I have one of the famed Alienware systems (over a year now), and have been having graphic issues from time to time..as if the screen refresh rate was not set properly -- with lines and artifacts obscuring the screen both inside Windows and sometimes even before Windows loads. Usually, I can just reboot and the problem will solve itself, though sometimes it takes more than 1 reboot. This has been going on for at least 8 months, and Alienware tech support has been zero help. I've updated my drivers to the latest, updated my motherboard firmware, bought and used canned air on all the fans, and nothing so far has helped.
About 2 months ago, I installed an internal DVD burner, which is the only new addition to the system since I purchase. For the last week or two, I've been having an additional problem. Sometimes in the middle of playing a game, the computer will just shut off, as if you pulled the plug out of the wall. I'll hear the sound cut out, the screen will go black, and then a second later, the computer will be rebooting.
Originally, I was thinking I got a bad video card (and was trying forever to get Alienware to send me a new one, with no luck), but in light of the new symptoms, I'm wondering if my power supply is bad.
Pentium 4, 3.2 Ghz with 800Mhz FSB
Radeon 9800 Pro 256 MB
SB Audigy 2
Intel D875PBZ mobo
2GB RAM (4 DIMMs)
Seagate 160MB SATA Hard Drive
Lite-on CDRW LTR-52327S
DVD Drive: JLMS XJ-HD166S
DVD Burner (don't remember what model)
1.44 MB Floppy Drive
Windows XP Home
Case has a 420W power supply, and 3 visible fans.
Does this sound like a Power Supply problem? Is 420W enough for this system? If I need a new one, can you recommend one, and is it something I should be able to do myself (I'm not afraid of opening the case, but I don't want to get electrocuted)?