.


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#13 Briany

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Posted 01 December 2013 - 07:37 PM

It is just one of the symptoms. Other possibilities are thermal event, motherboard (corroded/bad caps), overclocking (unstable) and faulty installed components in hardware perspective. A faulty or unstable PSU sometimes works on basic task but not when the computer requires more power on intensive applications or a more higher wattage output is needed when usually video cards are also upgraded.

 

Overheats are not an issue as far as I can see, unless my sensors are faulty. The caps I looked at and I saw no physical sign that they were on the way out, no bulging or leaking anyway. Other components, I don't know about but everything was good when I got it, I installed it all to the best of my ability and it ran perfectly. Can something develop a fault? Of course, but that's always the case, I suppose.

 

I've read about PSUs putting out voltage spikes that can knock out a system. Is there a possibility that my old PSU was doing this and the CMOS thing was part of an inbuilt protection feature of some sort?



#14 jhayz

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Posted 01 December 2013 - 08:18 PM

On the other hand, would a bad PSU explain why a machine would shut down and only start up once the CMOS had been cleared (sometimes)?

 

It is just one of the symptoms

 

I was only referring to some other symptoms to general shutdowns. :)

I've read about PSUs putting out voltage spikes that can knock out a system.

 

I think its the power outlet or source causing this unusual spikes as in some cases, power fluctuation or lightning strike are the most common but of course a shorted PSU board is the opposite as it is most likely a dead output terminal. The CMOS function is mainly for retaining the time/date and system hardware configuration so the reset hardware on POST happens when the battery is reinserted after a couple of seconds or minutes. http://www.intel.com/support/motherboards/desktop/sb/CS-034366.htm


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