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Thread: Hard crashing with beep through speakers

  1. #1
    Senior Member kalniel's Avatar
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    Hard crashing with beep through speakers

    I've started getting a very annoying hard crash and I'd be really grateful for any pointers.

    Symptoms
    After several hours of playing a modern game, my computer locks up and a pure tone 'beep' comes out of my external speakers until I hit the reset button. There is no bsod, no automatic restart, the picture on screen freezes and the speakers produce a tone at me.

    This most frequently occurs on Supreme Commander, but has happened rarely on NWN2 and Gothic 3 as well.

    Detailed Specifications
    -AMD X2 3800+ (manchester) running stock speed and voltage. Latest AMD driver is installed, AMD dual core optimiser is also installed.
    -Sapphire x1950xt 256mb running stock speed and voltage, ATItool has been used to up fan speeds a bit. Catalyst 7.2 installed. 2d/3d speed change enabled.
    -2gb G.skill DDR400 RAM running stock speed and voltage, and at SPD rated timings of 2-3-2-5-2T, dual channel mode.
    -ASRock 939 Dual Sata2 motherboard, 2.10 BIOS, latest drivers from ASRock website. Onboard sound disabled. Cool n Quiet enabled.
    -XClio 480W aPFC super silent PSU. Dual 12v rail, 18A each, 34A? combined max.
    -Creative SB Audigy 2 ZS sound card, latest drivers from Creative website.
    -Edimax (radlink) 802.11b/g wireless PCI card
    -Sony DW-Q30A DVD-RW
    -IBM 120gb 7200rpm 2mb Cache PATA ATA133 hdd
    -Seagate 7200.10 320gb 7200rpm 16mb Cache SATA hdd
    -Matsumi FDD/card reader
    -Logitech mx518 USB mouse
    -Dell QuietKey PS2 keyboard
    -Dell 17" CRT

    -Windows XP Home SP2, Fully updated, February DirectX 9.0c, minimum power management. Program cache preference, no specified page file (though have tried with), MS hotfix installed.
    -AVG free edition
    -Windows defender

    -Coolermaster Centurion 5
    -120mm Case exhaust fan in line with CPU
    -80mm intake fan near hdd and in line with GPU intake
    -Artic Cooler 64 pro
    -Rounded cables etc.

    No part of the computer has ever been overclocked or run outside of specification.

    Diagnostics so far
    -Memtest86 reveals no errors in RAM.
    -Orthos + Dual prime 95 reveal no errors in CPU.
    -ATI Tool, RTHDRBL + 3dmark06 reveal no errors in GPU.

    Temperatures determined by Speedfan 4.30 + ATI Tool 0.26 (degrees C)
    CPU idle: 29, max game load: 39, Orthos stress peak: 43
    GPU idle: 49, max game load: 73, ATI Tool stress peak: 80
    Motherboard (VRM?) idle: 29, Orthos stress: 38
    RAM idle: 32, Orthos stress: 35
    Seagate hdd: 34 constant
    IBM hdd: 29 constant

    Logs reveal last recorded temperatures before the crash of CPU - 34.5, Motherboard 35.5 and RAM 34. Didn't get GPU logs but have no reason to think it would be higher than seen in stress tests.

    Voltages determined by Speedfan 4.30
    VCoreA idle: 1.10, Orthos stress: 1.36
    VCoreB idle: 1.17, Orthos stress: 1.41
    +3.3v idle: 3.30, Orthos stress: 3.28
    +5v idle: 5.11 Othos stress: 5.08
    +12v idle: 11.98, Orthos stress: 11.98, ATI tool stress: 11.86

    As expected. Voltages looks rock stable with 0 fluctuation for the most part. Heavy graphics load results in an eventual 0.12v drop on the 12v line and some fluctuation on that line, but as it's only 1% at most from min to max voltage it's nothing abnormal.

    The fact that the beep is coming through the external speakers rather than the internal speaker is strange, and implies to me some kind of warning condition that's being correctly routed through the sound card. But I can't for the life of me think what is causing it. Temps look fine, the drop in voltage is the only thing I can possibly think off - I've not managed to get any logs of voltage so I can't see if it suddenly drops part way through which causes the crash - certainly values during stress tests are normal, but then again the computer is 100% stable during stress tests

    The hardness of the lock suggests it's at a hardware rather than software level. I'm kind of thinking it's one of two possibles:
    1) The PSU, which does not have a huge amount of room spare on the combined 12v load and is a cheap make. However this is the CWT unit (antec truepower series) and as can be seen, seems rock solid.
    2) The motherboard, which is also a budget make. However in combination with the PSU it's providing rock solid voltages so don't know what else it could be, that doesn't show up in other stress tests.

    I can't really afford to replace any more components on a 'try it an see' basis - not least because to get a guaranteed improvement would mean spending 70-90 quid on the PSU, and substantially more on the motherboard/OS combination.

    But if anyone had any ideas or more questions, I'd be very grateful

    Regards,

    kalniel

  2. #2
    Late Night Ninja! CrazyMonkey's Avatar
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    • CrazyMonkey's system
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    Is it just that one game? Or is it many games?

  3. #3
    Senior Member kalniel's Avatar
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    • kalniel's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Gigabyte X58A UD3R rev 2
      • CPU:
      • Intel Xeon X5680
      • Memory:
      • 12gb DDR3 2000
      • Graphics card(s):
      • nVidia GTX 1060 6GB
      • PSU:
      • Seasonic 600W
      • Case:
      • Cooler Master HAF 912
      • Operating System:
      • Win 10 Pro x64
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    Quote Originally Posted by CrazyMonkey View Post
    Is it just that one game? Or is it many games?
    Quote Originally Posted by kalniel
    This most frequently occurs on Supreme Commander, but has happened rarely on NWN2 and Gothic 3 as well.
    It's happening every session now for Sup Com, and perhaps once a month in NWN2 and Gothic 3 - I wouldn't have thought about them, except the nature of the crash and the beep is exactly the same.

    I used to play Sup Com fine, but recently it's become a problem.

    Wierdly, last time it locked up, the beep started and I had no mouse input, but the game carried on running for about 2 seconds, so it hadn't frozen up the graphics card at that point :/
    Last edited by kalniel; 04-03-2007 at 04:05 PM.

  4. #4
    Oh Crumbs.... Biscuit's Avatar
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    If you have to time you could try a rebuild. at least then you could rule out the chance of software/drivers etc. I gotta admit that does sound like a hard error

  5. #5
    Senior Member kalniel's Avatar
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    • kalniel's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Gigabyte X58A UD3R rev 2
      • CPU:
      • Intel Xeon X5680
      • Memory:
      • 12gb DDR3 2000
      • Graphics card(s):
      • nVidia GTX 1060 6GB
      • PSU:
      • Seasonic 600W
      • Case:
      • Cooler Master HAF 912
      • Operating System:
      • Win 10 Pro x64
      • Monitor(s):
      • Dell U2311H
      • Internet:
      • O2 8mbps
    Don't really have the time for a rebuild, though would obviously do it before swapping out the motherboard. Another annoyance is that it's not really something that's going to show up on and RMA fault tests.

    Any ideas on which it's likely to be out of the PSU or motherboard?

  6. #6
    Oh Crumbs.... Biscuit's Avatar
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    • Biscuit's system
      • Motherboard:
      • MSI B450M Mortar
      • CPU:
      • AMD 2700X (Be Quiet! Dark Rock 3)
      • Memory:
      • 16GB Patriot Viper 2 @ 3466MHz
      • Storage:
      • 500GB WD Black
      • Graphics card(s):
      • Sapphire R9 290X Vapor-X
      • PSU:
      • Seasonic Focus Gold 750W
      • Case:
      • Lian Li PC-V359
      • Operating System:
      • Windows 10 x64
      • Internet:
      • BT Infinity 80/20
    I would say the motherboard... If the PSU is dying and not powering the motherboard correctly then it could be that though. Afraid the only way i can think of checking this kind of problem is with a swapping fault find. Do you know anyone who has a decent PSU u can borrow?

  7. #7
    Metier9
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    I had this before.. i solved it without RMA'ing any hardware... but its been so long.. like 2 years...

  8. #8
    Oh Crumbs.... Biscuit's Avatar
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    • Biscuit's system
      • Motherboard:
      • MSI B450M Mortar
      • CPU:
      • AMD 2700X (Be Quiet! Dark Rock 3)
      • Memory:
      • 16GB Patriot Viper 2 @ 3466MHz
      • Storage:
      • 500GB WD Black
      • Graphics card(s):
      • Sapphire R9 290X Vapor-X
      • PSU:
      • Seasonic Focus Gold 750W
      • Case:
      • Lian Li PC-V359
      • Operating System:
      • Windows 10 x64
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    Quote Originally Posted by Metier9 View Post
    I had this before.. i solved it without RMA'ing any hardware... but its been so long.. like 2 years...
    actually i seem to recall having this kind of problem and thinking it was my hard drive... until my graphics card started going mental and putting funny lines and blocks of colour on the screen.

    I guess a problem like this cant be placed down to any componant without checking m8

  9. #9
    Metier9
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Biscuit View Post
    actually i seem to recall having this kind of problem and thinking it was my hard drive... until my graphics card started going mental and putting funny lines and blocks of colour on the screen.

    I guess a problem like this cant be placed down to any componant without checking m8
    Yer, i think mine was the psu for this one... the connector to the motherboard had gone a strange black colour.. like the voltage went to high or the psu power surged... but it would still work... until my computer started doing what the thread starter stated so i changed my psu.

  10. #10
    Senior Member kalniel's Avatar
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    • kalniel's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Gigabyte X58A UD3R rev 2
      • CPU:
      • Intel Xeon X5680
      • Memory:
      • 12gb DDR3 2000
      • Graphics card(s):
      • nVidia GTX 1060 6GB
      • PSU:
      • Seasonic 600W
      • Case:
      • Cooler Master HAF 912
      • Operating System:
      • Win 10 Pro x64
      • Monitor(s):
      • Dell U2311H
      • Internet:
      • O2 8mbps
    *nods* sounds like getting hold of a PSU to swap is probably the best I can do. Shame my mates are mostly a few years behind the technology curve..

    In the meantime I'll try and devise a torture test/combination of tests to see if I can reproduce the situation outside of a game.

  11. #11
    Senior Member kalniel's Avatar
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    • kalniel's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Gigabyte X58A UD3R rev 2
      • CPU:
      • Intel Xeon X5680
      • Memory:
      • 12gb DDR3 2000
      • Graphics card(s):
      • nVidia GTX 1060 6GB
      • PSU:
      • Seasonic 600W
      • Case:
      • Cooler Master HAF 912
      • Operating System:
      • Win 10 Pro x64
      • Monitor(s):
      • Dell U2311H
      • Internet:
      • O2 8mbps
    Well I didn't need the heating on last night...

    Ran Orthos blend test continuously, along with ATI-Tool continuously. Temps and volts remainded identical to previous readings.

    Ontop of that I ran dxdiag tests, played MP3s, transfered some files to different hard drives, downloaded stuff over the wireless connection. Whatever I could think of to 'use' as many components as possible, for about 2 hours.

    Still the same temps, volts and stability. I also ran memtest86 for 8 hours again, 0 errors.

    I'm pretty sure that the PSU, motherboard and memory are good

    On the creative forums here there's a thread about the same error, and I'm pretty sure it's a driver bug/conflict with the audigy 2 now. I've disabled all the spare ports on the m/board and onboard lan (hello windows activation). Totally cleaned out the SB drivers and reinstalled..

    ..and so far it's ok.

    But I wish Creative would product some better drivers. I love the card, I really do, but I hate the drivers!

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