I just recently (last week) built a new PC. Upon initial assembly, I had issues getting it to power up. When I turned on the power supply nothing seemed to happen. I tried disconnecting and reconnecting all the power cables from the power supply to the mobo and this seemed to fix the problem. After getting Windows set up and Skyrim installed (I built this computer so I'd finally have a gaming system) I set about to immerse myself in sweet RPG goodness but soon encountered a new problem. The machine keeps turning itself off. Sometimes I can run the game for hours without incident before it shuts off. Sometimes it takes only minutes, but it will always happen eventually.
My first thought was that this might be an overheating issue (Actually my first thought was that my graphics drivers were out of date, but they are not). I tried running the game with maximum settings and a temperature monitor in the background. I never saw any evidence of overheating (the highest temperature I could reach was 55C) and my crashes did not appear to correlate at all with GPU load or temperature. I did the same with a CPU temperature monitor. Nothing.
I have, however, noticed a few patterns:
I do not lose power while the system is idling. I have left it on all day without incident. The problem only seems to occur while running Skyrim. Though in fairness I've used the computer for little else, I've browsed the internet for hours on end and watched movies on DVD and Netflix without incident.
After a shut down I cannot just power back up. I have to power cycle the power supply and then the system starts up with no problem.
When I do lose power the power light on the mobo remains lit.
Here are my system specs: OS: Windows 7 Professional SP1 RAM: Patriot 1866Mhz 8Gb CPU: AMD FX-4100 3.6GHz Quad Core Mobo: Asus M5A97LER2.0 Graphics: MSI nVidia GTX-650ti Power Supply: Raidmax KY-600ATX 500W
My intuition is that this is an issue with my graphics cards or power supply, but I'd rather not start burning money I don't have replacing components if there are other things I should try first. If anyone could provide some guidance on what I should try next I would greatly appreciate it.
UPDATE: After walking away for a few hours I came back to find that the computer had apparently recovered from a BSOD in my absence. This is new! Here is the error message I received:
Problem signature: Problem Event Name: BlueScreen OS Version: 6.1.7601.2.1.0.256.48 Locale ID: 1033
Additional information about the problem: BCCode: 116 BCP1: FFFFFA8006AE6010 BCP2: FFFFF88011B63630 BCP3: FFFFFFFFC000009A BCP4: 0000000000000004 OS Version: 6_1_7601 Service Pack: 1_0 Product: 256_1
It also referenced two error log files which I cannot open because I get a "Permission Denied" error =/
@SmirksWhileWalkingWC: Thanks for the input and sympathy! I did not consult any compatibility lists before purchasing my hardware, though the specifications at face value indicate they should be compatible. I'm aware it's a bit of a gamble building from scratch though as I've encountered some sneaky compatibility issues with previous builds. I'll do some research on that and see if I've rolled the proverbial snake eyes with one of my choices.
I have a hard time believing it's an overheating problem for a couple reasons. First, when I've had that problem with other machines in the past, the affected part has been hot to the touch after a shutdown. In this case the CPU and GPU (I haven't checked the RAM) have been cold after many of the shutdowns. I also don't see any correlation between the time since the last crash and the next one. I've had it die within 15 minutes after a cold start and restart within 30 seconds of a crash after a couple hours of game play. I also don't need to give it any time to cooldown to restart, but no matter how long I wait, if I don't cycle the power it won't restart. I hadn't considered the RAM though, so that's an interesting thought. I can swap in some new RAM and see if it performs any differently.
UPDATE: I have now tried the following fixes with no success:
- Replaced the RAM - The motherboard user manual indicated a potential compatibility issue with the RAM I initially selected. I replaced it with RAM from the recommended memory list in the manual.
- Replaced the mobo - I had someone take a look at my system and they noticed that my memory frequency was being misread by the BIOS as 1333 instead of 1866. He suggested this may indicate a problem with the motherboard. After replacing both the motherboard and the memory, the memory frequency now registers as either 1333 or 1436 (it is seemingly random) rather than the correct 1866. Note that the mobo has misread the frequency on two different sets of RAM from different manufacturers. This has occurred with new and old mobo.
- Replaced the graphics card
- Replaced the PSU - Power supply voltages are correct in BIOS but I hooked up a different power supply anyway and replicated the same crash problem I've had.
- Flashed the BIOS. - The mobo manufacturer had a BIOS update from just a few days ago. After installing this, the memory frequency is still misread and the same crashing problem occurs. The new BIOS did however give me the option of setting the memory frequency to 1866 (this did not appear as an option in the old BIOS) but doing so caused my system to not boot at all.
This just leaves me with the CPU, which I'm replacing tonight. If this does not work I'm pretty much at a loss for what else I can do. Does anyone have a long shot idea for what could cause a consistent problem like this even after changing out every hardware component? Something I haven't considered?