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kennedyjchFlag for India

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SK8V + FX-53: Random freezes: CPU or motherboard???

Been running for about 2 years above system. System started freezing and needed to be rebooted. Many times, once rebooted, BIOS would complain "Overclocking failed" (but I'm not doing this). Have replaced video card. Problem persists. Technician says it's most likely "software". So...

Bought new H/D and installed fresh copy of XP + SP2. System still randomly freezes. Sometimes after 5 minutes; sometimes after 1 day. memtest shows no memory issues.

Other erratic behaviour: system does not remeber what audio devices are plugged into it (keeps asking what device is plugged into speakers out). Since, I've removed all but the most basic of peripherals (keyboard, mouse, DVD, CD, H/D, wireless LAN). Tried installing software from CD (Rise of Legends) and system seems to crash more predictably when there is activity through the peripherals...

Any advice as to whether this is a CPU or motherboard problem? How to determine?

As the FX-53 (940) is still an acceptable CPU albeit difficult to get a MB for, I can pick up through EBAY/Ricardo a new SK8V or SK8N. But that would be lost investment if it's a CPU problem.

Thank in advance.
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nobus
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it can be both of course, but i see much more bad mobo's than cpu's.
you can try running from a knoppix cd, it might give some insight to the problem :  www.knoppix.org, since it is a completely other OS.
Other than that, you checked the fan's rpm in the bios, and the cpu temp?
you may need to replace a fan, or the heatpaste.
"Overclocking failed" is an indication that it thinks the BIOS settings are other than what they should be.  This could be a bad CMOS battery, which is cheap to replace, or a bad motherboard, which is not so cheap to replace.  I think the probability of a bad cpu is very low and unlikely.
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In fact box fan went out just before the problems started. Discovered because CPU fan was working harder. Changed box fan. Temperatures for the processor and MB are 46 and 37 centagrade, respectively. CPU fan speed 3300 rpm. With these temperatures, would it still be advisable to change the thermal paste?
In respect of the battery issue: this is a good point; however, it's not consistent as to when this occurs - it's more like something is trashing the BIOS and then when it reboots it complains. If I power off for several days, this has never been (and is still) not a problem.
To put things into perspective, first I thought the problem was video related; however have changed video card. Next thought that the PS could have been flakey; but the technicians indicate that it's OK. Now things liek the audio, IDE (CDROM) and USB are exhibiting "problems" and erratic behaviour. I would tend to think that this is indicative of a MB problem rather than the CPU, right?
Have booted up the KNOPPIX. First loaded Linux and "played" for 1/2 hour - all OK save for wireless through USB (didn't expect that to work anyway). Then rebooted and ran "memtest" for 6 hours without incident.

Any specific "burn-in" testing packages that would help diagnose where the problem lies?

Thank you again in advance...
Those temperatures are reasonable.  You can try giving the cpu a workout with SuperPi Mod http://www.xtremesystems.com/pi/ and see if any errors pop up.
you can try Burnintest :
http://www.passmark.com/download/index.htm      
or microScope :  http://micro2000.com/
tufftest :   http://www.tufftest.com/tt01-lite.htm
>>  I would tend to think that this is indicative of a MB problem rather than the CPU, right?   i agree, but without swapping you are not sure, only guessing; the same goes for the power supply - if your problems are intermittent, it can very well show good values during an hour of testing, and cive problems later. So also here : replace it for testing.
 
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jamone

Do you know what your current motherboard is? It seems that either by default, or someone else, or maybe you <_< have enabled overclocking beyond a stable range, as this often results in lock-ups, freezes, or program crashes. I would like to know what model it is to see if it has overclocking features, and if so, you could either a.) disable them or b.) adjust the current settings to allow such an overclock (adjusting voltages mostly and timings mostly), although you REALLY shouldn't do this if you don't know what you're doing.

The best way would be to enter BIOS and reset it to factory defaults, and you want to look around for those overclocking settings and disable/auto them.
Have "reset" to default multiple times. It's at time when the system "hangs" and is subsequently rebooted that the "Overclocking failed" message MAY come up - but it's not due to changes that I've made in the BIOS - I'm not tweaking performance to changing BIOS settings.
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nobus
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Ordered new MoBo <old model> and installed. Many of the problems that had been cropping up seem to have gone away. So, looks like it was the Mobo and not the processor. Thanks!
Did you miss my comment, "This could be a bad CMOS battery, which is cheap to replace, or a bad motherboard, which is not so cheap to replace.  I think the probability of a bad cpu is very low and unlikely."?
Callandor, i suggested that in my ver y first post :-)
Sorry, the choice of the selected answer threw me ;-)
i would also accept the first one, but it is not wrong, anyway
Detailed solution:
- Figuring it was more Mobo than CPU oriented, used Knoppix CD to run memtest and the verion of Linux -  no problems; this ruled out memory problem and most CPU issues. Linux ran for at least 1 day - no problems
- Changed video card - problems persisted
- Disconnected all peripherals non-essential (printer, SCSI peripherals, LAN, WIFI, cameras, etc.) - problems under windows persisted.
- Finally ordered new mobo (almost 3 years old which was made for the AMD FX-53) from an on-line auction place that made a few very rich - problems have disappeared.

Thanks to all who helped.