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Old 10-13-2007, 04:04 PM   #1
H_TeXMeX_H
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random crashes, no evidence in any system logs


I recently bought a new computer:
Intel Core 2 Quad 2.4 GHz (1066 MHz FSB)
1 GB DDR 2 RAM (800 MHz, Corsair)
nvidia GeForce 8800 GTS (640 MB VRAM, 320 bits, PCI-Express)
160 GB SATA II HDD (Seagate, 7200 rpm)
550 W Power Supply (by many calculations, this should be more than enough)

Now, the thing is it crashes randomly regardless of OS. For example it once crashed while trying to install Win XP Pro, while running Slackware 12.0, and just randomly. There is absolutely no evidence in any system log, and I've also tried reseting the BIOS settings to factory defaults in case something in there was causing it. Nothing has worked

I think it's probably a hardware issue. What is the recommended procedure for such cases ?

If more info is needed, just ask and I'll post whatever I can find.
 
Old 10-13-2007, 04:30 PM   #2
anomie
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Most common hardware problems I have run into, in order:
  1. PSU (no I'm not joking)
  2. Hard drive
  3. RAM

PSU may be the hardest to test unless you have (a similar class) one laying around.

For RAM testing use memtest+.

For Hard drive, you may give SMART a shot.

Good luck.

----------------------

addendum: In your case I'd actually start with the RAM testing.

Last edited by anomie; 10-13-2007 at 04:33 PM. Reason: added addendum.
 
Old 10-14-2007, 06:54 AM   #3
H_TeXMeX_H
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Thanks for the reply. Memtest found no errors and neither did the Seagate HDD diagnostic utility.

However, there is one thing that I overlooked. I bought a UPS for this computer that I thought was rated at 600 W, only to find out that it is rated at 360 W , it seems 600 was only the model number not the power rating, doh ! I think this may have something to do with it. The power here is not something stable, so I need a UPS. I disconnected the UPS and will go buy another, better one soon. Until then I'll see if the computer keeps crashing without an under-powered UPS and report back.

Thanks again
 
Old 10-18-2007, 10:26 AM   #4
H_TeXMeX_H
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Well, it hasn't crashed in 3 days, so it looks like that was the problem. Thanks again. Problem is solved
 
Old 11-05-2007, 03:22 AM   #5
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Actually, I now realize the exact nature of the problem. I'll explain this now, as maybe it will help someone in a similar situation ... or maybe prevent such a situation:

I bought a Mustek 600 UPS. Now what is the 600 ? Well, I read on the box and it's actually the VA rating.

1 Watt = 1 Volt x 1 Amp

Also on the box it says the UPS is rated at 360 W. My computer + montior, both plugged into the UPS draw approx. 580 W.

Now as to the rating: The power in Watts is the "real" power drawn by the equipment, the root-mean-square power drawn by the equipment. The VA (volt-amps) is the "apparent" power drawn by equipment, the maximum power drawn by the equipment.

The rule is:
"Neither the Watt nor the VA rating of the UPS may be exceeded"

I didn't know that. But then why did they advertise the higher number, the VA, while the Watts was written in rather small font on the side of the box ?

The funny thing is that the 600 VA power supply didn't fail instantly like the guys at the store said it should have ... no, it worked, but failed randomly.

Those guys at the store where I bought this didn't quite know this either as they also told me the power supply should be enough for this computer and said the power supply was rated at 600 W

The solution was to buy one rated at 1400 VA and 850 W.
 
  


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