At the beginning of the year, I built a dedicated computer for 3D and Photoshop work. Previously, I was using my primary server because it had 24-cores and 64 GB RAM. Rendering with GPUs is the wave of the future, so I wanted something capable of that.
Things have slowly crumbled since building that new machine. Occasionally, it would not boot properly – often going through the Windows Automatic Repair process. Usually a reboot would fix it. Despite all of this, I managed to get many, many hours of playing Dragon Age: Origins again as well work with LightWave, Carrara and Photoshop.
But the degradation continued. For the last month, I have barely used the machine at all. It became a risky bet whether the machine would even switch on. Very frustrating!
I blamed many things; the Texas summer heat (the bedroom that the computer is in does get hellishly hot) or the SSD that booted Windows (I have had bad past experiences with SSD drives) were my prime targets. Enter my chummer Brent!
Brent is the best damn troubleshooter I know. He is tenacious too. With his help, the BIOS was updated and Windows 8.1 was replaced with Windows 10. But the Automatic Repair was still all-too present.
The Q-Code from the Asus motherboard strongly suggested RAM problems. It appeared that I could boot with just 16 GB of RAM installed but adding more would fail. We played Musical Chairs with the DIMMs and every combination of two DIMMs resulted in successful boots. Perhaps it was a power issue, even though I had a 1300 W power supply? I didn’t have a properly matching power cable to provide more juice to the motherboard.
The less-than-useless Asus phone support blamed my RAM since it was not on their qualified vendor list. I bought new Patriot RAM that was on their list – still no boot. It wasn’t the RAM. Also, I won’t give Asus another dime of my money in the future.
Brent was undeterred and he kept researching. There is no way I would have committed so much time to this. I owe him an entire brewery of beers for his effort.
Eventually, it became clear that it was the second video card. I could boot the computer with my full 64 GB of RAM using just the first video card. Brent even worked with the Gigabyte support team (who are about a billion times more helpful than Asus) to help start the RMA process so that the defective card can be replaced.