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Thread: Please help!! Instability, restarts, odd things happening - New CPU Necessary???

  1. #1

    Exclamation Please help!! Instability, restarts, odd things happening - New CPU Necessary???

    I've been running my 3000+ at 2.4Ghz pretty stable for about a year now on air cooling with an aftermarket heatsink & fan. Temps have been maxing around 53c. I had been getting random restarts about once a month (yea i know it's not perfect, but things were stable as i throughly tested with prime95, superpi, benchmarks, sandra etc.). Up until a week ago everything was pretty much fine.
    This past week I've gotten random restarts almost daily (all of which happened while i was away from the computer, surprisingly). Upon restart, I get a "windows has recovered from a critical error, replace CPU/RAM/PSU/HDD" message. Also, I have been having some weird software issues happening:

    1. Whenever I start outlook, somehow AIM starts. I thought somehow my quicklaunch got the links messed up so I found the .exe for outlook in its program files directory and tried; AIM once again started with it. Also, outlook takes atleast 5-10x as long to load as usual. I checked the performance log, and saw that my processor wasn't being loaded much at all while loading outlook, however my ram usage was nearly constant at 90-100%. And finally the oddest thing on this topic, when outlook finally finishes loading, my instance of AIM gets immediately shut down.

    2. Windows media player will no longer hide its toolbars while in full screen mode. Normally after a few seconds of being idle those menus retract and disappear from the screen. Now they just sit there as if i'm actively typing or moving the mouse.

    3. Catalyst Control center somehow loses its configuration for my 1800xt and upon every restart I get a window saying that catalyst control center needs to re-configure my hardware. This window stays up for approx 2 minutes after restart while the cpu is under minimal loading. This problem has happened for the last month or so. I've changed catalyst versions from 6.6 to 6.7 to 6.8. Same thing every time.

    I've since knocked down my cpu to stock speeds and ordered an Antec 550W power supply. In the meantime, I have YET to notice a random restart, but the above problems are still going on. Do I need a new processor? BTW I've tested the ram and processor @ stock speeds with Memtest, prime95 and superpi and they both appear normal. Sorry for the long post, thanks for reading and comments/suggestions.

    My system:
    Athlon 64 3000+ @ 2.4Ghz (275 HTT)
    2 x 512mb Corsair twinx pc3200 @ DDR300Mhz(equals about DDR400mhz while oc'd at 275HTT)
    MSI RX1800XT-VT2D512E Radeon X1800XT 512MB
    Cooler Master Extreme Power 430W Peak

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Minnesota, United States

    Default Re: Please help!! Instability, restarts, odd things happening - New CPU Necessary???

    A random restart once a month would have likely been due to either an unrelated software problem, or an unusually hot day. If it tested stable and almost never restarted, it was probably stable.

    I would imagine your recent instability was more likely due to your power supply than anything. That power supply is not sufficient for what you're running. If you don't overclock at all, it can probably handle it, but I wouldn't want to. X1800 series cards are very power hungy. I wouldn't use one with less than a high-quality 500W PSU, and you've got a mediocore 430W PSU.

    As far as your software problems ago, I'm not sure there's a simple fix. Assuming you're not still experiencing hardware problems, you might be best off reinstalling Windows. I'd check all cabling and cards and make sure everything is connected tightly. Dust out the whole computer, especially the insides of the heatsink. You probably don't have any problems, and Windows may just be too screwed up to fix at this point. If it isn't, then you're just having three very unrelated issues that you'll need to figure out.

    Also, I wouldn't use the Catalyst Control Center. It's bloated, and not altogether very good. I use the latest version of the Catalyst drivers along with ATI Tray Tools.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Please help!! Instability, restarts, odd things happening - New CPU Necessary???

    I've just received my new PSU but haven't been able to find time to install it. BTW the software problems remain but still no restarts @ stock frequency & voltage. I'll give an update once the PSU is in.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Please help!! Instability, restarts, odd things happening - New CPU Necessary???

    PSU has been in for a few days and everything is stable! I reinstalled windows without reformatting; this fixed the outlook/AIM error I described earlier. I've got my chip up to 2.25Ghz and ran prime95 for 10 hours without failure.
    Thanks again for the help.

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