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Weird Problem - Ram Related ? Out of patience here..

This is a discussion on Weird Problem - Ram Related ? Out of patience here.. within the RAM and Power Supply Support forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. Hi. I have a problem with a PC that gives really weird errors. Here's what it does.. after some time,


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Old 11-17-2010, 10:01 AM   #1
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Hi. I have a problem with a PC that gives really weird errors.

Here's what it does.. after some time, you start getting some weird errors trying to run even 'run' in the start menu. No apps open or close to, you click on an icon on the desktop and it dissapears. You hit ctrl-shift-esc on the keyboard, taskmgr wont open.. one time outta 20 maybe it will open. But refresh is all screwed up.

It sounds like an infected pc at first, but it's not. Here's the specs of the box:

Antec 300 Case
Asus P7P55D-LE Motherboard
Kingston ValueRAM KVR1333D3N9K2/4G 2 Sticks for 4GB total
Corsair TX 750W Power Supply
OCZ 60GB Summit Series SSD Drive
Asus EAH4350 Ati Video Card
Running Windows XP SP3 updated

I attached a sample screenshot of what it does, well it's a picture taken with a camera since when the box does this, i can't do anything with it. Nothing will run, forget about a proper screenshot in mspaint.

So, i first tought it was graphics card (hardware, or even drivers) related..
So i swapped the Nvidia GT240 that was in the box. Same issues.

Also tought, hey it might be the SSD ! So i used another drive, WD RE3 320GB Sata drive. Same issues.

I ran memtest86+ 4.0 for a few hours. No errors.

Ok, it might be a virus... So i clean installed Windows XP SP3. Same issue.

So i'm stuck with a few things...

PSU, RAM, Motherboard, CPU. I'm honestly clueless on what could be causing this, really. I got 10 years experience in the IT field, and this one has given me a nice headache. It's being used in a corporate environment as well. Very nice.

I'll be replacing the motherboard in a few minutes.. But if anyone has any clues of what could be causing that issue or just have a good pointer, i'd be really happy.

On a side note, the pc can run good for an hour or two.. then it starts crashing. I did a complete XP SP3 reinstall without any stalls or crashes or anything. After 3 hours i finally went into doing something else, leaving Corel Draw X5 installing... When i came back, it errored out and the windows display was messed as i moved the windows. To this point, even the start menu wont display properly. All sounds like a display driver or video card issue.. but then apps wont start.

Sorry for the long first post, had to explain a bit since it's a weird issue i'm having.

Thanks for any help
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Old 11-17-2010, 10:09 AM   #2
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Did you run Memtest on one stick of RAM at a time?



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Old 11-17-2010, 10:11 AM   #3
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No, i should ? By the way, the cpu is a i5 750.
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Old 11-17-2010, 10:12 AM   #4
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I Was about to ask that ^ you need to run memtest for several passes with one stick of ram installed at a time for accuracy. Usually 7 passes is good enough unfortunatley thats about 7 hours in some cases.

That looks to me that the ram could be struggling to load everything. Kingston value ram is not very good.
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Old 11-17-2010, 10:17 AM   #5
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Ok. So from your gut feeling, it sounds more like a ram issue, or a bad motherboard (memory controller?) or psu,or anything else ?
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Old 11-17-2010, 10:19 AM   #6
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I'm running memtest86+ 4.10 on one stick now. I'll see how it goes...

Some other note : The box was running for 8 months now without issues. It poped about 2 weeks ago with this issue. So i'm ruling out the incompatiblity part up to some point...

I was also wondering if there was any better way of testing ram for accuracy than memtest86+.
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Old 11-17-2010, 10:20 AM   #7
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I have to go with RAM. As Team Maye greenbrucelee pointed out, Kingston is not a great performance RAM and Kingston Value series even more so.
Edit: MemTest is the best way to test.



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Old 11-17-2010, 10:26 AM   #8
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I'm testing each sticks 7 passes now. I will report back. If it doesn't give any errors.. You guys would 'assume' the sticks are good ?

If so, what's my next step then ? I have to ask for advice since honestly i'm the one who's getting questions usually and on this one.. I'm stuck with just trial error.

I wondered if i had to suspect the PSU. Some local folk told me he had a few issues with corsair TX psu's recently, but i never did myself.. Just wondered.
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Old 11-17-2010, 10:28 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyree View Post
: MemTest is the best way to test.
Agreed memtest86 is the way to go
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Old 11-17-2010, 11:11 AM   #10
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Another note here. I did notice many of the error messages i got were somehow, related to the network. The pc uses redirected user folders and roaming profiles from a sbs 2008.

I did notice that sometimes there was errors related to the network not being available and... i just wonder, if it can be related to this. When the crashes happen, i can't ping the PC from another pc, it looks like the lan adapter isnt responding to pings anymore, and since the issue is so weird.. i just wondered if it could be, the lan adapter that is defective, or it's driver that is faulty that could cause all this trouble...

I also noticed an update in windows update for this driver that was installed recently, maybe the recent driver is faulty ? Shot in the dark, but need to go thru all of this...
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Old 11-17-2010, 12:17 PM   #11
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The RAM can be working properly but it may not be good enough in quality.
What you posted above is also a possibility. You could try a dedicated Ethernet card in the PC to be certain.



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Old 11-17-2010, 01:30 PM   #12
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7 passes on the first stick, 2 on te second so far.. No errors.

Maybe the ethernet then..

I'll post back
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Old 11-17-2010, 01:37 PM   #13
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did you do a full seven passses i.e thats when it runs a full test and then says no errors on the screen?

There is usually 10 passes on full test by 7 passes I mean the full test 7 times.
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Old 11-17-2010, 01:44 PM   #14
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Another question rises for me : Do you guys know any utility i could use, to reproduce quickly my issue ? It's pretty hard to troubleshoot since sometimes the issue will happen after 1-2 hours of use...
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Old 11-17-2010, 01:48 PM   #15
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greenbrucelee : Yes, i ran the complete test 7 times. I got 34 minutes on the second stick right now and i got only 2 passes done. But i don't think it's the ram !
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Old 11-17-2010, 01:49 PM   #16
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possibly the ethernet then. Try as Tyree suggested.
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Old 11-17-2010, 04:52 PM   #17
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Ok, so i'm really out of ideas again. Everything seems fine, now i can't reproduce the issue.

I'm stress testing the box with the prime95 torture test, but it doesnt seemto crash in any way. Ah well...
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Old 11-17-2010, 07:37 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cheebster View Post
Ok, so i'm really out of ideas again. Everything seems fine, now i can't reproduce the issue.

I'm stress testing the box with the prime95 torture test, but it doesnt seemto crash in any way. Ah well...
great idea I was going to suggest prime next, if it can run prime for a good 6 to 8 hours , that would narrow it down to video card or software or maybe that ethernet, I think you eliminated the hdd?
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Old 11-18-2010, 05:15 AM   #19
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The video card was also swapped for a completely different chipset, from nvidia to ati. So that was ruled out.. I disabled the roaming profile and put in that intel gigabit lan card for the moment. Hope it does better..

Thanks
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Old 11-19-2010, 06:28 AM   #20
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Um.. Disabled the page file, system restore, uninstalled avira professionnal, uninstalled windows desktop search 4.0 and so far, no issues...

Problem is i don't know which caused the issue really. Anyhow, i was able to spot some events in the event viewer now at the time it happened again yesterday.

The symptom and the cause in this one.. hard to find a link. Other than maybe SSD related..

Assumption is the mother of all mistakes, but i was sure it was a hardware failure at start.
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