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Hardware or Software?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by ashjustash, Jan 25, 2011.

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  1. ashjustash

    ashjustash Thread Starter

    Jan 25, 2011

    Vista Ultimate 64
    AMD Phenom II X4 965 3.4ghz
    Asus M4A785TD-V EVO
    ATI Radeon HD 4850 X2
    Corsair CMPSU-650TX 650W
    Corsair XMS2 4GB (2 X 2GB) DDR2
    Seagate 500g HDDs X2
    Western Digital 1.5 Tb HDD

    First off, I know just enough about computers to be really dangerious. My fav past time is dickering with them, breaking them, and then spending hair pulling days trying to fix'em...but this time, I dunno if I actually broke it, if it broke itself. :D

    Second off, this is a homebuild, after initial build I have done no modifications to the system specs (no overclocking). For my purposes it has never needed OC'ing, however the GPU is from a previous build that involved lots of playing with OC'ing (a build in which I righteously fried all to hell :eek: )

    Symptoms Began:

    Two weeks ago. The Desktop had been unused for several months, I started it up and updated the drivers for the GPU and ran windows update.

    The Very next day the symptoms began.


    1. Either CPU or GPU fan goes into high gear. It is audable. I am assuming it is the GPU because the durned thing has from 1st install sounded like a jet engine taking off. CPU cooler (after market Dual Orb) has always been very quiet.

    2. Two to three second later Monitor goes black, reports there is no DVI Output.

    3. Computer remains active for 3-4 second after monitor goes out, then does a hard lock.

    Events Prior to Symptoms Occuring

    1. 6-7 hours of idle. 3-5 hours of heavy use (typically this is gaming)

    2. After initial shutdown, the symptoms vary in occurrence. At times after restart the computer will remain fine for another 3-7 hours. At other times the computer begins symptoms immediately after restart.

    Fixes Attempted So Far:

    Roll back of system drivers.

    System Restore to previous configuation.

    Back up of Data, fresh install of Vista. Windows Update Ran and immediatly the symptoms began. However, system had been on for about 6 hours by that time (so it may only be a coinidence). ATI drivers had not been installed.

    CPU and GPU temps within safe range prior (both at idle and heavy) to fan goes into overdrive, though it could be misreading or I am missing a spike in temperature that since I have not been able to see the exact temps prior to the symptoms beginning.

    My Thoughts and Notes:

    My hubby had nearly this exactly same symptoms occure to his i7 ATI 5870 build after an update earlier this month. His solution was replacing the cards with Nvidia (which he'd already purchased for his next build since he's ragey at ATI.)

    It could be overheating, however, system has been cleaned of all dust an debris (it is cleaned weekly since this house gathers dust like the Bunny Ranch gathers...well nvm, it gets very dusty here.). While I'm inclined to say overheating of the GPU, there are days when symptoms occur, I shut it down for the day, come back the next day and the system immediatly begins symptoms upon boot.

    It could simply be that the GPU card is dieing, but the occurance of the hubbies same symptoms after the same updates....seems a bit odd unless someone the updates made two differant series ATI cards go up in flames. And if such did occure, I would think that more people would be screaming foul....which is not the case because in two weeks of googling I've not seen anything of this nature with this series of events.

    So....any ideas?
  2. pip22


    Nov 21, 2004
    Any ideas?

    Yes -- let someone who knows what their doing build a PC for you! Much less hassle that way and it keeps those little computer shops in work building computers. Support your local PC shop! (I'm not referring to the "PC World" megastores, I mean the little guy who actually builds them, doesn't just shift boxes out the door).
  3. calvin-c

    calvin-c Banned

    May 17, 2006
    Since rollback of the drivers didn't work I don't think the update did anything, unless maybe it acted as the 'trigger' for a card that was ready to fail anyway. Your symptoms definitely scream, to me, hardware! If you were inside the PC cleaning out the dust can I assume you also reseated the card?

    Can you swap cards (temporarily) with your hubby's PC? If the problem follows the card then that pretty much confirms it, right?
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