Question Possible Failing OS Drive

Oct 4, 2020
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So recently I have been experiencing freezes while gaming, despite some titles not experiencing the same issues (Division 2, R6S, Rouge Company, and FGO). Usually my crashes/freezes will occure anywhere between 60-70C and I only started running an XMP profile two days ago because my ram was only running at 2133mhz,I was only able to boost my ram to 2666 mhz.
Also, the freezing does not respond to shortcuts like alt+ F4 or ctrl+alt+del. I have to hard reset whenever it occurs. I have lost progress multiple times even ruining a completed run through of Bullets per minute (I finally beat the final boss when it happened)...

There are some days where it won't happen at all and other days it'll happen everytime I run a title for more than 10 minutes. Just today my pc ran a disk check on my boot drive on startup.

My question is should I replace my Boot Drive?

My specs:
I7 9700k Intel processor
Phanteks PH-DC12DX
ASUS Z390-PRO motherboard
2x ViperSteel 16GB 4133mhz
2x Ironside 16GB 2666mhz
(Patriot apparantly as advertised by Ironside computers website)
NVIDIA RTX 2070 SUPER
ASUS ROG STRIX 850W PSU
2x 2TB SSHD Firecudas (Seagate)
1x 120gb SSD Patriot Burst (This is my boot drive)
1x 1TB Viper NVME Drive (model VPR100)

Note: I have the other sticks of ram only for editorial purposes I will be getting another set of Viper Steel to match the set I have currently. I know I am bottle necking my fast ram with the slow ram.
 
So recently I have been experiencing freezes while gaming, despite some titles not experiencing the same issues (Division 2, R6S, Rouge Company, and FGO). Usually my crashes/freezes will occure anywhere between 60-70C and I only started running an XMP profile two days ago because my ram was only running at 2133mhz,I was only able to boost my ram to 2666 mhz.
Also, the freezing does not respond to shortcuts like alt+ F4 or ctrl+alt+del. I have to hard reset whenever it occurs. I have lost progress multiple times even ruining a completed run through of Bullets per minute (I finally beat the final boss when it happened)...

There are some days where it won't happen at all and other days it'll happen everytime I run a title for more than 10 minutes. Just today my pc ran a disk check on my boot drive on startup.

My question is should I replace my Boot Drive?

My specs:
I7 9700k Intel processor
Phanteks PH-DC12DX
ASUS Z390-PRO motherboard
2x ViperSteel 16GB 4133mhz
2x Ironside 16GB 2666mhz
(Patriot apparantly as advertised by Ironside computers website)
NVIDIA RTX 2070 SUPER
ASUS ROG STRIX 850W PSU
2x 2TB SSHD Firecudas (Seagate)
1x 120gb SSD Patriot Burst (This is my boot drive)
1x 1TB Viper NVME Drive (model VPR100)

Note: I have the other sticks of ram only for editorial purposes I will be getting another set of Viper Steel to match the set I have currently. I know I am bottle necking my fast ram with the slow ram.
Considering your RAM mix, that's most likely problem but it wouldn't hurt to check disks too.
https://www.hdsentinel.com/download.php
 

Darkbreeze

Retired Mod
Actually, you problems are MOST likely from running a mixed memory configuration. It would not be advisable to add another set of DIMMs, even if they are exactly the same model number. ESPECIALLY at that very high frequency, it is unlikely (But certainly possible) that an unmatched second set of DIMMs is going to play nice with your existing set of 4133mhz sticks, at that speed.

First thing I'd try is removing the Ironside sticks, and making sure the two Vipersteel DIMMs are installed in the second and fourth DIMM slots over from the CPU which will be the A2 and B2 slots.

Power off, change the memory population as explained, then boot up and see if you still have any issues.

Probably not a bad idea to download Seatools for Windows and run the Short DST (Drive self test) and Long generic (Extended) tests on those SSHD drives just to be sure they are ok, and also one of the SSD testing utilities to test that as well.

Then, if you still have problems, run Memtest86 to test your memory configuration. It's possible one of those DIMMs is faulty. I'd be willing to bet if you test all four DIMMs at the same time as you have them now, you'll see a slew of errors in Memtest, and with either memory kit individually, you probably won't.

Memtest86


Go to the Passmark software website and download the USB Memtest86 free version. You can do the optical disk version too if for some reason you cannot use a bootable USB flash drive.


Create bootable media using the downloaded Memtest86. Once you have done that, go into your BIOS and configure the system to boot to the USB drive that contains the Memtest86 USB media or the optical drive if using that option.


You CAN use Memtest86+, as they've recently updated the program after MANY years of no updates, but for the purpose of this guide I recommend using the Passmark version as this is a tried and true utility while I've not had the opportunity to investigate the reliability of the latest 86+ release as compared to Memtest86. Possibly, consider using Memtest86+ as simply a secondary test to Memtest86, much as Windows memory diagnostic utility and Prime95 Blend or custom modes can be used for a second opinion utility.


Create a bootable USB Flash drive:

1. Download the Windows MemTest86 USB image.

2. Right click on the downloaded file and select the "Extract to Here" option. This places the USB image and imaging tool into the current folder.

3. Run the included imageUSB tool, it should already have the image file selected and you just need to choose which connected USB drive to turn into a bootable drive. Note that this will erase all data on the drive.



No memory should ever fail to pass Memtest86 when it is at the default configuration that the system sets it at when you start out or do a clear CMOS by removing the CMOS battery for five minutes.

Best method for testing memory is to first run four passes of Memtest86, all 11 tests, WITH the memory at the default configuration. This should be done BEFORE setting the memory to the XMP profile settings. The paid version has 13 tests but the free version only has tests 1-10 and test 13. So run full passes of all 11 tests. Be sure to download the latest version of Memtest86. Memtest86+ has not been updated in MANY years. It is NO-WISE as good as regular Memtest86 from Passmark software.

If there are ANY errors, at all, then the memory configuration is not stable. Bumping the DRAM voltage up slightly may resolve that OR you may need to make adjustments to the primary timings. There are very few secondary or tertiary timings that should be altered. I can tell you about those if you are trying to tighten your memory timings.

If you cannot pass Memtest86 with the memory at the XMP configuration settings then I would recommend restoring the memory to the default JEDEC SPD of 1333/2133mhz (Depending on your platform and memory type) with everything left on the auto/default configuration and running Memtest86 over again. If it completes the four full passes without error you can try again with the XMP settings but first try bumping the DRAM voltage up once again by whatever small increment the motherboard will allow you to increase it by. If it passes, great, move on to the Prime95 testing.

If it still fails, try once again bumping the voltage if you are still within the maximum allowable voltage for your memory type and test again. If it still fails, you are likely going to need more advanced help with configuring your primary timings and should return the memory to the default configuration until you can sort it out.

If the memory will not pass Memtest86 for four passes when it IS at the stock default non-XMP configuration, even after a minor bump in voltage, then there is likely something physically wrong with one or more of the memory modules and I'd recommend running Memtest on each individual module, separately, to determine which module is causing the issue. If you find a single module that is faulty you should contact the seller or the memory manufacturer and have them replace the memory as a SET. Memory comes matched for a reason as I made clear earlier and if you let them replace only one module rather than the entire set you are back to using unmatched memory which is an open door for problems with incompatible memory.

Be aware that you SHOULD run Memtest86 to test the memory at the default, non-XMP, non-custom profile settings BEFORE ever making any changes to the memory configuration so that you will know if the problem is a setting or is a physical problem with the memory.
 
Reactions: Mandark
Oct 4, 2020
19
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Actually, you problems are MOST likely from running a mixed memory configuration. It would not be advisable to add another set of DIMMs, even if they are exactly the same model number. ESPECIALLY at that very high frequency, it is unlikely (But certainly possible) that an unmatched second set of DIMMs is going to play nice with your existing set of 4133mhz sticks, at that speed.

First thing I'd try is removing the Ironside sticks, and making sure the two Vipersteel DIMMs are installed in the second and fourth DIMM slots over from the CPU which will be the A2 and B2 slots.

Power off, change the memory population as explained, then boot up and see if you still have any issues.

Probably not a bad idea to download Seatools for Windows and run the Short DST (Drive self test) and Long generic (Extended) tests on those SSHD drives just to be sure they are ok, and also one of the SSD testing utilities to test that as well.

Then, if you still have problems, run Memtest86 to test your memory configuration. It's possible one of those DIMMs is faulty. I'd be willing to bet if you test all four DIMMs at the same time as you have them now, you'll see a slew of errors in Memtest, and with either memory kit individually, you probably won't.

Memtest86


Go to the Passmark software website and download the USB Memtest86 free version. You can do the optical disk version too if for some reason you cannot use a bootable USB flash drive.


Create bootable media using the downloaded Memtest86. Once you have done that, go into your BIOS and configure the system to boot to the USB drive that contains the Memtest86 USB media or the optical drive if using that option.


You CAN use Memtest86+, as they've recently updated the program after MANY years of no updates, but for the purpose of this guide I recommend using the Passmark version as this is a tried and true utility while I've not had the opportunity to investigate the reliability of the latest 86+ release as compared to Memtest86. Possibly, consider using Memtest86+ as simply a secondary test to Memtest86, much as Windows memory diagnostic utility and Prime95 Blend or custom modes can be used for a second opinion utility.


Create a bootable USB Flash drive:

1. Download the Windows MemTest86 USB image.

2. Right click on the downloaded file and select the "Extract to Here" option. This places the USB image and imaging tool into the current folder.

3. Run the included imageUSB tool, it should already have the image file selected and you just need to choose which connected USB drive to turn into a bootable drive. Note that this will erase all data on the drive.



No memory should ever fail to pass Memtest86 when it is at the default configuration that the system sets it at when you start out or do a clear CMOS by removing the CMOS battery for five minutes.

Best method for testing memory is to first run four passes of Memtest86, all 11 tests, WITH the memory at the default configuration. This should be done BEFORE setting the memory to the XMP profile settings. The paid version has 13 tests but the free version only has tests 1-10 and test 13. So run full passes of all 11 tests. Be sure to download the latest version of Memtest86. Memtest86+ has not been updated in MANY years. It is NO-WISE as good as regular Memtest86 from Passmark software.

If there are ANY errors, at all, then the memory configuration is not stable. Bumping the DRAM voltage up slightly may resolve that OR you may need to make adjustments to the primary timings. There are very few secondary or tertiary timings that should be altered. I can tell you about those if you are trying to tighten your memory timings.

If you cannot pass Memtest86 with the memory at the XMP configuration settings then I would recommend restoring the memory to the default JEDEC SPD of 1333/2133mhz (Depending on your platform and memory type) with everything left on the auto/default configuration and running Memtest86 over again. If it completes the four full passes without error you can try again with the XMP settings but first try bumping the DRAM voltage up once again by whatever small increment the motherboard will allow you to increase it by. If it passes, great, move on to the Prime95 testing.

If it still fails, try once again bumping the voltage if you are still within the maximum allowable voltage for your memory type and test again. If it still fails, you are likely going to need more advanced help with configuring your primary timings and should return the memory to the default configuration until you can sort it out.

If the memory will not pass Memtest86 for four passes when it IS at the stock default non-XMP configuration, even after a minor bump in voltage, then there is likely something physically wrong with one or more of the memory modules and I'd recommend running Memtest on each individual module, separately, to determine which module is causing the issue. If you find a single module that is faulty you should contact the seller or the memory manufacturer and have them replace the memory as a SET. Memory comes matched for a reason as I made clear earlier and if you let them replace only one module rather than the entire set you are back to using unmatched memory which is an open door for problems with incompatible memory.

Be aware that you SHOULD run Memtest86 to test the memory at the default, non-XMP, non-custom profile settings BEFORE ever making any changes to the memory configuration so that you will know if the problem is a setting or is a physical problem with the memory.
I will try this all out after i spend a few days with just my Viper Steel installed. I am pretty sure you were right that the ram sticks themselves were the issue and the way they were configured...

I used to have another set of some kind which ran at a similar or slower speed like the ironside sticks. It didnt occur before or at least as often to which I would remember it. I will keep you updated should it happen with just the viper steel installed.

Meanwhile could you explain what the benefits of installing the ram in a2 and b2 have over a1 and b1?? I am new to PC and while I explored the installation process for a pc as much as I could I haven't reached the portion where it explains the more technical parts like pcie lanes, dimm slots, etc...

Please and thank you!!
 
I will try this all out after i spend a few days with just my Viper Steel installed. I am pretty sure you were right that the ram sticks themselves were the issue and the way they were configured...

I used to have another set of some kind which ran at a similar or slower speed like the ironside sticks. It didnt occur before or at least as often to which I would remember it. I will keep you updated should it happen with just the viper steel installed.

Meanwhile could you explain what the benefits of installing the ram in a2 and b2 have over a1 and b1?? I am new to PC and while I explored the installation process for a pc as much as I could I haven't reached the portion where it explains the more technical parts like pcie lanes, dimm slots, etc...

Please and thank you!!
Check your MB's manual, most new MBs needs RAM be placed in proper slots and those are usually A2 and B2.
 

Darkbreeze

Retired Mod
ALL modern dual channel motherboards SPECIFICALLY assign the A2 and B2 (Sometimes CALLED the DDR4_1 and DDR4_2 or DDR3_1 and DDR3_2 slots on some motherboards, but ALWAYS the second and fourth slots over from the motherboard for any dual channel, 4 DIMM slot board made in the last 8-10 years) as the primary population guideline for four DIMM slot dual channel consumer motherboards. This is not just of clearance issues with coolers, it is due to specific architectural reasons related to the memory bus itself.

They are MEANT to be used in those slots, and NOT using those slots first generally either causes problems or causes something to not work the way it is supposed to such as an inability to get correct capacity to show, can't get XMP profile to work right, errors, not recognized, no dual channel, and so on. In some cases it might work fine, or seem to, mostly, but it is not the correct population. The other DIMM slots should only be used if the primary slots are already populated or in extreme cases it might be a last option if something is wrong with the other DIMM slots, but if that's the case then replacement of the board should be compulsory.

From the electrical engineering point of view, the DRAM dies provide adjustable bus termination and putting the only active DIMM for each channel on each channel's last slot puts them at the end of the bus where those bus terminations will be most effective at mitigating signal reflections, which should give you the likely best chance at trouble-free operation - the 5mm unterminated bus stub from an unpopulated DIMM slot before the bus termination is less disruptive than a 10-15mm stub at the end of the bus from the extra PCB trace distance and connector.

Support for multiple DIMMs per channel almost got scrapped from the DDR4 spec due to such signal integrity concerns.
 
Reactions: Nix0735
Oct 4, 2020
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ALL modern dual channel motherboards SPECIFICALLY assign the A2 and B2 (Sometimes CALLED the DDR4_1 and DDR4_2 or DDR3_1 and DDR3_2 slots on some motherboards, but ALWAYS the second and fourth slots over from the motherboard for any dual channel, 4 DIMM slot board made in the last 8-10 years) as the primary population guideline for four DIMM slot dual channel consumer motherboards. This is not just of clearance issues with coolers, it is due to specific architectural reasons related to the memory bus itself.

They are MEANT to be used in those slots, and NOT using those slots first generally either causes problems or causes something to not work the way it is supposed to such as an inability to get correct capacity to show, can't get XMP profile to work right, errors, not recognized, no dual channel, and so on. In some cases it might work fine, or seem to, mostly, but it is not the correct population. The other DIMM slots should only be used if the primary slots are already populated or in extreme cases it might be a last option if something is wrong with the other DIMM slots, but if that's the case then replacement of the board should be compulsory.
Ok, so I tested my Viper Steel in memtest86 and both sticks passed just fine. I will continue to test them each day for a week to see if anything changes however I am still confused if they aren't the problem.
So my RAM is fine (as far as I know), I am up to date on windows and drivers, my drives are fine according to HDS(hard disk sentinel), and my PSU can handle my system power requirements...
Also, I am pretty sure it isn't overheating (seeing as my temps barely pass 65C and component usage is around 50 across the board for Bullets Per Minute)...
What else do I need to check in order to stop my games from freezing/hard crashing my pc???
 
Ok, so I tested my Viper Steel in memtest86 and both sticks passed just fine. I will continue to test them each day for a week to see if anything changes however I am still confused if they aren't the problem.
So my RAM is fine (as far as I know), I am up to date on windows and drivers, my drives are fine according to HDS(hard disk sentinel), and my PSU can handle my system power requirements...
Also, I am pretty sure it isn't overheating (seeing as my temps barely pass 65C and component usage is around 50 across the board for Bullets Per Minute)...
What else do I need to check in order to stop my games from freezing/hard crashing my pc???
Have you looked through your Windows Power Options, is it set to High Performance?
 
Oct 4, 2020
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Have you looked through your Windows Power Options, is it set to High Performance?
I have had it set to every power plan, I even changed the min processor state to 5% and the max state to 95%...

would having my power plan set to balanced cause it? That is what I have it set to right now. I usually switch it to performance should I play intense games like Division 2 and R6
 
I have had it set to every power plan, I even changed the min processor state to 5% and the max state to 95%...

would having my power plan set to balanced cause it? That is what I have it set to right now. I usually switch it to performance should I play intense games like Division 2 and R6
I can't say if having your power plan set to balanced would cause any problems but the Power Options are only useful for saving battery power in a laptop. In a PC they should always be set to High Performance.
 
Reactions: Nix0735
Oct 4, 2020
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I can't say if having your power plan set to balanced would cause any problems but the Power Options are only useful for saving battery power in a laptop. In a PC they should always be set to High Performance.
Ok, I figured. I just set it to high performance... Also, question. There is a setting in the power plan next to the max and min processor state settings named: Processor performance core parking min cores. Should that be left at 100% or should it be lowered to 95% or something??
Because after that I literally have no other idea what else could be crashing my pc when gaming...
 
Ok, I figured. I just set it to high performance... Also, question. There is a setting in the power plan next to the max and min processor state settings named: Processor performance core parking min cores. Should that be left at 100% or should it be lowered to 95% or something??
Because after that I literally have no other idea what else could be crashing my pc when gaming...
Although i am not too familiar with this feature, as far as i am aware both Intel and Ryzen now have core parking built into their processors. In any case this is also for saving power so in an 8 core desktop processor it has limited value.
 
Oct 4, 2020
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Although i am not too familiar with this feature, as far as i am aware both Intel and Ryzen now have core parking built into their processors. In any case this is also for saving power so in an 8 core desktop processor it has limited value.
ok cool.
I really appreciate you all helping me out!
Do you have any other ideas or suggestions for me? Even if they dont seem as likely??
 
Oct 4, 2020
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Just leave it as System Managed, and leave it on the C drive.
Given 16GB or more of physical RAM, it would be rarely used.
alright cool besides all of this. I will update you all should it crash again...

Hopefully everything works out... I really wanna finish a run of Bulltes Per Minute
 
Oct 4, 2020
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Yeah, I keep the last like 20 GB empty just for that. I may upgrade my boot drive to a 240 gb one or something later on when this one burns itself out...
 

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