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Old 08-03-2011, 10:28 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Bizarre issue, likely hardware. Thoughts?

Hi everyone. I'm posting to ask for hypotheses regarding a frustrating problem my computer has had now for over a year. The answer has eluded me thus far, but it's quite frustrating. And now, I want to sell my tower to get a laptop, since I'm becoming more mobile. Any advice or support is greatly appreciated...I've put off solving this for far too long.

Here's the problem:
When I startup my computer, I'll quickly start to get weird, indistinct issues once in Windows. Sometimes it's a BSOD, sometimes it's bizarre application behavior, like pages not opening correctly in Google Chrome, and sometimes it's applications mysteriously locking up/crashing.
This started happening right after I moved up to NYC last January (I'm now back in Atlanta). My apartment building there was old and the power was probably "dirty." By the way, I always had it on a UPS Surge Protector -- first one was rated at like 350W, and I later got a really nice one hoping it would help (although of course if some component of my computer was messed up, it would be too late). I also got a nice new PSU early on, thinking I needed more power for everything under the hood, and since I'd read that such issues could be a bad PSU.

Around the same time, I got a Tivo HD in my bedroom, but the first Tivo unit started freezing, then crashing and restarting itself every few minutes. Thinking it was just that unit, I got a replacement, but that one did the same. So did the next one. Now I have one down here in Atlanta that I never used in NYC, and it works perfectly fine.
What I'm thinking is that the power coming through the outlet in NYC fried some component of my system and also fried some component in every TiVo I tried on that outlet (I had no means to try another outlet...long story). If this is true, what I'd like to know is, which component is likely to have been messed up? HDD? Mobo? Multiple things? Is there a way to figure this out?

Oh, and here's a crucial piece that makes no sense: What I've learned is that before turning on my computer each morning, if I unplug the SATA power cables on the HDD and the DVD-RW end and then replug them in, replace the case, and turn on the computer, the issues do not arise, like, at all (except maybe if I were to leave on the computer long enough, but I turn it off every night). What on earth does that mean? The problem happens without fail if I don't do this, but something about this ritual (removing the case, removing and re-inserting the SATA power cables on the component end) apparently helps, and quite reliably.

ANY thoughts would be appreciated, and let me know if I've left out any crucial info. If it matters, my specs are below:

Running Win7 Ultimate x64
AMD Phenom II X4 925 @ 2.8ghz
500gb SATA II 3GB 16MB 7200RPM
another older hard drive, a western digital WD1600BB if i remember right
4GB DDR3 PC1333
2x Radeon HD 5750 in Crossfire
Corsair TX750 PSU @ 750W
Mobo: GIGABYTE AMD 790FXTA-UD5

Thanks in advance, you guys rock.

-Frope
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Old 08-03-2011, 10:34 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Bizarre issue, likely hardware. Thoughts?

Man I guess after reading I would look at the power supply. Can you borrow one to test with? Wouldn't hurt to run memtest and a diag on your drives either.
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Old 08-03-2011, 10:51 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Bizarre issue, likely hardware. Thoughts?

I might have easy access to the PSU that came with this computer, it's a no-name 600W PSU. I don't think I ever even put it in the computer since I know what can go wrong using crappy PSUs. But you think it's possible that just the PSU is fried and not other components? I'm thinking that'd be a best case scenario...
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Old 08-03-2011, 11:16 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Bizarre issue, likely hardware. Thoughts?

It's hard to say without testing some things, Test your ram and drives as your issue sorta indicates an issue there but your NY situation points strongly at the psu.
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Old 08-03-2011, 11:43 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Bizarre issue, likely hardware. Thoughts?

OK, I'll try memtest or whatever. Also I should mention: What I meant was that I unplug and reinsert the SATA <i>data</i> cables, not the SATA power cables. And I've run checkdisk a few times before and never found anything.
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Old 08-04-2011, 08:40 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Bizarre issue, likely hardware. Thoughts?

I would swap in a known good PSU before messing with RAM or anything else. A flaky PSU can cause all sorts of weird, apparently unrelated problems - creating confusion when troubleshooting.
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Old 08-04-2011, 09:22 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Bizarre issue, likely hardware. Thoughts?

I would also recommend removing an add-on PCI cards after testing the PSU if that doesn't work.
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