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PC problems, need advice

RAM PSU failure

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60 replies to this topic

#1
sorophx

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So, I was having issues with my PC, and finally it failed. I can't figure out what's wrong with it, seems like everything is. Before I just junk the mobo I want to be 100% sure it's faulty. Here's what happened in chronological order, maybe some of you guys can help me diagnose this thing.

 

0. Installed a new CPU (Intel Core i5 3570K). For a week everything seemed fine. Here are the new specs:

 

Intel Core i5 3570K (brand new)

Corsair 8 GB DDR3 1333 RAM kit (cmv8gx3m2a1333c9) (2x4 GB) (3.5 years old)

nVidia GTX 550 Ti (4 years old)

Thermaltake Toughpower XT 575W PSU (3.5 years old)

2xSATA HDDs (Toshiba and Seagate, system on Toshiba (3 years old))

Gigabyte Z77X-D3H mobo (3.5 years old)

 

All settings in BIOS were set to factory defaults after clearing CMOS. 

 

1. Graphics driver started crashing, sometimes accompanied by a hard freeze. Clean driver reisntall didn't help.

2. After a couple of freezes and reboots system files got corrupted. Had to repair my installation. Also, PC started beeping at POST, hinting at some issue with the graphics card. A reboot would fix it.

3. After a day of regular freezes PC started rebooting randomly.

4. Two days ago my Seagate HDD failed (I could hear the head moving back and forth without stopping, which prevented the system from booting).

 

I freaked out, thinking my PSU or mobo is killing my other parts. I replaced my PSU with an older 500W Thermaltake Purepower RX. The symptoms remained. After two freezes my system stopped loading again, requiring a repair. Trying to repair it with my flash drive would send it into a reboot every time right after POST.

 

5. Tested the system HDD on another PC, system partition turned up unrecoverable. I am now about to see if the HDD is alive at all, so I could at least recover some files from it.

 

Now, I've read a bunch of threads on what could cause all of this, but there are so many possible reasons I don't know where to start looking and how not to kill my last remaining HDD in the process...

 

Could a faulty mobo fry HDDs? Tomorrow I will try and test all my parts excluding the HDD from bottom to top. It looks like an HDD issue to me, but why would both HDDs fail inside the span of two days? Could this be a coincidence?


Edited by sorophx, 23 August 2015 - 01:11 PM.


#2
Bartimaeus

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So, from what I can tell, it sounds like HDD failures. All your symptoms, including GPU driver failure and intermittent restarts, sounds like it starts from there. It does seem pretty unusual that both your drives are failing at the same time, though: not sure what to make of that. I would want to stick in an old HDD (like an 80GB or something) if you have one (or a flash drive, if you don't) that's been formatted and see how the system handles from then on, personally, since it does seem suspicious for both of them to go bad at the same time. I'd also think a failure on the motherboard's part that's killing your HDDs would be catastrophic enough that your system simply wouldn't work at all (if such a thing's even possible), but it's impossible to definitively say.


Edited by Bartimaeus, 23 August 2015 - 01:23 PM.

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#3
sorophx

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I did try to unplug all HDDs and just boot the PC with a flash drive containing a windows installation. it reboots while trying to load Windows files. Tried this flash drive on another PC, and everything is fine.

 

also, forgot to mention that the PC would freeze in safe mode as well.  



#4
Bartimaeus

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That sounds bad. Have you tried swapping out CPU (seeing as it's the only new part of your build) and/or RAM? I'd suggest trying to run a memory test with memtest86: should try to confirm there's no problem with the RAM, since your symptoms sound like it could also possibly be a problem.


Edited by Bartimaeus, 23 August 2015 - 01:49 PM.


#5
sorophx

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I didn't run a memory test, but I did swap out my CPU for another one (proven old one). I'll try to run a mem test later today

 

it's also worth noting that my memory isn't listed on Gigabyte's website as supported by the mobo. the 2 GB version is, though. so I figured the pdf was just old and needed to be updated.


Edited by sorophx, 23 August 2015 - 02:28 PM.


#6
Bokishi

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Memtest!

#7
Humanoid

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Yeah, memory QVLs aren't exhaustive, compatibility should be fine so test them as advised, one stick at a time if necessary. I'd also fall back to the integrated graphics to just minimise the running parts. If it passes, I'd try booting Linux from a USB stick (or a DVD) with no other drives installed.


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#8
Gorgon

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hmmm. Would the mobo post if it had say a broken capacitor or something. A cursory google suggests that it might. I thought since it sounds like a fruit of a poisoned tree kind of situation with everything behaving oddly. 

http://www.cnet.com/...acitors-go-bad/


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#9
sorophx

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after 3 passes one module showed an error in memtest86+, since this RAM kit is still covered by warranty I feel this is enough testing for one day, and tomorrow I should go and try to get a replacement from the vendor

 

the question remains: did the mobo cause all this destruction or was it the faulty RAM?

 

also, turns out my BIOS is so outdated it doesn't even support any of my CPUs, which is weird. now I'm wondering if that could be one of the reasons


Edited by sorophx, 23 August 2015 - 05:35 PM.


#10
Humanoid

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More likely the RAM caused the issue than vice-versa.



#11
sorophx

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I really hope so, I don't have enough money, or strength for that matter, to sell my CPUs in case I need a new CPU/mobo combo (no point in buying a new LGA 1155 at this stage, I reckon).  



#12
Bartimaeus

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After three passes? Though any amount of errors means it's bad and should be replaced, for a system that was consistently crashing, that's a little less than I was expecting. Did you try to boot up the system with your flash drive with only one stick of RAM in (and then the other if it crashed with the first)?



#13
ManifestedISO

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I'm reminded of the time I forgot to use thermal paste, but I'm sure I'm the only dumbass in this sector of the galaxy to have done so.  


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#14
Bartimaeus

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How about the opposite: putting, way, way too much on? My sister did it once, and put literally about 3-4 grams out of a 10 gram tube. The stuff was everywhere.

 

Also, sadly, I know for a fact other people have not put thermal paste on...so even there, you're not the only one. :p


Edited by Bartimaeus, 23 August 2015 - 10:06 PM.

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#15
Humanoid

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Forgetting thermal paste on a modern CPU would probably just cause it to throttle when under load. Even running without a heatsink at all is likely to just result in a safe automatic power-off. Certainly a far cry from the old days where doing so would result in the CPU going up in a plume of blue smoke within a second.


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#16
ManifestedISO

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Actually the Athlon XP went up in a plume of green smoke. 



#17
sorophx

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Did you try to boot up the system with your flash drive with only one stick of RAM in (and then the other if it crashed with the first)?

yup. that's why I thought at first it was the mobo's fault.



#18
Sarex

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How about the opposite: putting, way, way too much on? My sister did it once, and put literally about 3-4 grams out of a 10 gram tube. The stuff was everywhere.

 

Also, sadly, I know for a fact other people have not put thermal paste on...so even there, you're not the only one. :p

 

599x397px-4b2200e2_unbelievable.PNG

 

 

Also people buying thermal glue and then crying when they couldn't take off the heatsink...


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#19
ShadySands

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Shut down my PC last night because we had a guest sleeping in the office and today it won't turn back on. That's not completely accurate because it comes on for a few seconds then shuts off and then does it again and again until I hold the power button. Same thing without RAM and video card. I also noticed that the main fan in the back usually doesn't spin and when it does it goes about 10 seconds before restarting instead of the normal 3ish. I'm kicking myself for donating my old PC because now I don't have spare parts to swap in.

I'm thinking it's the PSU or mobo just by process of elimination but any thoughts would be appreciated

#20
Bartimaeus

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Motherboard or PSU does sound likely based on the symptoms, but without spare parts, it's very difficult to say which.







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: RAM, PSU, failure

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