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Computer crashes/restarts, random method each time

WraithDrof

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Apr 19, 2013
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I am pretty disappointed that I haven't solved this problem because I feel like I've come up with a lot of good ideas by myself.

The story is about two weeks ago I got a new motherboard, RAM, CPU and case. Shortly after I realized I made a mistake because my power supply wouldn't give enough power to the now higher-end components. I'd get on average 1 crash a night, and it would always freeze the display, give a small burst of sound and I could turn it on again happily.

A little more than 48 hours ago I installed a new power supply, the _modular_ High Current Gamer at 620 watts. It was the first time I've installed a power supply by myself (I had a friend help me with the m/b and cpu and watched him hook the psu into it) and up until now its been working perfectly; I've recently gotten stuck into Bioshock Infinite and not a single problem.

However earlier today I was watching youtube videos when I noticed the display kept freezing. I immediately googled it and they suggested the graphics card was acting up and I restarted my computer. This was also about 3 hours after my first crash with Bioshock (this only crashed the program). But after that was my slow descent into a rabbit hole of crashes.

Since then, with growing frequency, my computer crashes; at this point it crashes about every 15 minutes. But it crashes in a different way each time. The most frequent type of crash is where the screen goes black, the computer turns off and immediately starts turning on again. Apart from it suggested I start in Safe Mode, windows 7 doesn't give an error message recognizing it just crashed.

But sometimes I get a crash similar to the one I had before, sometimes I get a BSoD with the message "IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL", and sometimes the computer doesn't start up automatically after it crashes.

I have tried:
+ Reseating the ram
+ Reseating the power cables connecting the gpu
+ Securing (without removing) the power cables connecting to the cpu and motherboard
+ Securing (without removing) the PCI-E cables connecting to the modular power supply
+ Reinstalling video card drivers
+ System restoring to before I installed a DirectX for bioshock infinite (interestingly enough this stopped the crashes for about an hour, although I did re-install DirectX immediately. However the point where I first installed DirectX was a little under 24 hours before the crashes started so I doubt this is the problem)
+ Monitoring temperature using CoreTemp (scores around 45, max 46; the tj Max is 70)
+ Moving cables that were somewhat in the way of the PSU fan

I am almost positive that I haven't installed any software in the last 24 hours before the crashes started, but I did plug in an external hard drive and cancelled the driver that used.

So as you can see, I'm sort of ramming my head into the wall. I'm guessing that since the crashes are somewhat random, it would make sense that it would have to do with faulty RAM. But the RAM is dual channel, so I assume I'd need to replace both if I replaced either.

It would be very much appreciated if someone could help me out here.
- Dylan

EDIT: The RAM is secondhand with 6 months use, I bought it from a stranger on gumtree, so its very possible its the RAM's fault, I just want to single it out before I shell out another $70 or whatever on RAM because I'm not sure I'll get a refund. I'm going to sleep as I'm very tired, I'll be on in 9-10 hours hopefully.
 

WraithDrof

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Apr 19, 2013
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Yes I did a fresh install of windows, and I manually downloaded/installed all my programs afterwards.

To keep you guys posted, I just tried to boot up my computer and after crashing once already, the 'Starting Windows' animation froze after a few pixels began racing across the screen and then went to a completely blue screen (not a BSoD). Now it won't start up; the light will turn on briefly and then off again. It sounds very much like a power issue, but I'll keep working on it.

EDIT: Now nothing happens when I press the power button when only the power cable and display cable is connected.
 

WraithDrof

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Apr 19, 2013
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I just replaced my new power supply with my old one and its starting up fine... so I guess its busted. I still want to do the memory test and run the comp with the old power supply for a little bit to make sure the crashes are not an unfortunately timed independent problem.

Can anyone tell me why it would break down so quickly and suddenly at day 2?

EDIT: Scratch that. Because I am ever an optimist, I put the new power supply back in and now it works again. I'm running some tests to see if the crashes have stopped (it wouldn't wake up from sleep but I remember that happening with the old power supply and I think that's actually a software issue based on when I last tried to fix it) but my guess is that I hooked the power supply up wrong the first time, like a cable was loose or something.
 

WraithDrof

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Apr 19, 2013
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After about an hour and a half's use, the screen froze, a very loud burst of staticky sound came from the headphones for a few seconds and then the computer rebooted. So I'm going to go test my RAM with memtest.
 

WraithDrof

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Apr 19, 2013
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Alright well I'll post another status before I sleep once more. I tried using only one RAM stick and that worked for about two hours and then crashed. I then tried the other RAM stick and its been running consistently for 3 hours.

But it doesn't seem right. It doesn't make any sense why the RAM would suddenly fail like this; if the first RAM card was really failing, wouldn't it take less time to crash again, not more? Why would the RAM suddenly fail after two weeks of no issues? Why would the RAM have anything to do with the computer not turning on?

If I had to take a guess at this point, it was cords making contact with the motherboard. Now I don't know if this will necessarily cause a problem, but one of the issues I was looking into when the computer wouldn't turn on is the possibility the motherboard is short circuiting. Since then, I've taken care to move all cords off of the motherboard, and I feel like its gotten more successful each time I open the case up.

The cables from the new power supply seem like nylon, so it could very well be slightly conductive; but this surprises me quite a bit considering that High Current Gamer a very contemporary power supply brand which I assumed would conform to 100% plastic wire coverings.

Can someone confirm whether this seems like a plausible culprit?

EDIT: I went through 2 passes with both RAM sticks in and no errors. Right now I've got both in again but I'll leave it on overnight (for at least a while) and aim for about 7, which is what was recommended off this: http://www.techspot.com/community/topics/tutorial-how-to-use-memtest.62524/
 

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