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System locks up and 'crackling' sound heard from speakers

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I found a decent workstation in the office about a month ago that had been somewhat forgotten. Main specs are:

E8400 E0 (promptly OCed to 3.9GHz, 20-pass IBT stable with max memory)
Asus P5QC BIOS ver. 2103
4GB Kingston DDR3
8800GTX (my personal card, installed for folding only)
Sparkle Power (FSP) 460W PSU
Seagate ST3320613AS RAID0
System plugged into APC Back-UPS ES 350 UPS

Earlier this week the system started exhibiting strange stability issues. The OS completely locks up with no BSOD. An intermittent 'hissing' or 'crackling' sounds comes from the speakers.

The system will remain in this state until manually shut down. I assumed it was from folding or the CPU overclock so I reverted back to stock clocks.

This morning I came in to the office, sat down at my system and after moving the mouse for literally 1 second the same thing happened. I rebooted the system and now as soon as the mouse cursor appears on-screen the system crashes. OS is inaccessible.

I have replaced the PSU (used a brand new Antec EarthWatts 380W), issue re-occurred immediately. Tried booting to Safe Mode. I see the list of drivers that are being loaded and then a black screen. Waited about 5 minutes but nothing happened. I've switched back to my old workstation so I can actually get stuff done today (and have my OCN time biggrin.gif) but I would much prefer to get my proper workstation up and running again.

Anyone experienced this kind of thing before and if so how did you resolve it? Any and all help greatly appreciated!

UPDATE #1: Swapped GPUs, issue persists. Tried booting with one stick of RAM, system booted to OS with no noticeable stability issues. I am now running Memtest to see if the RAM is failing.
Edited by MCBrown.CA - 2/16/11 at 3:35pm
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post #2 of 10
Thread Starter 
Another update:

Came in to the office this morning after leaving the system running Memtest over night. Memtest had run for 1 pass without any errors but is now hung at 19% on the second pass.

In the top left-hand corner of the Memtest window there some colored characters that flash constantly. I'm fairly certain these flashing characters are there so that a user can take a quick look at the screen and see whether the utility has hung. Strange thing is, the utility has hung but the characters are still flashing.

I'm leaning more and more toward hardware failure. Ruled out the PSU, memory didn't throw any errors in Memtest but Memtest hung... Someone give me some input!
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post #3 of 10
If youre freezing up during memtest then it's definitely a hardware issue. If you have already ruled out memory, psu, and gpu, then all you're really left with is processor, or motherboard really.
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MONOLITH
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post #4 of 10
CPU's very very rarely fail, most likely a mobo issue. Also confirmed by your speakers crackling, since that's on the board as well.
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post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the confirmation. Actually I was using a PCI sound card at the time (XFi Xtreme Music) not the onboard audio but I'm still thinking that it's most likely the motherboard.

An E8400 E0 that's been run at stock clocks for it's whole life can't die from being mildly overclocked (~1.32V) and folding for month can it? I have a spare E2160 at home that I can use to test the board tonight. Will post results.
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post #6 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by aph;12421959 
CPU's very very rarely fail, most likely a mobo issue. Also confirmed by your speakers crackling, since that's on the board as well.

I know it's rare, but the memory controller on my first 980x decided to give out and only report 8GB instead of 12GB of ram. Intel warranty was awesome though and replaced it within a week.
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post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 
Another update. Took the workstation home last night and installed my spare E2160. Left all settings at stock and left the system running a Prime95 Blend test overnight. 12+ hours of Prime95 with no stability issues encountered...

Is the lower-clocked E2160 not stressing the board enough to replicate the failures I've been experiencing with the E8400 or is that a sure sign that the E8400 is the culprit?

I'm thinking I maybe should have run a Small FTTs test rather than Blend. My reasoning was that since Blend tests RAM/NB stability as well as CPU it would be a better test of overall system stability rather than just testing the CPU with Small FTTs. But perhaps the Blend test just didn't push the system hard enough to replicate the failure...
Edited by MCBrown.CA - 2/18/11 at 8:56am
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post #8 of 10
Power Issues maybe?
The Rock
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The Rock
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post #9 of 10
have you checked individual ram sticks in memtest?
have you run the E8400 at stock speed?
is the ram 2 x 2gb or 4 x 1gb? as 4 x 1gb can make an overclock unstable

try the small ftt test in prime.

but also run intel burn test, this will test it to the max
before running test, close down all running programs.
open task manager, or resource meter
now have a look at how much FREE ram is listed,
enter this into IBT eg. i have 2520mb free ram, so i enter 2500mb ram.
set threads to 2 (dual core)
and run the test for 10 passes.

edit. i know you have run IBT with max memory, but this is wrong, use the custom setting with free amount of ram

" I would choose 'free' memory as available memory will also make use of cache memory which must be storing data for other applications aswell. Windows may free up some physical memory from the cached memory during testing but not totally and i think the rest will be the virtual memory as a compensation.

Available = Free + (Cached - Modified)"
Edited by j.col - 2/18/11 at 3:43pm
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post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 
Sorry for the long delay in updating. The system has been folding on 8800GTX while running off of my spare E2160 for a week now. Zero stability issues at all.

Figure it's time to try the E8400 again. Install and attempt to boot at stock speeds: Windows hangs while booting. Re-set all BIOS options to default (they were already at default but I figured worth a try). System booted OK next time. Folding on both CPU and GPU as interim stability test. Will run IBT later on...
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920 D0 | 4104MHz@1.23V Big Bang XPower 5850 | 880/1050 6GB Sector 7 | 1728MHz 
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cardboard (case/loop in prog) 
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
920 D0 | 4104MHz@1.23V Big Bang XPower 5850 | 880/1050 6GB Sector 7 | 1728MHz 
Hard DriveOSMonitorPower
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