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Old 08-06-2004, 02:38 PM   #1
skeensp
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General: TROUBLESHOOTING your overclocked system

Okay we have a sticky that tells you how to do basic overclocking. But what do you do when trouble hits. Im writing this because hopefully we can answer a lot of basic questions that are asked. Many people want to overclock their computer in one big jump so they dont have to mess with it. If you dont have patience, dont overclock!! It takes time and you have to try different things to accomplish it a lot of times.

1) Make sure you have a good bios. Try flashing to another one and see if its any better than the one you have. The latest is not always the greatest, and a good bios may not be good on your system.
2) Make sure you are running the latest chipset drivers for your motherboard.
3) Make sure you have sufficient temperatures to overclock with. If your running temps at 50C or over idle, dont bother with overclocking until you get better cooling.
4) Make sure you have a GOOD quality Power supply and watch your voltage rails. If they flunctuate too much replace it because it will limit you stability and overclocking ability.
5) Make sure your memory can handle the overclock that you want to achieve.
6)For overclocking start your Vdimm voltage at 2.8v (if your mobo maxes out at 2.7 then set it there)

Now thats the basic things to look for if you cant get very good overclocking out of your system.

Example: Your system locks up and/or reboots all the time
answer: This means your system is not stable. Could be several reasons. First try to raise your vcore by a small amount if you have enough temperature headroom. If you raise the vcore and it still happens, try loosening the ram timings and try again. If you cannot get your system stable than reduce your overclock by a small margin and try again. Many times a 3-5 Mhz FSB decrease will make it stable. Check for stability with a program like Prime95 and let it run for a minimum of an hour. (most people test for 12-24hrs) If it runs without freezing or locking up, your good to go.

Also a major reason for this problem is the lact of Rail voltages. Check your rails using MBM5 or similiar and compare them with the BIOS reading. If they are okay when system is Idle that dont mean your PSU is okay. Run prime95 and check your voltages with a voltmeter. Now run a graphic intensive application (3dmark03 or similiar), and check them again. The voltages should be in the limits below.

Rail: +5V: ~4% (+4,8V ~ +5,2V)
Rail: -5V: ~10% (-4,5V ~ -5,5V)
Rail: +12V: ~5% (+11,4V ~ +12,6V)
Rail: -12V: ~10% (-10,8V ~ -13,2V)
Rail: +3,3V: ~4% (+3,15V ~ +3,45V)

The following are the most common arrangements of ATX mobo connectors. Not all manufacturers follow the coloring below but most do. The number is the respective pin # on the connector.
1. Power Good * - Orange
2. +5Vdc - Red
3. +12Vdc - Yellow
4. -12Vdc - Blue
5. Ground - Black
6. Ground - Black

7. Ground - Black
8. Ground - Black
9. -5Vdc - White
10. +5Vdc - Red
11. +5Vdc - Red
12. +5Vdc - Red


Example: Your games or benchmarks crash to desktop
Answer: Most notably the cause of this is your overclock is too high. Most of the time its the overall speed and not just a multi or FSB issue. Reduce the overall clock speed by reducing the FSB by 5Mhz and try again. keep going until your games run smooth without crashing.

Example: Your temperatures are too high
Answer: Simple your cooling is not doing its job. There are several possible fixes.
1) remove your heatsink and reseat it using AS5 (arctic Silver 5 preferred) or similiar thermal Grease. Following all directions for applying the Thermal Grease evenly and smoothly. Application instructions
2) You might just have more wattage than your HS/Fan (or waterblock) can keep cool. If this is the case after reseating you still cannot bring temperatures down, than reduce the vcore voltage. You will probably have to reduce the overclock as well when dropping voltage.

Example: Your system will not boot up
If your system will not boot up after adjusting your bios, then turn the power off, unplug the system, and (a) use the clear CMOS jumper (b) remove the CMOS battery for about 1 minute. if you use the jumper put it back to normal operation or put the battery back in, plug the PSU in and start the computer. Go into your bios and set it up again. This is a common practice when overclocking, so get used to where your CMOS jumper is for when you need it.

Example: your system will not boot up after clearing CMOS
If you clear CMOS and system still will not boot up then you have to narrow down what the problem is. This is where having extra parts or a good friend will help out:
1) confirm that you have power coming from your PSU is the first thing. If your fans come on and optical/hard drives spin than most likely your PSU is not the problem (Sometimes it still can be at this point)
2) remove the memory one stick at a time and retry. If you only have one stick remove it and see if the mobo beeps when trying to boot. If it dont beep than its not the memory most likely so put it back in.
3) remove any PCI expansion cards that you have installed. Try to boot the machine. If nothing still leave the PCI cards out anyway.
4) unhook your hdrive and optical drives from the motherboard and try again. It will still boot up without harddrive being attached so dont worry about that.
5) Remove your video card and try another one. If you dont have another one try booting up. If it beeps than it could be your video card, you need to get another one and try it. If you dont have a friend that has one to borrow or an extra one laying around then go to your local department store and buy one try it and if it still dont work take it back.
6) Now if you still have trouble you have eliminated everything except motherboard and CPU. Most of the time (not always) it will be the motherboard IF you havent ran your CPU with excessive temperatures. If you have another CPU replace it and see if it boots up. If you dont have another one, your gonna have to buy one or put yours in another system to test out. If it works in another system you know your motherboard has bit the bullet. buy a new one.

Example: Your system just beeps when turning it on
There are several things that could cause this. Most of them are listed above but the first thing to do is try to reset the CMOS. High FSB will cause this sometimes when the memory will not run at the set speed. If you reset the CMOS and still nothing happens make sure all your cables are connected properly and all Memory and PCI/AGP cards are intalled into their sockets all the way. The easiest way is to remove them and put them back in.

Grounding problems can cause temendous hair loss when you pull it all out because you have tried everything and nothing works. lol If your motherboard is grounded to your case at any point, most of the time it will not boot up. Make sure that you motherboard is not touching any part of the inside of the case. A secure thing to do is use the felt or cardboard washers when installing your mobo in your case. This will help eliminate some of these problems.

Example: System dont boot up after adjusting FSB
Simple solution, Clear you CMOS and restart again. Go into the bios and set everything again. Its a good idea to write down things when you change them so if this happens you know where you were and can set the settings accordingly.

Example: System dont boot after flashing bios
This is a common pain and sometimes happens for no reason. (Speaking from experience ) If you have this problem you better have another bios chip for your motherboard. You can hot swap the bios chip and flash your corrupted chip only if you have another chip for your motherboard. Its a good idea to keep a spare.
1) Download this (hot swap bios chip (thanks Madramper for this link)) and prepare you floppy disk with these files.
2) Now reboot your machine and put the floppy disk that you made in the floppy drive (Hopefully you have one, If not prepare a bootable CD-ROM and add these files to it. Sometimes it works and sometimes it dont) and boot up.
3) the program will tell you when to swap bios chips follow directions and your bios chip is now programmed, hopefully if all goes well.

Example: System freezes or shuts down and will not start back up
Most of the time the cause of this is a failed Power Supply. The first thing to try is check your power supply with a volt meter to see if its putting out any current. Even if it is though, that dont mean that you have a good power supply. Try another power supply first to fix your problem. If a new power supply does not fix your problem than refer to the steps above in the : Example: your system will not boot up after clearing CMOS

Example: You finish assembling your new system and it wont start
1. Verify that you have the power supply plugged into a wall outlet, PSU turned on, and connected to the Motherboard.
2. Check the Clear CMOS jumper to verify that it is in normal mode and not Clear. (Check Motherboard manual for location)
3. Verify that fans are running and drives spinning. If neither of these occure you Power supply is not supplying voltage to the components.
4. If fans are running and drives spinning, a notable cause of this problem with a newly built system is shorting. Remove your motherboard from its case and lay it on a non-conductive piece of material. Attach your video card and power cables, memory. you will have to have the mobo close enough to your case to use the Front panel headers from your case. Connect these headers to their proper location on the Motherboard. Connect your power supply and turn it on. If your system starts now (*see footnote), you had a short somewhere. Reinstall the mobo in your case making sure that its not touching the case anywhere, and hook everything up. It should work now, if not you still have a short.

*footnote - if your system still does not start after removing the mobo from the case than follow the above steps in finding the problem component

I will be adding more to this later on. If you have anymore examples please post below and I will try to answer them or add them to the list.

Updated: September 1, 2004
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Old 08-06-2004, 03:02 PM   #2
mistamista2000
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Thx skeensp...Now there is a thread to point alot of people to since most never take the time to do a search or read other threads. STICKY!!!

Last edited by mistamista2000; 08-06-2004 at 03:16 PM.
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Old 08-06-2004, 03:05 PM   #3
deamon64
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STICKEY!! This will hopefully get rid of all the annoying posts.
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Old 08-06-2004, 03:39 PM   #4
RPG Donkey
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Ya, I say Sticky too; it's too bad newbs never read stickies.
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Old 08-06-2004, 03:46 PM   #5
XT-ChAce
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They don't, but sticky's do make it easier for us to respond, we only have to link to the thread and 90% of the times the problem is miraculously fixed as the n00b doesn't want to admit he got it outta the sticky...

AND this is certainly worth a sticky IMO

But you forgot to mention that a CPU can nuke out too (like that, without a reason. And of course if you use accesive force to achieve your goal)...
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Old 08-06-2004, 04:14 PM   #6
skeensp
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XT-ChAce
They don't, but sticky's do make it easier for us to respond, we only have to link to the thread and 90% of the times the problem is miraculously fixed as the n00b doesn't want to admit he got it outta the sticky...

AND this is certainly worth a sticky IMO

But you forgot to mention that a CPU can nuke out too (like that, without a reason. And of course if you use accesive force to achieve your goal)...
Yeah will add that later. I had some things to attend to, so the typing had to stop. lol
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Old 08-06-2004, 04:15 PM   #7
mobius_13
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You forgot about grounding problems with the mobo and the case. Somtimes you can take the board out and it will work fine but in the case its shorting. With all these stickeys we wont even need to post, lol. Isnt that what makes a forum?

EDIT: Oh yeah I vote sticky
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Old 08-06-2004, 04:17 PM   #8
skeensp
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mobius_13
You forgot about grounding problems with the mobo and the case. Somtimes you can take the board out and it will work fine but in the case its shorting. With all these stickeys we wont even need to post, lol. Isnt that what makes a forum?
Well I will add that too later. there will always be problems. but if we can eliminate the simple things like this, it will eliminate redundant questions that gets asked and answered 500 times. hopefully.
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Old 08-06-2004, 04:27 PM   #9
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this would be a very good guide for beginners...
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Old 08-06-2004, 04:48 PM   #10
reko
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Re

I vote sticky
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Old 08-06-2004, 04:53 PM   #11
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hold insert to boot default bios settings. (instead of clearing cmos) i haven't manually cleared the cmos in like 4 months.
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Old 08-06-2004, 04:58 PM   #12
XT-ChAce
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That may work on your system, but not on all
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Old 08-06-2004, 05:01 PM   #13
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Hmm. it would be a good sticky but shame people have posted in it. If only it was one post then i could close it and make it a prestigious sticky.

Skeen i dont think you should of deleted the earlier posts btw. They were just talking.
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Old 08-06-2004, 05:02 PM   #14
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it's worth the try. i hate opening the case to reset the cmos. pain in the a$$.
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Old 08-06-2004, 06:30 PM   #15
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Great guide! How about adding some info about memory timing.

Aftre you get some feedback on here, you delete all the posts except for the first one and make it a sticky!
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Old 08-06-2004, 06:37 PM   #16
mesce
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Maybe. Or i could do that now and you pm xt-chace about new thingsthen he is to edit the sticky when he wants to add more things. Also it will look messy too many posts already.
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Old 08-06-2004, 07:10 PM   #17
mobius_13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mesce
Maybe. Or i could do that now and you pm xt-chace about new thingsthen he is to edit the sticky when he wants to add more things. Also it will look messy too many posts already.

All of the other stickys have posts.
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Old 08-07-2004, 05:10 AM   #18
XT-ChAce
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mesce
Maybe. Or i could do that now and you pm xt-chace about new thingsthen he is to edit the sticky when he wants to add more things. Also it will look messy too many posts already.
Could do that, but I'd have to redirect everything to skeensp, but of a fuss I'd say...
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Old 08-07-2004, 05:23 AM   #19
mesce
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I didnt read properly who made the thread i thought it was you. Anyway i meade it a sticky
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Old 08-08-2004, 02:11 AM   #20
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good guide man. should have had this kind of thing long ago.


it is true. new comers (not newbies thats a harsh word for someone who is new and is curious)

they never read stickies.....
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