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shininjin

Computer Crashes - Motherboard EZ debug DRAM

SOLVED: Just an update of what I've done.

 

RECAP: Computer has restarted randomly over the last couple of weeks, and now computer will not boot at all. When powered on, fans will spin, storage devices will make sounds, but no video output will come on the screen.

 

ATTEMPTS:

I have:

  • removed the GPU and used the motherboard video output,
  • tried two separate video outputs (HDMI and DVI, both of which work for other computers),
  • moved the 2 memory sticks into every combination of slots on the motherboard (Z-170A PC MATE),
  • cleared the CMOS,
  • moved 2 freshly bought memory sticks into every combination of slots on the motherboard,
  • bought a new motherboard (Z-270A Pro),
  • bought a new PSU, AND
  • consulted a University tech center that stated it's probably the processor at fault. I bought that processor in October of 2015.

SOLUTION:

I ordered an Intel i7-6700k. Swapped it in. Computer's working fine.

 

Hope this is helpful for future issues. And thank you to those who helped.

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Posted · Original PosterOP

History of crashes:
I've been having a few crashing issues with my build the last several months. The last component I installed was my GPU in May-ish. I started having these crashes that were at first infrequent, but increased over time. Using the Windows "Reliability" I linked the issue with the EVGA software that I opted to use the OC Genie (I started to manually OC, realized the risk was too high, returned all settings to normal, then used OC Genie in the software). The "fix" was to uninstall the software, and to activate the OC genie via the BIOS. I had no problems linked to EVGA after that (about in August).

In the last 2 weeks, my computer would randomly restart (sometimes with the sad face ":(" blue screen, sometimes not), normally when I was playing some game or watching youtube videos. I wouldn't say my computer was under any high load or anything (usually I was playing indie games or watching videos in 1080p; there was one specific instance where I was using the NVidia program to record gameplay and it crashed about 10 minutes in), but after the restart came back on, it would work fine. The Windows Reliability only stated there were Windows crashes, but no other software services that were at fault.

Current event:
Yesterday, I was looking through some videos I captured and re-labeling them, and then it crashed again. To me it sounded like it restarted 2-3 times, then stayed on, but did not display anything on my screen. I looked at the MoBo, and the DRAM light turns on for about 5 seconds, then turns off any time I turn the computer on. I've unattached all USB and video cables, removed my GPU, and the memory, basically leaving the storage, PSU, MoBo, CPU, CPU fan, and HDMI (and DVI to HDMI converter cord) from MoBo to moniter attached, and I get the same DRAM red light for 5 seconds. I don't have (or can't find) the cord that attaches to the part of the motherboard that would cause the beeping sound, so I have no idea what kind of beeps my MoBo would be sending. I've inserted my memory sticks one at a time or both at the same time in any combination in the 2, 3, and 4 slots (the 1st slot is blocked because of the fan), but all result in the same DRAM red light for 5 seconds. The computer "sounds" like it normally does when I start it, most of the fans are moving (except the ones connected to the CPU ports on the MoBo), there's just no display fed through to my monitor.

Attempts Made:
I've googled and looked at a few solutions on this site and the above is what I've tried so far. I feel like there's something broken, but I want to try to be as efficient as possible, as I don't have a ton of money right now, and would not like to replace something I didn't have to. I don't have spare known-to-be-working RAM, so I haven't tried that. I wanna believe it's the RAM, but I just feel like the likelihood that both would die simultaneously is low. Then again, maybe one of them was dead for the last 2 weeks? Perhaps MoBo? Hopefully not the CPU... Highly doubt PSU (should have lots of Watts) or GPU (still won't boot after I took it out). God forbid multi-failing situation.

Specs
Here is a link to my current parts list, in case it helps.
https://pcpartpicker.com/list/LbVp4C

CPU: i5-6600k 3.5Ghz
MoBo: MSI Z170A PC MATE LGA1151
RAM: Ballistix Sport 2x4GB DDR4-2400
GPU: EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 8GB
SSD Storage: 850 EVO 250GB
HDD Storage: Barracuda 1 TB 5900RPM
Case: Corsair 200R ATX
PSU: Thermaltake 750W 80+ Gold

Thank you so much for taking the time to look at this. This is my first time posting. If you need more information, please let me know!

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Posted · Original PosterOP
55 minutes ago, Whizzp said:

Have you tried resetting the cmos?

I have not. I took a look at what that entails, do I need a jumper cap or is there some other way to jerry-rig that?

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9 minutes ago, shininjin said:

I have not. I took a look at what that entails, do I need a jumper cap or is there some other way to jerry-rig that?

The easiest way to do that is to remove the little circle battery from the motherboard.

 

1.Power off PC

2.Unplug PC and open case

3.Remove Small Circle Battery on Motherboard (see picture)

4.Hold PC power button (PC still unplugged)

5.Re-install battery

6.Plug PC back in and power on.

 

This will reset your BIOS settings to the factory defaults.

download.jpg

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Posted · Original PosterOP
4 minutes ago, Whizzp said:

The easiest way to do that is to remove the little circle battery from the motherboard.

 

1.Power off PC

2.Unplug PC and open case

3.Remove Small Circle Battery on Motherboard (see picture)

4.Hold PC power button (PC still unplugged)

5.Re-install battery

6.Plug PC back in and power on.

 

This will reset your BIOS settings to the factory defaults.

download.jpg

Thank you. I'm at work at the moment, but I'll grab a flathead screwdriver and try this when I get home. I'll report back in like... 7 hours.

 

Any idea/guesses as to what would cause this issue though? My computer science knowledge is minimal, but if resetting the on-board memory fixes things, that sounds like more of a "bits got stuck in the pipeline when the computer restarted while booting up, and now you have to flush the system" solution (which would still totally be appreciated), but not a "this is why your system crashed/restarted in the first place" kind of a solution.

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Posted · Original PosterOP
33 minutes ago, Redicat said:

Remember to put on X.M.P

I'll be sure to enable this as well, assuming I can get it to boot. Thanks.

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Posted · Best Answer

SOLVED: Just an update of what I've done.

 

RECAP: Computer has restarted randomly over the last couple of weeks, and now computer will not boot at all. When powered on, fans will spin, storage devices will make sounds, but no video output will come on the screen.

 

ATTEMPTS:

I have:

  • removed the GPU and used the motherboard video output,
  • tried two separate video outputs (HDMI and DVI, both of which work for other computers),
  • moved the 2 memory sticks into every combination of slots on the motherboard (Z-170A PC MATE),
  • cleared the CMOS,
  • moved 2 freshly bought memory sticks into every combination of slots on the motherboard,
  • bought a new motherboard (Z-270A Pro),
  • bought a new PSU, AND
  • consulted a University tech center that stated it's probably the processor at fault. I bought that processor in October of 2015.

SOLUTION:

I ordered an Intel i7-6700k. Swapped it in. Computer's working fine.

 

Hope this is helpful for future issues. And thank you to those who helped.

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