Asking on behalf of someone I know.

His current build -

Processor: Core i7-4770k
RAM: GSkill Sniper Series DDR3-1600 8 GB total RAM 4 x 2
SSD: Samsung 120GB 840 Pro
PSU: Corsair HX750
HDDs: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB

So here's what happens. Usually in the middle of something that sometimes stresses the processor and sometimes doesn't, his display will go blank and the computer will do a hard restart. No BSODs, nothing. He can be watching a Youtube video, or gaming or whatever, and the computer screen will simply go back and restart. He's not even playing a game that stresses his GPU, just Phantasy Star Online 2 at 720p windowed. Nothing big and hardly makes the 780 break a sweat.

Stuff he's already done to no avail:

  • Checked bluescreenview for dumps - nothing there.
  • RMA the GPU and PSU.
  • Run sfc /scannow to look for corrupt files
  • Downgrade drivers to older known working versions
  • Swap out DVI/DisplayPort cables
  • Ran temp monitoring software while gaming - temps come out looking normal for both the GPU and PSU
  • Clean reinstall drivers to older known working versions
  • Replace thermal paste with new on CPU
  • Ran memtest for 4 hours with no errors
  • Swapped out positions of memory to the other pair of memory banks
  • Plugged power strip into another wall socket
  • Plugged computer directly into wall socket
  • Updated his bios to the latest release

At this point he only has the CPU, mobo, and memory left to RMA if he needs to RMA, but a brief memtest indicates that it's not the memory at fault.

What else do you think he should do? We're at a loss. My friend was thinking of reinstalling Windows but I'm get a feeling this is a hardware problem that a clean install of Windows isn't going to fix.

The only peripherals he has connected to his machine is his PS3 controller, speakers, keyboard, mouse, and monitor. Nothing else.

What do you think? Should he RMA something or is there something obvious we're missing?


That's already a fairly extensive list. Ignoring the possibility that the RMA'd items have the same problem (extremely low probability), I can think of trying these things:

  • Try running with onboard graphics in case there is a PCIe port issue.
  • Run with minimal setup, only what's necessary. You could unplug everything except the SSD and perhaps keyboard. Faulty SATA drives, for example, can cause instability.
  • Run with only one RAM stick, then the other one. memtest has been tried, and while if it comes up with errors the RAM is bad, it may give you a false positive (still could perhaps be a RAM issue, however unlikely).
  • Try a Linux live CD to rule out some kind of driver issue (and to allow you to remove the SSD as well).
  • Try changing the PSU power cable (these occasionally can become faulty).
  • Try changing the motherboard battery and/or resetting the CMOS. A dead battery can cause weird stuff to happen.

Doing the above is to try and rule out a motherboard issue, which seems like the most likely fault if none of that helps.

  • After bashing our heads against the wall several times, we concluded it was bad RAM sticks. Got new RAM to replace the old faulty ones (old ones were GSkill Sniper DDR3-1866) with new Corsair Vengeance Low Profile DDR3-1600 RAM and now it works like a charm. – White Phoenix Sep 15 '15 at 7:37

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