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I have been attempting to diagnose random computer crashes for a few days, and have been unsuccessful so far. I had a desktop that I build a year and a half ago which I ran Linux on. I never had problems with it, and several times saw 30-90 days of uptime.

A few days ago I reformatted the hard drivee to install 64-bit Windows 7 Pro. At the same time I installed a new DVD R/W drive. After the first install of Windows, I also added a second used but working 1TB Seagate drive (identical to the boot drive). I don't know for certain if the problems started right then, or if they began somewhat later. All I know is that before I had the system entirely up and running it began crashing randomly. The screen goes black and a couple seconds later the computer restarts. It is also throwing POST codes that I have been unable to decipher. It has AMI BIOS, and the codes sound like a long beep, pause two beeps, pause one beep followed quickly by two more. I had real trouble counting the later beeps. I am not sure if this is two/three memory errors on top of each other or what. I don't even know if they are related to the crashes.

Things I have tried:

  • Windows disk check
  • Windows memory check
  • stress test the CPU with Prime95 for several minutes.
  • stress test the GPU with Unigine valley benchmark
  • remove the new hard drive
  • remove 2 of the 4 sticks of RAM at once, testing each pair
  • reinstalling the video driver

I don't have integrated graphics, so I can't try removing the graphics card. All the tests pass. The crashes appear to be independent of load/time powered up. I've had it go all night without a problem only to crash minutes after a restart. I also just turned off the automatic restart to see if any warnings are actually printed.

If there are any more specs/tests you need please let me know, but I am currently at a loss as to what to try next that could help me sort out what is wrong.

More specs:

  • Core i5 - 2500 @ 3.3 GHz
  • NVIDIA GTX 560 Ti
  • 4 x 2GB RAM
  • 2 x 1TB Seagate 7200
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Do try Memtest for a number of passes, it sounds like a memory error that occurs randomly, a few passes may show it up. Also test your power supply if possible. Testers are readily available nowadays for 20 bucks or so. Repeatedly test that too.. Test both as long as it takes to be comparable to how often the random crashes occur, then some. The power supply tester, continually restart your power supply to mimic the on-run-off cycle of your computer, letting your power supply run at varied lengths of time. Just trying to get it tested under simulated working conditions. –  Jack Dec 10 '13 at 3:54
    
What is the rated wattage of your power supply? –  Jack Dec 10 '13 at 3:56
    
My PSU is rated at 730W. I will run memtest a few more times. I hope its RAM, since that is the cheapest/simplest fix. –  Godric Seer Dec 10 '13 at 4:01
    
Within minutes MemTest from HCI Design started finding errors. I'm at about 12% coverage and about 600 errors total. Looks like I will be buying new RAM. –  Godric Seer Dec 10 '13 at 4:09

1 Answer 1

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Do try Memtest for a number of passes, it sounds like a memory error that occurs randomly, a few passes may show it up. Also test your power supply if possible. Testers are readily available nowadays for 20 bucks or so. Repeatedly test that too.. Test both as long as it takes to be comparable to how often the random crashes occur, then some. The power supply tester, continually restart your power supply to mimic the on-run-off cycle of your computer, letting your power supply run at varied lengths of time. Just trying to get it tested under simulated working conditions.

share|improve this answer
    
thank you very much. I never would have thought that the windows memory test wouldn't catch errors. –  Godric Seer Dec 10 '13 at 4:14

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