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My computer crashes with I use the DVD

by saleembhimji / November 5, 2005 12:02 PM PST

I have had relatively few problems with my home PC which runs Windows XP and 1 GB of Ram, however, recently I upgraded my 32 MB video card to one which has 128 MB and which runs significantly faster than the previous one.

I had no problems with this upgrade, however as of recent, if I try to burn two or more DVDs (backups of my key files) or if I even try to watch a DVD movie on the computer, the system will shut down - just power off.

It will then not restart for a good 3 to 5 minutes. I unplug everything, wait a few minutes and then try, and finally after some time, it will turn back on again.

Any idea what could be causing this to occur as it is extremely annoying.


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"It will then not restart for a good 3 to 5 minutes."
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / November 5, 2005 12:09 PM PST

That's a fine clue that the machine overheated or the power supply became overtaxed. Correct that and you may fix it.


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What to do now?
by saleembhimji / November 5, 2005 12:35 PM PST

What would be my best option at this point, as I assume that it may be the videocard which is causing the overheating or the power supply to become overtaxed. I have removed all other cards in the computer (my USB 2.0 and the Firewire cards) and have maintained just the minimum.

Would a more powerful supply do the trick if so, how do I go about choosing one??

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by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / November 5, 2005 12:39 PM PST
In reply to: What to do now?

To sniff out if its a heat issue, leave the cover off. This finds it most of the time. No words were written about the machine's age. Many don't know to clean fans and heatsinks yearly.

As to the power supply, I never skimp.


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Heating problems..
by saleembhimji / November 6, 2005 2:17 AM PST
In reply to: Try...

The computer is around 3 years old - an AMD Athlon 1.15 GHz with 1 GB of Ram.

The only other card in the system is a Sound Blaster card. Mind you, the computer has a USB 2.0 card with five ports - all filled, and another extension USB port with 4 filled ports. Would this also cause the problems I am facing?

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So do you clean the heatsinks and fans?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / November 6, 2005 2:36 AM PST
In reply to: Heating problems..

You never told.

At 3 years, it's a possibility that the machine was neglected a little.


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by saleembhimji / November 6, 2005 9:19 AM PST

Everything has been cleaned, however the problem remains...actually, it seems that the problem has gotten worse as now when I turn the computer on, it starts for about 3 seconds and then powers off. It then takes about 3 to 5 minutes for it to turn on again, however when I do so, the same thing happens - it just turns off without even getting to the BIOS check screen.

Is there any way to repair what is wrong?

I tried removing all the cards and putting in the old video card, however the same problem continues.

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Next up? Capacitor inspection.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / November 6, 2005 9:22 AM PST
In reply to: Cleaned....
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Good Caps...
by saleembhimji / November 6, 2005 9:38 AM PST

I took a look at the motherboard and the capacitors on it, and they are all intact - no leakage, bulging, etc... as were shown in the photos on the link provided.

Again, the computers does power up however from that point, after about two seconds, it just dies out.

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Partially solved...
by saleembhimji / November 6, 2005 11:12 AM PST
In reply to: Good Caps...

I proceeded to unhook my DVD drive and CD ROM Drive and have just kept my one hard drive, USB 2.0 extension, Video card and Sound Card installed and the computer now boots up and runs properly. Thus, it must be one of the two drives - either the CD Rom (which I suspect is OK since I can play and burn CDs with it with no problems) or the DVD drive (which is what initiated my problems).

Now to figure out if I need to purchase a new powersupply. The current one is a 350 w - it is advisable or needed to purchase a larger one - say, 400 w??

Would this solve my dilemna?

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Could be, here's why.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / November 6, 2005 8:10 PM PST
In reply to: Partially solved...

As the power supply ages, the capacity diminishes. It's a recurring issue that is not funny to me. Too many look at the label and respond 350 (or other) Watts should be enough. We used to have a room of 350 Watt PSUs, but finally had them carted off. The idea of finding a repair to reclaim dimmed as we finally fixed a few.

A 3 year old power supply is frankly tired. But this is no assurance that this is the issue. Your drives could have outdated firmware or you have some spyware or the issue could be elsewhere.

There is no firm clue in your posts so we work the most likely issue first.



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Maybe a new power supply is in order...
by saleembhimji / November 6, 2005 9:28 PM PST
In reply to: Could be, here's why.

Thanks for all of your help, I have learnt alot from this painful experience.

I should mention that the firmware was recently upgraded on the DVD burner however, this problem started even before the upgrade.

My computer stays on 24 hours a day - and has done so for the past three years or so since I purchased it and perhaps this is, as you mentioned, a tired out power supply.

Rather than spending hundreds on a new computer, it would make sense to purchase a new power supply and give that a try and see what happens.

Perhaps the DVD burner may also be causing the problems - it is just over 18 months old, but has gone through alot of usage in that short time and this may be another key to the problem.

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by saleembhimji / November 7, 2005 8:42 AM PST

I went out to a local computer store and spoke to their technician and they recommended a new power supply. I purchased the 450 w and have had it running for the last 7 hours or so with no problems.

I have carried out most of my usual work with the computer including DVD burning and other things and all seems well..

Thanks to those who helped me out in this..

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PC Power Supplies
by VAPCMD / November 13, 2005 7:24 AM PST
In reply to: Fixed...

Thanks for the followup......too often folks who ask for help don't followup and report what worked or 'fixed' the problem originally reported.

Out of curiousity....what was the make and model of the old PS and the new PS ? Sad to say that not all PS's are equal...and that many do not meet their advertised specs...makes it real hard to tell what's what. If you get a chance...take a look at Tomshardware.com . . . lots of good informations about PC Power Supplies.


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