Solved Chances of motherboard being a bad one?

August 23, 2011 at 07:05:44
Specs: Windows XP
Asrock Extreme4 Z68 Motherboard - Faulty?

I seem to have a plethora of problems developing on my rig.
Many types of BSODs are popping up regularly, after roughly 2.5 months of relatively smooth sailing.
What are the chances that it is the motherboard, versus the chances that all my other parts connected to the Motherboard, are faulty?

Parts Manifest:
OEM Rig - self sourced, installed, and tested.
2.5 months old, tops.

Windows 7 Pro 64bit.
Asrock Extreme4 z68 Motherboard.
7200.12 Seagate 1TB Sata
XFX Radeon 4770
16Gbs Corsair Vengeance 8-8-8-24 1600 DDR3
I7 2600k
Corsair HX PSU 650watts
Coolermaster 212+ CPU cooler

The case has 5 case fans, not including other devices' fans.
No overclocking, running at stock except Corsair memory, running at XMP profile 1 (1600 DDR3 instead of 1333). Corsair rated to run at 1.5 volts with 1600DDR3 speeds.

The first 2.5 months had the occassional glitch and BSOD. Most common was an error saying that an interrupt or request to a secondary processor was not received in time..

Then one day, kaput! The whole build crashed hard. The error message was saying something like a critical windows file/data portion was corrupted and that my Windows was unauthenticated.
After I got back online and authenticated Windows the computer kept BSOD'ing.

Managed Pool errors, memory management errors, secondary processor errors, hdd device errors, read errors of files, and then, one day not too long ago, nothing. No boot, and an 0x00000024 error every time.

I disconnected the OS drive, swapped in a fresh new one and started a reinstall with Windows.
Long story short, big hassle with no success. Support with MS has eliminated that my copy of Windows is the issue. So it's not Windows for a certainty.

Only small success is from re-assembling from scratch, minimal build components and plugging away one added piece at a time. And then it's not been a smooth ride.

There are problems reading the Windows media disc. There are problems with the keyboard not responding during bootup. There are problems with less than 4 CPUs being recognized in Task Manager during the Windows Experience Index processing.

The smoothest, relatively speaking, interval has been with only the CPU, 8 (2sticks) of RAM installed, and the drivers installed for Motherboard, Realtek, Lan, USB ports, Marvell controller and Integrated GPU.

As soon as I plugged in either another stick of RAM or my discrete GPU, the errors are often and regular again.

Question: (thank you for reading patiently) Is it possible that BOTH one or more sticks of RAM and my GPU (i.e. 3 pieces) are faulty versus the one piece connecting them, the Motherboard? My gut says that given the previous iteration's myriad of problems, the motherboard is about to go despite being almost new. What are the chances that, considering the previous iteration of the build, all those various pieces were going versus the chance that it was only the one piece (ie motherboard) being faulty?

Any insight is much appreciated.



See More: Chances of motherboard being a bad one?

Report •

August 23, 2011 at 07:24:33
✔ Best Answer
Try manually configuring the RAM for 1333MHz, then test it with memtest86+. Test the sticks individually, then paired up. If any errors are found, double check the BIOS memory settings & test it again. If errors are found a 2nd time, replace the RAM.

BTW, why do you need so many case fans? One exhaust fan in the rear is generally all that's necessary. Do you have one of those "new & improved" cases with the PSU mounted on the bottom rather than the top?

Report •

August 23, 2011 at 07:39:16
Hi mickliq,

I didn't try Memtest - Thank you for the suggestion.

I've got a bunch of case fans because they came with the case for the price point and size which I wanted - Path of least resistance. ;) I did not figure that more fans would significantly impact the RIG one way or the other and certainly not in this nightmare scenario I am caught up in. ;(


Report •

August 23, 2011 at 08:21:53
Lots of case fans can cause hot spots in the case. I suggest you install HWmonitor to check temps and voltages in real time. Get it at the link below. I concur with mick on the RAM.

It is interesting to note that Asrocks tested RAM does not include ANY 8GB modules even though the board is rated to carry 32GB in 4 slots.

Below is a note copied from the memory list and a link to the memory list.

Note6: It is recommended to install memory module in DDR3_A2 or DDR3_B2 slot first!

Report •

Related Solutions

August 23, 2011 at 09:11:44
I think I might need to clarify the RAM for my rig.

4 sticks of 4gb each, so I was using 2 sticks (8) for the current iteration.

I just got an Asus board and have hopes that if the RAM and GPU work, that the Asus will swap in well so I can RMA Asrock's product.

Thanks again,


Report •

August 23, 2011 at 09:54:08
The Asrock looks to be a good board. I would say the RAM timings are the issue. Try running with RAM set to auto to see if the board is then stable.

Are you running the RAM in the suggested slots as per #3 above?

Report •

August 23, 2011 at 10:50:32
I will be settling RAM in the A2 and B2 slots, as well as setting to Auto for the tests.
Do you know if there are any GPU (Radeon compatible) tests akin to the Memtest program?

I would like to hope that the board is stable and good but there are so many random variables going on I have my doubts. It might have been the first motherboard made after the workers celebrated New Year's Eve, or something similar. (ie. hungover? ;))

I jest, but I am doubting my current Asrock motherboard more and more for the moment. I anticipate that the tests will clear up the issue one way or the other.

(crosses eyes for good luck)

Thanks again,


Report •

August 24, 2011 at 06:21:30
Thank you Mick and Othehill for your suggestions re: Memtest.

One of my four sticks of Corsair is rife with errors.
Good news and bad news. Good in that it's better than my Motherboard being rife with errors and having to RMA the beast.

In your opinions, can one faulty stick cause a host of problems as I have described?

So far I have the one pair of sticks in the system and my diagnosis is proceeding. Have installed the Discrete GPU, and will stress it out once I put the hard drives in and start installing some benchmarking applications.

Thank you both once again! And thank you Memtest! :)

Report •

August 24, 2011 at 07:26:26
Even one chip on a module can cause problems. In that case the issue is hard to diagnose because the chip is only managing a certain range of memory. That range may or may not be used frequently.

Before assuming the stick is actually bad I suggest you snap the module in and out 4 or 5 times to burnish the contacts. Rubbing the contacts with an eraser sometimes helps too. Problems can arise due to the use of dissimilar metals for the board contacts and the module contacts.

If the module is defective you should RMA the pair. Assuming you bought dual channel RAM and are not mixing up the sticks. All 4 sticks do not need to be matched exactly but the pair that are running together must be a matched pair. That is what dual channel RAM is all about.

Report •

August 24, 2011 at 09:30:52
Hi OtheHill,

Memtest caught a series of errors across a series of tests - My take on the matter is that the memory booted up fine and all the less indepth tests, from the POST, to Windows Memory Diagnostics, did not find any of the bad memory ranges as you had mentioned.
I had to leave the job to the indepth tool to ferret out the bad chips.

I did not know about the dissimilar metals among boards and modules. Thanks!
This makes sense - a lesser quality board manufacturer would use lesser quality/pure metals for the contacts to save the pennies, thus causing a disparity between the two types of contacts.

As it stands I've taken out the module a number of times and have since popped it in the postal mail for Corsair's RMA service.

I am RMA'ing the pair as suggested by yourself and Corsair. :)

Thank you for the suggestions and great advice OtheHill! I am hoping that this is the solution and the rest of the week is smooth sailing diagnostics and re-build!



Report •

August 24, 2011 at 14:18:07
Where the errors are generated is not our concern. I was just pointing out that because of the way memory works you may not get errors continuously when using your computer in a normal fashion.

Report •

Ask Question