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Old 2005-10-11, 10:39   #1
Cosmo
 
Oct 2005
Milton Keynes UK

110002 Posts
Default NEW USER - HARDWARE FAILURE - PLEASE HELP

I am new to computers and have tried to read all FAQ's - but they make no sense to me - many apologies. After running test I get the following message:

FATAL ERROR: Rounding was 0.4882698059, expected less than 0.4
Hardware failure detected, consult stress.txt file.
Execution Halted.

I see this message has already been addressed, but as I said, I don't understand how to proceed.

I recently purchased a new motherboard (Winfast K7S) and a new graphics card (XpertVisin 6600) as my PC was "hanging/Freezing" - I was advised to do this by a friend. Since the install my PC no longer freezes but re-boots itself - especially when running microsoft flight sim 2002, but also on various other programs. It seems to be fine when just surfin the net etc.

I have an AMD athlon 2800 processor - 512 Ram - windows XP home (but I have to run on SP1 because as soon as I try to install SP2 it seems to mess with my graphics drivers??). I have updated all the latest BIOS & drivers for motherboard & graphics card - but my PC still re-boots. When it re-starts I get an error saying there is a device problem. No faults appear in my device manager and all works fine until I try to play games.

I have tried to cover as much info as possible - please advise on how I can sort this out - and please use laymans terms and step by step guides as I really don't know computer "speak".

thanks in advance

Cosmo
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Old 2005-10-11, 13:29   #2
JHagerson
 
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May 2005
Naperville, IL, USA

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Cosmo, it appears that your computer works fine until running a game or a computationally intense program like Prime95 puts it under a bunch of stress.

If you look in the STRESS.TXT file that comes with Prime95, you will see some suggestions as to steps you can take to try to troubleshoot your computer.

It might help if you could provide some additional information about your computer. Is this a brand new system that you just purchased from a store or did you obtain it from someone who has been using it for a while?

If it is brand new, someone at the store might be able to help you swap one or more of your memory modules to improve the performance of the computer.

If you received it from someone else, ask that person about how the computer has performed. Specifically ask them if they have tried to "overclock" the computer (run the computer at speeds faster than the manufacturer has rated the various parts). If so, ask them if they can return the computer to its rated speed. Doing so should increase system stability.

I hope that this helps.
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Old 2005-10-11, 14:53   #3
Cosmo
 
Oct 2005
Milton Keynes UK

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Hi JHagerson,

Thanks for your reply.

I have owned the computer for approx 2 years - with no faults. However, approx 1 month ago it started to freeze constantly even after boot up without running any programs. At that time it had an ASRock motherboard and a NVidia FX5200 graphics card. All the problems seemed to relate to my graphics card (After sending error report to Microsoft came back with Device Driver problem PROBABLY related to Graphics card - although it didn't say this was exactly the cause). Nvidia reckons all faults will show a graphics related problem as everything must go through the card to appear on screen??) - I decided to buy the 6600 to rule this problem out. Although this stopped the freezing problem, it still re-booted the PC when I started playing games as described in my initial post. After speaking to a friend, he suggested I replace my motherboard, which I did with the Winfast K7S but unfortunately this hasn't rectified the fault. The only thing I haven't changed is my processor (AMD Athlon 2800) and my memory, although I have extensively run the latest Memtest and all is OK regarding my RAM. Is it possible my Processor is faulty?

I have a program called Super Utilities which came with my motherboard and all temperatures, fans etc seem to be OK.

I have read the stress.txt file but unfortunately doen't appear to give me any advice other than what I have already checked. e.g. temperature/cooling etc.

I'm not sure what the "overclocking" feature is and if mine is overclocked or not. I presume not because as I said all was working fine for 2 years and now just seems to be giving me a great deal of trouble. I presume I have nothing to lose but replacing my Processor - but I don't want to throw good money after bad without finding the exact cause of my problems.

I have run all the latest Virus scanners and Adware scanners and my computer is clean.

Any further help you could give would be very greatly appreciated.

Regards

Cosmo
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Old 2005-10-11, 18:07   #4
dsouza123
 
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Sep 2002

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The CPU heatsink and fan may be coated with dust.
Use a can of compressed air to blow out the dust.

Memtest doesn't always detect all RAM issues.
Could be marginal RAM.

It could also be the power supply not giving the correct voltage
to the CPU and/or RAM.

Sometimes after putting in a new motherboard the speed setting
for RAM isn't set correctly.

Things to try :
Blowout dust, will reduce temperatures.
Take the cover off the PC, will reduce temperatures.
Underclock CPU and RAM, will reduce temperatures and lessen voltages needed.
Check BIOS settings for CPU and RAM voltages and RAM speed.


Usually RAM is the issue,
so after you underclock both CPU and RAM, do a stability test,
then gradually increase CPU clock speed alone
back towards the original speed, testing for stability at each increase.

This should isolate which item, CPU or RAM, the problem corresponds to.
It still could be the power supply giving incorrect voltage to the part
detected to have the issue.
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Old 2005-10-11, 19:26   #5
sdbardwick
 
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Aug 2002
North San Diego County

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Given that the reboot occurs when starting a game, I'd suspect that the power supply cannot handle the increased power demands of the new video card. Video card power demands vary greatly depending on how much processing the VPU is required to perform; normal office tasks require little processing (and thus create small power demands), while 3d games are at the other extreme. A borderline power supply can work fine for normal office tasks, but cause a reboot when the additional power required by the VPU for games causes the protection circuits to trigger a reset.
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Old 2005-10-12, 11:12   #6
Cosmo
 
Oct 2005
Milton Keynes UK

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Hi dsouza123

Thanks for your reply.

I have got the following info from my motherboard programme (called superutilities):

CPU Fan: 5800 RPM
V Core A = 1.56V
+3.3V = 3.16V
+5V = 5.08V
+12V = 12.18

CPU Temp = 61 degrees C (with cover on)

Clock: CPU 2075
AGP 266.64

I'm afraid this info doesn't mean a great deal to me - but you say to underclock my CPU & RAM - I know how to get into the BIOS but what should I underclock to and where will I find these values to change? Also how can I test the power supply?

The machine is very clean inside with no dust so I dont believe this is a problem.

Hi sdbardwick

Thanks for your reply.

You also think it could be a power supply problem - Can you tell me how to definately isolate this. Is there a way I can check it when I "put it under load"? I believe the power supply I have is a 300?? If I need to update this power supply are there any recommendations you could make.

Many apologies to all if I appear to be a little slow or have to ask for clarification on certain things but computers are a minefield to me and the technical jargon may as well be written in Japanese. I do however appreciate all your feedback.

I will try and run the PC with the covers off for a while and then see what difference it makes to the temps etc. Ideally what should it be running at? I've seen other posts and 61 C seems to be OK?

Thanks again to all who have posted replies.

Regards

Cosmo
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Old 2005-10-12, 14:35   #7
Cosmo
 
Oct 2005
Milton Keynes UK

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Hi

Just an update to my last post - my PSU is a 400W (not 300 as mentioned earlier)

I am currently running the PC with the covers removed to see if this makes any difference.

No doubt I will post more soon......................

Regards

Cosmo
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Old 2005-10-13, 02:06   #8
Kosmaj
 
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Nov 2003

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400W PSU should be ok.

Try the following
(1) Test your RAM using Windows Memory Diagnostic tool. I had a case when all Memtest86 tests passed successfully but WMD found RAM faults! In "Options" select "Extended tests".

(2) Try running a hard disk diagnostic program on your boot disk, maybe there are faulty sectors containing system software. Many such tools are available on Ultimate Boot CD (WMD used to be included too but now it seems it's not).

Also, on next automatic reboot write down the blue screen message, at least its top line, this is cryptic but can be useful.

BTW, 61 C is too high, I assume this is on idle cpu since you say it reboots when you start games etc (?) If there are no reboots with removed cover then cpu temp can be the problem.

Last fiddled with by Kosmaj on 2005-10-13 at 02:20
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Old 2005-10-13, 03:28   #9
moo
 
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Jul 2004
Nowhere

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Did you apply a proper even and spareing ammount of thermal greese and can we get a picture of the computers insides.
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Old 2005-10-13, 09:25   #10
Cruelty
 
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May 2005

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Could you post some more system specs?
I am especially wondering about the following:
Clock: CPU 2075 - is this an Athlon XP 2800+ (FSB=333 MHz, 2083 MHz core clock)
AGP 266.64 - I am lost here AGP default frequency is 66.66 MHz - where did you get 266 from?
Temperature @ 61C - this is pretty hot for idle Athlon XP - remove heatsink, apply new thermal grease and see if that helped (also check if the CPU core is not crushed at the edges).
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Old 2005-10-13, 13:10   #11
Cosmo
 
Oct 2005
Milton Keynes UK

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Hi Kosmaj,

Thanks for the links, I am downloading them as we speak..

Although the system re-boots I never get a BSOD - it just says my PC has recovered from a serious error (although It doesn't say this everytime). and when the report comes back from Microsoft it just says I have an undetermined device problem.

Currently the CPU temp is reading 56 with the covers off and in idle. After I have run the programs you suggest I will post the outcome. - it says to run the WMD extended tests overnight so It may be a day before I can get back to you - please bear with me. ( and the fact you are some hours behind/ahead of me here in the UK?).

Hi Moo,

When I re-boot the computer to run the test's as described by Kosmaj I will take some photo's of the inside of my PC and post them here. I can't say I applied any more thermal grease between the processor and heatsink as there already appeared to some there, however reading Cruelty's post I will clean off and re-apply some new.

Hi Cruelty,

I have an AMD Athlon 2800 with a FSB of 333 MHz - I'm not sure about the 2083 MHz core clock though. The specs I quoted (eg 266.64) was quoted from the SuperUtilities program that came with my motherboard - I will try and post some screen shots here of this info. (I have taken some (rather bad) screen shots with my webcam but they are in the Bitmap format and it doesn't appear they are valid file extensions according to the bottom of this page - I will try to upload them though - if this fails I will take some in Jpeg with my camera and post when I have run the tests).I will run the diag progs as soon as they are downloaded, apply new thermal grease and attempt to take some screen shots and photo's of inside the PC.

Kind Regards to everyone who is trying to help me sort this out.

PS - just tried to upload bitmap images which failed - will upload jpeg soon...
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