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Author Topic: Bad Memory or a Bad Power Supply?  (Read 1611 times)
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Suicidal Computer
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« on: November 06, 2004, 03:54:09 AM »

Well, something's foul in my computer, but I can't figure out what. It's been running great for a long time. Eventually, I upgraded to a Geforce  FX5900 from a TI4800. Some time after, not immediately, I began to get blue screens whenever I'd play games. Now, about 6 months later, I'm getting them at a near constant rate in almost every game within 5-20 minutes of playing. Always different errors too, sometimes DRIVER_IRQL_LESS (I can't remember the rest) and other's picking out my videocard and windows files.

At first I thought it was my memory... after reseating the two sticks, my screen began flashing black for a second, then Win XP would give me another BSOD. Did it one more time and hasn't done it again yet. My memory supply is only a 350 watt Antec though, and it's pretty old. Unfortuantely, I can't run a diagnostic program for my memory. The crash in XP makes me think it's the power supply. Which one do you think is the culprit?
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stiffler
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« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2004, 03:59:56 AM »

I think you are onto something with the power supply, particularly with a newer card like that.  Also, it could also be heat related.

The error you describe is fairly common, but the videocard specific issues might shed more light on things.
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« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2004, 04:12:14 AM »

I think you should check the temperatures in your case, on your motherboard and at your processor.  Sounds like too much heat to me.  Have you opened that baby up and made sure all fans are running and there's not an inch of dust inside?
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Suicidal Computer
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« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2004, 04:33:06 AM »

This year's dust harvest is a bountiful one.  I'm not sure I can bring myself to clean it out.

I thought it might be a heat issue at first, but I'm not inclined now to think it is one.  The problem just seems to random.  The fans are all working and the problem is intermittent.  For instance, I was playing WoW for like 4 hours with no problem, took a few hours break, and then it gave me a BSOD in about 20 minutes game time.  

If it were heat, it would seem that the computer would simply keep locking up or rebooting almost immediately since I didn't give it time to cool down, but that doesn't seem to be the case. Of course, if I keep trying to play a game, it'll keep locking up after another 5-20 minutes, but if I just leave it on or do something else it's fine.

Appreciate the suggestions so far guys.
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egrudzin
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« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2004, 05:06:38 AM »

I hate to say it but it may be time for you to back up your data and reload the whole thing.  If it's been a few years then there is probably a build up of old drivers, programs, and other junk.  The error you are getting is pretty generic and even according to Microsoft it could be caused by many different things.
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warning
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« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2004, 06:00:03 AM »

Quote from: "Suicidal Computer"
This year's dust harvest is a bountiful one.  I'm not sure I can bring myself to clean it out.

I thought it might be a heat issue at first, but I'm not inclined now to think it is one.  The problem just seems to random.  The fans are all working and the problem is intermittent.  For instance, I was playing WoW for like 4 hours with no problem, took a few hours break, and then it gave me a BSOD in about 20 minutes game time.  

If it were heat, it would seem that the computer would simply keep locking up or rebooting almost immediately since I didn't give it time to cool down, but that doesn't seem to be the case. Of course, if I keep trying to play a game, it'll keep locking up after another 5-20 minutes, but if I just leave it on or do something else it's fine.

Appreciate the suggestions so far guys.

Not to beat the dead horse but games are very processor intensive and caue a lot of heat build-up.  You just leave it on or do something else and it's fine?  You play a game and it locks up after 5-20 minutes?  I had the exact thing happen.  It was heat caused by mucho dust and a fan that wasn't cutting it.

Also surprising to me was the fact that some games caused more heat than others.  WoW is not as graphically demanding as other current games so it might make sense that it would be okay.

It could very well be something else but until you rule out heat and dust that's where I'm putting my money.  If you want to pursue the heat angle further, download a copy of Motherboard Monitor, check your temps and post them here.
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Jeff
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« Reply #6 on: November 06, 2004, 06:03:46 AM »

egrudzin may be right, but in my experience, BSOD's are usually hardware related.

Your best bet when having these type of problems is to switch out components for known good components. Do you still have that GF4 around? I'd start with switching the video card, as that sounds like what this is related to.

At this point I don't suspect the PSU, but I could be wrong. 350 is probably plenty, and Antec is as good as it gets for PSU's. If you could switch out for a known good PSU, that's another thing you could rule out.
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Suicidal Computer
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« Reply #7 on: November 15, 2004, 06:06:47 AM »

In case anyone was interested to hear the exciting conclusion, here it is.

1: Cleaned out the entire computer. Downloaded Motherboard Monitor, temperatures checked out just fine. Still crashing.

2: Installed new fancy "smart" power supply by Antec. It's supposed to run the fans depending on the temp. of the computer. Crashes began to happen left and right.

3: Stripped out every PCI card I could. Still crashed.

4: Drank vodka. Lot's of it. Computer still crashing.

5: Flashed bios. Still crashing.

6. Swapped out video card with an old MX card. Stopped crashing!

7. Formatted hard drive, replaced MX card with a TI4400, enjoyed my now working computer.

8. Installed WoW. Crashed during installation. Cried like a little girl for several minutes.

9. Replaced that terrible, terrible Antec "smart" power supply, installed two case fans. Stopped crashing. Finally.

I guess I have to bow my head to Warning. He had it the whole time, it was actually the heat doing the computer in, or so it would seem as I haven't had one of those god awful IRQL_LESS_THAN_GOD_HATES_YOU messages. If only I had listened to you to begin with. And if I can take a moment to say I hate Antec, well, I hate Antec. God forbid those "smart" power supplies misread the temperature on your computer, because then the fan will barely work, hence why I was overheating much quick.

Anyhow, thanks for the help guys.
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warning
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« Reply #8 on: November 15, 2004, 12:32:31 PM »

You're welcome!   :wink:

Glad it worked out.
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