Stability Problems


Sep 23, 2011
Hi all,

I have recently (~2 months ago) built myself a new i7 system. The specs on it are:

CPU: Intel i7 2600K
Mobo: ASRock Z68 Extreme 4
RAM: 4x4GB Corsair CMV4GX3M1A1333C9
SSD: Corsair Force Series 3 120GB
HDD: Hitachi Deskstar 7K3000 2TB 7200RPM
HDD: 3x Western Digital Green 2TB WD20EARX
PSU: Generic 550W
Case: CoolerMaster Storm Enforcer

Using integrated graphics (I mostly use it through remote desktop), stock cooling and settings - I haven't touched clock multiplier, timings, voltages etc.

The most CPU intensive things I do with it are compiling & unrarring, for the most part. No gaming or heavy computation etc - most of the time it is sitting at low CPU usage, and rarely, if ever, uses all 4 cores at 100%.

Anyway, I've been noticing some problems with it right from the start. Occasional failures unrarring things mostly, which I've read can indicate memory problems. I've ran memtest86 on it several times, most recently for 15 hours straight, and I'm yet to see an error. Prime95 is another story though. I've ran it a few times over the last couple of weeks, with varying results. Sometimes, all 8 threads fail pretty quickly (minutes), other times I've had a couple of threads run for a few hours without problems (others fail in this time though).

When under heavy load, the CPU temp goes up pretty quickly, to around 80 degrees. This seems too high to me, however I'm not convinced it is the cause of the problem, since it is under full load so rarely, and problems happen even when it isn't.

More recently, I've been getting blue screens ("Page fault in non-paged area"), and problems when booting. For example today, it was turned on, but sitting idle at the windows logon screen. I left it like this, came back an hour later, to find it had rebooted, and run into a problem booting:

"Windows failed to start. A recent hardware or software change....."

Status: 0xc000000e
Info: The boot selection failed because a required device is inaccessible

Does anyone have any suggestions as to what might be causing the problems?



Your CPU temp is too high.
It would indicate a poor HSF/CPU contact. I presume you used the stock HSF with its supplied thermal compound. I'm betting the HSF isn't contacting the CPU's heat spreader well. Sometimes those little push-pin fingers don't always open under the motherboard properly. And you may not notice it. When the system is cool, try reseating the HSF mounting without removing it from the CPU. Make sure the fingers pop open those grips below the board. It's always best to install the CPU/HSF and memory when the board is out of the case; sitting on some insulating material like the packing stuff and on a firm surface. Then you can inspect the HSF mounting results by looking under the board.