Jul 8, 2010
Ok so my 2nd build of about 6 months SUDDENLY started crapping out on me.
first some of my work programs started unexpectedly shutting down, then a bsod
or two at most then nothing.

I tried to analyze one of the dumps but didnt get too far. I do remember seeing something like, " there are hardware defects" oer something like that...

Ive spent like a good hr TRYING TO install win xp or 7(upgrade disk) and nothing. All installs were supposedly corrupt.

Took out ssd, put it in my first build, formatted the ssd, back in this one and
JUST now xp is finishing up installation.

Is there a way to DIRECTLY find out what piece of hardware is faulty?

my build is

Asus crosshair formula iv
16 gigs ddr 3 ram ( 4 sticks)
h50, cooling
corsair 750 psu
evga gtx 470
evga gt ...forget the model bit a small one about 80 bucks worth
90g ssd boot drive
1tb hdd
650g hdd
externak 1.5 tb

And a whole BUNCH of big fans all around

Not sure if monitors and peripherals also count as items that can cause problems but
i have a

23 sammy led
23 gateway forget model
and a 20 gateway.

G15 keyboard and g700 mouse

If I have to somehow determine manually whats going wrong itll take forever
ESPECIALLY since it happened fast and I cant recreate the bsod

So any good way to identify the culprit??? I dont want to start buying parts either
since im now broke lol

Any help is greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance
I have expanded the breadboarding ideas in the "Cannot boot" thread.

The following is an expansion of my troubleshooting tips in the breadboarding link in the "Cannot boot" thread.

I have tested the following beep patterns on Gigabyte, eVGA, and ECS motherboards. Other BIOS' may be different, but they all use a single short beep for a successful POST.

Breadboard - that will help isolate any kind of case problem you might have.

Breadboard with just motherboard, CPU & HSF, case speaker, and PSU.

Make sure you plug the CPU power cable in. The system will not boot without it.

I always breadboard a new build. It takes only a few minutes, and you know you are putting good parts in the case once you are finished.

You can turn on the PC by momentarily shorting the two pins that the case power switch goes to. You should hear a series of long, single beeps indicating memory problems. Silence indicates a problem with (in most likely order) the PSU, motherboard, or CPU. Remember, at this time, you do not have a graphics card installed so the load on your PSU will be reduced.

If no beeps:
Running fans and drives and motherboard LED's do not necessarily indicate a good PSU. In the absence of a single short beep, they also do not indicate that the system is booting.

At this point, you can sort of check the PSU. Try to borrow a known good PSU of around 550 - 600 watts. That will power just about any system with a single GPU. If you cannot do that, use a DMM to measure the voltages. Measure between the colored wires and either chassis ground or the black wires. Yellow wires should be 12 volts. Red wires: +5 volts, orange wires: +3.3 volts, blue wire : -12 volts, violet wire: 5 volts always on. Tolerances are +/- 5% except for the -12 volts which is +/- 10%.

The gray wire is really important. It should go from 0 to +5 volts when you turn the PSU on with the case switch. CPU needs this signal to boot.

You can turn on the PSU by completely disconnecting the PSU and using a paperclip or jumper wire to short the green wire to one of the neighboring black wires.

A way that might be easier is to use the main power plug. Working from the back of the plug where the wires come out, use a bare paperclip to short between the green wire and one of the neighboring black wires. That will do the same thing with an installed PSU. It is also an easy way to bypass a questionable case power switch.

This checks the PSU under no load conditions, so it is not completely reliable. But if it can not pass this, it is dead. Then repeat the checks with the PSU plugged into the computer to put a load on the PSU.

If the system beeps:
If it looks like the PSU is good, install a memory stick. Boot. Beep pattern should change to one long and several short beeps indicating a missing graphics card.

Silence, long single beeps, or series of short beeps indicate a problem with the memory. If you get short beeps verify that the memory is in the appropriate motherboard slots.

Insert the video card and connect any necessary PCIe power connectors. Boot. At this point, the system should POST successfully (a single short beep). Notice that you do not need keyboard, mouse, monitor, or drives to successfully POST.
At this point, if the system doesn't work, it's either the video card or an inadequate PSU. Or rarely - the motherboard's PCIe interface.

Now start connecting the rest of the devices starting with the monitor, then keyboard and mouse, then the rest of the devices, testing after each step. It's possible that you can pass the POST with a defective video card. The POST routines can only check the video interface. It cannot check the internal parts of the video card.

Having said that, BSOD's can be much harder to troubleshoot than dead hardware. However, bad memory frequently causes BSOD's.


Jul 8, 2010
hey fellas. ok so long story short, it was the ram. i coulddnt run any tests because i twas SUPER sudden. one minute minor freeze/bsod next nothing worked....i automatically thouht it was the ssd for it to just die like that.

i tried installing multiple OSs and they wouldnt i said F this, since i run ALL my stuff from other HDDS (listed above) and just main progs only on SSD, it was nothing....or so i thought lol....nothing would even install....somehow it hit me, let me test ram, i did and BOOM! there it went!.

i have Kingston HYPERX genesis 2 x4g sticks. 2 of em went bad at the same time? does that happen lol. i went through my process of elimination and found the 2 that are bad. theyre all the same genesis sticks.

so i took the two that are bad, and left the other 2 in. filling out the RMA now...

log day and 1hr of sleep lol.

thanks fellas.