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Extremely mysterious pc issuse! got any ideas?

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by JoshZ, 9 Mar 2008.

  1. JoshZ


    Joined: 6 Mar 2008

    Posts: 54

    Hi all,

    Basically I've got a really bad issue with this system I purchased from OCUK. I got it a month ago and its still not working, It continually reboots for no reason, I've had over 5 IT pros looking at it stumped and we cant seem to narrow the problem down at all. I was just wondering if anyone here may have some other ideas, or may have experienced a similar problem with similar hardware. Ill list out everything that has been done to the machine carefully so if you are going to post up a reply please check what i have written first properly, because I'm pretty tired of answering the same old questions and going round in circles! ;)

    thanks in advance and a postal order for 2 pints will be heading to whosoever can help me in this time of need ;)
    (unless you are in or around london in which case ill have to take ya to the pub.)

    heres the spec!

    Gigabyte GA-N650SLI-DS4L nForce 650i SLi (Socket 775)

    Hitachi Deskstar 7K160 160GB SATA-II

    Samsung SH-S203D 20x DVD±RW SATA Dual Layer ReWriter

    Akasa AK-965 CPU Cooler

    Intel Core 2 Quad Pro Q6600 "Energy Efficient SLACR 95W Edition" 2.40GHz

    PNY GeForce 8800 GT 512MB GDDR3

    Hiper 530w HPU-4M530 SLi Certified ATX 2.2 PSU

    OCZ 4GB (2x2GB) PC2-6400C5 Dual Channel Vista Gold Series DDR2

    I spent weeks double checking the compatibility of these components and as far as i could see i made a pretty nice little bundle (well i guess not but hey..)


    I got the machine, mounted it up and installed XP x64. This is when the reboots began...
    My machine reboots for no reason at all when; installing stuff, running games, transferring data or sometimes for no reason other than clicking a continue button.

    so first test.. i removed the PSU and plugged it into a similar machine it ran fine.. i then took a different PSU into my system and the reboots continued.

    at this point x64 was useless so i proceeded to try xp 32bit. this was more stable and i was able to get the os installed.. so i ran Company of heroes and 3d studio max renders to give it a work out.. the reboots continued.

    i removed the ram (replaced with other different make ram) i also tried all the slots with one and two sticks and ran the memory through memtest and it all checked out fine..

    i removed the hdd and the dvdrw and installed two others and tried installing the os onto that still rebooting i also ran a load of low level checks and the hdd is fine..

    finally i tried putting a different video card and processor in the mobo and still the reboots persisted

    (i also tested my processor and 8800 in the other machine and they work fine.)

    so now i sent the motherboard back to OCuk.. and lost 17£ for the pleasure because it came back fine.

    after it came back i tried flashing the bios with an update and installed a new version of xp 32bit and still the problem continued (at this stage i should point out that i had mounted the machine outside the case aswell).

    so i tried loads of more combinations re running the same old tests until i had come full circle..

    i then tried swapping out the cmos batt because i read on another forum that a low juice batt can cause intermittent reboots (still no joy)

    so i called OCUK again.. and i was told 'yeah it does sound like the motherboard.. send it back and when it does fail we'll reimburse you' .. but it passed 39hours of prime95 testing so hey great.. back to square one.

    i got it back the other day (Minus my only IDE cable so thanks for that OCUK i hope you are enjoying it.) and tried to install vista. I cant even get it to run all the way through the setup.. i am now at the end of my rope.. its been a month.. I need this machine to do work.. I have had to pass up 2 jobs and I also have a degree to finish.
    I purchased a machine for over £700 and it doesn't work.. so I'm really hoping that someone here may have another idea for me.. TBH i am sick of it and have no faith in this hardware and am really at the point where i dont really want it anymore, but ill give it one more chance because when it is running (for the few mins ive been able to get it up and running) it is a machine of power and beauty..

    If anyone on here has some ideas about what else could be causing this apart from my parts just being totally incompatible with each other then i will be much appreciative!!!

    waiting in hope!


    P.S. its not overheating, in fact i was monitoring the temps in speedfan when i had xp on there and its cpu is running at <30 degrees idle and the graphics unit idles at about 48. and no .. there are no heat spikes.. Also .. i have no intention of overclocking the system and have not attempted to do so because I just want something stable for now.
  2. Jay662


    Joined: 29 Aug 2004

    Posts: 174

    Location: Glasgow

    now just read that list of troubleshooting I see you have swapped loads of components in the system. You have said the memory passed memtest but does this work in another system?

    try some other make of memory preferably 2 x 1gb sticks
  3. crazyDAJT

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 20 Jun 2007

    Posts: 1,309

    Location: Nottingham

    have you checked your ram settings in BIOS, set them what is written on the sticker of the ram. most motherboards will under volt your ram, which makes it unstable. i think that ram needs 2.1.
  4. bayo000


    Joined: 28 Jan 2008

    Posts: 4,858

    Location: Manchester

    he's tried other ram make already

    if all the parts work on other mobo get new one and sell this one on bay
    Prolly fastest way to sort this, even if it costs you some £s its still cheaper than being driven mad :D
  5. superplay


    Joined: 3 Nov 2005

    Posts: 602

    Location: Stoke-on-Trent

    Sounds as if your PC is going into BlueScreen for some reason. The default is to reboot the PC when this happens.

    You could either turn off the auto reboot control panel/system/advanced/startup recovery/untick the automaic reboot box. Or you could examine the previous errors in the event log.

    The STOP code may give you a pointer where the issue lies.
  6. V|per


    Joined: 11 Jun 2005

    Posts: 2,639

    Location: Worcestershire

    May sound daft, but, cables.... try other cables (ide, sata...)

    Also, As you have the pc out of the box as so to speak, remove all of the cables from the motherboard that are coming from the front panel (usb, firewaire, POWER/RESET led's...) you can poer it on using a screwdriver to short the 2 pins that the power cable plugs into.
  7. neocon


    Joined: 24 Aug 2006

    Posts: 5,806

    so its your psu or mb

    power supply may not be delivering enough amps

    try a different psu if you can

    if that doesn't work rma the motherboard
  8. Rroff

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 13 Oct 2006

    Posts: 77,484

    My advice tbh would be:

    You have a Gigabyte N650SLI-DS4L so make sure you have a fan on the northbridge (40mm atleast, 60mm better if you can fit it)

    Your running 4gig of ram so your going to have to ctrl+F1 in the BIOS and bump all the bus/chipset voltages up by +0.1 from default - assuming its not overclocked.

    Ditch the powersupply for a 600Watt OCZ GameXStream - those motherboards seem to like em better than hipers.

    Clear the CMOS completely - and setup again (might wanna note down settings first) - might help but leave it to last.
  9. eggnoodle


    Joined: 7 Dec 2007

    Posts: 342

    Reconnect all components till they click in and their cables securely, including the second ATX cable from the power supply to the mobo if it has one.

    Re-sit the cpu.

    Stick in the bare minimum needed for a boot, and make sure they are fully installed.

    1 x 1GB stick of RAM (if you can get hold of non-ocz it would help because they sometimes have voltage issues - maybe corsair?)

    1 x CPU + heatsinnk + thermal paste

    1 x GFX Card, making sure all power connections are correctly connected.

    1 x HDD

    1 x Rom Drive

    Load Fail-Safe From BIOS.

    Then give it a go.

    Sounds like a dodgy mobo or power supply to me.

    Personally would not trust Hiper PSUs as far as i could throw them.

    And as it seems you have replaced/tried everything bar the mobo, got another mobo you can try?
    Last edited: 9 Mar 2008
  10. JoshZ


    Joined: 6 Mar 2008

    Posts: 54

    hey guys thanks for the tips.. i thought it was pretty clear.. Ive done everything you have suggested. new cables. mounted it all on another different model gigabyte board.. tried new ram .. as for the nb heatsink.. if it works for OCuk when they test it then it should work for me.. ive tried new sata cables replaced the akasa heat paste with artic silver. and I put the psu onto my mates system gigabyte board too .. with a duo but with an 8800 and it works ok!
    also the only actual cable from my case to the mobo atm is the power switch so i dont think it could be that :)..

    'Your running 4gig of ram so your going to have to ctrl+F1 in the BIOS and bump all the bus/chipset voltages up by +0.1 from default - assuming its not overclocked'

    This suggestion I may have over looked Rroff so thanks for that i'll give it a go!

    Ill keep trying and thanks for the swift responses I'll keep you posted in a couple of hours because i need to duck out to the shops ;)

    cheers guys!

  11. JoshZ


    Joined: 6 Mar 2008

    Posts: 54

    oh yeah sorry i forgot to mention ;) the auto reboot is off by default and there has never been any events in the eventvwr at all.. the reboots are totally phantom.. the system doesn't seem to realise its actually powered down at all
  12. flying grouse


    Joined: 23 Nov 2003

    Posts: 487

    Location: Aberdeen

  13. Rroff

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 13 Oct 2006

    Posts: 77,484

    Trust me - having put many hours of testing into the DS4L aditional Northbridge cooling does wonder for the stability of this motherboard.
  14. Dead Dog


    Joined: 30 Oct 2002

    Posts: 3,875

    Location: SantaPodshire : )

  15. IAmATeaf


    Joined: 3 Apr 2007

    Posts: 7,200

    Location: South of the Watford Gap!

    I'd normally associate hard reboots with a memory type problem TBH. As suggested above check the timings, clock speed and voltage, adjust if need be and try again.
  16. Darg


    Joined: 6 Sep 2006

    Posts: 6,223

    Location: London

    +1 for memory voltage being at fault. OCUK would have used standard RAM that wouldnt have had a voltage shortage.

    Set it to 2.1V min.
  17. Dead Dog


    Joined: 30 Oct 2002

    Posts: 3,875

    Location: SantaPodshire : )

    well I've tried upping mine several times - no go, I've also just looked at crucials site and manually set timings - no go.
  18. mmorpheus1


    Joined: 24 Feb 2008

    Posts: 382

    Location: A Galaxy Far Far Away

    I had a problem like this on my p5n32e-sli , it was the OCZ memory.
    I upped the NB to 1.45v
    upped the memory voltage to 2.125v
    set the timings to 5, 5, 5, 15, 2T as on the label
    the memory was pc8500 rated but wont run at 1066Mhz i have to run it at 1000Mhz.

    Since then i have overclocked my e6600 to 3.2Ghz and system is stable, temps are 19c idle and 48c full load. No issues at all since altering memory timings and voltages.

    I would say its deffo the memory in my oppinion.
    Last edited: 9 Mar 2008
  19. JoshZ


    Joined: 6 Mar 2008

    Posts: 54

    hey guys im still at it.. ive set the timings to the label 5-5-5 although it didnt say anything about the 4th timing I have just set it to 15 like morph. only one question about the volt settings.. i cant find what the default values are on this bios so im unsure about how much i need to raise them to get the settings you guys have mentioned..I just manged to get it to setup windows and boot in after about 40 attempts.. im just gonna start installing drivers etc and see how it fares.. wish me luck :)
  20. flying grouse


    Joined: 23 Nov 2003

    Posts: 487

    Location: Aberdeen

    if you are happy with the setup of your ram, I would also set DEP to Off

    Data Exection Prevention is great in theory, but to often DEP shuts down legitimate programs/process and all too often fails to show any sort of warning.

    turn off DEP globally by issuing the following at an elevated command prompt, that is a shell running cmd.exe as administrator "right click on cmd.exe and run as adminstrator" type exactly this and enter

    bcdedit.exe /set {current} nx AlwaysOff

    easy to turn back On type the following

    bcdedit.exe /set {current} nx AlwaysOn

    PS I would also set power options to Performance found under "control panel> "system and Maintenance"> Power options.

    you could also press the windows button and R and type in MSCONFIG and try disabling everthing except Microsoft programs/processes and restarting one by one and see if there is a conflict
    Last edited: 9 Mar 2008