Freezing followed with Screen Shaking + Auto-rebooting. Can this be a motherboard problem?

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Hinz Posted: Sat, Oct 22 2011 2:10 AM

Hi guys, I would like to raise question about a problem with my desktop.

Overview:

OS:   Windows 7 Ultimate SP1
CPU: AMD Athlon(tm) 64 X2 Dual Core Processor 3800+
PSU: Corsair 480W
MB:   ASUS M4A785D-PRO
RAM: Kingston DDR2 800MHz 2GB

About a month ago I start to get some blue screens randomly.
I have forgotten what they said but I can remember some words there like "NOT EQUAL"
May be they were "IRQL LESS OR NOT EQUAL" but I am not sure. Also, I cannot guarantee all blue screens showed the same meesage....

Anyway, they did not occur very often.

This week, things start to get much worse.
Freezing. I noticed that the PC gets freezing (usually) and auto-rebooting(less often) in Windows 7(before or after an account is logged in). Let me explains more:

- Freezing: sudden, total holding of the screen. Caps-lock does not respond. Sometimes the screen even shake right after the freeze (just like what you see when your old TV set has its signal interfered by a phone call or an airplane). Such shaking keeps on until you forcefully shutdown your PC....Not all freezes have screen shaking but recently most of them do.

- Auto-rebotting: sudden shutdown of the whole computer (just like what the PC does after you hold on the power switch for 5 sec) and the PC boots again. Of course it may tells you that the PC fails last time and asks you if a check is needed or just do a normal boot

Scope:
In Windows, these errors happen.
In safe mode, these errors ARE ABSENT. The PC is okay!
If I boot with the Windows 7 CD and try to install Windows 7 again, the installation CAN freeze in the middle! (Luckily, it happened before the real formatting/overwritting started, so nothing incomplete has corrupted the existing Windows 7 in the harrdisk)

Testing:
I have detached the unwanted hardware: an extra Nvidia 8600GT graphic card, an extra RAM (leaving a 2GB one alone), the CD-ROM drive. Now the motherboard can only use the harddisk, the power supply, the RAM, the CPU, and its own onboard display. Same things happen.

I have changed the "motherboard + CPU" set to another set (ASUS P5SD2-VM + Pentium 4) using the same harddisk, RAM and power supply. It works! No error in Windows! I can even do various operations and use software. So I suspect the motherboard and the CPU are the culprits.

I used a tool called "FFT-z" to check the CPU in safe mode. No errors found.
I checked the Event Viewer in the Administrative Tools after the freezing happened and I saw "Kernel Power" error. Of course there are some other warnings, but the big crosses are "Kernel Power" errors. I am not sure if these are related to the errors I encountered. Can these be some hints?

Can anyone give me some hints or comments?
Any opinions are welcomed !
Thanks in advance!

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AKwyn replied on Sat, Oct 22 2011 9:46 AM

Okay... From what you've described, I'm guessing the graphics cards might be the problem. Did you detatch the NVIDIA GeForce 8600 and use the integrated GPU in the system (I assume you're using the 8600GT's in SLI.), if not then the motherboard might be the problem. In that case, It may be that there is something on the motherboard that is not working or not providing power to the various components in your computer; from the looks of it, they don't seem to produce that particular model anymore so if the GPU thing doesn't work, you may need to buy a new motherboard.

Don't worry, we'll get you through this.

 

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Hinz replied on Sat, Oct 22 2011 10:53 AM

Thanks so much for your reply!!

In the testing part of my post, I have tried logging into WIndows 7 with these detached:

Nvidia 8600GT x 1 (so that the onboard Intel 82865G Graphics Controller was used)

Kingston DDR2 667MHz 1GB RAM x 1 (so that only 1 Kingston DDR2 800MHz 2GB Ram was left)

CD-ROM Drive x 1

So the graphic card you have mentioned was not used in one of the cases I have tested and errors were still found. May be the motherboard is faulty?

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rrplay replied on Sat, Oct 22 2011 11:29 AM

The mobo temps may be too high  see if you can get  HW Monitor

http://www.cpuid.com/softwares/hwmonitor.html

or some temp sensing app >>  check out the mobo chip-set temps and let us know .

Edit to clarify  some of those Asus mobos have wonky heatsinks check out those temps  & let us know

many a time a mobo can get some new life by simply maintaining the chipset and replacing TIM on the heatsink.

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realneil replied on Sat, Oct 22 2011 11:34 AM

Hard to be completely certain, but it sounds like the power circuits on the motherboard are going bad.

Do a visual inspection of the motherboard with everything unplugged and look for leaking or bulging capacitors.

This is a common problem with boards made in that era. The culprit was Capacitors that were made faulty and supplied to boardmakers. There are ways to have some of them repaired, but your board is not worth what it would cost to repair it.

It would be far cheaper to buy a new Motherboard, RAM, and CPU than it would cost to have a professional replace the Caps on your board.

Example: Motherboard and CPU    &      RAM    All of this obtainable here for less than $125.00 US. This would be leaps and bounds faster than what you have now.

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Pretty sure realneil has it right in this situation. If the same hard disk/ram and vid cards worked with a different mobo and CPU combo then most likely the Mobo is the culprit.

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AKwyn replied on Sat, Oct 22 2011 8:48 PM

realneil:
It would be far cheaper to buy a new Motherboard, RAM, and CPU than it would cost to have a professional replace the Caps on your board.

He mentioned that the RAM and CPU were working fine. So in this case, all he has to do is just by a new motherboard if what you're saying is actually happening.

Do you want us to suggest various motherboard models or do you know what you're going to get?

Thanks!

 

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realneil replied on Sat, Oct 22 2011 9:47 PM

TaylorKarras:
He mentioned that the RAM and CPU were working fine. So in this case, all he has to do is just by a new motherboard if what you're saying is actually happening.

The thing is that it would cost the same, or more to find and buy a motherboard that would work with his CPU and RAM.

Those boards aren't even made anymore, and they were initially released in 2008. After a few years they grow hair on them.

For the amount that I quoted, ($125.00) and using the parts that I linked to, he would have a PC that would run circles around his old PC, use far less power, and have a certain amount of upgradebility besides.

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Hinz replied on Sun, Oct 23 2011 1:29 AM

Thanks for the replies of you guys!!

After reading your comments, I plan to return the board to the manufacturer for a check since I still have the warrent of the motherboard working.

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