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CRASHED! A topic for SEVERE and immediate Hardware and Operating System FAILURES. We will try to get you up again. NOT for Optimization questions!


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Old 19th May, 2006, 11:35 AM
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Arrow I have tried everything I know but it still crashes...

Right, I am really reaching my wits end with this problem. Basically, my computer cannot run SP2004's Blend Test for more than 15 minutes without it failing and all of my games crash back to the desktop when they have finished loading the map/level etc.

In order to try to get to the root of this problem I have put my system at stock voltages, timings and speeds and I still get crashes. Here's what I have done to try and find the cause:

I have tested my PSU with a multimeter and all voltages are rock solid. I have run Memtest86+ for hours without it failing. I can run rthdribl for ages full screen and full resolution without it crashing.

I don't know what else I could test to test for stability and it is really getting to me! I don't know why this problem is occurring.

Please, does anyone have any suggestions?
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Old 19th May, 2006, 11:59 AM
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It could be just that program that is crashing.

Looking at the website you linked, it seems like it is just a new GUI for Prime 95 - have you tried running plain Prime 95 to see if that gives you the same errors?
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Old 19th May, 2006, 12:08 PM
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I have just downloaded the following SuperPi that I have used in the past:

Xtreme Systems

I will run this over the weekend along with OCCT to see if I can generate any more crashes.

What is really bugging me is the crashes out of games. I am not sure if it's the graphics card that is faulty or not. Sometimes I get artifacts in ATI Tool's artifact scanner but that's really rare. Do you have any suggestions of what graphics card tests I can use? Preferably something that uses lots of SM3 effects and can fit on a 128mb USB disk, as my Internet is out at home!
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Old 19th May, 2006, 12:11 PM
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Trime prime first. If you still crash look at temps...Just a note. I could run prime, or any bench stress test for hours. If my room was a little warm and my temps would reach it's "unhappy place" my rig would reboot. Normal apps, gaming all would be fine...
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Old 19th May, 2006, 12:19 PM
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It's definitely not CPU temps. I have an Arctic Freezer 64 pro that keeps the max CPU temp at 40 degrees or so. The only possible thing that I could think of is the northbridge heatsink. I replaced the stock one with the blue Zalman passive one about a year ago and have been able to run perfectly at 2400Mhz for that time. However, recently I changed case and CPU cooler from the original Artic Freezer to the Freezer 64. The new fan orientation on the CPU heatsink means that the northbridge heatsink gets pretty toasty. It's painful to touch. Over the weekend I will try to rig up a fan to blow on it to see if that makes a difference. However, I don't see why that would be casuing games to crash when they are first loaded but allows me to run other graphical tests?
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Old 19th May, 2006, 12:26 PM
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AFAIK Athlon 64s northbridge is on-die, so only the southbridge is a seperate chip on the motherboard.

If that is overheating then it could be causing your errors trying to load games, because AIUI the CPU communicates with the HDD over the Southbridge. It would be worth getting a fan to blow on it, whatever the case, if it is too hot to touch.

let us know how it goes!
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Old 19th May, 2006, 12:31 PM
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Sorry, I should really replace "northbridge" with "chipset", as it's the actual nForce 4 Ultra chipset that I am talking about.
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Old 19th May, 2006, 02:23 PM
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I've had this issue in the past and suspected an overheating chipset - but it has twice turned out to be overheating on the GPU card so it might be worth your while logging the GPU temps.
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Old 19th May, 2006, 02:42 PM
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If your chipset is getting too hot the number of problems that can cause your crashing is pretty high. Look at the diagram. It controls everything except the cpu and memory. If the memory controller is making errors they end up logged in memtest86 so i wouldn't worry about that. Also since you're running at stock and still have the problems you can pretty much rule that out as well as the cpu itself.

http://www.sudhian.com/index.php?/articles/show/675/2

I'd suspect your graphics card interface and/or storage. Look in the event viewer for something that might give more info on the crash. Usually graphic card and storage controller errors get noted in there. Unless of course your system doesn't have time to note something.
So by all means, mount a fan above the chipset heatsink and test again. Many possible problems can be ruled out that way.
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Old 19th May, 2006, 05:29 PM
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That sounds like some sound advice, thanks.

I will try as much as I can over the weekend and report back my findings. I have to say that I am suspicious about the graphics card being faulty but I am not sure about the chipset/SP2004 problem.
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Old 22nd May, 2006, 10:35 AM
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Ok so in between other things I managed to spend some time trying to sort out the computer over the weekend. One of the things I did was to follow all applicable information in this thread. Running chkdsk found a couple of .dll's that were in error and fixed them and now it seems that I can run games. which is a great step forward. However, the computer still fails stress testing. In order to fix this, I have done the following:

Lowered RAM timings to 2.5-4-4-10
Raised RAM speed to its rated speed at these timings, which is 250Mhz

Doing this prolonged the amount of time that it took to fail SP2004 to around 2 hours but it still does fail. It also fails OCCT after 2 minutes and it gives me a CPU error message.

My thoughts are now that the Memory Controller on the CPU is faulty, as I don't know why it would allow SP2004 to run for longer at more relaxed timings when the RAM seems fine otherwise. What do you guys think?
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Old 22nd May, 2006, 01:39 PM
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It's possible. Perhaps you could try and test with the new slower timings at 200Mhz and see if these errors become less frequent again. Maybe you could attempt to find another CPU from a mate or so. If your system works correctly you know what's going on. But first, lower your HTT multiplier one notch.
How is the chipset temperature doing at this time?
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Old 22nd May, 2006, 08:07 PM
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i had the same problem with games crashing to desktop and even the whole cpu at times. it took me a while but the main problem was my gfx overheating. do the crashes take some time when you are playing a game
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Old 23rd May, 2006, 11:50 AM
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I am going to have to try a few more things this week. I know it's not heat related on the graphics card, as I keep an eye on it pretty closely with ATI Tool and the temps are fine.

I have a couple of PSU's to use and the computer is definitely less stable with a 400W Enermax Liberty than it is with the 480W Hiper, even though the Enermax has more powerful 12V rails. I might have a 550W Antec NeoHE on the way, as I am trying to make my computer as silent as possible and there should be no problems with this PSU.

I think my focus on my problems is going to be on the CPU and RAM, testing different timings and also seeing why the Enermax is unstable even when all the voltages check out using a multimeter
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Old 1st June, 2006, 05:51 PM
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If the PSU's voltages are wavering by a few thousandths of a volt, that's normal. If the voltage bounces between two values, even the best power supplies do this.
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Old 1st June, 2006, 06:03 PM
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Well, I now have a 550W Antec NeoHE so hopefully this will sort stuff out. However, I am waiting for my fourth replacement monitor so won't be able to test stuff out until that happens. However, I do know now that my Ballistix is faulty. At stock volts and timings at both 200Mhz and 250Mhz it generates 79 and 32 errors respectively in Memtest. This is when it has been running for 11+ hours and the tests are on numbers 4 + 8. I will be RMAing the RAM as soon as I can and then hopefully that will solve all of my problems.
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Old 1st June, 2006, 09:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ochest
Well, I now have a 550W Antec NeoHE so hopefully this will sort stuff out. However, I am waiting for my fourth replacement monitor so won't be able to test stuff out until that happens. However, I do know now that my Ballistix is faulty. At stock volts and timings at both 200Mhz and 250Mhz it generates 79 and 32 errors respectively in Memtest. This is when it has been running for 11+ hours and the tests are on numbers 4 + 8. I will be RMAing the RAM as soon as I can and then hopefully that will solve all of my problems.

This makes sence..bad mem will cause all kinds of issues when stress testing. Hopefully this will cure your problems
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Old 5th June, 2006, 10:28 AM
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Right, slight update. The NeoHE is installed and the replacement monitor is working perfectly, with no dead pixels etc. However, the computer is still crashing out of Civilisation IV. I am now testing the RAM modules (2x512mb) individually using Memtest to determine whether it is a problem with the RAM or something else. One of the modules passed for 3 hours with no errors last night before I had to stop it and go to bed and the other one is running at the moment. By the time I get home it should have run for 11 hours or so. This is at the stock timings of 2-3-3-8 1T. I will then probably run the other module for 11 hours tomorrow.

If both sticks turn up no errors after so long, does everyone believe that it could be the CPU (memory controller) at error? The only other thing I think it could be is the motherboard...
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Old 5th June, 2006, 06:10 PM
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If you mounted a fan near the chipset heatsink then I'd say the only possible problem in the equasion is indeed the on-die memory controller as you suspected from square one.
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Old 6th June, 2006, 10:31 AM
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Ok. The RAM stick running Memtest by itself yesterday passed for 10 hours or so with not errors with SPD timings at 200Mhz so I know that one is fine. The one that passed for 3 hours with the same timings and at the same speed is running Memtest as I type, and will be for another 8 hours or so. If this passes then I am sure I can discount the RAM being faulty.

As regards airflow in my case, it is pretty good and although there is no fan on the chipset heatsink, the fans on the Freezer 64 Pro and V1 Ultra are in close proximity. When todays testing is over, I will mount a fan directly over the chipset and run Memtest with both RAM sticks in dual channel mode. If I still get errors then, the CPU must be at fault, as the chipset then should be cooled much better than with the stock HSF.
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