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Old 06-21-2006, 01:23 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default How would I know?!?

Ok so I was just wondering how someone would know which computer hardware componet (cpu, ram, psu, gpu, etc...) would be the cause of problems. Say you are playing a game and it shuts off randomly in the middle of it. Or things start to get really slow just while working on your desktop. This is just to build on my own knowledge because I never know what hardware device to blame for random problems.
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Old 06-21-2006, 01:35 AM   #2 (permalink)
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We'll first you should get a good clear knowledge of the parts of the computer, and the ability to detirmine if something is a hardware problem or a software problem.

From your example:
If the computer just randomly shuts off, you need to detirmine if it is a hardware issue or a software issue. The best way is to try and re-create what happend. Bying going into the system properties, you can disable Windows from restarting upon a system crash, such as a blue screen of death. If the blue screen occurs, then it is a software error. Another way to detirmine is by checking the Event Viewer.

Now, if it turns out to be hardware problems you would probably start with the obvious problems. My first guess would be overheating, or power. New motherboards tend to shut off if the processor gets too hot, just in case. That, or a bad power supply. I would double check all the cables and make sure the hard drive isn't at the end of a look of 3 or 4 Y-cables.

Also, software errors, can be caused by faulty hardware. Such as bad RAM. So if you had a blue screen of death, you would want to double check your memory with Memtest86+. And then check your hard drive possibly.
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Old 06-21-2006, 01:36 AM   #3 (permalink)
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uhm when you mean shuts off randomly do you mean crashing, rebooting, BSOD? Question is just to big to answer as is. Mainly you'd just do test after test until you find the problem. Random crashing is one of the hardest things to diagnose, so your kind of out of luck.
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Old 06-21-2006, 01:43 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Sui
uhm when you mean shuts off randomly do you mean crashing, rebooting, BSOD? Question is just to big to answer as is. Mainly you'd just do test after test until you find the problem. Random crashing is one of the hardest things to diagnose, so your kind of out of luck.
One of the hardest things to diagnose? Please read my earlier post. I have to agree with you there for certain issues, but most commonly, this is quite easy to diagnose.

I think he may be asking this metaphorically to help expand his skills. If not, my bad.
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Old 06-22-2006, 02:59 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by AnthraX
One of the hardest things to diagnose? Please read my earlier post. I have to agree with you there for certain issues, but most commonly, this is quite easy to diagnose.

I think he may be asking this metaphorically to help expand his skills. If not, my bad.
It is, name the problems that are harder. Its not that big of a deal once you've been around for a while, but a random problem that only pops up once every couple of days is hard to find without the BSOD popping up with the cause of your problem. The less frequent it happens the harder it is to find the problem. Then its the question of which one of how many things could be causing this particular error, its not always going to be power, or the cpu getting too hot, or ram. I once had a network card half burn out and would freeze every time it got inited(granted it wasn't hard to diagnose). My point is it could be varity of different things, and appling a single solution isn't going to work. Doing what you said were all good places to start, but limiting the problem to that point only serves to end up replacing hardware that isn't the fault, even if it might fix the problem in the short term.

Yeah I know he said to build his own knowledge, but that sort of question is sort of a cause and effect thing. He probably had some type of problem, which either someone else fixed, or he had to pay to have fixed. Usually someone who askes 'how would' is usually the person who no longer has the problem but would like to know how to fix it next time it occurs. Its rare that someone would just ask this out of the blue.
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