Computer Help forum


computer crashing often to black screen or pinstripe pattern

by nbdav / April 4, 2012 7:16 AM PDT

Hello, I made a post a few days ago but now I am starting to doubt that it is my video card that is the problem.

The crash never happens in safe mode, and all my heat sensors are within acceptable ranges. the HDD is slightly high (30 degrees C) but still within acceptable limits.

This only happens in normal boot mode, and not at any specific time. Sometimes it happens when I am playing a game, and sometimes it happens right after i boot up. I blew out all the fans in my system and constantly check the heat sensors.

I recently installed 3 more gigs of ram to make a total of 6 gigs of ram (3 channel setup). I have an intel i7 @ 2.66 Ghz, an ATI radeon 4800 gpu, a seagate ST3750630AS, and 6GB of DDR3 RAM.

I am thinking about going out tonight and replacing the video card but I don't want to do that and still have the problem.

any suggestions?

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Clarification Request
better description of crash
by nbdav / April 4, 2012 7:17 AM PDT

When the crash happens the sound also quits working within seconds, and all of the peripherals stop working as well. the only way to fix it is to force a restart. I have been unable thus far to find any errors in the event log, but i'm also not sure what exactly i'm looking for.

All Answers

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Tell us about
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 4, 2012 7:24 AM PDT

1. The PSU. Let's hope it's a single rail with 500+ Watts.

2. "the sound also quits working within seconds" isn't much of a clue but did the machine's maker supply an install plan? I find many of these machines had no plan except to use what Microsoft supplied.

3. FORGET HEAT SENSORS. They can be off, misleading and more. After a few years most figure this out. Try this. NO COVER and point a fan at the machine. Better, longer running or no change? No change has me looking at the install plan. Better or longer till the crash has me checking power supply and re-doing heatsink compound and mounting.

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by nbdav / April 4, 2012 7:34 AM PDT
In reply to: Tell us about

I also thought of the PSU, however i replaced that since I got the computer and it is very nice (haven't replaced the GPU).

The PSU is Thermaltake TR2 430W i7 compliant, and is about 2 years old. One time I got a message saying that the power supply is not plugged into the video card even though it was, but this only happened once. When my PSU went bad before, the computer wouldn't boot at all, and it works 100% in safe mode now.

Also, I have been using an extra fan pointed at the machine with no cover and it has made no difference.

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by nbdav / April 4, 2012 7:38 AM PDT
In reply to: reply

Now that I am running in safe mode, the GPU feels quite hot to the touch, however the fan is running properly and I have another fan pointed at it. How would i change this if i've never had this issue in years of owning the PC, and pointing a fan at it doesn't help?

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There's your clue. "YEARS"
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 4, 2012 7:48 AM PDT
In reply to: also

Something has aged and you are now stuck with figuring out which part. Since the PSU is the old DUAL RAIL SYSTEM you may try the simple tests I noted and report back as well as LIGHTEN THE LOAD by unplugging a DVD or even some HDD.

The 430 Watt PSU was a bit light to expect years before replacement in my opinion and is a high probability that we might be able to sniff out.

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by nbdav / April 4, 2012 7:51 AM PDT

which tests are those? I don't see any besides pointing a fan inside the case? if i do go out and replace the gpu and the psu, will a single rail system work with my old box? I will try unplugging the dvd drive and see if that helps.

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by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 4, 2012 7:55 AM PDT
In reply to: question

I see you asked for the tests then proceeded to write them (fan, lighten the load, etc.)

I would not replace the GPU given such a lightweight PSU and the age. And yes, single rail work fine and avoid the hassle of balancing the rails.

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