Identify cause of Custom-built PC randomly shutting down

February 15, 2012 at 21:19:20
Specs: Windows 7 ultimate 64-bit, Amd phenom II x4 3.2ghz/g.skill sniper 2x4gb
I have a custom built computer with the following components:
CPU - amd phenom II x4 3.2 ghz
Gpu - pny geoforce gtx 560ti overclocked
Motherboard - Asus m5 a99x evo
Psu - rosewill performance rp600v2-s-sl
Ram - 2x4gb g.skill sniper Model F3-10666CL9D-8GBSR

Initially the computer ran fine until I found out my hard drive had become corrupt and unusable. I then bought two new hard drives. One for booting the other for backup. After a little bit of use, my back up hard drive prevented my computer from booting. I set it as a secondary boot option after my primary drive, but the computer still wouldn't boot the bios gave me an error as follows:

"SATA Port 1 : ST3570640NS
S.M.A.R.T Status Bad, Backup and Replace."

This screen them lets me enter my bios, where I can manually boot my primary hard drive. I assume I just need a new hard drive because I received a defective one, but I have not been able to test it on another computer.

My main problem, though, begin a few weeks after I finally installed windows on it. Now it randomly "shuts down". The reason I put shuts down in quotation marks is that the computer seems to still be running, but the screen goes black and nothing works. Many times I have music playing in the background and it just stops completely. The computer itself stays on though. All the fans a running and the LEDs are shining as if it didn't shut down. I am forced to do a hard restart many times and often time the motherboard's boot_device troubleshooting led is turned red, and the computer refuses to load windows. It just sits at the Asus boot screen. If I turn the power supply off then back on again, most of the time it starts up again normally.

What could the causes be? The boot_device led makes me think another hard drive, but it's hard for me to believe I could get three defective drives in a row. I do not believe that my computer is overheating because I have monitored the temps and for the most part they don't run higher than 35c. Would it be the power supply? Also, ocassionally when booting I get an overclocking failed error message from the bios. I attempted to overclock once, but found it a little to complicated. I then changed all the bios settings back to the defaults. The bios does offer an auto overclock. Would this be the cause?

I am confused as to which part of my computer is failing. Any information or insight you could give would be greatly appreciated. Also, if you could provide a way to check possible causes for the problem, I would aprreciate it.

Thanks


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#1
February 16, 2012 at 00:22:34
Did you set the jumpers on the back of the new drives?

How do you know when a politician is lying? His mouth is moving.


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#2
February 16, 2012 at 03:25:15
-Get linux live disc like puppy
-Disconnect the hard drives
-Run puppy for a while
-Report if problems occurs again
-If u don't see any problems while running puppy then SMART is right.

To verify the hdd is bad download diagnostic tool from hdd manufacture website and test the hard drives.

Did u overclock yourself Gtx 560ti?

I don't see any other problems with other hardwares.

Overclocking AMD black edition CPU isn't complicated.

You know the real meaning of peace only if you have been through the war.


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#3
February 16, 2012 at 05:25:00
Also run Memtest86 from a bootable CD to test your memory since memory errors can appear to be a hard drive problem, especially if you try Puppy Linux as above and there is a problem there also.
Try resetting defaults again, save and exit.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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Related Solutions

#4
February 16, 2012 at 07:38:00
Do NOT use AI Overclocking. Either run with default settings or switch to Manual & input all the settings yourself (even if you're not overclocking).

Personally, I wouldn't have gotten that Rosewill power supply. It's probably OK, but it doesn't support active PFC, it's not 80 plus certified, & it has two +12v rails @ 19A each rather than a single +12v with high amperage. This one would have been a much better choice:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...


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#5
February 16, 2012 at 09:03:59
My guess is you have been buying open box, refurbished or used hard drives.

That series of hard drive had lots of problems. See the links below.

http://www.xlr8yourmac.com/feedback...

http://seagate.custkb.com/seagate/c...

http://www.google.com/search?q=issu...


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#6
February 16, 2012 at 10:49:06
"Motherboard - Asus m5 a99x evo"

Your mboard model is Asus M5A99X EVO, not "m5 a99x evo"

Your "phenom II x4 3.2 ghz" cpu is listed for your mboard model, and the bios recognizes it properly if the mboard has what appears to be the original bios version, or higher:
http://www.cpu-upgrade.com/mb-ASUS/...

"Gpu - pny geoforce gtx 560ti overclocked"

Did it come as overclocked, or did you overclock it yourself ?
If you overclocked it, use it with default settings for a while until you confirm your system and video is stable, and if you want to overclock it later, consult overclocking web sites to determine stable settings for it, preferably for when it's used with the same mboard model.

geforce gtx 560ti - system requirements
http://www.nvidia.com/object/produc...
Specs
Minimum Recommended System Power (W) 500 W
Supplementary Power Connectors Two 6-pin

"Psu - rosewill performance rp600v2-s-sl"

A so-so PS
~$60 newegg

modest +12v total amperage for a 600 watt PS
+3.3@30A, +5V@55A, +12V1@19A, +12V2@19A, -12V@1A, +5VSB@2.5A

It's wattage capacity is more than the minimum required for the video card.

It's recommended these days the the PS has only one +12v ouput section, however, it having two should not be a problem with your particular video card.

PCI-Express Connector - 1 x 6-Pin, 1 x 6+2-Pin

3 year warranty - good

"6+2-Pin" - the 2 pin connector can be disconnected from, or attached to, the 6 pin connector.

Did you use the two PCI-E connectors with the two power sockets on the geforce gtx 560ti card ?
DO NOT use a single PCI-E 6 pin connector from the PS with a PCI-E Y cable wiring adapter (one PCI-E 6 pin to two PCI-E 6 pin) with the two sockets - that won't be able to supply enough current to the card.

"Ram - 2x4gb g.skill sniper Model F3-10666CL9D-8GBSR"

We have heard of people having problems with G.Skil ram, often.

You should always look on the ram manufacturer's web site to see whether a particular module or module set part number is listed for (is compatible with) the mboard model.
G.Skil has a ram configurator, but I know from past experience that it often doesn't list your mboard model, and even when it does they may not have tested the ram modules in your mboard model.

G.Skil ram configurator
http://www.gskill.com/configurator.php

Cannot select Manufacturer

Search by manufacturer model name

NO result for Asus m5 a99x evo or m5 a99x evo

Search result for M5A99X EVO
http://www.gskill.com/configurator2...

[ SNIPER ] F3-10666CL9D-8GBSR (4Gx2) / F3-10666CL9S-4GBSR (4GBx1)
http://www.gskill.com/products.php?...

Asus M5A99X EVO - Chipset AMD 990X/SB950

Your main chipset series is not listed.
Your mboard model is not listed = the ram hasn't been tested in your mboard model.

There's no guarantee it will work 100% properly with your mboard when it hasn't been tested in your mboard model.

Some ram manufacturer's modules do not strictly adhere to the JEDEC standards that most mboards bioses use to determine ram settings.
In that case, the ram settings in the bios Setup that the bios has automatically chosen may not be correct.
Check the ram settings in your bios - the ram voltage, and the ram timing numbers - those should be the same as for the specs for the modules themselves. Often the ram voltage and timing numbers are printed on the label on the modules.

If the voltage setting or timings settings in the bios are different from the specs for the ram, change them in the bios. The timing numbers must be as close as you can get to the same, or slower timings (higher numbers = slower) - you won't notice the difference the slower settings make.

In this case, your G.Skil modules are using the standard 1.5v voltage for DDR3 ram, so that is probably not a problem.
Make sure the timing numbers for the ram are the same as, or compatible with (higher than) the, timing settings in the bios - we HAVE see that with G.Skil ram that sometimes that isn't right in the bios.
NOTE that we HAVE seen that the ram can pass bootable diagnostics tests even when those timing numbers in the bios are not right - if they're not right, you WILL likely have problems in the operating system because of that.
We HAVE also seen that you sometimes have to increase the timing numbers in the bios a bit above what is stated on the module's label or in it's specs to get G.Skil ram to work properly in some mboard models.
.....

"the bios gave me an error as follows:

"SATA Port 1 : ST3570640NS
S.M.A.R.T Status Bad, Backup and Replace.""

SMART is deliberately "dumbed down" to NOT show you any messages unless it detects a serious problem. You should always heed it's messages.

Check your SATA data cables. The connector on each end should "latch" into the socket on the drive and on the mboard, or on the drive controller card - it should not move when you merely brush your hand against it near the socket - if it does, mere vibration can cause a poor connection of it - use another SATA data cable that does "latch", or tape the connector in place.
(There is a slight projection or bump on one side of the outside of the connector that "latches" it into the socket - it's easily broken off or damaged)

The same thing applies for the SATA power connection.
....

If your SATA data and power cables are fine, if you still get the SMART error message,

- a defective hard drive or optical drive can cause your computer to behave strangely. If you have any doubts about a drive, disconnect it's data cable, then try the computer, if you still have a hard drive Windows or whatever operating system is running from.

- test the subject hard drive.

Note that your ram must be producing NO memory errors when you test the hard drive, so it's a good idea to test the ram with diagnostics before you test the hard drive.
E.g. use memtest86, or memtest86+.


Seagate's Seatools will test (almost) any brand of hard drive.
Do the long test.
http://www.seagate.com/ww/v/index.j...

If Windows is working fine on another drive on the computer, use the Windows version of SeaTools.

The bootable Dos versions of SeaTools can be used even if Windows is not working properly.

If the hard drive itself tests okay, any data problems found can be fixed, one way or another.
....

If the hard drive itself DOES NOT test as okay, copy down the error code that will probably be generated. You will need that if you want to follow the RMA procedure on the Seagate site to get your drive replaced. (If no code is generated, the Seagate site has a list of error codes you can choose one of when that happens - click on "No error code ?" or similar when you're following the RMA procedure on their site.)
You can either ship the drive to where they specify - see the shipping packaging minimum requirements,
OR - if you supply credit card info to them, they can send you a replacement drive a fast way for ~$10 (if you live in the US or Canada) , and you send your defective drive back to them in the same packaging with a specified short time period.
If your drive is found to be actually NOT defective, or if the "defective" drive does not get to them within the specfied time period, you be charged additionally for the replacement drive.
(NOTE hat I have a Mastercard "Chequewise" card that was supplied by my bank, that has a chip on it. It can be used as a regular credit card for almost anything, but it draws money from a bank account of mine the same way as for a Certified check. I coluld NOT use that card with the $10 ship a replacement drive to me option - supplying the card number, name, and code on the back of it was not deemed acceptable. I don't know whether that was because they can tell it draws from a bank account, or because it has a chip on the card, or what. )

NOTE that some places you buy computer parts from have a short , e.g. 30 day, period in which you can just take the defective port back and get another one, "over the counter".
.....

"Now it randomly "shuts down". The reason I put shuts down in quotation marks is that the computer seems to still be running, but the screen goes black and nothing works. "

Shut down for a computer = the mboard shuts off and the computer does not restart automatically.

It would be more appropriate to call your problem something else, such as you randomly lose your video.

If you can't see what's on the screen when that happens, how have you come to the conclusion "nothing works" No video is just one symptom.

If nothing else seems to be wrong, it's likely your problem is with the video card - try a different one if you can, or try your video card in another computer if you can for a while.

"I am forced to do a hard restart many times and often time the motherboard's boot_device troubleshooting led is turned red,..."

Look that up in the mboard's manual, or on the Asus web site, to see what that can indicate.

Make sure that the SATA data and power connectors are "latching" into the sockets they're plugged into.

A problem with a boot device does NOT cause no video, unless, possibly, something is shorted on a hard drive's or optical drive's or floppy drive's board.
If you still have the hard drive connected that produced the SMART error, disconnect it's data cable !

Did you remove the AC power to the case at ALL times when you were fiddling with components and drives and wiring connections inside the case ??
If you didn't do that at all times, you may have damaged something
The ATX family mboard is always powered in some places even when the computer is not running as long as the ATX family PS is receiving live AC power.

Remove the AC power to the case, and make sure all cards in slots and the ram are all the way down in their slots, and that all cards have their metal bracket fastened to the case.
You could also try removing the cards and the ram modules, wiping off their contacts with a tissue or soft cloth, then installing them again.
Make sure all the connectors from the PS are all the way into their sockets.
Make sure that the SATA data and power connectors are "latching" into the sockets they're plugged into,

If you're overclocking the board and/or CPU, use it (them) with default settings for a while until you confirm your system is stable, and if you want to overclock it (them) later, consult overclocking web sites to determine stable settings for it, preferably for the same cpu with the same mboard model.

"Gpu - pny geoforce gtx 560ti overclocked"

Did it come as overclocked, or did you overclock it yourself ?
If you overclocked it, use it with default settings for a while until you confirm your system and video is stable, and if you want to overclock it later, consult overclocking web sites to determine stable settings for it, preferably for when it's used with the same mboard model.

Did you use the two PCI-E 6 pin connectors coming from the PS with the two power sockets on the geforce gtx 560ti card ?
.....

Check your mboard manual.
If your mboard has both one or more headers for pairs of USB ports, AND one or more headers for a single firewire (1394) port , Asus uses identical headers for those - 9 pins on a double row 10 position header, the same pin missing in one corner. The plastic at the base of the two types of headers are different colors, but sometimes people miss seeing that. The firewire port header and it's circuits is often optional - your mboard may or may not actually have the header for it, if it's shown in the manual.
If you mistakenly connect the wiring for a USB port or pair of USB ports to a firewire header, or visa versa, one firewire port to a header for two USB ports, when nothing is plugged into the mis-wired port, there is no problem, but when you DO plug something in, all hxxx breaks loose ! The device you plugged in and the circuits for that header will be damaged in a short time, you can have all sorts odd oddball symptoms, and the mboard can be otherwise damaged !



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