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 Post subject: Crashing / Freezing PC
PostPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2008 12:45 am 
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Joined: Fri Dec 21, 2007 3:51 am
Posts: 16
Hi,
Recently my PC has started to freeze. When it does, it's not responsive and the sound coming from the speakers sticks.
I've found it usually does it when I lock my machine (WinKey+L) or press Ctrl+Alt+Del, it freezes on a black screen.
It also crashes when little notification windows pop up in the bottom right of the screen, usually when they're half faded in.
I've been able to boot in Safe Mode and not had a problem.
I've reformatted. All drivers are the most recent.

Spec:
Seasonic 430w S12 Power Supply
4x Kingston 1GB PC2-5300 CL5
1TB Samsung Spinpoint F1 SATA2 7200RPM 32MB cache
Maxtor 6V080E0 80GB 7200RPM SATA II 8MB Cache
AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+ Socket AM2 (2.2GHz) L2 1MB
Asustek M2V AM2 VIAK8T890 Mobo
ATI HD 3870 Sapphire
Vista Ultimate

Any help would really be appreciated. It's driving me mad doing this...

Steve


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2008 8:02 am 
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Joined: Wed Dec 15, 2004 12:00 pm
Posts: 3302
Location: Essex, England
Quote:
I've been able to boot in Safe Mode and not had a problem.
I've reformatted. All drivers are the most recent.


That would suggest that its a software problem, but as you have re-installed and used the latest drivers it seems less likely.

Does the PC only lock-up at the times that you have mentioned, or does it also lock-up when stressed.???

I would suggest running benchmarks from within Safe Mode. Prime 95 is rock solid and works in safe mode. Use HD Tune to test the HDD's in normal mode.


Andy

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2008 8:06 am 
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Joined: Fri Dec 21, 2007 3:51 am
Posts: 16
It locks up at those times and sometimes when I'm playing videos and most of the time when I use Nokia Phone manager.
I've run atitool's "scan for artifacts" and it didn't freeze up (don't know if that's relevant).
I'll try Prime95 and post what happens.
Steve


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2008 10:34 am 
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Joined: Mon May 07, 2007 6:58 am
Posts: 139
Hello steevie_b,

If you recently formated/updated/reinstalled all your drivers and then it began to crash as compared to older drivers before with no crash, i would suspect the motherboard, especially the VIA chipset.

This is a long shot but try and see what is the level of fragmentation you have on your HD. When i formated my own A8V deluxe recently and updated the chipset/sata/agp with the latest drivers from the VIAarena website, it began to crash and i traced it to be caused by extreme fragmentation (sometime more than 5000 fragments for single file) on the c: drive.

Routine defrag prevents the problem from happening now but i plan on reverting back to the original driver as soon as i have backed up all my data.

Hope it might help !


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2008 10:45 am 
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Joined: Fri Dec 21, 2007 3:51 am
Posts: 16
Blacktales,
It started crashing / freezing, so I decided to reformat and install the latest drivers while I was at it.
I've run Prime95 in normal mode and as of yet, it's not crashed.
Defragmenting now.
Will post any developments.
Steve


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 05, 2008 9:01 pm 
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Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2007 1:45 pm
Posts: 310
Location: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Since you mentioned that you formatted and reinstalled the OS, I'm inclined to say that fragmentation isn't your issue since that would have given you a clean slate. I agree with Blacktales that maybe it is the VIA chipsets- I've had issues with those in the past as well....
One relatively simple thing you can try is to test the system with different, known-good RAM, or simply run it with the bare-minimum (1 stick) and if it still persists, try another stick or another slot. One of your RAM sticks may have gone bad, or maybe you just need to up the voltage on them (4 sticks is more demanding than the usual 2).

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HTPC: NSK2480,GB GF9400,E5200 w/ Minja,4GB RAM,WD GP 1.5TB,Nova DVB-S. Minja PSU fan,S-FlexEs case fans.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 06, 2008 9:39 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 07, 2007 6:58 am
Posts: 139
Just as a quick side note, as it could perfectly not be the cause of your particular problem, the fragmentation problem i was referring to caused fragmentation on the first disk write. Like download a 20mo file from the Net and boom, enjoy your newfound 250 fragments right after the download finishes.

This problem was not spread too much and even less documented but it seemed to involve problems with both SATA and AGP controllers on VIA-supported Asus boards when particular drivers / hardware / settings were used.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Nov 08, 2008 11:17 am 
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Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2007 1:45 pm
Posts: 310
Location: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Fragmentation on first-write?! Wow, that's messed up... I had the good fortune of enjoying the VIA AGP issues on an Asus board, but not the fragmentation. Among other issues, I had crazy amounts of artifacting in D3D unless "AGP Fast Write" was enabled through RivaTuner (the bios setting had no effect, and there was no option for it through nV's control panel)... I'm glad that VIA's crap isn't anywhere near as common anymore!

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Gaming rig: Tt Tsunami,P5Q Pro,Q9450 w Ninja,8GB RAM,4870 1GB w S1,WD 640GB,SB X-Fi Plat,ZM-MFC2.Kama PWM in PSU,others S-FlexEs.
HTPC: NSK2480,GB GF9400,E5200 w/ Minja,4GB RAM,WD GP 1.5TB,Nova DVB-S. Minja PSU fan,S-FlexEs case fans.


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