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CylonRed
Premium,MVM
join:2000-07-06
Bloom County

PC Ram testing software...

I want to test my system ram to see if it is the cause of my PC shutting down in a couple of games. No warning, no BSOD, just playing and then shutdown. Time to shutdown varies and this is with newest and older video card drivers. No overheating of GPU or CPU. Turning down the video settings seems to help in general.

Went to get the newest MemTest 86+ and I can't get it to boot from the DVD. Black screen with blinking cursor. Downloaded and USB boot install and get the same thing (yes - removable drive is set to the first boot device).

System also runs Seti@Home 24x7 without issues.

Other software I have used to test the system - OCCT to test video ram, CPU, PSU without missing a beat.

Not sure what else to do or ram testing software to try. Others have had issues with the USB drive and getting a PC to boot to memtest on the USB drive. Going to try a different USB drive and see if that helps.
--
Brian

"It drops into your stomach like a Abrams's tank.... driven by Rosanne Barr..." A. Bourdain



CylonRed
Premium,MVM
join:2000-07-06
Bloom County

Got memtest running on another USB drive...

Any other ram testing software people think is better than Memtest86? Just in case it comes back clean
--
Brian

"It drops into your stomach like a Abrams's tank.... driven by Rosanne Barr..." A. Bourdain


MrFixit1

join:1999-11-26
Madison, WI

Memtest is kind of the "gold" standard of memory testing software .
Just make sure to run it for at least 12 if not 24 hours .

You may want to take the side off and take a close look at the capacitors around the cpu . Look for any signs of bulging , or any discoloration of the tops . I know the bad cap issue is supposed to be a thing of the past , but am stilling seeing it on boards only a few years old .



norwegian
Premium
join:2005-02-15
Outback
reply to CylonRed

Windows Memory Diagnostic

»technet.microsoft.com/en-au/maga···ght.aspx

Not sure why the download link is dead - but the utility mtinst.exe can be found all over the internet.
I can upload it somewhere if you want - as we cannot upload .exe files here.

--
The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing - Edmund Burke



norwegian
Premium
join:2005-02-15
Outback

1 edit
reply to CylonRed

Also MajorGeeks can help with a few tools.

»www.majorgeeks.com/downloads26.html

Or if you want to spend money:

»www.rst.com/rst-usb.shtml



CylonRed
Premium,MVM
join:2000-07-06
Bloom County
reply to MrFixit1

Good to see that Memtest is still highly regarded - 17 hours and 16 passes - not a hiccup in the system ram dept.
--
Brian

"It drops into your stomach like a Abrams's tank.... driven by Rosanne Barr..." A. Bourdain



norwegian
Premium
join:2005-02-15
Outback


I look at it that way too - however the Microsoft tool picked up errors that came to my attention via a bug report while beta testing. The developer pointed me to it after Microsoft tech returned the report on the crashes I logged in tests as bad modules.

It would have to be worth a look at if you trust other sources of the .exe - just to cross reference against the memtest results.
--
The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing - Edmund Burke



CylonRed
Premium,MVM
join:2000-07-06
Bloom County

Running video ram now while I am at work. Wonder if my DVD reader/writer is going bad since I can't seem to boot to it anymore. That may prevent me in the short term to testing with the other program.
--
Brian

"It drops into your stomach like a Abrams's tank.... driven by Rosanne Barr..." A. Bourdain


MrFixit1

join:1999-11-26
Madison, WI

Fairly good site on memory testing , actually good site on testing for all kinds of issues .
»www.carrona.org/memdiag.html
Did you see any signs of bad caps ? May want to look at the video card also .
May want to consider running a test program like FurMark against the video card . Just be careful to keep an eye on voltages and temps when you do .
System logs give any hints at all ?
If you ran Memtest86+ overnight with no errors , I have a feeling that the issue is not system ram .
Trying to determine whether an error like this is hardware or software caused can be a real pain


HappyFrappy

join:2000-10-04
North
reply to CylonRed

I'd say a video card is a possible failure point. I had a AGP Radeon 9500 fail this way, monitor would either power down to standby mode with computer still running or total shutdown.

As far as DVD-Drive, if it has been frequently used 2-3yrs straight it'll be overdue for replacement----they don't make 'em like they used to do



norwegian
Premium
join:2005-02-15
Outback
reply to CylonRed

said by CylonRed:

Running video ram now while I am at work.

I posted these tools in another topic - the Russian Video ram test tool at the bottom of the link would be worth running if you want to check the video ram - it covers a lot relative to the graphics ram.

»Re: Not enough voltage or bad drivers?
--
The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing - Edmund Burke



CylonRed
Premium,MVM
join:2000-07-06
Bloom County

I believe that is the one I am running - not many video ram testers out there...



CylonRed
Premium,MVM
join:2000-07-06
Bloom County
reply to HappyFrappy

said by HappyFrappy:

I'd say a video card is a possible failure point. I had a AGP Radeon 9500 fail this way, monitor would either power down to standby mode with computer still running or total shutdown.

As far as DVD-Drive, if it has been frequently used 2-3yrs straight it'll be overdue for replacement----they don't make 'em like they used to do

Video card is not that old (less than a year) so I will be pissed if that is the issue.

I have never had a DVD player/recorder last less than 5 years. This one of probably close to 6 years old (only IDE device in my PC) and I could boot to it less than 2 months ago... Hopefully it is not bad - I need to test more with a few more disks.
--
Brian

"It drops into your stomach like a Abrams's tank.... driven by Rosanne Barr..." A. Bourdain

HappyFrappy

join:2000-10-04
North
reply to CylonRed

Video cards can fail at any point new or old. The most recent graphics card that failed on me was a EVGA GeForce 8400GS after 8 months(mid 2008 to spring 2009), it scared me away from using "low-profile" cards in dual-monitor setups.

IDE drives are often picky of cheaper media, AZO dye discs are usually the safest on such older drives(ex: ancient 12" PowerBook G4 slot-loader). Maybe I burn too many CDR/DVDR media, on average I wear out two drives in that time frame(Internal PC and a Firewire enclosure).



Gordo74
Premium
join:2003-10-28
Monroeville, PA
reply to CylonRed

I would put money on it being the power supply.



MacGyver
Don't Waste Your Energy
Premium,ExMod 2003-05
join:2001-10-14
Canada
kudos:2

Check for bad caps on the motherboard, video card, and in the power supply.



CylonRed
Premium,MVM
join:2000-07-06
Bloom County

1 edit
reply to CylonRed

34 passes in 12 hours - no errors with video ram.

No bad caps on the motherboard. Video card would have to be taken apart to even SEE the caps (nVidia 670) and I need more time to check for caps on the PSU. .


n_w95482
Premium
join:2005-08-03
Ukiah, CA
reply to Gordo74

I'm thinking this as well.

OP: What power supply are you using?
--
KI6RIT



CylonRed
Premium,MVM
join:2000-07-06
Bloom County

I believe it is my ThermalTake Toughpower - 650 watt (modular).


MrFixit1

join:1999-11-26
Madison, WI
reply to CylonRed

Time to get serious
1 What OS ?
2 What motherboard ?
3 Details on CPU and memory
4 Details on add on cards including video
5 Is anything overclocked ?
6 Any non-default settings in bios ?
7 Is the problem repeatable on demand ?
8 Is it a " hard " shut down including all fans ?
9 Any problems restarting when this happens ?
10 Does this happen only in games , or will a video test program like FurMark cause it to happen ?
11 Have you done any " tweaking " of keyboard or mouse settings ?
12 Access to any spare parts for testing ?
13 What games cause the issue ?

If it is a " hard " shutdown , the question is if the power supply is initiating the shutdown , or is the motherboard telling it to .
You would think that if the power supply is doing the shutdown , a high load test situation would also trigger it .
So far it sounds like this only happens in certain games ?



norwegian
Premium
join:2005-02-15
Outback
reply to CylonRed

said by CylonRed:

I want to test my system ram to see if it is the cause of my PC shutting down in a couple of games. No warning, no BSOD, just playing and then shutdown.

said by MrFixit1:

Time to get serious
.......
10 Does this happen only in games , or will a video test program like FurMark cause it to happen ?
13 What games cause the issue ?
.......

I know this is a hardware forum and the issue could be hardware, but these points suggest at least trying to repeat the shut down with a clean boot to cancel out a software conflict:
»support.microsoft.com/kb/331796

If nothing else works, it is worth adding to the list for testing yes or no to the problem diagnostics.
--
The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing - Edmund Burke



CylonRed
Premium,MVM
join:2000-07-06
Bloom County
reply to MrFixit1

1) XP Pro SP3
2) Asus M4A79XTD EVO AM3 motherboard
3) AMD Phenom 2 x4 945, 4 gigs of GSkill DD3 (1600) ram
4) EVGA GTX 670
5) Nothing OCd.
6) Not that I remember - a zillion settings with this Asus board. At least nothing more than turning off Asus logos and boot priority.
7) Yes...
8) Yes.
9) Nope.
10) So far only games though I am not sure I have run Furmark. I have run Seti#Home 24x7 on PC and video card since I got the vc. Always turn off Seti before playing.
11) Nope.
12) No.
13) Call of Duty - Modern Warfare 3, Black Ops, and Dead Space 2.

Decidedly not heat as well.CPU not getting above 52c (back room PC is in is quite chilly in the winter). Don't remember the temps on the GPU but it was low. I will have to see if I can find the log.
--
Brian

"It drops into your stomach like a Abrams's tank.... driven by Rosanne Barr..." A. Bourdain



norwegian
Premium
join:2005-02-15
Outback

1 edit

There's no logs what so ever mentioning this - other than the power cycle records in the event viewer?

Edit: grammer



CylonRed
Premium,MVM
join:2000-07-06
Bloom County

The first couple of times there was a note about the nvidia driver and that was with the newest driver. Since I went back to an older driver (earlier this year) - nothing. Just the logs for the services restarting.

I am running Furmark but I expect no issues. Was going to check it before I left for work but I forgot. I plan to check at lunch and see if it is still running.
--
Brian

"It drops into your stomach like a Abrams's tank.... driven by Rosanne Barr..." A. Bourdain



norwegian
Premium
join:2005-02-15
Outback

Maybe something like hardware acceleration for the graphics card is affecting your system?

But then it got me thinking, did you install the graphics update off Windows update recently?
See here in the security updates topic.
Can you check for KB2670838 in the update history too please?
--
The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing - Edmund Burke


MrFixit1

join:1999-11-26
Madison, WI
reply to CylonRed

Isn't windows screaming at you about improper shutdown ?
Would expect it to be very unhappy when it restarts .

Will say you have more courage than I do . Not too sure I would leave FurMark running without being there to monitor it
FurMark is designed to run the card up to max temp , and it does a very good job of it .

How loaded is your computer as far as programs installed ?
To put it another way , how much of a hassle would a reinstall of windows be ?
Be sure to try norwegian"s suggestion of a clean boot first though .

You would think that a software conflict would lead to video distortion or freezing instead of shutdown , but since the motherboard is what tells the power supply to shut down , I can see conflicts causing a hard shutdown .

Have you tried down-clocking the video card ?

What you mentioned about setting back video settings helping suggests that the power supply may think it is seeing a short or overload and that is causing it to shut down . The question being if it is a real or false sensing .

What is your normal power supply load when not gaming versus gaming ?

Do wish you had another video card and power supply to try , but what is is .



CylonRed
Premium,MVM
join:2000-07-06
Bloom County

1 edit

FurMark - 7 hours 16 minutes. 76C, 100.9% TDP, fan @ 51%, AA set to 2x 1280x1024 resolution, avg FPS - 43.

Still running when I left the house a 1:40 PM. It was still running when I got back home - that would be almost 12 hours of burn-in running.

Windows asks if I want to boot into Recovery Console or the Windows install - that is it.

Have not tried the clean boot (never had to do that) and a reinstall would be a pain but I will eventually need to do it. I would like to get Win7 in the near future.
--
Brian

"It drops into your stomach like a Abrams's tank.... driven by Rosanne Barr..." A. Bourdain



CylonRed
Premium,MVM
join:2000-07-06
Bloom County
reply to norwegian

Those updates all look to be Windows 7 updates...


MrFixit1

join:1999-11-26
Madison, WI
reply to CylonRed

Man almost out of ideas
Only hardware that has not been tested are the input devices .
Am thinking that since the failures occur while gaming , but do not seem to occur on computer controlled testing , there might be something wrong with the mouse or keyboard .
I realize that is a real reach though ,and not sure how to test for it . Maybe try using a different USB port ?

Since it happens in 3 different games , don't know if reinstalling the games would do any good .

When you rolled back the video drivers . how did you remove the old drivers ?

I suppose you could also try testing with prime 95 and 3dMark , but have a feeling they will not show anything .

If I had the computer in front of me , I would probably start by imaging the drive to another (external) drive ,then wiping and reinstalling windows . Fully patch windows , then install the video drivers . Install 1 of the games and test . If ok install game 2 etc.
If the problem reoccurs , try power supply first ,then try with only 1 stick of memory (unless more required by motherboard )
, then video card . If problem still persists , try another motherboard.
I realize that this is not practical to do unless you have spare components on hand , which is one of the few advantages to rolling your own

I have a feeling that this is going to be one of those WTF? I didn't know that could cause that moments .



CylonRed
Premium,MVM
join:2000-07-06
Bloom County

Use Driver Cleaner Pro to remove the drivers. My keyboard is ancient - literally. It is the keyboard from 1995 and my first PC - Zeos and of course it has an AT connector... Doing the clean reboot to see if it makes any difference..

I dunno - maybe the PSU is still in play.... Or there is a odd software issue but then I think I would upgrade to Win7.

Anyone know if I get the upgrade of Win 7 if I have to have a XP base install or can I do a clean install right from the Win 7 disk?
--
Brian

"It drops into your stomach like a Abrams's tank.... driven by Rosanne Barr..." A. Bourdain