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Topic: System lockups -- I'm beyond desperation at this point

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  1. #1

    System lockups -- I'm beyond desperation at this point

    Ever since I built my new PC in April (see specs below), I've been having problems with it locking up on me.

    Enermax Liberty 500W power supply
    Abit AN8 32X SLI x16
    AMD Athlon64 X2 4400+
    2GB (1GB x 2) pqi RAM
    M-Audio Delta Audiophile 2496
    160GB Seagate SATA drive
    300GB Seagate SATA drive
    eVGA GeForce 7900GT

    I replaced the motherboard twice. Then I ditched Abit and went with the ASUS A8N32-SLI Deluxe. Still had lockups. The RAM was tested thoroughly, no problems with it.. tried another pair of RAM sticks and it still gave me problems.

    FINALLY, I switched out the CPU and put my old single-core Athlon64 3500+ in. It seemed stable.. I did get TWO lockups in the past week or so, which sure beats the more frequent lockups of the dual core CPU I had. But now I'm guessing the CPU isn't the prob here. I was convinced it was, until I had my first random lockup. I have an RMA ready for the CPU but I'm hesitant to send it in. I don't know what else would be causing the lockups. Driver issues USUALLY cause blue screens, not lockups. The power supply seems fine, the voltages are stable on it.

    This brings me down to the last component in my computer that could be suspect: could it be the Audiophile 2496?? Has anyone here experienced lockups with this card? It's always been stable for me in the past.. but maybe the latest drivers are buggy. Anyone had probs with the latest drivers? Maybe it's the combination of nForce4 with the Audiophile?

    I don't know what else to do. I'm very close to just selling my whole PC (minus the hard drives) for the best offering price, and just building a new one from scratch. I've had it. Three months now, and no solution. If anyone has any ideas, I'd appreciate it.
    Sam Hulick
    Composer
    http://www.samhulick.com/

  2. #2

    Re: System lockups -- I'm beyond desperation at this point

    I have the firewire audiophile and was using it on the Mac. After my last driver/firmware update my latency problems were much reduced but now the volume control for the headphones is nearly useless (turn it and turn it and turn it and nothing happens, and then suddenly a large volume change). Also, it acquired a tendency to not be recognized when the Mac woke from sleep, or sometimes one app would recognize it and another wouldn't.

    No lock-ups, though, and now I'm not using any more.

    Amy

  3. #3

    Re: System lockups -- I'm beyond desperation at this point

    Have you done all the dual core crap? You know, DLing the chipset driver from AMD, the XP Dual core hotfix from Microsoft, etc?

    What kind of cooling do you have in there?

    Are you experiencing the lockups under any particular circumstances (using your DAW software, for instance) or are they just random?

    I upgraded to an AMD dual core system last winter, and it's been remarkably stable under most circumstances. The specs are similar to yours: Opteron 165 overclocked to X2 4400+ speeds, ASUS A8N Premium, 500W Antec PSU, GeForce 7800GT, 2 GB Kingston RAM, 2 HDDs. The only time I have run into issues is with Sonar and my old Tascam US-428. This combo was relatively solid on my old Athlon XP 2600+ system, but with the new one I get crash after crash. I suspect it's the 428's drivers, since the crashes only seem to happen in ASIO mode (not WDM). However, MIDI to external devices won't sync up properly in WDM mode, so there you go. Thanks, Tascam, for a great driver u n00bs!!!!11!1

    I'm due for an audio interface upgrade anyway, so I'm just going to sell the old blue beast to a friend of mine. But anyway, the moral of the story is that it surely could be your audio interface. Have you tried running without it to see if you still get the lockups?

  4. #4

    Re: System lockups -- I'm beyond desperation at this point

    Thanks for the replies. Actually I just figured it out tonight.. it's the video card. While surfing around, I noticed a page kept locking me up. I narrowed it down to an animated GIF that was locking me up. Luckily one time it actually reset instead of locking up, so it left behind a crash dump file which I debugged. The stack showed me the crash was caused by win32k!GreSetLayout, which sounds like some sort of graphical API call.

    I bought a cheapo PCI express video card from NewEgg, to drop into my machine and then see if I get the same lockup with that card in there. If not, it is indeed the video card (I'm 99% sure at this point). Someone on a tech forum commented that there was a bad batch of eVGA 7900GT cards. Not sure how true that is, but I wouldn't be surprised.
    Sam Hulick
    Composer
    http://www.samhulick.com/

  5. #5

    Re: System lockups -- I'm beyond desperation at this point

    Do you use your system only for DAW-stuff? If so, what's the catch
    in buying a high-end graphics-board? For DAW you don't need any
    of those fancy 3d features. Your card will just burn quite a bit of
    your power-supplies' energy and produce excess heat...

    There are quite a few passively-cooled PCIe cards out there which
    even support dual-dvi and should be just fine for DAW use...

    Tobias

  6. #6

    Re: System lockups -- I'm beyond desperation at this point

    Glad you tracked it down, Sam. You should be able to RMA that card no problem.

  7. #7

    Re: System lockups -- I'm beyond desperation at this point

    Nope, I have one machine.. DAW/general purpose machine/gaming/etc If I had more room, I'd have a separate DAW. Soon..
    Sam Hulick
    Composer
    http://www.samhulick.com/

  8. #8

    Re: System lockups -- I'm beyond desperation at this point

    OK, it's not the video card. I put in a new test card, same lockups. *sigh* Man, computers really piss me off sometimes. So my next step is to buy a digital multimeter this weekend and test the power supply. I hope I don't electrocute myself in the process.
    Sam Hulick
    Composer
    http://www.samhulick.com/

  9. #9

    Re: System lockups -- I'm beyond desperation at this point

    Hi,

    what software are you using?

    Scott
    ADK

  10. #10

    Re: System lockups -- I'm beyond desperation at this point

    Quote Originally Posted by MDesigner
    it's the video card. While surfing around, I noticed a page kept locking me up...
    OK, it's not the video card. I put in a new test card, same lockups...
    Web browsers (*all* of them) are the buggiest code on your system. Don't use them to debug your system. A browser that crashes is working as designed.

    If you must use your DAW for general surfing, at least don't use Internet Explorer. If you must use the system for email, at least don't use Outlook. Those programs are the most targetted by malware.

    Have you scanned your system for malware?

    Amy

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