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PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2010 11:24 pm 
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gjbth wrote:
Pleased you sorted that Reboot problem :D , hopefully thats the end of it.


But it wasn't. The reboot came back.

Since then I've tried:

1. Completely uninstalling the nVidia drivers (which were not uninstalled when I switched from the 9500 GT that came with this system to my older - but better - 8800 GT).

2. Testing the RAM with MemTest86 for two complete passes (no errors).

3. Replacing the Intel Matrix Storage drivers (which I've read could cause some problems) with Intel Rapid Storage drivers.

4. Switching the SATA CD-ROM from SATA port 4 to port 6 (all six SATA ports in this motherboard are in use).

5. Reducing the overclock to 3.8 Ghz.

None of this helped. The system works fine for a while and then randomly freezes, even when the PC is essentially idle. Increasing the CPU core voltage doesn't seem to help either.

Thinking this might be a PSU power problem I now tried dividing the load of the fans (the Antec Twelve Hundred has 3 fans at the front, 2 at the back and a big one at the top) between two PSU modular cables (previously all the fans + CD-ROM were connected to the same power cable).

I somehow doubt this later step will help, but who knows? I'm kind of desperate already. :cry:

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 11:41 am 
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It does sound a lot like a PSU problem, can you swap the original PSU from your old case and test it out. It took me ages to track down the problem with mine, as all the voltages etc tested OK and it was not over stressed. The motherboard one day just ceased to function correctly with it. Everything now works fine, with the same rated PSU but a different brand. Although I did bin the original PSU just in case.

Best Regards

gjbth


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 5:53 pm 
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Just a thought Jorge, did you remember to remove the small black plug covering 4 pins on the ATX_12v power connector on the MB, and connect both 4pin 12v ATX leads.

Apologies if its a silly question.



Best Regards

gjbth


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 6:22 pm 
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You could be right, but this being a new PSU for now I'm more inclined to the graphics card: I remember getting a handfull of 'your display driver has stopped working and has been recovered' prompts when I first swaped out video cards so I could use the high-end 8800 GT.

I also used to overclock the 8800 GT a bit in the old system and found it impossible to do the same in this system without the video driver crashing. What is weird is that after some time the video driver stopped crashing and the spontaneous reboots started (if I remember correctly).

I know, all this could also indicate PSU problems (the 8800 GT requires a dedicated power connector while the 9500 GT does not), and overclocking it also means more power being drawn from the PSU.

Anyway, I swaped video cards again to test this out and am now running with the 9500 GT installed on this system - and noticed when installing that it does not have a second DVI connector, but VGA instead, which means I'm temporarilly back to using a single monitor (grrrr!).

Another weird thing is that when the system freezes instead of spontaneously rebooting, I am usually able to access its shared hard drives via another PC in the LAN. This means some part of Windows is still working, so the CPU is not frozen.

Now, yesterday something else happened, and this time something I had never seen before: after one of those freezes, I reset the system only to be greeted with a 'No boot device' prompt. The BIOS boot device priority screen showed me one of my WD disks, but the other WD disk and the Intel RAID 0 array were nowhere to be seen. Since I had never looked there before and the IDE mode is set to RAID, I didn't know if this was right or not.

I turn the system on and off again only to be greeted by the same prompt.

I thought the crash had corrupted the boot sector in the SSD array and decided to try and repair it with the Windows 7 Ultimate CD. The system boots from the cd, I choose the Repair option and Windows Setup is unable to find the OS. Thinking it was a driver problem, I use my other PC to get the Intel Rapid Storage drivers from the net and put them on a pen.

I click the 'Add Driver' button in Windows Setup and, oddly enough, I can see and even navigate the Intel RAID array! If Windows Setup was able to find it, why wasn't it able to find the Windows installation in it without additional drivers?

Now things start to get even weirder: setup fails to add the drivers from the pen and suddenly my cable modem (which is also a Gigabit router) loses its connection to the Internet!

So there I am, tired as hell, a RAID array that I cannot access, and no Internet connection to find more information and/or download alternative drivers!

It's 1 AM, I call my ISPs hotline, we go to the usual procedures of disconnecting and reseting the cable modem, nothing works! All I can do is schedule a tech for the following morning to come and see what's wrong with it.

With nothing more that I could do, I turn the system off to think for a while, and its then I notice something VERY strange: even with the system off, the LAN connection led in the cable modem/router keeps blinking like there is no tomorrow! This is not right, if the system is off, so should the LAN led!

Now things get a bit hazy (I was very tired and at the end of my witts), I can't remember if I turned the power off at the back of the PSU or first went to the BIOS and told it to load Setup Defaults. Whatever it was, the cable modem re-aquires an Internet connection and the BIOS now lists the array as a possible boot device. I set that up and Windows boots normally from the array!

In the end, my new system ended up crashing my cable modem as well. For the life of me, I have NEVER heard of anything like this before.

So, now I am running this system at 4 Ghz with the low end 9500 GT, to see if it keeps crashing. If it crashes again, it is probably a bad driver in Windows 7 or a bad motherboard (although I can't rule out a bad PSU in this case too). If it doesn't, it could be the 8800 GT or a PSU problem.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 6:32 pm 
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gjbth wrote:
Just a thought Jorge, did you remember to remove the small black plug covering 4 pins on the ATX_12v power connector on the MB, and connect both 4pin 12v ATX leads.


I didn't assemble the motherboard myself (the shop did that at the time for me) but yes, I just looked and the EATX12v connector has a 8-pin power cable connected to it. :D

It's not a silly question, at this time every possibility is a valid possibility.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 6:57 pm 
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Also, another thought I just had: if it was a PSU problem, the system should crash when running an application like 3D Mark, which taxes the GPU heavilly. And it didn't.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 7:07 pm 
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Only one thing for for it Jorge, disconnect everything , add graphic card and one stick of memory. Everything at stock bios settings, then add one hardware item at a time until you find the culprit.

Very time consuming but unless you have a eureka moment it looks like the only way to solve this.

This is the exact reason I have not started my new build yet. Its not so bad if its just a household PC, different matter when you make your living from it.

You must be well stressed out by now, I wish I could help you.

Best Regards

gjbth



**** just had a thought, when my PSU was playing up, I was losing Bios settings at every cold boot . Different symptoms from yours, the system would attempt to boot, power on/off cycle 10 times or so, then it would reset the bios back to default settings and boot as normal. I then had to go into the bios and alter memory timings/voltages etc. The bios sometimes lost track of a couple of the hard drives and the sata dvd. All of this was cured by replacing the PSU


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 8:05 pm 
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Yes, it's true that a bad PSU can cause all sorts of weird problems.

However, this is a new PSU from a reliable brand. Not only that (and although it's still too early to tell), running with the 9500 GT I haven't had a single crash or freeze yet.

If the system remains stable for the next 24-48 hours (if I can stand running a single monitor system for that long <grin>), the culprit is probably the 8800 GT.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 8:25 pm 
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Dah! Turns out my secondary monitor (a LG W2452T) also has a VGA connection (the 9500 GT has a DVI-D, a VGA and an HDMI connector)! Guess I'll be running two monitors again once I finish replying to all the support email. :D

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2010 6:14 am 
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gjbth wrote:
I have just seen that its displayport connectors as well, would mean replacing all my LCD panels unless there is some kind of convertor available.


Some more info about the Radeon HD 5970 you might be interested in:

Radeon HD 5970 Eyefinity on 3 x 30" Displays: Playable at 7680 x 1600

In the mean time I managed to plug my secondary monitor to the 9500 GT via the VGA connector. Bleurgh. The display seems 'fuzzy' in comparison to the DVI connection.

As for crashes, zilch so far. Tried stressing the system as much as I could too - looks like this was either a power problem (doubt it) or a problem with the 8800 GT (more likely). When I have the time (and the will) I'll put the card back in the old system to see if it generates problems there too. If not, I'll try it in the new system one more time.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2010 12:20 pm 
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Fingers crossed, lets hope you have it solved this time. :D


Thanks for the links to the Eyefinity, I am really interested in these. From what I can find over here in the UK they are limiting then to three outputs per card. But no no one has further info or prices for them.

Best Regards and good luck

gjbth


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2010 4:50 pm 
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That's weird, they are already available here in Portugal.

Anyway, it turns out it was the 8800 GT video card the root of all the problems. I put it in again, connected to a different PCI-E power rail, and within half an hour I had my first freeze. Installed it in the older system and it wouldn't even boot!!!! Actually, it kept restarting.

So all this because of a bad video card. I must be losing my touch, never had so many things go bad when switching systems (WD My Book power supply and the 8800 GT).

So guess what I need to do now? Yeah, you guessed it, replace the failed 8800GT with an ATI HD5970 - or so I thought until I saw the price of this beast: 590 Euros!!! Right below it is the ATI HD5870 for 369 Euros. Ouch!

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2010 5:10 pm 
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Finally found them, over here it seems they don't label them 'Eyefinity'. Thats why I could not find them, anyway 5970 = £564.00. Two of them
£1128.00, :roll: At that price I think I'll keep looking for a MB with three PCI-e slots and buy three new cards with dual dvi output.

Thinking of one from the Gigabyte 'GA-EX58' range

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gjbth


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2010 6:14 pm 
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The Asus P6T Deluxe v2 (socket 1366) has 3 PCI-E slots.

As for video cards, you could also look at the ATI HD5870, which is single GPU, cheaper and is clocked faster than the HD5970 - the HD5970 is a dual GPU board and perhaps a bit of an overkill.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2010 7:07 pm 
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I'll have a look at all the boards with 3 pci-e.

I really liked the idea of one 'Eyefinity' card supporting six monitors, it would have made life easy, but if and when it becomes available the price would be prohibitive judging by the 5970 price.

I don't play games so I don't need the latest greatest video card. But I do need decent performance and the ability to support at least four monitors but ideally Five or Six. Therefore three seperate identical cards looks the most viable option. With having three cards I will be looking for silent types or as quiet as possible, I have enough fans whirring around in the case as it is. Also I would have to consider the power supply needs of these cards.

A question Jorge, do you have the Lacie 1tb hard drives in the black aluminium case, about the size of a standard house brick. I have two of these connected to two Netgear ReadyNas. The fans switch on and off every minute or so and they make a racket, do yours do this?.

The ReadyNas are almost totally silent once they have booted up.


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