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Computer Shuts Down (Maybe graphics card problem)

by jasonblahnik / June 3, 2005 5:48 AM PDT

I have been having problems with my computer over the past few months.

I have a custom systems with a DVD player, CD-RW, a disk drive, a hard drive (80 GB), an Athlon 1600, four fans, and a 64 MB ATi graphics (i forget the specs). It runs Windows XP Home, Service pack 2. The computer is abut 2 years old.

During the past few months, I have been having crashes. The first time occured about 2 months ago. I installed Simcity 3000, and afterward, when I tried to start it up, it would get past the first part of booting up, but then the monitor would shut down. I would have to turn it off, the monitor would be physically on, but not green, orange. Then after ward, it would have problems and I would put it in safe mode, which it would work with. I reinstalled Windows.

It worked well for a few months. Today, I installed itune, but when the shuffle was pluged in, it had an error. I restarted and it was the same thing with the monitor shut down. I want to know if it is a component. I thought is might be the graphics card, because there was something with ati in the error screen. I want to know what to replace. Thank you for all those who might help. I would like to avoid reinstalling Windows again.

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RE: Computer Shuts Down (Maybe graphics card problem)
by jasonblahnik / June 3, 2005 6:29 AM PDT

More information:

I have 256 MB of RAM, only one module.


I allowed my computer to rest for about 20 min. It booted up fine. So, what do you think the problem is? Thank you for any help that can be rendered to me.

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Sounds as if your video card may be getting too hot.
by Ray Harinec / June 3, 2005 7:23 AM PDT

Four fans sounds great, but only if they are allowing unrestricted flow and not causing too much back pressure, thus negating the efficiency of the fans. If they are all blowing out, BAD, all blowing in, equally BAD.

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Thank you, other ideas are also welcomed
by jasonblahnik / June 3, 2005 9:36 AM PDT

Thank you for your response. I will look at that. The card I have, doesn't have a fan on it. I will look at the fan configuration.

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Got the same problem

I'm using an ATI Radeon 9600XT card and I've experienced the same problem. My computer just shuts off occasionally when I play 3D games. The monitor will still be on but blanked out.

I think it could be something to do with the card not having enough problem but I'm not sure. Could someone help?

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by Willy / June 13, 2005 10:33 PM PDT
In reply to: Got the same problem

Newer graphic cards and old are very power hungary. If the card is powered by the buss slot alone, it can draw as much as 25W and that's it. Later cards had seapate 4-pin power connection for added power needs. Besides that, the power supply has to be stable and when all componets are sucking power during any game play(very stressful) is very demanding, limits can be reached and the weakness plus the age of the p/s unit is taxed, resulting in poor preformance, flaky operation, reboots, and/or shutdowns. A decent and good p/s unit is so overlooked, it *should* be the most desired componet of a system but rarely is. I suspect, get your hands on a replacement p/s unit of at least 400W+ or more and make it a "brandname" like Antec, Enermax, or Vantec that best fits your system. A good place to start is here: for recommendations and/or its own brand(best) at big $$$ but worth it. Regardless, the graphic card itself could be at fault, as the latest drivers should be installed and properly set. Extremes of any gaming or video outputs will be telling as well, so scale back abit and check results, if it seems to work longer maybe the game is beyond what the system can deleiver. Gaming has always been the true test of a system abilities thus improve the system wherever it needs it.

tada -----Willy

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