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Noel

Bizarre: dying CPU or Power Supply or other?

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I have a 4+ y/o SB-E system and 4 drives.  3 of the 4 drives are completely separate, isolated bootable Win 7 drives.  I get to them by using F8 to bring up ASUS BIOS boot drive popup during boot up.  Prepar3D is on an SSD, FWIW, games and web browsing on it's own drive, and a complete clone of the P3D SSD.  Here's what is now happening as of this morning:

 

1.  Gets thru POST and allows me to hit the F8 key to bring up the boot drive popup.

2.  No matter which of 3 boot drives I select, I always get display of, 'Windows has encountered an error during shutdown.....Start Windows normally?  Safe Mode, etc.  EACH of these 3 completely isolated drives does the exact same thing

3.  When I choose Start Windows normally, the initial color swirling balls starts to displays, and instead of then completing this and moving to display the desktop, the mouse freezes in the center of a black screen and never recovers.  I have to turn off power w/ the power switch hold or toggle the PSU off and back on.

 

FWIW, yesterday I had a couple of oddities happen out of the blue:  the next time I booted up after shutting down for several hours I got a chkdsk run before Windows loaded which should never have happened.  Then, I couldn't run Witcher 3 which is installed on the 2nd drive reserved for non flight sim use.  Then an icon on the task bar lost connectivity and the generic non-icon displayed.   In any case the machine has never manifest any problems, but I have run it at 1.32v to 1.355 v for its entire life so maybe the CPU is so degraded it can't boot into Windows.  In any case it's creepy all 3 separate Win 7 drives fail at the exact same place in the entire boot sequence to the Windows desktop.

 

Also of significance:  I've done all of this at normal automated clocking as well as my typical 4.4Ghz overclock--same behavior in either instance.

 

Thoughts?  Have no idea where to turn since it's clearly not OS related.   I have to assume it's either a degraded CPU, and this seems odd because of how each boot drive to win desktop dies in the exact same place, and that is AS Windows 7 is initializing.  Never makes it to the Windows desktop background--just a frozen mouse on a black screen in the center.  Yes, disconnected the mouse and same same.  Very bizarre!

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I have a 4+ y/o SB-E system and 4 drives

 

 

Not sure exactly whats going on but I would not rule out your video card as the culprit - heres why my last Titan X went south on me - couldnt figure out why my computer was not starting sometimes - changed my video card to an old one laying around - bam all the problems were gone -  if I were you and you have an old video card around try it - thats what I would put my money on - needless to say that sucker got rma'ed

 

Have you ever overclocked you gpu - if so thats a no no - I never do and they still go south

 

Had to rma my first Titan and my Titan X - no fun - thats why you buy evga ROCK SOLID return policy

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Hello Noel.

 

Before going too much further, I would Clear your CMOS (there are CMOS problems which can occur after post).  Google for your motherboard to find the suggested method for clearing your CMOS, but many methods are all the same. There are also deeper resets, see the article HERE for more information.

 

If clearing CMOS doesn't help, you can also try swapping memory cards..If you have more than two memory cards, I would swap only one at a time and move them back before swapping the next one.

 

If you do have a hardware problem, it may be the Motherboard instead of the CPU.  You can probably find some freeware diagnostics via Google or contact the manufacturer of your motherboard for assistance.

 

Let's not forget the LED codes on the motherboard as well as Beep codes.

 

Another thing you can try is using some freeware software to monitor your CPU during the boot phase.

 

I realize you're in a dark place, but hopefully something above will help you.

 

Best of luck!

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Hello Noel,

I think that I would open up the box - and disconnect all the Drives - Then Re Connect them one at a time to perform a boot on each drive to see if it Boots Normally - Then try Booting 2 drives -  Then three - ect. - If You don't have a bad Drive - You may be loosing a Power Supply - Adding the Drives one at a time - will show You the Limit - I seem to be going through the same thing - when I disconnected My Win xp Drive - My Win 7 Drive Boots and Runs Normally - When I disconnect My Win 7 Drive - My Xp Drive Boots and Runs Normally - Some Days You Just have More Fun than Others - Good Luck - Johnman B)

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Thanks all--sounds like it could be anything.  I just know it happened out of the blue, sort of.   About a week ago I increased vCore to 1.355 in order to avoid a freeze/crash at 4.553Ghz and it was shortly thereafter, within a week or so, that this happened, which seems to point to CPU.  I only did a few parts of flights at 4.553, the rest at my default 4.423 or so which it's always run stably at.  Temps were always fabulous because I use pre-cooled air intake to a Noctua NH-14D which even w/ the 4.553 OC rarely made it to 60C core temps.

 

I will start with the low hanging fruit--clear the BIOS.  Next, try swapping memory modules.  If no go, try a different video card--this is common to all drives.   Disconnecting all but one drive seems like a bit of along shot since they are such low power users but it's a thought. 

 

Motherboard is a definite possibility as well.  If so, may just jump up to Haswell E.  If the low hanging tricks don't tease out a quick cure I'm loathe to try to troubleshoot a dying motherboard, or CPU for that matter.  i don't have the tools I don't think for this.  Was really hoping to hold on until something meaningful arises as all of the I-7 increases have been pretty marginal it seems to me.  Was planning on waiting til 64-bit P3D arrives as well as I'm still on 2.3 which is fine for me.

 

Also, my system is actually almost 3y/o.  I found my emailed invoice for parts.

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Thoughts? Have no idea

 

I had a HDD failure on a multiple drive system, one HDD of 3 or 4 forget how many I had.  The drive that failed was not even the OS drive and it caused all kinds of trouble including the chkdisk thing on boot.

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Here's what I did so far:

  1. Deep CMOS reset:  no joy
  2. Bootable memtest86:  all 32Gb tested perfect.  I concluded swapping module locations made no sense when intensive memory test checks out.  Capacitors all look sterling.
  3. Swapped in another video card:  same issue, all drives stop booting as desktop is preparing to display.  This video card is below power requirement of my Titan GTX (maybe), so concluded probably the power supply is not at fault since the behavior with the new video card causes the same boot failure to any drive.
  4. Disconnected all but my P3D boot drive (contains leaned out Win 7 and all P3D stuff only and a few testing utlilities.
  5. Fedora Linux UEFI to load Intel Desktop Processor Tool w/ the BIOS set at Optimized Defaults (no overclock, all auto).  CPU fails, no matter what the test set.  I ran the utility on another desktop running Win 7 and all CPU functions tested out fine.  I have to conclude the CPU is about to completely give up the ghost.

I guess I'll look for a remaining 3930K, or remaining new 4930K (my ASUS P9X79 WS supports IB-E w/ a BIOS flash).   This is coming in at $500 for a 4930K off of ebay pronounced factory sealed.  It goes up from there to $600 from B&H Photo, and up from there.   There is a company in Fremont Calif called 'starmicro' that is advertising low prices on a few of these--3930K for $295 for example.  No mention of new/used, but I have to assume they are used and have emailed their sales contact to find out.   This turns the issue into plug and play without the need to reinstall two full bootable disks one of which is the usual prolonged restore of Prepar3D and all of its add-on, utilities, the other has several games I used regularly, plus can use my 4 DDR3 2400 modules which always played well on that mobo, and keep my same Noctua NH-D14 cooler which works well.

 

Wish me luck!  Thanks for the troubleshooting tips.  Intel warranty involved maybe?   June 2013 was the purchase month of this 3930K.

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Here's what I did so far:

  1. Deep CMOS reset:  no joy
  2. Bootable memtest86:  all 32Gb tested perfect.  I concluded swapping module locations made no sense when intensive memory test checks out.  Capacitors all look sterling.
  3. Swapped in another video card:  same issue, all drives stop booting as desktop is preparing to display.  This video card is below power requirement of my Titan GTX (maybe), so concluded probably the power supply is not at fault since the behavior with the new video card causes the same

 

Thanks for the report sounds like you are doing a good elimination process - good luck with it - what a pain

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Hi Noel,

 

You can verify if your CPU is still under warranty.  Intel will provide you with a new one if it falls within the 3 year coverage period:

 

http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/support/warranty-center.html

 

http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/support/processors/000005609.html

 

You will have to get the FPO and ATPO numbers directly off the CPU.

 

Good luck!

 

Robert

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Did You try to Boot with JUST - One - of Your "Other" Boot Drives - a Non P3d Drive ??? - Johnman - B)

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Did You try to Boot with JUST - One - of Your "Other" Boot Drives - a Non P3d Drive ??? - Johnman - B)

I tried just my P3D drive.  My 3 bootable drives are 100% isolated from each other as far having any software connection to each other.   So if it's a case of reducing power demand I think much older video card might have teased that out plus 3 other drives and DVD-R.  But truly, the major reason for stopping the process of elimination approach was the unequivocal CPU FAIL when the Intel Desktop Processor Tool is run from within the BIOS.  Never even gets to a drive.  It took some sleuthing but I found the method to use when you can't boot to windows to do a decent CPU test in a Linux environment.

Hi Noel,

 

You can verify if your CPU is still under warranty.  Intel will provide you with a new one if it falls within the 3 year coverage period:

 

http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/support/warranty-center.html

 

http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/support/processors/000005609.html

 

You will have to get the FPO and ATPO numbers directly off the CPU.

 

Good luck!

 

Robert

Thanks Robert I had done that as of a few hours ago when I remembered indeed it was a boxed version and the 3y warrant does not end til Aug 16 so hopefully we will get up and running w/ a replacement or however they handle this.   I hope so--I've bought a bunch of Intel processors in my day and never warrantied a one  :Hmmmph:

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I'm not sure what capability they have to test them (maybe none), but I'm pretty sure that any overclock voids the warranty (though I do hope you're able to get a new one under warranty).

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Let us know if that was the Problem - A lot of Good Trouble shooting Options Discussed - Johnman B)

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Very rare for CPU's to fail these days.

 

Don't be surprised if it turns out not to be the CPU.

 

I'd leave nothing to chance. Grab a PSU tester from Amazon and see if there are any issues there. What about the SMART data for your hard drive? You can read it with Crystal Disc Info.

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Very rare for CPU's to fail these days.

 

Don't be surprised if it turns out not to be the CPU.

 

I'd leave nothing to chance. Grab a PSU tester from Amazon and see if there are any issues there. What about the SMART data for your hard drive? You can read it with Crystal Disc Info.

Hi Martin--all 3 drives won't boot, and they won't boot at exactly the same place in loading Win 7 so SMART evaluation wouldn't mean anything in this scenario.   That being said, I did look at SMART on both my P3D drive and one other the day the entire slow failure began evolving and generated the boot time chkdsk run using AIDA64 and they both checked out.  Not too much later I could not boot to Windows on any of 3 drives.

 

PSU is a possibility I agree.   I looked at some PSU testers on Amazon and they are quite cheap and get great reviews however one person mentioned these mean very little since they are not measuring dynamic PSU behavior--i.e., what happens under load.  I have a Corsair HX850 that is warrantied for 7y, is now 2.7y in use.   As I do overclock my CPU that nowhere near what some folks do subject their CPU to in terms of voltage and heat, it seems to me in the very low demand environment of POST and pre Windows initialization (compared to running P3D or other which puts massive stress on components compared to POST and Win 7 initialization), with the IPDT indicated CPU Failure very rapidly, Occam's Razor seems to be making the case for CPU troubles.  My PSU is amply rated for my system and again, it's doesn't seem to be the target of stress compared to my CPU.

 

I just have no clue whether a static test of my PSU will mean much.  As someone who was answering questions re a particular PSU tester on Amazon said, these testers won't tell you how your PSU behaves under load, only what they are outputting per rail, and that the only way to truly test a PSU that has not completely failed (i.e., can't light up the motherboard and everything else) is to swap in a different proven PSU.  Everything lights up w/ mine, right on thru to the video card output from the motherboard to display, BIOS and so forth, so in my mind a static tester might show very little in this scenario.   Indeed, if I picked up one of these testers and it showed one rail was slightly out of spec, does that mean I replace a 2.7y/o pretty high end PSU?  What I really need is another PSU to swap in.  Perhaps I could buy a cheap one just to r/o my PSU.  That might be a more useful test than the static voltage tester.  I see there are quite a few around the $50 price point.  I'll check at work w/ our IT dept to see if they happen to have a ATX 2.3 they could loan me for a quick test.

 

I'm open to other thoughts but Occam's still points pretty strongly to CPU at this point.

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