Question NOT GUARANTEED RESOLVED, BUT SEE POST #50: Source of intermittent, occasional critical stop crash and shutdown -- Event ID 41. Could it be RAM?

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BonzaiDuck

Lifer
Jun 30, 2004
15,662
1,421
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I've posted a thread recently in "Power Supplies" about the possibility that a bad UPS was the cause of a critical stop that would occur about once every two weeks.

My sig system has been refitted with a Kaby Lake 7700K, and I swapped out four TridentZ 3200 RAM sticks for two (2x16) which "seemed" to have the same specs: DDR4-3200, 14-14-14 and 1.35V.

Perhaps a couple months after installing and testing, I had this critical stop on June 27, 2021. I had gone through a makeover after damaging the motherboard with a static charge to a USB-charging vaping pen. (Stupid -- I know). In July, I made the mistake of leaving a non-bootable install CD in the optical drive, and the system wouldn't boot because it would halt at the drive enumeration phase, trying to figure out what was going on with the optical disc. I put the problem on hold for a few months, then recognized the issue with the CD, took it out, and everything was fine. I'd also replaced the PSU just days before resolving the CD problem. Critical stops continued, and it was not too long before I realized the first had happened -- as I said -- in June.

So eliminating the PSU, I began to suspect the UPS and swapped it out. Things seemed as though this had rectified the problem, but no -- the critical stop occurred again after two weeks, and a few days ago.

I ran the INtel diagnostics on the processor, and everything is good. The motherboard was replaced at the time of the vaping-pen accident. Further, I can't imagine how the motherboard would cause these intermittent crashes. I conclude that it could be the RAM, possibly the video card (but not as likely), or a driver or software misconfiguration or conflict. The BIOS is up to date. All the other drivers are up to date. I'm running the latest feature upgrade to Windows 10.

Some web forums and threads indicate RAM as a source of the problem. In my case, the crashes seem more serious than what others describe as blue screens. The system shuts down. I cannot cold-boot by hitting the switch. I have to unplug the PSU after switching it off, wait a minute, then plug it back in and switch on. NOte that all the overclock settings have been set back to the ASUS "optimal defaults", but the problem persisted.

THE RAM

I looked carefully to replace my 4x8 set of TridentZ with a 2x16. Never mind my profligate and unnecessary spending. I just wanted to do it. The original modules were 3200 14-14-14 GTZ kits. The replacement 2x16's were 3200 14-14-14 GTZR. There was no reliable information about compatibility with my Z170 board from the G.SKILL configurator page. I sent an e-mail to G.SKILL: their techs are always quick to respond and very helpful. But this time, their tech said "Oh! It will PROBABLY work. You may have to loosen the timings and run them at a lower speed. . . " At first, everything seemed fine at the spec settings, but I remembered the e-mail response. Checking the web again, there was never any mention that the GTZR's were compatible with the Z170 boards. They seemed to be made for the Z270 or later.

So I think I should swap the original GTZ RAM sticks back in, perhaps even just one pair (2x8).

Anyone with comments or insight? An error that occurs every couple weeks takes patience to monitor and cure. So far, no hard disk corruption or other problems.

One more thought. For years I've been using Romex Primo-Cache to speed up SATA storage, and I therefore inclined to 32GB of RAM or more to use in L1 caching. There's also a 256GB Sammy 960 EVO NVME drive as L2 cache, and I haven't attended much to keeping it trimmed. So I've deleted my caches for the time being until I get this resolved. Could the caching drive have something to do with this? I don't know. Could it be the graphics card? It seems tip-top, but I can't be sure until I test that component as well.

As for the motherboard. It would seem to me that a problem with the board would show itself in more frequent and consistent crashes. No matter but for the potential inconvenience: I have a spare returned by ASUS under warranty RMA. Of course, I'll have to go through reactivations with software. I don't think I lack any in the way of spare hardware to fix this, PROVIDED that it's a hardware problem. It will be a pain-in-the-*** to swap out the motherboard. Just because . . . . it will be a P-I-T-A, that's all . . . .
 
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VirtualLarry

No Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
55,875
9,798
126
If you have a UPS / Battery backup, WITHOUT "Pure Sine" technology, combined with an "Active PFC" PSU (nearly all sold within the last five years or more), combined with an Asus mobo with "Asus Anti-Surge", then I'm not surprised to hear about your issues. Do something about the UPS, make sure it's "Pure Sine", or disable Asus Anti-Surge on your mobo.
 

BonzaiDuck

Lifer
Jun 30, 2004
15,662
1,421
126
If you have a UPS / Battery backup, WITHOUT "Pure Sine" technology, combined with an "Active PFC" PSU (nearly all sold within the last five years or more), combined with an Asus mobo with "Asus Anti-Surge", then I'm not surprised to hear about your issues. Do something about the UPS, make sure it's "Pure Sine", or disable Asus Anti-Surge on your mobo.
And that's based on your experience -- certainly well-recognized by me?

I could give that a shot. But can you explain this to me -- how that is happening? I'm curious . . .

So we start another sequence of days to see if you're right.

The unit I threw on this system is the APC Back-UPS 1500 -- purchased early last year. I had it running upstairs for several months temporarily, for my server box.

If this is indeed the trouble, I might have enabled that BIOS feature when I swapped in the new motherboard last spring.

Nothing in the APC unit's specs to suggest anything of "Pure Sine Wave". I checked the APC web-site, and entered the proper search string. Nothing there related to my model UPS, so it must NOT be pure sine wave . . .

Now I've gone into BIOS and searched all over the place until I found the feature you mentioned. I began to think it wasn't there, but I had seen it, or remembered seeing it. It is possible that I enabled it at the time of the motherboard swap -- didn't even have a single misgiving about it. Thought is was a "good thing". So yes, it was Enabled. I turned it off.

So like a said, another string of days -- hopefully weeks -- better yet -- months.

I've otherwise got all the parts In need to fix this PC and continue building a twin to it, but at this point, I'm starting to look at Z690 and Alder Lake.

This system is just important to me, best I ever built until the windy dry day shuffling along on the carpet, thinking I needed to hit up on the vaping pen and thoughtlessly grabbed to pull it from the USB port.

I don't WANT to charge anything on my USB ports ever again; I don't NEED to charge anything on them; I bought a charging bus with 10 QC USB ports that plugs into a single AC wall-socket.

Gee, Larry -- I sure hope you're right about this. "Electronics" is not my forte. I don't confess ignorance; I matter-of-factly tongue in cheek admit it. Everybody is relatively ignorant about several things. And YOU would KNOW about this stuff.
 

VirtualLarry

No Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
55,875
9,798
126
It gets a little complicated, but it goes something like this: UPS triggers to inverter, either because of periodic battery self-tests that APC UPS devices like to do, or actual, occasional, brown/black-outs, or otherwise line glitches. This causes the APFC PSU, to run on "spikey output" from a non-Sine UPS, and thus, has trouble regulating DC output within precise parameters, which Asus Anti-Surge catches and triggers an (unwanted, and unexpected) shutdown.

Edit: And yes, I've seen it before.

Edit #2: Important note, I'm not an EE, but like I said, I've seen this scenario happen before.

Edit #3: Disable Asus anti-surge AT YOUR OWN RISK. I'm not responsible if the interactions between your improperly-specced UPS and your power supply conspire one day to fry your mobo.
 
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BonzaiDuck

Lifer
Jun 30, 2004
15,662
1,421
126
It gets a little complicated, but it goes something like this: UPS triggers to inverter, either because of periodic battery self-tests that APC UPS devices like to do, or actual, occasional, brown/black-outs, or otherwise line glitches. This causes the APFC PSU, to run on "spikey output" from a non-Sine UPS, and thus, has trouble regulating DC output within precise parameters, which Asus Anti-Surge catches and triggers an (unwanted, and unexpected) shutdown.

Edit: And yes, I've seen it before.

Edit #2: Important note, I'm not an EE, but like I said, I've seen this scenario happen before.

Edit #3: Disable Asus anti-surge AT YOUR OWN RISK. I'm not responsible if the interactions between your improperly-specced UPS* and your power supply conspire one day to fry your mobo.
If indeed the scenario you describe is responsible for this, there is nothing I can do BUT to disable it. NOT YOUR PROBLEM, BRO! I've got plenty of good parts, and I'm looking at Z690 and Alder Lake -- with no hurry.

I've had Tripplite, Belkin, CyberPower and of course -- APC UPS boxes. I tend to prefer APC. But when I shop for these things, I may either ASSUME they are "pure sine wave", or I overlook it. Where have I seen the expression "square" sine wave?

I"m going to go poke around in the software to seen when the last APC self-test occurred.

* How is it improperly specced? I should tell you that this was happening on another PSU which I thought had gone south. It continued to happen on this APC unit. When I discovered later that the first unit was still good, I moved it to the HT/entertainment equipment -- batteries probably already 3-years-old.

But if what you say is true, if it all derives from the BIOS setting, then I suppose it could occur for both. The first one was an older model -- designed for server use. I think I get them relatively cheap -- from Refurb-UPS. They sell batteries, of course.

But exactly what do you mean by "improperly specced"? What's the difference between a UPS five years ago and one I might have bought in the last several months? And as I said, this power event was occurring for both the successive UPS's. On the other hand, looking at the time-series, maybe it's consistent with UPS self-tests.

We're gonna find out. I'm not going to swap any hardware just yet . . . . Man! what I think I could've done with that stimulus money! I just didn't have time for a new-computer building project. I'm routinely focused on my data -- not the computer "enthusiasm".

Maybe the ASUS board is too tightly specced. Is that possible?
 
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BonzaiDuck

Lifer
Jun 30, 2004
15,662
1,421
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It's possible that anti-surge is too sensitive, or has the occasional erroneous reading as well.
One, the other or both, then. See, most people who might not overclock, when building a computer from these motherboards, would set the BIOS to "optimized defaults". That anti-surge feature is buried in the submenus and hard to find. I likely never touched it for other boards I've used, but the vaping-pen accident made me keen on "providing extra protection".

This also demonstrates something I believe should be done, but for which I can be as careless as anyone. An enthusiast should keep a notebook on BIOS settings and other things, as a chronological log. With this, I can only be sure that the first instance of the power event occurred before I swapped out the PSU and continued before and after I swapped the UPS. Both PSUs featured "Active PFC", and neither UPS was specced for "pure sine wave".

AFTERTHOUGHT: I did a web-search on the motherboard BIOS feature. First, the default setting -- probably for all mobos that have that feature -- is "Off" or "Disabled". Second, given that the UPS is supposed to provide great surge suppression and constant power, and good PSUs have additional features that stabilize the DC voltages and power, it's unnecessary to turn the feature "ON".
Any advice I found to people asking about it, if the advice says it's a "good thing", assumes the user is using a barrel or plug suppressor at the AC wall-socket -- without a UPS.

For me, I just remember that fateful evening in 1994 Virginia, with driving rain and green lightning strikes. I had even had a fender-bender with another car on the trip home from work. When I arrived home that evening, my sad discoveries put the idea in my head that I should have "UPS insurance".

Surge suppressors don't last, and they don't protect against unusual voltage spikes. Should we move this thread to "Power Supplies"? Or "Motherboards"? Like I said, I think we've ruled out RAM. I'm easy about it!
 
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BonzaiDuck

Lifer
Jun 30, 2004
15,662
1,421
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NO CIGAR! Now we have the power event occurring merely a day after the last. No BlueScreenView and no mini-dump.

I need to start pulling some parts. This is going to screw up part of my forthcoming week . . .

I think I'd better find the USB Win 10 install disk, and consider doing a clean installation -- eventually. I've managed all my files well. I should only need to pull a few files from the boot drive.

The shutdown occurred while I was using remote desktop to manage the server upstairs. I was in the process of making Win 2012 R2 delete some archived backups. This system wasn't being backed up on the server: I use Macrium for it. Previous instances of the power event didn't occur while doing anything like this.

I could start by just pulling the motherboard, keeping the processor. If I have to swap the processor, then more work than that.

Maybe I'll just swap in a different graphics card first . . . . . . . . . . . . This sucks.
 
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VirtualLarry

No Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
55,875
9,798
126
First try plugging the PC directly into the wall, rather than through the UPS.

If it STILL crashes, then we will know that the UPS isn't the culprit. I would avoid swapping any other hardware until you do this.
 

BonzaiDuck

Lifer
Jun 30, 2004
15,662
1,421
126
First try plugging the PC directly into the wall, rather than through the UPS.

If it STILL crashes, then we will know that the UPS isn't the culprit. I would avoid swapping any other hardware until you do this.
Are you sure about this? I think at least the wall connection should have a surge suppressor on it. You know, of course, that I had used two different UPS systems on this box -- the first working just fine for three years or so, and the second a planned replacement like two others I'm using on other PCs. I checked this 2700K system here -- which you know about -- and the anti-surge feature on the Z68 motherboard is set to "ON" -- no problems with it, and the UPS is the same make and model as that currently feeding the problem PC.

I finally decided today that I would swap out the motherboard this week. I'd already cleared aside workspace for it. I can take my time: I have this 2700K box with the "multi-monitor" setup I mentioned in the "Windows" thread, which you answered.

there IS one more thing I remember about this. After I'd done the parts replacement a year ago to resolve the vaping-pen accident, I went to stick a USB drive of music files in the same front-panel port where I'd had that accident. There was a minor static discharge between the USB stick and the port. I considered that there was something damaged about the port and its motherboard connection, and having another pair of front panel 2.0 ports and a pair of 3.0 ports, I unplugged the suspect port(s) from the motherboard. I'm just thinking the case-port and cable may have been damaged at that time when I'd reached for the vaping-pen.

Also, I spoke to the seller of the open-box motherboard just when I bought it, who worked out of the backdoor for CDW or some other established reseller. The board had been returned within a month by the initial buyer. They tested it, and found nothing wrong. But maybe there was already something wrong which their tests didn't identify. Why did the buyer return it? Always a question about open-box purchases. I'm just saying, I'm beginning to suspect the board, and I have an ASUS RMA replacement from the original board I had before the vaping-pen disaster.

There's time to get this done, and I'm open to your ideas. I was just getting ready to go forward with the hardware swap. The worst that would happen after that, if it resolves things, is the PITA of the reactivations with some of the software.

EDIT: I have a sense of "statistics and probability" in my entire approach to life -- and I've been right about a lot of things unrelated to computer-tech over the last twenty years or so. I've been able to "make predictions" that always turned out to be corrrect and spot-on. This sense of things has never failed me. What I observe is this -- given the time-series I posted earlier. Every time I changed something on the motherboard (both changes involving power and voltage instability) -- twice now -- the time between crashes has been shorter than the pattern exhibited over the last several months.

I think I can find a barrel-suppressor or surge-suppressed power-strip to do what you suggest, but by last night, I was all set to go forward with the board-swap. Again, your comment is valued. And while I wait on other things going forward with my household computer-makeover, I can wait a bit longer.

As for the replacement board waiting in the wings, ASUS has never failed me -- they always send back replacements without defect.

ANOTHER AFTERTHOUGHT: These UPS's by APC -- 1500VA units -- are twins. I insist on having a separate one for each PC, because they can only be monitored by one PC. But there's plenty of power in them to handle an additional 90 to 300W (absolute max and unlikely) of the problem computer. I know this second unit is working fine: the 2700K with Win 10 is running beautifully. I don't need to leave it running while we do this, either, so I can hook the USB cable to the problem PC. The 2700K as I said has the anti-surge switched to ON in the BIOS.

That would, I think, accomplish the same thing. Afterward, I can move on to the motherboard swap. I'm gambling that this problem isn't the processor, although I have a (non-K) i7-6700 brand new and my old i7-6700K which I could swap instead. I could recount my sense of symptoms that lead me to think it's the mobo or something else, but I've already done that . . . . Either way, I still have to remove the Le Grand Macho heatsink and do the extra work . . . If it turned out that the CPU is source of the problem -- then, more extra work. But -- hopefully not. . .
 
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BonzaiDuck

Lifer
Jun 30, 2004
15,662
1,421
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Today is MOTHERBOARD DAY. Hoping that next week isn't CPU DAY . . . What a pain. What a pain.

If you had been building computers since 1994, would you buy a Dell? An HP? You could just as easily put a vaping pen in an HP or DELL USB port, and you'd still screw things up . . . . They can look sleek on the outside, but they're still kinda trashy on the inside.
 

mikeymikec

Lifer
May 19, 2011
16,605
7,370
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If you had been building computers since 1994, would you buy a Dell? An HP? You could just as easily put a vaping pen in an HP or DELL USB port, and you'd still screw things up . . . . They can look sleek on the outside, but they're still kinda trashy on the inside.

Sounds like you answered your own question? :)
 

BonzaiDuck

Lifer
Jun 30, 2004
15,662
1,421
126
Don't forget LEG DAY... hehe.
In between trimming some bushes in front of the house and helping Moms eat her hamburger and fries, I got the CM Stacker on the patio under the canopy and up onto the table. I started pulling it apart. I did a lot of tedious things building that box four years ago. It all has to go back together as it was. I think I'm going to limit and focus my efforts on the mobo and processor exclusively.

It's going to be a little while before I can report back here as to whether I have to repeat this process again . . . But all the symptoms and the purchase-history seem to point at the motherboard. I'm thinking that the original buyer had a system put together, probably didn't have the "power management" considerations that I have, and after a couple weeks or less experienced the same problem -- to send it back to the reseller. Then, they tested it. Maybe they tested it for a couple hours, or a day; I wouldn't know what the standard practice is, but they would try to get it done quickly. So maybe they missed the defect, passing it on to me and willing to tell me it was "all good".

Next time, if I'm still alive, I'll wait for the ASUS RMA and avoid any "open boxes". . . .
 

bigboxes

Lifer
Apr 6, 2002
37,645
11,805
146
For the record, all of my Ryzen PCs crash occasionally. It's just a thing with Ryzen, I guess. Sigh. Or my mining is really just too hard on it.

Edit: Regarding PC part aging and mysterious crashes - "bathtub curve" - it's a real thing.

Edit #2: Friend had a refurb Dell-based Sandy Bridge gaming PC that I had assembled for him a few years back, had a mobo go bad on him fairly recently. ("Bathtub curve", again.)
I get no crashes with Ryzen. I'm using B-die G.Skill Trident-Z ram. I've had this machine up for 100+ days. Rock solid reliable. Best PC ever!
 

BonzaiDuck

Lifer
Jun 30, 2004
15,662
1,421
126
I get no crashes with Ryzen. I'm using B-die G.Skill Trident-Z ram. I've had this machine up for 100+ days. Rock solid reliable. Best PC ever!
That's what i said about my Skylake -- now Kaby Lake -- built five years ago, until last year's vaping pen accident with the static charge. This had been the best system I'd ever built, and I've been building them since 1994. One becomes fond of a piece of work like this. And the simple fact of the matter -- the computer case, fan deployment, air-control for pressurization, Lexan motherboard duct with second exhaust, the front USB ports and the ICYDOCK "optical plus two 2.5" hot-swap bays", custom washable fan filters and the DEMCiFlex magnetic filters specific to the CM Stacker 832 -- all of this -- will be perfect if I want to drop an Alder Lake and Z690 board in there. There will be nothing else to do but pop in the CPU+mobo+RAM, put it back together and test it.

So in the short term, I'm hoping that I found the source of the problem and its hopefully not a software or driver difficulty. Everything points to the motherboard.

PROGRESS TO DATE: I started pulling it apart either yesterday or day before -- painstaking, patient, careful work. Today, I mounted the LG Macho cooler onto the new board with the Kaby Lake processor, and carefully finished connecting all the cables exactly as they had been -- with only the front-panel lights, power-switch and reset switch wires left to connect. I'll leave that for tomorrow morning after a quick review of the appropriate page in the motherboard manual.

I'll probably attempt to fire it up late tomorrow or Saturday. I'll put the 2x16GB TridentZ GTZR kit back in the sockets, of course, before I fire it up.

I'm setting my hopes high on this, because I'm rebuilding every aspect of the thing except for placement of the Lexan duct. In advance, I'll prepare myself mentally for any unhappy outcomes. The extra work in tearing it apart again is not too much. But if there are problems, it could be a week or more before I do this again.

Five years after the build, I see my memory is failing at age 74, or I otherwise have less confidence in that regard. i was almost worried I didn't remember exactly how to put everything back to tip-top replication. But I think I've almost completed doing just that.
The Sandy Bridgers and the Skylake cores I've been able to overclock without a single BSOD. Nothing at the moment is overclocked, except the RAM -- because it has an "OC" spec. This is the first time to my remembrance that a system was unstable enough to crash in the way I reported my time-series of crashes. I've built relatively shitty computers way back in the past, and it didn't even happen with those.

I can only say that there is a cause and a reason for everything and anything. One always faces the problem of identifying the correct cause and reason.
 

BonzaiDuck

Lifer
Jun 30, 2004
15,662
1,421
126
5-6-22
Never remove a machine/computer-name from your Microsoft account while troubleshooting network problems on your home network . . .

. . So . . . I no longer have a spare white-box OEM license for use with a future computer build. As of five minutes ago.

BUT! [Nobody remembers the old 1980s crime-drama series "Crime Story" when the character Ray Lucca tells the FBI men . . ] I'M BACK! i'M BAD! I'M ON TOP! YOU WING-TIP BOZOS DON' HAVE NUTHIN' ON ME!

I guess I'd better check my MS Office Pro as well . . .

Mmmm . . . That's odd . . . . the Office 2010 Pro tells me "you've changed hardware on your computer". Then, a mouse-click, and all is well. I was actually looking forward to getting a newer version. . . .

THE HARDWARE . . .. There was something wrong with voltage regulation ( or "something") on that open-box motherboard installed last year. After the mobo swap completed yesterday, this thing never ran better . . .

TODAY'S APPOINTMENT WITH MY EYE-DOCTOR

So this morning, I had it all put back together. I thought I checked everything -- all the little front-panel connecting wires, the fans. At boot time, the system tells me there's no CPU fan connected. "What?! Sure there is!" Got my super-magnifier glasses, my 10,000 lumen head-lamp and a magnifying glass. Sure enough, I'd connected a fan to the "water-pump" PWM port instead.

Getting old sucks -- even with a new motherboard . . . .
 
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BonzaiDuck

Lifer
Jun 30, 2004
15,662
1,421
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A 7 Year old brand new motherboard...
I'm not sure it was seven. Well -- you tell me -- when was the Z170 chipset released? It would be at the time the Skylake processors were released. I thought it was five years old. I think they released the Kaby Lake (Skylake-core "tock of tick") just before 2017 . . .

See -- I understand your point about this. Someone might say -- and they did say when I had my vaping-pen-static-charge accident back in January 2021 -- "Why don't you get a new Rocket Lake and motherboard? (or Alder Lake if it was available then . . .). I wasn't ready for the planning and trouble of building a new computer. When I build a new computer, I PLAN everything. I may look at hardware and lab reviews over a six-month period. When I'm ready, I order the parts. I don't just "slap it together". There was a time in the mid-1990s when I would just "slap it together". I don't do that anymore, and for another possible strategy, I haven't bought an OEM box like HP, Dell, Gateway (is dead?) or whichever-whomever since 1994.

So this was probably a mistaken calculation on my part. Everything in this box is established for doing serious business. I don't like unexpected change -- I like well-planned change.

In that context, the actual release dates of hardware are less crucial. I like to see OTHER PEOPLE'S experience with products. I want to have a mature BIOS. I want to avail myself of the benefits from SOMEBODY ELSE''S frustrations and troubles.

I still have friends who are rocking with the generation before Skylake. THAT?! I THINK THAT'S A BIT OLD.

Still, to the point, the moral of the story -- NEVER BUY electronic or computer components as OPEN BOX unless you believe assurances of the reseller beforehand. Second moral of the story: Be patient and wait for an RMA replacement under warranty (hopefully, your warranty hasn't expired.)

And third moral of the story: "A Hot-Dawg Enthusiast and his money are soon parted." You know, when I started doing this -- building computers back in the 1990s -- I was actually able to SAVE money. Now, I'm less concerned about saving money, but we should all recoil from spending money on things we don't use.

Anyway, all the thumb-typing millennial mainstreamers want their digital life contained in little devices that you can't repair yourself. Or they want a laptop they can take with them to the local nudie bar (until the Bouncer suspects they're taking pictures with it). I talk about my PC desktops, and another computer user I know wants to discuss those AIO computers with the hard disk in the monitor you would often find in banks at the desks of finance officers. . . I actually hate the thought of that. What sort of ENTHUSIAST wants such a computer?
 
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WilliamM2

Platinum Member
Jun 14, 2012
2,168
367
126
I'm not sure it was seven. Well -- you tell me -- when was the Z170 chipset released? It would be at the time the Skylake processors were released.

August 2015 was the release date for Z170 and Skylake. Kaby lake was August 2016. Building a new computer is no more difficult than rebuiling an old one.
 

BonzaiDuck

Lifer
Jun 30, 2004
15,662
1,421
126
August 2015 was the release date for Z170 and Skylake. Kaby lake was August 2016. Building a new computer is no more difficult than rebuiling an old one.
Sure. Look at the trouble I'm going through with the dated mobos and processors. When I build a system, I want to make sure everything is working tip-top before I seriously start using it.

So again, a mistaken calculation. I could've taken the money ("Stimulus"!!) I spent last year and bought a new mobo-CPU-RAM combination. And I know that it's a lot easier to shoehorn your boot-disk configuration to a new chipset and drivers than it once might have been, although there was a clear way of doing that.

I did this before. I was communicating with someone here -- a Canadian -- who was wonderfully happy with his i7-2700K SB system. That was sometime around 2014. So a got a mobo that was a minor revision to the one I had and picked up a processor from Rakuten. It's sitting right here next to me. It still rocks. I just gave away the 2600K that had been pretty much running 24/7/365 for the last ten or eleven years. The recipient may not appreciate what he has: It's likely to last a lot longer, because it was always running behind a good UPS with clean power.

JUST ANOTHER REMARK ABOUT MY "STIMULUS" AND MOVING TOO QUICKLY FOR HARDWARE UPGRADES

Even for the 2700K still running with my Quicken and my document management software, I wanted another backup while I fixed this machine. COSTCO sent their little booklet of "deals" around. The only laptop I had was a 2007 executive Gateway model I bought as refurb in 2014 -- with a Centrino C2D. COSTCO was selling an LG Gram 17" slimline laptop. So . . .I just bought it.

Four months later, in December 2021, I bought another laptop for my disabled brother who lived with us -- an Acer Nitro 5. I scrounged up an extra NVME and a second Hynix RAM stick for it. It was going to be a wonderful gift for Bro, and it cost me -- overall -- about $700 less than my LG. I had just popped the RAM and NVME into it, concluding that I'd rather have had the Acer for myself, but I'd taken pains in finding it for my Bro. Then, Bro died on January 2, 2022.

The Acer was a generation or so behind the LG, but in my opinion, it was better by a long shot. I sent it to my surviving brother in Nevada. So I'm kicking myself double extra hard. But my Nevada brother is happier than a pig in s***. His wife is rich. They can buy anything they want. But he's so happy with that laptop, I never cease hearing about it. And they already have about three laptops.

And that's the difference between just "finding something in a catalog" that fills a panicky need, and taking the time to do your homework.
 
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BonzaiDuck

Lifer
Jun 30, 2004
15,662
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I've done that. Before my brother died and before my other brother and sister-in-law moved away, I would "hand-me-down" my computers. I was building systems every couple years.

But really. It's been my experience that, properly cared for, they're not going to fail in 5 years. It never happened. The 2600K I gave away had been running 24/7/365 except for "maintenance" days. It was still tip-top when I passed it to my friend down the hill. Note that all of my machines going back to around 2005 have been overclocked. But I'm a careful sort. I know the specs, I know the limits. Never any such problems.

I've got a friend back in Virginia who retired as a Navy electronics tech. He's still rocking a C2D as his desktop. Like me, he has laptops, tablets. I think he's even got one system running Windows VISTA. Do you want to know anything about recent computer technology? You could ask him. He never went to college; he just joined the Navy. But he speaks with authority.

You know, I sometimes dwell over in the Garage Forum. My main ride is a 27-year-old SUV. 193,000 miles on the engine, 70,000 on the tranny. One mechanic I had before he retired said "They built those things to be indestructible. Rubicon and Wrangler owners show me respect on the highway, but mine is not a Jeep, and it's an orphaned model and orphaned brand. My current solid-gold repair shop and their "techs" (we don't call them "mechanics") tells me that my engine has virtually no damage and very little wear, asserting that I can go another 100,000.

To my point -- we live in a country where a deliberative and smart person can live like a king with an income barely $5K or $10K above the poverty line, provided they've paid for their house. I like to think I'm a deliberative and smart person, but -- did I already say it? -- "An Enthusiast and his money are soon parted." I need to be more careful about my computer parts budget, and -- as you say, step up to newer models more readily.
 

BonzaiDuck

Lifer
Jun 30, 2004
15,662
1,421
126
So you always start with three year old computers? The 2600 came out in 2011.

I never let a computer get older than 4-5 years. Replace them BEFORE they fail.
Just as a footnote answering you directly. Technically -- my computer originally with the i7-6700K -- did not "fail". It did not wear out and die. I told the story before: in January 2021, there was a dry, windy, Santa Ana kind of day. We have a wool carpet throughout our house. I had put a vaping-pen in the USB port to charge it. And I was shuffling along on the carpet, thinking that the pen was charged up, so I went to grab it out of the port. I didn't ground myself, although I should have, given the weather of a very dry day with high winds. I touched the vaping pen, and "Zap!" -- I felt the discharge. Suddenly, the USB ports began acting flaky, and within an hour, I couldn't boot the system, and it threw a message at post-time telling me that "overvoltage has been detected on USB" or something conveying an identical idea.

Now it may be true that my carelessness caused this problem, and that's another reason why I bought the above-mentioned "open box". In fact, it not only may have been true: it was certainly, positively, absolutely true. I couldn't say whether ASUS would approve or deny my RMA request, and I needed a motherboard, whether they did or they didn't. So it wasn't just impatience that caused me to buy the "open box" item.

It is true that I didn't tell ASUS about the vaping pen. I merely said the USB controller appeared to have died. I didn't lie, but I was practicing a minor version of Lawyer's Honesty. I figured they could test it, and sort it out themselves. And so -- they sent me the replacement motherboard. Without the weather of that day, without the wool carpet, without the vaping pen in the USB port, and without my thoughtlessness and carelessness, the computer would not have died. Period. The End.

Now, about this replacement board. It would've had the latest BIOS, and the open-box item might also have had the same BIOS, but then maybe not. So far, the replacement board checks out. There were minor quirks I'd had in 2016 setting up the original board. And I've noticed some minor quirks setting up this one.

I'm going to continue this in "Motherboards" if the minor quirks turn into anything of a problem nature -- since this is the "Memory and Storage" forum, and I think we've concluded that my problem was not the RAM.

I can see how I might be inclined to build an Alder Lake Z690: I first of all must have an unused case and the other parts -- and indeed I do. I'd also picked up a new ASUS Z170-WS Workstation board, with the humongous number of PCIE lanes available. Like I said -- I blew a good portion of my stimulus money -- so that I might fix this system. What I do with that board, I cannot say with complete certainty. But it's paid for.

People make mistakes. I should've just waited for the RMA replacement, as I said. But I think I'm moving forward to keep this system alive. I can drop a grand on an Alder Lake board-combo next fall. I have too many things on my plate to do it now. This system is configured; I have all my data; I have a licensed operating system.

Right now, that's all I care about. I have other things to do. Change diapers. Eldercare. See the family trust attorney. And now, I discovered this afternoon taking Moms and myself to the eye-doctor, I'm going to have cataract surgery in my left eye. And I have to make some arrangements for Moms if there are any implications of the surgery for being Moms' caregiver. All of this stuff is critical. Having an Alder Lake and Z690 motherboard isn't.

I apologize for my TLTR prolix posts. It's been a rough day.
 

BonzaiDuck

Lifer
Jun 30, 2004
15,662
1,421
126
OK. Is this the "Memory and STORAGE" forum? A lot of topics overlap in these forums.

Here's my slightly speculative conclusion of what happened. [My local mainstreamer friends chide me about building my own computers and their "problems", but this was all due to carelessness -- to whit . . . ]

January 13, 2021 -- The Great VAping Pen Static Charge Accident. This was, of course, stupid -- for charging it, for shuffling along a wool carpet during a So-Cal Santa-Ana Winds day, and then grabbing the Vape-pen without grounding myself. Within an hour, the USB ports stopped responding, the computer froze, and I had to do a hard reset.

At this point, it is likely that there was boot-disk corruption.

Around April or May, 2021 -- Replaced the motherboard with an "open box" of the same model and chipset. NOw here, I could say -- and I did say -- that there was something wrong with that board. I bought it in impatience, but I later got the RMA warranty return from ASUS. That board first replacement board -- the open-box, has gone into my brother's truck for cyber-recycling, and I should probably retrieve it. I had speculated that the board was defective -- therefore returned within 30 days by the first buyer.

June 2021 -- the first random shutdown as reported in the Event Viewer logs.
July 2021 -- Misdiagnosed a failure to boot because of a non-bootable disc left in the optical drive. Put the computer on the back burner while I took care of the real business of daily life.

October 2021 -- remembered leaving the optical disc in the drive, opened it with a straightened paper-clip, removed the disc -- Back in Bidnis!

Another 14 random shutdowns occurred with an overall average interval between power events of about 14.5 days.

November 2021 -- replaced the PSU with a known good unit. No cigar.

(Was it February? or March?) -- Swapped in a known-good set of RAM. No cigar.

Two weeks ago -- swapped in the RMA replacement motherboard from ASUS. No cigar.

It had always been my experience that a Windows, driver or software problem would usually throw a BSOD and offer up a mini-dump. These shutdowns didn't do that. In some cases, I had to pull the power plug after switching off the PSU to get the system to cold boot. I should've run SFC /SCANNOW a year earlier after replacing the original motherboard, which really did have a blown USB controller, but there were additional consequences, weren't there?

So the origins of my year-long misery had just as likely been the vaping-pen accident after all. How easy can it be?! Raise an elevated command window, run SFC /SCANNOW, examine the CBS logs.

The older I get, the more stupidly I behave. Enough of this!
 

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