New PC build instability... looking for help!

Discussion in 'Computer Support' started by cJ, Oct 9, 2007.

  1. cJ

    cJ Guest


    I recently built a new PC based on the hardware below. I have had
    instability issues with this system. I have contacted the motherboard
    supplier for support (thinking that may be a likely cause) but wanted
    to open it up to the group in case someone has had similar issues.
    Any help is appreciated! Thanks.......

    Computer configuration

    Case: Antec Sonata II with 450W power supply
    CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E6300
    Motherboard: Asus P5N-E SLI
    BIOS: Version 0703 (latest available)
    Memory: 2Gb (2 x 1Gb) Kingston PC5300 DDR2 667Mhz RAM
    Video: EVGA GeForce 7100GS PCI-E
    Hard Drives: Western Digital 80Gb (SATA channel 1)
    Western Digital 300Gb (SATA channel 2)
    External USB 120Gb drive
    OS: Windows XP Pro (32 bit)


    Frequent corrupt files (mainly JPGs on WD300 but has occurred on
    various file types on all 3 drives)

    Spontaneous reboots with errors like "NTFS.SYS -
    page_fault_in_non_paged_area" and "irql_not_less_or_equal"

    Programs failing to launch and needing to be reinstalled

    QFAN control in BIOS resetting itself to "disabled"


    Intermittent noise / interference coming through onboard audio output

    Tests performed:

    SMART check on hard drives, no issues found

    MEMTEST86+ run with no issues found

    This copy of Windows XP Pro tested on other PC with no issues

    I have reformatted and reinstalled Windows 3 times and the problems
    all return

    What tests or checks would be the next to perform? What is the best
    way to diagnose issues like this? Any help is appreciated.

    Thank you
    cJ, Oct 9, 2007
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  2. cJ

    old man Guest

    Anything shown in Event Viewer?
    old man, Oct 9, 2007
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  3. cJ

    Pennywise Guest

    SATA ports shot or misconfigured.
    Pennywise, Oct 9, 2007
  4. cJ

    cJ Guest

    Thanks for your reply.

    The most common errors shown in the event viewer are;

    "The driver detected a controller error on \Device\Harddisk3\D."

    "The device, \Device\Harddisk5\D, has a bad block."

    "The file system structure on the disk is corrupt and unusable. Please
    run the chkdsk utility on the volume Z:."

    The 2 internal hard drives are new and seem to test ok. I had the
    same corrupt file issue with a 3rd new hard drive I tried.

    Thanks again for the help
    cJ, Oct 9, 2007
  5. cJ

    old man Guest

    In edition to Pennywise;
    Ensure you are using correct drivers supplied by hw manufacturers
    I didnt check but does your chipset impliment the Nvidea firewall? if so
    this caused file corruption issues in some cases, but I thought that this
    had been fixed.
    I assume you used the hd manufacturers disk checking utility
    I slightly iffy pwr supply can cause file corruption issues
    old man, Oct 9, 2007
  6. cJ

    PeeCee Guest


    I had 3 new systems 2 years ago that didn't work well with 80GB SATA drives.
    (ECS mb's, 2 with VIA SATA chipset, 1 with STLab SATA PCI card, Segate & WD
    Symptoms similar to yours.
    One I eventually traced to overheating (buried in a cupboard and covered
    with paper, mouse cable so hot it drooped like a bit of wet string) even so
    I replaced the SATA with an IDE. (this one was the one with a STLab
    The other two I also replaced the SATA drives with IDE and the problems went

    The STLab card and SATA drive went into a test PC of mine and has not
    stopped, the other two drives were RMA'd, but came back as not faulty.
    I put one of these into a USB enclosure and so far it hasn't given any
    trouble, the other I gave to a mate with the same motherboard chipset as the
    two problem PC's.
    He stopped using it within a month complaining of the same symptoms as you.

    Conclusion, something odd with early VIA SATA chipsets and or 80GB SATA
    drives or a combination of the two.

    Possible solutions, make the 300GB the OS (C:) drive, swap out the 80 SATA
    for an 80 IDE, try a PCI SATA card with a different chipset.

    PeeCee, Oct 9, 2007
  7. Geoff Realname, Oct 9, 2007
  8. cJ

    chuckcar Guest


    Just to get it out of the way as it is the most likely cause: does the
    owner *always* shut down the computer normally, or do they frequently
    use the power switch?
    chuckcar, Oct 9, 2007
  9. cJ

    sandy58 Guest

    sandy58, Oct 9, 2007
  10. Oops,not from me: quoted from Pennywise's sig.
    Geoff Realname, Oct 9, 2007
  11. cJ

    cJ Guest

    Hello...... thanks for the reply. I typically let the PC go into
    sleep mode (after preset inactivity limit set under power options). I
    rarely fully shut the PC down. Good point though. I could see where
    improper shutdowns could corrupt some files.
    cJ, Oct 9, 2007
  12. cJ

    chuckcar Guest

    Also, leaving is sleep is not good - memory management in C++ doesn't do
    dynamic memory allocation well (not if a *lot* isn't done), so memory
    drains happen, and then lockups and then hard shutdowns. Sleep is good
    for an hour or two, but not for a day or more.
    chuckcar, Oct 10, 2007

  13. I would try taking it all apart again (everything) and rebuilding it, making
    sure everything is clean,
    especially conectors. Noise on the audio side suggest a bad connection, but
    probably on the analouge
    side? First thing I though of was memory, you could try running it with just
    one stick in for a start.
    Try stripping it down to the minimum it needs to run and see if you still
    get problems.
    Can you also monitor temperatures etc? Virus scan won't do any harm.
    Maybe somethingis generating a lot of electrical noise, Would explain audio?
    Lord Turkey Cough, Oct 11, 2007
  14. cJ

    JTJersey Guest

    Two things I check first, when random rebooting or system instability
    occurs, are memory chips and the power supply. On older mainboards I'd
    also closely examine the board for swollen or leaking capacitors, but
    that shouldn't be an issue here. If you ran a COMPLETE memtest then swap
    out the power supply.
    JTJersey, Oct 12, 2007
  15. cJ

    JTJersey Guest

    Have you tried another power supply?
    JTJersey, Nov 4, 2007
  16. cJ

    Robert Baer Guest

    Check; an electrically noisy power supply could do this, but bad RAM
    can also give similar problems.
    If you have two sticks and the MB allows it, try one at a time to see
    if there is any significant difference between them.
    If the MB does RAM (bank) switching then swapping sticks !might! show
    a difference in problems.
    Robert Baer, Nov 5, 2007
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