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Hi all, I've got a problem I haven't encountered after sifting through a few pages of posts on here in different forums.

I upgraded my machine last year as my old mobo completely died to the following system:

  • MSI K9 VGM-V mobo
  • AMD Athlon 64x2 Dual Core 4800+ 2.50GHz
  • 2 x 1 GB Ram - Kingston KVR667D2N5/1G - DDR2<BR>
    ------ The mobo has an onboard 128 MB GPU which means my system is left with 1.87GB RAM
  • Maxtor 160GB hdd for the system drive - partitioned in two (the other half holds all the Bond movies - nice)
  • Maxtor 250GB slave hdd for media storage
  • Optorite DVD-RW 1205 dvd drive
  • M-Audio Delta 44 soundcard in one of the PCI slots
  • Wireless keyboard and mouse
  • Bluetooth USB clip
  • Line 6 TonePort UX-1 audio interface for recording guitar/vocal parts - connected via USB to the PC for sound processing and to the inputs on my soundcard's breakout box for output to the speakers.

I built the system with a mix of old parts from my old PC (soundcard, DVD drive, and the 160GB Maxtor which was my slave drive in the old PC and is now my system drive), and new bits bought from the local nerd emporium.

Everything was fine for about 6-8 months then it started randomly flipping out. I would be working - either recording music or using the internet, watching a video etc - no one thing seemed to trigger it, and the screen would randomly lock up and look as though it were an old analog TV that had lost its vertical hold (I will post a pic of the screen at the bottom).

The only change I had made to the system up to this point was adding the Line 6 unit but the problem had started occurring about a week before that, and persisted when I ran the system without it, so I've kinda discounted that as the cause of the problem.

I'm not sure if the rest of the PC was functioning in the background but it would also kill the sound if I was listening to/watching something, so I assume everything else went too. The only thing that would cure it is a reboot, until the PC does it again.

I spoke to the shop I got the parts from and they got it in for testing.
First time they couldn't find anything wrong with it,
the second time they told me my mobo was dead,
so it was replaced. I installed the new one and within an hour the same thing happened again, although much less frequently. I took the new one back and it was replaced again, and have installed a third mobo (all the same make+models btw), and once again, the same problem within an hour.

With the most recent mobo change i decided to add another 1GB stick of RAM to speed up my system. The problem I was experiencing before is now also accompanied by random restarts, sometimes the computer will restart - and others it will just trip out n the screen go black as if restarting, but it never quite gets there.

I'm assuming the restarts something to do with the RAM but I'm stumped on the mobo/screen lockup issue, after so many motherboards I'm considering the following:

  • the store I bought it from has now discontinued this particular mobo - so it's likely quite old, and suffering from the inherent problems of being old
  • there could be a compatability issue with some of the other hardware I'm using in the system
  • the problem could be caused by some other piece of hardware in the system malfunctioning - bad RAM or HDD perhaps??
  • It could be a bad batch from the factory
  • MSI mobos are really crap and I should look to another manufacturer

any advice will be gladly welcomed as I'm looking at just scrubbing the whole thing and building another system from the ground up specifically for music use. and while that would be good, it's also expensive and time consuming.

Here is a pic of the screen when the problem occurs. The colours vary with whaevers on the screen at the time, but the pattern always remains the same.
[IMG]http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa45/jameskiddBTK/Photo032.jpg[/IMG]

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Last Post by beard24
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did you try hooking the pc to a different monitor to determine if that is the cause? and if so how about cables/connections? just a shot in the dark yes, but always start with the simplest possible solution, then move up.

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It could be a heating issue as well which might result in shuttin off, restarting at random....

Raj

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Thanks, the heating issue could be a problem as a friend of mine had similar trouble with her PC a few years back (the CPU fan was not powerful enough) although I cant imagine that's the case with this as the system worked fine for 6-8 months, no problems at all before this started up.

The problem with the random restarts after inserting extra RAM seems to have been solved with me swapping the sticks around in the two different slots.

There are two RAM slots on my board, green and orange:
One stick in the green slot caused the machine to boot up as normal but randomly restarted within ten minutes.
In the orange slot it caused the machine to repeatedly emit one long beep about a second in length and that was as far as it got. It beeped 3 times like this then I switched it off.

The other stick in the green slot caused it to boot as normal but the graphical/screen error occurred within ten minutes again.
This stick in the orange slot has given me no problems so far. I have watched about 40 mins of video and written this post with no flipouts/restarts etc. -- so far

I am going to try both sticks together in different combinations:

Stick 1 in green, stick 2 in orange
then
Stick 2 in green and stick 1 in orange

and get back to you with the results.

As the problem appears (at least for the moment) to be RAM based Im not sure it's a heating issue but could u tell me how to monitor the system temps? I did have a desktop utility that came with the motherboard for this kind of thing but according to many sources they are extremely unreliable and inaccurate - for instance, mine used to read that I was operating at a steady cpu temp of over 60 degrees C :confused:

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Well there are various programs you can download to monitor the temp of your machine. SOme may be more reliable than others but then again, if you are sure that the colling systme in the machine is working and sufficient then there would not be no need to worry over anything. I would also check it with other RAM sticks as well if you have any spare ones at hand,

Check different combinations if ram and see what it comes to.

Raj

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I tried the test i described above and with stick 1 in green and stick 2 in orange the screen flip out occurred BEFORE it reached windows or even the windows loading screen. this has never happened before and it gave a different effect on the screen
http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa45/jameskiddBTK/Photo033.jpg

Swapping them over seemed to have a better result but then within ten minutes, the screen did its thing again.

Could there be an issue with the way the BIOS is configured for the graphics adapter (primary Grpahics adapter is set to PCIEx and I am using onboard graphics).

Also someone mentioned that MSI often have the RAM power supply running at 2v and these sticks are 1.8v - could this be a problem. Couldn't find anywhere that stated what the voltage going to the RAM was.

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I tried the test i described above and with stick 1 in green and stick 2 in orange the screen flip out occurred BEFORE it reached windows or even the windows loading screen. this has never happened before and it gave a different effect on the screen
http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa45/jameskiddBTK/Photo033.jpg

Swapping them over seemed to have a better result but then within ten minutes, the screen did its thing again.

Could there be an issue with the way the BIOS is configured for the graphics adapter (primary Grpahics adapter is set to PCIEx and I am using onboard graphics).

Also someone mentioned that MSI often have the RAM power supply running at 2v and these sticks are 1.8v - could this be a problem. Couldn't find anywhere that stated what the voltage going to the RAM was.

having reset my system back to what seemed to be the most stable setup (stick 2 in the orange slot), the problem with the screen occured again so I dunno wot the fudge is going on with it:'(

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Solved the problem. I took the whole system back to the shop for testing and they found it to be the power supply, a new power supply has done the trick and all is now well.

thanks for your help guys, it's been a learning curve

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