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    Computer completely freezes


    Hi guys,

    Since a few weeks, my parents computer is acting up. It randomly freezes and shows bluescreens. I first expected them to have installed some faulty drivers or conflicting software, or the RAM being broken but that was not the case.

    When running Prime95 blend tests the computer will immediately freeze within 10 seconds, after giving an error on the last 2 worker threads. I switched out the ram and refitted them in every possible slot combination, yet it remains unstable. However, when running with a single stick of ram, the system is perfectly stable! On either one of the ram sticks in every possible slot!

    I've reset the BIOS multiple times, and even updated it, and finally even reinstalled Windows. But the problem still remains.

    Here's the setup:
    Windows 7 x64 Ultimate
    Intel Q8300
    2x Kingston ValueRAM 800mhz 2GB
    MSI P43-NEO
    Cooler Master 620W PSU
    Sapphire Radeon 4870

    The system had been running stable since 2009. It seems it has become less stable since I installed W7 on it, but I don't think W7 is the cause...

    Any ideas?
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    > The system had been running stable since 2009
    Maybe it's just getting old
    It's not a hard failure, but there are all sorts of things which happen in the meantime which can make tolerances drift.

    Does your BIOS have the ability to change the memory timing parameters? If so, you could try taking it down one notch (slightly slower memory accesses), and see if that allows you to run both memory slots together.
    If you dance barefoot on the broken glass of undefined behaviour, you've got to expect the occasional cut.
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    I just tried that. Didnt work. I've also tried raising the memory voltage a bit, no results.

    Now i have both sticks working perfectly stable in single channel.
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    Have you ran memtest86 on the machine to test for faulty RAM? I would not recommend adjusting the RAM voltage in BIOS....sometimes that can cause more harm than good.
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    Yeah i've ran memtest, but the test passed. I've also tried different ram. Same problem.
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    The system seemed more stable on single channel, but yet it still froze after a few hours of Prime95
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    Any bad capacitors on the systemboard, have you blown it out with canned air to rule out overheating (admittedly heating is an unlikely cause if it ran for hours on Prime95).

    It is possible it's a power supply issue, I've seen that cause the most random of problems. That doesn't necssarily explain why one stick of RAM is more stable than two; but you already ruled out DIMM slots and the RAM.
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    I've tried another PSU, and completely cleared the PC of dust and temperatures in Speedfan are low and stable.

    I can't see any blown capacitors on the motherboard at first sight.

    I'm suspecting the motherboard, but can the CPU be the culprit?
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    Doubtful if it's the CPU. Typically if the cpu is bad then the computer will not post at all.

    You can always try backing up their data and reloading the OS. One way to tell for sure if it's hardware or not is to run a stress test outside of the OS; not sure if Prime95 does that or not?
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    Originally Posted by seack79
    Doubtful if it's the CPU. Typically if the cpu is bad then the computer will not post at all.

    You can always try backing up their data and reloading the OS. One way to tell for sure if it's hardware or not is to run a stress test outside of the OS; not sure if Prime95 does that or not?
    I've already reinstalled the operating system, but it seems the problems started occurring when I installed Windows 7 in the first place.

    It used to run stable on Vista, just dead slow.

    Can you suggest me some stresstest software that runs outside of the OS?
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    Well if you have a Windows 7 installation disk you could just boot of the DVD into WinPE and let it sit to see if it bluescreens. I don't know of any free software out there, but I'm sure you could boot of an Ubuntu CD and try running Ubuntu from the CD. That may tell you if it's hardware or not.
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    I'll try an Ubuntu CD, maybe not all hope is lost haha!

    I've also discovered the wall outlet isn't grounded, can that cause problems like this?
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    Sorry to double post but im completely baffled by these results. I just installed Ubuntu and ran Mprime for about 3 hours and guess what? The system seems completely stable! Even with the RAM in dual channel.

    I'll run it for another few hours and see if it errors. Could this have been a driver problem after all? Or a bug in Windows 7?
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    Certainly could be a driver issue, are you using Windows 7 64 or 32 bit? If it's 64 make sure ALL of the hardware has compatible drivers for it. Printers, external drives, video card, sound card, onboard chipsets (for audio and video if applicable), etc...
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    Windows 7 x64 SP1 Dutch version

    I just reinstalled it and installed the drivers from the MSI website, and tried to install the ATI driver, but it couldnt even make it through the installer before bluescreening again.
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