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Sudden system instability


bhigh

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I put together my system maybe 18 months ago, and it's been very stable up until the last week. I usually leave in on most of the time, and it hasn't had any unexpected lockups or crashes.

 

Last Monday when I went to check my email before for, the system had crashed and would not come out of sleep. My monitor (an HP 23" LCD) was stuck in sleep mode, which has happened before with a power brown-out.

 

I unplugged/replugged the monitor and reset the computer via the reset button. The system restarted and immediately blue-screened. Same thing in safe mode, etc. etc. I shut it off and went to work.

 

That night, same thing - The system would occasionally boot, chkdsk reported lots of errors, and random crashes.

 

The next day I purchased a new drive and re-installed windows, figuring that the disk had gone. (Oh goody, I get to test my backups!) Re-installed XP SP3, and it mostly seemed OK. After a few hours of reinstalling, it crashed again. Blue-screen errors were MEMORY_MANAGEMENT, PAGE_FAULT_IN_NON-PAGED_AREA, IRQ_ERROR, etc.

 

That night I ran MemTestX86+ for 13 hours. No memory errors reported. I turned off the computer when I went to work. When I got home, I was able to use to computer for about 4-5 hours (playing WoW) before it crashed with file read errors.

 

Over the last few days, the pattern has been that the system seems to run OK for a while then dies with i/o errors. Immediately restarting the system doesn't help. Turning it off for 15 minutes seems to let it run again for a few hours again.

 

I suspect that the power supply and/or the motherboard was damaged, given that the RAM has test clean and the drive has been replaced. The fact that turning the system off for a while increases stability points to either a heat issue with the mobo or the power supply too.

 

I've thought about swapping in another drive and running CTCS (http://sourceforge.net/projects/va-ctcs/), but all that's going to tell me is the system is crashing.

 

Am I off base in thinking that it might be the power supply?

 

Edit: Purchased a new HX520 and swapped it in tonight, system seems to be fine but I'll know in the morning.

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Edit: Purchased a new HX520 and swapped it in tonight, system seems to be fine but I'll know in the morning.

 

I would see if the issues go away with the HX520, and if they do, then we will want to replace the other PSU for you. You can use the On Line RMA Request Form and we will be happy to replace it. Be sure to check the box that says “I've already spoken to Technical Support and/or RAM Guy.”

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The system has stayed on overnight without a bluescreen, which it wasn't able to do with the prior power supply. I'll give it another few days uptime before I consider it fixed.

 

My take on this: Get a good UPS with voltage regulation to protect your system from under- and over-voltage.

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