1Wolf Posted August 2, 2007 Share Posted August 2, 2007 Greetings, I would really appreciate any help anyone could give in troubleshooting a problem I'm having with a new build, and if it looks like I should be looking to RMA this memory. A few weeks ago I ordered and began my very first build, a gaming machine. Parts arrived and everything went real well. System booted up just fine. I configured the BIOS and installed windows XP. Everything was still fine. First....some info about my system: Mobo: EVGA nVidia nForce 680i SLI (A1 series) PSU: Thermaltake Toughpower 1200W CPU: Intel Q6600 2.4 Ghz Memory: 4 x 1024 DDR2-800 Corsair XMS2 6400C4 Video Card: EVGA GeForce 8800 Ultra Sound Card: Creative Soundblaster X-Fi Xtreme Gamer Hard Drives: 2 Seagate 7200.10 320 GB drives (RAID 0 stripe) ODD: 1 SATA Samsung DVD Burner & 1 IDE Samsung DVD Burner FDD: Sony Floppy Drive This system has not been overclocked in any way. This same system has been running for several weeks now as I installed drivers, setup windows, etc. etc. in my free time. Haven't had one glitch. The thing had run for many hours on end, core temperatures were always right around 40 degrees. Everything seemed dandy. Then, yesterday I get home from work and go to power on the machine. It starts...POSTS...starts to load windows (Windows XP splash screen) and then it just literally dies....as if someone yanked the plug. The mobo was still receiving power as the little blue and amber LED's were still lit. Everything else was dead though. I tried to turn it on again, and again it POSTED fine, and booted all the way into windows. It stayed there about 5 minutes and then just croaked again. Same as before. I hit the power button again and this time it posted and died a few seconds later. Tried again and the next time it didn't even make it to the POST beep. I turned off the power to the power supply...let it sit for a while...then tried it again. Same thing...sometimes it would POST and get to windows and then die, sometimes it would post and get to windows and run for a while and die, and sometimes it would run just long enough to spin the fans up and then die. One of those times that it POSTED and then died...there was a message on the screen that said something about resetting the CMOS or checksums or some such. The system died and it disappeared to quickly for me to get a good look at it. So...I reset the BIOS using the CMOS jumpers...and I was able to get the system up and running. I reconfigured the BIOS to my old settings....and it ran fine in windows for about an hour. I thought the problem was solved when blammo...it died again and started that same strange behavior again. This time it would run long enough for me to get into the BIOS and make changes though. I researched similar problems out on the net and alot of folks mentioned checking PSU's and bad Mobo's...but it just seemed to me that if one of those went bad...I'd see more consistent failures. So next I tried memory. My memory was the nVidia SLI-Approved stuff. When installed with "SLI Approved" set to disabled in the BIOS (the default) the memory timings defaulted to 5-5-5-18. In the BIOS, I had set "SLI Approved" to enabled and the BIOS reset the memory timings to new "optimal" defaults of 4-4-4-12. In addition, setting "SLI Approved" to enabled also set the memory voltage to 2.1 V. The system had run fine for weeks on these settings. However, when I received the weird unstable system problems I described above...I went into the BIOS and reset "SLI Approved" to disabled. This reset those memory timings back to 5-5-5-18. Sure enough...system boots fine and has been running for 8 or so hours without problem. I shut it down this morning and started it back up....started up and ran fine. Anyone have any idea what I should do about this? Anyone have any idea what could have happened? Why would the system run great on the 4-4-4-12 timings for weeks and then just one day decide not to anymore? Is some of that RAM possibly going bad? Is it possible that just out of bad luck I received RAM that was functioning...but very unstable? I didn't push those RAM timings beyond the manufacturer's recommended and SPD detected 4-4-4-12. I let the BIOS run the full memory test and it didn't show any problems....is there some software I should be running to test the memory outside of what the BIOS offers? Or...am I just looking in the wrong place....is it just plain dumb luck that the system started running under the more relaxed timings and the problem most likely has nothing to do with the memory itself....but perhaps the motherboard? I apologize for the long post but I wanted to give all the information that I could. Any and all help and advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!!! Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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