Calling people that know computer hardware

Discussion in 'Video Games and Technology' started by Soundblaster1, Mar 25, 2008.

  1. Soundblaster1

    Soundblaster1 The Heisenberg of Toys

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    Problem: My computer enjoys restarting itself frequently. It gets progressively worse by the day. Today it has been restarted 10 times in the last 4 hours.
    The screen flashes black, it freezes, or pixels are discolored/misplaced (occasionally all of them at once).
    The stuff running: Just the usual background shit required to keep the machine running, this site in an IE7 window, other various things open in a Firefox window (most recent version). I don't believe I am going above and beyond normal wear, as the computers I use at school have pretty much the same specs and they don't restart at all. On those I run this site (in IE7), various (inefficient, to boot) sites in Firefox (most recent), a Java compiler, and Microsoft word. This would lead me to believe there's something wrong with my computer. It's just a matter of what.

    If it's relevant, the fan is on the highest setting and I'm pretty sure it still gets pretty hot in there. Also, the fan is LOUD. Loud enough that it sounds like I'm starting a car when I press the "on" button.

    I recently got a RAM upgrade that helped, but didn't fix it. This is from long after I quit playing MMOs (note on that is in the solution)

    Proposed solutions:
    -Graphics card, left over solution from when the problem was more serious (when I played MMOs. I have since stopped because of the technology problem and it got better for a while... Now the problem caught up with what I do)
    -New processor, not sure if I actually need one, but I'm afraid the heat may have damaged my current one and caused this problem in the first place.
    - New cooling/fan system, probably the correct answer, but I want input first
    -New computer, if this one can't be saved for less than about $200, I vote scrapping it. The monitor, keyboard, mouse, disk drives, speakers, subwoofer, hard drive, case, and that kind of stuff are fine for sure. I don't think I'd have much of a problem at all getting the rest of it to build.

    I'd appreciate any input and possible solutions that people can come up with. If I wasn't clear anywhere, I am more than happy to clarify things or whatever.

    Thanks
    SB
     
  2. Prisoner1138

    Prisoner1138 TFW2005 Supporter

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    PSU. A bad power supply will cause all sorts of problems, restarts, crashes, etc. It's also likely one of the cheaper parts(don't buy a raidmax piece of crap as a replacement, get one from a decent company).

    Other than that, CPU issues I'd expect to see BSOD's, RAM as well. But, you can always just run memtest86 for a few hours.

    If your fan really is that loud, you can replace it for a few bucks.
     
  3. Draven

    Draven Banned

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    Seconded. A replacement PSU is usually the first thing I try when I'm fixing someone's PC, and more often that not it's the problem.
     
  4. kronos

    kronos PSN = KRONOSX1

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    third. though I would also suggest reinstalling all your device drivers as well. Drivers can be a bitch and get all fudged up when you install and uninstall things form you PC.
     
  5. Tigran

    Tigran Well-Known Member

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    I'd also check to make sure your not overheating.
     
  6. Smasher

    Smasher HUNKY BEATS

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    Have you checked Event Viewer?

    Go to start then run then type in eventvwr.
    Look for stip codes under System and Application.

    It might tell you what is going on if Windows has enough time to recognize an issue before a crash.

    Also, run a virus scan if you haven't already.

    Finally, start in Safe Mode.
    Reboot and press F8 until it prompts you to start in Safe Mode.
    Let it sit for a while, if it crashes in Safe Mode it is most likely hardware, and I agree that the PSU is the prime suspect.
     
  7. Prisoner1138

    Prisoner1138 TFW2005 Supporter

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    From the description of the crash, I doubt windows has enough time to dump and save the info in the event viewer, still worth a check though. But I'm still 90% sure that if it's a hardware problem, it's the PSU. Depending on what resources you have, that may be easier to check than going at it first via software.
     
  8. Tigran

    Tigran Well-Known Member

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    It could be the PSU.. but I'm warning you.. Don't discount over heating...
     
  9. Razorclaw

    Razorclaw Are ya gonna draw pistols

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    PSU, motherboard or overheating. Check the system temperature first, leave it running and monitor the temperature in BIOS until it restarts or for 20-30 minutes if it doesn't restart before that. Than check the PSU. If everything checks out there, it has to be a motherboard. Those are the only hardware issues you can have that cause the symptoms your machine shows.

    If it isn't any of this, than it's the OS. Reinstall it.
     
  10. MegaPrime33

    MegaPrime33 Follow me @NerdActivist TFW2005 Supporter

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    I too will say that it's the power supply. I had the same thing happen to me before and a new PSU fixed it. Also, if you decide to get one, choose one with a large capacity than the one you have now.

    On top of that, also check the overheating. You could try running the computer with the case off and see how often it reboots. If it barely does it then I'd start replacing fans. Hell, I'd replace that one fan anyways that you said sounds like a car idling.
     
  11. Frognal

    Frognal Prodigal Son Returned

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    Yeah, it's most likely a PSU problem, but I wouldn't compeletely rule out a heat damaged video card.
     

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