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Well today I helped my friend build a computer. All went pretty well until we got to installing Windows 7. Thing is, we thought, it was crashing constantly. I adjusted pretty much every setting in the BIOS and removed as much hardware as possible to try and prevent a crash. No dice.

So far I've tried running an Ubuntu live cd without the hard drive installed. Nope, crashed on boot. And then I just tried Microsoft's ram utility disk and it eventually locked up on that (the ram passed though).

So it seems to me like it's either the CPU (AMD PhenomII x3) or the motherboard that could be bad, but I don't know how to test them individually for problems. I thought it could be a overheating issue, but the BIOS reports that the CPU temp is fine idling around 34C. Any advice or diagnostic disk that could help me out?

TL;DR: Computer locks up frequently during use (cannot even boot/install an operating system), memory is fine, probably CPU or Mobo, BIOS says CPU temps are fine. What should I try?

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One of the best bootable diagnostic tools you'll find is the UBCD.

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Alright, I'll give that a shot. Thanks. – Carl Menke Oct 23 '10 at 1:31
Will this still be compatible? Looks kind of old. – Carl Menke Oct 23 '10 at 1:43
Latest version was released Aug 25 2010, some tools are a bit older, but they should be compatible with the bulk of systems. – MaQleod Oct 23 '10 at 2:04

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